Trial of thyroid medicine?

Good afternoon,

I have a family history of thyroid conditions; I have fluctuating TSH, FT4, FT3 bloodwork; and symptoms of hypothyroid for years, such as fatigue and sluggishness, etc.

I have read from many people that people can be hypothyroid and not be diagnostic, but symptomatic, and they improved on a trial of thyroid medicine. So, I’d like to try a trial of thyroid medicine, and see if I improve.

I understand that it is very hard to get a doctor to agree to this. **Do any of you have advice on how to get a doctor to agree to it, and to natural dessicated? I’m considering writing my GYN about this, as she was open to letting me get on Prometrium for irregularity. Would a GYN be more open to is than other types of doctors?

Any ideas of how to approach writing the letter requesting a trial?**

I do have a specialist in mind that would be open to it, but he is a long drive and costs a lot, and I have yet to try him, so I would prefer getting a regular doctor to let my try a trial.

Here’s a great article: altsupportthyroid.org/tsh/tshrefs2.php

Thank you and God bless you!


Interesting, I’ve just been evaluating my lab work from the first time I was tested years ago. My FT4 is always rock bottom, when it is supposed to be optimal in the upper third of the range. My FT3 was tested twice in all this time, and once it was in the starting upper third range, but the last time it was not. Dr. John Dommisse, MD treats hypothyroid when TSH>1.0 and FT3 and FT4 are low-normal. That’s me!! He likes to keep TSH between 0.1-1.0, but really it depends on the person and it’s best to gauge by symptoms.

My TSH has always been over 1.0 Many times it’s been over 3.0, and just so recently. Once it went high out of range into hypo zone. But, according to up-to-date docs, my TSH is hypo being over 1.0, and especially being over 3.0

I’m thinking of calling doctor offices and trying to find a doctor that will treat a narrower range. I figure that first I’ll try sending information to my GYN and a letter and trying to see if she’ll try a trial.

I’m symptomatic, everything else has been evaluated, my PCP is out of ideas, and hypothyroid runs in my family. I’m pretty sure this is what I’ve got. But in the meantime, I feel like this: :banghead:

From my research and talking to people, some find natural thyroid to help (because it has T3, T4, T1, T2) while others do better on synthetic. Many need T3 in addition to T4 treatment, and they find splitting up the doses in the day or using time-released is best because of the short half-life. A big headache for people is finding the right brand, as fillers and things affect absorption; Armour and Nature-Throid recently went through re-formulation and now people had to change meds because it was giving them awful side effects. I hope I find what’s best for me!

This condition is so terrible to diagnose and treat! So many misinformed doctors out there!

God bless you! :slight_smile:

Google the Broda Barnes temp test. That can be another indicator of low thyroid. It is for me as my morning temps lately are 96.1. plus I have lots of hair loss, fatigue, etc.

Also visit stopthethyroidmadness.com for a list of docs in your area who know what they are doing.

I was on Armour for a decade and loved it till the reformulation. Now I’m on NP Thyroid by Acella, but still in the first week of the switch so waiting to see if it works for me.

Many blessings!

If you can’t get a prescription, you might want to research natural remedies for thyroid issues like seaweed. I have a friend who opted to use seaweed rather than synthroid and it has worked great.

If you can’t get a prescription, you might research natural remedies such as seaweed. My friend says that seaweed worked great for her hypothyroidism.

Has your Dr. tested antibodies?

Many have hashimotos, with high thyroid antibodies… And that is the MOST common way one has a “normal” TSH, and feels hypo…

Good luck on your search. I’ve been there… VERY hard to get help.

You also might want to check about.com in their thyroid section… HUGE!!!

I didn’t know there was such a thing as a trial. I thought that once you start, its pretty much life-long. I’m on Synthroid for hypothyroidism (Hashimotos) and I used to mess around and not take it seriously, until I was in such a bad state of mental and physical health that I realized taking the medication was the only way I could feel normal and good during the day.

I haven’t heard about seaweed, but haven’t researched either. I might look into that!

Either way, if you get it figured out, its a night and day difference once you are regulated and doing well. But it creeps up really quickly and its a constant battle to stay on the proper dosage unfortunately.

I wish you the best, I remember those days and they are horrible! I hope you can get some sort of relief quickly.

My wife has thyroid problems. She took synthroid for awhile but it made the symptoms worse and there were side effects. Doctor would not prescribe Armour so she went to a natural medicine doctor and started on Iodoral, changed table salt to Celtic Sea Salt, occassionally takes seaweed, and increased folic acid.

These changes took awhile for her to notice, btw. It was few weeks before I noticed some positive changes, and a little longer before she said she felt she was doing better. So it seems to be a very slow processes, but based on P&A and her research on Thyroid, it is a very slow acting gland. Oh, and she follows the ‘thyroid diet’ (low gL foods).

Her biggest obstacle: restricting sweets and giving up Dr Pepper and coffee with cream/sugar, and baked potatoes. She said that is the psychological hurdle but once over, its all good. :thumbsup:

Very interesting…what is the thyroid diet?

My wife has this guide printed out and on the fridge:
drhedberg.com/2011/03/04/action-plan-the-thyroid-diet/
She said she follows that guide more because her adrenal glands have been stressed and her acidic level was really high.

She said the book she got was:
borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0061754145

Basically, she’s working on eliminating corn products and sugars. She has switched to Stevia and Agave nectar (and local honey and molasses) for sweeteners, and Arrowroot to replace cornstarch. More green veggies, more fruits (she said freezing fresh sliced fruit is easy and eating it in the hot summer is more satisfying than ice cream).

Since then, her migraines have decreased (especially when avoiding aspertame). She’s losing weight slowly (as Drs recommend) and her energy level has increased.

Oh, and she also wanted me to mention that she takes CLO (cod liver oil) which has helped her dry skin, and drinks a shot (she literally uses a shot glass) of Aloe Vera juice before each primary meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for digestion and she has 1-2 small snacks. She likes the Think Thin bars and the Kind bars (in health food stores?) when craving a candy bar. She also said the Green Superfood bars are surprisingly good (for meal replacement. I read the ingredients. Sounds nasty. I’ll stick to my meat and potatoes!

**:wave: Hypothyroidism over here! I’ve been thru it all. My thyroid problems began 6 years ago after I had my 3rd baby. I had a severe headache (2 months postpartum) that would not subside no matter what I did. Called the doc and he had me come into the office. They told me to ‘take some pain meds and call if it didn’t go away.’ Well, two days later, the pain was so bad (not to mention that I didn’t normally get headaches so it was out of character for me) that I was vomitting. We took a trip to the ER and they decided that it could be meningitis but since I had no fever, instead they wanted to give me morphine and send me home. I said no thanks to the morphine and went on my way home w/ zero answers. About 2 days later the pain was so bad I couldn’t open my eyes, I coudn’t eat, couldn’t care for my 3 kids (much less breastfeed a 2 month old!) and I was in tears. :frowning: My husband left work, came home and took me back to the ER. They did every test under the sun to find out it was my thyroid. I was very frustrated that my doc didn’t think to do a simple blood test from day one to see if that was the cause (instead I racked up bills from the 2 ER visits plus all these tests)-it was hyperthyroidism. Anyway, they put me on meds, regulated it, and I felt good. Months later I felt like **. It went hypo. Basically, I’ve been battling hypo ever since then. I’ve been to 4 docs just this year alone trying to get someone to get my meds adjusted appropriately. I’ve gained 27 lbs in the past year, hair loss, constipation, etc. all since having my son last May (baby #5). I have gained 27 lbs SINCE his birth, despite nursing, etc. Doc just kept saying, ‘‘your thyroid is fine, just exercise more.’’ UGH! So, this new doc I went to in May looked at my number (TSH) and said, ‘‘no, I like this at 1.5 or less’’, mine was at 2.39 and here this other doc kept telling me it was fine. :frowning: If I had had a proper diagnosis back then, it would have saved me many gained pounds of excess weight. I’ve been on armour and synthroid combined since May w/ no relief. I go back this Friday for another blood test. I think he needs to up my dosage or maybe switch to the other med that someone mentioned above (began w/ an ‘a’?). Anyway, you are not alone. And don’t let any doc tell you it’s fine when you don’t FEEL fine. That’s what I’ve learned from all this. If I had not switched docs, I’d probably be as big as a house by now. Oh, and one other thing, for Lent I gave up dr. pepper (my fave drink) and everyone said, ‘‘when you quit soda you should lose 10 lbs effortlessly.’’ Nope, didn’t even lose 1 lb. It’s ridiculous what hypothyroidism can do to a person (and their marriage). Good luck Joy, and don’t stop til you find answers. BTW, google Dr. Brownstein, he has an excellent hour long video online that you can watch all about proper diagnosis. HTH! :slight_smile:

**One more thing, I don’t think OB/GYN’s go by the newer guidelines (or stricter guidelines). There is a general guideline that docs go by but endocrinologists go by some newer standards. So, you might want to find one. Also, after watching Dr. Brownstein’s video, I contacted his office and asked if they could recommend a doc locally that adhered to his thinking. They referred me to a website where I found a holistic/homeopathic doc here locally. I went to her 2 weeks ago and am awaiting test results (to see if she can take care of it instead of going to the endo who isn’t as ‘natural’ friendly if you kwim). You might want to try that. And the doc I found also takes insurance which is great because I know a lot of natural docs do not. **

A big Yes to everything mamacita said…my thyroid has been a challenging thing to have to deal with too.

I’ve been hypo for over 20 years now, thanks to Grave’s disease in high school. At first I went on Synthroid, and I honestly, for the life of me, don’t know WHY I was on it so long. It’s a T4 only medication and if your body cannot convert the T4 to T3, well, then you’ll just be hypo forever, regardless what the TSH test tells you.

I gained so much weight, my hair thinned awfully, my skin was dry, etc, etc…finally when I was older I demanded to be switched to Armour (which is natural desiccated and contains everything the human thyroid puts out including T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.) I felt AWESOME on Armour. Just absolutely fantastic. Like I had my life back!

Then they reformulated it and people across the globe were getting hypo symptoms again, including me. :frowning: When I was pregnant with baby #5, I thought I was dying. My hair was falling out, I was having anxiety attacks and heart palpitations, couldn’t sleep, my heart hurt, I had bad depression and a terrible brain fog. My TSH when tested was 39!!! Terrible. They were surprised I was still pregnant.

Anyway, since baby’s birth I’ve been up (24 hour long, every single day migraines, like mamacita, shaking, anxiety, sleeplessness, very fast weight loss) and down (light sensitivity, brain fog, exhausted, brittle nails, dry thinning hair that’s falling out, low temps) and know I’m still down now. I switched to Acella’s thyroid instead because I’ve had it with Armour and their reformulation business. :mad: Luckily, I’ve got a wonderful doctor who lets me dose to symptoms rather than tests, and knows that the TSH test is pretty much worthless when you are already medicating. It’s the Free T3 and the Free T4 you need to be looking at.

Right now my TSH is testing pretty much at .01 - .05, but my Free T3s are still too low for me, so I’ve been upping my dose about 1/4 grain each couple weeks. Hoping to find that “sweet spot” they talk about so this brain fog goes away. :frowning: Even with the increase of 1/4 grain a day, I’m noticing a HUGE lift in my mood, but I’ve got more to go.

I do think I also need to get my adrenals checked. That’s a whole 'nother story.

Best of luck to you, OP. I hope you find a doctor who will help you based on what you need, and not on what the lab reports say.

PS - I :heart: Dr Brownstein. He is a gem with thyroid issues.

**Sancta, so you are having heart palpitations, etc? Do you think it’s going to the other end, meaning hyperthyroid? Since 2005, I had been on levothyroxine (generic of synthroid), and I have also learned that it does not work as well as synthroid. In 2009, I demanded that I find a doc that prescribed something other than levo. So, I found a doc but he didn’t accept my insur. and hubby was out of work and it was expensive. Anyway, he put me on armour (back in 09) and I lost weight and felt great. THen, they stopped making it in Sept 09 so I was again stuck back w/ the old doc since i couldn’t afford the other one adn he wanted me back on levo w/ nothing else for T3. I told him no, I wanted something w/ T3 (the expensive doc did say he thinks my body isn’t convertin T4 to T3, etc). He put me on cytomel (a T3) w/ the levo. I felt great, lost weight, got preggo, and was the tiniest w/ that pregnancy than w/ my others. SO, last summer he took me off hte cytomel (after baby was born) and told me i don’t need the T3. And look at me now, 27 lbs more. In Feb. I finally tried another doc. She was rude, etc (I won’t type all that) and told me armour was ‘not FDA approved and whoever prescribed that for me was ‘cookooo’.’’ Uh, ok, alrighty then. So, then I went to my chiro who told me to try another doc (an endocrinologist). I went to him and he’s fine w/ prescribing the armour and i’ve been on it for months now (since probably Feb, the rude doc did prescribe it after me insistign) and I have yet to lose any weight despite dietary changes, nursing, etc. But, the doc in May added in synthroid w/ the armour and I’m still not losing weight. I am thinking I need to request the medication you mentioned. I go back to the doc on Friday so I’ll see what he says.

OP, good luck! I just want to say, if you don’t FEEL right, then make sure someone takes care of you. Don’t let things go and let them push you around and tell you everything is ‘a-ok’ when it is not. :wink: Blessings to you. **

The heart palps come for me whether somewhat hyper or seriously hypo. I don’t have them now. But I’m stuck in a mess of hair loss, a serious brain fog that I’m trying to dig my way out of, brittle nails, dry skin, itching, low grade depression, etc… This is an annoying thing to have to live with, ESP when your meds aren’t right. :frowning:

I PMd you too, but Armour may not be working for you since the 2009 reformulation…didn’t work for tons of people. There are tricks to getting it to work but I just gave up and switched altogether.

Armour didn’t need to be FDA approved because it’s been around before the FDA existed and was grandfathered in.

That’s exactly what I’ve been looking at! I heard it’s great! I even checked with my pharmacy and CVS can order it, as well as Walgreens. I’ve heard awful things about the reformulated Nature-Throid and Armour.

Thank you for the info! :slight_smile:

I have an awful time trying to lose weight. Is it normal to be following the SlimFast morning and lunch, plus a regular dinner, and still struggle to lose weight? I’ve only just lately been able to lose weight by cutting my dinner down to a tuna sandwich or a salad.

The fatigue and sluggishness is awful!

You know, looking at my numbers, I don’t look all that bad on paper (TSH over 3.0 and FT3 and FT4 in the bottom of the ranges), but it really seems to differ by person. These numbers on another person may show very mild symptoms, while it’s pretty bad on me.

I sleep 10-11 hours a night to feel somewhat functional. And I could still sleep more. I also nap a lot. You should see my trying to climb stairs from ground level to the third floor; I’m panting and struggling to make it. I tried doing some light jogging on the treadmill about 20-30 minutes every few days, but I’d end up having to rest in bed soon after.

I’m in my late 20’s and within the upper normal weight range, yet I look to be in awful fitness. Something just isn’t right, and I’m tired of hearing docs and medical people say I’m normal. Eeek.

Even in my teens, I looked at the other kids, they took several dance classes a week along with soccer and running at school. While I could only handle one dance class a week!

Thyroid conditions even run in my family on my maternal side. It just looks so obvious.

Has anyone had success getting a good doc through the website “top thyroid doctors”?

You have to find the right endo. Mine is awesome and have been with her for years. I know my body better than anyone and can figure out when my meds are off. When it was too high, I would feel like I was on the edge and had a lot of anixety. When they are too low, i get depressed and no amount of sleep is enough.

I have the hysomoto version and take snythorid. My doctor will not allow the generic so never tried it.

As far as losing weight, I never lost this amazing amount, what it did was give me the ability to lose weight instead of my body holding in every calorie it took in.

I will tell you when I first got tested it took forever because my thyroid would crash and then go back to normal, so until they did the hour long blood test where they made my thyroid they never figured it out. I will be on meds for the rest of my life but that’s what I have to live with.

What is that test?

I insisted on all the antibody testing and all came out normal, thank God! :slight_smile:

From the diet I explained, does it sound like my body tends to hold every calorie in? Maybe hypothyroid?

I’d also like to add that I started a hypothyroid group on here:

forums.catholic.com/group.php?groupid=1105

The hour long test? I’m guessing it’s the TRH Stimulating test.

When I’m hypo I gain lots of weight too. The only time I’ve been able to stay stable when hypo (and lose when all the meds are right-on) is when I go gluten-free. I dropped TONS of weight just leaving out wheat pastas, wheat breads, desserts, white potatoes, etc.

It’s my understanding that the TRH test is just for diagnosing hyPERthyroid?

Another hypo here. :stuck_out_tongue: I wouldn’t wish this disease on anyone. My hair falls out, I am exhausted, and I have muscle-skeletal weakness and a whole host of symptoms. I’m on .225 micrograms of levoxythrine, and wish I could find a doctor who would prescribe a natural dessicated hormone replacement. I think the fact that my doctor will ONLY prescribe a T4 replacement is why I feel underpar most of the time.

One thing that does help though is avoiding all soy. The stuff is goitergenic, and in everything from flour, vegetable oil, tuna (canned in water is really canned in soy broth), mayonaise, bread, chocolate, crackers, etc.

Good luck everyone, it’s a silent disease, no one knows by looking at us, but it is a miserable one.

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