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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've been suffering from what I now know is depression for a couple years now. I'm tired all the time, though the sleep specialist says I'm a "long sleeper" and I need more sleep than most people. I have trouble concentrating, and sometimes I get what I now know is called "brain fog." I work out constantly, though I only manage to maintain my weight, I can't seem to lose any weight anymore when I could just two years ago. I get plenty of sleep, I exercise, take vitamin supplements, and eat healthy. Yet I still feel like crap. (But to be clear, I don't have the more severe symptoms like muscle/joint aches, hair loss, or cold extremities. I also do not have weight gain, but that's probably because I work out and count calories like a fiend.) I do occasionally have heart palpitations.

Since my older sister has Hashimoto thyroiditis, and both my mother and grandmother have hypothyroidism, I've been asking my doctor to test my thyroid.

My TSH results over the last two years:
January, 2012: 2.68
June, 2012: 1.96
May, 2013: 3.64

She always said everything was normal, but after stumbling across an article on "brain fog," I started digging and realized a 3.64 isn't necessarily normal.
So, last week I went back to my doctor. She said there's no way my thyroid is causing my problems, but I insisted and she said "fine, I'll order another TSH, and we'll do a TPO and T4 Free this time. When these come back normal, will you finally drop this?"

Lo and behold, these were my results:
TSH: 2.09
T4 Free: .9 (with a normal range of .8-1.5)
TPO Ab: 461.5 (with a standard of <5.6)

I know the TSH is "normal," but obviously, my TPO is way over the standard.

Yet, my doctor hasn't called me and it's been a couple days. I'm worried she's just dismissing this again. Or is she right? Is an elevated TPO not a big deal?

I tried researching myself but I get a lot of mixed answers. I saw one site that said I should just take selenium supplements and exercise and everything will be fine&#8230; I wanted to know what the experienced voices here have to say.

Thank you,
Lindsey
 

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Welcome!

Honestly, I think you need to dump that doctor and find a new one. She's obviously dismissive of you and you definitely need some more investigating into your thyroid. A TPO Ab level that high needs further examination, esp. an ultrasound of your thyroid to see what's going on in there. At the very least, I think you need some kind of thyroid supplement--your FT4 is in the basement and most of us feel better with our TSH closer to 1.0 or so.
 

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I'm no expert, but that sure doesn't look right to me . . . plus, with your family history.

I have a different thyroid problem than you, but I dumped my doctor because I didn't feel she was taking me seriously. I am so glad I did! I hope you are able to find a better doctor!
 

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I'm new to this whole thing too, but I think I'd do my best to get a new doctor if my doc dismissed a TPO reading like that.

My doc is pretty dismissive too, but unfortunately I cannot change doctors and my medical provider will not do any thyroid tests beyond Free T3 and TSH.

I don't know why doctors are so skeptical about thyroid disease. It really makes me cynical about mainstream medical practice.
 

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Lindsey said:
Hello,

I've been suffering from what I now know is depression for a couple years now. I'm tired all the time, though the sleep specialist says I'm a "long sleeper" and I need more sleep than most people. I have trouble concentrating, and sometimes I get what I now know is called "brain fog." I work out constantly, though I only manage to maintain my weight, I can't seem to lose any weight anymore when I could just two years ago. I get plenty of sleep, I exercise, take vitamin supplements, and eat healthy. Yet I still feel like crap. (But to be clear, I don't have the more severe symptoms like muscle/joint aches, hair loss, or cold extremities. I also do not have weight gain, but that's probably because I work out and count calories like a fiend.) I do occasionally have heart palpitations.

Since my older sister has Hashimoto thyroiditis, and both my mother and grandmother have hypothyroidism, I've been asking my doctor to test my thyroid.

My TSH results over the last two years:
January, 2012: 2.68
June, 2012: 1.96
May, 2013: 3.64

She always said everything was normal, but after stumbling across an article on "brain fog," I started digging and realized a 3.64 isn't necessarily normal.
So, last week I went back to my doctor. She said there's no way my thyroid is causing my problems, but I insisted and she said "fine, I'll order another TSH, and we'll do a TPO and T4 Free this time. When these come back normal, will you finally drop this?"

Lo and behold, these were my results:
TSH: 2.09
T4 Free: .9 (with a normal range of .8-1.5)
TPO Ab: 461.5 (with a standard of <5.6)

I know the TSH is "normal," but obviously, my TPO is way over the standard.

Yet, my doctor hasn't called me and it's been a couple days. I'm worried she's just dismissing this again. Or is she right? Is an elevated TPO not a big deal?

I tried researching myself but I get a lot of mixed answers. I saw one site that said I should just take selenium supplements and exercise and everything will be fine&#8230; I wanted to know what the experienced voices here have to say.

Thank you,
Lindsey
Oh, boy!! Please do try to find a better doctor. This is terrible. You should not have any TPO Ab and your Free T4 is so in the basement. FT4 converts to FT3 which is your active hormone.

Understanding the Thyroid: Why You Should Check Your Free T3
http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/understanding-thyroid-why-you-should-check-your-free-t3

Dr. Mercola (FREES)
http://www.mercola.com/article/hypothyroid/diagnosis_comp.htm

TPO Ab
Mild to moderately elevated levels of thyroid antibodies may be found in a variety of thyroid and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid cancer, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases. Significantly increased concentrations most frequently indicate thyroid autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease.
http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/thyroid-antibodies/tab/test

Substances not found in normal serum (scroll down to autoantibodies)
http://www.thyroidmanager.org/chapter/evaluation-of-thyroid-function-in-health-and-disease/

And it would be very good, very very good for you to get an ultra-sound of your thyroid.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for your support! This will give me more courage for my future appointments...

I found out my doctor was on vacation, but I was tired of waiting around on this stuff so I went ahead and made an appointment with a different doctor.

That doctor was also skeptical that anything is wrong since I have only a few symptoms right now, but she agreed to give me a referral since my TPO Ab was so high.

My first appointment with the Endo is this Saturday! I will let you guys know how it goes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also, I noticed that even that second doctor was preoccupied with my TSH test results. She was saying "Oh, your TPO Ab is a little high, but your thyroid is completely normal."

Of course I explained how TSH isn't the best test anymore, but I still don't think she believed me. Luckily she was nice enough to listen to me and give me a referral anyway.
 
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