This is where I answer questions from you. If you want my input on your labs, please look under “Contact” for my mail address and what I need of info from you. I need good info to be able to give good answers. Remember to cover name and birth date on your lab papers. You must  always confer with your doctor. I can only share what I would have done in a similar situation. 

Hashimotos without Anti-TPO?

6th of March 2021

Hi Liv,
I just read your story. Thank you for being brave and publishing your story!!!
I go to doctors only for diagnosis, tests and referrals when such are required for insurance. I scrutinise and read and double-check everything they say when I can and have time. Because they just don’t care if they screw your life while following “protocols”.
I had subclinical hypothyroidism in my first and second pregnancy and I fought with doctors not to get levothyroxine because I felt great in both pregnancies (no nausea et al, just a bit more tired) and because the published studies don’t support medications for my levels. And my two babies are all good and healthy. And also, because I have read some people need time to get used to the side effects of the medication over time, if they can get used to it.
But now 6 months after the second baby my TSH jumped from 4 to 50. So I got a bit panicked and started searching for possible causes, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that is how I happened upon your blog.
I was severely sleep deprived for almost a month now and I have naturally low functioning thyroid. In my pregnancies I did the anti-TPO and it was always negative. And in my second pregnancy I had a spike of TSH to 8 after a sleepless week. So I think when I am sleep deprived TSH spikes to keep me awake. After this test, I immediately started on Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc on top of the usual Iodine. The vitamin tests are expensive (not very, but not in my budget right now), but my diet has been poor and I suspect a deficiency.
I will have another test in one week or two weeks time to check for all the thyroid markers, not just the TSH and I will think what to do next. I would like to have one more baby one year from now so I know my thyroid hormones have to be in check by then.
I also now (after reading your blog) suspect that my mom has had low level myxedema, or how you call it 1/2 myxedema. She has had her legs swollen and it looks like in the pictures. She could never figure it out why. And my grandmother who passed away I also suspect had myxedema. I learned of the term from your blog. So now I suspect that we have naturally low functioning thyroid. So when we are stressed, overworked, and deficient in minerals and vitamins from a poor diet our body naturally gives up. 
I will read what you have on the blog too!!
Many thanks and I wish you have a great and peaceful time ahead! So happy you found a good doctor. That is so rare!
Sending good thoughts from Moldova!!!!

Hi A!

So nice to hear from Moldova. I have never been there, but my brother has many times, as he lives part time in the Ukraine. 

I don’t actually think there is such a thing as naturally low thyroid. Low thyroid is hypo thyroid. Healthy people have quite similar levels. Women have a little lower FT3 and young people have a little higher levels than older people. I hope you will look at my post on optimal levels. There you will see what are normal levels, based on 3800 healthy people,  Optimal thyroid levels.

The “normal” ranges are not normal at all.  I hope you will note these ranges and compare with the labs you will have shortly. I believe your FT4 will be way too low with a TSH of 50. I don’t think resisting taking thyroid meds is a good idea. Every day we have a low FT3 damages us. A ft3 much under 4,5 pmol/L is not a normal FT3. If they use other units in Moldova, you can find a units converter on the net.  

So take meds if your levels are lower than  FT4 around 40% or range and FT3 around midrange. A normal TSH is around 2 for a young person, 1,5 for a grown up. 

The myth that one’s own thyroid stops producing hormones when one takes meds, is just a myth. You can continue to try to improve your own thyroid with Iodine and supplements. Remember that iron and magnesium are also very important. If your thyroid then starts producing more, or you convert better , you can decrease the medicine dose. 

Many do not have side effects from T4 meds. And there are different meds you can try out. I think you must have some alternatives also in Moldova. If you don’t feel good on them, after giving them a chance, you could try NDT. If it’s difficult to get that in Moldova, you could buy Thai thyroid meds. See my post on meds, Our thyroid medicines. But do give the T4 meds a chance. You might do well on them. I am sure you need meds with a TSH of 50. And read under optimal levels what are good levels when taking T4 medicine. 

Myxedema is really when one is very, very sick and hypothyroid. It will be difficult to function. 

I suspect you and your mother both have autoimmune thyrioditis. It is typical that it blossoms during and after pregnancy.  And for many, it will become a chronic condition. 90% of people with Hashimotos have Anti-TPO. So 10% do not.  Anti-TPO and Anti TG are the two main Hashimotos antibodies. I would urge you to have TG or Anti TG tested. That is thyroglobulin or Anti  thyroglobulin. If you have one of those over range, there is damage to the gland. You can read more about these tests here, for the thyroid newbie  . There are also people who have Hashimotos who don’t have antibodies at all.  This is a study on it, You see, that some patients have no antibodies. But when one looks at their glands with ultrasound, there is damage to it. These people have a milder form of Hashimotos., writes, that antibodies destroy the gland.  That is not correct.  It’s mainly b and t lymphocytes that cause the destruction. So you can have damage done by b and t lymphycytes to your gland even though you don’t have anti bodies.

I don’t know if you can have an ultrasound in Moldova. But both you and your mother should have one. I suspect your mother also needs thyroid meds. 

I hope this helps you. Iodine deficiency is a main contributor to hypo thyroidisme, also Hashimotos. So Iodine is VERY important. The 150 recommended mcg is too little. Testing iodine must be done in urine, not blood.  You are maybe at a disadvantage, living in Moldova.  When it comes to testing. But you are awake and aware, so I am sure you will do ok. 

Blessings Liv