How does treatment for overactive thyroid work?

I’m worried about my friend. She was diagnosed 18 months ago after a routine eye test. She went to the Eye Hospital first and was told she had TED and advised to get her thyroid tested. Three tests later (all flagged by the lab), her GP finally put her on carb and referred her to the hospital.

She’s been on carb ever since, at various doses, until this week when she went back to the hospital again. She hadn’t been since before Christmas.

This time, egged on by me, she actually got her results. They came back as TSH 4.41 (0.35-6) and FT4 12.6 (9-26). The endo told her she had ‘gone too far’, took her off the carb there and then and doesn’t want to see her for another six months.

What happens now? Does the fact that she’s off the carb mean that, if she’s naturally disposed to be overactive, her thyroid function will increase again and balance out, or is she now doomed to be hypo?

I’m actually quite worried about her, she’s had hypo symptoms all the way through, always cold, layers of clothing even in this weather, brain fog etc, but her eyes are still prominent, she's very thin and she has now lost more than half of her hair.

5 Replies

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  • She was over medicated, Anstey, causing her to become hypo. If she was having regular blood tests whoever was monitoring her ought to have reduced her Carbimazole to prevent it.

    The endo is right to take her off medication. 12/18 months on Carbimazole often regulates hyperactivity and patients can be considered to be in remission if they don't go hyper within 12 months. Graves, is more tricky though and remission isn't always achieved which means more Carbimazole or thyroidectomy. RAI is contraindicated for Graves patients with Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) and can often make the condition worse. I would recommend your friend sees an opthalmologist to monitor her eyes.

    Evening primrose oil and Biotin have been said to help with hair loss/thinning but it can take up to a year to feel benefits.

    huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/... Don't worry about the scaremongering, scroll down to comments.

    thyroid-info.com/articles/h...

    well-women.com/hairloss.html

  • Sorry to hijack this post but would like to ask Clutter her opinion. My boyfriend has thyroid/adrenal problems and I have noticed patches of baldness. Do you think it would be ok to give him Evening Primrose and Biotin for hair loss?

  • If it's thyroid related I don't see why not but if it's male pattern baldness I don't know if anything will help.

  • Thank you Clutter, I agree.

  • Thanks Clutter - that's helpful.

    She was not really being monitored. It was six months since her last endo appointment and she was discharged after one appointment by the Eye Hospital.

    I rather fear that she has not had the standard of treatment she might have hoped for. She is clearly very unwell and has been all through.

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