My Favorite Number

I have a new favorite number: 5.58.  Sounds random, doesn’t it?  Well, it is my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level.  Dr. SBS’s office called and left me a voice mail on my cell phone that I only checked tonight, minutes before the Harry Potter movie started at 10:40PM. 

TSH works much like FSH — if your levels are high (normal is .5 to 3 or 4 (some endocrinologists even argue anything above 2 is high)) your body is having to work hard to get the right level of thyroid hormones.  No matter which range you go by, 5.58 is elevated.  This means my thyroid is not working well, or that I have a slightly hypo-thyroid. 

Why is this good news?  A hypothyroid is linked to depression, fatigue, weight gain, infertility, and recurrent pregnancy loss.  You know how to make it better?  You take a little pill that is a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone your body is supposed to produce.  It does not cross the placental barrier.  It is something you take for the rest of your life, once a day.   

Depression.

Fatigue.

Weight gain.

Recurrent pregnancy loss.   

One little pill makes all these things better. 

5.58 is the best news I have heard in a long time.   

REALIZATION:  5.58  is not really that bad in terms of thyroid function.  It is high, yes, but only slightly high.  High enough to be put on meds, high enough to be symptomatic, high enough to even cause miscarriage, but probably not high enough to cause all of my problems.  Still, even some degree of relief would be welcome. 

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July 12, 2007. Trying Again.

7 Comments

  1. Anne replied:

    Answers are often the best gift we can receive, since knowing makes us feel whole. I am so very glad that you got an answer and that it seems like a fixable problem.

  2. Pronoia replied:

    Awesome! Okay, not awesome that you have hypothyroid, but awesome that they found something. I was first hyperthyroid (0.003) then, after radiation therapy I was hypothyroid (146!!), and now I’m happily somewhere around 1. I’ve learned that for me, brand name synthroid does better than generic–generic made my hair fall out. Good luck! And feel free to email if you want to chat about it.

  3. Tam replied:

    Fantastic! I hope this is the answer to the problems. I keep meaning to have my Thyroid level checked also…hmmm.

  4. Kath replied:

    Oh, nuts — my comment just got eaten!

    That’s great news about your thyroid. Low thyroid can cause so many problems, and it’s so easy to fix. Do try to keep your TSH under two — many docs are happy with a higher number, but for reproductive purposes lower is better.

    I’ve been on thyroid replacement therapy for a long time and it’s make a huge difference to how I feel. Without it, I’m lethargic, depressive, you name it — and my natural TSH, while clearly out of range, isn’t even sky-high!

    As far as I know, thyroid hormone does cross the placental barrier — and it should: it’s vital to the baby’s development.

  5. missingone replied:

    Did you doctor also mention that you can have elevated TSH levels from being pregnant (and not necessarily vice versa)? Just curious. I’ve been doing a lot of research because my sister is having symptoms of hypothyroidism but non of the tests are coming back confirming this.
    So I’ve been reading a lot. Not that she’s post partum or anything.

  6. missedconceptions replied:

    Missingone,

    My doctor did mention it could be a post-partum condition, too. I have had the symptoms for quite some time (even before my first pregnancy/miscarriage) but no one thought to test my thyroid until I went to the endocrinologist after pregnancy/miscarriage #2.

    For “reproductive purposes” they want the TSH level below 2, and closer to the 1 range.

    I feel for your sister. The symptom cluster is not fun.

    Liz

  7. windwoman replied:

    Hi,
    Wow.. I’m shocked at the difference in one doctor’s recomended numbern and what another says is ok. My TSH was 57.7… I thought that was high until I read Pronoia’s number!
    You are all in my prayers.

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