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Thyroid problems
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I am wondering if anyone is willing to share their experiences.

I went to the gyno lately because I am having irregular periods and can't sleep through the night. I am 44, so I assumed perimenopause. Well, it turned out to by hyperthyroidism. I have always heard people talk about the more common hypo, but I am just learning about hyperthyroidism. I went to an endocrinologist yesterday, and he said my levels were so out of whack that he was surprised I could walk and that I wasn't shaking. I told him that I had run 30 miles in the last three days, and he said that wasn't possible. Then I told him that I finished second in a tri the week before and he just shook his head. He is so used to dealing with far less active people that he really doesn't see people like us often. My heart rate was 56 yesterday, so while that is high for me, it is well outside of the danger zone that he typically sees for hyperthyroidism.

Does anyone have any experiences with this or the treatments?
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Re: Thyroid problems [happyscientist] [ In reply to ]
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I can't offer you anything specific for hyper but I've been dealing with hypo for 10+ years now. I am glad that you are seeing a specialist, but if you haven't yet, INSIST ON A FULL THYROID PANEL!!! Multiple doctors just tested my TSH and sent me on my way. I have had recent success working with a holistic doctor, so maybe that is an option for you.

Glad to hear your heart rate is in a normal range and you aren't shaking, that is some good news. I lol'd a little at him shaking his head at you that 30 miles in a day isn't possible... obviously he doesn't hang out on ST!

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
My life goal is to improve my race times so much I'm featured on MarathonInvestigation.com.
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Re: Thyroid problems [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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I have had the full panel. My TSH levels came back as undetectable, and my T4 levels were more than twice what they should be, so my body's feedback loop is broken. I have some radiology tests scheduled for next week. According to the endo, there is an 80% chance it is Grave's disease which will require a lifetime of medication, a 15% chance that it is simply inflamed, and a 5% chance of cancer. I am hoping for simply inflamed, and when he felt it, he said that is what it felt like.

I have been reading up on the scientific literature, and there are several papers that look at levels immediately after intense or prolonged exercise. There are also a few papers that look at the statistics of heart failure in sedentary people with hyperthyroidism. But so far, I haven't had any luck finding literature that addresses hyperthyroidism in us active folks.
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Re: Thyroid problems [happyscientist] [ In reply to ]
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I'm glad to hear you have had a full panel and additional testing. It sounds like your doc is taking you seriously. Please let me know what you find out after your tests next week.

Taking thyroid medication daily isn't THAT bad... I'll be on meds for life. The trickiest part is figuring out what dosage you should take. Just yesterday I learned my T4 is still low but my T3 is high-normal, so my doc and I are trying a few options to get me better balanced. You'll probably be making adjustments and getting regular blood tests for 6 months to a year. (Hell, I'm going on 10+ years of figuring it out now!)

This is my cynical bitterness showing, but I suspect the reason there is so little literature and research on thyroid conditions is because it's primarily a woman's disease.

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
My life goal is to improve my race times so much I'm featured on MarathonInvestigation.com.
Last edited by: Midtown Miles: May 10, 17 12:37
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Re: Thyroid problems [Midtown Miles] [ In reply to ]
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I'm add about thyroid medication that this is an area of treatment where if you can afford brand prescriptions, that is far better than generic. There is a certain variation in tolerances allowed for generics. That amount of variation can wreak havoc when dealing with highly sensitive medical issues such as thyroid regulation.

If you haven't done so, repeat labs are really important. Labs make mistakes. Also, you might want to think about tamping down the training and then rechecking your levels.

I was diagnosed hypothyroidism based on one test. Took synthroid and after a couple of days it felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. Haven't taken anything since, and no abnormal thyroid results.

52 as resting BP, that's really something.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Thyroid problems [happyscientist] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure the usefulness of this due to my own mistakes along the way. I've had Grave's for about 10 years now(one of a small number of men who get it). When it was first detected, I wasn't training, so hadn't paid attention to the weight loss and loss of strength. Started a course of Neo-Mercozole(carbimazole), something like 6-8 a day to begin, then slowly decreased as things leveled out. As things were getting better, I moved overseas to a country with a different medical system, and went about 6 months off the medication, which set me back to square one(really it was my own fault). Came home, got it back to nearly better, then started to feel better physically, but worse mentally. Stopped taking the tablets, got worse physically and better mentally. Two different endocrinologists haven't been very worried about anything other than the physical side. If the blood test says things are ok, then they that's that. Late last year as hormones were close to perfect, my prescription was reduced from 2 to 1 per day. But after a month or two, I could feel the effects coming back, and it took a chunk of fitness, 3 months away from my A race. Went back to 2 a day, and as of last month, everything is looking good except that TSH has started to move the wrong way. Physically I'm feeling good, but back to being mentally drained and having trouble sleeping/getting up early. When mine slips too far from normal, I get a slight shake, get exhausted more easily, elevated heart rate, early on had slightly bulging eyes, and still have a slight goiter. In the last few years the supply of Neo has dried up a few times(due to their being only one manufacturer), once it went on so long that I had to swap to a different medication entirely. I was given the option early on to stay on Neo, have surgery to remove it altogether/irradiated, but then that would mean I'd be on thyroid medication, instead of anti-thyroid medication, so I didn't see the point. I was also told that long term, they can right themselves, but with my multiple lapse', that probably won't happen, so I'll be on 1-2 tablets of Neo a day for life. I hope there's something useful there.
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Re: Thyroid problems [Jason Walton] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks. That is interesting. When I lost the first couple pounds and had the other initial effects, I assumed it was a combination of age and ramping up my training. I have noticed that if I am sedentary, I always feel like I have had too much coffee. However, when I train, it seems like my body is taking that energy and transferring it to lateral movement so I feel OK and normal. I am concerned about what any medication would do to me. Will it make me sluggish? Will I gain weight? The endocrinologist did say that if it was Grave's disease, my unusual activity levels would change his recommended treatment.

Do you take any vitamins? Historically I haven't, but I have also always had a very hard time losing weight. Typically I consider 1 lb a week to be rapid, but I am losing 2-3 lbs a week while consuming 3000 or so calories a day. I feel like it is almost impossible to meet my caloric needs, and even though I have weight to lose, I am starting to get concerned about the nutrition aspect.
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Re: Thyroid problems [happyscientist] [ In reply to ]
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I'll be careful from here to keep to my experience only. The medication doesn't make me sluggish, it's just limiting the excess hormone production, with the goal of returning them to a normal level. I think I had gotten used to the too much hormone feeling, so when it drops and starts to approach normal, it takes some getting used to. I did notice that I started to gain weight, but I was being careless at the time, and wasn't keeping on top of it. Once I monitored my food intake, I didn't have any problems. I think the weight aspect would be similar to if you suddenly went from 10 hours a week of training to 0. You would have to work on eating less to match your new expenditure. As long as you're aware of any weight gain or loss, you can make small changes along the way. Now that my levels are pretty steady, though still a little high, it makes the effect of diet vs expenditure easy to keep track of.

I've never taken vitamins and hadn't been made aware that it was an issue. I haven't had the control to restrict to calories to the amount I would have liked, but I've still found that I had plenty of room to eat well and keep myself nourished.
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