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Do I need lifelong treatment for high TSH levels?

Q: I am a 40 years old male diagnosed with high TSH levels ranging 7.1 and 8.2 at two different laboratories. I suffer from joint pains, depression, borderline cholesterol, blood pressure (BP) - 130/90 mm/hg, borderline diabetes, borderline Homocystine. I am taking Thyronorm (0.5 mcg) for the last two weeks. My body mass index (BMI) is 26.2. Do I need to take medicines for life long? How can TSH level be managed?

A:In your case it seems you need thyroid hormone treatment (Thyronorm) as you are symptomatic and overweight. This might help you. If your anti-TPO is strongly positive then you are likely to have a progressive disease and might need medication for a long time, may be life long. Some of your symptoms are due to your weight so you need to do something about that. I would suggest you to get your TSH after 6 weeks of Thyronorm and if TSH is normal then continue same dose otherwise contact your doctor. Also get your anti-TPO done to know your autoimmunity. If anti-TPO is negative then you can always try to stop medication and see whether you maintain normal thyroid status without medications or not. Remember give 4-6 weeks time to see TSH after changing dose or starting thyroxine.


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