Mandy asks…

under active thyroid ?

Why do I have this what causes it ? what’s happening to my body ? what side effects can i get from the tabelts? (levothyroxine) what happens if I just stop taken the tablets for a long time ?
How long does it take for the tablets to start working ?

Thanks :)

Helen answers:

DO NOT STOP! This is not like medicine…this replaces thyroid hormones that are missing like other supplements do. There should be NO side effects. This takes quite some time to make a difference.

Here is lots of info for you:
You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, would not matter if ANTIBODIES are present. Indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between hyper & hypo at start)…main cause of HypOthyroid & is worse (…OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid).

WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

Ck these:

God bless

Susan asks…

How can hyperthyroid cause weight gain?

I read on a website that one of the side effects is weight loss OR weight gain. I thought hyperthyroid INCREASED your metabolism, so can someone please explain this to me.

Helen answers:

What you are thinking is usually correct … Now if one had hypER as a cycle of Hashimoto’s then that would explain…a person then went into hypO mode and gained.

Here is some info:
You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but would not matter if ANTIBODIES are present. Indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis…main cause of HypOthyroid & is worse (…OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid).

WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

Ck these:

God bless

Mark asks…

define autoimmune hepatitis?

Helen answers:

Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks liver cells. This causes the liver to become inflamed (hepatitis). Researchers think a genetic factor may predispose some people to autoimmune diseases. About 70 percent of those with autoimmune hepatitis are women, most between the ages of 15 and 40.

The disease is usually quite serious and, if not treated, gets worse over time. It’s usually chronic, meaning it can last for years, and can lead to cirrhosis (scarring and hardening) of the liver and eventually liver failure.

Autoimmune hepatitis is classified as either type I or II. Type I is the most common form in North America. It occurs at any age and is more common among women than men. About half of those with type I have other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes, proliferative glomerulonephritis, thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, autoimmune anemia, and ulcerative colitis. Type II autoimmune hepatitis is less common, typically affecting girls ages 2 to 14, although adults can have it too

Autoimmune Disease
One job of the immune system is to protect the body from viruses, bacteria, and other living organisms. Usually, the immune system does not react against the body’s own cells. However, sometimes it mistakenly attacks the cells it is supposed to protect. This response is called autoimmunity. Researchers speculate that certain bacteria, viruses, toxins, and drugs trigger an autoimmune response in people who are genetically susceptible to developing an autoimmune disorder

Fatigue is probably the most common symptom of autoimmune hepatitis. Other symptoms include

enlarged liver



skin rashes

joint pain

abdominal discomfort

spider angiomas (abnormal blood vessels) on the skin



loss of appetite

dark urine

pale or gray colored stools

People in advanced stages of the disease are more likely to have symptoms such as fluid in the abdomen (ascites) or mental confusion. Women may stop having menstrual periods.

Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis range from mild to severe. Because severe viral hepatitis or hepatitis caused by a drug—for example, certain antibiotics—has the same symptoms, tests may be needed for an exact diagnosis. Your doctor should also review and rule out all your medicines before diagnosing autoimmune hepatitis.

Treatment works best when autoimmune hepatitis is diagnosed early. With proper treatment, autoimmune hepatitis can usually be controlled. In fact, recent studies show that sustained response to treatment not only stops the disease from getting worse, but also may actually reverse some of the damage.

The primary treatment is medicine to suppress (slow down) an overactive immune system.

Both types of autoimmune hepatitis are treated with daily doses of a corticosteroid called prednisone. Your doctor may start you on a high dose (20 to 60 mg per day) and lower the dose to 5 to 15 mg/day as the disease is controlled. The goal is to find the lowest possible dose that will control your disease.

Another medicine, azathioprine (Imuran) is also used to treat autoimmune hepatitis. Like prednisone, azathioprine suppresses the immune system, but in a different way. It helps lower the dose of prednisone needed, thereby reducing its side effects. Your doctor may prescribe azathioprine, in addition to prednisone, once your disease is under control.

Most people will need to take prednisone, with or without azathioprine, for years. Some people take it for life. Corticosteroids may slow down the disease, but everyone is different. In about one out of every three people, treatment can eventually be stopped. After stopping, it is important to carefully monitor your condition and promptly report any new symptoms to your doctor because the disease may return and be even more severe, especially during the first few months after stopping treatment.

In about 7 out of 10 people, the disease goes into remission, with a lessening of severity of symptoms, within 2 years of starting treatment. A portion of persons with a remission will see the disease return within 3 years, so treatment may be necessary on and off for years, if not for life.

James asks…

Why is prednisone prescribed for dogs?

My cocker spaniel is 10 years old and she’s slowing down like an older dog. A month ago, she woke up in such pain that she didn’t even want to stand up. Over the next three weeks, she could barely lift her head to look at me, and I thought it was her spine because all four legs were going willy-nilly. She couldn’t even coordinate her legs to stand on my tile floor to eat or drink because her legs kept slipping out from under her.

I had some prednisone pills left over (2 years ago) from another dog who had a stroke. I cut the 10 mg pills in half and gave her half in the morning and half in the evening. After a few days, she was back to her old-dog self, and she was able to control her limbs. I thought she was on her death bed, but she convinced me not to dig her grave yet.

I lowered her dose to half a pill every morning. Now she’s down to a quarter tablet every morning. What I want to know is if I should wean her off completely or take her to my vet to get a new prescription. I don’t have extra money to go to the vet every time I want to, but I don’t want my dog suffering in pain.

Helen answers:

Prednisone is one drug that is often used for treating autoimmune diseases in dogs. It is a synthetic, inactive corticosteroid that is chemically converted by the liver into prednisolone, an active steroid. The benefits of using the drug for treating a number of conditions in humans and animals have been established over time. Prednisone has varied and diverse uses. Some examples are as follows:

1.Treatment of excessive itching
2.Alleviation of asthma and other allergies
3.Managing emergencies like injuries to the spinal chord
4.Controlling rejections during organ transplants
5.Treating kidney disorders
On one hand, the manner in which this drug works allows it to be extremely versatile. It suppresses the immune system; therefore, it can be used to treat auto-immune, inflammatory, and kidney diseases.

On the other hand, the side effects that prednisone causes are burdensome for the pet owner. The following side effects can present themselves even when the drug is used for a short period of time:

1.Renal disorders
2.Abnormal thirst levels
3.Excessive hunger
Side effects that occur after a considerable period of usage are as follows:

1.Ulcers in the digestive tract
2.Pain and inflammation in pancreas
4.Degeneration of muscles
5.Unpredictable change in behaviors
The most dangerous side effect that can appear while administering prednisone is hyperadrenocorticism in dogs . Also known as Cushing’s disease, this condition is caused by an inadvertent overdose of the drug.

Since it is a corticosteroid itself, prednisone obstructs the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. If the drug is continued for more than a week, it can affect the normal functioning of the adrenal glands on a permanent basis. This results in a dependency on the drug, since the body is unable to create its own natural corticosteroids.

Though prednisone seems like a wonder drug at times, indiscriminate use of this drug can be very dangerous. It can lead to conditions like Cushing’s disease in dogs and also Addison’s disease, both of which can prove to be fatal

Jenny asks…

Extremely Cold feet and hands?

Why are my hands and feet freezing???? Please help
I am really scared is rthis bad???

Could this happen to any body any age or weight????

Helen answers:

A feeling of cold in the hands and/or feet — or sensitivity to the cold — is a common complaint in people with hypothyroidism. Typically, if you’re a thyroid patient experiencing these symptoms, the cold sensitivity and cold extremities will decrease usually significantly after you’ve received appropriate treatment for your underactive thyroid.
But in some thyroid patients, symptoms continue. When cold hands and/or feet persist, you should be evaluated for Raynaud’s syndrome. Raynaud’s (sometimes also spelled Reynaud’s) is also known as Raynaud’s phenomenom. It’s a disease that involves an interruption in the blood flow to fingers and toes (and sometimes nose and ears), due to spasms in the blood vessels.

An excellent review of the diagnostic tests for Raynaud’s is featured in this Guide to Raynaud’s.

Some common triggers for Raynaud’s include:

Going outside during frigid temperatures
Holding an iced drink
Walking into an air conditioned room
Putting your hands in the freezer
Putting hands under cold water
Emotional stress
During a Raynaud’s attack, the affected area typically turns white, and as oxygen fails to reach the extremities, they can turn blue. You may feel tingling or painful throbbing, and the affected area may swell. Symptoms can resolve quickly or may last for hours.
Raynaud’s is a condition seen on its own, but also shows up as a “secondary” disease alongside other autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, lupus, Sjögren’s Syndrome, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.


If your symptoms are due to Raynaud’s, beyond proper thyroid treatment, avoiding or minimizing cold exposure is a key way to avoid symptoms. If you are a smoker, you should also stop smoking, as that is known to aggravate symptoms. Biofeedback treatments may also be a help for some patients.

Drug treatments can help, but the drugs used may have various side effects. Some of the drug treatments currently being used for Raynaud’s include:

Calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine (brand names Adalat, Nifedical, and Procardia)
Angiotensin II inhibitors i.e., candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), and valsartan (Diovan).
The antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac)
The vasodilator sildenafil (Viagra)

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