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Thyroid And Immunity Questions

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Last night we found out that my uncle has a hypothyroid, and he just sees his general doctor for it. It has probably been 6 or so years since he was diagnosed.

My mom now thinks I don't really need to see an endocrinologist, I tried to tell her hypothyroidism is hardly a diagnosis because it is more of a symptom. The number one cause of hypothyroidism is hashimotos here in the US. It frustrates me a little bit because I am pretty sure I am going to have to educate my family doctor on the test results and the other tests I want to have run. I do think I will be able to get her to take me to and endo, it is just going to be more difficult for me :P

I really love my mom but she does have a lot on her plate, and she is quite gullible. In all honesty if you saw a family member with a problem and they are all better now you would think its fine to cut corners and do what they did.

That is the end of my rant and now its time for the questions.

I posted several weeks ago about having a cold and it finally was starting to go away when I was hit with an entirely new one. Not to mention the bout of vomiting in the middle of the two colds. My immune system is not what it should be. I am really sick of having all the symptoms I have from my under active thyroid and fighting off colds. When I get put on medication and my thyroid starts to get back to normal, is my immune system going to get better? I really hope so. Do I need to be on immune system supplements? (On the Big Bang Theory someone asked Sheldon about supplements and he said it does nothing more then give you expensive urine)

I am about to change semesters and that means that I am going to be put in gym. I hate gym, I am always so tired that it is literally like torture. And then they expect me to go to other classes and be productive. I don't know how it is everywhere else but here in Utah you have to have 3 semesters of gym to graduate. And I can't tell you how stupid that is, it doesn't make the obese kids any less obese and the normal weight kids just hate getting all sweaty and then running the their next class. I just want to know what you guys would do? I am a junior and if I don't take gym this semester I will have to take a whole year when I am a senior. And even when I am feeling better I don't think I will love gym lol. I could push it and do gym online. Where your parents have to sign off and you have to go take a final exam (on the computer, the class I have to take isn't just about gym but also about eating healthy, its called "Fit For Life"). I was actually thinking of taking "Sports" at school and then doing fit for life on the computer. So I will be done after this year and not have any gym next year.

Any thoughts? Thanks you guys.

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my thoughts are- that really it just depends on the individual doctor- my endo is actually way better than my pcp- and is semi willing to work with me- she's not completely open minded to everything that thyroid disease involves- but she's better than most docs in that she listens to me and she has me on Armour and Cytomel.. but you may find that you work better with a pcp... or even a nurse practitioner- it really depends on the individual doctor.

and be very careful with "immune supplements"- many can just exacerbate symptoms as we really dont need our immune system stimulated...

sometimes too- when we first get on thyroid meds or up our doses- it can feed the attack.. but then you kind of settle in to it- ive definitely noticed this. but i also have Graves in addition to the Hashi.

you should find a really good doctor or team of doctors.. and keep up with your vitamin and mineral tests and supplements.

i had to get my vitamin D & iron levels back up and am also taking Selenium to help the thyroid. good luck to u :)

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I totally understand about the torture of gym class--I hated and feared it throughout my school years. You're lucky, though--back then (in California) gym was required ALL semesters in high school, and there weren't any computers. Because of celiac, I had horrible bone and joint pain, extremely weak or too-tight muscles, and ligaments and tendons that ruptured continuously. Gym was one long Hellish memory for me because sometimes my muscles and tendons would give out during gym, and I'd just fall down...and didn't have the strength to get up. Students were assigned to help me up and to a seat where I sat out for the rest of the class. I fainted continuously during running due to iron anemia, too. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with me, but my gym teachers surely assumed I was a total physical failure. Even though I'm a lifelong runner and loved working out at gyms during my adulthood, I had to learn how to compensate for my physical inabilities. Of course, now that I've been gluten free for eight years, I can do a lot more. If I were you, I would probably opt for the computer classes and a fun sport because you'll be an adult soon and then can decide how best to get your exercise. You'll see that exercise is a LOT more fun when you get to decide exactly how you'll spend your time and there's no one telling you what you have to do.

Oh, and I'd like to mention that the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) has a great support network in Utah. I attended an annual conference of GIG several years ago in Salt Lake City--there are a LOT of celiacs in your neck of the woods. You might try contacting them. GIG also has a teen network for support, too. You can find them at www.gluten.net.

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Last night we found out that my uncle has a hypothyroid, and he just sees his general doctor for it. It has probably been 6 or so years since he was diagnosed.

My mom now thinks I don't really need to see an endocrinologist, I tried to tell her hypothyroidism is hardly a diagnosis because it is more of a symptom. The number one cause of hypothyroidism is hashimotos here in the US. It frustrates me a little bit because I am pretty sure I am going to have to educate my family doctor on the test results and the other tests I want to have run. I do think I will be able to get her to take me to and endo, it is just going to be more difficult for me :P

I posted several weeks ago about having a cold and it finally was starting to go away when I was hit with an entirely new one. Not to mention the bout of vomiting in the middle of the two colds. My immune system is not what it should be. I am really sick of having all the symptoms I have from my under active thyroid and fighting off colds. When I get put on medication and my thyroid starts to get back to normal, is my immune system going to get better? I really hope so. Do I need to be on immune system supplements?

Any thoughts? Thanks you guys.

If your regular doc will request the complete thyroid hormone panel (TSH, free T3, free T4, TPOab (thyroid antibodies) and possibly reverse T3 (which can show whether you convert T4 to T3), you don't need to see an endo. However, if your doc only looks at TSH, you may need to see an endo to get all those tests. Alternatively a good naturopath (who considers causes for symptoms, rather than treating symptoms with drugs or botanical) could also request those tests, if your HMO honors outside provideers. (I haven't see my HMO PC for any of my celiac, allergy or thyroid tests or treatment.)

Low thyroid CAN affect your immunity. Before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (actually Hashimoto's), I had one cold after another for about 3 years. Before that I spent 4 years fighting gastrointestinal infections (8 including 5 bacterial, 2 parasitic and 1 fungus). So I found a naturopath who actually would look for causes of my low immunity. She ordered blood tests and found hypothyroidism, low vitamin D, low MCHC (blood indice) and low white blood cells (specifically neutropenia).

Under my ND's supervision I've used arabinogalactin (a prebiotic which improves immunity), low dose naltrexone, and now DHEA (adrenal hormone tests showed very low DHEA hormone level) to improve my immunity as well as taking extra vitamin D for a few months (now on maintenance dose) and thyroid hormones. So now I haven't had a real cold for several months.

However, I do not suggest taking any of those immune stimulating things without tests, diagnoses and a doctor's (or ND's) recommendation. There are all kinds of possible side effects from everything I've taken. You need someone who really knows immunity, hormones and how to test for causes of low immunity symptoms.

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Rosetapper23- Wow, I don't have half those problems! I'm grateful all I have is minor.

I wonder if any of you with thyroid problems, ever have an itchy neck? Mine seems to itch pretty often, no rashes just itching right around where my thyroid is, above it and below it on my upper chest area.

Thanks for the GIG info, I will have to look into it. I do know what it is like to faint though, happens every time I get blood work or an IV (needles and me don't mix). Not fun, and I imagine it is much worse to faint as you are running. I'm pretty sure if I was fainting in gym, then I wouldn't have to take it, lol.

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I've had very reasonable care for my Hashimoto's from a PCP until very recently when it got bad. Doctors treat mild thyroid problems all the time and there are plenty of people who just need a little levothyroxine.

Having trouble with colds and exercise are classic hypo symptoms. If the levothyroxine doesn't sort things out, then you need an endocrinologist.

As far as immune supplements, who knows? Nobody understands what triggers autoimmunity or how to mitigate it. As Cass said, you may just make matters worse. Gluten-free is supposed to help but you're here so I assume you're already gluten-free. I take some MSM since it's generally anti-inflammatory but I can't say I notice any difference.

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I also have Hashimoto's, but my symptoms (before treatment) did not include neck itching. I felt as though I had a severely sore throat from the thyroid inflammation, felt extremely fatigued, experienced constant hot flashes, and had terrible brain fog. It took about six months on thyroid medication to lessen the thyroid inflammation, but the other symptoms abated within a week.

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