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Thyroid and Fertility

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow TTCers,

I don't hang out here much anymore, but wanted to share some info that I found during my TTC journey in hopes that it might give others a shorter path.

To summarize some of the highlights from what I've been reading: hypothyroid is way, way underdiagnosed, one of the indications of hypothyroid is fertility problems (not that all fertility problems are related to thyroid, but I sure am starting to wonder how many women have unexplained fertility problems and undiagnosed hypothyroidism), TSH tests should be between 1 and 2 for optimal fertility, TSH numbers DO NOT give the whole picture, synthroid can put your TSH numbers in the normal range and NOT relieve symptoms, synthroid is only T4 and your body needs to be able to convert T4 to T3 so if your doc is only looking at TSH numbers and T4 numbers he/she may be missing the fact that you're having difficulty converting T4 to T3, which means that synthroid or levothroid or any other T4 only drug may not be the answer. Something like armourthyroid or westhroid includes T3 and many people have better results on those medications rather than synthroid alone or synthroid with synthetic T3.

Docs should also test for thyroid antibodies to rule out for Grave's and Hashimoto's. Women with thyroid antibodies are at a higher risk for miscarriage and tend to have difficulties with IUI and IVF. 3-5% of women with autoimmune thyroid problems also have celeiac disease and in response to a gluten free diet the thyroid antibodies can decrease or no longer show up.

Iodine deficiency runs pretty high in this country. Iodized salt is enough to minimize goiter growth, but isn't necessarily enough for optimal iodine levels. Low iodine levels can be a factor in fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts.

Soy is bad news for thyroids. Fermented soy doesn't seem to cause the same problems, but unfermented soy (soy cheese, tofu, soy milk, soy protein powder, etc.). "A study in humans found that daily soy consumption resluted in symptom sof hypothyroidism and goiters in 50% of subjects. These hypothyroid symptoms resolved one month after stopping soy ingestion." Overcoming Thyroid Disorders by David Brownstein, M.D.

The more I learn, the more frustrated and just plain angry I get over the fact that this information is so freakin' pertinent and so overlooked My endocrinologist seems to think that as long as my numbers look good, all is well and then has the nerve to tell me that synthroid's the only med that's been adequately tested which is a total LIE because there have been so many problems with potency and synthroid it's ridiculous. When I told him I hit bottom in July and then started to perk up with my new bottle of meds he looked totally shocked that there could even be the possibility of a bad batch. What planet does he live on?! And why do I have to be the expert here?! Sorry for the vent, I'm just completely frustrated and irritated that I'm having such a hard time finding the medical support I want when it's becoming more and more obvious to me the kind of help I need. It's such a shame that DCs can't prescribe drugs because I have such a great one.

At anyrate, if anyone wants to pick my brain more feel free to PM me. Sources I've used for info:
Dr. Brownstein I ordered three of his books and his videotape - really good info and some things you could implement right off the bat, but not enough info to quite do everything on your own

About Thyroid Fabulous source of info - has sections on pregnancy and fertility, as well as a list of recommended docs by state and area

Weston A. Price soy alert

Good luck with the baby making!

post #2 of 9
Thanks for the information. I have a low thyroid. Actually, I decided to do some ofmy own research and discovered that soya milk was terrible for thyroids. Well, here I was downing a HUGE glass everyday thinking I was being healthy. My PMS was out of this world crazy and my thyroid was getting worse. I had bloating, cramping, you name it, I had it. Well, one month off soya completely. Including all the soya in salad dressing, bread (it's in practically everything) I feel a world better. I also started taking vitex which really helped put me on track.
Kelp is supposed to be really good as it has iodine in it. Any vegetable from the sea apparently.
Anyway, gotta run or I'd babble on more. You are so right about the disappointent we learn from doctors as we, ourselves become more informed. When I asked my doctor what I could do to help my thyroid she simply said , "nothing". Yeah right. Thanks lady. Perhaps they should spend sometime reading. I'm starting to think i'm smarter than my doctor.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hopeful130
Perhaps they should spend sometime reading. I'm starting to think i'm smarter than my doctor.

Oh yeah - I totally agree!! I know there's a lot to be said about being an informed patient and being a participant in your own healthcare, but I gotta say I'm getting a little tired of trying to stay on top of it all.

That's very cool to hear that eliminating soy helped you so much. I just started paying more attention to sources of soy oil - you're right, it is in everything! I just made a batch of mayonaise last night using coconut oil and olive oil. Turned out pretty good.

Well glad to hear you're feeling better

post #4 of 9
Great Post! I totally agree. I was able to have a stable thyroid after switching from synthyroid to eltroxyn and taking a timed-release T-3.
Homeopathy also helped keep it stable.

I know what you mean about endo. doc's.! The first one I saw for years was clueless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second knew about the synthroid scam and the class action suite against them for not keeping med levels straight.

Kudos on the post again! Not enough people know about this problem and how it can go undetected for years and years, I was one of these people! It was a naturepath that diagnosed the problem by just asking me a couple questions and he sent me back to my MD for a TSH and free T4 test to confirm. He saved my life 7 years ago.

Once my thryoid was stable I conceived right away and I've been stable for over 2.5yrs now. Its now the bf'ing that keeps me from conceiving this time!

Good luck all!
post #5 of 9
hi, I hope it's ok if I post a question about thyroid?
I recently started charting tta and I 've noticed my pre-o temps are always 96.5-97 degrees. In TCOYF she says low waking temps can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. I have concieved twice before but that was 2 years ago and I wasn't charting then. I guess my question is do you know if low temps are *always* a symptom of a thyroid problem? Could I just have normally low waking temps? The only other possible symptoms i have are fatigue and forgetfulness, although I don't think I am more fatigued or forgetful now than I was a few years ago. I haven't been able to find anything about low waking temps specifically but am starting to read through those links the op posted.
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by firecat
The only other possible symptoms i have are fatigue and forgetfulness, although I don't think I am more fatigued or forgetful now than I was a few years ago. I haven't been able to find anything about low waking temps specifically but am starting to read through those links the op posted.
Firecat: I don't know about temps., I've never done them. Symptoms can vary from one to the next within a large range of symptoms. For me, my worst symptoms have been: extreme fatigue. Unable to fall asleep; sleep not deep enough; never wake refreshed; heavy periods; depression; extreme constipation; dull skin; poor digestion (i felt food sit around in stomach; lots and lots of gas after eating; needed to take digestive enzymes); emotional outbursts; felt slow and sluggish; weight gain, an average of 10lbs. a year; lots of colds and flus.

In reality, all systems slow down to that of molasses in January: endocrine, digestive, cardiovascular (heart beats more slowly), immune system (white blood cells move slowly too).

All i can say is to go get it checked out! Its so important to well being
Take care
post #7 of 9
I have Graves, and had my thyroid removed in 98. Now I am hypo and my endo is a butthead for not listening to me about T3. MY TSH levels are very very low, almost non-existant but he says my T4 looks a little high, so I have gone from .350 to .300mcg during my last pregnancy, and now my 2nd child has congenital hypo! How fun!
Im starting to run out of doctors here. I have about 4 left in my state I haven't seen yet, so the search continues for a doctor who takes interest in their field, enough so to question and research to help his patient.
It is so frustrating!
Anyone on CT have a reccomentation for doctors?
Thanks for letting me rant!


also- good site for info and reading material

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hypothyroid is not the only thing that can cause low temps. Apparently adrenal fatigue is another factor, although adrenals and thyroid are greatly interconnected. I'm sure there are other factors as well. The more I learn the more I think it's not a bad idea to ask for thyroid testing if you're having some symptoms. Couldn't hurt, might help. I would strongly suggest that you ask for TSH, FREE T4 (not just the regular) AND Free T3 (they don't usually ask for T3 and it's really important), as well as thyroid antibodies.

So sorry to hear about your thyroid difficulties and your baby's thyroid problem. How frustrating! Have you looked at the "top docs" listed at the about.thyroid website? It's a listing of patient recommended docs, and there's also a link to docs who prescribe armourthyroid - I think those docs tend to be a little more willing to think outside the box. Good luck!

post #9 of 9
thanks lisa and mimi,
for the info. I am not sure what i am going to do yet, I probably won't get tested right now but will if I have trouble getting preggo one I start ttc. Or of I start feeling bad. I really feel fine, actually I am enjoying winter for the first time in a few years. Usually I hate winter because of the cold.
so I will probably continue to do some research. a friend of mine told me that low temps can sometimes be normal, so we'll see
thanks again,
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