Monday, May 19, 2008

Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease: Now What?

When I went to see the second of my "dueling endocrinologists" I was was in the midst of a full blown episode I often experience where my stomach feels like it is trying to regurgitate a rock coupled with a nasty spate of heart palpitations (PACs confirmed by holter monitor). My research found that there is evidence to suggest that people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (my confirmed diagnosis by both Endo's) can episodically become hyperthyroid due to the thyroid releasing stored hormones as it deteriorates.

Because I was in mid-episode I thought it would be interesting to see if my thyroid could be the culprit and the doc agreed to retest my TSH and Free T4 that day. Wouldn't ya know it, my TSH was a sterling 2.0 with a 1.2 Free T4. The second doc has now has refused to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (too bad, the first one already did) and wants to do repeat testing for several more months. This test result is just what you might expect if for some unknown reason my diseased thyroid started dumping hormones. Hmmmm! Well, the episode has passed and I'm back to normal (stomach's fine and no palpitations). You just know I'll be getting another blood draw soon to see if my TSH shoots back up! I'll find a third endo if need be.

While the docs diddle I'll be doing my own thing. If they think I am going to sit around feeling like I was hit by a truck while they test me for another few months - they're nuts!




onewaypockets said...

Hi HH,

IMO what makes the TSH test absolutely worthless is that TSH release from the pituitary is pulsatile. You can take it everyday and it varies quite a lot, this is still another reason the TSH is a worthless test. Your TSH level will also vary because of your illness...your dying thyroid gland still will have some occasional outbursts when it again secrets some hormone, then goes about it's business of dying once again because of the antibodies that are slowly destroying it. Since this thyroid hormone release cannot be hidden from the pituitary (there is a feedback loop of sorts), your TSH goes down and the doctor pronounces you "OK for now" or something really stupid like "We will just watch things for awhile and retest".

Check this out...

“WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW IF I HAVE HASHI’S?? As the attack increases, you will tend to swing between hypo and hyper, making dosing by labs, and especially the TSH, impossible. Your labs will be high one time, and low the next…back and forth. The hyper is caused by the release of thyroid hormones into your blood due to the destruction. The hypo is caused by the lessening function of your thyroid due to the attack. If you do have Hashi’s, you may have to insist to your lab-obsessed doctor to let you raise by the elimination of symptoms, not labs, due to this reality. “

“HOW DO I TREAT IT? You treat Hashi’s the same way you do just plan hypothyroid–with thyroid medications. We have seen those on thyroxine T4-only have some success in stopping the attack, but patients who switched to Armour noticed even better results, especially if they dosed by symptoms rather than labs. Some doctors have unwisely recommended non-treatment until labwork “stabilizes”, but that could take months and years, and you continue to suffer.
The attack can happen over a few weeks or extend into years. It has been stated that antibodies can be present for years even after you counter the attack with thyroid hormones like Armour. But patients on Armour have noted that antibodies greatly fall if they dose high enough. “

The better tests are the Free T's...FT3 and FT4, these are the bio available thyroid levels that effect every cell in your body, including your heart cells that are currently having palps that you have been feeling, your energy level, anemia, digestive issues, I too had everyone of these! I don't anymore.

You related the other day that the endo had the opinion that Armour Thyroid was inconsistent. That is absolutely false. Armour has been around for a hundred years, is USP certified, etc. I have taken it for over a year with excellent consistent results, I can feel it working everyday, and have the consistent labs to prove it. Armour also contains T4, T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin, just like your own thyroid produces. Levoxyl does not. Why would our thyroids produce these extra hormones if they were not necessary?

I would recommend that if you cannot quickly find a doctor you just order some over the internet and self treat. You can run your own labs through, etc, it's quite easy to do. I test my own thyroid, testosterone, and vitamin D through this outfit or

The link above is a good source of information about your condition, additionally I can recommend a book written 30 years ago by a doctor that treated thyroid patients for 50 years with excellent results with Armour thyroid. He did so before the TSH test was invented in the 70's. I really wish he was still around, I would become his patient in a second. Here is a link for the book...

I wish you well,


Anonymous said...

Hi HH - Got my thyroid test results and at least according to my primary care physician they are okay. TSH is still too high I think at 3.23 (down from 4.9) but free T4 was 1.1 ng/dL and the thyroid antibodies came back benign (Thyroid peroxidase <10 IU/mL and thyroglobulin <20 IU/mL). Doc said we should monitor as I do not have any obvious symptoms but that medication was not needed at this point. I ran this past an internist friend I respect who agreed with this conclusion. Anyway, I will read your blogged findings with interest and hope for the best for both of us.


Heart Disease said...

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the nation's single leading cause of death for both men and women. At least 58.8 million people in this country suffer from some form of heart disease.

And on the whole, cardiovascular diseases (the combination of heart disease and stroke) kill some 950,000 Americans every year.

Still, there are many misconceptions about heart disease: "The biggest misconception is that heart disease only happens to the elderly," said Elizabeth Schilling, CRNP with the Center for Preventive Cardiology Program at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

In fact, according to the American Heart Association, almost 150,00 Americans killed by cardiovascular disease each year are under the age of 65. And one out of every 20 people below the age of 40 has heart disease.

So, it is now a wise decision to keep a constant monitoring of your health. Why to take a chance if we have the option. I was in the similar misconception that heart disease are far away waiting for me to get aged. But to my surprise, I was found to be having a calcium deposit in my coronary arteries. I need to have my advance diagnostic scans due reassure whether something really deadly is waiting for me. Though it was some dreadful going on in my life, but I never felt any kind of discomfort in advanced diagnostic facility. They were having some of the latest diagnostic equipments and non invasive techniques which made me feel safe.

JadePatterson said...

Try natural. Thyroid health supplement adapts more readily to the human body, increases the metabolism and gives much more energy.

Online pharmacy reviews said...

hello dear blogger, pretty good and complete story about your "dueling endocrinologists", but I would have liked to see some pictures to illustrate your blog, think about it

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