So first, to my anonymous fans commenting behind passive-aggressive nicknames and fake email addresses, I’m not crazy. Depressed? Yes. Prone to rants? Definitely. Crazy? Notsomuch. Crazy people generally aren’t as lucid as I am, and I am (unfortunately) lucid enough to be able to read your comments and note the horrifying grammatical errors interspersed throughout a really weak insult.
If you’d like to read the writings of an ACTUAL crazy person, I would be more than happy to point you in the direction of several blogs.
Second, to my readers who’ve been keeping up with the past few entries, but haven’t read the comments, I would like for you to give a warm welcome to Joanna of RFAA, who has been sprinkling MEDICAL AWESOME all over the place.
I don’t remember if I noted that, after my gyno visit, I received bloodwork back that incorrectly identified me as a 16-year-old (it was a matter of someone noting my DOB as 1993 rather than 1983), which messed up my cholesterol readings a tad. I didn’t really take note of anything else, and my doctor didn’t notice anything amiss, because HE wasn’t looking at the thyroid numbers, in particular.
My cholesterol is pretty good overall, but several things are at the upper edge of “acceptable” – that’s a teeny part of what I’m about to talk about – a symptom, if you will.
After Joanna strongly suggested I check my thyroid levels after the last post I made yesterday, I pulled out the bloodwork I’d had done in December. According to the age they had listed for me, I had good, though slightly low, thyroid levels, meaning that I was merely at risk for hypothyroid. I’d looked up the TSH online, and found that my number was within the healthy range, so I hadn’t thought twice about it before this afternoon.
Following are my thyroid results:
- TSH: 1.790 uIU/mL
- T4: 7.4 ug/dL
- T3 uptake: 27%
- Free Thyroxine Index: 2.0
All of these numbers are awesome for a 16-year old. It means the metabolism is normal (though again, a bit on the low side), AND that the body is uptaking as much T3 as possible in order to keep up with the demands of a body that’s still growing and developing. That’s a waaaaay over-simplified description.
For a 26-year-old female, however, that last number, in particular, is abysmal.
Here are the normal ranges of the thyroid categories I was tested on – they were taken from here, though that site is consistent with quite a few others I’ve looked at, so I’m not merely looking at one site and making assumptions – my number is listed again after the range, in parentheses, for easy comparison:
- TSH: .70-7.0 uIU/mL (1.790)
- T4: 4.5-12 ug/dL (7.4)
- T3 uptake: 25-35% (27%)
- Free Thyroxine Index: 6.0-11.5 (2.0)
My total thyroid number is at the low end, but is still in the normal range. Everything else is well within normal range, except the Free Thyroxine Index (FTI), which is a full 4 points below normal.
Now, since the FTI is a function of taking the T4 and multiplying it by the T3 uptake (which actually gets 1.998, but I guess something was rounded up somewhere along the line), this suggests that I’m either a medical anomaly, or someone is retarded and read something wrong on my charts.
Seeing as how they put me as a 16-year-old, I wouldn’t fully discount the second theory yet, but whatever, I’ll deal with that on Monday.
FTI measures the amount of T4 that’s available in your bloodstream for testing. A lower number means your body is treating all food that you’re eating like something vitally necessary, just as it would when you’re a teenager and you’re growing (which is why teenaged boys eat like it’s going out of style and still remain skinny). However, teenagers will also have a higher relative T4 level, so that their body actually does use as much of the food as possible that’s consumed.
This is my understanding, anyway. I could be wrong, and I’ve been reading a bunch of this information today, so some of it’s a little jumbled to me.
So what’s going on with me is that not only is my body not leaving a lot of T4 in my bloodstream, my thyroid isn’t even producing a lot of T4 to begin with. So my body’s being told SOMEWHERE that I need a lot of fuel, but it’s not allowing my thyroid to produce the hormones to properly process that fuel. Thus, I am bloating and gaining weight very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I’ve gone from a small 14 to a large 18 in 3 months. I don’t care if you’re sitting around eating chocolate and pizza every day, that’s ridiculously fast weight gain.
The main way this would happen is with a condition known as Hashimoto’s Disease, which happens to be the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S., and was also the first autoimmune disorder recognized in this country.
Take a look at these symptoms.
Yeah, they did to me, too. Especially given that I have symptoms of mania without successful treatment of mania. That suggests that it’s…drumroll…NOT mania!
So I’m making some phone calls on Monday. Hopefully, someone will be fired, this error will be fixed on my official medical records both at my gynecologist and my GP, and I can start thyroid treatment shortly thereafter.
If I’m right (and Joanna is right, and all of this information I’ve looked up is pertinent), things should start settling within a month, and three months from NOW, I should at least be back down to the weight I was when I married, and should feel better overall.
BTW, my mom’s hypothyroid, and this whole mess is hereditary. I have a feeling we’ve all been operating under the proper assumptions, but aimed at the wrong target. I’m going to suggest she have the same stuff looked at, too.
As I said to Joanna, I have no problem with armchair doctors and “advicey” comments, as long as they’re helpful, or are at least attempting to be helpful. In this case, she might have potentially saved my life – at the very least, I will be able to get treatment for hypothyroidism, which will most likely make me feel better. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why I don’t tell commenters to butt out if they’re trying to be helpful – only if they’re being ignorant and/or condescending.
This isn’t the first time having a blog has helped me out with life, and I hope it’s not the last.
Thank you all for sticking around.