Steven asks…

I have severe Vertigo and I think Im going to die.Please can you read my symptoms and offer some advice?

I am a 37 year old woman with 2 kids (boy4 girl9).
I get severe neck pains.I use Ibuprofen. Often I feel like the room is spinning. Dizziness the morning. I am light headed. I weak up every morning as if I have had a massive hang over- despite the fact I’m a nondrinker! I get eager to open bowls.I often feel a little better after going to the bathroom and passing stools.Too much wind/gas. Stomach bloated (similar to a 8 month pregnant woman)(im not pregnant) I get exhausted and often sleep 10-14 hours every night At 6.30pm I just want to go to bed.. My breathing goes when excited or upset.

Sometimes I feel lack of oxygen when sleeping.

I am on a strong antibiotic 500mg Clarithromy

One of the side effects of this is vertigo! But this is not the cause because I have vertigo before.

I feel like I get dragged to one side.

Just for reference did have a gall bladder removed in 2004 due to stones in common bial duct.

Too much yawning and shivers.

I now have problems driving and sometimes even walking.
I get a little pain where I had the Op to remove gall bladder but I dont think this is the cause of the problems.

IF ANYONE RECOGNISES SYMPTOMS OR HAS ANY IDEAS WHAT I CAN DO TO IMPROVE MY SITUATION- PLEASE CAN YOU ADVISE ME.- urgently.

The doctors are not helpful.

Helen answers:

Have you had your thyroid tested? 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, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but worse (…OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid from beginning).

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:
http://thyroid.about.com/bio/Mary-Shomon-350.htm
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
http://www.thyrophoenix.com/index.html
http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

ALWAYS GET COPIES OF YOUR LABS.

God bless you

Sharon asks…

Thyroid Hormone replacement meds…?

I was diagnosed a little over a year ago with Graves disease…hyperthyroidism. I put on about 200 lbs and lost about 100 of those 200 and then gained about 50 of it back after I had my thyroid removed in April of ’06. I am currently taking synthroid to replace the hormone. My question is how long does it take to regulate the meds so Im not changing the dosage every 6 weeks and what else can I take to boost my metabolism and energy since the meds arent really helping in that situation. And forget the gym, my dr. says its still too risky for me to do any type of exercising…even walking. And my second question is since I cant get into see the dr. to have my meds refilled because she is never around and Im out of meds tomorrow what are the side effects of not taking the meds and how long do I have before my health seriously starts to worsen. Ive been feeling sick for the past 2 days and Im afraid its just going to get worse with the lack of meds. Thanks for your time…

Helen answers:

It can take 6 months to a year to find the right dosage. If you are out of your medication, call up the doctor’s office immediately. You should not go without it for any length of time.

Now that you are hypothyroid, learn as much as you can about the condition and the treatment. It’s the only way to get your life back. You say you are on Sythroid, on Synthroid you want the TSH in the morning to be below 2.0.

I was diagnosed hypothyroid 6 years ago. I started out on Levoxyl. It did nothing for my symptoms, but it did lower TSH. I was not happy wih this result, so I bought thyroid books and did a lot of research on the web. I am now almost completely symptom free on Armour thyroid. On Armour however, the dosage is adjusted by the free t4 and free T3, not the TSH.

Below are some thyroid links. If you get our morning TSH around 1.0 and you still can’t lose weight it can be that you need a T4/T3 med like Armour or its possible the weight gain has caused insulin resistance. Insulin resistance (prediabetes) is diagnosed by a fasting glucose anda fasting insulin test

Thomas asks…

What do you think about ‘pre-existing condition’ exemptions in the insurance industry?

I have a close friend who’s wrestling with a difficult decision. She’s suffering from a rare form of cancer, and a half-year of treatment at the local research hospital has left her worse than she began, which is statistically typical for this hospital.

There are, incidentally, two hospitals in the country that have drastically higher rates of survival for her form of cancer, largely helped by doctor specialization and, in one hospital’s case, rare equipment. The problem is, one is in New York and the other is in Texas. If she leaves the west coast for a certain length of time, she loses her insurance (which is local), and cannot gain coverage under any new insurance plan, given that her cancer is of course a pre-existing condition that she’s now well aware of. Her best option, as of now, is to embark on a personal fund-raising mission and attempt to seek better treatment completely without insurance coverage.

Of course, ‘pre-existing condition’ clauses are necessary to a competitive and capitalistic insurance industry – if a company provided treatment to people who already needed coverage, they would simply be bankrupted by people loading onto whoever had the best coverage; there would be no incentive for people without significant medical expenses to contribute to insurance anymore.

Of course, the immediate reflex for some is to propose a public system – a nationwide system (or even a multinational network of systems) would allow people to move physically to specialized treatment without having to be artificially confined to the locations of their insurance companies. But, as I understand it, a public system is bad because its creation involves the invocation of Communist magic, which may have the side effect of waking Stalin from his grave, who will proceed to unstoppably rape babies (I’m a bit unclear on the details of the mechanics, but the main criticism of the public option seems to be a simple cry of “socialism!” coupled with an expression of terror and rage).

So, what, other than die, do you suppose people with life-threatening ‘pre-existing conditions’ should do? Is a public insurance plan an option? Why or why not?

Helen answers:

What I can’t understand is how every other civilized nation has a national healthcare system. People aren’t dropping like flies in Canada or Europe last I heard.

Who has the highest and worst record for heart disease. It’s the US. People have to second mortgage their homes just to send their kids to college.

These are not communist countries that have national health and education systems they just have different ideas and values.

At one time our healthcare system worked, but when you have no immigration control, of course the poorest and most exploited people will fall on everyone else except the pigs that increase their profits by exploiting these people.

When you really look at most of the problems in the US, it’s due to the greed of the wealthy ruling class. They own government and their lobbyist write the laws.

Can you believe Americans have to send away to Canada to get affordable drugs that are made by American companies in America.

Do you want it with or without grease cuz we’re getting F***ed.

About 10 years ago I went to a doctor when I had a cold I coundn’t shake. I was between jobs and no health insurance. For 5 minutes to go in and have the doctor write a script, I was billed $150.00. This made me sicker than the flu.

This is legal? I was extorted for $150 or I don’t get the antibiotics.

Linda asks…

Goitre (throat thing)?

anybody ever had this throat ‘condition’: goitre? or do you know anything about it, just wondering what to expect and stuff =) thanks

Helen answers:

Understanding Goiter — the Basics
What Are Goiters?
Goiters can be any one of several types of growths in the thyroid gland, located at the base of the front side of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. In the case of Graves’ disease, the entire thyroid gland becomes enlarged. Another type, called toxic nodular goiter, results when one or more nodules, or adenomas, develop in the thyroid and trigger excess production of thyroid hormone.

A goiter may be a temporary problem that will remedy itself over time without medical intervention, or a symptom of another, possibly severe, thyroid condition that requires medical attention.

What Causes Them?
Goiters can occur when the thyroid gland produces either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism). Much more rarely, the problem may arise when the pituitary gland stimulates thyroid growth to boost production of the hormone.

Another type of thyroid growth, called a sporadic goiter, can form if your diet includes too many goiter-promoting foods, such as soybeans, rutabagas, cabbage, peaches, peanuts and spinach. These foods can suppress the manufacture of thyroid hormone by interfering with your thyroid’s ability to process iodide. Historically the most common cause used to be due to a lack of iodide in the diet, however in the 1920’s iodized salt was introduced in the United States now making this a rare cause of goiters.

Understanding Goiter — Treatment
How Do I Know If I Have It?
A goiter may be large enough for you to see or to feel with your hand, or it may remain unnoticed until a doctor discovers it, perhaps during a routine exam.

In any case, the first step is to determine whether the goiter is a symptom of another thyroid condition. An ultrasound of the thyroid gland may help to determine the size of the gland and the presence of nodules. Radioactive iodide uptake tests track how much iodide the thyroid takes in within a certain time period. Higher-than-normal amounts indicate possible hyperthyroidism; low levels indicate hypothyroidism. Blood tests also can measure levels of thyroid hormone.

What Are the Treatments?
A goiter may require no treatment, especially if it is small and thyroid hormone levels are normal. However, if the goiter develops because of excessive thyroid hormone production, fails to produce enough hormone or causes discomfort, you will need treatment.

Treatment involves getting the thyroid hormone levels back to normal, usually with medication. When the medication takes effect, the thyroid may begin to return to its normal size. However, a large nodular goiter with a lot of internal scar tissue will not shrink with treatment. If the goiter is uncomfortable, causes overproduction of thyroid hormone unresponsive to medications, or becomes cancerous, the entire thyroid gland may have to be surgically removed.

Chris asks…

levothyroxine prescribed for thyroid, question…..?

my doctor prescribed levothyroxine based on my tsh levels being 29.7. he sent me for more blood work on the rest of my “T” levels, or its called a thyroid panel think. Anyways, he said in the meantime that hes prescribing me 25mg of levothyroxine, so my question is, is this a relatively safe small dose to test out if I will have side effects or benefits. I went in for blood work for my heart originally, and my doctor noticed my TSH levels wer high. I did not tell my doctor about feeling exhausted and to the point where my memory was so bad I would forget what I was talking about mid sentence. This explains alot now. Im not faund of taking pills as I get anxiety, so Im wondering if this low dose is not as bad as the higher doses for testing how it will effect me?

Helen answers:

That is very high TSH! Did they also test for antibodies? If not, you need it.

This is something that cannot be rushed therefore they start w/ a low dose. It is also slow acting so it takes some time before you know what it is doing. You will be retested every 6 wks to start & it can take a few months until you are at your optimum dose.

Take this 1st thing, on an empty stomach then do not eat for 1/2 hr.

I will suggest this: You should also take Selenium, Folic Acid, D3, Zinc, and B Complex. Later, you may ask the doc to add Cytomel.

Here is some info & good links 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, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but 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:
http://thyroid.about.com/bio/Mary-Shomon-350.htm
http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
http://www.thyrophoenix.com/index.html
http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

ALWAYS GET COPIES OF YOUR LABS.

God bless you

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