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angie007

Older female issues: perimenopause, menopause, WD or something else

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angie007

HI Gals,

 

Its me again, cant post in my own thread, so i hope Sur, you wont mind me starting another thread.

 

I was reading on a menopause website today, and was absolutely dumbfounded to find so many women

in perimenopause and post menopause complaining about the exact same symptoms we all have here.

 

So knowing what paxil does to the adrenal glands and hormones in our bodys, it started me thinking

about the correlation between the two.

 

Tomorrow im off for blood works and an ECG, my doctor is sure that all will come back fine, me,

Im almost hoping that something will be picked up, that can be treated and i can be in a better place,

as regards the anxiety and the jittery/shaky feelings.

My question as, as i am officially in menopause or likely post menoapuse, as i havent had my monthly

present for good girls for 2 yrs 14/2/2011, does anyone here consider that possibly i may have both

things going on at the same time???

Would treatment to help balance hormones possibly help in some small way??

Although i always envisaged doing a very natural menopause, i wasnt expecting to have wd

from a legal prescription drug at the same time.

 

Any thoughts???

 

Angie

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Neuroplastic

Hey, Angie! I moved this topic to the "Symptoms and what helps" forum. Folks will find it more easily - they may be experiencing similar things and will look for it in here. :)

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angie007

Thanxs Neuro, for some reason i couldnt post on my own thread?

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summer

Hi Angie...

 

My daughter is in perimeno also, and it's incredulous how completely similar our symptoms are. She has always been a happy- go-lucky person, very mellow, and unlike me in those way. These days, I don't know who is more cranky! I also have to add that her gyno suggested 10mgs of Celexa, which she opted for even though she knows all about what I'm dealing with. The good thing is that at my suggestion, she has tapered down to 5mg and is doing okay in that area. Part of her being so anxious could be the Celexa as well as the perimeno, but I'm not going there now. At least she is down from 10mg to 5.

 

So, in answer to your question, I absolutely do think the symptoms of meno and w/d are very much the same. Thinking back, that's when I first started on an AD also... when I was in perimeno. I thought it actually helped me at the time. I was lucky and had few problems with meno.

 

I don't have any idea what to suggest to you or her. Massages help and so does having a restful nite. So does being very wealthy and having someone wait on you hand and foot. ;)

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Hopeful

Angie, there is no doubt in my mind we were hit with a double whammy!!

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angie007

Well, just an update guys,

 

I went for my ecg and had my bloods drawn, get the results on wednesday next week,

although i really dont think they will find anything.

I have been tested for everything today, heart, mpv, liver function,

iron, vitamins, thyroid, oh heck there was a long list, cant remember anymore lol.

 

I think you girls are right, and yes ive had the double whammy, what with menopause right

in the middle of my taper - how bloody inconsiderate of my selfish hormones lol.

Never mind, the best of it is, that if and when my test results come back normal,

my doctor will validate me fully, by writing on my notes, seroxat wd hurray!!!!

 

The internal jittering and shaky feelings still continue, along with some nervousness,

and anxiety, but hey, not at the levels it has been over the last couple of weeks.

Anybody recommend anything to calm all of this down??? as i think i could live some sort

of a better life without all of this.

Angie

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angie007

Ahh sorry guys,

 

Forgot to mention, the shoulder pain with tingling in my arm ,

gives me the sensation of a general weakness in my arm and hand???

 

Although it stops me doing nothing,

Is this another free gift from gsk????????

Need your reassurance to ease my worried mind.

Cor, i just hope i dont develop health anxiety lol, having to go through this,

although it is one of the more milder problems.

Angie

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angie007

Cor, just the fact ive had zero response from this thread is really

driving my anxiety.

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stan

Cor, just the fact ive had zero response from this thread is really

driving my anxiety.

 

i would reply, but i know nothing about menopause (hope you will smile)

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Healing

OK, re: the shoulder. "I'm not a doctor," :) but it sounds like you *might* have muscle tension pressing on a nerve. W/D definitely causes terrible muscle tension and all the things that can lead to. Have you ever done chiropractic? I have found it helpful to get an adjustment for a pain like this. How do you feel about massages? Massages are a double-edged sword in w/d -- they can be too stimulating -- but a targeted bit of work on your neck and shoulder might help.

 

Re: the anxiety in general -- you are heading in the right direction since you stopped the mag. Let's see what a few more days does. Are you keeping moving to help the akathisia, and doing your breathing?

 

Keep telling yourself this is a feeling, not a fact. You *feel* in danger, but you are not.

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angie007

Stan,

You crack me up buddy lol, thanxs for the laugh x

 

Healing,

Thankyou so much

Now the other thing is this;- ( told you i was going to keep you all busy lol)

 

Anyone else had a long slow wd, ok, it hasnt been easy all the way through,

but the last few months, because everything has ramped up to epic proportions

some days, I have become wd, totally obcessed and preoccupied in how i feel

and symptoms etc, it has become my life.

Yes!!! i do my housework, cleaning,washing etc, my home is spotless,

the rest of the time im absorbed, either on the computer, reading etc.

Anyone else get into this horrible way of life in wd too.

Even talking to " normal" people , I often dont take in all they say,

as wd and how i feel is at the forefront of my mind.

 

Now im at the stage where i have to ditch whats left of my dose shortly,

im afraid to say im terrified, i want my life back, i want to live again,

and slowly but surely forget all about paxil and bloody wd.

Please, somebody tell me this is "normal" for us or even some of us - like little ole me!!!!

Now the other thing is lol,

Once off can i expect the anxiety to get worse??? or does it sometimes get better?

 

I will sleep so much easier if someone here can make me realise im normal than im feeling right now.

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Healing

Oh, it's very normal to go through periods of having nothing in common with "normals." We're going through an experience that is, at times, extreme, and that is, for the most part, still unrecognized by our societies.

 

It's very possible that you will feel better as soon as you get off. There is just no way to predict. But, I have been astonished to see people who had horrible tapers be dramatically better as soon as they're off.

 

Yes, you will recover completely and you will have the option of completely forgetting about w/d. Personally, I like the idea of integrating it into your whole life story and finding out how it contributes to the purpose of your life. :)

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angie007

Oh, it's very normal to go through periods of having nothing in common with "normals." We're going through an experience that is, at times, extreme, and that is, for the most part, still unrecognized by our societies.

 

It's very possible that you will feel better as soon as you get off. There is just no way to predict. But, I have been astonished to see people who had horrible tapers be dramatically better as soon as they're off.

 

Yes, you will recover completely and you will have the option of completely forgetting about w/d. Personally, I like the idea of integrating it into your whole life story and finding out how it contributes to the purpose of your life. :)

 

How likely is the possibility of feeling better once off, in someone who has been on this drug long term since 97, and only had a ct 4.5 month break during all that time please?

Does length of use of these drugs have any bearing as to how long recovery takes,

in your opinion, ( i know your not GOD lol), purely out of interest you understand.

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Healing

Who says I'm not GOD? ;)

 

(Uh oh, power has already gone to Healing's head! :o )

 

My comrade-in-w/d, I don't think we have enough of a systematic study yet to predict how you will fare immediately after you get off the meds. Length of time *may* be a factor, but is *not* a one-to-one correlation with anything.

 

I think your best bet is to say to yourself, "I am neuro-anxious, and, right now, if I weren't anxious about one thing, I'd be anxious about something else."

 

And then do all your good movement and pottering and breathing and walk into the anxiety. And keep saying over and over what I -- as a little bit of divine light -- *do* know, which is --

 

You will definitely be OK. You will feel safe and happy and confident again.

 

Would you consider reading what I wrote on the "Neuro-emotions" topic?

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angie007

Hey yes of course id love to read what you wrote lol,

you are wiser than me, you been there and done this,

bring it on, lets read it sista

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Altostrata

Hi, angie --

 

It looks to me like your thread is fine, click on the big blue Reply button at the bottom of it to post an update there.

 

About menopause -- I was menopausal when I withdrew from Paxil. It seems that being in menopause or perimenopause might make women more vulnerable to withdrawal symptoms.

 

Menopausal changes also affect the autonomic nervous system as well as all other hormonal systems. You may have overlapping perimenopause and withdrawal symptoms.

 

I found a bit of relief from a tiny amount of a supplement called DHEA. I gradually worked up to 5mg at night and 2.5mg in the morning for a total of 7.5mg/day. (See cautions below.)

 

I also experimented with a tiny amount of progesterone cream, and that helped a bit, too.

 

Finally, in desperation when I lost the ability to sleep, after I had stopped using either DHEA and progesterone for quite a long while, I got a mini-estrogen patch (Menostar), which delivers .14mcg estrogen per day. This did calm me a bit. I am still using it.

 

All of the above hormonal treatments carry risk. Conservative gynecologists would not recommend them. I always was very careful to use tiny amounts.

 

 

Cautions on DHEA -- it is, after all, a quasi-steroid or hormone like testosterone or estrogen.

 

According to the Physician's Desk Reference:

 

CONTRAINDICATIONS

 

DHEA supplementation is contraindicated in those with prostate, breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

 

PRECAUTIONS

 

DHEA supplementation should be avoided by children, adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

 

ADVERSE REACTIONS

 

Various androgenic effects, including acne, deepening of the voice, hirsutism and hair loss have been reported in women using supplemental DHEA. There is a report of transient hepatitis associated with DHEA use by a woman. Decreased HDL-cholesterol levels have been reported in women using oral DHEA. This could increase risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated IGF (insulin-like growth factor)-1 levels have been noted in both men and women taking oral DHEA. Elevated IGF-1 levels have been associated with increased risk of certain types of cancer, e.g. prostate cancer. Oral DHEA has also been observed to increase insulin resistance when taken by women.

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Babs

I turned 50 the year I got off Paxil. I was still having periods but was peri-menopausal for sure, and I think it made it worse. (Hell, turning 50 would make anything worse, even without the withdrawal and the hormonal changes.) Honestly I haven't felt right for the last almost six years but it's impossible to tell how much of that is menopause, how much is Paxil related, and how much is just plain old mid-life crisis/empty nest etc. I am hypersensitive, more emotional, more easily triggered than I ever was pre-Paxil. I use progesterone cream every night and I think it helps a bit with the hot flashes, and if I skip it I definitely feel more bitchy the next day. I can't use synthetic hormones because of a family history of breast cancer (and docs are pretty cautious about using those now anyway). It sucks ... I guess all I can say is "I feel your pain."

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squirrel

Hi Maddie, I too turned 50 as I quit paxil and I have not felt well since either for all the same reasons!

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Eliotsmum

Hi All: I took SSRI's for 13 years. I stopped April 9, 2011. Tapered off Pristique over a period of 1.5 months. I am also into menopause since 1.5 years ago. Ladies at work who have gone through menopause seem to have had the same symptoms I'm having, so is it stopping the SSRI that's making me feel this way, or menopause or both? I wish I had stopped taking SSRI's a few years from now, after menupause symptoms were over....but her I am. I've been through the bran zaps, iritablity, crying jags, then I turned 49 on April 24. On April 25, the hives started. They were bad. It's now been 2 1/2 months and the hives are startingn to disspiate. I've been managing them with a regular strength antihistamine every 2 days. I've just now gone to every 3 days. Have some hives today, but they don't spread anymore, I don't panic about them because my body seems to be able to get rid of them in a few hours. Now I'm experiencing morning anxiety. Didn't go to work Friday or today, Monday, due to anxiety. Tomorrow morning my boyfrined and I are going to get up 1/2 hour earlier and go for a short walk to see if that helps my anxiety. I do think we are getting a double whammy, but I m determined to get through this. I'm taking calcium/mag, quercetin (for hives) Omega 3, b complex, Vit 3, and black cohosh. Sounds like overkill, but something has got to work. I'm also going to acupunctur for relaxation, and counselling for the anxiety. Grrrrr I had no idea going off that SSRI crap would be so difficult.......I'm trying to be positive and patient, but it is very difficult. I'm also doing relaxation tapes.....Back to menopause....some of the ladies at work are having a very difficult time with menopause.... so it seems everyone goes through something....I still have hope

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elizabeth11

I have been struggling with feeling of completely hopelessness. :( This is so unlike me, something that I never have experienced to this point before. We are talking about the bottom of the barrel level of despair.

 

I indirectly sweet talked another dr into ordering a pelvic ultrasound, only to discover today, when I had it done, that the day before I should be having my period my uterus has practically nothing to shed with a 3 mm lining. Heck, I may not even get a period. My ovaries are on hiatus too and tiny. I just turned 40.

 

I've told my pdoc(who is a pnurse) what a hard time I am having and she has now labeled me "severely depressed".

 

I'm thinking that it may be hormonal and that hormones could bring back the post AD person I know and want to be.

 

Has anyone had any luck getting the hormone solution? And how did you handle it? How did you convince them to let you try HRT? What HRT did you use?

 

I pay for the pnurse 100% out of pocket so that the records are always private and mine. I cannot go to my regular dr for help because I use insurance to pay her bill and then my "issues" would be forever public.

 

I really freaked myself out the other day really being concerned about wanting to end it all. I know the real me, with no ADs is waiting to come out.

 

Thanks for listening.

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Barbarannamated

Elizabeth ~

Without reading your history I will say that this absolutely sounds like a hormonal issue causing your very low mood ~

Your ovaries produce estrogen which is critical for positive mood +++

Can you get to an endocrinologist or good gynecologist to do a complete endocrine/hormone workup ~ to look at a scan is only part of the picture - they can measure hormone levels and supplement accordingly - unlike the mythical neurotransmitter imbalance„this is something that CAN be measured and treated directly - PLEASE don't listen to any garbage about needing antidepressants for a hormone issue that is measureable -

My endocrinologist used FSH as one of the markers of ovarian/estrogen dysfunction - I'm on low dose Vivelle dot patch estrogen -

A few others are more familiar with endocrine testing -

Ovarian insufficiency is NOT the same as menopause

 

It's a good thing that you insisted on the scans and found a probable underlying cause of your mood -

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elizabeth11

barbara-

 

Thanks so much for your reply. I believe you are the second person who has told me that they are on estrogen supplementation and that it helps. :rolleyes:

 

1. Do you feel better with the vivelle?

 

2. Do you remember what they tested for when you went through the same process? FSH, Estradiol, etc.?? Something else? This info maybe helpful also to a future member of surving antidepressants.

 

THANKS!!!

 

Elizabeth

 

I've discovered that, as I age, I have to do more of the background work on my medical issues to know what to do because each specialist just wants to pop their own pills into the patient.

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Barbarannamated

barbara-

 

Thanks so much for your reply. I believe you are the second person who has told me that they are on estrogen supplementation and that it helps. :rolleyes:

 

1. Do you feel better with the vivelle?

 

2. Do you remember what they tested for when you went through the same process? FSH, Estradiol, etc.?? Something else? This info maybe helpful also to a future member of surving antidepressants.

 

THANKS!!!

 

Elizabeth

 

I've discovered that, as I age, I have to do more of the background work on my medical issues to know what to do because each specialist just wants to pop their own pills into the patient.

 

Elizabeth,

My endocrinologist did EXTENSIVE testing on HPA axis, reproductive system, CBC, metabolic, special lipid profile, etc. I believe it was the FSH level that showed my particular ovarian failure, but I'm sure there are other tests and values that are all interrelated. It's important to look at the whole picture because supplementing one hormone will throw others off.

A reproductive endocrinologist may be a place to start. I hesitate to suggest specific tests because the endocrine system is so complex. Are you near the U of VA?

 

I can't say that I feel a tremendous difference yet, but I have alot of contributors to my health picture and probably more to be identified - thyroid, ovarian, liver, autoimmune disorders, a gene mutation (MTHFR - not sure how important that is, but seems to be common), etc. I mention those only to say "it's complicated" for EVERYONE.

I'm quite passionate about ruling out medical causes before treating with any psychotropics which are HORMONE/ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS. Some docs test thyroid function and that's a start, but there are so many places that may be malfunctioning and contribute to depression, 'bipolar', hallucinations, etc.

Off my soapbox!

 

I'll do a bit more research and post any info that may be helpful.

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Nikki

You came to the right place:)

 

 

Elizabeth in 1999 I had a Total Hysterectomy. At that time just Estrogen (synthetic) was administered in the Recovery Room. After the surgery, I was somewhat depressed.My psych at the time said "why wouldn't you be depressed, your young and there is a grieving process women go thru after a hysterectomy."

 

You may be feeling the same way. This makes you normal not 'severely depressed. In conjunction with not being hormonally balanced.

 

I was on Paxil and Synthetic Estrogen and started to really gain weight. And then, Suzanne Somers wrote her book The Sexy Years, which explored and clarified using Bio-identical hormones.

 

I got off Premarin and onto Bio-identical Estradiol in a small dose. I then added Bio-Identical Pregesterone Cream and Testosterone Cream with a trace amount of DHEA Cream. I no long use DHEA because it very often causes anxiety (the A word). All of this is in one syringe. Creams by pass the liver. There was an immediate difference in how I felt and looked. Estrogen alonr can cause hair loss, progesterone/teststerone brought it back.

 

I have my hormones tested with a blood test. A Saliva test is more accurate. There are kits online for saliva testing. Google Bio-identical Hormones. You can order bio-identicals without an Rx thru some of the companies on line. But you need to know where you are deficient.

 

And yes....they do make a difference.

 

Hugs

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elizabeth11

How long did it take for your hormone pills, especially estrogen, to kick in? Fast, I hope???

 

Thanks!

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Nikki

they work right away...

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Barbarannamated

Im suspecting the estrogen patch may be related to the intensified anger/rage I've been experiencing - I never had significant PMS but have witnessed it in others -

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elizabeth11

thank you to both responders to my post.

 

Where does someone go to find out about bio-identical hormones?

 

Hormones play such a huge role in mood.

 

There is so much info on the web but I don't know who knows what is really the "right" thing to do, which site is for real and which site just wants to sell $$. I live in a big city, so would be happy to buy stuff from a major store instead of online.

 

Thanks again to the responders and everyone on this site who reads this. This site is a lifesaver!!

 

Elizabeth

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Barbarannamated

You might start with a very reputable nutrition store - we have Clarks in CA -

Not a GNC type (no offense as they might have knowledgeable people) - they may be able to recommend -

Hormones are a BIG business so you're wise to be cautious of that - many are not covered by insurance -

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Nikki

I may have forgot to mention that the progesterone is a 'calming hormone' and are made by compounding pharmacies. Insurances stopped covering them several years back.

 

Log onto Dr. John Lee's website. He was a pioneer in this field. Died not too long ago.

He wrote books on the subject.

 

Hugs

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elizabeth11

Is anyone comfortable with sharing estrogen level results which made your mood feel better? I know each body is different

 

I just got my blood test results on the weekend. I'm at the bottom of the reference range, so I don't know what the pnurse will say. I don't know if she'll say forget it, you're IN (even at the bottom) of the reference range. I know the reference range for vitamin d is wide and most mds will supplement if you are at the bottom of this range.

 

I ending up with an extremely low TSH, less than .01, which means I'm hyperthyroid. Geeze.

 

I wish I had an endocrinoligist. Mine left and I thought the pdoc could handle it. Have never had the levels where they should be.

 

Thanks so much!!!

 

-Elizabeth

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Altostrata

elizabeth, if you're going through menopause, that can indeed complicate withdrawal symptoms. One outcome might be low mood, but it's hard to say what causes it.

 

If your nervous system is hypersensitive, you might have difficulty with progesterone, so go very carefully there.

 

I went through menopause more than 10 years ago. I've had a Menostar mini-estrogen patch for a couple of years for my withdrawal-induced sleep disorder. It did help. It delivers a daily dose of .14mcg estrogen, about half the usual Vivelle patch. Because the dosage is so small, it apparently doesn't need opposition by progesterone. My gyn followed me with uterine ultrasound for 2 years to make sure it wasn't doing anything suspicious, and it wasn't.

 

It's best to use the absolute minimum dosage of any hormone treatment. This will vary from person to person. It's not one-size-fits-all by any means.

 

It also sounds to me like you need a good endocrinologist, one who will take everything into consideration. Don't jump into HRT without looking into a possible thyroid issue.

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Nikki

Elizabeth to be honest I do't know what my ranges are in terms of hormones. Two physician's told me that on my current HRT I am fine.

 

I have read a few articles on TSH, that if levels are on the low/normal range, they treat.

You said you are hyper....I thought if the numbers were low, it was hypo.

 

I wonder how much a/d's affect the other systems on our bodies.

 

Hugs

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Barbarannamated

Elizabeth to be honest I do't know what my ranges are in terms of hormones. Two physician's told me that on my current HRT I am fine.

 

I have read a few articles on TSH, that if levels are on the low/normal range, they treat.

You said you are hyper....I thought if the numbers were low, it was hypo.

 

I wonder how much a/d's affect the other systems on our bodies.

 

SS/NRIs have numerous effects throughout the body, only some are known. They are neurohormones so effect the entire endocrine system that regulates every body system.

Low TSH indicates overactive/hyperthyroid. When Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is high, it indicates that the pituitary is working hard to activate the underactive thyroid. TSH alone is not a good indicator of thyroid function although it is the most common value still used. It is also a fluctuating value so to use it to catch thyroid dysfunction is very unreliable.

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Nikki

Totally agree Alto, after what we have experienced the least amount/smalles dose is the way to go.

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elizabeth11

Barbara is correct that TSH is not the best value to use for thryoid.

 

But the endocrinologists I've seen in the past have just tended to only use this value to watch things. Probably just doing what they were taught to do in school. But it sucks.

 

I had my thyroid removed in 2004 for what turned out to just be hashimotos. I blindly thought that they would be able to regulate things once it came out. Big mistake for me. The MDs have always been like here is your rx, take your drug and see you in a year. They think one pill can replace a complicated hormonal organ. The thyroid replacement market, generic vs. name brand, t3 vs t4, desicated pig thyroid verse synthetic is just about as confusing as the AD world.

 

In AD we have the "you need it like a diabetic" speech which we know is not true, the risks we took when agreeing to take ADs without knowing all of the side effects, and the horrible suffering we go thru to get off of these poisons. Just as confusing... :o As a patient, you know you feel like crap, you want to feel better, but who can you trust?? And how can you find relief?

 

Thanks for listening. I've noticed that thyroid problems can cause anxiety and depression. Humm....

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