Q. Years ago my symptoms of depression, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, intolerance to cold, cold hands and feet and fatigue led my doctor to test me and diagnose low thyroid function. He put me on Armour Thyroid. I took it for years, felt great and had no depression or any other symptoms.
Since his retirement no other doctor will prescribe it. They do a blood test, say my thyroid’s normal and that’s that.
Over the past ten years I’ve had many depressive episodes. I’m currently taking Prozac and Effexor, but all my old symptoms are back along with new ones: dry skin, brittle nails, dry hair, difficulty focusing and low energy. My once thick eyebrows are very thin now, especially at the outer edges. Where can I find out more about thyroid problems and how results of a blood test should be interpreted?
A. The symptoms you describe are typical of an underactive thyroid gland. Blood tests are essential, but may not tell the whole story. In fact, antidepressants such as Prozac and Effexor can occasionally disrupt normal thyroid function.
You need to consult an endocrinologist who will review your history and symptoms when interpreting your blood tests. Thyroid experts are finding that some patients need T3 as well as T4. Both these thyroid hormones are supplied by the Armour product.
We are sending you our Guide to Thyroid Hormones which has more information and will help you interpret test results.