Sunday, April 15, 2012

"dream,dream,dream, dream,dream,dream...when i feel blue in the night, and i need you to hold me tight, ....dream,dream,dream...only trouble is, gee wiz, i 'm dreaming my life away. i need you so that i could die, i love you so, and that is why, whenever i want you, all i have to do is dream,dream,dream,etc.. " All i have to do is dream, by the everly brothers

when i got to work the other day, i found a brand new prescription waiting for me- a levoxyl one, for 13mcg less than i used to take! i was on the 150mcg strength, and my doctor had called in one for the 137mcg one. of course, and i am sure many, many of you out there can relate to this, i had just gotten a 90 day supply of the 150mcg filled a couple of weeks ago! more than that,though, i had not gotten anything in the mail, or a call from my doctors office. i called my doctors nurse immediately and left a message. i will give her this, she called me right back. she said that my T-4 was indeed high, and my doctor needed to reduce my dosage. it would have been nice to know before hand,though. while i will admit that it was not a complete surprise to me, i still would have welcomed the opportunity to talk to someone about it first.

now, you would not think that just a 13mcg reduction in my dose would do much, right? well, if i had any thyroid at all, maybe i would not notice it that much. i am so glad that i started it this weekend since i am off and can rest a bit . i am afraid that next week will be pretty tough,though. you see, all i want to do is sleep!! my heart has stopped doing the mambo, not that i noticed it much, or really worried about it, but i guess that is a blood pressure is still a little high, so i will have to wait a bit to see how that ends up.

before my surgery, i used to take a small dose of cytomel( T-3) once daily. it was sort of like a cup of strong coffee in the afternoon. since my T-3 level this time  was about mid-range, i am going to contact my doctor tomorrow and ask her if i can get back on this. it was 5mcg once daily, if anyone wants to know. some doctors are hesitant to use this drug  for some reason. i think that some doctors are perhaps not familiar with the drug, maybe afraid of possible side effects, or whatever. since my doctor has prescribed this for me before, i am hopeful that she will do so again. otherwise, i may be dreaming at work( not good- not good at all!)

as far as my other lab values went, my glucose was good( 90- but i was not fasting)- i worry about this  since i love sweets! also, diabetes is another autoimmune disease that seems to like to hang out with hypothyroid patients. my sodium was a bit high( who knows?) but my calcium was low. my doctor wants to keep this just a little low so that my two remaining parathyroids will be stimulated to work harder. to review a bit, your parathyroids control blood calcium. a "normal" person has four parathyroid glands , but you can live with just one little guy( would not want to be in his shoes,though.). everyone knows that calcium is important for our bones,so i will not go into that. what i would like to mention are symptoms of low calcium: mild tingling in the hands, fingers and around the mouth to more severe symptoms like severe muscle cramps or even worse, seizures. so, you see i ( and those other patients who are missing part of their parathyroids) walk a fine line: you need to have a high enough calcium level so that you do not have hypoparathyroidism ( makes hypothyroidism look like a walk in the park), but not too much calcium that, for one thing, your parathyroids get lazy and think about moving to Paraguay.

to make things even more challenging , i have just discovered that i have lactose intolerance, so i have been trying to eliminate dairy products- at least during the week. i will need to supplement now with some calcium. remember that this interacts with your thyroid hormone, which should be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, anyway. your calcium tablets and thyroid medication should be at least four hours apart so that the calcium will not inhibit your body's absorption of your thyroid hormone.  i have decided to pack some calcium tablets  along in my lunch box. i have chosen calcium citrate as my calcium of choice. it is absorbed very well and can be taken with or without food. it is also a  little easier on your digestive system. you also need vitamin d for good calcium absorption,too. i take prescription vitamin d, and have for some time. i think that there is some correlation between hypothyroid disease and low vitamin d levels. this has not been proven, to my knowledge, i just have seen way too many hypothyroid patients, especially those with cancer, who also have low vitamin d levels. vitamin d boosts our body's immunity, for one thing. i encourage thyroid patients to ask their doctors to test their vitamin d levels when they are getting other blood work done.

this blog has probably put some of you to sleep! i hope that i have not been too technical about lab values,etc. i just want to put useful information out there that might be helpful to others who are dealing with the same challenges that i am. please ask questions if you want, and if i do not know the answer, i will look it up or recommend some good reference books. that is, if i have not fallen  asleep myself!


  1. Oh Bea!! I can completly relate. Not to long ago my Levoxyl dosage was decreased too. It freaked me out, and I am still trying to figure out if I am doing okay on the decreased dosage. I was on .137, stopped taking my birth control my TSH level changed so they put me on .125. I had always heard birth control makes a difference in your dosage, so I guess I am living proof! As for the calcium levels, they are always monitoring mine. So far they have been normal, but my PTH has continued to be wacky! Although it has come down quit a bit. Still not normal, but closer to it. I worry so much about my body and all the things it is doing to try to regulate itself, and all the damage that could be happening if my PTH continues to act crazy. It's just a never ending story with me, I feel like. Sounds like you feel that way too.

  2. hey janelle! sorry that you are having trouble,too. and yes, there is a link between thyroid hormone and estrogen hormone. they do affect each other. boy, those parathyroids are pesky little guys, aren't they? i had never thought much about them, until i lost two to cancer, then my world changed a bit. i am glad that they keep checking your calcium levels. my last one was low-8.6, but they want it a little low, as i said, so that my remaining two parathyroids will keep on working. i supplement a little with calcium, but i have to be careful with that. just try to take things a day at a time, if you can, and know that there are people out there, me for instance, who know what you are going through, and who can relate to what is happening to you! take care of yourself and thanks for your comment!

  3. I have just recently started taking the viactiv calcium chews. I can remember those a little bit better than a tablet, lol. Whatever works!

    I fully believe that low vitamin d levels caused my thyroid cancer. Of course, I will never know for sure.

  4. I have trouble remembering to take my calcium and vit D so have set up the alarm on my phone to remind me.