When we last left off, I was telling you about how my hysterectomy had affected my thyroid. I went to the doctor, and she ordered a blood test.
In my case, my TSH level was elevated, but my physician didn’t address my T3 or T4 levels at all. In her opinion, a high TSH level all by itself meant hypothyroidism—case closed.
In my research, I have also learned that if your TSH level is elevated but the T3 and T4 are normal, chances are you are okay. There is some disagreement in the medical world as to what an acceptable TSH level is—some say a reading between 1 and 5 is normal and others say it is 1 and 3. In addition, I read that in cases where there was some doubt as to the test results and what they mean (like mine), your physician can and should always order a follow-up blood test. Blood is the best barometer for all hormones.
To top it all off, I also learned that imbalanced hormones can also cause a variety of symptoms that often mimic thyroid issues. If I could only go back in time and do that thyroid testing all over again, I’d be a very happy camper.
Here is the catch, and this just really gets to me because I had absolutely no clue about this: once you go on thyroid medication, you are doomed. Your thyroid sees the medicine coming into your body, and basically goes on vacation. It lets the drugs do the work for it and will begin to shrink in size, just like a once-strong and big muscle that never gets used will become smaller. There are a few exceptions to the rule, and I have heard of some women getting off their thyroid medications and having their thyroid function return, but this is very very rare.
When I go in for checkups now with my new physician, he can barely feel my thyroid anymore because it is so small.
So unless something changes and my thyroid miraculously springs back to life, I’ll spend the rest of my days taking Armour Thyroid and Levoxyl medicine in the morning and another dose of Armour around 3 in the afternoon.
What does your doctor do to check your thyroid? Have you ever been misdiagnosed with a thyroid condition? I hope everyone who is reading this has had only good experiences with their thyroids but if not, please drop me a line to tell me about it.
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