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Old 05-31-09, 08:58 PM   #1
unixpro
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Thyroid issues anyone?

I had my annual physical last week. The doctor wants me to come back this week to go over the lab results, but I took a gander at my chart and saw he'd written some notes about thyroid function therein. We did discuss the fact that I ride like a madman (daily 36 mile RT commute with 2400 feet of climbing), but seem to be gaining weight instead of loosing. Not gaining girth -- my waist seems to be the same as last year of smaller, but I weigh about 40 pounds more.

He did a Body Mass Induction test on my and said that my ratio was 7.2, and anything over 7.0 was considered good. I had about 75% lean body mass, which he said was mostly muscle. He said that the other 25% *is not* all fat, as it includes other stuff. Anybody know what that is? He also said that the tests indicated I was getting sufficient hydration, which I liked.

So, I'm wondering about this thyroid thing. I've read up on it some and I've got some concerns about taking something like synthroid or Cytomel while putting in 180 miles/week. Is anyone else in the same boat?
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Old 05-31-09, 09:06 PM   #2
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I take Armour Thyroid 60 mg
It works much better than the ones you mentioned.
Averaged 343 miles per week this year.
6' - 2' 190 lbs
Your report sounds as if you may just take in too many calories.
What do you weight may I ask?
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Old 06-01-09, 10:31 AM   #3
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"Other stuff" includes blood etc.

It's good that he is checking. Don't worry about the treatment untill you know you've actually got a problem.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:06 PM   #4
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I don't mind him checking, and I'm not really worried about the treatment. I just decided to do some research while I was idle, and this is one step in that research. Research is never a waste of time.

As far as my weight is concerned, I weigh 225. While I'm willing to consider the possibility that I've got a caloric surplus, it would be a bit surprising to me. According to the calculators, my basal matabolic rate is around 2,050 calories. Add to that some number of calories just for getting out of bed and walking around during the day. Now add in what I expend on my commutes. I use a HRM and it consistently reports between 1,800 and 2,200 calories expended, depending on weather. This isn't far off the "40 cal/mile" rule of thumb (40 * 36 = 1,440 and then add in some for 2,400 feet of climbing). Put all this together and I'm expending somewhere around 4,000 - 4,500 calories/day when I ride, which is 5 days/week, and probably 2,500 cal/day when I don't.

I've tracked my eating with a food diary and I don't consume 4,000 calories/day most days. 3,000 perhaps, but not 4,000. That's a lot of food.

My BP is excellent at 130/70. My resting heart rate is below 50. My cholesterol and other blood chemistry numbers are all well within normal ranges. My A1C and instantaneous blood sugar readings, including the 2-hour check, are all fine. My lung capacity is good, and I can touch my toes.
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Old 06-01-09, 12:25 PM   #5
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Most Dr's have problems dealing with thyroid issues.
I studied my problems for 2 years before getting a Dr involved.
I want to weight 175 lbs.
What do think counted toward your weight gain?
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Old 06-01-09, 01:06 PM   #6
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My wife has been a thyroid cancer survivor for 16 years. Calibrating Synthroid dosage without a thyroid gland is bad enough, but I imagine it would be much more challenging with a partially functioning gland.

You can test your own thyroid function by measuring your body temperature when you first wake up, before you get out of bed. I inherit a fairly low thyroid function from my mother -- when I donated blood last week right after working out at the YMCA, my pulse was still way up in the 80s (resting is mid 40s for me), but my temperature was only 98.0, which would be a good top-of-the-morning reading for a normal person.

I have never considered thyroid hormone supplementation because it would cause my gland to atrophy and eventually make me dependent, but I also readily admit that I would be obese today if I followed the average American diet and sedentary lifestyle.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:07 PM   #7
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I mentioned being a bit lethargic and being sensitive to cold at my last visit with my Dr. He tested my blood for thyroid level and found it to be low, probably as a result of the radiation treatments in my neck area. He has me on a low dosage of Levothyroxine to increase my thyroid level. So far it does seem to have helped me feel more energetic and less cold sensitive. My doctor is aware of my cycling activity and had no concerns with it being a problem with the medication.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I mentioned being a bit lethargic and being sensitive to cold at my last visit with my Dr. He tested my blood for thyroid level and found it to be low, probably as a result of the radiation treatments in my neck area. He has me on a low dosage of Levothyroxine to increase my thyroid level. So far it does seem to have helped me feel more energetic and less cold sensitive. ...
I presume he measured serum levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone as well as T3 and T4. My concern is that taking Levothyroxine will suppress your pituitary's production of TSH, which in turn will tell your thyroid gland to slow down, through the body's own feedback control system. The more supplement you take, the more you'll eventually need. It's sort of like jocks taking testosterone and then discovering that their testicles are atrophying.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
I mentioned being a bit lethargic and being sensitive to cold at my last visit with my Dr. He tested my blood for thyroid level and found it to be low, probably as a result of the radiation treatments in my neck area. He has me on a low dosage of Levothyroxine to increase my thyroid level. So far it does seem to have helped me feel more energetic and less cold sensitive. My doctor is aware of my cycling activity and had no concerns with it being a problem with the medication.
You have a very good doctor.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:14 PM   #10
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i've been taking synthroid for years and have no adverse experiences.
i was tired all the time, synthroid helped.
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Old 06-01-09, 04:31 PM   #11
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Synthroid

I've been taking syntroid for about 9 years with no negative side effects. I typically ride about 120-140miles per week. I will say that I was really happy after taking synthroid for a few months. It helped me loss about thirty pounds and get rid of some skin drying and peeling which I was experiencing.
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Old 06-01-09, 06:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E View Post
I presume he measured serum levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone as well as T3 and T4. My concern is that taking Levothyroxine will suppress your pituitary's production of TSH, which in turn will tell your thyroid gland to slow down, through the body's own feedback control system. The more supplement you take, the more you'll eventually need. It's sort of like jocks taking testosterone and then discovering that their testicles are atrophying.
These days they usually don't start you on thyroid supplements unless you have a high TSH. If you have a high TSH your pituitary is already sensing low T4 and is telling your thyroid to increase production. If you have a high TSH and take thyroid supplements, your pituitary can relax because it senses that the T4 level is appropriate, so it lets the TSH decrease to a normal level. It is all a feed back loop. Your thyroid will only "atrophy" if your supplementation is too high, or if you take thyroid supplements when you aren't hypothyroid. That is why they check your levels frequently. Treating hypothyroidism is important. Untreated it can kill you. It needs to be followed up.

To the OP: by any chance have you had a lot of leg cramps? I suffered for 6 years with severe leg cramps waking me up 4 or 5 times a night. I could stretch them out, but then the antagonist muscles would cramp. I tried stretching, massage, even taking time off the bike, with no improvement. I mentioned this every time I saw my PCP, who said quinine would be the only thing to help. Then she referred me to an endocrinologist for my osteoporosis, who also diagnosed me as hypothyroid. It took almost a year to get my dose adjusted, but now that I have adequete T4 levels, I don't have leg cramps, even if I go out and ride double my usual distance and climb more than usual.
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Old 06-01-09, 08:09 PM   #13
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These days they usually don't start you on thyroid supplements unless you have a high TSH. If you have a high TSH your pituitary is already sensing low T4 and is telling your thyroid to increase production. If you have a high TSH and take thyroid supplements, your pituitary can relax because it senses that the T4 level is appropriate, so it lets the TSH decrease to a normal level. It is all a feed back loop. Your thyroid will only "atrophy" if your supplementation is too high, or if you take thyroid supplements when you aren't hypothyroid.
I concur, which is why I mentioned TSH.

Quote:
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To the OP: by any chance have you had a lot of leg cramps? I suffered for 6 years with severe leg cramps waking me up 4 or 5 times a night. I could stretch them out, but then the antagonist muscles would cramp. I tried stretching, massage, even taking time off the bike, with no improvement. I mentioned this every time I saw my PCP, who said quinine would be the only thing to help. Then she referred me to an endocrinologist for my osteoporosis, who also diagnosed me as hypothyroid. It took almost a year to get my dose adjusted, but now that I have adequete T4 levels, I don't have leg cramps, even if I go out and ride double my usual distance and climb more than usual.
Interesting -- I have been getting occasional foot cramps, which I have attributed to either dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:10 PM   #14
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I presume he measured serum levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Yes, he checked my TSH level.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:37 AM   #15
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To the OP: by any chance have you had a lot of leg cramps? I suffered for 6 years with severe leg cramps waking me up 4 or 5 times a night. I could stretch them out, but then the antagonist muscles would cramp. I tried stretching, massage, even taking time off the bike, with no improvement. I mentioned this every time I saw my PCP, who said quinine would be the only thing to help. Then she referred me to an endocrinologist for my osteoporosis, who also diagnosed me as hypothyroid. It took almost a year to get my dose adjusted, but now that I have adequete T4 levels, I don't have leg cramps, even if I go out and ride double my usual distance and climb more than usual.
Interesting. I get leg cramps once or twice a month, but I'd assumed, as did another poster, that it was for another reason. I do often wake up because of pain in my knees, but I know that's my arthritis acting up. I've mentioned this to my PCP as well, and he's going to shoot some pictures of my knees next time I'm in.

My doctors appointment is tomorrow, so I'll find out what he really thinks then. I've been keeping an active food and exercise diary for the last week, in case he's interested. According to the diary, if I use my basal metabolic rate (averaged from three calculators), add in 500 calories for doing daily things like walking around, and add in the amount I expend riding, I expend between 500 and 2000 more calories in a day than I consume. The calorie values came from calorieking.
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Old 06-02-09, 11:54 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=unixpro;9026884]Interesting. I get leg cramps once or twice a month, but I'd assumed, as did another poster, that it was for another reason. I do often wake up because of pain in my knees, but I know that's my arthritis acting up. I've mentioned this to my PCP as well, and he's going to shoot some pictures of my knees next time I'm in.

QUOTE]

Low Thyroid can cause aches and pains all over your body.
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