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Joan Guy

Message 5 of 15 Previous Next

Hi Judy, Are you on Hormone Replacement Therapy Program? If so, it can mask the results of thyroid testing. Am on estrogen replacement (ERT) and have a thyroid problem (underactive) since 28 years of age and have taken thyroid medication since then. For about 5 years, have put on weight, tired all the time, problems with nails, hair loss, memory loss and fuzsy thinking. My primary care doctor told me I was fine. We would do the thyroid testing and it always came back with me at the lowest end of the normal range. Read an article that estrogen therapies (doesn't matter which (HRT/ERT) can mask the results of thyroid tests. My primary care doctor finally agreed to put me into the hands of an endocronlogist (blood specialist). Have been under her care for three years now and on my very first visit, she ordered up a thyroid test and when I had the test done, I went off the estrogen for 5 days and guess what the test came back below normal range. When I went back to the doctor and we reviewed the test results and I told her I went off the estrogen, she agreed with me. So what we have done over the last three years is increase the thyroid medication, check my symptoms, do the test, review the results. It has only been in the last year that the results have leveled off and that's because we have found the right dosage of thyroid medication and it takes a lot of tweaking on the medication. Each time I have the test done, I go off the estrogen. Did symptoms disappear, most of them did. Those that haven't yet (nails, hair loss) will diminish as we tweak the thyroid medication dosage over time. My energy level has improved tremendously and I am now back to excercising and the weight is coming off. One cannot expect to eradicate five years of damage to ones body overnight. Both my doctor and I understand it is going to take time and along with that as one is aging, there are a lot of changes there also. So one has to keep all these things in mind. My thyroid testing consists of free T3 and free T4 with 3rd Generation TSH. One other point, if you have an underactive thyroid, it slows the metabolism down. When metabolism slows down, the intestines cannot breakdown the food as fast. So, sometimes, it (food) gets stuck. Underactive thyroid can also create gastrointestinal problems. I was diagnosed with this problem 10 years ago. Went to one of the best hospitals in the country. Doctor put me on Prilosec (ulcer medication), had endoscopic procedures done. I stopped the Prilosec three years ago, given my research on underactive thyroid causing gastrointestinal problems and haven't had a problem with stomach since that time. There was a time when all I could eat was babyfood. Now I am back to eating normal foods again. So my thyroid problem started over ten years ago. It's so subtle and just sort of creeps up on you. Have to have a really good doctor who understands how all this works and you have to play a part also. Doctors are human and make mistakes also. I have had to really educate myself on thyroid, estrogen, menopause and partner with my doctors and give them feedback on my research. So far, this research and partnering has been successful. It's my body as I tell my doctors and I listen to that message that my body sends to me when it says that something doesn't feel right/sound logical. I hope this has helped you. Get on the Internet and do research and go back to your doctor with that data. take care, joani


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