The People's Perspective on Medicine

New Study Reveals Why 1 in 6 Hypothyroid Patients Still Feels Bad on Levothyroxine

Doctors often treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) with levothyroxine (T4). New research is revealing that many people also need T3 to feel good.
Problems with thyroid nurse examining a patient

What do you think the # 1 most prescribed drug in America is? No, it’s not a statin. According to the last statistics we have seen it is a drug for thyroid replacement called levothyroxine. Over 120 million prescriptions were dispensed annually. Did you know that one of the most controversial and contentious issues in endocrinology has to do with the best treatment for hypothyroidism. Most doctors insist that standard treatment with levothyroxine (L-T4, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tirosint, Unithroid) is the answer to a sluggish or inactive thyroid gland. They reject natural thyroid or supplementation with T3 (Cytomel or compounded slow-release products) as unnecessary or unreliable.

Why Levothyroxine Alone Might Not Be Adequate

Many people with hypothyroidism (estimates range from 12 to 15% of patients or higher) complain of symptoms when they are treated with standard levothyroxine. Even when blood tests (TSH & TH) suggest that thyroid function is normalized, these individuals feel like crap. They complain of fatigue, impaired cognition or “foggy brain,” weight gain, and general malaise.

Until now, many endocrinologists and a lot of primary care physicians were inclined to chalk up such complaints as psychosomatic, ie, all in the head. They did not wish to contemplate a problem with the standard treatment regimen. That is starting to change. A splendid article published in one of the most cautious and respected medical journals in the world, the Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 5, 2016, offers a nuanced insights into patient management.

The article is titled “The History and Future of Treatment of Hypothyroidism.” You can access the full article for free at this link. The authors point out that 10% to 15% of patients treated with standard levothyroxine “monotherapy” are “dissatisfied as a result of residual symptoms of hypothyroidism, including neurocognitive impairment…” In other words, patients often complained of symptoms such as brain fog, confusion, fatigue or depression even after their lab tests appeared to be normalized.

Here is just one example from a visitor to our website:

“I have been on Synthroid for 40 years. I definitely have problems that have grown over the years. I go for my TSH blood test and it comes back within the normal range. So the doctor prescribes my usual .125 mg Synthroid and sends me on my way.

“When I show him my swollen feet and legs and the stasis dermatitis now forming on my lower legs, he says, “You have venous insufficiency. Wear compression stockings and elevate your legs as much as possible.”

“When I had two separate incidents of depression and anxiety, I was prescribed the antidepressant Paxil. I took myself off that after one year when my legs swelled up even more than usual.

“I suffer from constipation, lack of energy and lower back pain and have not been able to lose weight for years. My muscles ache all the time and my feet hurt constantly when I walk very far.

“I ‘ll be 66 years old in a few weeks and I feel like I am 80. I read all the articles and am very aware of the foods I should and should not eat. All my doctor cares about is the TSH test, and as long as the result comes back within the normal range he is happy and assumes all is well with my thyroid.” K.H.

How Do We Get from T4 to T3?

To understand the complexity of thyroid supplementation, we need to take a quick detour into some basic biology. Don’t panic! We will do our best to make this understandable.

The thyroid gland makes a few hormones but we are only going to focus on two, T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). The numbers T4 and T3 represent the number of iodine atoms ( 4 and 3 respectively) attached to the basic hormone structure.

Thyroxine (T4) is a prohormone and is relatively inactive. It has to be converted to T3 by the body. An enzyme removes one of the iodine atoms to accomplish this. As much as 80% of T4 is converted to T3. T3 is three to five times more potent than T4. So the efficient conversion of T4 to T3 is critical, and levels of circulating “free” T3 are essential to well being.

The New Discovery

Okay, before your eyes glaze over, let’s get to the new and exciting research. A team of investigators led by endocrinologists at Rush University Medical Center (in Chicago, IL) has published studies in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (online, Jan 2, 2015) and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (online, Jan. 8, 2015).

Their animal research involved removing rat thyroid glands. When the scientists tried to normalize hormone levels with just levothyroxine (L-T4) they were unsuccessful. The animals demonstrated signs of hypothyroidism, especially within the brain, which might account for why some humans complain of cognitive dysfunction on T4 alone. The investigators were able to normalize circulating T3 levels and improve symptoms by supplementing T4 with extra T3.

Their human study uncovered genetic variability in patients suffering from hypothyroidism. They estimate that the mutation exists in 12% to 36% of the population. It makes it harder to convert T4 to T3. The scientists detected negative brain changes in patients that have difficulty making the T4 to T3 conversion. Such patients generally prefer a treatment regimen that involves both levothyroxine together with T3 supplementation (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (May, 2009).

Old Beliefs Die hard

A few generations of endocrinologists and primary care physicians learned that the only thing that matters when monitoring thyroid function in hypothyroid patients is TSH levels. And the only treatment needed is levothyroxine. Changing such entrenched beliefs is not easy. Although many patients do just fine with such an approach, there appear to be many others who do not. The overview in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that a more nuanced, personalized approach may be the wave of the future for people with hypothyroidism.

Patient Stories

Pat says:

“I had blood work done a few months ago for thyroid function. My primary care physician states that the test showed that my TSH was normal…12.9.

“I said, ‘what about the test for t3 and t4 levels?’ The doc stated that further testing wouldn’t be required if the TSH levels were in normal range. From what I have been reading, 12.9 seems to be a high normal. Is there some verification on what the normal range is for TSH?

” have been loosing hair, have dry skin, fatigue, and depression, which could also be attributed to the high blood pressure medication that I’ve been using (amlodipine), which I have titrated off of. My blood pressure is still high, (withdrawal symptoms or the rebound effect). My life is continual stress along with all the other work and effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Neil in the UK shared this:

“I’m a 55 year old man. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2011 (TSH 98). I was tarted on levothyoxine and ended up balanced after 6 months. I was still tired with foggy thinking, aches and insomnia.

“They the tested me yearly and I remained within normal limits. I’ve no idea what my T4 and T3 level are as the Dr. won’t tell me. Last autumn my TSH was 9.5 so they increased my dose of levo from 150 mcg to 175. My TSH fell to 0.05 so they cut me back to 125 mcg. My TSH is now 70.

“For the entire time I have been on  levothroxine I’ve felt bad no matter what my TSH levels are. I don’t know what to do in order to feel better. They don’t offer T3 in the UK.”

Other Patient Stories:

My daughter has had hypothyroidism since she was 12. She is now 28 and took Synthroid up until 2 years ago. She felt lousy and was tired and her hair fell out and she had dry skin, even though they said her levels were fine! Well she started to take Armour Thyroid two years ago and there was a huge difference!

“She feels better and was also able to lose 60 lbs over the past 2 years. She couldn’t lose any before, as hard as she worked at it. I highly recommend Armour instead of the Synthroid!” J.F.

I have struggled with thyroid problems since I was 8. At age 57, I’ve had thyroid cancer twice, 2 surgeries & now high dose radiation/ablation. My last surgery was 18 months ago & I have gained 18 pounds since then.

“I have no energy & struggle to stay awake. My hair & nails are falling off. I’ve been getting weekly iron IV infusions yet my red blood cell & ferritin levels as well as thyroid levels remain low.”

“For years I took Armour Thyroid & was happy & healthy. Now I’m told I MUST take Synthroid even though I feel it’s ruining my life. I’m in my doctor’s waiting room now; I plan to show him these articles & ask for Armour. It’s hard to imagine the damage levothyroxine has done to my life unless you have lived it. I urge all people taking Synthroid but feeling poorly to tell their doctor & give Armour a try.” Shasha

“I have taken Armour Thyroid, Synthroid and Levothroid at various times. The ONLY one of the 3 that did not give me major side effects has been the Armour Thyroid. I have much more energy, no headaches and no fatigue like I have with the synthetic products.” Diane

We are not beating the drum for Armour Thyroid or any particular brand of natural or synthetic thyroid hormone. Some doctors prescribe levothyroxine and supplement it with Cytomel (T3) or with a special timed-release T3 formulation that compounding pharmacists can make. This creates more balanced T4 and T3 levels circulating within the body.

If you are intrigued by this thyroid discussion we think you will find our newly revised 25-page Guide to Thyroid Hormones of great interest. Not only does it go into much greater depth regarding treatment options, it provides information about thyroid testing that you may not find anyplace else.

Thyroid hormones are essential for normal body functioning. Getting the balance adjusted is a little like Goldilocks and the porridge; not too hot, not too cold, not too much and not too little. We want you to get it just right. Here is a link to our new guide.

If your physician wants a more authoritative resource, suggest she check out the article in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are endocrinologists. And if you really want to understand this complex story, take some time to listen to our extended interview with one of the authors, Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD. It is free and your doctor may wish to listen as well. Here is a link.

Please share this information with anyone you think would be interested. Comment below in the “Add My Thoughts” section and please vote on this article at the top of the page. We appreciate the feedback. We hope our Guide to Thyroid Hormones will also provide an in-depth understanding of this complex topic.

Revised: 1/12/17

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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As I read all of these experiences with Levothyroxine, I am frightened to death over the fact that I am scheduled to have my thyroid gland removed next month due to compression symptoms.
Am I putting myself on death row???
I am so confused. I don’t want to regret removing it, but in the meantime, I do need to breathe!!

Lisa, most people who have thyroid surgery do pretty well after some adjustment. They don’t write comments online because they are feeling well. So, talk to your doctor about your concerns and make sure you have an endocrinologist who will work with you on the replacement thyroid medicine so that you feel good. Best of luck!

Recently I was diagnosed with thyroiditis and people with thyroiditis can experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism. I feel tired all time and no energy, I get dizzy and lightheaded, I feel like my equilibrium is out of whack. When I’m walking I feel like I’m leaning to one side, feels like I could fall over.

I have muscle aches and pain, especially in my legs sometimes. My doctor is supposed to set me up an appointment with a thyroid specialist. I will be so glad when she does cause I am sick and tired of feeling this way, it sucks when you feel lousy 24/7.

I have been like this for a very long time now, but I never said anything cause I was too afraid and I didn’t want nobody to worry. It’s my own fault why I waited this long to say something, but I am so glad I am getting something done about it now. I do not wish thyroid problems on nobody.

I tried to take Levoxyl and it made me feel terrible, so we switched to Tirosint. I was doing okay on it until recently. In Feb 2018 I was on 100mcg and my TSH was 2.05 so we increased my dose to 112mcg and shortly after, I began to feel lousy. I tried skipping a day or two, then taking 100mcg and I feel horrible. So now I’m inclined to skip it all together and leave my endocrinologist for my regular MD and ask to start a low dose of Armour; I’ve never taken this medication, however, I’m willing to try it, if in fact, it’s necessary to bring my levels into range and will make me feel better than this. – I’m exhausted — depressed — frustrated — overwhelmed — irritated by the whole thing.

I need help… my TSH is at 36 due to a compounding pharmacist giving me the wrong medication. I’m now taking 39.5 micrograms of Tirosint per day, the only medication I can currently take. I need to take more thyroid medication but my body, for some reason, is blocking my taking any more medication. If I take 1 more microgram a week I get extreme hyper symptoms. It’s physiological. I’m on high doses of blood pressure medication and beta-blockers. I had my thyroid removed many years ago. Five doctors have tested everything and can’t come up with an answer. Top doctors in San Diego and Los Angeles tell me that if I can’t get more medication in me there is strong possibility I could die.

To make things worse, in October 2017 I was diagnosed with lung cancer and need surgery but with my TSH number so high doctors have said I would not wake up after the surgery.

Has anyone had a problem like this and has found an answer?

I’m a woman age 67 soon to be 68. The doc put me on levo which lasted a week. Then told doc that I had pain in my back and under breast area. Now for 4 days on armor I feel better but did you know hypothyroidism is 90% diet? 10 % stress? I’m cleaning up my diet which was poor. I now eat NO WHEAT or sugars, use green stevia; eat carrots, celery, asparagus, avocado 3 times a week, at least oils like coconut and olive. I use almond flour and almond or coconut milk.
People can feel depressed and suicidal with thyroid problems and mood changes. Good luck.

I have been on levothyroxine 75mcg for 3 years. I still feel like crap and don’t really live life. The levothyroxine really helped for a few weeks but then the symptoms came back. Since my levels are better, my doctor thinks that I’m fine. I’ve tried convincing him to add cyntomel or switch me to armour. He’s only looking at blood tests and not listening to how bad I feel. I think he thinks it’s all in my head. I just want my life back.

I was on levrothyroxine for years – still felt terrible and couldnt think clearly. It was hard to do my job. I kept going to the doctor and told her how bad I felt all the time and the terrible brain fog. It was hard to hold a conversation! Anyway, finally the doctor said she would try me on liothyronine in addition to my levrothyroxine. It has changed my life! I feel normal again for the first time in 14 years. Please have your doctor consider this option.

I had a sub thyroidectomy over 30 years ago for graves, they said i had normal bloods after it for years! but to be honest I never ever felt 100%, my hair never grew longer than shoulders it snapped off at that lengh, my skin was dry and I had not the normal energy of a 20 yrs old.

I tried to have a baby when 27 yrs old, but just couldn’t fall pregnant so i am guessing thyroid must of been to low for many years my thyroid was tested at the time but only the TSH which I should of had T3. T4 as well as i had a thyroidectomy .I have no children thanks to the TSH test

Tt the age of 40 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism , I hadn’t put any weight on but was extremely tired i had slept solid for 2 weeks, I was put on Levothyroxine and i have slowly been falling to pieces on it,
I never once felt well on it and was only put on a dose of 50mgs and left I was never told to go have bloods , so eventually I ended up in a mental hospital for hearing things.

I am guessing this was my under treated thyroid that done this as no thyroid test was taken when it happened !
, I put my dosage up myself to 100mgs as was falling asleep again and was a bit better with raise I again a few year later raised it again up to 150mgs as again coma like sleeps, all levothyroxine seemed to do was stop me falling asleep 24/7 I was still aching all over, bad heart burn, fibromyalgia pains all over, extremely itchy shins , my hair was thin and i had been putting on loads of weight since taking Levothyroxine, the GP who was quite useless thinking back on how he treated me always told me it was because I wasn’t exercising ( I had a dog and walked over an hour per day so it wasnt that at 1st later i couldn’t walk due to pain ) and i was eating too much, I hardly ate a thing as i don’t like being fat as was only a size 8 and i had crept up to a size 16-18 uk size thats huge I was wearing tents not nice clothes.

I crash dieted all the time just so I didn’t pile even more weight on! I also stopped my periods about a month after starting Levothyroxine to which I was glad as all my life I had suffered with heavy periods and endometriosis, then I started to blow up with huge amount of water retention which I was given diuretics for and used to spend from 7 am to 2pm sitting on the toilet getting rid of fluid every day, I asked for HRT at 41 yrs but was told i couldn’t have it as i was prone to water retention. I was given anti-depressants on numerous occasions through out my life but they made me so spaced out they really did not agree with me I wasnt depressed I was fed up of how my body was feeling not fed up with life!

Every time I tried AD I felt even worse so I stopped them (which GP was never happy about I think he wanted me so spaced out I would or couldn’t be bothered to complain how i was feeling and thought I would go home sleep all time and leave him alone I feel like suing him for loss of my life as he should of spotted all my symptoms were hypothyroid but he chose to blame everything but, I was never told their were other drugs available for hypo ..anyway on AD felt even worse and lazier on them, I was given several different ones and none of them worked, I tried to explain to the GP what i was feeling was tired, no energy. Aching, brain was haggled, memory was not what it was again this was what everyone felt like its my age get used to it as it will worsen is what he said!

I was only 42ys which isn’t old its quite young life begins at 40 they say mine stopped completely! I was feeling 90yrs old even my mother who was 70 at time had more energy than me,, my voice was deep and husky I couldn’t think straight, I was sent to a psychiatrist and they diagnosed me with ADHD I was put on Dexamfetamine I did feel a bit better I lost a little weight, i could think better and I thought that was what the problem was and was better but still not right, hair was still thinning skin bad and my aches and pains were still happening and getting worse,
I put myself back in a mental hospital as was hearing things again, spent a few days in hospital ate properly and was out with in days I was taken off the ADHD drugs as they blamed them for me hearing things I knew it wasnt them as at times before though I heard things, but was only after being prescribed Levothyroxine not before that! I think was def my under treated hypothyroid. and seemed to be if i was under stress when i lost love ones etc that the voices happened. but the last time it happened and they took ADHD meds off me was in the middle of moving to a new area, I then lost all my energy I was even more brain fogged.

I managed the move somehow with help from a friend or would of still been sitting staring into space , but never un packed in new house as I just couldn’t get out of bed and ached so much my memory was bad I spent a year in bed and eventually made it to a new dr I wrote a list of symptoms, he said it was my hormones and put me on HRT (I had finished periods well over 10 yrs ago and over the hot flushes so think that was a bit late) the HRT made me have more water retention but i had a tiny but of energy I could walk to the shop but was back in bed after 40 mins as was worn out.

I also got sent to a NEW ADHD clinic which took them another year of deciding I could go back on tablets again, I got them but a pro drug Vyvanse, this time which didn’t work as well as old tablets, but they worked for 2 hours so most days but not all days, this gave my mind 2 hrs to sort things out like paper work but i had zero energy to get up etc.. I don’t think I do well on pro drugs…

So another 2 years pass I am now 54yrs old and still struggling with weight, hair getting thinner, aching like a 90 yr old. My back has been causing me vast amounts of problems I lost use of left leg due to sciatica and my shoulder was hurting for no reason, macro tests showed that I had anything wrong, so again I was made to feel it was all in my head, TBH at times I did think of ending it all, if this is all life had to offer what was the point on living a life of pain and staying in beds most days.

I managed to get my ADHD drugs put back to dexampfetamine, yes I could think again so I took to seriously researching hypothyroid and found that I was not the only person feeling this way, Was now freezing cold this was summer and my body temp was constantly under 35.0 and i was shivering in the summer, I thought I was going to die of hyperthermia at times . my blood pressure was extremely low my ears kept popping I couldn’t hear anyone but my self talking, I kept going dizzy I was feeling so ill, my gums were always bleeding and i was getting constant pain in my teeth.

I read on T3 and asked GP who arranged to see an Endocrinologist as she was unable to prescribe T3 for me and she said i would probably benefit from it by my symptoms, At last a GP who didnt think it was all in my head ! Hooray at last 13 years later I get listened to, it took 6 months to see Endo and he said would I like to try T3 , of course I did, he reduced my levothyroxine, which I was 150 at this point to 100mgs and he added 20mgs Liothyronine take 2x 10mgs per day
I woke the next morning really excited about taking a drug that may help me at last, I was not disappointed It took around half an hour to work, I instantly felt so much happier everything went brighter it was like i had been in black and white for years, colours were vibrant, I suddenly had energy I jumped of the bed and didnt screech in pain I felt
free from pain, I was like wow why did no one give me this 13 years ago, why was I left to suffer for 13 years, been put on some serious ADHD tabs dead amphetamines quite high dosage as well 70mgs per day, when all i had needed was T3..
I had also done a genetic gene test whilst acting for the End appointment which the results came back 2 days after Endo had prescribed me T3,, so he had prescribed me on my symptoms not my results…

My results of Dio2 gene test were Deiondinase Iodathyyranine Type II Dio2 (T92A) 225014 Heterozygous variant genotype TA. I am told it means I will feel better with T3 added to levothyroxine…

I must agree with it as since i had T3 added in Dec 2017 I have decorated 3 rooms since taking it, so something is giving me energy and making me feel better I am now not bed bound, I have the occasional back pain but think that is damaged through years of pain, my shoulder pain went completely.. I am a different person now or should i say more like before I became hyperthyroid when i was in my teens as I have spent over 35 yrs of not feeling normal and I’ll I got told I look more relaxed and that I’m not about to kill someone they said i was looking well I had colour at last in my cheeks.

It is unbelievable this tiny hormone made me feel well again..
And more to the point its unbelievable that the GPs ignore your symptoms and that pharma are telling everyone that Levothyroxine works for everyone IT CLEARLY DOES NOT IN MY CASE IT LEFT ME ILL FOR 13 yrs. I have lost my best parts of my life because they state it works for all. I do feel very bitter as I am 54 now and i have not had a good life and my life on Levothyroxine made me sicker…

Please everyone if when on Levothyroxine you feel still hypothyroid still, go and find a sympathetic Endo and get treated with T3 as i wasted my life with GPS blaming my age hormones , depression etc you know the excuses for your illness DO NOT BELIEVE THEM GET YOUR LIFE BACK!

It was all the time me getting the wrong treatment Levothyroxine No way can work for everyone we are all built different. GOOD luck all the who are still trying to get T3 prescribed.

I have a question: my endocrinologist just started me on a low dose of Levo today and has only given me one refill, and I won’t see her until next week. Is this normal for a doctor to do this? I am new on this hypothyroid thing so I just wanted to know.

After reading many peoples comments here, plus I have been on many thyroid forums, and websites, reading about how all of these people just want help…. including myself. I just can’t stand it anymore !!! This is just so frustrating to watch and deal with. This is a silent disease that completely make existance miserable sometimes, even though you can’t see it on the outside. There are SO MANY OF US that are just suffering because doctor’s who think they flippin know it all with their “PHd’s” won’t open their dang minds to look beyond that stupid pill that is supposed to be a cure all!! NOT!

What is it going to take for medical schools to start retraining the doctor’s to not only relearn thyroid/endocrine physiology but also that just because they have a PHd does not make them god and savior, and if they want to truly be as smart and educated as they think they are they would KNOW that and OPEN MIND is one of the most important things you can learn anywhere…. period! LISTEN TO YOUR PATIENTS!!!

Totally agree with your comments. It took 14 years before my doctor said she would try another thyroid medicine. Liothyronine has been a life saver!!

it is the same in the UK as well !

Agree. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 2 years ago after feeling tired all the time, and as is the norm they put me on Levothyroxine. Immediately after starting treatment I felt great. For the first time in years I had a spring in my step and an alert mind. It was a wonderful feeling. But I should have known it was too good to be true. That great feeling only lasted a few weeks, then all the symptoms came back. That was 2 years ago, and even though my blood tests show normal levels I have felt like crap non-stop since then. Clearly T4 replacement is NOT the answer, or at least not the complete answer.

I have extreme fatigue fibromyalgia (cause they can’t find anything else), gastroparesis, hiatal hernia, depression, anxiety,s and now heart palpitations. The Drs throw their hands up and use the word hypochondriac. Currently on levoxyl. Oh yeah, 75 lbs overweight and had radioactive iodine in 1981. No one will dig deeper because my labs come back normal. I just want someone to say, “Oh yeah, this is what we have to do to get you feeling good.” I’m only 54 not 84.

I had my thyroid removed 12 years ago (cancer). Was sent home after surgery with a prescription of T4 and a script for a month of T3. Was feeling okay until the T3 ran out. Several days after being off the cytomel, I began feeling horrible. I literally wanted to kill myself. That´s how depressed I was. I went to see my endo (now ex endo) and informed him of the situation and asked him to prescribe T3, which he refused.

I wasn´t happy with his reply and told him that if he wasn´t interested in helping me, that I would have to leave his care and find someone that wanted to help. He began verbally listing all his `credentials`… How he knew better than I did, and that I should be put on antidepressants. I said “hell no”, left his office and never went back to see him. My GP stood up and helped… Was lucky there… I just want to state that doctors need to listen to what their patients are telling them and not assume that you know better of how the patient is feeling than the patient… That time in my life was pure hell…

I tried T3 supplements and they made me miserably hyper. I would never try it again. I found the reason that I felt bad on thyroid supplements was that I had more wrong with me than just being hypo. But visiting thyroid forums made me think it was all my thyroid when it wasn’t.

But – it’s important to realize that all thyroid supplements have periodic problems with potency and the generic is a big problem because your pharmacy can change suppliers and it will affect you – go with a name brand if you can afford it. There are a couple of options.

I am a 31yr old woman and had my thyroid removed at 29 and somehow I am still very tired very often you might even say it’s too often . Not a day passes that i’m tired

I was always thin, and then was tested for my thyroid. They said I had a goiter. They put me on thyroid pills. I started gaining weight and couldn’t breathe good and my brain felt like it was going fast.More weight gain. 20 years later, they took my thyroid out saying they suspected thyroid cancer because it came back suspicious.

More weight gain. No matter what I did or do ,can’t lose weight, just keep gaining. I have no energy, depressed, full of anxiety, hormones wacky, losing hair, moody, and more weight gain, feel full even if I don’t eat.

Just keep gaining weight no matter if I eat or not. I am reading all this about the T3 and wondering if our own thyroid makes T3 that means we need it, so why do they just give you a thyroid pill and no T3. They work together.

Seems to me, if they don’t give the T3 then you have other symptoms then they have to treat those and they ALWAYS ALWAYS say you have to lose weight. Well, guess what, it was the pills that put weight on me in the first place. And guess what, we NEED that T3 cause our own bodies made it and that means it should be supplemented to us for our bodies to work normally again.

i have non of the symptoms associated with low active thyroid but have now been given tablets of Levothyroxine. Has anyone been very active before starting medication. Now I feel foggy and under the weather. Help!

I have an UnderActive Thyroid, I’m taking Levethoroxin… I’ve been Depressed, Anxiety, Sucidal thinking, Weight Gain, low Energy, Shortness of Breath while doing anything Active which really is bothersome, what can I do ?

This is to Vic in Merryside: I too had NO symptoms of underactive thyroid. At 65 years old, I could do yard work, exercises, play with grandkids and felt great – no tiredness. Had blood work done and my doc said I had hypothyroid (she couldn’t believe I had literally none of the symptoms except slightly dry skin – especially on my legs). Put me on Levothyroxine six weeks ago and I feel horrible! After 2 weeks, I could barely do any yard work – would have to work for two minutes and sit to get my energy back. The worst has been the past 2-3 weeks when I’ve had awful indigestion – never had the problem before. Today I ached all day, can’t stand the tightness of my bra (feels like a vice around my chest). Saw my doc today so she could take blood to see if the Levo is working. Told her how awful I feel now that I’m on this and she said, “well it’s bioidentical so it can’t be causing problems”. I’m researching natural remedies and will be switching.

I just got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my PCP just put me on 50 mcg of levothyroxine a day! It’s been 3 weeks and I feel worse than before I was diagnosed!!!!! I’ve gained weight, have terrible headaches, itchy rash on my face, scalp, arms. I’m walking around like I’m numb and in the fog! My legs are achy, and I’m constipated and very sleepy. I tried taking the medicine at night instead of the morning, and I tried taking half the dose, it hasn’t helped, why am I not feeling better and feeling worse? Someone please help me! My doctor keeps telling me that my body will adjust?

I was diagnosed hypothyroid in 2000. The doctor put me on Synthroid. None of my symptoms, which are all the same as everyone here, have started changed. Now on armour thyroid nothing has changed, so I don’t know what to do. I’m exhausted plus all the symptoms listed. Nothing got better. I used to ask my doctor why am I taking synthroid when nothing has changed? No answer.

I had a total thyroidectomy about 3 weeks ago…after recovering from the surgery itself, I actually felt better. The problem started when I began the levothyroxine (125) I have been so utterly exhausted and no appetite. I stopped taking it for 3 days…felt better…took half a tablet for 2 days…fatigue and not appetite again. I am so sad that a medication that I must take makes me feel so bad. A friend suggeted that I may have adrenal fatigue and the levothyroxine…just puts too much stress on the adrenals? What does a person do?

If doctors were given the go ahead to treat hypothyroidism patients with t3 added to their levothyroxine after the proper blood tests full panel rev t3 t3 ferratin,vitamin d,not the bog standard nhs test, etc and they were willing to pay that would help struggling surgerys all over the country and if it turned out that they needed the t3 and even paid for their prescriptions at least that would be a start and I think like myself I would pay it would also put a stop from people self medicating and buying thyroid medications on line where it could be dangerous!

Because myself and everyone else with thyroid complications think it’s because of pricing also there is irrefutable proof that levothyroxine isn’t for everyone and is cruel to offer no alternatives it’s 2017 this should not be happening I took ndt for the first ten years of my life and was always well until it was changed now I suffer like everyone else ! And if you don’t have thyroid issues don’t be quick to assume what they say about levothyroxine is true it’s not ! If the above option was considered I’m sure there would be thousands of hypothyroid patients happier than they have been for years .????????? please help !!!

I had a partial thyroidectomy when I was 19 yrs old due to a goiter. I wasn’t prescribed any thyroid medication at that time because my doctor said the other half of my thyroid was producing enough, When I was 25 yrs old, I had the other half removed due to another goiter. I was then placed on Synthroid or levothyroxine. I have been on levothyroxine for 23 yrs. My doctor has been trying to adjust the dosage for about a year now. I have fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, brain fog, restless sleep, joint pain, brittle nails and hair, and irritability. I just found out yesterday that he is lowering my dose again. After reading this, I believe I need a T3 supplement along with my levothyroxine since I do not have a thyroid gland to produce any thyroid hormones.

I am new to this process. Due to Graves disease I took radioactive iodine. Then started on Levothyroxine. Weight isn’t a problem though I am careful. But I have fatigue, brain fog, dry skin, inconsistent bowel function. I don’t feel good! My doctor has lowered the dose of Levothyroxine twice and we’ll see if there’s improvement. There has been no discussion of adding T3 med. I want my old self back.

I have read all this but not gone into the articles yet. I will do that. I am 72; I have been on T4 medication since I was 15 (57 years!!). Only recently, about 2 years ago, did I find a doctor who tested the T3 and found it consistently low, so I’ve been on cytomel since then. All my life I’ve had issues as reported above in the articles – bone wearying fatigue, constipation like you wouldn’t believe, etc. My big worry now is my head and it is worse when I go to bed. It stings, shivers, is in pain though not as a headache. Certain spots in my head feel as if something is stuck there. The feelings are there in the daytime also but more subdued. Is this the inflammatory response from the basic autoimmune condition which doctors will do absolutely nothing for? That is, the autoimmune chronic inflammation has now entered and is attaching my brain? If there is any help anywhere, please let me know. In advance, Thanks so much.

I had a total thyroidectomy in 1996. For 13 years I functioned well on levothyroxine with a suppressed TSH at 0.01 – 0.1, though I remember feeling oddly fatigued at times. Then, in 2007, my dose was slowly lowered. I began having “flu-like-with-no-fever” symptoms affecting my entire mind and body. My TSH fluctuated from 0.01 to 7.4, my cholesterol began to rise, my hair got course, straight and began falling out and I had moments when I felt like my body was shutting down. My doctors seemed to suggest I was non-compliant with my dosing.

Unbeknownst to me, I was labeled a “hypochondriac” which only further complicated my health care.

Finally, in 2016, I convinced my doctor to start me on T3. I have had remarkable results and felt as though I’d been given my life back when my TSH was at 0.1 and normal feeeT4 and freeT3. Then, my doc lowered my dose again to raise my TSH and I am feeling sick again.
At this time my TSH is 0.4 with free T4 and Free T3 in the low-normal range. Sometimes I feel fine but about 30% of the time I feel like lead, sluggish with brain fog.
If anything I have a tremendous appreciation for the power of these hormones, but I also have a tremendous concern for the limitations a doctor can have due to prejudice, preconceptions and suspicions and an inability by some to get beyond lab results when communicating with their patient.
I have lost much of the past eight years of my life.
Good news: When they found my thyroid cancer, a routine pregnancy test put off treatment for nine months; that baby is about to graduate from Stanford University.

I felt the same way when they added T3 to my regimen. And as time went by it got worse. I started getting severe migraine with aura dizzy spells and sometimes it felt like I was having a stroke although I didn’t. My body is way to sensitive to t3 and I can’t take it. I was on Name brand Synthroid for 30 years and was fine until they kept upping my dose and added t3.

I have been living in US since 2013. Thats when i started putting on weight and feeling tired all the time.
I thought its just the home sickness. I used to weigh 105 lbs and i am 5 feet 1 inch tall. I started going to gym regularly and eating healthy. No change! I tried to do this for 6 months or so and then went to the Doctor, she told me its PCOS and put me on birth control medication. No change! More weight gain, tiredness, hair loss,constipation. I changed my doctor till then i was 140 lbs. She said everything is fine (she thought so). She said continue taking birth control. 2 years passed by. My condition worsened. I now weighed 165 lbs and i have tried getting a personal trainer eat healthy. Follow all the no junk nothing diet.

No change! I changed my Doctor again twice. Same! Then in 2016 i changed my Doctor again and she did my thyroid test. She said she will put me on Levothyroxine and it should help me get back to track. No change!!!!

Its one year i have been taking Levothyroxine. No change in my symptoms.

Why is it so hard for Doctors to understand that there is something wrong and look into this. It was the 5th Doctor that i had changed that i got to know i have hypothyroid. Other never tested me for that. So symptoms are all that point to thyroid. I never knew this till i got to know i have thyroid.

Can someone please help me and suggest some Doctor in the Rochester,NY area or anywhere nearby who actually can see whats wrong and why my T4 levels are in range and i see no change.

Please Help!

Your story sounds about identical to mine…. just curious if you’ve had any relief since you posted this last year? I’m on 88mcg levothyroxine (just upped from 50mcg). I did notice a change in the “brain fog” after starting the medication but still seem to be steadily gaining weight. So frustrating and depressing!

Isha, TSH levels may be more telling than T4. You need a doctor who will look at how you are feeling as well as what your tests say.

I had thyroid surgery in 2007 I had a goiter and they removed the goiter and my right thyroid. My doctor told me that I would be on the medication the rest of my life. Before my surgery I had mood changes unhappy one day sad another or crying, I had out flashes and my hair came out at the top of my head and my stylist suggest that I take the prenatal pills to grow it back and it did. After surgery I felt a good change in me then a couple months later, I was back feeling depress and irritable. My doctor had tool me off my medication after surgery then when I told him how I was feeling he put me back on the synthorid and then off again now I am taking a antidepressant and I really don’t think I need it. I need to be put back on synthorid even if my test comes out normal. I been on almost every antidepressant you can name Lexapro ,Paxil Depakote, Zoloft, Cymbalta. Lately I have been feeling very tired, no energy at all. Somebody pleas help me

I had goiter since childhood and my TSH level come out normal. By the age of 22, the symptoms is kind of full blown, that it impacts my study in dental school. No one in my family had such illness and it took my years (with Levothyroxine) to actually feel lesser joint pains, dry skin. However, I had difficulty to accept that I have hypothyroid and it affects my studies profoundly that I was later diagnosed having Major Depressive Disorder, and my life turns upside down.

I was started on multiple antidepressants and feel super sluggish, super sleepy and fatigue despite having enough rest. I have changed my antidepressant many times to actually lessen the memory problem and fatigue but it does not seem to improve. I begin to realize last month that my current symptoms seem to remind me of the symptoms of hypothyroid before i was diagnosed. I took TSH blood test and usual it came out normal. This is just driving me mad. I can’t afford to risk my current study (I have drop the previous degree), and start from zero again. I’m 28 but act like my 60+ year old mother.

I’m a 56 year old female. I have had hypothyroidism for 5 years now; started at .25mcg of synthroid, and now I’m up to 112mcg. I feel terrible a majority of the time. I am extremely tired (all I won’t to do is sleep); my skin is dry and itchy; and I put on a lot of baby oil and lotion because it’s annoying. My hair breaks off daily to the point I’m now wearing a wig. I keep gaining weight, as they up the dosage. I have brain fog, and I have to concentrate hard on certain things. I twist and toss all night in and out of sleep. Sometimes I can sleep for a straight 5 hours but not all the time. My mood is horrible. I have to push thru each day, and this is horrible for a person. I can’t wait for retirement because going to work and feeling terrible is not good. I don’t want to be on antidepressants because I know it’s the synthroid medicine that makes me feel this bad. I’ve spoken to so many people who say the same thing. This medicine has been around for a very long time. Why can’t they do something about it? I feel like I’ve lost 5 years of my life, not to mention how this has affected my family. My heart goes out to all who have thyroid issues. My prayers are with you all. Maybe someone out there can really help us.

Due to Graves disease i had a thyroidectomy when I was 20.
I am now soon to be 53. I have felt like total crap for 33 years.
My primary always did my bloodwork and prescribed synthroid about 5 yrs ago that changed to levothyroxine. It got worse after starting levethyroxine but I never realized that was why..I figured it couldn’t be my thyroid since I was taking the med. Gained 40 lbs and was so tired it hurt I to walk. Then I heard about T3 and cytomel. Went to Endo a year ago she started my on cytomel and made adjustments to Levo. 3 months later no change.
Ive been taking intirosint for 3 mnths..TSH is now 6.5. and no change. Not one pound lost and every joint and muscle hurt so bad. my quality of life sucks. so tired I can cry..But cant get good sleep. Been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and add.
At 55, retired and 2 grandsons I so want to enjoy the rest of my life!
I go back to Endo in 3 days.
Anyone with thyroidectomy do better with Armour and another?
Please share because enough is enough 33 years of no energy for life is enough. I’m afraid of waiting another 3 months on another waisted prescription.
Reading all the comments … At least we are not alone.

levothyroxion for me it was best to take it at 3 am and 2:00 pm my supplements. it works for me.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when i was 14, and I’ve been solely on levithyroxine for almost 5 years now. Within a few months of the diagnosis i was already having to take 150mcg of levithyroxine just to get my TSH back to normal levels -and yet apart from a small initial drop in weight (which came right back by the end of the year) , it has made absolutely no difference to any of my symptoms. It’s been infuriating spending the last *half a decade* plagued with constant exhaustion, depression, insomnia, aching joints and mental fatigue, only to have all my problems dismissed because my TSH levels came back normal.
Armour is not available where I live, so no respite for me sadly… but hearing that so many people experiencing similar symptoms to me have been helped by Armour is wonderful!

I am 90 years old and had my thyroid gland removed when I was 20 years old. I have used Armour thyroid daily ever since!! thru marriage, 3 children , engineering degree at age 52, 15 years work as professional engineer, and retired for 23 years!!!

With the enormous increase in price for Armour thyroid I am still taking it, but worry about inconsistency, tho nothing has showed up in my lab tests yet. I have never understood why doctors think the artificial stuff is so good and most literature does NOT address the issue of having NO thyroid gland!!!!!!

My daughter had thyroid cancer in her late 20’s, with removal and x-ray(?) treatment following. She has gained weight constantly over the last 40 years. I have not been able to get her to try Armour thyroid , I think mainly because it is I just such a battle with the doctors as her lab tests are OK. She is a Canadian citizen, likes her GP fine, but has worked overseas all these years and is now retired here in Canada. I find it very sad that doctors, including the specialists, are still taught and believe that artificial thyroid is great and that Armour thyroid dosage is inconsistent.

Of course, they say it is not to be used for weight loss and that I understand, but my daughter is certainly maintaining a normal level of activity, eats a very healthy diet (which I have shared for the past 5 months).

My weight has always been about the same, (including the last five months) tho not in some periods where I was clearly overeating. Thyroid dosage about the same, too, at 120 mg per day. I have had periods of being overly tired, but always blamed that on trying to do too much!!

I’ve suffered from hypothyroidism for 27 years and I’ve only been on levothyroxine the entire time. Over the course of so many years I’ve pretty much been on every single dosage and especially when I was pregnant both times my TSH was crazy so if anyone on here expects to get pregnant be ready. I used to see an endocrinologist in Atlanta and she would test my T4 free T3 and TSH and the only one that I found out was most important was the TSH and since I can’t drive two hours to Atlanta anymore I use a family doctor to monitor my thyroid and she has gotten my levothyroxine regulated now and my TSH is 1.8 the last time she checked it and she checks it every 3 months. I have come to discover that depression is pretty much part and parcel of having hypothyroidism as well as fatigue and occasional weakness and dry skin and thinning hair because levothyroxine is synthetic hormone. Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition so I’ve learned to do the best I can with this life that God has given me. Some days I can’t get out of bed and the next day I have all the energy in the world. And I am sorry to say that unless someone you know has lived with hypothyroidism they’re not going to understand what you’re going through and how you feel especially coupled with major depression like I have and anxiety disorder. My teenage daughters do not understand why sometimes I do not have the strength to get out of bed. Nor does my mother understand why I have so many prescription bottles but with one for hypothyroidism 2 for antidepressants and 2 for high blood pressure which can be caused by hypothyroidism btw. So feeling like crap some days is just something that we all are going to have to live with but ironically January is thyroid awareness month and I found out my cousin has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She was put on Synthroid but a warning, taking too much Synthroid may give you osteoporosis so even if it gives you more energy you can wind up with a broken bone.

Thanks for sharing this information. I’m a 49 year old male from the UK and went to see my GP about a varicose vein issue. I was concerned about Diabetes. I am pretty fit, slim and lead a relatively healthy life, so was rather confused. 6 months previous I had decided on ethical and health reasons to give up meat, dairy and eggs. I consider myself to be very informed and felt I was eating a balanced healthy diet.

Blood results came back and everything was fine apart from Thyroid markers. I was immediately put on a low dose of Levothyroxine and sent for a second round of blood tests. High antibody levels were flagged up, so I have now been referred to an Endocronoligist, but have a 3 month wait.

Levothyroxine dosage has been raised, but I’m feeling absolutely no different from before. Always had energy level issues and several bouts of depression. I rushed out this morning after reading about iodine deficiency and got some kelp based supplements but having read a couple of articles am now worried that they may be ineffective or even dangerous.

As this is all new to me, I’m worried about taking drugs for the rest of my life and even concerned that perhaps 6 months of veganism may have caused this. Even more concerning is the fact that so many people have spent years on prescribed drugs with no obvious improvements.

My aunt feels just like you–great some days, and not so good others. She was fine until she had her thyroid removed, and they can’t seem to get her medication right. Thank you for sharing your story ♡

When I first discovered that I had hypothroidism, my doctor prescribed Synthroid. I still did not feel my best, developed brain fog, thinning hair and weight gain. Took Synthroid for 4-5 years and wasn’t happy with the way I felt. Read up on T3 and T4, and discovered Armour Thyroid. I decided that because there are more aspects to the thyroid than 2 synthetic hormones (T3 & T4) that a thyroid medicine taken from pig thyroid has a broader range of thyroid hormones and this range would be more useful to me. My kind doctor agreed and I have been using Armour Thyroid for 5-6 years, and feeling ever so much better.

After nine months of testing I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and hypothyroidism in my early twenties. I was started on Armour and did extremely well. I had to go for testing periodically to make sure my levels were where they should be. I have also taken Cytomel. Then I changed doctors and was put on Synthroid. It has been all down hill ever since. I have gained weight, I have lost most of my hair, my nails break and crack, I have skin problems, I cannot sleep when I should (they said I have sleep apnea, how if you can’t sleep?), I have numerous other problems related to the Polycysctic diagnosis. Yet, I cannot get my doctor to change to the Armour or Cytomel with Synthroid because the TSH test results are in normal range. I am 80 and I’m trying to live a long normal life, but it is hard. I know what is wrong, but doctors refuse to listen to me. I know what is going on with my body. I know what it feels like to be doing well on the right medication. But the use of Synthroid or the generic is because it is easier for the doctors. They do not have to do the periodic testing to make sure your levels are OK. How can I find a doctor who will do the right thing and help me have a normal life?

My frustrations are that from the get-go of having thyroid issues, I have developed severe lymph edema of the legs and ankles. Now it is in the hands and face. My weight has ballooned 20 lbs in the last year and all of my family & friends tell me that I do not eat enough to set up a healthy metabolism. I have cut out most sugar from my diet and cook and eat the Mediterrean way. On the average, I exercise about 1-1 1/2 miles per day plus do water aerobics as I can. My Drs say that I am doing all that I can do but my weight keeps increasing. Interesting note is that I’ve been on Synthroid brand name for almost 10 years and have had the hardest time with weight loss. Drs do the lab work 2-4 times a year and although they fluctuate, they always say that I’m within normal range. Last bloodwork, endocrinologist says everything was in normal limits and when I saw my tests on the patient portal, my numbers had changed. My PCP Dr at the same medical institution said that my T3 was way out of line and she would recommend discussing meds with the endo Dr., but surprisingly this number was not on my portal and not up for discussion from the Dr. Why is it so difficult to get them to agree to a drug change or dosage amount when I have the lethargy, weight gain, brain fog, etc. components? Any revelations from anyone? Thanks!

Since so many people fall into the “unhappy with Synthroid” group, wouldn’t it be smarter to run a study where these people be put on Armour and studied? I haven’t complained to my doctor but have been a Synthroid taker for about 10 yrs. I have no positive results to report. I do not have swelling or much of a skin problem (lucky me), but have lost no weight and have gained no energy.

T4 and T3 for years I was taking Synthroid. T4 my hair was falliocng out, very dry skin, depression, bruising on skin , etc. Finally, he added T3 it seems to help. Dr. says I am not taking enough synthroid to use Armour as I have heard that works much better. Yet my endo dr thinks it works the same as synthorid. I have heard people say Armour works much better.

I am so thankful for People’s Pharmacy. I have learned so many things that has helped my health!

I have had hypothyroidism for 30 years. I have taken synthroid, levoxyl, levothyroxine and armor thyroid. I was even overdosed for a few years on armor thyroid. I have seen endocrinologists and doctors on this issue and none of the medicine they prescribed worked for me. I could never lose a pound and was treated like I was the problem even though I worked out twice a week and also did walking.

Finally, I went to a Wellness office that had a Endocrinologist PA. She was modern and understanding to the problems I had been going through. She prescribed “WP Thyroid” which is a desiccated (dried) thyroid medication. I have been on this for the past 16 months and have lost 30 pounds. I feel much better and continue to exercise. I am 65 years old and the only medication I take is my thyroid medicine.
BL Dallas, TX

I have a slight goiter and have been diagnosed with thyroid nodules but my TSH is in the normal range (probably due to my body making nodules to keep the thyroid working). My doctors are happy with all that, but still I had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Read some articles and started taking high doses of iodine. Guess what!! My slight goiter is going away, sleeping better, starting to lose weight and have lots of energy.

Hello, I was hoping for the clinics name if possible? As I live in the Seattle area, any info would be greatly appreciated.

Not sure what to think, my doctor swore up and down that I have Graves disease even though as she admits, I had no symptoms. She put me on something to cool down my thyroid and then she insisted that I have it destroyed with the radioactive iodine.

Looking back and doing some research, I think it could well have been just an episode of hypothyroiditis, all I know now is I’m on levothyroxine and I’m miserable. My hair is falling out, severe dry skin, brittle nails that peel off, skin also peeling off in sheets like I had a sunburn….face stays red and very flushed. Muscle cramping and spasms that are literally debilitating, they wake me up screaming and biting my pillow, I try to get up to walk them out but can’t. …horrible.

Armour users beware: I know personally three women, all in different parts of the country, one of whom is a nurse, who went to the ER as a result of the inconsistent dosing of Armour thyroid. In all cases, the users were getting way too much of the hormone, causing them to experience heart attack symptoms. Once this was discovered, and they were changed to a stabilized dose of generic levothyroxine, all their symptoms subsided.

I had my thyroid removed in 1996 and was prescribed Synthroid. I experienced fatigue which my doctor kept dismissing. Around that time you were writing for the LA Times and you wrote that adding Cytomel could make a positive difference… first my doctor dismissed it….and then six months later he highly recommended it! Adding a small amount of Cytomel has balanced my fatigue to occasional. I credit you for being at the forefront of new research…..twenty years ago!

Since Armour is so high priced now, you can ask for Nature-throid instead. And most insurance will not cover either of them as far as I can tell. Mine used to cover it.

If you live in Canada, there is a different natural option. I think it is ERFA?

Here in France, my GP won’t prescribe a generic claiming that it’s not good in the long run for patient’s health. However, when I’m working back bin the UK, the Pharmacists Association claimed that there was a huge problem with levothyroxine: i.e. ‘availability’ issues.

Apparently, in laymen’s terms, this means that the guidelines for manufacturing levothyroxine can change and is not consistent across the various corporations that provide via the NHS. Given that pharmaceutical companies are now global, it suggests an investigation into the actual viability of what these people are making; are they deliberately making us worse so their profits increase?

My problems with synthroid and Armour are different than the ones described here. I had taken synthroid for years before I started having severe jaw and chest pain. I first thought I was having a heart attack, but it wasn’t my heart. I then had a ultrascan of my aorta, spline, liver, etc. Everything was normal.

When I stopped taking synthroid, the pains stopped. At that time, I was switched to armour and the pains started again, within a week. I have not been on any of this stuff and have no jaw or chest pain since. It has been over a year and I feel great.

If you read the book MICROBIOME solution, which is easily available on Amazon, it gives a great insight to many conditions to do with the Thyroid plus suggestions on lifestyle/diet changes which I have found to be excellent. I had my Thyroid removed many years ago and to date this is the most informative book ever. JD

I am a 62 year old lady who has been on levothyroxine for many, many years. I have had severe brain fog, my hair is falling out, my feet and legs are swollen and I can’t seem to keep weight off… I had gained over 30lbs by the time I got married (not too awful long ago) and it’s hard as the dickens to lose any of it. I don’t eat bread or starches, fried foods, beef or pork… I can’t understand why my doctor won’t do anything about it.

I am feeling like I’m as old as the parents I take care of who will be 88 and 90 this year… I am frantic!!! I am going to ask my physician to try me on the Cytomel to see what it does and if it help… If she won’t help anymore, should I change physicians????? Suggestions Please!!!

I’ve used Armour for years. Sadly, last year, the Forest Pharmaceuticals, makers of Armour, were bought out by some big pharma company. The price doubled. OK, I could live with that but the last time I was tested, my TSH was a whopping 37.

The doctor who prescribed the Armour and I realized that quality control was now severely compromised by the new company, no doubt to force everyone off of Armour and onto the big pharma products. My doctors says he will immediately stop putting his patients on Armour. I would be very cautious about using the new product. Not the same as the old.

I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid 12 years ago and put on Synthroid. 8 years ago I stopped taking the meds as I couldn’t handle how I felt. Always fatigued, depressed. This past July I had a multi nodular goiter removed (complete thyroidectomy) and they preserved two parathyroid glands. Im back on Synthroid and they have been adjusting my dose on a weekly basis. Two weeks ago I asked a dr. to check my T3 he refused said it wasn’t necessary, yet my TSH had dropped from 33 to 8 and my T4 had gone from 14 to 28 in a week.

Yesterday I saw another Dr, he believes I am having a reaction the the synthroid and prescribed Benalyn at bed time.

I have horrid symptoms from night sweats to severe leg and foot cramps, muscle and bone pain, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, brain fog and the worst is my eyes, they burn and my vision is blurry. So now I’m going to try a new treatment for dry burning eyes. I have had 7 different presciptions for contact lenses in the past 12 months.

My Optomotrist didn’t know I had an issue with my thyroid till I explained that this week. If I wouldn’t have asked her about the possible link I doubt she may have caught it.
So know, I need to find an alternative to this medication to feel somewhat normal. Have read about Amour will have another dr;s apt tom and can hopefully figure out another plan so I can feel healthy enough to go to work.
I’ve been my own.

I have suffered with extreme fatigue, weight gain and memory loss for years. My TSH level is just barely within the normal level. I take 25mcg of levothyroxine. I am just getting some help after years of going to different doctors and being told that even though it is barely within the range, it is still “ok”.

My pain management doctor has been gently nudging my pcp to help me. My pain management doctor also said I needed an additional med, not just the levothyroxine. In fact he had an entirely different medicine in mind all together. He does not want to go against my pcp, but after reading all these articles I am going to bring up the subject again. Thank all of you for sharing your stories. I no longer feel like I’m some kind of blubbering idiot, that some doctors have made me feel like.

My doctor is a T4 only, along with all in their network. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism several years ago and put on Levo. Within 2 months I had gained 25 pounds, but my TSH level went from 6 to 2 while on the drug. Prior to taking this poison I was racing bicycles and doing very well. Within a month I was being dropped from every race. When I complained, the doctor said that numbers were perfect, but he would put me on more meds for all the other symptoms that showed up.
T4 only is a money maker for the medical industry looking to keep many people in ill health. The medical industry is making more money sending you to specialists and prescribing more drugs to alleviate all the other symptoms associated with Hypothyroidism that have resulted from taking T4 only!
I stopped the medication after a year of being on it, and the bad symptoms went away. My TSH is still slightly elevated at 5, but as long as the T4 only docs refuse to solve the conversion of T4 to T3, I will refuse to become one of their LAB RATS!

I’ve read some forums about thyroid function but my situation is a bit different than most I have read. I grew up in Ohio & had a goiter since my first really good check up when I was 18 but I was without insurance & blood work is very expensive So I just ignored it at 18 I really didn’t feel bad or know how important your thyroid was.

Then around 24 or so I found a program here in NC where I now live that helps people that can’t afford insurance get the help they need from Drs that offer their help to the program. So I had the tests done & my thyroid was really out of whack & at first they thought Graves’ disease but it turned out after testing for cancer & other issues it was just hyperthyroidism

The only dr I could see in this area was a ENT he put me on meds for this but it didn’t work for my depression I had had for many years or the night sweats I was having. I started to think it might be early menopause but my dr had said that other than his cancer patients the ones with an overactive thyroid had the hardest time with how hard it can be in your body when your thyroid constantly working in hyperdrive.

He said that overactive was harder to control with meds & that he suggested radioactive iodine oblation or surgery. I’ve been very lucky not to ever gone through surgery or broken a bone so with his suggestion I did the oblation. He said it would take up to a year to take effect completely which it did .

I can’t remember how everything came about after the oblation just that I didn’t need the mood stabilizers I was on anymore but I was gaining weight for no good reason. So he put me on synthroid & checked my blood work very regularly. But I was up to 135 pds I had never been heavier than 115 my whole life & lucky to get to 101pds in high school & at 25 that just wasn’t right but they told me once we got my levels right i should get back to my normal weight which is what I should be at for my height I’m only 5.1″

So once we got me to 150 mg of synthroid & my levels right on that dose I got back to my 115 in no more than 2 months. I was fine on that dose for about a few years. Then about a year & 1/2 ago I started putting on the weight again I had lost my insurance help with the project here because I was working full time & making just a little too much to still receive their help so I had gone without getting my blood work done for a year or two.

Finally I was able to make the appointment with my ENT dr that helped in the beginning & my levels were very low & we tried the armour thyroid for about 6 months with no change in my fatigue or weight so I went back to the synthroid by this time I had gotten insurance through the marketplace & to see my ENT its $40 & I can’t afford that so my primary has been dealing with my levels I’m not even on the 150 with her I’m only on 125 & my levels are supposedly fine

2 months ago I saw her & asked her to check my T4 & T3 but she said they were fine too I’m so at a loss with what to do. I’m now up to 152 pds & feel so bad all the time my mind & muscles fatigue so easily. I started exercising & still my weight rises my dr keeps telling me I’m getting older & my body is changing & this is why I can’t get the weight off but I’m only 32 all the women I have talked to said they looked & felt their best in their 30s & it’s not like I’ve had kids or changed my eating habits.

I started taking an iodine supplement from pure formulas that has 5mg of molecular iodine 5mg sodium iodide & 2.5mg potassium iodide & a multivitamin with kelp selenium & L-thyrosine. Ive been taking those about a month now & in the last month gained 10pds I’m desperate for my height I’m considered over weight & I can’t even look at myself in the mirror or afford new clothes.

There isn’t an endocrinologist anywhere close to here I can get to so I need some advice on another medication I can try or some free literature so I can learn more about similar stories from people who’s thyroid had been overactive & had an oblation & problems with their weight years later I know what is going on with my body is my thyroid but I don’t understand why both of my levels are in normal range & why the iodine isn’t helping with my synthroid & unless I have some good reasons my dr won’t take the time to help unless someone can give me some advice or credited articles I can show her. Thank you for reading

Hi Cortney,

I know this is an old post,but I really empathize with your struggle. I’ve had similar weight gain (at 5’2″) and terrible fatigue. My dr is fiddling with my meds but I am still exhausted. I just wanted to say keep at it, I understand how you feel. Possibly read about the benefits of quitting gluten for hypo people.

I’ve had Hashimoto’s for over 30 years and was successfully treated by an internist. However, he retired and I am in a trap set by internists, endocrinologists and wellness centers. I’ve been to 5 doctors and all 5 had the same routine. Either they are right, or they cannot think out of the box. If I could find the manual for, “How To Treat Hypothyroidism, 101″… I would start a bon fire. I

All 5 assumed the previous medication was too high based on the prescription, ahead of blood work. All 5 counted on TSH as the marker for wellness. All 5 reduced the medication to 25% of the original dose and started down the identical path: reduce the medication, wait 3 months, order blood work, scratch their head, increase the dose, wait 3 months, order more blood work …Get the picture? Just 2 round = 6 months of wasted life. It’s been 2 years since the internist retired and I am physically and emotionally devastated. My immune system is compromised and get sick constantly. I am alive, but not living. Time to call U of M for real care.


Our family doctor diagnosed my son as hypothyroid 15 years ago. He proceeded, at my request, to titrate him up to his current dose of desiccated thyroid. This has been a life send for my son, as his symptoms before diagnosis were terrible.

Now, however, he has had to change doctors, and for the last several years the new doctor has nagged him constantly to lower his dose. His TSH is 0.003 BUT, his Free T4 is spot on normal.

They refuse to check his Free T3, however, up until 4 years ago, the current dose always resulted in perfectly normal Free T3 when we had our annual blood tests done. I have always been told that once you are on thyroid hormone replacement, it is irrelevant to do a TSH. My son’s new doctor, however, claims that TSH keeps the bones strong and it is necessary to have at least a result of 1.0. Every time my son tries to lower his dose (because of these scare tactics), he has terrible symptom recurrence.

Because of this, our family doctor continues to write my son’s prescription for desiccated thyroid. Can you offer any insight to this claim that you need TSH for strong bones? I’ve never heard that.

The way thyroid patients are treated is an absolute scandal.

Doctors refusing to test, allowing themselves to be manipulated by pharmaceutical companies into only prescribing certain medications instead of the one the patient actually needs, telling thyroid patients that their symptoms are all in their heads and prescribing anti-depressants, treating by TSH test results instead of actually listening to the patient’s symptoms. The list goes on and an, and people stay ill for decades longer than they need to..

In 50 years, the medical profession will look back and think of all of this as akin to bloodletting.

Fortunately, here in Canada, more and more doctors are getting with the program. It sounds as though the USA and England are still in the dark ages.

It’s nothing short of patient abuse.

I too went from doctor to doctor asking to get my t4 and t3 checked. The answer was always no because my TSH was always in the “normal range”. One doctor actually told me it was all in my head, and prescribed xanax.

Finally I went to a Naturopath who prescribed Naturethroid, a natural desiccated thyroid. All the symptoms started going away.

Unfortunately, the cash fees got to be too much so I went back to the medical profession and got prescribed Levoxyl. My muscles got so stiff and sore I could hardly move. And my hair was falling out in wads. I had a lot of blood tests done for other diseases, but low thyroid is a great imitator!

I quit the Levoxyl and went back to Naturethroid. In the last two months my hair has stopped falling out, my eyes no longer burn with dryness, and I’m sleeping better. But my muscles are still sore and weak. I am taking all the companion vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs, and trying to be patient. I also went to STTM(stopthethyroidmadness), book and website. Very helpful. So many people being treated like numbers instead of people!

i was diagnoised with an underactive thyroid 10 years ago and had my thyroid glad removed. I have been taking Levothyroxine for 10 years now and I am feeling constantlly anxious, can’t sleep, depressed. I am thinking about coming of my meds to see how that makes me feel. I have tried everything from changing my diet, excersise, sleeping pills, anti depressants and not one has a doctor said this may be side affects of these meds. All they want to do is give you pills and not think about your health! Does anyone know any natrual suppliments that can help with this?


I had blood work done a few months ago for thyroid function. My primary care physician states that the test showed that my TSH was normal …12.9.

I said, “what about the test for t3 and t4 levels?” The doc stated that further testing wouldn’t be required if the TSH levels were in normal range. From what I have been reading, 12.9 seems to be a high normal. Is there some verification on what the normal range is for TSH?

I have been loosing hair, dry skin, fatigue, depression, which could also be attributed to the high blood pressure medication that I’ve been using (amlodipine), which I have titrated off of. I’m trying some natural remedies, like beet juice, hibiscus tea, lemon water. My blood pressure is still high, (withdrawal symptoms or the rebound effect) my life is continual stress (Takata airbag recall to deal with now), along with all the other work and effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thank you all for your helpful comments. They are greatly appreciated.

I have //hashi.. . I am on a compounded thyroid medication t3 (TRIIODO-L’THYRONINEy) T4 SR 15 MCG/125MCG capsules the t4 was elevated. I was gaining so much weight. My stomach was always bloated. I also have fatty liver. Just went for ultrasound to check my liver and it was all ok. Stopped the thyroid meds 6 days ago, so far I feel 100% better .. I don’t know if it is a good idea. I guess I will wait and see. I would blow up that I couldn’t breathe. I am a size 6 normally, then when I blow up, I can’t zip the pants. Was given a diuretic. Didn’t take it yet. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want the meds anymore.

I am to a sufferer with under active thyroid along with menopause and bipolar I am on 100mg of levithyroxine and feel absolutely drained 5 inches of hair fell out I am going more out of my mind this is a great website to educate us I am going to get t3 off my doctor hopefully and a bit or lot of energy fingers crossed will get back I will let you know thanks again

My daughter, now 9, was diagnosed at the age of 4. She has been on levothyroxine ever since (50mcg). Thyroid issues including cancer run in my biological family, my biological grandmother passed away from thyroid cancer. This article is very helpful as I now have more to talk to her endocrinologist about.

I have had Hashimoto’s for about 30 years. I take .75mcg levothyroxine. I am 63 and have gained 30 pounds which I cannot lose, even restricting calories and exercising daily. I have no energy and have to drag myself out of bed. My legs and ankles swell. I feel I have aged tremendously. What can I do? I appreciate any suggestions.

Was suffering rapid heartbeat for months without help from my doc. Kept returning and not considered a problem, yet my heart would not slow. Each visit, my low BP kept rising until 160 over? Still no recommendations from doc–just shrugs.
Finally, I went to a health day and had my thyroid tested. Found TSH to be over 12.

Went back to doc who began ordering T3 and T4. Had thyroid scan to rule out cancer, yet was told I needed to have my thyroid radiated. First told Hashimotos, then Graves, then HYPERthyroidism. Visited many alternatives without result. Head shaking. Finally, saw an Ayervedic doc who gave me 2 sets of herbs [one called MenoX–for menopause causing balance problems] and my blood was normal in 8 weeks. What a horror I avoided.

Now, some years later, I had a thermogram rather than a mammogram. The thermogram showed thyroid problems, which could be the reason for weight, mood, tiredness, even anxiety. So, now what is to be done since free T3 and free T4 have been supposedly ‘normal’? Heard a lecture by a Functional trained Chiropractor and he said one test not done is reverse T3. Have never heard of this one. Is this test of value? A simple explanation of this test would also be appreciated.

This has gone on for far too long. What is to be done now, the next step?
But how will I ever know if you reply since your new format does not give the selection to be notified of new postings? How will I ever know if others have experienced similar and what their experiences have taught them? Always a huge help.

Very sad, but not having this option has kept me from being active on this site.

To my above comment: After reading more of the comments, I need to add depression to my list as well as serious weight gain.

My thyroid was removed totally, 38 years ago. I did very well on Armour Thyroid (120 mg) replacement all of those years. Recently, my endocrinologist insisted that I take synthroid. It made me feel awful. Finally he put me back on Armour, but continually reduced the dosage to (90) mg just five days a week, insisting that the blood work showed that I was getting too much. I reached the point that I was so fatigued that I could do nothing and saw another specialist who read my records. Her diagnosis was that my thyroid dosage was too low. Now I am taking (90) mg daily, seven days a week. In three weeks I have begun to feel better. Quality of life is important!

I began Armour Thyroid about 15 years ago and it worked fine until I hit menopause. My doctor changed the dose, but the TSH was up and down. I was sent to an endocrinologist who insisted that Armour Thyroid does not work and is expected to be removed from the market. Levothyroxine was prescribed, it had me back in normal ranges, but I still did not feel right. After a few years, I changed doctors. I am now back on Armour Thyroid and felling better. I have the thyroid checked every 3 months and often the dose needs to be slightly adjusted, but it’s better than the levothyroxine any day!

If you happen to see this can you please pot if you are still on the Armor and how it works for weight loss? I gained 40 lbs on levothyroxine!

my name is marion and I am from Elizabeth nj I am on armour 45 from a coumpounding pharmacy I still have problems I tingle and I wonde r if it is from the meds iwant to try to find another thyroid doctor the one I have he is not helping me like he should be the other armour made me itch and not iam doig coumpoundin g if any one has any advice they can give me that woul d be nice

If T4 is not being efficiently converted to T3 and the conversion requires an enzyme, why not take a supplement that supplies that enzyme rather than adding an additional hormone?

We have not seen research showing that you can take the enzyme and get the desired effect. It’s not clear that the enzyme is available or could be taken orally.

I was told that the FDA removed this from the market. I did take this about 4 years ago, and yes it does work well but they gave it to me without anything else. I would sure like to know if it is back out on the market and if so is it something I can get in California.

The FDA took Armor and other similar brands off the market for “further testing” it had been grandfather in for years. When it came back on the market the price had gone sky high. Now the cost has leveled out to a reasonable amount. Armor and NP thyroid are natural thyroid medications, derived from a pig. My Dr was having trouble for a few years trying to get my levels right on the synthetic thyroid. About 2 months ago when I went for a normal check up i told him that i was so tired all i wanted to do was sleep. I was losing my hair and legs were swollen. DR talked to me about taking Nt thyroid and explained it. He said he had been on it himself and found a big difference. He did a blood test and my thyroid numbers were way off. He called the day after the blood test and put me on NT thyroid. It took almost 3 weeks when all of a sudden I realized, hay I’m feeling better. I was doing things and my friends were commenting on how I sounded better even on the phone. I am 76 and cannot walk well due to Rheumatoid arthritis. It is very hard for me to do anything but at least now that I am feeling so much better at least I try. When I started feeling better I called the Drs office and thanked him for making me feel so much better. Sometimes you have to tell the Dr that you would like to try the natural thyroid. If they tell you there is no difference please try to enforce it. You won’t believe the difference it makes.
I don’t have insurance and it costs me under $20 a month. Worth every penny.

I have been using Thyroxine for over 20 years, and I have started adding T3 after modifying my dose in T4. In short, not all patients will feel happy by adding T3 as it increases the fatigue dramatically. I do recommend starting with low dosage as a trial, however, and if you feel fatigue from T4, you will feel worse with T3.

My doctor has discovered that I am under hypopituitarism (No hGH released by Pituitary gland) as well. I have done provocative test and it shows almost ZERO hGH. Now I have started hGH injections, in addition to T4. I feel a way better, however when I increase T4 to match the “range”, I feel fatigue. The doctor refuses to increase my hGH dosage.

If your TSH is high but below 10, and your Thyroid range is low normal, try to check hGH by doing provocative blood test.

I am still trying to figure out why I am feeling fatigue with T4. If any one have solved this issue, please advise. T3 in this case, will not help you.

i have Hashimotos.. it took me three years and five doctors, and a painful life on levothyroxine with my body ache and muscle cramps before i got help. I couldnt move my body without ache and stiffness, my heart beat rapidly and mecanical, i worried about getting a stroke.

My tsh levels didnt get down. They told me to be patient it would work, kept working up the dose, which made my eyes feel like popping out of my head, getting sore and swollen looking. My lower back was super stiff and aching, I was constipated and my abdomen also swollen. I looked quite pregnant. I had analvbleeding for nothing.

Well, i realised it didnt work. i stopped taking it but of course you cant. It can get serious like slowly going into a coma. Your organs will suffer, so you need to get treatment.

I started doing research. suddenly a doctor applied for me to get Natural synthroid. well what happend, no rapid heartbeat, no pain, no stiffness, it slowly decreased and dissapeared. after a week i suddenly woke up feeling happiness, I could strech out my body without pain. I could sleep quite well and wake up without stiffness.

First time in years, after two months my tsh and my t3 is in supernormal range. my t4 not super, but low normal.

Ironically I take half the dose of natural thyroid compare to levothyroxine. that is enough. I’m not constipated and my skin and hair starts looking normal. I wish for everyone that cannot do well on levothyroxine to find a doctor that can give a try on Natural thyroid. I dont understand why not. I get erfa thyroid, but i think they are all quite similar, in fact i want to try out another too, its the patients own body and the goal should be to treat optimally. to try out whatever exists until it Works.

Its like a miracle for me, i was thinking my life was to be slept away and my body something I would have to constantly fight with. My pain and feeling abnormal made me sad and i felt better off being antisocial. i didn’t care about anything important. Everything has changed, i can make plans. I want to go for a walk, I want to do stuff, its a big difference in my thinking.

Your doctor should be there for you, not for himself or a rigid program about treatment if it doest make you better. I descided to find a doctor that would help me and I did, but it took some time. My doctor didnt belive it would get better, no he is shocked. My normal blood work also says so in black and white. I’m some months into this treatment, on an old fashion medicine, and I feel fine.

I was recently diagnosed and have been taking levothyroxine for over a month. Not only have I not felt this bad since I lived as an undiagnosed diabetic, my other medications are for some reason not treating issues as well anymore. Has anyone else had this happen? I take Nortriptyline for my neuropathy and it worked brilliantly; I felt the best I had in years. Might just be coincidental, but as soon as I started on Levothyroxine, the Nortriptyline effectiveness seemed halved at best. I am always tired again (and I was just starting to feel ‘energetic’ regularly again) and I have just been generally feeling unwell. I hate the way I feel now; absolutely hate it. I have spent so much of my life not feeling human that I’m really frustrated my doctor seems to think I have no real concerns when it comes to the backsliding I’m currently doing. Also, my weight gain had just begun slowing down and now I’m gaining again. I am an insulin-dependent diabetic-I DON’T need more weight on my already stressed frame!! I thought I was just going crazy until I looked this up-so glad I found this article. I hope by taking this information and my concerns about this treatment to a doctor who a ctually listens to me, I’ll be able to get back to a place where my health can actually improve instead of continuing to deteriorate.

I have gained a lot of weight depression and tiredness the past 5 yrs My doctor at the time just said I’m fat and need to move more Anyway I’ve been on hydrocodone for past 5 yrs due to a bad back surgery and neuropathy and Xanax for anxiety and doxe pin to sleep Any way I was diagnosed 2 months ago with hypothyroidism with a new dr and have been working since Sept 2015 My new dr started me on 50mg of levythrozine 2 months ago when I had blood work done my level was different so she bumped my dose to 88mg now She also said my sugar was up but didn’t seem concerned with that nor the blood in my urine My issue is I am so very tired and have hardly no energy at all even after sleeping 8 to 9 hrs a night Not sure if it’s the thyroid med or what My belly feels hard and bloated all the time and would just welcome any help Thank you

Hello? My name is Kimi and I would like you to know I am in the same boat as you. I am a sufferer of synthroid and levothyroxine. What I am not sure all my thyroid brothers and sisters know is this…. In 2013 The FDA took active thyroid hormone out of our thyroid pills. it used to be 90 to 110 percent potency. Now you are getting around 74 percent potency and I know that is why thyroid patients are saying synthroid don’t work. It will if we had 90 to 110 percent potency back in the pills! They don’t seem to want you to know that? I am trying to make our thyroid patient community aware so we can suggest and really demand 90 to 110 percent potency back with out the coding on it which stops a great deal of absorption as well. I can’t lose weight and had to literally double my intake of synthroid just to compensate for the now LACK of thyroid hormone that is so desperately needed for us.

Well it’s been a year so I hope you have relief. If you see this..I had the same prob w levothyroxine…Felt worse and gained 40 lbs. Dr switched me to tirosint w cytomel. No change at all..So tired I could cry and every part of my body hurts. I go back I. 3 days and I am demanding the natural hormone!

Hi everyone,
I never comment on threads, but this one I felt deserved a response.
I am a 26 year old female, currently on Synthroid 137- taken in the morning- and Cytomel 5- taken along with the Synthroid. I have a non-functioning thyroid- it scarred over after 3/4ths removal surgery last June due to a tumor. My life was flipped entirely upside down. The first 3 weeks after surgery was when I really noticed my body slowing down. I was Emotional, exhausted, bloated, drained, achey, anxious, depressed, and pretty much every adjective in between. I pushed and pushed with my doctors, explaining I didn’t feel like ‘me’ but I always felt I wasn’t taken seriously. It seems that is sadly the running theme with Endocrinologists.

I ultimately ended up doing my own research, bought countless medical texts, and scoured the Internet for any solutions. I came across the notion of adding T3 (aka Cytomel) and decided that was the route I wanted to take next, because I was not getting the results I needed on Synthroid alone. I switched to the NP in the practice- I’ve found they give you the most time and attention and are fully available to you- and we started me off on 5mcg, 2 times a day. That ended up making me TOO anxious, and also paranoia can be a temporary side effect the first month but does go away, so I was moved down to once a day. I also discovered a book called The Autoimmune Solution and changed my eating habits, to work in conjunction with my medication. Anti-inflammatory foods are a godsend. I have to say that adding the T3, and making that diet change, I have not felt better in a long time! I was so without hope and thinking my best version of me was long gone, and now my ideas of the future are very bright. I hope this helps someone reading.

I am glad that I read your post. For the past year my thyroid level has been so out of whack, they have been upping it so many times, and it still isn’t right. I was diagnosed 25 years ago and never had this problem. Now it makes sense to me, if they changed the level in the pills, maybe that is why the doctor has had to increase it so much this year. I go for my quarterly blood work and office visit, in a week, I will bring this up to her. Thank you again for letting us all know this information.

Are you only taking cytomel? I’m thinking about dumping my levothyroxine and just using cytomel. Is that what you are doing? Or armor and cytomel? Thanks for your thoughts!

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years ago. I started showing signs of it after I had my first child. After my second child, they got worse. A couple of years after my second child was born I finally went and got checked, and my levels were so high they could not tell the specific number. The only thing they could tell was that they were over 100. I was put on Levothyroxine and have been taking it ever since. Given that my first doctor did not specialize in this area, I switched to a different doctor. They moved the dosage around a few times, and I am now on .200. My last TSH test showed that my levels are “normal” but I still feel like I am not bad and that the problem is not fixed.

I am having such a hard time losing weight and staying positive. I am fatigued, my nails are bitter; I have loss of hair and am anxious and nervous all of the time. Coming from a small town it is hard to find a specialist that deals with this and who can help me.

After reading all of the comments, I am going to speak with my doctor tomorrow and test T3, in hopes of getting some promising answers.

I have always had lot of energy. People used to think I got my energy from coffee. I may have had hyperthyroid but symptoms were: easily sweating when active; never constipated but bowel movements weren’t a problem; problems staying asleep for more than 5 hrs, but didn’t feel tired; little anxiety; mild hair loss (thin hair).

Over the last few years I have noticed a huge change in my energy and mood. I was put on 50000 of vit D at one point for a week or so. I am 49, and thought I was having premenopausal symptoms. They had been testing my TSH and T4 levels over the last 4 years but they were within range. I had gotten to the point of constant negative thinking; very bad anger issues; a weight gain of 20lbs; and unexplained fatigue. I slept for almost 4 days straight; dry skin flaking off; constipation; no menstrual cycle. I was wanting a divorce from a very loving and caring husband.

I had blood in my bowel movement prior to the 4 days of fatigue so I went to the doctor, thinking maybe I had cancer or something. In hindsight I realize that this has been a progressive problem. Over the last 6 years I have gained weight (over 60lbs); become slowly angrier and slowly more tired. Because of this I didn’t see how drastic the changes have truly been. My T4 had crashed, and they put me on Levothyroxine 50mg, they say the lowest dose.

Immediately on the 1st day I noticed a difference. I was so happy because I liked people again, I had enough energy to get out of bed! Not much more but was actually functioning so I was ecstatic. I have been on it for 3 and half months. I was so grateful for the extreme anger going away but now my symptoms include fatigue to the point of not getting out of bed unless absolutely necessary (take my daughter to school). The anger and bad thinking are returning, and I have constipation, forgetfulness dry skin, and severe hot flashes.

I noticed that on waking in the morning I felt my best, had energy, and was happy. So I didn’t take my pill for 1 day and had the best day I had had in a long time. I got so much done. On the 2nd day didn’t take my pill and woke in an ok mood but not motivated and irritable. By the end of the day I was very irritable. 3rd day took my pill. I woke very angry, unmotivated, wanting to divorce my husband. 4th day took 1/2 pill. Woke motivated, some energy, good thoughts, wanted to keep my husband, but by 7pm I was getting angry so I took the other half and lasted until 10pm getting things done. Day 5 took 1/2 pill, woke up early 6 am feeling great had a great day but took the other 1/2 about 5pm and stayed up again until 10pm getting things done. Day 6 1/2 pill woke in a good mood, motivated, happy! Symptoms: migraine headache, feels like my body has the flu with achy muscles, severe hot flashes.

Ironically these don’t even stop me for a second, I am a mom of 9 and being able to get out of bed and like people is enough. But I can see where this too will start to affect me so I have been on the internet all morning and have come to the conclusion I am on the wrong medicine. I have doctor’s apt in the morning Let’s see if he will prescribe NDT. I will follow up.

In December 2012 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (age 13), so I had to have chemo etc to get rid of it which took around 1 and half year. After recovering from the cancer I still didn’t feel myself and so one of the consultants, who I still saw for regular check ups, decided to get me tested for hypothyroidism, and after numerous blood tests etc I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

My thyroid levels were extremely low and by the age of 14 I was taking 175mg levothyroxine. However no matter how much the doctors and consultants increased my medicine I still felt no better, I still felt very fatigued, confused, my hair began to fall out again, I had arthritis (which didn’t help the situation) and I was constantly very cold.

But it seemed that no matter how much they increased it (at this point I was 15-16 and taking 225mg of levothyroxine everyday!), I still felt awful and didn’t look very good at all, so the doctors agreed for me to stop taking the medication for 4 weeks to see if there was any difference and there was.

It was amazing, I hadn’t felt this much energy since before being diagnosed with cancer so it was great!! I am now 17 and the doctors have now decreased my meds to just 150mg per day and I feel much better :) it was not a wise idea in my case to just stop it completely forever as the doctors said that it was all up in my mind that I was better so they just decreased it and now I feel much much better!!

I’m a 55 year old, diagnosed with primary hypothyroidism 2011 (tsh 98). Started on levothyoxine and ended up balanced after 6 months. I was still tired with foggy thinking, aches a d insomnia.
They the tested me yearly and remained within normal limits. I’ve no idea what my t4 and t3 level are as the Dr wont tell me. Last Autumn my tsh was 9.5 so they increased levo from 150mcg to 175 and the fell to 0.05 so cut me back to 125. My ths is now 70. For the duration being on levothroxine I’ve felt bad no matter what my ths levels are. I don’t know what to do in order to feel better. They don’t offer t3 in uk.

Why can’t you get armour from gp in uk?

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2013, but I know I have had it since at least 2000 when I had my first child & my neck ballooned & a downward spiral of fatigue, weight gain & depression was set in motion. I had a long stretch of Doctors refusing to check it, only checking one level or straight telling me it was in my head & just because all the women in my family have it, didn’t mean I would. So I was elated to finally be believed & tested and diagnosed so I could be medicated properly.

I was put on Synthroid and while I did feel better than I had in years, I still felt awful. We tried dose increases even when my numbers were normalised but it did nothing. I was exercising 3x a week and strictly staying under 800/calories a day and was still gaining weight. Albeit slowly, but I just couldn’t lose.

I’ve been to my doctor recently and he agreed to try Armour, so I’ve been on that for a month now, he suggested to halt exercise & calorie limit to see how it works for me on its own.

So far, I’ve gained twenty pounds but I am confident that that will turn around. I’m noticing I am feeling better for longer periods of time, I am getting more energy to get things done when before I had none. And I mean none! Just staying alert all day & making dinner was draining me. I’d sleep and want to sleep more, but here I am… went to bed at 9pm and I’m wide awake at 4:30am, reading.

There were many occasions on Synthroid where my hubby would try to let me “catch up” on sleep, assuming it was a lack of and I’d be asleep for 18 hours straight and that’s with him waking me up to make sure I’m ok and I was still tired. I hope the energy keeps coming, I hope I can finally shed this weight with Armour Thyroid. Wish me luck!

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism during what was termed by a therapist as a major depressive episode. I’ve received a lot of treatment for mental health that’s never really seemed to help, but meanwhile nothing but levothyroxine for my thyroid. I’ve never really felt like any MDs I’ve seen has looked more deeply than what’s standard practice, and its making me feel utterly helpless.

Levothyroxine made me feel worse, and I let it go for 4 yrs not realizing that was it. Endo said some ppl can’t take Levo because of the dye. Started taking Tirosint and Cytomel. No difference. Gained 40 lbs on levo and can’t lose one pound! I’m going back in 3 days and demanding Armor. How have you done since you posted?

For 20+ years I was told that the results of my thyroid tests came back as “low normal.” I suffered from depression and fatigue. Then, several years ago in my mid-40’s, my symptoms got worse. I had just started grad school and was working part time. I told myself that I just wasn’t trying hard enough but I could do no more. I was cold all the time and wore long sleeves even in the summer (and had for years), my hair thinned and fell out, my skin was so dry and nothing alleviated the dryness. Weight gain was not really a problem for me but only because I slept instead of eating. And no amount of sleep helped with the bone deep fatigue. I was finally put on the lowest dose of Synthroid. And so began nine months of trial and error of trying to get the dosing correct. Finally, one of my physician’s colleagues looked at my test results and said immediately that my T3 was not being addressed. I started Armour Thyroid (currently on 90mg) and my life changed within a few weeks. Unfortunately, insurance companies consider this type of thyroid medication a preferred brand and you can’t get if for the few dollars that you can get Synthroid. I’ve seen my cost increase over the past year from about $12 per month to $29 per month. But it is a price I’m willing to pay to feel my best.

I was on synthroid for over 20 years–from my early 40s to mid 60s. As I got into the late 50s, I assumed the constant pain in my joints was from old athletic injuries or arthritis. A naturopath doctor from my church suggested switching to natural Armour thyroid. Within 6 weeks the joint pain was gone and my energy level went up. I had a constant struggle convincing my primary care doctor to prescribe the natural treatment, and eventually changed doctors.

I have had the longest period of my life getting my doctors to get me the proper help. I don’t know how to find someone who is curious enough to run the necessary tests to get to proper treatment. My adrenal glands crashed after having both ovaries removed. I nearly died a couple times until I went and told my doctor I simply couldn’t stand up or awake.

They finally ran an ACTH test and got me on hydrocortisone. The blood work revealed low tsh and I was put on Synthroid. That brought my levels in limits but not my symptoms.

I researched online and found the Stop The Thyroid Madness website and ordered their book. Long story short, I discovered the list of tests I should have and handed them to my doctor. She ran them and in fact I needed Cytomel and I have Hashimotos Autoimmune Thyroiditis. I got on Cytomel and felt great for some time but now my joints are aching and I’m sleeping constantly. There’s a formulating pharmacy near me. How can I get the dessicated thyroid prescription?

If you are already taking Cytomel and Synthroid, it is not clear that desiccated thyroid will offer you any advantages. You will need to work with your doctor.

Have you listened to our recent show?

BTW, usually low TSH means too much thyroid hormone in the system; the signal for hypothyroidism is high TSH

Please cN you explain what Armour is?
I had never heard of it until now
I have no thyroid after surgery years ago and take levothyroxine,
Lately my levels changed , and its been a nightmare getting levels back as even! Going from 125 down to 50, back up slowly and hoping for the best!
Specialist and GP have no explanations of why it went off synch and why am having such unpleasant symptoms.
Should my doctor inform me about Armour,?
Thank you

Armour is desiccated thyroid gland (dried powdered gland) from a pig. Levothyroxine has just one form of thyroid hormone (T4), while Armour contains several in the natural ratio for pigs (similar to but not identical to the ratio for humans).

I was diagnosed with hypothyroid due to hashimoto years ago and have run the course with levothyroxine and levothyronine ever since, with doses varying thru the years. I am 66 years old and have felt absolutely horrible for years since starting these meds. I dropped the levothyronine but didn’t feel better. Doctor lowered dose of levothyroxine but still felt awful. No energy, unclear thinking, behavior changes, weight gain, depression etc haunted me. To wake up in the morning was a dreadful experience, such a feeling of doom in my stomach…..not in my head.

I know it sounds strange but true. I recently told my doctor I want to stop the levothyroxine for a while to see how I feel. She disagreed but since it was my decision she will test me 6 weeks off meds. I have been now off it for 3 weeks and what a difference. My weight has not budged but then again I am not very good with my diet. My depression seems to be much less, energy level much higher, thinking clearer, not acting in ways that run the gamut from over excited to under, life seems easier and less forced. I hate that medication and if going off it means I will pass on to my next metamorphisis phase in my existence then so be it. Going to happen anyhow. Rather it happen without severe depression than with it. A past friend of mine asked me if I didn’t think that these bodily functions that slow down as we age are just a natural progression of the human condition and I am starting to think she may have had a point.

I was on synthroid in 1990 and stoppend for several years being Fine. Then in 2005 I was anemic and took iron. Later I was tired and exhausted and had a blood test at Life Extension. They told me to see a doc immediately because my thyroid levels were extreme low. They recommended taking Armour, which I did. I don’t know what doctors you all use that they can tell you what to take. I tell my doctor what I want, because he works for me not the other way around. I have been doing great on this Med. I will always prefer the natural over synthetic.

I’ve found out that the times that I ran out of my Levothyroxine 88mcg. and didn’t take it I felt so much better…more energy ,no headahes and don’t fall asleep at the drop of a dime…have even lost a few pounds too..better out look on my day…better attitude also…annnnnd. as soon as I get back on my medicine…here we go again…all the negativenes is back…have spoken to my Dr. …he just upped the dosage…no big deal…tests are okay he says…? BUT I’M NOT OKAY…someone please help…thank you…

I have been on Levo alone for nearly 2 years and it has failed to make me feel anywhere near better, despite being assured that hypothyroidism was easy to treat.

I have raised concerns 3 times now, once with Nurse Practitioner, twice with G.P.s and even my Endocrinologist, that there may well be a conversion issue, because in my case, and despite the T.S.H. Levels coming back within range, I continue to have dreadful symptoms that are making my life an absolute misery.

Every time I have asked for help, I have been told it’s depression, and given increased dosages of antidepressants. Frustrating is an understatement, and the supposition that it is all in my head winds me up even more. It isn’t them who are being sent home to continue to feel dreadful.

It is far too easy to assume that it is all in a persons head, if only they could experience it for one day, I’m damned sure they would treat people differently, and with a bit more respect too.

I have been on Armour Thyroid for three years. My health has greatly improved since I started the Armour. I have tried the genetic NP thyroid to save money, but I became symptomatic. Although insurance did not cover Armour as it does the genetic or synthetic thyroid medication, I went back to Armour. Synthetic would cost $4 a month, Armour is $20+. Not a huge difference but over a life time it will add up. My sister is on Synthetic for insurance reasons and her health reflects it. She refuses to spend the extra. I recently went on Medicare and I found Part D drug plans don’t recognize Armour in the drug search. I’ll have to research and find my best cost option. I was told to try synthetic but I don’t ever want to ever go back to feeling those symptoms again.

In response to DD: I tried other NDTs. Naturethroid made me feel dull. Tried it for two weeks. NP Thyroid made me weak after1-2 weeks. So did Thiroid S Went back to Armour each time. Tried Erfa from Canada, and it too doesn’t work as well for me as Armour. But this new formula of Armour doesn’t work as well as the original. I have a few pills left over, and taking one of those made me feel wonderful.

Why can’t some company make the original formula? Compounds don’t work well either. The only med I haven’t tried is Thyrogold, and some people swear by it. I am supplementing with DHEA and Adrenal Complex and vitamins Multi B Complex, Vit D3, Calcium, Magnesium, EmergencC, and Selenium. My head just gets foggy. I used to be a sharp thinker and Armour was great for 13 years. Doctor said our bodies change. Now I have to control blood sugar with diet and cinnamon. I take 60mg Armour in am and then 30mg at dinner. Labs show Tsh low but I know Armour does that. Maybe I need to take more Armour. If my eyes get blurry, I take more Armour and that helps. What do people think about Thyrogold?

During a time of great stress, leading up to my mother’s death, I inadvertently omitted to take my T3. Indeed, worse, I continued not to take it without realising and don’t actually know how long I went without it. I began to feel very unwell recently: cognitively defunct and gaining weight fast …. 14 pounds in 5 months. My GP showed me a graph from the lab which clearly indicated my stupidity and she said “this is what happens when you go without your T3!” I am now back on it, gradually increasing the dosage, but wonder a) how long will it take to work and get me back to normal, and b) how high can I go on the T3 to speed up the process? I don’t want to do anything stupid, but I DO want to get back to normal. I am also on Thyroxine and Armour thyroid and until I brought about my own demise I was absolutely FINE!
SOS! I really need some advice please.

PLZ help!
My lab tests (TSH , FT3, FT4 ) are normal but I have severe thyroid symptoms – like fatigue, body aches , extremely low energy etc. Should I start taking T3 as well? or should I move to NDT. Currently I take 125mg Thyorxine and I feel so crappy:( Doctors are of no help. I need some suggestions!

I have been on Armour thyroid for about 15 years and done well. I am now over 60, and recently got a letter from my doctors office saying they will be switching me to Levothyroxine because there have been some elderly patients who have had a cardiac shock (or something like that) due to the Armour thyroid. Have any of you heard about that?
Clearly I am not in that particular patient population. I feel fine. I’m active, work long hours and not gaining a lot of weight or that horrible chronic fatigue feeling, that some of you already know.
I understand the drug companies are very powerful and convincing, but it sure would be nice to be treated on an individual basis by the primary doctor who is taking care of you.
And yes I will only take bio identical hormone replacement. Why would you use something synthetic, when you have access to something that is much more like what your body normally produces?
I have several friends who when switched to Armour thyroid (yes some over 60) and feel 100% better. I have not heard the reverse. And yes, there is literature out there to prove the point. Hopefully I will not have to go to Mexico or Internet to get medication that works for me.
I do believe my MD is very good. However stuck with the global We, of the health care system, that says it is done their way- Because of cost.

I have been on Armour thyroid for about 4 years now but 3 months ago the medicine quit working and the doctor supplemented with T3. I still feel run down, hair falling out, achy muscles and dry skin. I don’t eat much and my job keeps me active and I have gained 20 lbs. I researched it and found out that the company that made Armour was bought and the formula changed. Now when I cut the pills in half for my evening dose, they just crumble. I found that many people are having the same problem, Armour worked before but no longer does. No what do we do?

Activis has bought Forest Pharmaceuticals and many Armour users are reporting that their symptoms have been returning in 2015.
Have your Dr. switch your medication to NatureThroid which is the same drug and has not been recalled.

Hi. Im 44. I’ve been on synthroid for 14 years. Now I’m at 137 mcg. My throat always feels swollen like a lump in it. Is that from my thyroid?

Hi. Yes I have same problem to. Lump in my throat. Waking up with burning in my elbows. I also feel my leg muscles twinging. Huge brain fog like my mind is not with it half the time

If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or any of its variants, please read these comments…

you will find out that your doctor(s) know absolutely zilch about what you are experiencing, and really don’t much care, as long as they can get your lab test results into the “normal” range…..

mine have been “normal” for 35 years….. that has relieved not one single symptom….. not the dry itchy skin, not the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows, not the weight gain, not the depression, not the hair loss, not one single symptom has improved….. but don’t worry, my condition is being successfully “managed” by our magnificent medical system……….. and you know this is true, because my lab NUMBERS are normal – therefore, I am cured…

ain’t consensus wonderful?

I just read the article on hypothyroid – T4 and T3 – Armour Thyroid. I was diagnosed hypothyroid 16 years ago and have been on the “doctor yoyo” treating me with Synthroid or Unithroid ever since. My overall health has never been poor. Recently I threw a small tantrum in my doctor’s office and so he discussed Armour Thyroid with me. Because of the desiccated aspect of it, I opted to try Nature Throid instead. Are these medications comparable? I have been taking this now for a little over a week and I am still feeling achy, lethargic, foggy headed and depressed. I can only hope it kicks in pretty soon.

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at 21 yo after my 1st child was born, at which time I was put om levothyroxine. Over the the last 20 years my symtoms have been progressively gotten worse, fatigue, sleeplessness, weight gain, brain fog, body aches etc… until a friend recommended Armour thyroid. It took time to find a Doctor willing to prescribe it and it has been well worth it. The 1st 2 weeks on Armour I felt horrible and things seemed to get worse but almost 2 weeks to the day I started Armour I felt a significant increase in energy, my hair has stopped falling out and I am able to sleep again and feel rested in the morning. I have also started to lose weight although I do not know if that is because I changed my diet or if it is a result of the Armour. All I do know is that I am beginning to feel normal again and it is changing my life for the better. For those out there switching to a natural thyroid supplement give it time to work don’t give up before it has a chance to work.

Tanya, hope this helps. Although I was having thyroid type symptoms for years, my labs for TSH, T3, and T4 were all w/in normalish range. I began going to a different D.O. and she told me my labs needed to be read with my symptoms in mind. She put me on Armour 60 and my life and health no longer have complaints. Good luck.

I don’t have a thyroid what is the best medicine to take i take armor i had my blood work done Dr said the blood work was good but i am tired gaining weigh i hope you can help

Tried cytomel for years. It was messing with my heart. It feels like when I’m sleeping I jump awake. Bad mood, feel bad.

yes doctors love to shout psychosamatic when they don’t know what their doing. Armour Thyroid & similiar drugs are best for hormone replacement. Many people don’t convert this t3 to t4, hense they need both. Even after treatment I am not back to 100%-my doctor said this is normal for post-partum thyroid disease patients? I think the most awful thing is I was very active before this and now suffer daily with muscle weakness regardless of eating high protein diet & working out. I just drink lots of water and caffeine- it helps and take the med..

I had my thyroid removed in Athens in 2005 due to pre-cancerous nodules. Over the last ten years I have battled to feel well and keep weight down. Due to a botched stomach op in UK in 1998 I have severe adhesions and had a second op here in 2012 removing 40cm of small intestine. By keeping a table of my blood results (it is possible here to go and get bloods done any time at the local lab) I noticed whenever my stomach played up and I felt wiped out was when my T3 was on the floor. Endocrinologist here also have a block about using T3 the last one told me we only give it to “fat people”. So I decided to self-medicate in March and now take 100 T4 plus 12.5 T3. My stomach problems are markedly better, constipation gone, energy levels up hugely. If you have no thyroid, stomach absorbtion issues, and a fatty liver, where is your body going to convert T4 to T3 I asked myself. It seems to be a matter of common sense and joining up the dots. I keep my B12 levels up (again can buy B12 injections over the counter here, pac of 3 with syringes cost €3.34) and the T3 is €1.16 a pac. My D3 was low even though I live in a sunny climate so I supplement, and sunbathe. I discussed my issues with my GP who has thyroid nodules herself and is very interested in any new data on thyroid treatment.
As to Armour, of course it works better than T4 as it has T3 in it!

I was on synthroid for 30 years to keep nodules from growing. I had migraines, constipation, tired and other symptoms. It should have. Been 30 years of death. That is how awful I felt. I then got two types of thyroid cancer. Had thyroid completely removed and found a doctor who would prescribe Armour thyroid. I lost out on 30 years.

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