Q. I struggled for years with hair loss, dry skin and tiredness all the time. I was finally sent to an endocrinologist who discovered I have Hashimoto’s disease and prescribed Armour Thyroid.

Now that I take this natural hormone, my hair is not falling out, my fingernails and toenails grow, my skin is not as dry, my monthly cycle is not as heavy and to my amazement I have much better mental clarity. I used to feel like I was in a haze sometimes. I never understood why, but that is one of the symptoms of low thyroid as well.

Hashimoto’s disease is said to be one of the leading causes of thyroid problems. In this autoimmune disease, the body creates antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. I am grateful that my doctor finally listened to me and ran the blood test for this diagnosis.

A. We’re glad you were finally diagnosed correctly. Thyroid disorders are common and your symptoms were classic. Armour thyroid is an old-fashioned treatment for hypothyroidism and many doctors no longer prescribe it. Some readers report, however, that they feel better on this than on synthetic levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levothroid, Levoxyl) that only contains T4. We discuss the use of Armour Thyroid and the importance of balancing T3 and T4 in our Guide to Thyroid Hormones.

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  1. MRS. D

    what does it mean when you are no longer converting the T-4 and how do you

    treat it …………………….?

  2. KA

    I have Hashimoto’s for about 20 years and Graves for about 10. I had Radioactive Iodine about 5 years ago and have not been well regulated since. For me, a TSH of 6.0 is way too high and I have full symptoms including weight gain with very little food intake. My previous Endocrinologist believed that a TSH around 1.0 was optimal and my new doctor does not agree (I just moved), so I’m actively looking for another doctor.
    I’ve found information on the internet about acceptable ranges and see that recommendations for “normal” are changing over time. If you like this doctor, take him/her some documentation on this and gauge the response.

  3. Kathy

    My endocrinologist said most people feel at their optimum when their TSH is between 1 and 2. I can no longer see the endo without a referral and my primary care physician doesn’t feel I need one. My TSH has been between .5 and 1.5 so I guess I’m doing O.K.

  4. SG

    A few years ago, the Journal of Endocrinology published new guidelines for TSH levels which state that 0.3 to 3.0 is now considered the appropriate range.
    When my TSH was 6.5, my blood pressure was low enough to be considered shock. I now take a compounded T3 and T4 medication prescribed by an endocrinologist. I’m not quite there yet, but feeling much better and participating in life again. Best wishes, you need a new doc!

  5. C.M.

    I was diagnosed 8 years ago with Hypothyroidism. I take 100mcg of Synthroid but I have never really felt well again. No energy,dry skin, 30 extra pounds.
    My TSH is 6. Everything I read says that is high but my Doctors say that is a good enough number and won’t consider trying anything else.
    Does anyone have a suggestion?

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