Monday, July 09, 2012

My Thyroid and Adrenal Update: Steady on 3 Grains

By Diana Hsieh

My last thyroid report was just about a year ago. So wow, it's time for an update!

As of last July, I'd just seen a new doctor -- Dr. Juetersonke in Colorado Springs. He was willing to raise my dose of desiccated thyroid from 2 grains to 3 grains -- even though my TSH was already too low by conventional standards -- based on my persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism, plus my low Free T3 and Free T4. (Even when I was seriously mentally and physically disabled by hypothyroidism, my TSH was never terribly high -- just 3.23. So that I'd need to keep a lower-than-usual TSH isn't too surprising.)

The results of that increased dose to 3 grains were excellent. My thyroid symptoms vanished, and they've not returned. My lab values are good too, and they're stable. Happily, my thyroid antibodies (particularly Antithyroglobulin Ab) have fallen from a high of 123 to within the normal range. Hence, I hope to be able to stay well on 3 grains of desiccated thyroid for the foreseeable future.

Here were my labs from 21 December 2011, after 6 months on three grains of desiccated thyroid:

  • TSH = 0.009 uIU/mL (normal range .3 to 3.0)

  • Free T3 = 4.0 pg/mL (normal range 2.0 to 4.4)

  • Free T4 = 1.18 ng/dL (normal range .82 to 1.77)

  • Antithyroglobulin Ab = 31 IU/mL (normal range 0 to 19)
Here were my lab results from 21 June 2012, after a year on three grains of desiccated thyroid:
  • TSH = 0.010 uIU/mL (normal range .3 to 3.0)

  • Free T3 = 3.4 pg/mL (normal range 2.0 to 4.4)

  • Free T4 = 1.19 ng/dL (normal range .82 to 1.77)

  • Antithyroglobulin Ab = 29 IU/mL (normal range 0 to 40)
Also, I'm still taking high-dose iodine -- 12.5 mg per day at present -- because I've found that my menstrual cycles will not happen without it. I've never had any ill-effects from high-dose iodine, as some people with Hashi's do, and I wonder if that's because I've always taken 200 mcgs of selenium with it. (I've read that the bad reaction of some people with Hashi's to iodine might be due to selenium deficiency, not the iodine per se.)

Alas, I've not had such great success with my adrenal insufficiency. I've gone from two adrenal supplements per day a year ago up to three, down to two, down to one, down to zero, up to one, and now up to two. My recent increase is partly due to a less potent batch of pills than before. (That's a common problem.) However, it's also just too damn easy for me to push myself into sheer exhaustion. If I combine too much exertion with lack of sleep -- as almost always happens when I travel -- I'm toast. The result is feeling sleepy and unmotivated from morning until night, even on a good night of sleep. In my recent appointment, Dr. Juetersonke gave me some suggestions for dealing with that better, so hopefully I'll get that sorted out soon.

Oh, and I should mention that my elimination diet for gut repair is still ongoing and still working. I've kept off the ten pounds that I lost early in the diet without any trouble. I'm tolerating a wider range of foods, including beef and some dairy. I'm not out of the woods yet, but the path that our own Christian Wernstedt of Vital Objectives laid out for me is working well.


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