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HopefulMama23

Thyroid Questions

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Hi all:

I know this is a place for celiacs, and I am gluten intolerant and yall have been truly a wealth of knowledge, so I will try my thyroid question here too. ANY help or insight or light you can shine is sooooo soooo appreciated. My GP says everything looks "normal" to him but he is referring me to an endo, but lord knows how long that will take.

SO here's my sob story in a (large) nutshell:

I had a baby 9.5 months ago. She was my third. My other pregnancies were uneventful except a little pre-eclampsia in the first one. This pregnancy was tough on me physically and emotionally, much tougher than the prior two. The baby was/is healthy, thank god, but after the birth my body just went nuts.

About 2-3 months post partum, I got extremely anxious, depressed, hair falling out by the handful, sore teeth, dry skin, chipping nails, body hair falling out, constant daily diarrhea, rapid weight loss of the baby weight, no appetite. I stopped nursing, went on the birth control pill (Yasmin), went off gluten (we have celiacs in my family) and dairy, and things started to slowly level off. The hair loss slowed down, the diarrhea slowed down, and I thought I was in recovery.

Then about a month later (so 4-5 months post partum), I got EXHAUSTED. I would go to sleep with the kids at 8 PM and sleep until 7AM the next morning and still be tired. I thought this might be my body healing and just rested as much as I could until it passed, which took about two months. I had my free T4 tested here (results below).

THEN about a month ago (so 8-9 months post partum) I started having HORRIBLE insomnia. Every night it would take me 2-4 hours to fall asleep. I had rapid heart beat, horrible anxiety, and my hair started falling out again. (I had my Free T4 tested here again, results below).

So, I am looking at my test results for the little I did have tested during these phases, and I see that during the exhaustion stage, my Free T4 was 0.60, and during the insomnia stage (now), my free T4 is 1.16. The range provided is 0.59-1.40, so both are in the range, but effectively it doubled from one test at 4 months post partum (where it was at the absolute bottom of the range) to the next test at 9 months post partum (where it is at the high end of the range). Am I correct in thinking that I am swinging between mild cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

And how does the celiacs/ gluten free diet fit in here? I'm pretty careful about my diet, I eat 99% whole foods, mostly organic. I take B vitamins, vitamin D, and a Betaine HCL supplement with my protein meals. I gave up coffee and am off dairy also.

Is this post partum thyroiditis? Am I just crazy? I feel genuinly like a crazy person. My mood swings are unbelievable, my hair loss is making me insane, I look like crap, and my husband is just about fed up with listening to me talk on and on about my health. Does anyone have any thyroid expertise out there??

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I am no expert. My Dr. told me that I had auto immune thyroid disease. Later he discovered gluten intolerence. This was my OB dr. My symptoms were a lot like yours. He put me on 45 mg. of Armour thyroid which has helped. When I get glutened it seems to cause wild swings with my thyroid, but the Armour has helped alot. He told me that he found thyroid antibodies in my blood. I hope this helps you and let's you know that you are not alone.

Hi all:

I know this is a place for celiacs, and I am gluten intolerant and yall have been truly a wealth of knowledge, so I will try my thyroid question here too. ANY help or insight or light you can shine is sooooo soooo appreciated. My GP says everything looks "normal" to him but he is referring me to an endo, but lord knows how long that will take.

SO here's my sob story in a (large) nutshell:

I had a baby 9.5 months ago. She was my third. My other pregnancies were uneventful except a little pre-eclampsia in the first one. This pregnancy was tough on me physically and emotionally, much tougher than the prior two. The baby was/is healthy, thank god, but after the birth my body just went nuts.

About 2-3 months post partum, I got extremely anxious, depressed, hair falling out by the handful, sore teeth, dry skin, chipping nails, body hair falling out, constant daily diarrhea, rapid weight loss of the baby weight, no appetite. I stopped nursing, went on the birth control pill (Yasmin), went off gluten (we have celiacs in my family) and dairy, and things started to slowly level off. The hair loss slowed down, the diarrhea slowed down, and I thought I was in recovery.

Then about a month later (so 4-5 months post partum), I got EXHAUSTED. I would go to sleep with the kids at 8 PM and sleep until 7AM the next morning and still be tired. I thought this might be my body healing and just rested as much as I could until it passed, which took about two months. I had my free T4 tested here (results below).

THEN about a month ago (so 8-9 months post partum) I started having HORRIBLE insomnia. Every night it would take me 2-4 hours to fall asleep. I had rapid heart beat, horrible anxiety, and my hair started falling out again. (I had my Free T4 tested here again, results below).

So, I am looking at my test results for the little I did have tested during these phases, and I see that during the exhaustion stage, my Free T4 was 0.60, and during the insomnia stage (now), my free T4 is 1.16. The range provided is 0.59-1.40, so both are in the range, but effectively it doubled from one test at 4 months post partum (where it was at the absolute bottom of the range) to the next test at 9 months post partum (where it is at the high end of the range). Am I correct in thinking that I am swinging between mild cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism?

And how does the celiacs/ gluten free diet fit in here? I'm pretty careful about my diet, I eat 99% whole foods, mostly organic. I take B vitamins, vitamin D, and a Betaine HCL supplement with my protein meals. I gave up coffee and am off dairy also.

Is this post partum thyroiditis? Am I just crazy? I feel genuinly like a crazy person. My mood swings are unbelievable, my hair loss is making me insane, I look like crap, and my husband is just about fed up with listening to me talk on and on about my health. Does anyone have any thyroid expertise out there??

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And how does the celiacs/ gluten free diet fit in here? I'm pretty careful about my diet, I eat 99% whole foods, mostly organic. I take B vitamins, vitamin D, and a Betaine HCL supplement with my protein meals. I gave up coffee and am off dairy also.

Is this post partum thyroiditis? Am I just crazy? I feel genuinly like a crazy person. My mood swings are unbelievable, my hair loss is making me insane, I look like crap, and my husband is just about fed up with listening to me talk on and on about my health. Does anyone have any thyroid expertise out there??

Are your "protein meals" soy based? And do you supplements contain soy? I am borderline hypothyroid (not high enough for the dr to diagnose and give meds but I have seen an upward trend in my repeated test results just like you noticed) and I have found that so far cutting out soy has helped me. Whenever I eat soy I am extremely exhausted/moody. Just do a search for soy and thyroid and you will find plenty of info about soy wrecking havoc on the thyroid. In my case I have a family history of hypothyroidism/hashimotos so I might end up developing it even with cutting out soy but at least I feel better without the soy. I'm hoping to delay the hypothyroid as long as possible.

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That sounds awful. I have thyroid trouble and I've been reading a lot about it lately. Free T4 isn't an accurate test for hypothroidism, although yours sure is suggestive.

Have you had any other tests? Usually they test TSH, and you should be screened for anti-TPO and anti-thyrglobulin, the Hashimoto's antibodies. Hashimoto's can make your thyroid swing around like that when it first starts. Gluten fits in because there is an association between celiac and Hashimoto's autoimmunity. It's also not uncommon to have autoimmune diseases appear during pregnancy.

Bug your Dr. for the rest of the thyroid tests and I hope it sorts out your trouble!

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GlutenfreeMama, thats interesting you say that about soy- I was trying to get more protein and started eating a lot of soy protein shakes a few months ago. Could that have caused my thyroid to go hyper?

I gave up soy about two weeks ago when I realized something was wrong. Any idea how long I would see things calm down if the soy really was causing issues?

I truly think I'm bouncing between hyper and hypo. It just makes too much sense.

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GlutenfreeMama, thats interesting you say that about soy- I was trying to get more protein and started eating a lot of soy protein shakes a few months ago. Could that have caused my thyroid to go hyper?

I gave up soy about two weeks ago when I realized something was wrong. Any idea how long I would see things calm down if the soy really was causing issues?

I truly think I'm bouncing between hyper and hypo. It just makes too much sense.

From what I have read Soy is more likely to make you hypo or contribute to hashimoto thyroditis. However in the early stages of hashi's people often bounce between the two extremes of hypo and hyper. You may have started a cycle of changing in between the two. I will warn you that this view is somewhat controversial because the FDA has recommended soy as a healthy food in the past. And drs are often taught that soy is healthy and to reccomend it to their patients to get more protein. I once had a dr that told me soy was "hypoallergenic" and should be safe for everyone. When I pointed out that it was one of the 8 most common allergens requiring labeling she didn't know what to say! Soybean farmers have a big lobby and it is also in the interest of Big Pharma to keep people sick with thyroid disease that can be treated with meds. Here's an article which discusses some of the concerns of soy consumption in more detail with references to some research: http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/soydangers.htm

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GlutenfreeMama, thats interesting you say that about soy- I was trying to get more protein and started eating a lot of soy protein shakes a few months ago. Could that have caused my thyroid to go hyper?

I gave up soy about two weeks ago when I realized something was wrong. Any idea how long I would see things calm down if the soy really was causing issues?

I truly think I'm bouncing between hyper and hypo. It just makes too much sense.

soy specifically aggravates the Grave's antibodies. and many online say it aggravates the entire thyroid.

you sound like you definitely have thyroid disease- its so common for pregnancy to really set it off. some autoimmune diseases are quieted while pregnant, but i think pregnancy is a lot of hard work for a thyroid- so very common.

with all the insomnia, and weight loss- i would agree you have some Hyperthyroid. the hair loss and fatigue can come with both... its very complicated- and the symptoms overlap- you can swing even when u ONLY have Hashimoto's - or u can swing from having both Hashimoto's and Grave's (Skylark & i have BOTH Hashi & Graves- and it is quite a rollercoaster)...

so- are you ONLY testing your FREE T4????? i think it's important to get everything tested ESPECIALLY free t4, free t3, tsh, and all 3 thyroid antibodies. i think it's a really great idea for you to get ALL your abs tested- before they start treating u with the wrong medication.

also- have u had all your vitamin levels including iron & ferritin, b12, and d??? im sure pregnancy wipes u out.... and its really important too- to get all your vitamin levels fixed- as they can also affect your recovery with your thyroid. i guess selenium and zinc would be good to check too- i havent done this yet.

good luck!!! and get help so u can feel better :)

oh ps- yes gluten can totally affect ur thyroid too... i firmly believe my thyroid disease went in and out of remission in my twenties with my diet change, altho, i think after a point- my abs were on a mission

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My TSH was tested twice and both times was at the bottom of the range- 0.41 & 0.36, range is 0.34-4.82. What does that mean?

I did have the thyroglobulin antibodies and thyroid peroxidase antibodies tests and bother were negative. Is that all the antibody tests I need?

From what I understand, post partum thyroiditis involved swinging back and forth from hyper to hypo but without the antibodies, and *should* resolve itself within a few months to a year. My baby is almost ten months old, and I'm still fluctuating, so I'm getting very frustrated. I just want to feel healthy again!

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The low TSH supports your idea that you are having periods of hyperthyroidism. TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, tells your thyroid how much hormone to produce. If it's really low, below 0.5, that supports your idea that you are going hyperthyroid.

You could ask for the Graves' disease test, an antibody called TSI. You probably are postpartum. You're supposed to get a beta blocker to help if your're hyper- and a little thyroxine while you're hypo-. Is your doctor not doing anything at all?

http://www.thyroid.org/patients/patient_brochures/postpartum.html

Is there any way you can get to an endocrinologist?

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Thanks so much Skylark. My GP is decent, but not knowledgeable enough about thyroid- he is going to refer me to an endo but I haven't heard anything yet. I'm hoping I'll be able to get in to see one as my numbers are all "normal".

I did sleep last night decently for the first time in a long time. I guess I am hopeful that this is post partum thyroiditis and that it resolves itself soon- although I'm already well beyond the "normal" window.

I did end up having to go on a low dose anti-depressant to help with the anxiety. It's only been a week or two but I think it might be helping. I also am starting the process of ordering a beautiful wig so the hair loss thing doesn't debilitate me as it has been. Hopefully, its a temporary measure, but I think it will help me get through this.

Does anyone have any suggestions, if I am hyper, on foods/herbs/activities to do or avoid to encourage me to swing back down?

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Let's see. My "Living well with Graves' Disease and Hypothyroidism" book by Mary J. Shomun says:

- Limit iodine, avoiding iodine supplements, iodized salt, and kelp. Sea salt is OK.

- Add goitrogens to lower iodine absorption - brussels sprouts, rutababa, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cauliflower, millet, cabbage, kale, soy products, horseradish, mustard, corn, broccoli, turnips, carrots, peaches, strawberries, peanuts, spinach, watercress, mustard greens, walunts

- Eat more foods with essential fatty acids to calm inflammation. Fatty fish, olive oil, avocados, and olives.

They also recommend Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Buglewort, Motherwort/Leonurus, Lithospermum, and Thyme.

Quercitin for inflammation and lowering thyroid function.

The book says soy in particular is good for lowering thyroid function. Maybe you need to develop a fondness for edamame, tofu, and tempeh. ;)

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Skylark- i completely forgot to tell u (or did i??/ still have brain fog)- that Royal Jelly is good for Grave's. there's a study from Turkey on Pubmed about it really helping. i was buying it at whole foods- and felt like it was calming me- but it was really expensive. it's cheaper if u buy it in a product that combines royal jelly, honey, and ginseng. but i cant do honey or ginseng. maybe u can...

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It's funny you mention the link between thyroid and celiac. I have had hypothyroidism my whole life and about a year ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease. It is shown that these two things are connected and you have a higher risk of getting celiac if you have a low or high thyroid and vice versa.

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