Question Re: TSH and Effexor

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I developed ME/CFS symptoms last August after a bad kidney infection. In the fall I only needed to lie down two times per day for an hour each time, but since December my fatigue has increased and in late January I was bedridden with stomach pain and diarrhoea. Currently I can only be up for 20 to 35 minutes and then must lie down for one hour.

My TSH before I got sick was 1.8, by December it was 3.7 and it's now 4.38. My doctor said it's normal and won't test for antibodies or T4. Meanwhile my counsellor is recommending that I see a naturopath to start thyroid treatment early.

I did have a colonoscopy about a month ago and will get the results next week.

The psychiatrist wants to change my current anxiety medication Paxil for Effexor, which I'm nervous about since getting off Paxil will be very difficult. My decision on this is to reduce the Paxil for now as the Paxil may be causing some of the stomach issues but not to switch to Effexor until I'm more mentally and physically stable. (I've been on Paxil for 20 years for panic disorder, it's worked fantastically.)

My questions are do you think it's worth treating my thyroid now? I figure considering how rapidly the TSH is ticking up and how the fatigue has correlated with the increasing TSH that it's worth starting thyroid medication now.

Also has anyone been on Effexor for both anxiety and ME/CFS? The psychiatrist is recommending Effexor because it works on both serotonin and norepinephrine and may help my fatigue.
 
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My TSH before I got sick was 1.8, by December it was 3.7 and it's now 4.38. My doctor said it's normal
TSH is a poor indicator of thyroid status. It's produced by the pituitary gland in response to signals from the endocrine system, including the thyroid, but it doesn't really measure what your thyroid is doing, or how much ....

Your Dr can say that your reading is 'normal', however abnormal it is, because the range for 'normal' TSH readings can go from 1.5 to 6.5 on the scale, making it easy for Drs to dismiss their patient's concerns, which is more or less the Drs 'Holy Grail'. And which is probably why a frequently disproven measure of thyroid health is still in standard usage.

If you can wheedle your Dr into a full-spectrum thyroid panel (and it's pathetic that we have to 'wheedle' basic standard of care from our medical 'professionals'), you'll have a much better idea of what's going on, and where the shortfall is.
The psychiatrist wants to change my current anxiety medication Paxil for Effexor,
Like you, I dont think this is either a well thought-out recommendation, or a particularly good idea.

Your concept of slowly reducing your Paxil seems like a much better one.

EDIT FOR P.S.
Commonly prescribed anti-d's, including SSRI's, can affect the thyroid, reducing T4 levels by over 11%. They can also affect hormone signaling from the hypothalamus, which would limit hormone production even further ...
 
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