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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Do I really Have a Thyroid Condition? What Do TSH Levels Indicate?

This month, January 2009, is being celebrated as Thyroid awareness month and so I thought this is the right time to write about my own experience with my thyroid condition.

As I had written in a byte earlier, I have just joined a weight loss program with a goal to lose 10 kgs and that is how I discovered that I had high levels of TSH (Thyroid Stimulting Hormone).

I had been neglecting my health for a long time, more than a year, as I got busy with studying for my diploma course and working on Xomba, that I was not eating proper food and had stopped exercise altogether. I had always been regular with my evening walks before this and was generally fit and healthy, at least that's the impression I had.

As I had gained back 10kgs after my last weight loss program, I finally decided that I seriously needed to get down to healthy eating, exercise and losing weight. So, I joined a weight loss center and the doctor there advised me to get my routine blood tests done. She also suggested that I get my Thyroid tested for TSH, T3, T4 Levels.

I went to our hospital the next day and gave my blood samples for Hb, Lipid Profile, Blood sugar - fasting and post postprandial, and the Thyroid tests. I got the reports for all the tests the next day and they were all normal except for the Thyroid test.

The blood sample for the thyroid test had to be taken to another laboratory in another city and so it took 15 days for the report to come back. When I collected the thyroid test report after 15 days, I got a shock! My TSH level was high. The technician advised me to meet the endocrinologist to seek treatment for the condition.

My head reeled with the news. I was suffering from a hypothyroid condition and I just couldn't believe my eyes. I felt there had to be a mistake somewhere. So, to confirm the report I went to a private lab and repeated the test. I got the result one day later. The report still showed a elevated level of TSH but lower than the previous one. The earlier report said 29, and the later report said 20. In the meantime, I had already started with my diet and exercise routine and so I suspected that my body was responding positively to reduce the thyroid levels.

To confirm my theory, I read all about thyroid and its hormones and functions thoroughly and went to meet the Endocrinologist. I was not surprised when the endocrinologist just looked at the report and promptly wrote down the prescription for "Eltroxin" (hormone replacement therapy) which I had to take every day for the rest of my life, he said. I asked him if the condition was "reversible" and he said "NO". I asked him how was it that my level of TSH had gone down 9 units in just 15 days? To which he replied that "minor" differences are normal in reports from different labs.

Okay, I give him the benefit of doubt. I took the medicine prescribed, from the counter and went home. My T3, T4 levels were well within normal limits all the time.

I did some research to find out the reasons for the TSH levels increasing and found that there were many other physiological conditions that could cause similar symptoms and could elevate the TSH levels. Read about adrenal glands, lymphatic system, menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms and their effects on the health and well being of women.

Hypothyroidism in Menopause - a whole body perspective

Let this be a lesson to all women out there. Investigate and try to find out the cause of your thyroid condition before taking any medication. Read all about the Thyroid gland and its role in regulating the metabolism of your body in this website dedicated to the thyroid gland here:

Read more of my articles here:

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