Hyperthyroid and Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 06-21-2007, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've tried everything (herbs, Dom, pumping after each feeding, drinking plenty of water, eating regularly, resting as often as I can) to exclusively breastfeed, but I can't. Baby's still hungry so I got my thyroid tested. Doc called today and said thyroid's a bit high, so wants to put me on Synthroid.

I know Synthroid is safe for breastfeeding. My question is: I know hypOthyroid can present a problem for breastfeeding by making your supply low. Does hypERthyroid create problems as well, or am I going to jeopardize my supply even more by regulating my thyroid levels (5.6 at the moment)?

Any help and insight is appreciated, ladies. I don't know a lot about this and can't research it right now (speech therapy for the little one).

eva
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#2 of 8 Old 06-21-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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Hi Eva,

First of all, I wanted to confirm something. You said your thyroid level is HIGH, but taking Synthroid would only make it worse. Synthroid is for treating LOW thyroid (HYPO). However, there is part of a thyroid test panel called TSH, and that can be HIGH when your thyroid level is LOW, because that's the hormone that tells you thyroid glands to make more.

If your TSH was high, and your T3 or T4 levels are low, that can interfere with your supply and taking Synthroid will help get things back where they should be. Do you know if it was your TSH that was 5.6? (I'm a nurse )

If you were HYPER (HIGH) thyroid, you would be put on a totally different medication, possibly one called PTU, that is also safe for breastfeeding. However, it is more common for a mom to be LOW (HYPO) postpartum and need Synthroid.
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#3 of 8 Old 06-21-2007, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Timneh_Mom,

Thanks for responding. I just know that the nurse said I was high and that the Dr. was prescribing Synthroid. She specifically mentioned the number 5.6, but didn't actually say if that was my T3, T4, or TSH level. Sorry. I assumed it was TSH, because from the little I've had time to read, that's the only one that would be "a little high" at 5.6 (I believe the high end of the scale on that one is 4.something, right?). I initially assumed she meant by 'high' that I was hypERthyroid, but you're saying I'm probably hypOthyroid, if this number represents my TSH level. Am I understanding this correctly?

Thanks again!
eva
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#4 of 8 Old 06-21-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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Hello Eva,

It sounds like the nurse was referring to your TSH, at 5.6 it is too high - but the TSH gets too high when your thyroid hormone level is too low. In hypothyroidism, the TSH will be high. I know this is confusing! I just looked up the normal range and it will vary from lab to lab, but it's around 4.5.

The Synthroid will not only help you feel better, but it should help you make more milk as well... low thyroid moms often have problems with supply. Best of luck to you!
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#5 of 8 Old 06-22-2007, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your help. I appreciate your time and help in understanding the thyroid thing. It's not so confusing when you explain it.

eva
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#6 of 8 Old 06-22-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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Oh good! I'm glad it helped!

I was just thinking of an analogy for this. Your thyroid is like the gas in your car, and your TSH is like your foot pressing on the gas pedal. If you want to make the car go, you press the gas pedal. If it doesn't go at all, or goes slower than you want, you press harder. It's the same with TSH... thyroid in your body regulates EVERYTHING... like gas in your car makes it go. Don't have enough gas or run out? It doesn't go. Same with you.

I hope you start feeling better! Did they tell you it might take a month or so before your levels get up to where they should be? Hopefully you'll be feeling better before then though!
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#7 of 8 Old 06-22-2007, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They told me to come back in a month to check my levels. My cousin (who is also hypothyroid) told me it would take a while for the meds to kick in. I don't particularly care how long it takes...at least I'm on the right path now. Maybe it'll help with this constant tiredness I'm feeling (which I thought was just because I have 2 kids and a bar exam class to attend!).

Thank you so much for the gas analogy. It makes a lot more sense now. The doctor's office (I think) just assumed I knew what was what because I asked for a thyroid test when there were no other indicators that I needed one. But who thinks to complain that you're body temp is always off and you're tired with a newborn?

eva
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#8 of 8 Old 06-22-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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Yep low thyroid will make you feel tired and cold, it slows everything down... your digestion, metabolism... sometimes your hair and skin can even get dry.

Good luck on your exam! I know what you mean about being tired all the time, I've got two under three and found out a few weeks ago that I have mono... funny because I thought I was just tired from the kids!!
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