Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The T4 Wars: Experimenting - Part 7

At the time I left the Happy Nigerian, my TSH was 6+, a high number that indicates hypothyroidism. But TSH tests are moving targets. They can be different at various times of the day or week. I was certainly more hypo than the numbers indicated.

I was going into thyroid psychosis. At night, as I lay in bed, I heard people calling my name. I would jump up. Someone was outside the fence calling to me. But no one was there. I thought I was having a sort of waking dream.

Later I realized that these auditory hallucinations were the result of being too hypothyroid for too long. My previous doctor, C Kurt Alexander of Muncie IN, relentlessly followed TSH tests. These tests variously led him to reduce my meds or not raise them enough. Since, like all Endocrinologists, he doesn't consider symptoms, he did not see me slipping deeply into the hypo zone. Or he did not care. Probably both.

A month after taking the higher dose recommended by the Happy Nigerian, I was feeling better and no longer hearing voices. But the double vision and mind fog persisted.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.

From Mexico, I ordered T3 tabs, called cynomel in Mexico. From Thailand, I ordered Thyroid S, a tablet containing about 75% T4 and 25% T3.

T3 is the active hormone in the thyroid nexus. In normal people, T3 is made by a conversion process from T4 (the hormone contained in Synthroid and Levoxl). I wanted to see if T3 would improve my thinking and double vision.

It did but my experiments were not entirely successful.

I tried cutting down my T4 tab and adding half a T3 tab. Then adding T3, half tab, in the evening and morning. I tried taking a full dose of T4 and then adding half tabs of Thryoid S.

After six months, my experiments had both failed and succeeded. The failure was instructive. Taking a full dose of T3, propelled me into panic attacks so severe that I spent literally hours every day gasping for breath. I could not tolerate people around me. Could not tolerate 'problems.' I found myself in the emergency room where Ativan solved most of the panic symptoms. But I had definitely found the wrong dose of T3.

I was angry. Why the hell didn't my doctors use their freaking experience and help me find a combination that worked? Why was it left up to me?