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What q's should I ask my dr?

Forum: Thyroid Disorders


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September 18th, 2009, 11:13 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 6,700
I never knew much about hypothyroidism before...I was diagnosed about 5 years ago, have been taking Synthryoid (well, the generic, Levothyroxine) ever since. I go and get tested when my dr says I should....they call the pharmacy and adjust my dosage as they see fit. I just take my pill as I am told. The three times I've been pregnant, I am tested more often (at my thyroid dr AND my OB's offices). My mom and grandmother are both hypo, take the same meds as me. I never questioned much really.

I came here and it seems like you girls are much more aware of everything.....like, I never got any test results on paper until just last month b/c I had to bring a copy to my OB. So I didn't know what they tested for. Only TSH is listed on the paper and I see some of you are tested for t3/t4 etc. (maybe mine does sometimes but just not this time? idk!) I know zilch about Graves' and Hashimotos (sp?) and am only just discovering there are certain meds that are contraindicated with thyroid meds.....

So, next month I go back to my dr. What q's should I ask? I don't even know how to word them...do I say "have you ever tested my t3/t4 levels?" or what? I will feel silly asking him something that makes no sense lol. Should I ask him "do I have hashimotos?" or.......if someone could just help me out with a list of q's, that'd be great!
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September 18th, 2009, 11:21 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 6,700
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September 19th, 2009, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 52
Here's some suggestions:

Tell him that you want a more thorough panel than you normally have had. Instead of just TSH you want T3 and t4 on your panel. He might tell you that you don't need it....stand your ground and tell him what you want.

Tell him you want a copy of them sent to you...you can also reinterate this when the nurse calls you with your levels...tell her you want a copy sent to you.

I think your regular doctor can test for Hashimoto's but maybe not. It is a specialized blood panel (and expensive). My endo did it and she did it twice to verify. But I would ask. Tell him you want to see if you have the antibodies in your blood and if you have Hashimoto's . The full name is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It would not change your treatment if you have it but it's good to know.

As an extra tidbit...I would think about getting on name brand synthroid. Generics can differ widely based on manufacturers. Name brand never varies and sometimes acts better in your system. If you want name brand then talk to your doctor and have him write the prescription for "name brand only"

I hope this helps.
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September 19th, 2009, 12:06 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 6,700
Ok the testing q's sound easy enough. I wonder if my insurance will pay for the Hashimoto's test? We are on a very limited budget with only one income and def struggling.

I've taken the name brand before, b/c my dr gave me samples. They only keep certain dosages in samples in their office though, so when my dosage change to something they didn't have, I had to have a script filled at the pharmacy and my insurance will only pay for generics. I am not sure I could afford to pay full price for the brand name. Is there some discount program that you know of ?
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September 20th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 52
ok, you can just call and ask your clinic how much the hashi panel costs...if they have it....and if your insurance covers it....it's as simple as that.

As for brand name cost....the 75 mcg dosage costs about 20.00 a month. Synthroid doesn't cost a lot because it's a widely used drug. As the dosage goes up, so does the price.

YOu don't HAVE to go to name brand, especially if your generic is doing well. It's just that name brand is more reliable and will never vary.

If your doctor writes the Rx for name brand only then your insurance HAS to provide the name brand. Generic is the default but they have to follow doctor's orders.

Hope this helps.
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September 20th, 2009, 06:13 AM
~InHisHands~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: US - Alabama
Posts: 12,675
I agree with flowergal! Also here is the recource I used when asking questions a long time ago... Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism -- Six Questions to Ask Your Doctor / Answers to Some Common Questions.

The 3rd question in this list deals with generic drugs & why you shouldn't take them for hypo. I also highly recommend reading, if you haven't already, Living Well with Hypothyroidism by Mary J. Shomon. This book is how I learned most everything I know about hypo.

As far as your last question, I don't really know of any discount programs but I can tell you from my experience that armour is the cheapest thyroid medicine overall & if you are going to go with the straight T4 route, Levothroid is the cheapest (paying full price for Levo was cheaper than paying my copay for synthroid ).

This is a chart of price comparison's from 2007, Sticking Out Our Necks (Mary Shomon's newsletter):
Levothroid... 100 mcg... ~ 1 month supply... $9.99
Levoxyl... 100 mcg... ~ 1 month supply... $11.99
Synthroid... 100 mcg... ~ 1 month supply... $14.70
Generic... 100 mcg... ~ 1 month supply... $12.43
Armour... 60 mg... ~ 1 month supply... $7.99

GL! Oh, I do plan on responding to your other post too but may have to come back to it after church.

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September 20th, 2009, 12:22 PM
The Purple Butterfly's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 10,118
My first suggestion to you would be to check out the stickies for Information Links and learn what you can. You don't want to go in there just saying things and have no idea what they mean.... trust me he will detect that and speak some mumbo jumbo that you won't understand and talk you out of what you really need. Mary Shomon has a book I HIGHLY recommend. Education will be the best tool. Also, when asking for the tests, be sure you ask for the FREE T3 and FREE T4. The reg T3/T4 won't really help with the big picture.
Stacey, wife to Allan & mom to:

Last edited by The Purple Butterfly; September 20th, 2009 at 12:28 PM.
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September 20th, 2009, 01:40 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 6,700
ok, so FREE t3/t4....gonna remember that.

right now i only have to pay $1 for levothyroxine no matter what dosage (i've been on 88, 100, 112, and now 125) normally it's $4 without insurance, but now since i'm pg i have LA-moms (medicaid) insurance, it's only $1/month supply.

will def ask about the hashi tests and mom says she has several books at her house (maybe one is the one you girls suggested above) so i will get to reading!
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