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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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high cholesterol
Posted by: alireza fazeli
Date: May 16, 2001 5:44 AM

Two years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was given the radioactive iodine treatment. I now have a low thyroid condition. My T-3 is 0.80, my T-4 is 68.2, T.S.H. is 26.8, Triglycerides 273, and my cholesterol is 226. My age is 24. I've read a bit on this website and understand that my eating patterns can help this situation, also less stress in my life. The doctor has explained that the 0.10 mg.? thyroxine may be causing my high cholesterol. In truth, I need to know what the right medicine I should be taking and to understand what I'm going through and what I should be doing. In the end, I'd like to get a referral of a doctor from you (I'm in the Seattle area) or a doctor I can work with through e-mail, but for the moment I would like to get your opinion of the questions I've asked.

RE: high cholesterol
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 16, 2001 10:58 AM

(I presume you meant you had HYPERthyroidism and were given radioactive iodine which rendered you hypothyroid.) If the thyroid is totally destroyed we have to consider the fact that the feedback mechanism with TSH no longer functions and that TSH is now useful only as an indicator of the success of replacement therapy. There are all sorts of prescription thyroid replacement preparations on the market. The very best one would be that one which exactly mimics the action of the thyroid gland. This turns out to not be available from any pharmaceutical company and must be "compounded" by a compounding pharmacy. So, you need a doctor who understands that there are such pharmacies (only a few hundred in the U.S.) which are old-time compounding pharmacies. Several generations of doctors have come and gone since pharmacists routinely compounded and doctors have come to think of colored pill counters as pharmacists. Call Dr. Jonathan Wright in Kent; he can direct you to a compounding pharmacy in your area. Hypothyroidism correlates highly with elevated cholesterol. It is simply a matter of slowed metabolism and the cholesterol river, so to speak, has a partial dam. There are other good docs in the Seattle level. You can use Find-A-Doctor/Doctor Referral Service for a list. For a person under 40 the best preparation is a combination of time release T3 and T4 with T4 being 4.8 times the dose of T3. The proper dose of T3 is determined first and then the T4 can be added. In a person over 40 the conversion from T4 to T3 can be impaired and it is better to use only time release T3. The preparation is taken every 12 hours as that is the period of release.

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