Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dr. Google, You're Making Me Crazy

Today's appointment. Ok. I am a little confused. I know I said I wished for a thyroid problem if it would account for my wonky cycles. Here's what I got: Thyroid levels=perfect. However, Anti-thyroid antibodies=elevated. Hashimoto's or Graves disease. I have been Goog.ling them all afternoon, and I am, well, not sure what to think. I do have a lot of the symptoms: fatigue, foggy brain, forgetfulness, low libido, DEPRESSION. But, while it does say it can cause changes in menstrual cycles, I haven't found anything to specifically indicate shortening of cycles. So, I am not sure if having this problem is in some weird Bizarro-IF world actually "good" news, or if it just means it has nothing to do with my wonky cycles and it can't really be fixed, and just adds more problems to my reproductive plate (not to mention over-all health and quality of life). It sounds like there is no cure for this problem and it will get worse over time (according to Dr. Google). My real life doctor seemed pretty non-plussed. (My levels were low). But when I brought up the short cycles he prescribed me a thyroid medication and said to see if this returned my cycles to normal. If not, well, then I may just be f%*ked. Two ways. 

OY!

Lap and hysteroscopy is still on for Friday. The doctor was worried about interfering with any potential pregnancy (based on where I am in my cycle.) I was like, seriously? It's HIGHLY unlikely. But will have to take a pregnancy test before the surgery. Haha.

14 comments:

Jo said...

Hmmmm. . .it seems like sometimes we get more than we bargained for when we start really looking into what in the world is wrong with us!

I'm really sorry that ANYTHING you've got going on is causing this IF mess. Hope your surgery Friday goes well. I had to have a PG test before mine, as well, and I was like -- mhm, yeah, right. Like THAT miracle is going to fall in my lap!

On the good side, I've heard plenty of stories about women whose laproscopy / hysteroscopy's "cleaned the pipes" so to speak and got them preggers very soon thereafter.

Hugs!
Jo

Just me said...

I used to work with a woman who had a thyroid condition and she had to wait until it was regulated before she could get pregnant. I don't know
a) whether she was unable to get pregnant or her doc just didn't want her to at that point
and
b) whether she had hyperthyroid (graves) or hypothyroid...

So that not may be all that helpful, now that I think of it...

Well, I have my fingers crossed for you that they figure stuff out SOON for you! Good luck with your procedures!

Lori said...

I'm hearing Gildna Radner in my head: "It's ALLLL ways something!"

Your last line made me remember how much I hated going to the dentist during the TTC years because of answering that dreaded question, "Could you be pregnant?" I never knew how to answer. Well, I did know, but I didn't want to leave Denial.

Hope you get good news from the real doc. And that the lap/hys goes super well.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

Hello fellow 'Bay-er';
I also have high levels of ATA's (considered Hashimoto's). My OB and RE said there really is nothing they can do about them since it is an autoimmune problem. Basically, your body is slowly attacking the thyroid, even though in my case, my thyroid is functing fine so far.

My TSH/T3/T4 otherwise tested in the normal ranges. My RE prescribed 25mg of levothyroxine to help lower the ATA's but she said that unless my TSH/T3/T4 is actually really hyper or hypo, the ATA's won't affect fertility.

Hope this helps:-)

Meg said...

Hi - I have autoimmune hypothyroidism. You definitely want to make sure you get the full panel of thyroid tests. For getting pregnant you want to make sure your TSH is below 1, and get it treated ASAP if it is higher - EVEN THOUGH technically the "normal" range is up to 5 - you would NOT be able to get pregnant at 5.
I do not think there is anything you can do about the autoimmune antibodies. I was seeing a naturopath who recommended some natural therapies that I'd be happy to share with you. Also, Selenium is supposed to help.
Please email me if you want to keep in touch about this.
Good luck!
Final word of advice: if your doctor won't treat you because you're in the "normal" range - go find another one!!!

Shinejil said...

I think the treatment some docs use to address ATA is low-level levothyroxine (aka Synthroid), as the elevated antibodies may signal the beginning stages of thyroid problems and some evidence indicates that ATA go down with thyroid hormone treatment.

I've got a slightly sluggish thyroid and have gotten pregnant twice with a TSH btw 2-3. So you don't absolutely have to be below 1 to conceive and carry.

There are some other holistic treatments for autoimmune stuff (i.e. acupuncture, diet) some folks swear by. Might be worth exploring, if you're so inclined.

Dr. Google is evil and has a terrible bedside manner.

Alexicographer said...

Hi. I came over from LFCA and I haven't read back through your blog, so please forgive me if this is inanely irrelevant, but I, too, have anti-thyroid antibodies (ATAs), and for whatever it's worth, I conceived my son through the first IVF cycle that I undertook after getting my condition diagnosed and treated (that was the fourth IVF I did, sixth embryo transfer -- 2 FETs -- first pregnancy). In short, I think there is reason to be hopeful...

I post about this a ton when I find women for whom I think the information would be useful, and I've finally just created a general site where much of my information (which is focused on hypothyroidism, my problem) can be found. It's here: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgvtqnjt_0dmtvcjdf

I hope that may be helpful.

perchancetodream said...

I found out during our last cycle that I had the same thing (REALLY high anti-thyroid antibodies but normal T4). I'm waiting for some insurance issues to shake out and then I'm going to have it looked into further. Good luck. Google made me nuts on this one too!!!

bleu said...

Hi, I am here from LFCA. I have had thyroid cancer years ago and then recently battled Hashimoto's.
With the antibodies they can absolutely interfere with everything cycle wise. But you need to know numbers. If over 250 you should consider a break until you get them down. When I had my last thyroid surgery (when I had Hashimoto's not the cancer that was 18 years prior and only had one lobe removed then) my antibodies had gotten to 1100. Above 250 can hinder carrying a pregnancy or even conceiving.

Also, start either taking Selenium now or eating 3 Brazil nuts per day now (high natural source of Selenium) because it is one thing that has some success with lowering the antibodies. I got mine down finally but it took time.

Also you need to find out what is causing the antibodies and address that, because otherwise you are in a losing battle.

Feel free to email me anytime and good luck.

To reiterate, you absolutely CAN do something about the antibodies, I have now got them below 40 from 1100 so PLEASE do not lose hope.

bleu said...

Hi, I am here from LFCA. I have had thyroid cancer years ago and then recently battled Hashimoto's.
With the antibodies they can absolutely interfere with everything cycle wise. But you need to know numbers. If over 250 you should consider a break until you get them down. When I had my last thyroid surgery (when I had Hashimoto's not the cancer that was 18 years prior and only had one lobe removed then) my antibodies had gotten to 1100. Above 250 can hinder carrying a pregnancy or even conceiving.

Also, start either taking Selenium now or eating 3 Brazil nuts per day now (high natural source of Selenium) because it is one thing that has some success with lowering the antibodies. I got mine down finally but it took time.

Also you need to find out what is causing the antibodies and address that, because otherwise you are in a losing battle.

Feel free to email me anytime and good luck.

To reiterate, you absolutely CAN do something about the antibodies, I have now got them below 40 from 1100 so PLEASE do not lose hope.

Anonymous said...

Look at your lab work again. The tests you need to have run are FREE T4 and FREE T3 and TSH. The T4/T3 are your actual hormone (thyroid) levels. TSH is simply a regulator of those.

Now this is REALLY important ---- these "normal ranges" are like shoe sizes. They can say that a woman will have a shoe size from 4 to 12. But YOUR size is not all of them --- it will be one of them.

If you are having symptoms of thyroid issues: Irregular periods, brain fog, Anti-thyroid antibodies -- then the doc needs to look at whether your "shoe size" is the correct one.

I am hypERthyroid with Anti-thyroid antibodies BUT ALSO with TRab (Graves disease) antibodies - which . My condition overlaps, but those antibodies are high can cross over into the placenta and do harm to the baby. So those need to be checked as well. TRab or TBII.

There's a really good group on Google that can help: Graves_Support. Even though it says Graves, there are many people in your same "shoes" who will know how to help you. :)

Take care!

rescogitatae said...

Hi, I've come over from L&F. I don't have anything too useful to say, but wanted to let you know that I have auto immune hypothyroidism too. I have trouble getting my RE to take my thyroid seriously, and my endocrinologist to communicate with me, but if I ever learn anything concrete, I'll write about it on my blog.

Best of luck- I hope you can sort things out.
T.

Just me said...

I had a dream about you last night!!!!

I guess I've been thinking of you and hoping you get good news!

Jennifer said...

I have Graves, which causes my hyperthryoid and ATA's. I take PTU - a thyroid med - when my thyroid is hyper...just started it back up again last month.

Also, when I was going through my last FET cycle, we added prednisone to maybe help with the ATA's. My RE said it may not do anything at all, but then again it may help me get preggo that cycle and block those ATA's...well, not sure if it was the difference, but I did end up pregnant and stayed pregnant - now I have my son, Julian. My thyroid level was normal that cycle, so I was not on thyroid meds.

Good luck...I hope they get your on a protocol that works for you!