Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism

Thyroid lab testing should include tsh, total t4, free t4, total t3, free t3, reverse t3, thyroid antibodies

The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people worldwide suffering from thyroid dysfunction yet over half are presumed to be unaware of their condition. Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, is one of the most undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, and unrecognized health problems in the world. It is an epidemic that is sweeping the globe yet doctors are failing to recognize and diagnose hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid patients are falling through the cracks of mainstream medicine, left to suffer debilitating and even life-threatening symptoms. What is going on?

1. Reliance on TSH

According to mainstream medicine, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is the gold standard for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunction. This hormone released by the pituitary gland in the brain stimulates the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in our necks to produce thyroid hormones. Unfortunately TSH alone does not provide a complete picture. Most doctors typically don’t run a full thyroid blood panel nor do they investigate fully the patient’s medical history, symptoms, family history and thorough physical exam. They rely on this one blood test, TSH, leaving millions of people undiagnosed and suffering from debilitating symptoms.

Many patients complain to their doctors of common hypothyroid symptoms yet because their TSH falls in the ‘normal’ range, their thyroid is declared normal. Patients will walk into their doctors’ offices complaining of fatigue, weight gain, and depression, and their doctors will pass them prescriptions for sleeping pills and anti-depressants and tell them to just exercise more, instead of recognizing the underlying thyroid issue.

2. Outdated TSH Lab Ranges

TSH alone does not provide a complete picture. If doctors are going to rely on TSH alone, however, they should at least give consideration to the controversy over the TSH normal reference range and consider this when diagnosing patients. Mainstream medicine relies on a normal TSH range from 0.5 to 5.0 with variations depending on the laboratory. However thyroid advocates and many integrative physicians are fighting to narrow that range. Thyroid doctor Dr. Weston “Wiggy” Saunders posted this important message on his Dr. Wiggy Thyroid MD Facebook page.

Dr. Wiggy TSH 1.5

Many traditional doctors rely strictly on the TSH range of 0.5 to 5.0 despite the patient’s obvious symptoms. Then, there are other doctors who will only diagnose hypothyroidism once TSH is above 10.0! WHAT? By then your symptoms can be so debilitating you are struggling to live through each day!

3. Failure To Do Full Thyroid Blood Testing

How can doctors diagnose and treat thyroid disorders without doing a full investigation? How can they hope to understand the complexity of their patient’s issue while relying on TSH alone or even a combination of TSH and T4? They are missing critical pieces of the puzzle. Patients are falling through the cracks left suffering debilitating symptoms all because of an outdated medical protocol.

When the pituitary gland in the brain releases TSH, TSH stimulates the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of our necks to produce the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. The majority of thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid are T4, however T3 is the most active useable form of thyroid hormone that can be used in the cells of the body. The conversion of T4 to T3 is a critical element in this puzzle. By testing TSH and T4 alone, doctors are assuming that our bodies are properly converting the T4 to active T3.

For many hypothyroid sufferers like me, our bodies don’t convert T4 to T3 properly. In the care of doctors who only tested for TSH and T4, my symptoms did not improve if anything they got worse. It wasn’t until I changed doctors and my T3 levels were tested and treated with natural desiccated thyroid that I finally felt better and my symptoms improved. Thanks to a great thyroid doctor who knew to test my T3 levels, I got my life back. It should be about what works best for the patient, unfortunately in mainstream medicine this is often not the case.

Now to add to the complexity of this, there is a difference between Total T4 and Total T3 versus Free T4 and Free T3. Thyroid hormones are fat soluble and the blood is mostly water. In order for the fat-soluble thyroid hormones to travel through the blood, they need to be bound to protein that act as little taxis to carry the thyroid hormones through the blood vessels to cells all over the body. When they reach the cells, the protein needs to be cleaved off because only the unbound “free” hormones can actually enter the cells and perform their necessary functions. Therefore Free T4 and Free T3 levels are important. Since T3 is the most active useable form of thyroid hormone that can be used in the cells of the body, Free T3 is critically important. Unfortunately most mainstream doctors do NOT test for Free T3 levels. I’ve heard from many Hypothyroid Mom readers from around the world on my blog, Facebook and Twitter that their doctors refuse to test Free T3 and even though they are suffering terrible symptoms on T4-only thyroid treatment their doctors refuse to change their protocol. This is an absolute tragedy!

T4 must be converted into a usable form of T3 before the body can use it. In any given day some of the T4 is converted into a useless inactive form of T3, known as Reverse T3 (RT3). However in times of extreme stress, such as major emotional  or physical trauma, surgery, extreme dieting, chronic stress or chronic illness, the body will convert a larger than normal amount of T4 into this inactive Reverse T3. Your TSH and T4 scores may look ‘normal’ however the person suffers hypothyroid symptoms due to the high levels of reverse T3. Few mainstream doctors test for reverse T3, declaring a patient’s thyroid lab tests completely ‘normal’ all the while their patient suffers debilitating symptoms because their reverse T3 was not tested.

Hashimoto’s Disease is an auto-immune disease where the body has turned on itself and attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. It is a leading cause of hypothyroidism, yet mainstream medicine fails to test patients for thyroid antibodies.

A full thyroid panel should at least include TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and Thyroid Antibodies, however all these tests are often NOT done by mainstream doctors.

4. Strict Reliance on “Normal” Lab Reference Ranges

One of the greatest errors doctors make in diagnosing hypothyroidism is basing decisions strictly on lab results. Conducting a full thyroid blood panel can at least provide a clearer view of the issues, however even this often does not tell the full picture.

These lab results, for example, do not test what happens to the thyroid hormones once they enter the cells of the body. Every cell of the body is dependent on thyroid hormones for proper functioning. There is no test that measures how well each cell is utilizing the thyroid hormone once it enters the cell. It is therefore possible for someone to have normal blood results but still be hypothyroid due to issues arising within the individual cells of the body.

Each of us is unique and our requirements for thyroid hormones and our reactions to imbalances are all unique. Different people can have different individual ranges ideal for them. A great thyroid doctor is one that treats the patient, not the lab results.

It’s important to get a copy of your lab results to check that all the recommended tests have been done and that your scores are “optimal” not just “normal”. There is a big difference. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon, from the About.com Thyroid Disease website, shared this important list of recommended lab tests and optimal ranges on her Thyroid Support Facebook page.

Mary Shomon optimal thyroid lab ranges

5. Failure to Recognize Warning Signs and Symptoms

The thyroid gland is the master control center for the metabolic functions of every single cell in our body. Every cell of our body requires thyroid hormones for proper functioning. Therefore hypothyroidism, low thyroid, has the power to disrupt every part of our body and to produce profound changes in every aspect of our health. Unfortunately hypothyroidism is not given the attention it requires by the medical community and is often overlooked and considered a minor condition not worthy of much attention. This disease is vastly misunderstood and disregarded in mainstream medicine.

A look at my post 300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms…Yes REALLY will show you the severity of symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

It takes time to do an extensive clinical history with a patient including symptoms, physical examination, medical history and family history, and many doctors don’t take the time. They hurry to rush you off and move on to their next patient.

Then there are those who have no clue at all that your 2 page list of symptoms that you brought to the doctor’s office has any connection to a low thyroid. They note the most obvious signs such as weight gain, depression, and high cholesterol. Instead of connecting them to the underlying issue hypothyroidism, they pass you prescriptions for anti-depressants and statins to lower your cholesterol and advise you to exercise more and eat less.

They fail to connect the dots between your family history of heart disease, auto-immune disease, diabetes, kidney disease, gall bladder disease, liver disease, cancer and/or Alzheimer’s. Many fail to realize these deadly diseases are potentially linked to hypothyroidism.

You walk into the doctor’s office with telltale physical signs of hypothyroidism, including swelling of your face especially the eyelids and below the eyes, obvious signs of fatigue, loss of the outer third of your eyebrows, dry thinning hair, pale dry skin, red irritated dry eyes, cold clammy hands and feet, brittle ridged nails, slowed reflexes, enlarged tongue, hoarseness of voice. Your doctor has no idea your physical symptoms are due to hypothyroidism. You are a walking talking poster child for hypothyroidism, but your doctor does not notice.

Somehow we are overlooked by mainstream medicine.

Perhaps our cries are not loud enough.

It is a tragedy.

A special thank you to internationally-known thyroid patient advocate and best-selling author Mary Shomon for including Hypothyroid Mom as one of Ten People to Follow on Twitter for Thyroid Information on About.com Thyroid Disease. I have tears in my eyes to see Hypothyroid Mom on your list. I have envisioned this blog for 3 years since the miscarriage of my baby to hypothyroidism. I believe that my lost baby has been given a voice in this blog. Thank you.

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About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? I founded Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Winner of two 2014 WEGO Health Activist Awards: Health Activist Hero & Best In Show Twitter. *Hypothyroid Mom includes Affiliate links. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. Thank you! I have Hashimoto’s. I was only diagnosed after 6 plus years of symptoms and two miscarriages between my two children. I’m glad to be able to find a place that speaks to our unique situation of being a mom with thyroid disease! Thank you for advocating and for giving moms a voice.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Crystal -I am very sorry to hear about your two miscarriages. It never ceases to amaze me the number of hypothyroid women that have contacted me about the miscarriages and still births of their babies. I am so happy you found me at Hypothyroid Mom. My hope is to create a place where we feel comfortable to share our experiences and know that we are not alone. Welcome.

      • How can I advocate for myself with doctors who only rely on the TSH level? My basal temps are in the 96.3-97.5 range. I’ve gained 20 pounds in one year NOT related to diet and I exercise regularly. In the last year I’ve had my first miscarriage after 2 healthy pregnancies. Im tired all of the time, I sleep more than 9 hours a night.
        My doctor ran blood test bc I was being demanding – my TSH was 2.21 so she says Im fine. She’s done discussing it .I went to my OBGYN and tehy got a copy of the results and gave me the same response.

        • I so agree with you, who do we turn to when the ones we are taught to help us turn a blind eye upon us. I too have gained twenty pounds in less than a year, have a basal temp the runs below normal and while never having a miscarriage, experienced early menopause. I thought that my depression was part of being tired all of the time. Now I am having major sinus problems and my doctors just keep passing me around. My blood tests all come back normal and when I ask for thyroid tests, I get blank stares and “well I guess we could do that” looks. If there is a real doctor that listens-please pass them on to the rest of us. Thanks in advance.

          • I too, have had many symptoms of hypothyroid over the last 10’years, but my GP has always attributed it to anxiety, depression, and so forth. After years of listening to him, I decided that I no longer believed that his diagnosis was my problem. I chose to switch to a naturopathic practioner and I have been off all anxiety meds and an now on supplements. I feel better over the last 6 months than I have felt in over 10 years. My thyroid antibodies are way high…. I am thinking they will diagnose me with some type of hypothyroid. It runs rampant in my family (4 generations) and my son (11 yrs.old) was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease two years ago. He had a thyroidectomy and is now hypothyroid. Please listen to your inner self and don’t stop searching for a doctor until he/she takes the time to listen to you….you know your body better than anyone else!

        • I hear you. It’s sad that the dr response is so common. Speaking as someone who was much younger (16) when I 1st started experiencing severe symptoms, my mom had to advocate for me. Luckily, she was an RN w/30 yrs of experience, from a family of dr.s,nurses,etc. so she had no qualms going in saying, “I believe my daughter’s problems might be related to her thyroid & I’d like a full thyroid panel done”. Believe me, it didn’t solve our problems, because I exhibited a lot of symptoms that at the time wasn’t connected to hypothyroidism. People thought me & my mom were both crazy! Now, 15 yrs later, I look back and am so grateful that my mom shielded me from a lot of medical opinions, as well as did research herself. It stinks to be your own diagnostician, instead of relying on your doctor. I urge you to find a dr/endocrinologist that is open to suggestions & doesn’t treat your concerns like fluff. I have a great endocrinologist now, who listens and takes my concerns seriously.

        • I am 31yo, and have been to countless Drs who have run countless tests. I have a lot the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but like y’all every time the basic test came back “normal”. I have been searching for an answer for over a decade. I think a lot of Drs assume you are young and you look fine so nothing is wrong. I was even told by one Dr maybe I should see a psychiatrist b/c all my symptoms suggested an anxiety disorder or something! I am the least anxious person probably EVER! So then I was just a crazy person to her I am sure. So I changed Drs. ALL of my Drs. My saving grace (wait for it……) has been my chiropractor!!! He has been the only person to think OUTSIDE of the box in all of these years!!! He gave me a list of things to get tested he mainly wanted my hormone levels checked b/c of all my headaches I have (NOONE had EVER mentioned that before, even my gyno who knew about my low libido ..??), and yes my new Dr. probably thought I was a little wacky (I work in the medical field anyway so I already know too much, HA!) So, I have already gotten some results that could explain a lot!!! Low testosterone levels (this could be the kicker!), low vitamin D, low DHEA, and abnormal kidney function. Now I have been in and out of different Dr offices for the last month, but it at least feels like I am getting answers!

          If you are wondering what my main symptoms are here you go: migraines (chronic-daily or every other day), constipation, gas/bloating, insomnia, vertical nystagmus, chronic fatigue, neck stiffness/pain, low libido, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness. I ended up messing up my lower back playing softball that is what led me to my chiropractor. I have been on paleo/gluten free diet since January an my digestive issues have resolved and overall I feel better, but it hasn’t fixed everything!

          So my advice is keep changing Drs until you find one that doesn’t think you are crazy!! You know your body. You shouldn’t feel blah and run down all the time. You might be surprised in the one who will provide you with the info that will be of most help to you like I was! Even though I don’t think my thyroid is the issue (but who knows!) I still understand what y’all are going thru. It is so frustrating!

          • Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have been struggling with health issues because of this , weight gain, low energy, etc. now diverticulitis. Im so tired of meds that just mask and not cure.wish I could find a doctor that would take my genetic make up and truly make me well.im only 46yrs old and feel like 80.

        • Have you thought about getting a Thyroid panel test through an online site?

      • Deann Miller says:

        Dana,
        I have all the signs for hypo and some for hyper and I had meds ten yrs ago for hypo but doc said it went away. Now all my tests are normal. I can’t keep my eyes open and I have the fibromyalgia ringing in ears and tendinitis in both feet and plantar fasciitis in both feet I can’t stand I too weak and they hurt. My clients are to heavy to lift and ii am only 33 yrs old. Ican’t take any more what do I do. I have trouble breathing and I get congested when I get or drink . And I can’t clear it, I have every thing u can think of . My mom has hyper and my aunt’s and uncles have hypo. What test can I ask for and how do I demand for it to get done. I can’t drive lift or stay awake I need to go back to sleep after a hrs and then it starts over. I also have panic attacks and depression Gerd. Please help me I can’t take any more what do I do.

        • You could always buy dessicated T3/T4 online without a prescription and treat yourself. I had to after my slightly elevated blood pressure morphed into high LDLs, low-normal triglycerides and low normal HDL. I was like…. something is wrong here! I eat no carbohydrates and all protein and get boatloads of exercise (I walk everywhere). There’s a site called Stop The Thyroid Madness…highly recommend it.

          • I should add that I also don’t salt things. I was anxious all the time. Cold all the time etc. I had had numerous thyroid panels run because I have Type 1 Diabetes (autoimmune) so my endocrinologist was always concerned about Hashi’s. I’m also a nurse. My last TSH was 2.10, and I was gaining weight while people commented they were worried about how little I ate. I said enough is enough. As nurses we have to advocate for ourselves. When over 20 years doctors wouldn’t listen to me, I took it into my own hands. I’m curious to see what my next cholesterol test says.

  2. Great post Dana! Isn’t the thyroid one of the most important organ of the body in terms of how many areas it regulates and affects? How is it possible that our entire medical machine doesn’t run all the tests necessary? Is it cost to the system? I wonder how much it costs to maintain people on inappropriate regimens because their thyroid problem has been misdiagnosed? How many businesses that never got started? How many workers that are on disability? How many millions of dollars in the wrong prescription medication that is being dispensed? I wish that some bright student could prepare a study to figure out the cost to the system of not performing all of these tests periodically or at least when a woman is pregnant or a person is complaining of these symptoms. It boggles my mind.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Exactly Paul! This is exactly why I felt compelled to create this blog. Mainstream medicine relies on a medical protocol to diagnose and treat thyroid dysfunction that is failing us. If you imagine that the Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people worldwide with thyroid dysfunction, yet over half are unaware of their condition. One of the big problems is that mainstream medicine is failing to recognize the severity of the problem and failing to diagnose obviously ill people. It is an absolute tragedy to me. Babies are being lost to hypothyroid mothers, people are unable to function at their jobs due to debilitating symptoms, and doctors are prescribing multiple medications to treat hypothyroid patients for all the associated illnesses they develop as a result of their undiagnosed or improperly treated hypothyroidism. The same goes for patients with hyperthyroidism too. The lack of awareness is astounding. As you recommend, I wish more research would be done on this topic. Thyroid sufferers are starting to rock the system. Thyroid patient advocates like Mary Shomon are paving the way. I hope to do my part and shake up the world and encourage thyroid sufferers to take charge of their health and not settle for a failing medical protocol. Thank you for commenting.

      • Thank you Dana. My doctor told me to come in and get my elevated liver enzymes checked. I have had this problem for a very long time. They have chaulked it up to ADHD and so I take stimulants in the day and a tricylic antidepressant at night. So I can focus more during the day and I rest better at night. I wonder if the problem stems from my thyroid. Every one of the symptoms I have is covered under your list from your post last week including physical pains on all of the “fibromyalgia” pain locations, elevated liver enzymes, inattention, lack of proper sleep, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, allergies, sensitivity to alcohol, unexplainable fatigue, irritability, mood swings, itchy skin, severe dry skin (on my cuticles), inability to heal quickly, pain after working out.

        I did have my TSH T3 Free and T4 Free levels checked. I am going to ask my doctor to check my reverse T3 and my Thyroid anti bodies – just so I understand your post correctly – do I also need to ask for T3 and T4 (are these different than T3Free and T4Free)?

        Also – if anyone who is following Hypothyroid Mom has had a similar experience as me with these types of symptoms I sure would be really happy to hear whether you learned that it was a thyroid problem and also in case you know it what your levels were – very interested – thank you so much Paul

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Of course it’s possible that your symptoms are due to another cause other than your thyroid, however since you have so many symptoms a closer look at your thyroid is important. Absolutely if you haven’t had your reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies tested, please ask your doctor to do these tests. Total T4 and Total T3 are different than Free T4 and Free T3. The thyroid hormones travel through our blood vessels to reach all the different cells of our bodies. There are binding proteins that attach to T4 and T3 and transport them through the blood vessels “bound” attached, much like a taxi takes a passenger where he/she needs to go. Within our blood vessels, there are bound T4 and T3, and their are unbound free forms. The free unbound T4 and T3 are what are useable by the cell. The cells can’t use thyroid hormones that are bound to the binding proteins. Total T4 is a measure of the amount of bound T4 and unbound free T4 in the blood, while Free T4 refers specifically to the amount of unbound free T4. Similarly, Total T3 refers to the amount of T3 hormone that is bound to binding proteins as well as the free unbound T3 in the blood, while Free T3 refers specifically to the amount of unbound free T3 only. Hope that clarifies this for you. The key is finding a great thyroid doctor that will do a full investigation including a full thyroid blood panel, extensive look at your symptoms, medical history, family history, and physical examination. Best of luck to you.

        • i also was diagnosed with hashimoto’s thyroiditis nearly 2 yrs ago…..my levels were alarming my tsh was 22.5 dr just said i need to increase my thyroxine….i was actually being overdosed….i found a holistic dr and gp and done further test….i had my reversse t3 dne and antibodie’s..it came back my body was in reverse t3 and my antibodie’s were 661..she diagnosed me with grave’s disease as well now….i told my old dr i felt like my body was dying on the inside out….i was getting worse every day not living just exsisting…..

          • I am the poster child of hypothyroidism and have been for years. I just found out that my doctor did not receive my test results from March and my TSH was 6.34 then. Over the past 5 and 1/2 months I have felt sicker and sicker. Severe fatigue, muscle weakness, weight gain, nausea, and feeling like death. Now I know why. My doctor still hasn’t seen my results and I just had my TSH re-drawn today. Bet it is sky high. I suffered all this time because my doctor never got my results. I agree that the lab norms are too high because I have been higher than a 3.0 for years.

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Connie that’s very upsetting that you’ve suffered for 5 and a 1/2 months not knowing your TSH was high at 6.34. Upsetting!

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Shazza,

            Thank you for sharing your story it shows how important it is to go to a doctor who will test not just TSH but also Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s and Graves. So you have antibodies for both Hashimoto’s and Graves? I have several readers with antibodies for both. I included a story of one reader in this article attached. How are you feeling now?

            http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

          • I can totally relate to the situation I went undiagnosed for 5 years I also had 5 miscarriages my son being the only one who survived out of a fraternal twin. And then I had to have a hysterectomy. Now I have my hypothyroid Hashimoto disease and fibromyalgia. And since my hysterectomy 6 months ago I’ve lost 60 pounds and I don’t know why and they’re telling me I’m on the right thyroid medication and I know that,I just don’t understand why these doctors can’t get it right and why we have to fight with them. Now I’m trying to see a new doctor and I really hope it works. But I never thought of asking about the graves disease because they said that it came back negative I also test positive for lupus but they say I don’t have that either so I’m confused I’m only 34 years old. And this has been going on for 20 years. Thank you for yourcomment on here it helped me a lot thank you.

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Faith, I’m very sorry to hear about your 5 miscarriages. So sad. Our sex hormones and thyroid hormones are so intricately connected. Given your hysterectomy, of course be sure all your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) are tested along with full thyroid testing. Thyroid testing should include at minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies for both Hashimoto’s and Graves.

      • Caroline smith says:

        Hi I was Born without a Thyroid Gland. But they did not find out till I was 13 months old, when the Damage was done I could not even Sit up on my own and I had no Neck and my Tongue was to big for my Mouth and my Bones was not growing and I was not sleeping at night. And if it was not for the late Dr Kendell at my local Hospital who found it out I would not be here today. I have 2 grown up Children and lost 2 between them.
        I really get fed up when someone keeps saying that it is all in your Mind and there is nothing wrong with you and that I need to see a Head Shrink. And that the Tablets I’m on are doing me more Harm than good that I should stop them as I do not need them. So last year I stop taking them for 14 weeks and I became very ill and my Dr sent me for Blood Tests and they came back the next day and the Dr phoned me up asking me to get right there and then so I did and they said that my Heart could Fail at anytime. And the GP asked me why I was not taking my Thyroxine Tablets and I told them why and they was not very happy at all. They said this person will be the Death of me if I listen to them. And the GP asked if they have got Medical Background and I said No but they look though the Medical Book. And they think they know it all. And this person keeps telling everyone even strangers that there is nothing wrong with me and that I am not Disabled because I have to use Crutches as I also have got Osteo-Arthritis. And I get a lot of Abuse by total Strangers in the street because of this person saying the things about me, I even stop taking my Depression Tablets because of this person and my Doctor as took me off them. But I still feel very Depressed. And this person is always moaning saying that I am always at my GPs and that I am costing the N.H.S. a lot of money and that I am really wasting their time. And that I love being ill all the time and that I love all the attention from the Doctors and Nurses and that I love being in Hospital. And it really gets me down so much I really do wish I was Dead. I really wish I was never Born this way. I was never asked to be Born this way I really wished I had Died when I was a Baby. I was Born with a bit of Brian Damage as well because they did not find out till I was 13 months old and I never went to a normal school because I could not keep up in Class so when I went to Collage I learnt more there than I did at my old school. I have to go for another Blood Test as I am getting very tired again.

      • I have gained 40 lbs in about 4-5 months. I have been tested for thyroid issues, but he says everything is fine. I do believe he is only test my tsh and t-4 t-3. I am losing hair like crazy, have bumps in my scalp, finger nails are brittle and break easy and also have a wack of horizontal ridges,I’m tired all the time, I could care less about sex, I feel super sluggish. There’s hyper and hypo thyroid disease on my dads side (my dad & grandma) and hypo on my moms side (my aunts). What should I do?? He has tested my thyroid twice since November and says everything is fine. All my symptoms and weight gain is not fine. I haven’t changed anything in my diet or exercise. In 2006 in 3-4 months the weight gain happened all weird and out if the blue but it was 65 lbs back then. I had surgery in Jan 2007. I layer in bed for two months and did nothing but eat and walk the tiny hallway outside my bedroom door. I lost 50 lbs in two months….which was also stupid because I wasn’t really doing anything but walk the hall a couple times a day. I had a bad surgery that went from 1 hr to 6 hours. I lost a lot of blood, ended up having a transfusion and it took me two months to walk down the stairs. Something is obviously wrong and I’m so pissed off at the Dr’s for not helping more. Any suggestions?

        • Oh and I also have a swollen face and my tongue feels like it has tripled in size.

          • The Thyroid Cure by Michelle Corey is a great book that just came out. She has a great website with lots of info as well.

            And for those of you who have tried the Paleo diet and it is not working. The Auto-Immune Paleo Proticol if followed 100% has shown very promising results for many people suffering with Thyroid problems

  3. I am age 65, female, and hypo.
    I take 180 mg compounded T3 and T4.
    Suddenly I have lost at least half of my long thick hair, in a matter of months, after being fine on this dose for 5 years. I was undiagnosed for over ten years, always asked for a thyroid test but was always told my TSH was normal. Finally a doctor added a T3 test but still refuses to do an antibody test saying they are too expensive.
    Am I at risk if I take more, say 240 mg?
    At this point I am dosing myself. My doctor is not very involved in my treatment and lets me do what I want.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jessica, Thank you for commenting. I love to hear from readers. There are so many possible reasons for what is happening to you. First of all, given that you had been doing fine on your compounded medication for 5 years until recently, has there been some change in the compounding pharmacy where you have your meds made? Contact your pharmacist and explain the sudden change and ask if there has been a change in the way they are making your medication.

      What dosage is ideal is unique to each individual. A good thyroid doctor is one that will listen to your symptoms and adjust dosages to reduce symptoms. Hair loss is a major symptom of hypothyroidism for many of us including myself. When my hypothyroidism was not properly treated, my hair was shedding by the handful and clogging my drains when I showered. I know too well how difficult it is to lose hair. Thyroid patient advocate Mary Shomon wrote a great book called “Thyroid Guide to Hair Loss” which I have personally found very helpful.

      My number one concern is that you are not in the care of a good thyroid doctor. Your doctor should be open to testing your Free T3 and your thyroid antibodies. You may have Hashimoto’s disease and you would not know unless your antibodies are tested. I will be publishing a post here on Hypothyroid Mom this coming Monday on how to find a good thyroid doctor. Please join me back here on Monday to see if there may be a doctor in your area who will provide you with better care.

      Keep in touch Jessica and let me know how you are doing. I hope the resources I provide in Monday’s post will help you find a good thyroid doctor in your area.

      • 1985 took 1st synthroid.!st cont. rx ever. now on 12. HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!! Only getting worse.For every new symptom..new rx. feel like CRAP 24/7. trying to take charge. brain fog not help!!! mother lived to 94, I’m 67 and feel like 200. is this real support group, or scam? WATCH OUT FOR CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS..!!!!!! cause heel spurs also in shoulder joints…pain unbearable…. all this info going to Dr in Sept..Better get positive results, or NEW DR…..REFUSED TO PRESCRIBE ARMOR..DEMANDING THIS TIME..

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Judy,

          No this is a real hypothyroidism blog. I try my best to answer all the comments here. I also have a Facebook page if you are on FB and a Twitter account. I agree with you that we need to be advocates for ourselves. Natural desiccated thyroid changed my life literally. It’s so sad how many hypothyroidism sufferers continue to suffer on Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid.

          • My tsh levels were 8.5 in December my doctor was supposed to alert me on the results but she said she forgot and I called in a week ago asking about it and they were alarmed that it was 8.5 so I was retested and am “normal” I still feel the same symptoms of feeling sluggish, brain fog, hair loss that is so obvious, inability to complete a thought process, irritability, and I don’t know what caused it to go back down maybe it was the focalin (add medicine) that I started back on for school. My doctor won’t do the t3 or reverse t3 tests because she either doesn’t know or thinks tsh is good enough. This office still goes by the 0.5-5.0 range and will not listen to what I have to say or how I feel. I feel like a hypochondriac now on top of possibly being hypothyroid. Am I crazy for asking them for a law dosage of something that will put me at the optimum level of 1.0? I just want to live life at 100% and haven’t been able to since I was in the seventh grade. I am 22 now and have struggled with an eating disorder for he past 12 years and now I feel as though my thyroid needs help in getting back to normal… Is anyone out there? I feel hopeless and might consider self medicating. I don’t have the money to go elsewhere to find a doctor to run new tests again here in sc. Any advice?

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Grace,

            A TSH of 8.5 is so high. So you’re saying that when soon retested it was back below 5. Just given that your TSH was up at 8.5 is reason to push for more testing or find a new doctor. It’s worth it to find a doctor who will test Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies at a minimum. I put together resources to help readers find good doctors in their area and there are doctors listed for SC.

            http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

          • hi dana ….i also find this strange,as i was hyper,now i am hypo….and that’s what the dr has told me, that i have both hashi’s and grave’s now..but ive been hypothyroidisim for atleast 12 months now,and its all becoming confusing,i wish i knew what vitamins to take anything to make me feel better,i have currently just started nth,only half a grain..its only been 2 days,,,, the pathology dr told me to take it straight away and he would write to the dr telling her, he said so, so any advice you can give i’ll be most appareciated…

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Shazza,

            I have many readers who started off hyperthyroid then after treatment turned hypothyroid. I also have readers who have antibodies for both Graves and Hashimoto’s. So it’s not so surprising but better to ask your doctors for clarification so that you understand it yourself too. A TSH of 52.2 is very high and why your doctor asked you to start your meds right away. In addition, you should read a good book by Dr. Izabella Wentz that’s written for Hashimoto’s sufferers that provides lifestyle changes to help reduce thyroid antibodies.

            http://www.thyroidlifestyle.com/

          • Hello Dana I am 20 years old and my thyroid is .36 L and I am so sad I am diagnose with this ,how do I cope? I want kids in the future ,should I try to get pregnant now ? Will 5-10 years from now ,will it alter my chances ?help me

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Agle, There is hope to have beautiful healthy babies despite thyroid disease. The key is being as thyroid healthy as possible before trying to conceive. Since you’re planning children in 5-10 years time you have plenty of time to get healthy. Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism? hyperthyroidism? What has your doctor recommended.

          • Abdul waheed says:

            Hi I want know that what is normal level of TSH in pregnancy this my first time to here asking about this actualy my wife is facing TSH 11.0 and she is pregnant

      • the dr’s don’t know much about reverse t3 test..it cost 66.00 out of your own money not covered by medicare but a very important test,,,,,i am also hypothyroidisim, my recent blood test were 52.5 tsh..i got a phone call from the pathology dr,saturday morning worried sick about me, i was diagnosed with hashimoto’s nearly 2 yrs ago,then i went and seen a holistic dr also a gp to do more blood work as there more open,my antibodie’s came back i now have grave’s disease as well, but i’m starting to think there is something more going on so i would also love to find another doctor…so i’ll definately be interested in finding new dr;s its so important to get a great one….thanks dana..

        • sorry for malfuction guys i see my post has come up several time’s

          • Dana Trentini says:

            No worries Shazza. I deleted the duplicates.

          • seen the dr today she didn’t hold back on me,told me she wants me to see a thyroid specialist,as my levels are very high and t3 very low…i guess she don’t want to take no risk she took me off nth because i have had chest pain on these meds back on thyroxine till i see a thyroid specialist….she wants me to have a biopsy….sending me for a ultra sound and scans this week and more pathology work….but she did say i’m definately hypothyroid….

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Shazza,

            Sounds like they need to do more testing to be sure. It’s good your doctor is sending you to a thyroid specialist. It’s always better to get a second medical opinion. Be sure to ask your doctor to explain your test results to you and get copies of your results. In case the specialist is not helpful to you, I put together a list of resources to help readers find good thyroid doctors in their area. Best wishes to you.

            http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

    • Sherrie Grennell says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I too, have lost half my volume of my long, curly hair over the last year. The amount that comes out is frightening. I went to my doc a year ago and my TSH came back normal & I asked about doing further thyroid testing, but she didn’t think it was necessary. So now that I have 1/2 the hair I did, and am still losing it, I have started going to a naturopathic doc who referred me to a holistic, integrative, alternative medicine D.O. for a full physical. I called my doctor’s office about getting the physical there, but she is on medical leave and can’t see me until December! They said unless it’s for a sick visit, no one else in the practice can see me and that I’d have to find another doctor! Isn’t that some stuff! I spent hours online doing research to pick out a handful of doctors, just to have to leave a message and to never have my phone calls returned or to be totally rejected in some way or another. How upsetting. I about had a break-down on those days…I felt like help is never coming. I’m so depressed over this hair loss. Not that that is my only symptom…I know I have an undiagnosed thyroid issue…low body temps, intolerance to cold, problems sleeping, skin problems, waking up freezing, waking up hot, sweaty, IBS, and a host of other symptoms. And work is not going good for me at all. Things are very stressful, with many system changes and having to learn them all and being pressured to be more productive…I am so stressed at this point that I really feel for the first time ever, that I could walk out after 18 years of service without thinking of consequences because I feel like if I don’t, that the stress is going to kill me. Anyway, I thank you for your post. It makes me cry. I am at my wits end. My appointment with my new doc is Thursday. I’m praying to the good Lord in heaven above that through her, I will get the help that I have needed for so long. Again, thank you for your post. I am thankful for this blog, as well. (I am a mom, but a much older mom, at age 54). Thank you for listening to my woes. The past few months have started to be unbearable for me…I just want to hide out in my house with my thinning, ugly hair. I am encouraged to know that there may be help. Thanks again!

      Sherrie Grennell

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Hi Sherrie,

        Hair loss is such a hard thing to deal with especially for women. I was so upset when my hair would fall out in fistfuls and clog my shower drain. Absolutely low thyroid can be the reason for your hair loss along with other factors such as low ferritin. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote a book about hair loss because it’s such a common symptom for thyroid sufferers.

        http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/hairloss.htm

        Best wishes with your new doctor. In case it doesn’t work out with that doctor, I put together resources to help readers find good doctors in their area.

        http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • I too know your pain.. Sherrie , It can be very frustrating.. at least 75 o/o of my hair has falling out since Jan 1 st .. (I went to my hair dresser and she was shocked) and it’s still falling out.. I also have gained 29 pounds since then.. My Doctor says my tsh is normal and refuses to test anything else.. he is also suggesting I start changing my diet .. I guess gaining 29 pounds in 6 weeks is because I have been eating like a pig since New years..It wasn’t til my husband spoke up that he is sending me to a specialist but his referral will say tests are normal and no rush.. So maybe in 6 months I will see someone.. He has always tried to keep my thyroid between 8 – 13 go figure hypothyroid not even close to the high normal he had been telling me for all these years.. Quack I say.. He will be dismissed soon.. All I want you to hear is .. Don’t give up.. Don’t let Quacks win… We can beat this..

  4. I am a little confused about the antibodies information. My doctor does run a full thyroid blood test, all my levels are great now and I am on synthroid except for the antibodies they are high. I do take vitamins and minerals but wondering about pregnancy? I keep reading but have not seen anything about good levels with. Synthroid but still high antibodies, is a safe pregnancy possible?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Alyson, Great question. I am happy your doctor runs full thyroid blood tests. I assume that your Free T4 and Free T3 are in the normal range from these tests, and that your TPO-Ab and TgAb thyroid antibodies have been tested. If you’re not sure, ask for a copy of the lab results and see if these tests have been done and normally to the left of your scores the normal reference ranges will appear.

      According to the American Thyroid Association guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy and Postpartum:

      1. Women with thyroid auto-antibodies are at risk in pregnancy of having their TSH rise significantly due to the added stress of the pregnancy with TSH levels increasing progressively as gestation progresses. This is also true for women with hypothyroidism, and no thyroid antibodies, so the same applies that your thyroid levels should be monitored regularly in pregnancy to avoid your TSH rising.

      2. “Serum TSH should be evaluated every 4 weeks during the first half of pregnancy and at least once between 26 and 32 weeks gestation” to make sure your TSH levels don’t rise too high and that your thyroid hormone levels remain normal.

      3. “The goal of treatment is to maintain normal TSH values in first trimester levels 0.1-2.5, second trimester 0.2-3.0, and third trimester 0.3-3.0.

      4. The guidelines also say that “selenium is capable of diminishing the TPO antibodies” and sites a study where they recommend that treatment with selenium vitamins had a “significant decrease in the frequency of postpartum thyroid dysfunction also selenium resulted in lowered TPO antibodies during pregnancy”.

      Basically this said, when you get pregnant, make sure your thyroid levels are regularly checked. As soon as you find out you are pregnant, make an appointment to have your levels tested and have them tested every 4 weeks as recommended above.

      Also given the study on the benefits of selenium treatment for women with thyroid antibodies in pregnancy, ask your doctor to test your selenium levels now prior to trying to conceive if not already done and have regular testing of your selenium levels to ensure they are in range.

      Best of luck to you Alyson. Keep in touch.

  5. Thank you for your response, my levels as of this month are:
    TSH 0.974
    Thyroxine (T4) 8.2
    T3 Uptake 34
    Free thyroxine index 2.8
    Triiodothyronine (T3) 109

    Here is the concern
    Thyroid peroxidase (tpo) ab 249
    Antithyroglobulin ab 3722

    I do take 200 of selenium daily along with vitamin e, b12, d, folic acid and mega red

    I have hashimoto’s autoimmune

    Can the antibodies eventhough I am doing everything I should still be dangerous to a pregnancy?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Alyson, An entire book could be written on the dangers of Hashimoto’s in pregnancy. You bet I will be delving deeper into Hashimoto’s here at Hypothyroid Mom.

      To answer your question – yes thyroid antibodies in Hashimoto’s pose a danger in pregnancy, yes. All women with hypothyroidism, whether they have antibodies or not, are at risk in pregnancy.

      However that said it is possible for women with Hashimoto’s to have healthy beautiful babies. It is crucial that you be in the best health possible prior to conception. It sounds like you are doing everything possible to be thyroid healthy so you are so fortunate and doing the best you can to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

      The key is you want your Free T4 and Free T3 to be in the normal range to ensure your fetus will have access to plenty of thyroid hormones. Laboratories use different units of measurement and reference ranges. Please take a look at your results and to the right of your scores there should be the lab’s normal reference ranges listed. Please ensure your Free T4 and Free T3 are in range. Many of us feel our best when our Free T3 is in the top half of the range, but we are all different and what feels best for us is individual. Many benefit from the addition of T3 hormones to our treatment. Do you feel well on your current medication?

      Next, you want to try and get your thyroid antibodies as low as possible pre-conception. I will be including more information in posts to come on Hashimoto’s. To begin, there is much research on the link between gluten and Hashimoto’s. Have you tried a gluten-free diet? Some experts even link dairy and sugar to Hashimoto’s. When we have gut issues, such as allergic reactions to foods it causes an upset in our immune system. Gluten specifically is thought to resemble in chemical structure to the thyroid and so if we have created antibodies to our thyroid then the attack will also be made on gluten that enters our system.

      There are many factors that may underlie Hashimoto’s that if corrected will help reduce the antibodies including adrenal dysfunction (cortisol levels can be tested via saliva samples), abnormal levels of sex hormones, blood sugar issues, inflammation, toxicity, bacteria and viral infections, etc. You can see that it is a bit of a detective job for your doctor to rule out different possibilities.

      Have your thyroid antibodies stabilized? Do they continue to increase? Prior to conception it would be ideal for your antibodies to be stable and even better to be as low as possible. The danger is that the pregnancy may trigger a worsening of your condition, that is why you must be as healthy as possible prior to conception and then to make certain as soon as you determine you are pregnant to get your thyroid levels tested and monitor them very regularly throughout the pregnancy. Stay tuned because there will be more information on Hashimoto’s on Hypothyroid Mom very soon. Best of luck to you.

  6. Thank you for this post!

    My heart aches as I read, this knowing that there are so many people who suffer with thyroid problems.

    Our insurance expires at the end of this month (January). I have tried in vain to get my doctor to do the blood tests I need. All they’ll do is TSH and Free T4, even though I specifically told them which tests I wanted. When the nurse called to give me results, she then said, “…and the doctor would like to see you about your high cholesterol and weight gain in about 3 months. Just eat low fat until then…” This same doctor even told me my vitamin D level of 16 ng/ml was “perfect”!

    Ugh. My first doctor just wanted to give me anti depressants.

    I think my son is dealing with some of the same issues also. We don’t have a lot of money to pay for blood tests out of pocket, or to pay to see doctors starting in February. We’ll be okay though…I’m just venting now.

    I have a lot of empathy for people who have to deal with this and hope as many people as possible can get the care they need. Bless you for getting the word out!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Beth, I get so upset to hear stories like yours where doctors refuse to test anything other than TSH and Free T4. The worst is that many mainstream doctors are the same, forcing many of us to seek help from health care professionals out of pocket. This is why change in mainstream medicine is needed for us. My hope is that one day thyroid sufferers will get the help they need from their mainstream doctors. A major shift in thinking will be needed regarding thyroid disease before we will get the help we need.

      That said, there are doctors who are fantastic and who think outside the box. It is worth it to search for them. Please take a look at my post “Top 10 Resources to find a Great Thyroid Doctor in 2013″. I know that many of them will require out of pocket, however you never know if you find doctor that will be in network for you.

      I worry for you that your insurance is expiring this month. I hope that you will find a way to get new insurance. You will be in my thoughts. Please stay in touch Beth.

      • Thank you so much for your response and kind words. :)

        I made an appointment with a doctor I hadn’t seen in over a year that did a decent job of getting blood tests for me. When I complained to her about my fatigue and my fibromyalgia, she did a vitamin D blood test (which had the low numbers the other doctor told me were normal, ha), some thyroid tests (not the best ones, but she DID them), and she tested for EBV (Epstein Barr Virus).

        I’ll be able to see her at least once with insurance, and hopefully everything will go well. I just need to call tomorrow to make sure it’s HER I get to see on Tuesday. If she won’t work with me, I think we have some good alternative doctors in the Phoenix area that can help.

        We’ll get new insurance, hopefully within a year or so. Money gets tight for us, so we’ll have to pay out of pocket for now.

        We have so much going right now. In the midst of all we have happening, I get super stressed and frustrated that I almost always either have a migraine, lots of aches and pains or am so fatigued I can hardly do anything. And I’m always puffy and overweight.

        Thank you for your blog! You are doing some great work! :)

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Thank you Beth. I appreciate your comment very much. I envisioned this blog for 3 years and hoped it would be helpful to fellow hypothyroid sufferers. Best of luck with this doctor. By the way, those symptoms you list in your comment are all common symptoms of hypothyroidism! Best of luck to you. I hope this doctor is able to better test and treat you.

  7. Nicole Guilfoyle says:

    Hi …I am so happy I found your site. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 3 years ago when I was pregnant. I was given very little information and still at times feel uninformed. They took me off my medicine (synthroid) right after I had my baby. This lead me down a difficult path and now looking back I am not sure if it was baby blues or side affects from the thyroid. Long story short I was depressed thought it was the baby blues, lost a ton of hair again could be either post baby hormones or the thyroid, and finally had a hard time producing enough milk. At my 6 week post baby check up my obgyn finally referred me to an endocrinologist. I was put back on synthroid and went on with life. Recently I have noticed some changes, I have a cysts in one of my breast, my skin and head are extremely dry, and the most alarming symptom is I have shortness of breath and a tightening in my chest ( was not sure if i was having a panic attack or just a symptom) I am still tired all the time, my hair is brittle, and truly the depression has not gon away fully. I was wondering if you could give me your insight on my situation and if there are any other medication or tests I should have done.

    Thank you so much

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Nicole, you have so many of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism and you need to speak to your doctor about this. If you read my post “300 Hypothyroidism Symptoms…Yes REALLY” attached below you will see your symptoms all listed. Please call your doctor today and get an appointment. Especially the tightening in your chest needs to be looked at because it could be thyroid related but it could also be something else such as anxiety or even a heart issue so see your doctor. What’s happened to you unfortunately is very common because there is one test TSH that’s used in mainstream medicine to diagnosed people, and one drug Synthroid prescribed. Now first it may be an issue that you need a higher dosage of your medication which you should ask your doctor, but it may also be that your Synthroid is not working for you. The first step is that you need to speak with your doctor about fuller testing which should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab, TgAb, and TSIG), as well adrenal function and iron/ferritin levels. Then based on your results to determine if you need the addition of T3 medication to your treatment. Hopefully your doctor will do this testing, if not please seek a second medical opinion. Below I include a link to a post with the various drug options and a link to resources to help you find a great doctor. Please don’t just settle with the treatment you have now because with optimal treatment many of these symptoms can be reduced. You need to be an advocate for yourself.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/300-hypothyroidism-symptoms-yes-really/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  8. sushma vemula says:

    hi madam… iam 23 years old ..
    i have been suffering with hypothyroidism since 2 years.
    i was n’t having any major symptoms while diagnosing, only i went with hair loss , so doctor sent blood samples to check out.. primarly i diagnosed as hyper thyroidism then my TSH levels shifted to hypo..
    At present also iam not having any symptoms related to Hypothyroidism, although my TSH level is not reaching to normal range..
    Whatever you said above that is 100% correct,,, doctors not recognizing properly
    so can you give me any suggestion…

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Sushma,

      I am very sorry to hear that you are only 23 years old and suffering with thyroid disease. The number one issue is that TSH is considered the gold standard in mainstream medicine for diagnosing and treating thyroid conditions. The problem is this one test doesn’t give a complete picture of the problem. You should at least have your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab, TgAb, TSIG) tested. Ask for copies of your recent lab results and see if these tests have been done and if not speak with your doctor.

      If I understand correctly you were initially diagnosed with hyperthyroidism but then your TSH shifted to hypothyroidism. Do you have TSH levels that go up and down? I ask because one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s where the body attacks the thyroid gland and often times people with Hashimoto’s have TSH levels that go up and down and hypo and hyper symptoms fluctuating. By testing for thyroid antibodies as I’ve listed above you will know if this is the issue. I’ve included a post below on Hashimoto’s that includes different tests you should ask your doctor to do for it.

      Are you on thyroid medication? Which one? I ask because we each react differently to the different medications and it may be that your brand of medication or the dosage is the issue. Here is a post too below on the different drug options and the factors to discuss with your doctor.

      Hair loss is a very big problem for thyroid sufferers. Thyroid Advocate Mary Shomon wrote a book on this very topic that you read. A link attached below.

      Best of luck to you and welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hairloss/a/hairloss_5.htm

      http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/hairloss.htm

  9. sushma vemula says:

    please can you give your best suggestions…

  10. Patty Gillen says:

    Hi,
    Could you recommend an Endocrinologist in the New York/New Jersey area?

  11. Jessica Bedrinana says:

    Hi Dana,
    Thank you for being so informative, compassionate and helpful. I have been struggling with thyroid problems for years now (only recently figuring this out though). My identical twin sister was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 2 years ago now. I have two children (ages 6 and 5) and began experiencing problems here and there after pregnancy. I am so frustrated with my doctor! About two years ago I went in with fatigue and my TSH came back “slightly elevated” (a little over 5). The protocol was to come back in two months and be retested. I did this and, of course, my levels were within the normal range. My doctor attributed this to “lab error” and gave me some nasal spray thinking that my fatigue was due to sinusitis and not getting enough rest. I mentioned the tests my twin had to fight for (T3, T4 and peroxidase AB) and he would not order them. Time went by and I barely went in to the doctor -because life is busy and he’s no help -until last month after I began experiencing abnormal fatigue and bowel problems. My TSH came back “slightly elevated” again at 5.14. I was told to come back in 2 months via a letter, which also indicated that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome without any mention of this dx to me by my doctor. Within 6 weeks I had continued to feel fatigued, missed my period (with negative pregnancy tests), had abnormal bowel patterns and bloating. This time my doctor was not in so I saw the NP. I handed her a letter explaining my medical history, my symptoms and my genetic history (mom, twin, aunts, grandmothers) of thyroid problems. Yes! She ordered freeT4 and peroxidase AB! Got my results today -disappointment. TSH came back within normal at 4.11, T4 was normal but peroxidaseAB was positive. She had a hard time explaining how this could be and indicated that “supplements” (thyroxine) were not necessary because my TSH was normal. I had asked for the T3 test but she said it was not necessary and I inquired about seeing an Endocrinologist, which she said was only for hyperthyroid patients. Thank you for letting me vent! Obviously I need to change doctors! Any advice??? What should I do now??????

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jessica,

      You should seek a second medical opinion. When you say your thyroidperoxidase antibodies were positive I assume you mean they were above the normal reference range. If so then this suggests Hashimoto’s. Given your twin sister’s condition and family history you should absolutely get multiple opinions. While a TSH of 5.15 or even 4.11 is technically within the “normal” range it’s not optimal for most.

      Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.”

      • frustrated says:

        Hi I have tons of symptoms of hypothyroid with family history but my GP wont send me to a specialist or do anything as here in Canada if your TSH is in normal they wont do any other lab tests. I am 2.9 so nothing will be done as they go up to 6 here, I am so frustrated as I am getting worse and the GP’s i have seen over the many years don’t care. If you are in normal you are find don’t worry. It is now becoming such a major issue that I fall all the time and cant think straight. the comment from the GP is you are getting older just loose weight(which I cant do) and forget the rest. So frustrating and I am hopeful you will have suggestions for me. Great site. Thanks!!

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Dear “Frustrated”,

          Your TSH at 6 is too high and that would explain many of your symptoms. Please you must seek a new doctor. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon includes a list of doctors in Canada. Don’t stop until you find a doctor who listens to you.

          http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/canada.htm

        • Jterrac says:

          Is your thyroid enlarged? I went through the same thing for 2.5 years, until a doctor other than my GP felt my thyroid. I told countless specialist about my family history of hypothyroidism. I had seen an orthopedic, a neurologist, a hematologist, and a rheumatologist.. My sister has Hashimotos, my grandmother had her thyroid removed, and so many other women in the family, but I was dismissed every time I asked about it because my TSH is 2.93. Finally a FEMALE physician listened to me. She sent me for an ultrasound of my thyroid and its twice the normal size…hello! She then referred me to an endocrinologist, who did listen to me, but only because of my family history and enlarged thyroid. I start on Armour tomorrow. I will have bloodworm for antibodies as well. I am praying my nightmare is finally over. You have to fight for your health and don’t give up. Every other specialist I saw other than the female gave up and just prescribed pain meds. I did not want pain meds, I wanted answers. I was told it was mental and in my head. My legs breaking out with vasculitis was not in my head, nor was the painful tendinitis I suffered with (both can be caused by hypothyroid) plus a very long list of other symptoms. I am an active person. I did not want pain to keep me from living my life. I am so thankful for this blog!

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Jterrac,

            So happy you were an advocate for yourself and found a doctor who finally listened to you. Especially given your family history your doctors should have done full thyroid testing beyond TSH to include at a minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, ferritin and D3. The sad part is doctors often only test TSH but that’s enough.

            I will be posting an article on chronic pain/fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism in 2 weeks. Stay tuned. It’s fascinating!

        • Frustrated,
          I am in Canada too! I and my two older daughters all had trouble getting diagnosed with hypothyroidism (~20 years each to diagnosis!!) My daughters’s TSH levels were always in the “normal” range. The oldest one’s was between 1 and 1.5 consistently. She says that she had to have “breakdown” (she doesn’t cry ‘pretty”!!) in the doctor’s office before he would test her TPO antibodies — I think that they were around 1200!! THEN he did give her a prescription for 100 mcg of levothyroxine and she does very well on that. My second daughter always feels worse on a medication containing T4 — she makes too much Reverse T3. She finally found a doctor to work with her in Montreal and got onto a compounded T3 med.
          My TSH has always been very low — I believe that I had some pituitary damage from some severe illnesses and also from a hemorrhage during childbirth (look up Sheehan’s syndrome on the Mayo Clinic site). That means that my body cannot make adequate TSH, so we need to test the Free T4 and Free T3. My new doctor only graduated a few years ago, and he only orders TSH which is totally useless — also he does everything on the computer and only ordered the electrolyte panel and I only found that out after making an appointment and getting the lab report — also was informed that lab reports would be $1 per page in the future. So that was not helpful. I am working with some doctors at a clinic called True Balance in Alberta and they ALWAYS test Free T4 and Free T3. If you are close enough you can check out their website, etc. I am older too and the BHRT hormone replacement is also helpful. My TPO antibodies were high at one point but now are in a more normal range.
          Best of luck with finding some help!!

          • Dana Trentini says:

            I was born and raised in Toronto Canada. I’ve lived in the US since 2000. I’m sorry to hear there is lack of awareness about thyroid conditions in Canada too. I realize now that this issue is widespread all around the world. I hope to see the day when all doctors understand thyroid conditions and thyroid sufferers don’t continue to face challenges receiving diagnosis and treatment.

  12. bahruz says:

    Dear DANA,

    I want to say you great thanks you description here is exactly feets with my problems over 10 years. I visited billions of doctors and lots of medication. But nobody till now even thought about Hashimotos disesase. However thank you now i know exactly what is my problem. I am very thankfull.

    Best regards
    Bahruz

  13. Cathy Kopa says:

    Hi Dana:

    Your posts are powerful and informative. As I mentioned in an earlier post I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and when I failed to recover properly after the treatments, my Oncologist decided to test my thyroid and it was soon discovered I had untreated hashimoto’s thyroid disease. I too had fatigue for quite some time. My symptoms worsened with the breast cancer treatments as I was gaining weight while getting sick on most days; could not remember what I was doing from one moment to the next, often I found the milk in places it did not belong; was sleeping 20-hours per day; lost feeling in my hands and feet; and more. I believe all people receiving any type of cancer treatment should have their thyroid checked first. I also know that radiation has been known to cause of worsen thryoid conditions and thyroid cancer is the fastest growing form of cancer in the US. There are a few things we can do to protect our thyroid. When we have xrays done at our dentists office we can ask for a “thyroid guard” which covers our throats but most dental offices only use upon request. Avoid airport scanners–their have been many studies regarding the radiation in these scanners and the link to certain health problems.

    Regarding breast health, regular check ups are best. Do not be afraid to call your OBGYN every time you think you feel something. Thank you so much Dana for creating this site. You are an inspiration.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Cathy,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I know readers go through the comments too and your suggestions are so important. I am touched every time a cancer survivor joins me at Hypothyroid Mom. I’ve had many family members including my father pass of cancer that it is inspiring when I encounter a survivor like you. Love it!

      • Elizabeth J. says:

        All breast cancer patients should have thyroid checked both before and after treatment. I just happened to have a TSH test just before my cancer diagnosis. It was 2 (on synthroid). After a year of cancer treatment, chemo, surgery, and radiation, my TSH was 15! I was warned radiation might change it “a little.” I don’t think they have studies on this, but I really think chemo was a factor in that, too.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Elizabeth,

          I have no doubt you are right that chemo can affect thyroid health because it is well known that heavy metal toxicity is a potential trigger for hypothyroidism and I can only imagine what toxins your body is exposed to with chemo, combine that with the physical and emotional stress of being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. I am touched by every cancer survivor that joins my page. Welcome.

  14. I having been dealing with Hyperthyroid symptoms since 2008. I just didn’t feel right. Doctor ran TSH test which came back hyperthyroidism. I took this information to my Veteran Administration doctor, who put me on methimazole. Worked wonders. Moved out of state. Off meds for a while, miserable again. Went to VA Endocrinologist who did full lab test, ultrasound (several nodules found), iodine uptake test and finally got definite Hyperthyroidism secondary to Graves’ disease. Back on meds. Doing good. Moved back to original area. VA Endocrinologist did lab test for TSH and T4/T3 with outdated test range. Stated I do not and never had Hyperthyroidism/Graves disease. Referred back to primary care for PTSD. I look and feel like walking dead.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jakki,

      What that’s unbelievable! Is it possible that your treatment improved your lab testing and that’s why the testing show no hyperthyroidism/Graves? Is it possible you were misdiagnosed? You should get a copy of your lab results from your first doctor and also the lab results from your current doctor. Feel free to share them with me if you would like. The issue is that you describe yourself as feeling “like walking dead” and at my lowest point I described myself in the same way. You should seek another medical opinion to figure this out.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      http://www.thyroidchange.org/list-of-doctors.html

      • Thank you for your response. i am a disabled veteran with PTSD and full hysterectomy. But, these issues and diagnosis began years later.Here are labs:

        2008: Thyrotropin 0.18; Range 0.35-5.50 and FT4 1.21; Range 0.89-1.76. Put on Methimazole 5mg. Symptoms improved, regained weight, felt normal.

        March 2011: Thyrotropin 0.422; Range 0.55-5.50, FT4 1.21, Triiodothyronine.Free 3.4
        April 2011: TSI 50, FT4 1.29, T3 158.93, Thyrotropin 0.826, Prothrombin Time Test 12.2, Ultrasound with multinodules found and Iodine Uptake Test. Definitive diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism Secondary to Graves Disease Endocrinologist Put back on medication immediately; had been off medication for 6 months.
        July 2011: Thyrotropin 1.084, FT4 1.20, T3 111.72, Parathyroid Intact 32.8, Calcidiol 11.7
        Dec 2011: Thyrotropin 1.07, FT4 1.10 Off medication for two weeks in preparation for test. Different Endocrinologist undiagnosed me; stating I never had Graves/Hyperthyroidism in his opinion and I must be salt deficient.
        April 2012: (per my request) TSH 0.39 range 0.55-4.78 and FT4 1.19
        May 2012: (bruising) TSH 0.23 range 0.55-4.78 and FT4 1.38
        August 2012: TSH 0.59 and FT4 1.60, Calcidiol 16.30, Ultrasound with multinodular goiter.

        Off medication since December 2011 and dealing with multiple symptoms: Weight dropped fro 145 lbs to now 115 lbs, palpitations, high blood pressure worsening, fainting spells, chronic insomnia, irritable, hoarseness, hurts to swallow when eating and/or singing, hair thinning, dry eyes.

        If I was misdiagnosed, I still need to know what’s going on and it’s not all in my head.
        I look like hell.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Jakki,

          Your symptoms are not all in your head. Your symptoms sound so much like hyperthyroidism. Your previous doctor did an ultrasound and TSI testing for diagnosis. Your symptoms alone shout out a red flag. You need to push for further testing and a closer look at your symptoms. It may mean changing doctors to find someone who helps you. Any way to recontact that doctor that originally diagnosed you. I wish I knew as much about hyperthyroidism as I do about hypothyroidism. There is a great website by Elaine Moore on Graves Disease. Worth contacting this author for suggestions. Best wishes to you.

          http://www.elaine-moore.com/

    • ihad blood test done yesterday i had the pathology dr ring me today….telling me my tsh is 50.2…t3 2.5……i am hypothyroid……i am so weak ..ive been telling the dr i feel like i’m dying on the inside out…..i got diagnosed with grave;s disease…last week….i’m a mess and the dr don’t seem to know what to do to get me feeling a little better any suggestions

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Shazza, your TSH is high at 50.2. Is it Graves or Hashimoto’s that you’ve been diagnosed with? I have readers that have antibodies for both Graves and hashimoto’s. I ask because normally when TSH is high a person is hypothyroid. Graves normally comes with hyperthyroidism, low TSH.

        • hi i’m getting really confused myself,i was hper’but have been hypo for about atleast 12 months now,my new gp..diagnosed me with grave’s only a couple of weeks ago…unless she has misdiagnosed me,these are my symtons…gaining weight don’t have to eat,tired foggy brain,can’t get outof bed till half the day has gone,fatigue muscle weakness,excessive sweating….many more symtons…i was told my thyroid s making to making to much thyroid hormone…..doe’s this make sense to you….

  15. waheeda says:

    hi i having been dealing with hypothyroid since 3 years my age is 24 and iam unmarried…i want to know dose hot weather makes any difference in the range and dose this disease have any cure.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Waheeda,

      Your question about hot weather is a good one. Low vitamin D3 is an issue for hypothyroidism sufferers and sunlight is a critical way to obtain vitamin D3. I would imagine that the extra exposure to the sunlight would be helpful. I am not exactly sure however.

      There are many potential underlying factors that if treated may improve or in some cases reverse the condition including adrenal function, iron including ferritin, sex hormone levels, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, fish oils, gluten intolerance and food sensitivities, and liver function.

    • hi i have experienced hot weather rises my hypothyroid level so i want to know is the hot weather responsible for this and any particular dose is not suiting me sometime it rises sometime lows down so what would be the actual reason behind this…..pls help me i want to get rid of this hypothyroidsm. is there any surgery to get it cure completely.

  16. rosanne rosenberg says:

    I am a 72 year old female..Seven years ago I was given radioactive iodine for hyperthyroidis. Now my tsh is 3.3 and I am having symptoms of hypothyroidism.
    Doctor gave me a blood test for antibodies….Is is possible that I will have to take synthroid now.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Rosanne,

      I have many readers at Hypothyroid Mom who are hypothyroid since having RAI. Yes it’s possible that you have hypothyroidism. Please speak with your doctor about testing also your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 as described in this article.

  17. I’m so happy to have found your site. I’ve been feeling very low for the last few years, always tired, fatigued and unable to get out of bed some days. On the rare occasion that I do get out of bed to get something done, my energy is depleted so quickly that I’m unable to complete my task or I feel completely wiped out once I’m done. I thought for a long time I was depressed, but even taking a light medication didn’t seem to help at all, so I stopped and the feelings just continued.

    Within the last year, my mother has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Rheumatoid Arthritis, leading me to believe my symptoms were not a product of depression but possibly of thyroid issue as well (and possibly anemia or diabetes). Her doctor at first tried to tell her her labs were normal but she presented the updated AACE information and was put on Synthroid. She said the medication made a world of difference in her mood and energy level.

    I scheduled an appointment with a new gyno to discuss my issues, feeling certain I’d walk away with answers and on the right track. On my first visit, he very heavily suggested I may have long-term stress-related depression, but I explained that I don’t feel depressed, I simply feel overly tired, fatigued, and unable to be productive, and THAT makes me sometimes feel depressed. When I do have energy, I feel great! He still insisted my issues were depression-related and tried to force antidepressants. I said no, that I wanted to have labs done to rule everything out before going down that road. He ordered lab work and on my follow-up, without even telling me the lab findings, he simply said everything “looked normal” and again started pushing antidepressants. I argued for about 20 minutes, saying that just didn’t feel like the right diagnosis, but I finally just agreed to take the prescriptions so I could leave. I sat in my car and cried for 10 minutes, feeling helpless, like no one would listen to me and I’d never feel better.

    I’ve since done hours and hours of research and fully believe his “diagnosis” to be completely incorrect and that I do in fact have hypothyroidism. Thanks to your information, I feel armed with the knowledge to walk back into his office and either tell him to get it right this time or be ready to fire him and find someone else. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for putting this information online to help others!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Brooke,

      Yes please be an advocate for yourself and insist on testing at a minimum for TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. If your doctor won’t test these then find a doctor who will. I compiled a list of the top 10 resources to help readers find good thyroid doctors in their area.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      Please please be sure to have your Free T3 and thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s tested. Since your mother has Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is considered an autoimmune condition. When you have one autoimmune condition you are more likely to develop others. Hashimoto’s is a thyroid autoimmune condition where the body attacks your thyroid and creates thyroid antibodies against it. It is the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the US yet few doctors test thyroid antibodies. You and your mother should be tested for Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      I bring up the importance of testing Free T3 and thyroid antibodies also because you mention depression. There is considerable researching showing a connection between hypothyroidism and depression like symptoms in particular as a result of low Free T3 and/or Hashimoto’s.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/when-thyroid-disease-masquerades-as-psychiatric-disorder/

      Dr. Oz had a powerful show on antidepressants where he warned that health conditions like low thyroid, anemia, PMS, PCOS, and Celiac Disease can mimic depression. They should be tested too for you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

  18. Hi, I recently found out that I have nodules on my Thyroids and had FNA and it came back normal along with my labs (I don’t have the levels). I also found out that my hormones are off (Prolactin is high, Eatrogen low) but I have almost every symptoms listed for hypothyroism (fatigue, weight gain and can’t lose weight no matter what I try, dry skin, high triglycerides, low vitamin D). My doctor is not treating me for hypothyroism and instead treating me for my pituitary adenoma. So my question is, can I still have hypothyroism anyways even though my labs are “normal”.

  19. I have been treating mild hypothyriod for a few months based solely on my T4. I learned about testing for antibodies and they came back in normal range. My question is, can antibody levels fluxuate in and out of normal range with hashimotos, and if so when should I retest them? I know I need to test my T3 still, but it seems a little like pulling teeth sometimes to get Drs to listen :-/

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi C. Pratt,

      Antibody levels can fluctuate. Dr. Datis Kharrazian has an interesting article about this topic. I am fascinated by the fact that he writes it’s possible to have negative thyroid antibody test results yet still have Hashimoto’s. You’ll be fascinated by this article attached.

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/page/15/

  20. My tsh levels were 8.5 in December my doctor was supposed to alert me on the results but she said she forgot and I called in a week ago asking about it and they were alarmed that it was 8.5 so I was retested and am “normal” I still feel the same symptoms of feeling sluggish, brain fog, hair loss that is so obvious, inability to complete a thought process, irritability, and I don’t know what caused it to go back down maybe it was the focalin (add medicine) that I started back on for school. My doctor won’t do the t3 or reverse t3 tests because she either doesn’t know or thinks tsh is good enough. This office still goes by the 0.5-5.0 range and will not listen to what I have to say or how I feel. I feel like a hypochondriac now on top of possibly being hypothyroid. Am I crazy for asking them for a law dosage of something that will put me at the optimum level of 1.0? I just want to live life at 100% and haven’t been able to since I was in the seventh grade. I am 22 now and have struggled with an eating disorder for he past 12 years and now I feel as though my thyroid needs help in getting back to normal… Is anyone out there? I feel hopeless and might consider self medicating. I don’t have the money to go elsewhere to find a doctor to run new tests again here in sc. Any advice?

  21. Hi,
    Finally I have answers.. I was diagnosed with multiple nodules in the thyroid 2 years ago.. I am a registered surgical nurse and didn’t really know too much about it. I had all the tests including cts, neuclear medicine scans etc.. The more changes I noticed in my health I put down to age (36) not being fit or genetics.. But when I couldn’t make it through the day without having a nap on the lounge, putting on weight when I eat a healthy vegetarian diet, high cholesterol, heart rate increase and blood pressure increase I began to wonder what was going on.. I recently be came very unwell and it seemed my immune system wasnt working, getting tonsilitis, conjunctivitis, wound infections, headaches over eyes, dry watering eyes. this lasted 5 weeks.. My hairs still brittle, nails are disgusting and still no answers from doctors.. I don’t sleep well, starting to feel emotionally sad when I have always been positive, happy and independant.. I really can’t stand being this person.. I want energy and my life back…

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Anne,

      It’s so unfortunate how little awareness there is around thyroid conditions. Thyroid nodules can come with no symptoms, other people experience hypothyroid symptoms and others can experience hyperthyroid symptoms. I hope you know now that there are more tests needed including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies (Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies & Thyroglobulin Antibodies), adrenals, full iron panel and D3 at a minimum.

      Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon at About.com Thyroid Disease writes a great deal about thyroid nodules. Here is a post that lists her articles on this topic.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/nodulesgoiters1/tp/nodule.htm

  22. Your not the only one grace.. I too have felt like this.. At long last I finally have an appointment at a naturopath health clinic that do theses test and can check other things your doctor won’t.. Hoping to get my life back to :-)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Anne, so happy you found a doctor who will run full thyroid testing. So great. There are great doctors out there and they are worth searching for. Best wishes to you for better health.

  23. hi
    i have hypothyroidism since i was 8 but diagnosed when i was 13 i am 20 now though i am using thyroixn tablets from 7 years my weight does not decrease when i was in college i attempted suicide by taking upto 40 100mcg thyroixn tablets does this result in worsening my condition?will there be any problem in futuer about my pregnancy?

  24. hi Doctor
    i have already posted my question to u through an email

    but let me write again in short

    i have recently got TSH and T4 Tests. In both. the result is higher than normal

    so its mean i have some problem with my thyroid, i am young man but losing wieght very fast,, though i eat much, including rich food but in vain, My hieght is 6/2 feet while body weight is 83 kg… i really wish to see my weight gain according to my hieght… so could u please let me know what is the real problem with me,,, or can u tell me should i consult an ENT doctor or any other Physician… and should i get some other tests again as such

    thanks
    sami

  25. Dear Doctor,,

    my TSH and T4 tests are not normal,, its is higher than normal

    i want to know what kind of Doctor should i get

    A ENT Doctor or any other Physician as i am losing weight very fast

    thanks

    Sami

  26. I have an 11 year old daughter with Hashimotos.

  27. Hi there,

    I have been recently diagnosed with an underactive thyroid of tsh level 5.0. Does this level affect getting pregnant? Does thyroid medication causes birth defects? My doctor said I would have to take medication for rest of my life. I wonder if this is true. I’m 34 yrs old feeling bummed about this. Its runs in my family, but I wasnt expecting this now at this age. I’m thinking take medication for 6 months and if levels are good then stop taking meds. Btw, when i wash my hair or brush many strands come loose. Hmmm, maybe this is why I cant get pregant , but 5.0 doesnt seem to high. Have there been women at this level that have fallen pregnant? Also, if i dont take thyroid medication could years later i have more health issues? I know I have lots of questions, this is all so new to me. I’d appreciate anyones advice. Thanks!

  28. I have been on Armour Thyroid for going on three months. I suffered for almost 3 years with numerous physical issues that no cause was ever found. I had been to a number of specialist that never found any causes and just wanted to prescribe me muscle relaxers and pain killers. I didn’t want that. I am not that old, but my doctor kept telling me, “you are just getting older” – I didn’t buy that. I know my body and I know when things are not right. I have a VERY strong family history of thyroid problems and auto immune disorders. My GP yelled at me when I continued to ask him about my thyroid and told me there was nothing wrong with it, and asked me, “what do you want me to do, send you for a biopsy!” I was very upset by this. My sister has Hashi – Finally, my hematologist felt my thyroid and found it to be enlarged, sent me for an ultrasound, and then referred me to an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist told me that based on my TSH levels alone, he would not have put me on medication, but due to all the other factors I was a candidate. The first two weeks on the medication I felt worse and wondered if I had made a misstate. After almost four weeks I noticed improvement and now I feel great. I don’t go back to see the same GP anymore. The most important advice I can give you is don’t give up just because the doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with you. You know your body better than anyone else.

  29. I first started noticing something was wrong with me in 2004 when my friends noticed something wrong with me. I was exhausted and sleeping 15 hrs or more out of my day; my friends would always find me in bed. They finally said I should go to the doctor. I did, and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was put on synthroid and felt much better soon after. unfortunately, once I graduated college in 2008, i lost my health insurance and ran out of my medication.
    sometime later in 2009 i got a job and attempted to use my health insurance to have my levels tested again to get back on my synthroid/levothyroxin. They tested my blood with a basic test and when the results came back they told me I fall within normal range and that I don’t have a thyroid problem. I told them I had been on thyroid medication for 5 years before I saw this doctor. He said “well according to your levels, i cant authorize thyroid medicine for you, as there’s nothing wrong with your thyroid, your perfectly normal. Well with dry itchy scalp, itchy dry skin, recurrent horrible eczema, feeling tired and having low energy all the time, gaining a lot of weight, heavy periods, severe-always-fighting depression or low moods, night-sweats or feeling cold, tingling hands and feet, and a host of other problems I DIDN’T FEEL FINE!!!
    but this doctor had me convinced i had probably been misdiagnosed and that my weight gain and obesity were causing my tired/low energy feelings, i just needed to eat better and drink more water and exercise and I would be fine. I still don’t feel fine, but I am now at a point where going to doctor to have myself checked is financially not a viable option, retail minimum wage doesn’t leave much room for hospital and lab bills.
    i thought about trying a low cost clinic, but usually low cost means bare minimum tests under the old lab minimums for thyroid disorder.
    my mother has had thyroid all her life and was showing fine results as well on her standard tests. when she requested a full test after going to 5 different doctors, she finally was aware her background levels, and not her standards were off. she was diagnosed with hashimoto’s thyroid disorder as well as another 2 auto-immune diseases including lupus. apparently auto-immune diseases are rampant in my family history on my mother’s side.
    I feel so out of sorts and every day is a struggle to get up and motivate myself to fight against my low moods, exercise (when it doesn’t seem to be helping). its hard to describe to others how out of whack my whole person feels on a given day, from stomach complaints, to itchy scalp so bad it feels like i have lice, to depression, to my horrible eczema. my body feels like its falling apart. and everyday I get up something always feels wrong. No one believes me, except my mom, they say i look fin. and my experience with doctors is that i go in with a list of symptoms and they think i want a medical explanation for my weight gain. I feel as if they look at me like i should just take responsibility for my life, get in shape, eat better, and stop trying to deny responsibility for my “lifestyle choices” (as they put it) and trying to chalk it all up to thryoid problems. Like fat people are somehow looking to come up with a guiltless excuse for their weight gain instead of taking responsibility for changing their lives to lose weight and feel better. Thats how it feels! but if i don’t have a thyroid disorder, why the hell was i on thyroid medication for 5 years?!! I know I am not crazy! I know there is something wrong with me!!!! I just wish I could afford to go to doctors to get my thyroid treated. As of the date of this posting i have been off thyroid medication for about 4 years. I am fatter than I have ever been, I am more unhappy and depressed than I have ever been, and I am developing more recurrent little problems (skin infections, severe dry skin, tingling and numbing of hands and feet, tired, muscle and tendon aches, acid reflux, throat problems, etc) than I have ever had in my 30 years.
    It’s nice to know I am not alone when i found this blog. I am not the only person doctors have told there’s nothing wrong with me based on outdated and non-comprehensive methods of testing. The sad truth is that I have started to accept how i feel unmedicated as normal and everyday; because it has become so. I have decided, as limiting as my income is, i will try to find another clinic or doctor where a second test can be performed. I am afraid they will tell me the same thing, that there’s nothing wrong with me, and I don’t know what to do. I can’t keep spending money i don’t have on lab tests, and getting a doctor to “listen” to me, instead of assume that just because I am not a doctor, my “feelings and thoughts” about what wrong with me don’t matter, is difficult. But here’s to hoping and praying!!!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Nicole, please please please find another doctor and request testing not just TSH but also your Thyroid Antibodies for Hashimoto’s. Given your mother has Hashimoto’s and you have a family history of autoimmune diseases I can’t believe your doctor didn’t test your thyroid antibodies. There are two tests you need: Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies. When you have one autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s you are more vulnerable to develop others such as Lupus and why a family will have a family history of multiple autoimmune diseases. It’s worth it to search for another doctor to get these two tests and insist on your family history and symptoms.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      Here are resources to help you find a good doctor.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

    • I always demand a doctor to sign off on my results I know they misinterpreted. Dont give up. Take them research. That usually kicks them into better action. They don’t want to get charged with neglect or accused of incompetence.

  30. Consider this. None of this is news to doctors, not even the GP’s. Since properly functioning thyroid hormone is so critical to every cell, every organ and system in the body, and if by properly diagnosing and treating thyroid disease would reduce the incidence of all other diseases so signifigantly just by managing the health of the thyroid, they’d have a lot less patients in their offices and that would affect their bottom line. On the other hand, it’s much more lucrative for the doctor to just treat each individual symptom as a seperate ailment, and ultimately treat seperately all of the resulting chonic diseases.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Good point Tia. Sad really that doctors aren’t more focused on helping the millions of thyroid sufferers worldwide.

  31. Hi Dana,

    I have been suffering from chronic hives for several months now. I frequently get angioedema of the hands and lips. I had to stay in the hospital for two nights because the swelling was so bad. I have gone to my doctor several times but he never seems to find anything ‘unusual’. However, looking back at my blood test results I have noticed TSH levels ranging from 2.7-3.74 (I had blood work done a few times). I know this isn’t widely out of range, but I also noticed high levels of anti-TPO antibodies and I also tested positive for antinuclear antibody. Do you know anything about these antibodies? My doctor keeps claiming I am fine regardless of the fact that I have SEVERAL of the symptoms you have listed, including loss of hair, unexplained weight gain and chronic fatigue.
    Any insight, tips, or advice would be greatly appreciated! I’m fairly confident it’s my thyroid but my doctor won’t refer me to a thyroid specialist!

  32. Dear Dana,
    Recently I had done the thyroid test. My test shows TSH 50uIU/ml T4 by CLIA – 4.8ug/dl and T3 45.24 ng/dl.
    I am taking thyroxin 100mg everyday from last one year. We are trying to have second child. Is it dafe to conceive with this report and if I conceive than there would be any problem to child.

    Please suggest. Thank you.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Anjali,

      Please before trying to conceive bring a copy of the American Thyroid Association guidelines for pregnancy to your doctor. They recommend a TSH less than 2.5 mIU/L for hypothyroid women planning to conceive and in first trimester. Your score is in different units of measurement and I’m not sure the exact conversion so be sure to ask your doctor.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3472679/

  33. Hi Dana,
    i have taken an interest in hypothyriodism since my daughter was diagnosed 21/2 mths ago.
    however i have been diagnosed with major depression for 7 yrs now
    No antidepressants do anything,ect(24 treatments) no help.
    having gone through your symptons i am starting to wonder.
    severely depressed
    exhausted all the time
    sleep 12+ hrs a day and still tired
    shocking memery
    lack of desire to do anything
    anxious
    and on and on
    i have had a thyroid test all Ok supposedly.
    I am going to Dr again mainly due to your blog and ask for more tests
    What specific tests should i ask for.
    I have lost so much because of this sickness which at the moment is Depression????
    Luv to hear from you
    Trev

  34. I’ve been dealing with severe pain for the past 3+ months. My hands get completely numb (it’s bilateral) and the nerve pain is incredible. The flare ups come on quickly and I am unable to sleep or work. Now, I have nerve pain on the outsides of both knees and the soles of my feet feel like they’ve been taken over by Veruca Salt (the big blueberry in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) with swelling and pain. Every day is painful. I’ve seen both a Physical Therapist AND a chiropractor who strongly feel it’s my thyroid. I don’t have insurance and know that blood panels are expensive. I have seen quite a few you can get online for cheaper and wondered if you could tell me which tests I need. Is there a ‘complete thyroid panel’ workup that is grouped together that I could get? Thanks for any help. I feel like I’m going crazy!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Sue, you should read this article I wrote about fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. I’ve been contacted by so many readers with chronic pain. This article includes thyroid experts who recommend natural desiccated thyroid for chronic pain.

      hypothyroidmom.com/thyroid-hormone-the-most-overlooked-treatment-for-fibromyalgia/

      Yes you can order thyroid tests online such as through thyroid advocate Mary Shomon. The main ones to test are Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies.

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/gettestedanddiagnosed/a/selftesting.htm

  35. Hi,

    I have many of these symptoms and my naturopath believes I may have sub clinical hypothyroid … She has recommended treating with animal thyroid … Is that a standard treatment?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Lindsay, I personally take natural desiccated thyroid from pig thyroid and doing well on it. We’re all different in terms of which medication is right for us but worth it to give a try and see how you do. For me it changed my life.

  36. Srini Venkat says:

    Hello ,
    I am 19 years old male. I have Chronic Pancreatitis. I saw this 300 symptoms and I have many of those symptoms. I feel internal shivering when i get wet in cold water, I get tremors while sleeping in night, I have tonsils and I frequently get sore throat. I recently got cured from Pompholyx(skin blisters), I think I have restless leg syndrome ’cause I have the habit of shaking my leg whenever I am not able to control my patience like pain, recently an ENT doc said that I have reflux gas that comes up from my stomach to the throat and above all this I am 5 feet 8 inches in height and I weigh only 99 pounds(45kg). I never lost a kilo or gained one in nearly 5 years. I got my thyroid tested yesterday and my Total T3, Total T4 and TSH levels are all normal. Can somebody please help me why these symptoms occur to me?

  37. Melissa B. says:

    I know this is a dated piece, but I’ve just found this online & found it to be a very interesting read. I’m a 39 year old woman who has suffered for the last several years with harsh symptoms, that I’ve felt for some time are a result of being Hypothyroid, but am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to find a doctor in my area that I can trust will treat me correctly, taking ALL info into consideration (i.e. symptoms, not just TSH). I’ve never had a complete thyroid panel. I’ve discussed my issues with 3 different doctors thus far, all of whom have been useless. They ran a normal blood work check, which included my TSH & that alone and I was told everything was “normal”. I received a copy of my blood work report twice out of the 3 times. The first time, my TSH result was in the “Abnormal” column of the report, with a lab notation of further testing being necessary. Doctor however told me everything was “normal”. (My copy didn’t arrive until the following day, which left me scratching my head, but if the doctor said all was normal, who was I to question it….foolish, I know!) I’ve since lost that report (was 3 years ago), & I don’t recall what the actual TSH number was, sigh. The 2nd time my blood work was done, different doctor this time, I was once again told all was normal. I foolishly didn’t ask for my TSH result & this time I didn’t receive a copy myself. Last week I had to visit a Cardiologist (unrelated issue), who sent me for blood work & this time I requested the office send me a copy. My TSH result was 1.68. I have continuously suffered with weight gain in-spite of real diet & exercise efforts, extreme fatigue, dry skin/hair/nails, hair loss (severe enough to now be noticeable, including my eyebrows), poor memory, swelling of hands/feet/calves/face, lack of sexual drive, cold sensitivity, joint pain….some of these symptoms at times feel as if they are quadrupled compared to other times, which makes me think as if perhaps my imbalance worsens at times more than others. All of my symptoms are severe & constant. My older sister was diagnosed Hypothyroid in 2013 & my daughter is being monitored via blood work, for bouncing between Hypo & Hyper (she’s not on any medication, just being monitored via blood work every 3 months…she’s 22 & takes care of her own health necessities, so I haven’t been present with her at the doctor). I was the one in the family complaining about the symptoms I’ve suffered for sometime, but I remain undiagnosed & unsure if a diagnosis can be made, due to not finding a doctor willing to run the a full thyroid panel, with a “normal” TSH. (My sister who was diagnosed went to a Naturopathic Doctor (I believe that’s what they’re called), where she paid for all tests, etc. out of pocket & therefore had full panels run, but that’s not a financial option for me.) Can someone please tell me what your opinion is regarding a 1.68 TSH result?!? Any other words of wisdom and/or encouragement would be greatly appreciated, as I feel as if I’m all alone in my suffering! Thanks in advance & I look forward to any & all responses!!!

  38. This gives me such hope! Ever since the birth of my last child 2 yrs ago I’ve struggled with debilitating symptoms.

    Massive fatigue, huge struggle to lose weight, dry skin and cold hands. The hair on my head had thinned all over very noticeably. There was a period where tons of hair was coming out during every shower and I think I may have lost about half the hair only head. This was not the normal shedding after birth as it suddenly began when my daughter was 16 months old. Strangely my pubic hair which was once very thick had become very sparse too. My periods completely stopped for full 9 months!

    My doctor first tested me for early menopause with an fsh test which was only 4! Clearly not menopausal, plus I have had two babies in the last 5 yrs. I’m 40 yrs old but up until my last pregnancy had periods every 29 days on the dot with no peri menopause symptoms whatsoever.

    Periods have since returned but are still not quite regular. I’ve also noticed some new hair starting to grow on my head, but it’s still thin. Also, the strands of my hair seem thinner and more brittle. Up until thus started my hair was very healthy, even when I had it colored. Now, I haven’t colored it in a year because I’m so protective of my thin hair.

    When the fsh came back so low. A tsh was ordered which was something like 2.9. I was told ” you’re fine. Probably just stress”.

    This seemed ridiculous to me since 5 years earlier my older daughter’s twin died and I went through the most horrific stress you could possibly imagine for months. My hair never fell out because of it and my periods never stopped.

    So, I begged for further testing and need up doing a t4 test which was also negative. At that point my doctor did the most insulting thing ever. She wrote in my chart that I had “somatization disorder”.

    I was so embarrassed I quit trying.

    Now that we are about to get new insurance I’m going to find a doctor in my area that might be more helpful.

  39. Hi ladies,
    I am so thankful for this wonderful lady who has created this blog. I, too, am in need of a doctor. Personally, I asked for a referral from my physician for a throat doctor who specialized in thyroid. I looked for the one with the best ratings and grades. Unfortunately, I cannot be seen till June but I cannot wait. I have over 90+ symptoms of Mrs. Trentini’s list. It is insane. I even seen a nutritionist and he told me I had hypothyroidism but my regular doctor would say he was crazy. And he was correct. They detected nada. I am suffering so badly that I cannot sleep flat because I feel something protruding on my throat and that I feel I am about to choke to death. I was persistent by calling to see if anyone cancelled and explained to her. These guys are so busy that must say something. Seriously. I looked for a throat doctor because my actual thyroid began to hurt to speak, cough, sneeze, laugh, anything. So, here I am awaiting my turn. My appointment was bumped up to Tuesday, praise the Lord. Where are you located and I can try to look for you? I can try. I, too, am desperate. I just hope I can get back to normal. Living day to day is so difficult that I feel like I am going crazy. My counselor even suggested I check myself into a mental institution. Yea.

    • And concerned about my weight my FORMER gynecologist said, if there were a magic weight loss pill, don’t you think we’d all be thin by now? Oh, I so fired him! I cannot believe the audacity of this doctor. Perhaps, he forgot whey he went to school to become a doctor in the first place. This is the treatment when someone is concerned about their health. Has anyone else been treated this way?

  40. Hi, I wonder if you can help me I have struggled with these symptoms for over 20 years and finally 18 months ago found a Dr who tested for my antibody levels…. 2500+.
    I have been on whole dessicated thyroid hormone and I have not had any improvement in my symptoms. I am now on synthetic T3 and T4 but my antibodies are still over 2500… is there something my Dr is missing? Why do they continue to sit around the 2500 level and my symptoms are not improving? I do have a lot of food allergies associated with my Hashimoto’s could a food allergy be the trigger?
    I would appreciate any help you could give me.

  41. NaturalMom says:

    “Your TSH and T4 scores may look ‘normal’ however the person suffers hypothyroid symptoms due to the high levels of reverse T3. Few mainstream doctors test for reverse T3, declaring a patient’s thyroid lab tests completely ‘normal’ all the while their patient suffers debilitating symptoms because their reverse T3 was not tested.”

    It should be noted that if you have a high level of RT3, that your TSH will not be normal. It may be “in lab range”, but will most likely still be high. My TSH was at 3.0…almost 3 times the “optimally functional” range. RT3 is, basically, the “brakes” in the body. Which is why when a trauma (either physical or emotional) happens, the body converts T4 into RT3. It tells the body to slow down. Now, normally, this happens and then things slowly change. Less RT3 is made and more T3 is converted. For hypo, the body will continue to convert RT3, which causes the debilitating fatigue…which causes the body to create more RT3 because you are pushing so hard…possibly taking caffeine/uppers/etc. in an attempt to get more energy…so it creates more RT3 to offset the surge…which causes you to take more…horrible downward cycle.But, Hypothyroid Mom, I think you should have listed the full, exhaustive panel at the beginning. The tests get lost at the end…and when I was at the peak of my hypothyroid…no way would I have made it that far. LOL

    I think you should also add Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Full Iron Panel, Saliva Cortisol.

    • So a Free T4 (1.1), T3 Uptake (31), and T3 Total (86), within the normal range doesn’t mean anything? I’ve been battling for many years and I’m at my wits end.

      • NaturalMom says:

        Well, no not really. You need to see the whole picture. You need that TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, the auto immune tests (to make sure there aren’t other issues), Vitamin D, Vitamin B, full iron and saliva cortisol.

        Why? Well, mainly because the tests you got are repetitive and don’t show why those numbers are where they are. My T4 and T3 were in the “normal range” (although, let’s get clear that “normal” does not mean “optimal”)…but no one ever checked my Reverse T3. After 11 years, and finally getting a full panel (all the tests listed, etc), it was discovered that my RT3 were very, very high. This is why it is so important to find a doctor who diagnoses off of symptoms and uses lab work as a guide. Most doctors want to diagnose/dose off of lab work and ignore symptoms.

        You may want to print out the tests suggested and go back to the doctor and ask them to run all of them. If they refuse, find another doctor. Just keep in mind that most doctors who are not knowledgeable enough to order these tests from the get-go are most likely not going to be knowledgeable to interpret the tests and dose accordingly. But with enough research, you can at least get on a better path.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi NaturalMom, thanks for sharing your story. Testing Reverse T3 is so important as obvious from your story yet sadly reverse T3 is a test that many mainstream doctors refuse to test. It’s so important to find a good doctor who will do full testing including Reverse T3 and not give up searching for a good doctor. All the best to you.

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Hi RoRo, Testing should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, adrenals, sex hormones, iron/ferritin, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Thyroid health is a puzzle with many pieces so the first step is making sure you’ve had all the right tests. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” Check your lab results and to the right of the scores will be the normal reference ranges. Another major thing to consider is gluten-free. I have many readers who rave about gluten-free including their symptoms, including me.

        http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

        Also if you are on a Levothyroxine drug like Synthroid that may be the issue. Many of us do better on a combo of T4 and T3 meds. Read about it here:

        http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

  42. Can someone please tell me more about my results of my blood work up? I have been miserable for months and the latest has been painful inflammation, mostly my feet, hands, wrists and the outsides of my knees. They are not only swollen but very painful from nerve pain with periods of horrible hand numbness and pain that makes it impossible to make a fist and the inside of my wrist gets so swollen and painful, I can’t touch it. I’ve had every specialist look at me along with nerve conduction studies and RA & Autoimmune blood panels (everything shows normal) and finally they told me to get my thyroid checked, so I did.

    My GP told me my panel was ‘normal’, but after reading this site and many others, I knew it probably wasn’t normal at all. He did agree to put me on a low dosage of the generic for Synthroid and it seems to be helping a tiny bit, but I was hoping if I gave my numbers, if someone could tell me if I’m actually dealing with hypo or having another issue.

    My TSH was 3.3
    My T4 was 6.4
    T4 Free was 1.08
    T3 Uptake was 29
    My Reverse T3 was 10.6
    My T3 was 85
    TPO was 6
    Thyroglobulin, Antibody was <1.0 and said it was a 'low positive'

    Do these numbers correspond with my misery?? Thanks for any response and help you can offer!

  43. I know this article was posted last year, but maybe someone can help. Can any doctor diagnose Thyroid Diseases?..

  44. Hi, just found this and so glad I did. My doc has just done bloods and I am waiting for the results. My last bloods 9 months ago showed elevated liver, low t4, normal t3 and he said my tsh was bumbling along (what does that mean?) and anaemia. I was tested because I had put on weight and was fatigued. The doc at the time decided I needed iron and nothing else. Now I have put on more weight, have thining eyebrows, severe TMJ disorder and am extremely fatigued, hoarse voice, sore gums and think I am falling apart. What does low t4 but normal results for t3 and tsh mean? And I am worried my new doc will say there is nothing wrong again. Any ideas?

  45. Brianna Lopez says:

    I guess I just wanted some opinions about whether or not to persue further testing. I have talked to many Dr.’s over the last 9 years about my symptoms of extreme fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, low libido, over sleeping and insomnia, etc. They all say, “sounds like your thyroid” and test my TSH. Always in the “normal range”. In fact the last time it was at .5 this seems very off. I know how I feel. After my second baby my whole body seems unrecognizable. I had a miscarriage in between my second and third and at one point my progesterone levels were low. I assume that is all related. I just don’t know what direction to go at this point.

  46. So I have an update on my naturopath appointment, no there not a doctor but only person that would listen. I have been prescribe 12.5mg of iodine and a medication for adrenal support. I know have nails, weight is stable and not so tired. She told me if your iodine levels are low your thyroid grows and although I was sub clinical hypothyroid I could of developed hypothroidism if iodine defficiency continued. Why don’t doctors see this or recognise iodine testing? I think my nodules have decreased as well but maybe it’s because I can swallow without choking, not sure but only problem now, I’m waiting for more iodine only available from America and will take 4 weeks to get to Australia. Can’t win

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Anne, happy to hear you are doing well. Iodine deficiency is a very real issue and something that every thyroid patient should have tested. All the best to you.

  47. I am so glad I found your site. I am going to read all your posts to try to figure this thing out. In the last 2 years, I have gained 20+ pounds. Being fairly active and only 5’0 tall, my doctors wrote it off as turning 40 and I feel that think I am letting myself go, encouraging me to work out more and watch what I eat. Problem is, before I saw them, I have been trying anything and everything to keep the weight off (no carb, clean eating, weight training, cardio, yoga) and I keep going up despite 1400 calories a day. I’m tired and depressed because my body is not the one I recognize. My tsh went from 2.5 to 4 and back to 3.0, with my FSH at 1.47 and so they have said I am fine, it’s not hyperthyroid. Free T4 has been fine. I am going to try your list of tests and go to another doctor. Does anyone know of any in RI? Also, I am going to try Enzymatic Therapy Metabolic Advantage Thyroid Formula Capsules in the hope it will help. I would appreciate any info./advice

  48. I am so glad I found your site. I am going to read all your posts to try to figure this thing out. In the last 2 years, I have gained 20+ pounds. Being fairly active and only 5’0 tall, my doctors wrote it off because I turned 40 and I feel they think I am letting myself go. They encouraged me to work out more and watch what I eat. Problem is, before I saw them, I have been trying anything and everything to keep the weight off (no carb, clean eating, weight training, cardio, yoga) and I keep going up despite 1400 calories a day. I’m tired and depressed because my body is not the one I recognize. My periods are off by weeks (so they tested me for peri-medopause but there were no signs of that.) I’ve been anemic my whole life. My tsh went from 3.51, 2.5 to 4 and back to 3.0, with my FSH at 1.47 and so they have said I am fine, it’s not hyperthyroid. Free T4 has been fine. I am going to try your list of tests and go to another doctor. Does anyone know of any in RI? Also, I am going to try Enzymatic Therapy Metabolic Advantage Thyroid Formula Capsules in the hope it will help. I would appreciate any info./advice

  49. I too know your pain.. Sherrie , It can be very frustrating.. at least 75 o/o of my hair has falling out since Jan 1 st .. (I went to my hair dresser and she was shocked) and it’s still falling out.. I also have gained 29 pounds since then.. My Doctor says my tsh is normal and refuses to test anything else.. he is also suggesting I start changing my diet .. I guess gaining 29 pounds in 6 weeks is because I have been eating like a pig since New years..It wasn’t til my husband spoke up that he is sending me to a specialist but his referral will say tests are normal and no rush.. So maybe in 6 months I will see someone.. He has always tried to keep my thyroid between 8 – 13 go figure hypothyroid not even close to the high normal he had been telling me for all these years.. Quack I say.. He will be dismissed soon.. All I want you to hear is .. Don’t give up.. Don’t let Quacks win… We can beat this..

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Pat, TSH is often the only test run and Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid are the drug of choice, however this protocol doesn’t work for everyone. Testing should include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, sex hormones, and ferritin. The ferritin is particularly important to test because low ferritin/iron is a possible cause of hair loss. Also abnormal sex hormone levels including testosterone can cause hair loss. Get a second medical opinion with a doctor open to full testing:

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  50. Hi do you know of nature thyroid? like Erfa or naturethroid to treat a low thyroid

  51. Michelle says:

    I’m so upset and frustrated right now. After two weeks of phoning every other day,I finally got an answer (from the receptionist) my thyroid levels were normal. I was bewildered. My mom was like THAT’S GREAT! As I was crying my eyes out. I couldn’t believe it. I am SO SO SO certain that I have hypothyroidism. I am 20 years old,Have elevated cholesterol (not much but still) and I’m anemic AND an extensive family history of thyroid disease. I’m almost positive they didn’t do a full thyroid test to,the office is a bit shady and my doctor has been writing my symptoms off for a year and a half. Said I’m just anxious and need to lose weight and speak to a therapist. I’m so fed up. This is my health and they act like I’m a burden for wanting answers.So I come here to ask, What should I ask for specifically about my tests results? My levels of course, and should I demand they do a complete full evaluation before I accept it? Thanks

  52. I know I have hypothyroidism. I have goiter/swollen thyroid glands and sometimes it hurts. At first I was tired all the time, unable to focus when I read I cannot retain anything. Since August of 2014 my heart rate speeds up, my chest and shoulder hurts and my arm goes numb-all on my left side. I went to emergency thinking I was having an heart attack. They did ekg, chest and lung ex-ray, and also a stress test. Everything came back normal.
    I showed them the small lemon size goiter under my neck and they said my thyroid level is normal. I have seen two different doctors since. I asked if what is considered normal for some might not be normal for others. They all but laugh at me. They told me my thyroid is not an issue so the focus is on my heart attack like symptoms. They ascertained me I will not have an heart attack because I do not fit the profile. I do not smoke or drink. I eat fairly healthy and exercise. However, they noticed I am a little overweight. I gain weight when I exercise. My belly is getting bigger and bigger and sometimes I feel my internal organs are swollen.
    From their interview conducted with me the last doctor has concluded that I am stressed and depressed. I am now referred to the mental health clinic to be treated for depression. Yes, I have been depressed for years, but I believe my thyroid is the root of the problem.
    My chest pains are becoming worst and I refuse to go to the clinic to be treated for depression when my thyroid problem is staring me in the face.
    I am a single mother of two girls 11, and 13. I am all they have. I don’t have the finances to go to doctors I know will help me, so now I have decided to treat myself with herbs and “thytrophin”.
    I am very disappointed to know that doctors could look at this goiter, and all my other symptoms and not make the connections.
    Thank all of you for your post.
    God bless everyone. My your recovery be speedy.

  53. Thank you!!! After reading this post things made so much sense! I was diagnosed with depression last year and have been on an SSRI ever since. Although this helped with my anxiety I was exhausted to the point where I couldn’t function and my brain was so foggy it was really affecting my job. After reading this I asked my doctor to check my thyroid and he was skeptical because my tsh level was fine when we checked it last year. He relented though and surprise! My t4 level is low even though my tsh level is still fine. I have been on thyroid medication for two weeks now and I already notice a big difference! And this is all thanks to you and this wonderful website. So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  54. Aisha Ali says:

    Hi,
    I feel constantly tired, and Im depressed ALL the time. I am having crazziest Mood swings for no reason at all. Nothing in the world makes me happy. No body. I got my thyroid tested last month, since i was always feeling cold and i live in middle East which is HOT. I have been gaining weight regardless of food or excercise. I have rapidly gained weight. WHen i got my results my TSH was 4.52. and My doctor said it was normal and asked me to go home.
    However i have been having dry falling hair, cold hands n feet. Its really hard for me to drop my weight. Besides i am SAD all the time. Please help me :(

  55. Wow! Thanks so much for your blog. I have so many things happening to me and your blog describes it perfectly. So nice to have honesty combined with great detailed information! Thank you.

  56. Thank you Dana for this terrific site and the brilliant info, as well as the opportunity to make and read other comments about our common issue of Hypothyroidism. I will be keeping a close eye on this blog in future.

  57. Thanks for sharing this terrific blog.

  58. So, Ashley, you’re saying your chiropractor figured it out — do you mean that he got you diagnosed as hypothyroid or the adjustments took care of the problems for you? Your symptoms sound so like mine, I’m very curious!

    I just got my labs back today and my TSH is 1.104… “You’re normal, Faye, it’s stress. If you’ll just exercise more…” Is that low? High? I’m so confused. I went through the long list Dana has here, and literally cried when I saw some of the symptoms I have on there! To realize that some of the things I thought just obscure things I have to live with might be something that can be fixed… but now, I hear it’s stress.

  59. NaturalMom says:

    I think it’s important to remember that there is a “range” of optimal function. If you’re coming in at 1.104 and having a lot of these symptoms, I would suggest several things:

    1) Get your Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Iron panels run. Deficiencies in those areas can also cause hypothyroid-like symptoms.

    2) Get an Saliva Adrenal test done. Adrenal issues can also cause a lot of these symptoms.

    3) Have your iodine levels checked. Low iodine levels can also “cause” hypothyroid and/or hypothyroid-like symptoms.

    4) If you’re still having issues, you need to find a doctor who will be willing to dose you on your symptoms and not your labs. You have to remember that there is a range. Some people may feel fantastic at 1.4 and for others, that gives them symptoms and they should be at .7. It’s all going to come down to addressing your deficiencies and finding someone who is going to listen to your symptoms more than looking at your labs.

    Good luck!!

  60. Shanann McDaniel says:

    Have been told all my life that i seem to be the only one in our family without thyroid problems…wich “every female” in family has thyroid issues. Have every symptom an most im fam now diagnosed hashimoto thyroid. How do i get the doctors take me seriousl!?! I had gained so much weight i made myself thru pain of many other issues…to walk an i stopped eating and i know that wasnt good…but my weight hurt…everything hurt…Crohn’s didnt like that much…all i want is to be taken seriously an stop being told….im the only one. Yea my nic name is tigger but that has nothing to do with my thyroid.

  61. I had a stroke in 1998,a blood clot in hypothalmus. I have been to dr. after dr.. Complaining of dry skin,dry brittle hair,rigged,brittle nails cold extremeties,depression,fatigue,fall asleep randomly,use c-pap,trouble swollowing,borderline diabeties,celiac,s,high cholesteral.dry eyes.sore tounge,headaches,intollerance to temperature change,ambition is gone,crave sweets low V d level.well the list goes on. I went to my pcp with a hard lump on my jaw,which went down,he ordered a cat scan it showed that my thyroid was enlarged,so he sent me to an endo. She ordered an ultra sound of the thyroid and a lot of blood tests,not sure what. I will see her for follow up. The thing she did was give me a magazine called Endo 101 in this magazine there was a break down of the endo system and there was a break down of the functions of the parts of the endo system. The hypothalmus controls most of the problems I have . This is the first time in over 15 years I have been given this information. I just hope she will find a solution,if I don’t get control of this problem,I’m not sure what will happen.Thanks for listening I will keep you posted.

  62. Gudrun Bj says:

    Thank you for a terrific site!! =) You wrote the tests to get..”at least”.. what could be beneficial to add to those mentioned?? I want the whole package since i’m on my last meters!! Thank you

  63. I printed out this info 3 months ago and gave it to my Dr.. I was on 200 MG of levothyroxin and had been on this medication in different ranges and dosages for the past 12 yrs and when I heard of Nature-Throid I talked to him about it. Then 3 month ago he said he did do the full panel of blood test and then took me off Levothyroxin and switched me to 113.75 MG of Nature-Throid. ( I was his 1st patient ever to try this medication he new nothing about) I went for my 3 mo. check up last Monday but he only tested my TSH. I Broke down in tears when I left the lab and after the nurse said those others test do not matter. I spoke to him later at my appt. and he said my levels were all over the place. I was so confused because I have never felt better! Nature-Throid has done wonders on my symtoms! So I was really shocked to hear about my results. So he ups the dosage to 146.25MG This was all based on just my TSH this time so thats why I am wondering if I was really on the right MG of medicine? I’m hoping that it is…I have called around here where I live for a Dr. that is familiar with the right way to test. and it looks like I might have to travel to another city I’m taking my medicine on time everyday on an empty stomach and waiting the full hour, I cut all caffeine and sugar I’m trying to eat healthier. So I hope this helps and when I go back to see my Dr. in 2 months I’m hoping it will have worked! Oh and he told me to stay off the internet??!!?? lol!! I mean I trust the info I am reading here!!! Its crazy not to make sense cause there are so many people just like me feeling the same way. {{ sighs}}}
    Like · 25 secs

  64. I have a friend who has her thyroid removed for thyroid cancer? Should she have more than just her TSH checked as well?

  65. shweta Krishna says:

    Hi,
    I was planing my pregnancy and got my Thyroid tested in Dec as I have family history of thyroid and it came out 4.5. The Dr told me it is borderline and I do not need to take medicines.
    I am came to know about my pregnancy in my 6th week and my TSH value by then had shot up to 8. Dr has now put me on medicines.I am in my 7th week.

    I am really scared as I have read that high TSH can cause autism, low IQ, impacts brain and spinal cord development of the child.
    I do not trust the Dr any more and going for a second consult, but would really like to know with a value of 8 , should I be worried as the baby needs the TSH of mother till 12th week and more than half of of those weeks my TSH is value was not upto the mark.
    would really appreciate any guidance on it.

  66. Kristin says:

    In the beginning of April I had blood tests that revealed that my thyroid is extremely under-active (TSH results 12.4) My doctor started me on Synthroid (generic) (50mcg) and I started a strict diet. I still felt horrible and I wasn’t losing any weight at all but my Dr. said “it takes time” and “i dont want to increase your dosage too soon & cause other problems” Well, last Tues. 5/6 was my follow-up to get another blood test – TSH results 16.9!!! So he told me to double what I was taking. How could my results be worse while on medication? Have you heard of this before? He didn’t even do any other thyroid tests.

  67. Hi Dana,

    I have Hypothyroid from past 7years, i am under medication of Eltroxin 100mcg. I donot see anything nder much control, I have harifall, weight gain , mood swings and depression all the syptoms,which you have decribed.

    you have mentioned about the natural tyroid medicaiton, please share details about it . Also in all our blogs we have discussed about problem and symptoms, kindly share remedy ,your inputs much appreciated .

    regards,
    Latha

  68. Hi. I am writing this on behalf of my mom who is 58. She had a major stroke on March 11, 14 and a heart attack the next day. She has spent nearly 2 months in ICU. Her biggest problems have been afib (off rhythem heartbeat), very hard to control hypertension, high blood sugar 230+, and pulmonary effusion in left lung (large amounts of fluid in her lung to point of collapse and nonfunction).

    She has always thought she had a thyroid problem and two of her younger siblings have been diagnosed and are currently being treated for hyperthyroid, I believe. As far as I know, my mom was never officially diagnosed but she never really went to doctor as she didn’t trust them and used to be a nurse herself.

    Prior to her stroke she was taking large amounts of iodine and she began to get edema really bad in her legs. (Maybe hurt her thyroid function?) She was extremely fatigued to point she has to rest going up stairs and had labored breathing for the week or so before her stroke. (She refused to go to doctor)

    I have pressed doctors to test her TSH and free T3 and free T4, which all came back in their “normal” range. But my intuition tells me she has a thyroid problem based on a case study I found of a 57yr old woman who suffered stroke and then had unexplainable fluid collection in left lung (as my mom does). She was treated for thyroid and fluid went away immediately and she was able to recover.

    Symptoms my mom has had over years:

    White blotches on the skin on her hands
    Hair loss and thinning (its extremely brittle.right now!)
    Large amounts of skin are flaking off her feet – very dry
    Very dry/flaky cuticles on hands
    Eyes look like they are beginning to bulge a bit – she looks dazed.
    Extreme muscle weakness
    Fatigue leading up to stroke and now.
    Muscle cramps in legs when she would walk prior to stroke.
    Couldn’t loose weight
    Very high blood pressure – uncontrollable
    Very high sugar
    Off rhythm heartbeat
    And more….

    Do you have a webpage that lists every single test she should be tested for…even down to vitamin deficiency?

    She has a doctor who is open to testing her for whatever I request, but can not refer an endocrinologist unless blood tests show something wrong. He also said it may be a rare condition where the thyroid produces all the right hormones, but it leaks out and doesn’t get to where they should… But he thinks one of 3 tests (tsh,free t3/4) would show that. Said he will test a 3rd time in a couple days.

    What else should I ask him to test?

    Thank you!

  69. My mom had major stroke and heart attack at 58yrs. Can not go into detail because this sight keeps saying my post is spam. I have every reason to believe it is her thyroid. (Two younger siblings are treated for problems) She was tested: TSH and free T3 and Free T4. They said “normal” ranges.

    I have doc who is open to testing for whatever I ask (she has been in ICU for nearly 2months and has unexplainable lung fluid in left lung which is causing major problems). What tests should I ask for? I want EVERY test done to rule out thyroid but I don’t have time to.look.through all.posts. Doc won’t refer to endocrinologist unless he sees.something in blood.test. thanks!

  70. tiffany says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I have been searching for the right info to take to my doctors appt! I go today for the first time in over 10 years because I believe I have hypothyroid! I am so nervous as this is just a general doctor who will look at me crazy and want to put me on prescriptions which I will NOT take!!! This has come on over the past year after having my last baby. I have been “rundown” for about 5 years but the last year has been the worst. Here goes to finding an answer and the right natural cures. THANKS!!!

  71. thanx dana for this blog and group to share our concerns,
    I am 22 yrs old. married last year and have got to know that i have hypothyroid problem. I get tremendous headaches, mood changes , frequent fatigue. MY reports are normal , yet i feel tired al the day.Due to family pressure i have to go for pregnancy soon but i am in dileema of wether i should go for it or not in my such health condition as i am extremly worried it shouldnt affect my child in any way . Doctors said me my hypothyoid is due to my moms thyroid problems ,Should i wait for it until my health improves or i should go for it ,.In that case what precautions should I take. Please do reply

    • Hi Rashmi, A mother’s thyroid health is critical for proper fetal development, so please get your thyroid properly managed before trying to conceive. The American Thyroid Association recommends a TSH less than 2.5 for hypothyroid women planning to conceive. As you know from this article TSH alone is not enough to give a full picture. Testing should also include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies too. Here are important points to know about having a healthy pregnancy with hypothyroidism. All the best to you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypothyroid-moms-story-of-hope-her-miracle-babies/

  72. I am 39 and have been suffering with symptoms for the past 10 years. My gp doesn’t have a problem running a Thyroid panel. She even agreed to do an antibody test and vitamin D. Do you see anything missing that I should insist on having done? I am having a biopsy this week. Any advice for next steps would be appreciated (especially if the biopsy comes back as normal).
    Here are my latest test results:
    TSH w/ Reflex to FT4 1.06 (0.4-4.50)
    T3 uptake 33 (22-35)
    T4 Total 1.8 (1.4-3.8)
    Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies 1 (<9)
    Vitamin D 40 (30-100 ng/mL)

    2010 Results
    TSH 0.37 (same range as above)
    T4 Free 1.2 (0.8-1.8)
    T3 Total 86 (76-181)
    TSH 1.66 (same as above)
    T4 Free 0.8 (0.8-1.8)
    T3 Total 98 (76-181)

    2010 was when I was feeling my worst. After visiting the doctor and urgent care many times, I was diagnosed with Wolfe Parkinson White syndrome and had 2 cardiac ablations. I still have pounding in my chest and occasional fast heart rate, but nothing like before.

    This year I noticed that I couldn't wear certain necklaces that I used to , so my dr ordered an ultra sound. This is the result of the test:

    INDICATION: Goiter.
    FINDINGS: A thyroid ultrasound was obtained. The right thyroid lobe measures 5.3 x 1.9 x 2.2 cm and the left 4.9 x 1.4 x 2.0 cm. The isthmus measures 0.5 cm.
    In the right isthmus there is a 1.7 x 0.6 x 1.4 cm ovoid nodule identified with punctate echogenicities which may suggest microcalcifications. This is wider than tall without shadowing.

    In the right lobe upper pole there is a 1.1 x 0.7 x 1.1 cm ovoid isoechoic benign-appearing nodule identified. In the lower pole there are 2 colloid cysts identified measuring 0.8 x 0.6 cm and 0.6 x 0.5 cm containing some internal echoes.
    In the left lobe there are 3 small ovoid colloid cysts identified: The one in the upper pole measures 0.4 x 0.3 cm, in the mid pole 0.6 x 0.5 cm, and the lower pole lower 0.6 x 0.5 cm.
    IMPRESSION:
    Right isthmus thyroid nodule with microcalcifications. Ultrasound-guided biopsy or short term follow-up recommended.
    Multiple bilateral colloid cysts.

    Thank you so much.

  73. I have been suffering with severe fatigue, mental fogginess, constipation, hair loss, and two menstrual periods with especially heavy bleeding every month. I also suddenly show high cholesterol though I’m pescatarian and eat a primarily vegetable and fish diet. My mother has multiple schlerosis and I myself have another rare form of schlerosis (both autoimmune conditions). My doctor did TSH test and it was 4.5, which she said seemed a little high and that it could be Hashimoto’s, but then she did another test a month later and it dropped to 1.4 so she says everything is fine even though none of my symptoms are resolved, and refuses to medicate me. I’m still have heavy periods every two weeks and my menstrual symptoms (moodiness and swollen breasts) seem to stay all month and my Gynecologist did all the tests to rule out any other causes and found no cause. My regular doctor won’t put me on meds and my gynecologist wants to put me on birth control or IUD to control the bleeding (but that seems like a band-aid to me). I’m also 38 and have never had children and still want to and this is all very scary. My fatigue seems only to get worse; I’m usually very energetic and get a ton done in a day and now I’m lucky if I accomplish one thing. My eyelids feel heavy. I feel alone in this, though I see from this list that I’m not. Any recommendations in advocating for myself with this doctor? Or should I just switch doctors?

  74. I am so relieved that I found this blog. It is so helpful and reassuring, and gives me hope that I can find help. I’ve taken a look thru some of the recommended doctor list on here and I’ve noticed that some are not endocrinology specialists. Do you think an internal medicine practitioner can be just as helpful? Because of my location, it seems that my few options are not endo specialists. I’m tempted to opt for an endo specialist since if I really do not have thyroid problems, then I suspect I have low testosterone or DHEA. My major symptoms of concern are weight gain and low libido. I do also have an intolerance to the cold, so much so that I will get hives frequently on my hands during the winter. I also have dry skin and hair, and in general I’m just a low energy person. My most recent test results show that I am in the normal range, with a TSH of 2.82. However, I remembered that my last blood tests almost about 1.5 years ago had an abnormal result that required me to go back for retesting, and when i got retested they said I was fine, so it was just a fluke. The number meant nothing to me at that time and I just took the doctor’s word and didn’t think twice about it. I recently called for those numbers and they were TSH 6.4, then 4.23 two months later. I’m so angry with myself that I didn’t do my own research at that time. I had never considered that I had a thyroid problem, despite my life long struggles with weight. I am now 30lbs heavier, and depressed. Whether the depression is due to a thyroid problem or my weight gain, I’m not sure. My doctor says those old numbers don’t matter since my most recent one was in the normal range, and will not refer me to an endocrinologist. So here I am doing my own research and finding another doctor for a 2nd opinion.

  75. I was just told by the doctor’s nurse that my blood tests show that my “thyroid is a little low.” They want to re-test in 6 weeks. Not sure what that means… so I looked at lab results and saw that my THS level is 5.13 (normal range is 0.34-5.10 u[[iU]/mL) and my Thyroxine, Free level is 0.67 which is with in the normal range (0.61-1.24 ng/dL) About 4 years ago (a different doctor) said my THS level was 5.16 but did nothing more with it.

    Does this mean if my tests in 6 weeks are about the same that they will diagnose me with hypothyroid? Not sure what all of this means….

  76. I am so upset at my doctor from a few years ago. My TSH was checked and it fell within normal range. Big deal. It wasn’t until I started taking medical classes for my degree, that I studied the T3 & T4. T3 & T4 are extremely important to check.

    I now volunteer at a clinic for the extremely poor. They check T3 & T4! But my regular doctor won’t? There needs to be a list generated of doctors that will check T3 & T4 levels.

  77. Hi How can I get a Thyroid panel test done online? Steve

  78. Is there anywhere that you have what levels work for you? I know it will likely be different from what I need, but having a starting point would be excellent.

    I’ve had Hashimoto’s for six years now and I am just now looking up how to really know if my medicine is working. I generally don’t feel well and I would like for that to change.

  79. Stephanie Harris says:

    I am 50 years old female. have had uterus removed approx. 2 1/2 years ago. I have a history of hyperthyroidism, had it briefly twice. They gave me no medications for it. Discovered a goiter and did biopsy with no cancer found. It has been a few years since I have had an episode but recently have had many symptoms of hypothyroidism including extreme fatigue, brain fog, thinning hair, slow reflexes, swelling of lower legs and feet, swelling face/eyes, sore joints, depression, bloating, gassy (They say it is Irritable Bowel Syn), low libido, a sensitivity to alcohol, very rapid weight gain ( 20 pounds in 2-3 months). I went to the local urgent care place and had them do a TSH test and they say it was within “normal range”. TSH was 0.776, Thyroxine 8.4, T 3 was 26 and Free Thyroxone was 2.2. Again this was approx. 2 – 3 moths ago. Recently had my yearly physical and told doctor of everything going on and he has prescribed premarin 0.6 mg per day. I have been taking that for about two weeks and it has helped with hot flashes and maybe given me a tiny bit more energy but other than that, has not helped with any other symptoms. He said if this does not help with depression after 3 months that we can try an anti-depressant. I am convinced that this is hypothyroidism, that the hyperthyroid wore out my thyroid. What do you think about this?

  80. Hi Dana,
    I am a 38 year old married female with 2 young girls. My energy and symptoms have been steadily on the rise for hypothyroidism over the past few years…
    thanks so much for sharing all this important information. I am in the process of trying to get diagnosed. I am certain that I must be hypothyroid. both of my grandmas on my mom and dads side suffer with hypo as well as my mom. I had 3 miscarriages and now have a 2 2 beautiful daughters. My pregnancies were miserable. I had “all day sickness” right to the day I delivered. Massive fatigue, nausea and weight gain (80lbs with each). My 4 year old has no concerns however my 2 year old was born with cranialsynostosis!! We have read that this condition can be caused if the mom has hypothyroidism. We have undergone 7 surgeries with my 2 year old and it has been a very long hard journey. I suffer with very low energy, inability to concentrate, weight gain, itchy scalp, brittle nails, loss of the outer third of my eyebrows, pain in my legs almost all the time, bubbles in my legs, cellulitis, (I had to take 6 mos off school when I was in grade 7 because I had chronic fatigue syndrome). I als have dry mouth, chronic sore throat, tingling in my feet and hands, throbbing in the back of my knees daily, water retention in my legs and so the list goes on…My doctor checked my TSH and its 1.8 she says I am not hypothyroid, my alkaline phosphatase is 32 (35-122) and rest of my chemistries are normal. I marched back to her office today after receiving a phone call from her secretary saying my results were all normal and requested a free T3 , free T4, TSH and reverse T3. Her comment was she had never heard of a reverse T3 so she was not doing it. She did give me the requisition for the other tests. I told her that i no longer want to suffer. I will have my blood taken tomorrow and have an appointment to review the tests with her on Monday. What step do I take if they are all normal? If I am hypothyroid what is the trend for the results of each of these tests…high or low ? Should I ask for a referral to an endocrinologist? My doctor tried to convince me that I have depression and need antidepressants. I know this is not the case and am desperate to get the right diagnosis!

  81. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you Marc Ryan for including Hypothyroid Mom in your article “Hashimoto’s Lab Tests: Which Ones Should I Order?” Much appreciated.

    http://www.hashimotoshealing.com/hashimotos-lab-tests/

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Integrative and Functional Medicine, 2nd Edition, Richard  S. Lord, J. Alexander Bralley, 2008 http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/#more-949 Filed Under: Health News, Lab Tests← Hashimoto’s Diet: Keys to [...]

  2. [...] Integrative and Functional Medicine, 2nd Edition, Richard  S. Lord, J. Alexander Bralley, 2008 http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/#more-949 Filed Under: Health News, Lab Tests← Hashimoto’s Diet: Keys to [...]

  3. [...] Integrative and Functional Medicine, 2nd Edition, Richard  S. Lord, J. Alexander Bralley, 2008 http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/#more-949 Filed Under: Health News, Lab Tests← Hashimoto’s Diet: Keys to [...]

  4. […] This is a call out to all my readers suffering from mental health issues to please be sure your thyroid has been checked properly. It is not enough to test for TSH and T4. A full thyroid panel should at least include TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. Please read my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypthyroidism. […]

  5. […] Thyroid Treatment – It wasn’t until my doctor did comprehensive thyroid testing and explored the thyroid drug options to find what was right for me, that my constipation began […]

  6. […] Thyroid Treatment – It wasn’t until my doctor did comprehensive thyroid testing and explored the thyroid drug options to find what was right for me, that my constipation began […]

  7. […] In mainstream medicine, Levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement drug, with brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Oroxine and Eltroxin. Levothyroxine drugs contain the synthetic form of only ONE thyroid hormone, T4. T4 is only one portion of the thyroid hormone complex. Yes the majority of thyroid hormones produced by the human thyroid gland are T4, however T3 is the most active useable form of thyroid hormone that can be used in the cells of the body. The conversion of T4 to T3 is a critical element in this puzzle. By doctors strictly relying on T4-only medications, they are under the assumption that our bodies are properly converting the T4 to active T3. For many hypothyroid sufferers like me, our bodies don’t convert T4 to T3 properly. Please read my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism. […]

  8. […] This is a call out to all my readers suffering from mental health issues to please be sure your thyroid has been checked properly. It is not enough to test for TSH and T4. A full thyroid panel should at least include TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. Please read my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypthyroidism. […]

  9. […] I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism following the birth of my first son. With each pregnancy, my symptoms worsened. Really my symptoms trace back to childhood however with puberty and each successive pregnancy my symptoms worsened and worsened. While my thyroid antibodies turned out negative, I showed all the signs and symptoms of someone with Hashimoto’s. It is interesting that a percentage of people with Hashimoto’s actually don’t show positive on their thyroid antibodies blood tests yet they suffer from Hashimoto’s just the same. If your doctor relies strictly on lab results they may miss your condition. A good thyroid doctor is one that treats the patient not the lab results. Take a look at my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism. […]

  10. […] Some of the symptoms of thyroid problems are listed above, but generally, if you suffer from a combination of any of the symptoms listed below, you should probably ask to have your thyroid hormone levels checked. Specifically, ask to have your T3 levels checked in addition to TSH and T4. […]

  11. […] TSH is the blood test recommended for diagnosis. There is no mention of conducting a full thyroid panel, including free T4 and free T3. So many hypothyroid sufferers go undiagnosed because mainstream medicine relies solely on TSH as the “gold” standard for diagnosis and treatment. Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism. […]

  12. […] conduct a full thyroid blood panel including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and Thyroid […]

  13. […] not assume your doctor has done a full thyroid blood panel. Read my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypothyroidism. Be an advocate for yourself and insist on proper testing. Be sure your doctor is not relying […]

  14. […] Trentini writes a brilliant blog about this on her site, Hypothyroid Mom. One of the problems, she explains, is that mainstream […]

  15. […] wasn’t a quick fix. For me it took about 6 months to reach optimal. My doctor did comprehensive thyroid testing, including TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. My doctor prescribed natural […]

  16. […] If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or both, please get your thyroid checked. Read Dana’s post, “Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail to Diagnose Hypothyroidism.” […]

  17. […] done for eight years, and walk away believing your thyroid is just fine. Dena Trentini writes a brilliant blog about this on her site, Hypothyroid […]

  18. […] Several experts agree that doctors and health practitioners usually run a single basic blood test for TSH only, which can be extremely limiting as it does not include other vital hormonal values within the T4 and T3 ranges.  As a quick example, if T4 hormone is failing to convert to the usable T3 hormone form, it will raise the levels of Reverse T3 which is an unusable form and often seen at high levels in hypothyroidism. (Source: 4) […]

  19. […] done for eight years, and walk away believing your thyroid is just fine. Dena Trentini writes a brilliant blog about this on her site, Hypothyroid Mom. One of the problems, she explains, is that mainstream […]

  20. […] on TSH as the gold standard to measure thyroid functioning. Many mainstream doctors do not run a full thyroid panel that should at least include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. Unfortunately […]

  21. […] done for eight years, and walk away believing your thyroid is just fine. Dena Trentini writes a brilliant blog about this on her site,Hypothyroid […]

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