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The Fluffy Assassin

Thank You To You All, And Apologies

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I've been posting a lot of fairly foolish stuff for months about what I thought might be causing my odd symptoms (light-headedness, flighty heart, pins and needles in hands and feet) and you all have been very pleasant and very patient about it all. In the last week, things got a lot worse, and I had about three nights in a row where when I went to bed I was not sure I was going to be getting up again. I thought it was blood sugar problems, and went to my dad, a diabetic and a doctor, for a finger stick. My fasting blood sugar was 97, which was somewhat reassuring. More or less all summer, I've had about two good days followed by about two bad days; the finger stick came just before the good days, so I thought (as I have all summer) that I had it fixed. But then the next bad days came.

Late Friday, early Saturday, I'd had enough. I called the emergency room at the best hospital in town and asked if they could do a glucose tolerance test (which had been suggested by a celac.commer). The woman answering the phone wouldn't say definitively, but I wasn't going to be able to sleep anyway so I went. Mercifully, the emergency room was very quiet, and I was seen pretty quickly. The triage nurse checked my fasting blood sugar, and it was again under 100.

After not a very long wait I was able to see the doctor and explain my symptoms. He mentioned that they couldn't do a GTT, but that they would do all the tests that they could. A tech took my blood and then it was just a matter of waiting on the lab. (I note in passing that if you're feeling like if you fall asleep you might not wake up, the emergency room is actually one of the most relaxing places you can take a nap in.)

A couple-three hours later, the doctor came back to tell me that the only thing wrong with me was high (That's an edit; I originally wrote "low" out of confusion; thanks momxyz!) TSH numbers. So all this weirdness has been hypothyroidism. I have to see a regular doctor tomorrow or as soon as they can fit me in, and I'll definitely ask for the GTT, but I'm very relieved. (I still have to explain all the weight loss; I'll definitely ask about that, too.) I've been doing some very, very foolish things (not salting my food even though I long ago quit eating the regular American high-salt diet, eating a lot of goitrogens, usually put straight in my stew rather than steamed, and, what put me in the emergency room, quitting my multivitamins that have 100% of the RDA for iodine). So I'm reasonably confident that I can turn this around quickly, if not immediately. In less than 24 hours, I've already gotten rid of the pins and needles, and slept all night very easily last night.

Not that anyone here would be foolish enough to do any of the above, but if you are doing so, cut it out. Believe me.

Thanks for your support, and in advance for any replies.

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Fluffy, no apologies needed.... we're all doing the best we can to help ourselves, and if we take a wrong turn here or there, well, that's part of the journey. But I do have a question:

A couple-three hours later, the doctor came back to tell me that the only thing wrong with me was low TSH numbers. So all this weirdness has been hypothyroidism.

Are you hypo or hyper thyroid? forgive me in advance if I get too technical, but well, I work in a lab...

a low TSH is associated with HYPER thyroidism. TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, secreted from your brain. TSH acts on your thyroid to stumulate thyroid homone production. Once you secrete thyroid hormone (Thyroxine or T4), there's a feedback mechanism to your brain. So if you're producing lots of thyroid hormone, your brain makes less TSH.

a high TSH is associated with HYPO thyroidism. If your thyroid is sluggish in producing thyroxine, so that there are low levels of circulating T4, your brain keeps making TSH in an effort to keep stimulating the thyroid to make more thryoxine.

Hyperthyroidism would be consistent with symptoms like weight loss and heart palpitations.

Hypothryoidism symptoms include feeling tired and sluggish; sensitivity to cold and sometimes weight gain.

Many times when a blood test for TSH is ordered, the doctors will order levels for T3 and T4 (circulating thyroid hormones). Was by chance the doctor talking about low levels of T4?

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Hypo. Sorry, my mistake, the TSH number was high (7.310). The only other high readings were white blood cell count (or that's what I assume WBC Count is) at 12 and calcium at 10.3 (so apparently I'm doing better than ok finding substitutes for dairy). As I feared, there is ketone in my urine, but the number shown is 15, which apparently is low.

Thanks for the very informative reply. Yeah, I'm still fairly bewildered by the weight loss. It may be that I just went overboard adding fiber to my diet. As I've tried harder yesterday and today to balance my meals better, my appetite has returned more or less with a roar.

PS: I edited the original post so it makes sense now.

Fluffy, no apologies needed.... we're all doing the best we can to help ourselves, and if we take a wrong turn here or there, well, that's part of the journey. But I do have a question:

Are you hypo or hyper thyroid? forgive me in advance if I get too technical, but well, I work in a lab...

a low TSH is associated with HYPER thyroidism. TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, secreted from your brain. TSH acts on your thyroid to stumulate thyroid homone production. Once you secrete thyroid hormone (Thyroxine or T4), there's a feedback mechanism to your brain. So if you're producing lots of thyroid hormone, your brain makes less TSH.

a high TSH is associated with HYPO thyroidism. If your thyroid is sluggish in producing thyroxine, so that there are low levels of circulating T4, your brain keeps making TSH in an effort to keep stimulating the thyroid to make more thryoxine.

Hyperthyroidism would be consistent with symptoms like weight loss and heart palpitations.

Hypothryoidism symptoms include feeling tired and sluggish; sensitivity to cold and sometimes weight gain.

Many times when a blood test for TSH is ordered, the doctors will order levels for T3 and T4 (circulating thyroid hormones). Was by chance the doctor talking about low levels of T4?

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yup! that would be a high TSH!

the good thing is, this is fairly easilyl treated with meds; I hope you have a good visit with your doctor!

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Hi FLuffy,

I have to admit to feeling pretty foolish myself. When I first figured out I was hypothyroid I had been off salt for 5 years, and not taking a vit with iodine. One day I developed a thyroid cyst, and it grew and grew and turned out there was a giant at the top. Oops, wrong story that was Jack and the Beanstock! :lol: But it did get bigger over the course of a month. I knew something was going wrong, and somehow got the idea I should test myself for iodine deficiency. So I ate an apple with salt sprinkled on it. I got a definite rush from it that lasted several hours. I tested that several more times and then decided to start using salt again (iodized of course) and make sure my vitamins had iodine in them too.

Goitrogens reduce the absorption of iodine by the thyroid from what I've read. So, if you are low on iodine to begin with and eat goitrogens all the time that could be a problem. I don't know any rules to follow regarding goitrogens. Like maybe it is ok to eat them a few hours after taking your iodine or before. Maybe that would help. Or perhaps eating the goitrogens every other day so your body has a day goitrogen free to absorb the iodine? This is just guessing as I haven't read any studies about the length of time goitrogens affect iodine absorption.

I think the goitrogen effect was one of the problems with the first infant formulas made using soy. Some of the babies they tested the soy formula on didn't grow normally.

Here's one writeup on the benefits of soy for thyroid function:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlere...i?artid=1241182

I am taking a break from all vitamins etc for a few days myself. I found I was reacting to a multi vit with oat straw in it. I think I was also being affected by something else in one of them but not sure which. All I know for sure is I can actually sleep now for a change. I feel like I should have figured out that link sooner but duh, here I am now.

Anyhow, thanks for posting your discovery. It may help someone else figure out their issue also. It surprises me the roundabout routes I meander around to learn things often.

By the way, I make guacamole once in a while to help my thyroid out. Avocados have a beneficial effect on the thyroid they say.

Congrats on learning a new clue to your body care and feeding!

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I tell you what, if you start getting pins and needles in the hands and feet, go back on those vitamins, oat straw or not.

(I still take the Aldi multivitamins; I'm not that confident that they're gluten, casein or soy free, but at least the listed ingredients are.)

My appointment is for Friday, a good and bad thing. Obviously, I'd like to get things resolved sooner. On the other hand, four more days goitrogen free and iodine rich will likely improve my numbers markedly. I'm still more worried about the weight loss (a quarter of my weight since the start of 2008, most of that this year). Hopefully I can get an answer about that soon as well.

Coconuts are also supposed to be good for thyroid function. Maybe all that Thai food I used to eat was all that kept me together.

Thanks for your reply, and for your earlier advice on my "Should I start salting my food?" thread. I think we know the answer to that question pretty definitively now.

Edit: The home iodine deficiency test. If you haven't seen this already, check it out: http://www.qfac.com/articles/august/iodine.html

Hi FLuffy,

I have to admit to feeling pretty foolish myself. When I first figured out I was hypothyroid I had been off salt for 5 years, and not taking a vit with iodine. One day I developed a thyroid cyst, and it grew and grew and turned out there was a giant at the top. Oops, wrong story that was Jack and the Beanstock! :lol: But it did get bigger over the course of a month. I knew something was going wrong, and somehow got the idea I should test myself for iodine deficiency. So I ate an apple with salt sprinkled on it. I got a definite rush from it that lasted several hours. I tested that several more times and then decided to start using salt again (iodized of course) and make sure my vitamins had iodine in them too.

Goitrogens reduce the absorption of iodine by the thyroid from what I've read. So, if you are low on iodine to begin with and eat goitrogens all the time that could be a problem. I don't know any rules to follow regarding goitrogens. Like maybe it is ok to eat them a few hours after taking your iodine or before. Maybe that would help. Or perhaps eating the goitrogens every other day so your body has a day goitrogen free to absorb the iodine? This is just guessing as I haven't read any studies about the length of time goitrogens affect iodine absorption.

I think the goitrogen effect was one of the problems with the first infant formulas made using soy. Some of the babies they tested the soy formula on didn't grow normally.

Here's one writeup on the benefits of soy for thyroid function:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlere...i?artid=1241182

I am taking a break from all vitamins etc for a few days myself. I found I was reacting to a multi vit with oat straw in it. I think I was also being affected by something else in one of them but not sure which. All I know for sure is I can actually sleep now for a change. I feel like I should have figured out that link sooner but duh, here I am now.

Anyhow, thanks for posting your discovery. It may help someone else figure out their issue also. It surprises me the roundabout routes I meander around to learn things often.

By the way, I make guacamole once in a while to help my thyroid out. Avocados have a beneficial effect on the thyroid they say.

Congrats on learning a new clue to your body care and feeding!

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Thanks for the coconut hint Fluffy. I don't hate coconut so that is another possibility. I am going to try and remember to pick up some iodine tincture and try the skin test sometime soon. If nothing else it is an interesting experiment to see how it goes. Self testing is something us celiacs seem to need to learn about.

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Thanks for the coconut hint Fluffy. I don't hate coconut so that is another possibility. I am going to try and remember to pick up some iodine tincture and try the skin test sometime soon. If nothing else it is an interesting experiment to see how it goes. Self testing is something us celiacs seem to need to learn about.

Ravenwoodglass warns that if you have dermatitis herpetiformis, don't do this. Apparently iodine on the skin is the fastest way to trigger an attack. Edit: Oh, and don't do the test more than once. I did it twice, on my right arm both times. Now I have an iodine colored vein on the back of my right wrist. I don't know what that's all about; assume that it'll clear up eventually.

Hey, I just found out I don't hate avocados (also supposedly good for the thyroid). I always got crappy guacamole in mediocre restaurants and thought it was the avocados I didn't like, but I got some good guacamole yesterday and found I love it. So things are looking up for my thyroid all the way around.

By the way, doctor's appointment was today. Basically, just did labs. I'll find out the results next week, but I feel so much better I'm pretty confident that they will be much improved. I have no goiter at least.

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