December 09, 2008

2nd Opinion: Kind of Different, Kind of Not

You'd think after nearly six years of infertility that I would have learned my lesson: Ask two doctors to look at the same test results and information, and you'll get three different answers.

2nd Opinion Endo isn't convinced that the thyroid issues mean it will be impossible for me to carry a successful pregnancy. But, he doesn't really have any data to back that up, either; he's just going on experience - he said he's had some patients have very high TSH levels (translation: extremely hypothyroid) who still were able to get pregnant and stay pregnant with those abnormal levels.

I received my Thanksgiving week blood results from 1st Endo last week, and my TSH has continued to climb. That wasn't a surprise to me, because I can barely stay awake during the day, and fatigue is one of the main symptoms associated with high TSH. But what's odd is that the hormone levels that are usually low when TSH is high were not low - they, too, are continuing to climb and are now abnormally high.

2nd Opinion Endo thinks what I'm experiencing is intermittent thyroiditis, meaning occasionally my thyroid suddenly goes into overdrive, causing me to become hyperthyroid, and then when it tires itself out, it hits bottom and bounces in the opposite direction, making me hypothyroid until it settles back down to normal. I asked if pregnancy could trigger it to go into overdrive, and he said yes, absolutely. So I guess that would explain my high blood pressure during pregnancy, since it starts to happen pretty much immediately, whereas pregnancy-induced hypertension usually doesn't begin until sometime in the second trimester.

All of that said, he doesn't think that my levels are a cause for concern, even though they are climbing. He says they're "close enough" to normal that nothing needs to be done other than just continuing to monitor them at this point. Like 1st Endo, he also said he doesn't think the levels are abnormal enough that they would be creating any of my symptoms.

All of which leads me to wonder, what the heck is the point of a "normal range" if you're just going to look at people outside of that range and say, "eh, close enough..."?

So, I'm going back to my PCP tomorrow to share all of this information with her and see what she recommends. She's a DO rather than an MD, so she tends to have a more holistic approach. I think she's my best shot at getting someone to address my health based not just on numbers on a piece of paper, but also on symptoms and how I actually feel.


MamaSoon said...

I am glad there was less gloom and doom in that. Thyroid stuff makes it tough to figure it out but I think it is great that you are checking all possible angles and double checking opinions.

Carrie said...

My mom has thyroid issues and found out that depending on the lab the doctor used, their parameters were different. Her TSH was 4.3 and old doctor, who she left because he wouldn't listen to her concerns, said this was on the high side of normal, but she knew something was off. Her new doctor said they liked to see levels at 1, so obviously to him hers were way too high. He increased her meds and she's doing much better.

(This really has nothing to do with your issues, but I thought it was a slight answer to your "what's the normal range" question.)


Grad3 said...

Ugh--- I am sorry. As if there isn't enough gray in your life!

I hope that your DO is more helpful, I know it's gotta be hard but hang in there. Something will come to light!!

Lisa said...

I;ve got thryoid issues too, and I agree they can be very tough to figure out and manage.

I'm so glad you are working so hard to get all your answers. And I'm praying hard that the new year brings you your long awaited miracle.

DAVs said...

Ok, so your TSH was high and your free T4 was also high? What were your levels (if you don't mind me asking). I'm a CNS in an endocrinology office so I get into the details....

It's so frustrating to hear differing opinions. I really like the idea of the DO...

VanillaDreams said...

Glad you got a second opinion! I would still be interested to hear what your levels actually are, as I've talked to plenty of doctors (Endos included) who still put too much importance on the blood work results, and not enough on patient symptoms.

It's very frustrating.

My friend L, that I mentioned in my email to you, sent me some excellent information, so I will have to forward that on to you!

Have you already read this website? It has some very good resources and information:

Take care,

MamaSoon said...

Happy New Year! Miss your posts.