Which Is The Best Thyroid Drug For Hypothyroidism?

Which is the best thyroid drug for hypothyroidism?

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.

-Thomas Merton

Many Hypothyroid Mom readers ask which thyroid drug is best. My answer is always the same, “I wish there was one thyroid drug that worked for all of us but the reality is that we each react differently to the different medications. We must work closely with our doctor to investigate which treatment is ideal for us and what dosage is optimal.” The key is that you must know all the treatment options to ensure your doctor is exploring the options to find what’s right for you. If you are being treated with thyroid hormone replacement medication but you still don’t feel well, insist on further exploration. If you are still not feeling well, get a second opinion, a third opinion, even ten medical opinions until you find a doctor that explores the options to find what’s right for YOU.

Don’t settle.

Thyroid Drug Options

T4 Drugs

Author of the book Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You…That You Need to Know Mary Shomon included the following information at About.com Thyroid Disease.

Levothyroxine is the generic name for the synthetic form of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone replacement drug. This drug contains the synthetic form of one thyroid hormone, T4. Levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed thyroid hormone replacement drug.

Brand names in the U.S: Synthroid, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid

Brand names in Canada: Synthroid, Eltroxin, and PMS-Levothyroxine

Brand names outside U.S.: Euthyrox, Thyroxine, Berlthyrox, Droxine, Eferox, Elthyrone, Eltroxin, Eutirox, Letrox, Levaxin, Levotirox, Levothyrox, Levotiroxina, Oroxine, T4KP, Thevier, Throxinique, Thyradin, Thyradin S, Thyrax, Thyrax Duotab, Thyrex, Thyro-4, Thyrosit, Thyroxin, Thyroxin-Natrium, Tiroidine

Mary also included an article on a thyroid medication called Tirosint. The levothyroxine in Tirosint is in a liquid form inside a capsule.

T3 Drugs

There are synthetic T3 drugs like Cytomel. Through a compounding pharmacy, there are also prescription compounded T3 drugs including time-released T3.

Natural Desiccated Thyroid

Brands include Forest Lab’s Armour, and Nature-throid and Westhroid by RLC Labs. There is a generic version of NDT made by Acella Pharmaceuticals. Canada’s desiccated thyroid made by Erfa is called Thyroid. There are also compounding pharmacies worldwide that produce compounded versions using the raw natural desiccated thyroid powder.

Find The Right Thyroid Treatment For YOU

We are each unique with individual sensitivities. Our bodies will NOT all react the same to these different medications. The dosages that are ideal for each of us will also vary. Our uniqueness is what makes finding the right thyroid treatment tricky.

Thyroid hormone replacement drugs are powerful, so powerful they can kill you if not taken properly. This is why it is critical to be under careful medical supervision when on these drugs, especially careful when starting a new brand or increasing dosage level. Call your doctor immediately if you experience adverse reactions.

1. Sensitivities to the fillers used in the medications

Author of the book Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life Chris Kresser at Medicine For The 21st Century wrote a great post 3 Steps To Choosing The Right Thyroid Hormone:

Many popular thyroid medications contain common allergens such as cornstarch, lactose and even gluten. As I explained in a previous post, most hypothyroid patients have sensitivities to gluten, and many of them also react to corn and dairy (which contains lactose).

Synthroid, which is one of the most popular medications prescribed for hypothyroidism, has both cornstarch and lactose as a filler.

Even the natural porcine products like Armour suffer from issues with fillers. In 2008, the manufacturers of Armour reformulated the product, reducing the amount of dextrose & increasing the amount of methylcellulose in the filler. This may explain the explosion of reports by patients on internet forums and in doctor’s offices that the new form of Armour was either “miraculous” or “horrible”. Those that had sensitivities to dextrose were reacting less to the new form, and experiencing better results, while those that had sensitivities to methylcellulose were reacting more, and experiencing worse results.

Thyroid Pharmacist Dr. Izabella Wentz, author of the book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause wrote this information on her Thyroid Lifestyle Facebook page:

Compounded T4/T3 products offer another alternative. These medications also offer the advantage of being made without fillers such as lactose or gluten, which are present in some thyroid medications and can be problematic for thyroid patients.

However compounded T4/T3 products need to be prepared by a specially trained compounding pharmacist. These compounds are usually much more expensive and may need to be refrigerated to preserve activity.

Thyroid compounds are usually prepared in the same physiological ratio that is found in Armour®, however, physicians can elect to change the amount of T3/T4, as the compounding pharmacists are literally making the medications from scratch. This can be a huge advantage for those patients that did not feel well on conventional treatments or natural desiccated treatments.

2. A gentle start to dosing

My doctor increased my thyroid drug dosage gradually in an incremental fashion until she found the dose that was optimal for me. She adjusted my dosages by regularly monitoring my Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies and most importantly by listening to my symptoms. I contrast that with the stories I hear from readers of their adverse reactions to their doctor’s  prescription for sudden large dosage increases and medication brand switches at high doses. T3 drugs such as Cytomel and natural desiccated thyroid have active T3 in them which for some people can be stimulating for the heart and cause heart palpitations. It is critical to have a gentle start.

In the book Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health, Richard Shames and Karilee Halo Shames wrote:

Some people do not want to take the time to start with a mild dose, adjusting to their medication gradually. However, we have found that the slow, step-by-step method of reaching your optimal dose is more easily tolerated by the body than the “sock it to me” approach so characteristic of our fast-paced culture.

3. The need for T3 treatment

In mainstream medicine, T4 drugs like Synthroid are the gold standard for treatment of hypothyroidism. While these drugs work for some, for many of us these drugs fail to relieve our symptoms. Our bodies need to convert the T4 in these drugs to the active useable thyroid hormone T3. However for many hypothyroidism sufferers, our bodies don’t convert the T4 to T3 and we are left suffering symptoms. If you are on T4 only drugs and you are still not feeling well, speak with your doctor about testing your Free T3 levels to determine if you would benefit from T3 medication.

Many of us report feeling our best on natural desiccated thyroid. However others report not reacting well to NDTs and responding better to synthetic T4 and T3 drugs. Even with natural desiccated thyroid, many of us feel great on one brand but terrible on another. Again we are each unique and it’s about finding what works best for you.

4. Finding your optimal thyroid levels

Many hypothyroidism sufferers are not feeling well despite treatment because their lab results are in the “normal” range but not at the optimal level for them.

Mary Shomon included this great article at About.com Thyroid Disease.

Help, I’m Hypothyroid and I Still Don’t Feel Well

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 percentile of the normal range.

If you are being treated with thyroid hormone replacement medication but you still don’t feel well, insist on further exploration. If you are still not feeling well, get a second opinion, a third opinion, even ten medical opinions until you find a doctor that explores the options to find what’s right for YOU – 30 online resources to find a good thyroid doctor.

Don’t settle.

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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+


  1. Absolutely, don’t settle! I’m on T3 now (liothyronine sodium) after doing lots of research. T4 (levothyroxine) did nothing for me, I can’t seem to use it and may be a ‘non-converter’ so two years were just wasted on that medication. The doc just kept increasing my dose until eventually my hair started falling out and I was getting all sorts of toxic symptoms. Keep spreading the word.
    Hypothyroid Mum to one toddler and one baby (need all the energy I can get!)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Absolutely Yvonne, Hypothyroid Moms need all the energy we can get! Happy to know you are exploring T3 medication to see what works best for you. We are all so different so careful trial and error is how we’ll find what’s right for each of us. Best of luck and welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      • Cate Harper says:

        Hello just found your site. I am 67 and was diagnosed with hypoyroidism in February this year. I take Eutirox because I live in Spain and all info is in Spanish. I have a great doc who sent me for all possible tests. I was put on 75mgs for two months and then after blood work am on half a tablet a day. I do not have any problems but after taking them I started with soreness at vaginal entrance. She got me tests in ladies clinic and results show vaginal atrophy. It is awful and made worse with e cream. May go to see dermatologist. I can’t find out if my eutrinox may have caused this. It just seems odd it happened after meds. I am due back for 6 month blood work in November. Any info would be great. BTW, oddly enough I had a 2 miscarriages and stillbirth in my Thirties and my daughter has RA. Maybe I have had this disease for years. Many thanks. Cate

        • Cate, I’m your age on just started on levothyroxine in June. Started at .05, then to .075, and expect an increase tomorrow. I am also using estrogen vaginal cream for urinary issues – and it helps. Neither of these has caused vaginal soreness for me. The only problem I get that sounds like yours is candida overgrowth. I live between Florida and Yucatan, Mexico, both hot and humid. Have you tried treating it with clotrimazole cream?
          And P.S., I had Crohn’s Disease in my 30’s which was cured by surgery, but I think that, like the RA, indicates we’re prone to auto-immune diseases, so it looks like now it’s Hashimoto’s. I hope you can find out what’s causing that sorenesss. Ugh. 🙁

          • What vaginal cream? Premarin by chance?
            If it is that, you do know what it is made of right?
            Pregnant Mare (horse) Urine

            For any of you seeking creams, seek out those that have natural estrogen not manmade…..

          • I read a book called Menopause without HRT and it recommended inserting Vitamin E capsules for 6 weeks then as and when needed. I followed this regime and vaginal dryness is a thing of the past. And it’s natural !

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Cate, I am very sorry to hear about the vaginal soreness. It does seem too much of a coincidence this happened at the same time you started your meds. There are other thyroid drug brands why not try a different brand in case that was the issue. Also you mention your daughter having RA. I wonder if you and your daughter have had your thyroid antibodies tested for Hashimoto’s? It is considered the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the world next to iodine deficiency yet thyroid antibodies are not routinely tested sadly. When a person has one autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s they are more vulnerable to develop others such as RA. Get testing for Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies.


          • Wow!!I have been glued to the computer last hour reading all these blogs. Wish I had found this site sooner. I went looking because I’ve had Hypothyroidism for years, I was luckily diagnosed and my symptoms were not dismissed as “just menopause”. But I have been on a huge roller coaster ride with my TSH results, from super low -just recently @ .0141 to a high of 7.135. just 7 months ago; which of course comes with a huge range of symptoms. ( Was so glad to read such a thorough list-thanks!! I could check off way too many of those symptoms.). My T4 and T3 don’t seem to change that much. I’ve been to an endocrinologist; she came up with her own theories: I have sleep apnea- wrong well that’s questionable too? I now take my pill in the middle of the night,when I get up to use the bathroom, as she felt I was taking it too close to eating time. (Who can really take a pill 1st thing in the a.m. and NOT eat for 2 hours, huh? which was her suggestion!) So now I am changing the dosage once again back down to .075. My doctor now calls me hyPERthyroid. My symptoms have not changed all that much and the only hyper’ symptom I’d LOVE to have is the weight loss! I haven’t been able to lose any weight at all; slowly gaining and gaining around my waist! But I’m wondering about the generic vs Synthroid- what have others experienced ? Thanks, Mo

          • Hi Mo, Have your thyroid antibodies been tested for Hashimoto’s? I ask because in Hashimoto’s it is common for TSH to swing up and down with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms. Hashimoto’s is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the US yet thyroid antibodies are not often tested. Here’s more information on Hashimoto’s:


          • Sherry L. Brooks says:

            I got my results, and the TSH is 2.120 I take it that must be kinda high? I have numbness in my fingertips and my toes at times. But more recently a fluttering on my left side several times a day. I am curious what this all means.

        • I have a family member outside of Barcelona and has a great doctor that found the right pill for her. She struggled with the best doctors until one day she decided to try a doctor less popular and not so busy. She lost weight and look better than ever. I can find out more info for you.

          • Ivonne, I would love to know what she is using. I have been on compounded T3 for a couple of years now, and still have the same problems and symptoms as when I started. I have weight gain, no energy, some depression, and am now losing my eyelashes. I’m not sure what to try next!

        • Cate,

          I started with the Vaginal Atrophy at 26 years old, I was on Estrogen therapy for six months before we found the hypothyroidism. I was told that the autoimmune disease (still don’t know which one) probably caused both the atrophy and the hypothyroidism. So the symptoms probably go hand in hand. Also, the estrogen and synthoid(thyroid meds) conflict and prevent optimal absorption of either. I hope you found a solution.

      • 40 year old woman patient
        muscle and joint pain
        she have both legs swelling
        we made many test mri for lumbar spine. urine analysis .hbalc
        all tests ok but but tsh too much high 100.0000 uiu/ml
        thyroid microsomal abs {anti TPO 345.1
        THYROGLOBULIN abs 115.19
        dr .give ,euthyrox 100 ug for 2 month
        now she tack euthyrox 100 ug more than 2 month but problem
        stil same
        best regards

        email:amjad [email protected]

      • Dana, i am encountering weird experiences and feeling very helpless.
        i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism three months back with the range of 141 and i was given levothyroixine 100mcg /day and my TSh got reduced to 41 in a month and i must thank you and your fascinating site that i learnt about the t3 conversion and importance of other vitamin and meneral supplements which i am taking right now.
        i have switched to armour 60 mcg thyroid for the past one month and i was feeling great for the first two weeks and after that all my symptoms are back again which indicates that i am not taking the right dose.
        i was diagnosed with hashimotos with the very high TPO level 1994!
        i feel very tired,dizzy,blurred and double vision and sleepy all the time and in the evening i am having heart palpitations where my heart rate goes to 99 to 110 during resting.when i say this to my doctors , they are saying you say symptoms which are contrasting to hypo and hyper which is hardly possible..they dont seem to beleive me.
        i strongly have an instinct that i have fibromyalgia and symptoms related to adrenal fatigue since i am having mood swings, fatigue feel,chronic pain allover my body and joints, tiching noise in my ear,migraine head aches, trembling and shaking feeling and a very very bad feet pain which again they say because i am over weight..
        my ultra sound report says both glands are quite heterogenous and demostrate prominent vascularity on color doppler with no significant nodule and suggests thyroditis..
        really do not know what else i can do to feel not great but atleast normal..
        this is really frustrating that i am only 31 years with 5 year old wonderful boy and dont have any energy to look after my family..
        i have given for the complete blood tests today that i am expecting some good indicative reason for my suffering..i strongly believe that my hypo and hashi is not the only reasons behind this..
        And have you ever posted something related to the ultrasound reports which can clearly explain in a lay man term what to worry and what not to? because every other site has not done this and this is really devastating to understand the medical terms, since some sound really scary..need some heads up awareness on this..

    • Yvonne – please tell me about your toxic symptoms on T4 meds. I take only T4 and I’m wondering if because I feel so crappy all the time, that I have started to accept this at normal. I need to talk to someone about this.

      • I was 6 weeks on synthroid and lost a lot of weight. Had no appetite and my mouth became very sore and tender. I felt like i couldnt do anything. I was like just wanting to hide away. I was only on 25mcg.

        • tania, im glad i read your post. i took synthroid for a mth then switched to armour and i have like an ulcer on the side of my tongue…..doesnt look bad but i think it wont go away because its rubbing on teeth. but i get other sore spots on tongue and mouth also. so maybe its the medicine. bur ive only lost 9 lbs over 2 mths and i dont think thats a lot. do you? i need to lose 40lbs to get bback to normal. im 64 and also have copd and all those steriods cause weight gain. have a good day.

          • Marla Banks says:

            Might be off topic but low B-12 causes sores in your mouth. I woud get it checked and like TSH the normal for lab values are low. The two seem to go together along with gluten intolerance, just speaking from experience, hope it helps.

    • Hello, What toxic symptoms did you experience ?

      • Hi Melissa, if you mean what hypothyroidism symptoms that I experienced here were my primary symptoms (many of them have improved and some eliminated with optimal thyroid treatment):

        chronic fatigue, headaches, hair loss, constipation, dry skin, eczema, dry itchy scalp, irregular menstrual cycles, bloating, miscarriage, brain fog, dry cracked heels, frequent infections including cold/flu and urinary tract infections, kidney stones, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar

    • Destiny Bear says:

      I’m 23 and I have a hypothyroid because I had a tumor and so I have half of a thyroid. Right now I’m on 88mcg of synthesis and its doing nothing for me im still tired all the time and my weight is getting to be an issue. I diet, I cut out all pop, I drink two herbal life compete meal shakes, and exercise and I never slim down or feel better and it all started after my surgery. I’ve been told by a nurse I’d benefit from a t3 t4 combination of meds. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Yvonne,

      Did you have T3 only pregnancies?? I am wondering because I have a similar situation, with optimal iron, cortisol, selenium & zinc I still have rt3 issues. SO, I would love to have a T3 only pregnancy if I know it would be fine, can you please let me know!?

  2. Hi Dana,

    Thanks for mentioning my site. What a useful article:-). I wanted to ask where you got your information about Cytomel not being gluten-free as this is actually the first I’ve heard of this and back when I was researching it (as I was on Cytomel for a few weeks) I came to the conclusion that it was gluten-free. I think I even asked at the pharmacy. Either way, I checked again and it’s on the list of gluten-free drugs:

    There is a Mexican brand, Cynomel, which according to one forum post I read may have caused some gluten intolerance reactions with people, but I was under the impression that this is made with corn, so I’m not entirely sure either.

    I think I’m going to do some more research on this as it would be good to know for the future. I know some brands of synthetic T4 are notorious for containing gluten. One friend of mine is allergic to corn gluten, so that makes it even tougher for her (although Nature-Throid and West-Throid – essentially the same thing) are corn-free, but do contain lactose, which can cause problems for some other people.

    Thanks for the great article!


    • Dana Trentini says:

      Sarah, Thank you for commenting. Love your blog “Butterflies & Phoenixes” about thyroid and chronic illness.


      That quote regarding Cytomel comes from Chris Kresser. I’ve attached his post here below for you. I believe Chris is a person to follow for thyroid health. When I read this post it struck me hard because I’ve been contacted by so many readers who have terrible terrible reactions to different thyroid drugs including Cytomel and I set off on a rampage to find out what might be going on. Of course the issue of over medication is possible and adrenal and ferritin/iron issues which I plan to write more about. However this idea of sensitivities to the ingredients especially gluten in these products struck me. I contacted Chris with that same question of which ingredients in Cytomel in particular are gluten and I hope to hear back from him. In the meantime, I hope that this post will catch the eye of thyroid experts to take a closer look at each ingredient in these drugs. It’s time a complete review of each drug is done to ensure they don’t contain allergic components especially gluten given our sensitivities to it. It’s time for new drugs to be created that are truly gluten-free and hypoallergenic. It’s time for change.


      • kathy iftody says:

        I recently under the supervision of my doctor has switched from cytomel to syntrhoid. He intially took me off everything cold turkey because i have hasimoto’s and my number reading were 100. I crashed severely and slept for an entire week day and night. He wanted me to stay off all medication for 4 weeks so he could get a proper reading I couldn’t handle what was happening so he started me on synthroid 0..125 mg once a day. In three days i did notice my fatigue had gone away and the heaviness in my arms but my eyes are so badly puffy dark and baggy. Is this normal thing that could happen. I seriously look like i am dying. lol I am also gluten intolerate and was wondering if this medication has gluten in it. I also have NHL Non hodgkins lymphoma but have not been in treatment for the past 4 years. Was diagnosed in 2006.

        • Hi there, I was really having loads of allergy type symptoms when I was on levo and later found out I wasn’t processing it but I think something in the tablets was also causing allergies. The only one that wasn’t so bad for that turned out to be the only one that was low efficacy and later withdrawn so perhaps it was just the levo itself, I don’t know. It is possible to be allergic to the fillers used in them. Puffy eyes, eczema break outs and just that allergy feeling (hard to describe). I feel really tired when I am having an allergic reaction and it is a sort of different tiredness to thyroid tiredness.

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Yvonne,

            Absolutely you can have allergic reactions to the different fillers, binding agents and dyes used in the different brands. I’ve had many readers react terribly to certain brands then do great on others. If you’ve tried different brands and you can’t find one that’s good for you, another option is to look into compounded thyroid medications created by compounding pharmacies. They created thyroid meds without all the fillers, binding agents that others use.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Kathy,

          I am so sorry to hear what’s happened. We are all different in how our bodies react to the different fillers, binding agents and dyes in the different thyroid drug brands so absolutely it’s possible that you reacted to your medication. I included a quote from one of Chris Kresser’s website article about Cytomel containing gluten. So it’s possible that you were reacting to the gluten in this medication too. I assume this happened when you started your medication?

          I wonder too if there are underlying issues causing your Hashimoto’s that are not being addressed. Dr. Izabella Wentz wrote a great new book about lifestyle changes to reduce antibodies including diet changes and supplements. Her website is also very helpful.


          It seems that 4 weeks would be a long time to be taken off thyroid medication. Get a second medical opinion. Best wishes to you.


    • I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 15 years ago at 41. I started with synthroid( don’t we all?) but my symptoms came back after 2 years. I was on cytomel for 11 years. 50mcg per day. Then 75 mcg per day. For the last 2 years I could feel myself crashing….getting more tired, more depressed, more bloated! I had ordered some cynomel from Mexico mainly because of the incredible price, but I was afraid to change medications and slip further in the abyss known as hypothyroidism! Well, I finally ran out of cytomel and couldn’t afford to renew my prescription so I started my cynomel. 75 mcg divided into 3 doses 5 hours apart. What a transformation!!!! I’m not sure what is in(or not in) the cynomel but it sure works for me! And 2/3rds cheaper than cytomel!

      • Hi Jackie

        I have been treating myself for the last 4 years with the mexican T3 only drug, Cynomel.

        Here in England we have very few options available to us for hormone replacement drugs. Partly because our health system is stuck in the ice age, with very few tests ever offered by our GPs, incredible resistance to the prescription of unlicensed drugs like Armour and equal resistance to the prescription of the only T3 drug available in this country because it costs too much. Complicating health factors like adrenal insufficiency are never acknowledged by main stream medics and we also don’t have any compounding pharmacies.

        This all adds up to a bit of a disaster for us long suffering hypothyroidians and consequently, we are beginning to take our health into our own hands.

        I take 75mcgs of Cynomel divided into three doses and have been feeling very well on this for the last 3 years. I am very gluten and dairy intolerant and maintain an allergen free, low GI, Paleo lifestyle and have found that only this strict regimen keeps me well.

        I also have adrenal insufficiency (self diagnosed by symptoms) and treat this by taking my first dose of T3 at 3.00am (The CT3M) – a protocol invented by Paul Robinson and outlined in his books, Recovering With T3 and The CT3M handbook.

        I would personally recommend that anyone interested in learning about the use of T3 only medications or wanting to treat adrenal insufficiency without adrenal glandulars or HC, check out the website or Facebook pages for Recovering With T3.

        • I am very interested in the website by Paul Robinson. I have suffered from hypothyrodism for over 12 yrs and still am just as exhausted as I was when I was first diagnosed.
          I have a Dr. appt. tomorrow with my Dr. and I will be asking him about this new medication (well, new to me)
          the cynomel and the cytomel.
          Thank you so much for posting this very exciting information on the internet. Hopefully this will be the medication I’ve been missing all along.
          Thank you,
          Dawn Miles, R.N.

        • P.W. Dundas says:

          I agree with you that Paul Robinson’s book “Recovering with T3” is terrific. I am using it as a guide to trying T3-only treatment.

        • Hi I’m on Levothyroxine 100 mcg, but lately have been putting on lot of weight.I don’t eat any junk food but do have a sweet tooth for Indian sweets ,no chocolates.
          I have my thyroxine 1 hour before breakfast,but now the medication does’nt seem to work coz am just putting on weght so fast.

        • Read your post and wondering how you go about treating yourself. I live in Texas in a very small town so very hard to find a doctor that will not let you add T3 let alone try T3 only. How do you get your medications if you are treating yourself? I have no thyroid and have been on Armour for many years with another change to medication so it is not working like it did. I don’t convert my T4 and wanting to try the T3.

        • Hi Julie:
          In which nternet address where you buy the cynomel ?


  3. Hi Dana,

    Thanks for looking into this. I posted a question on it on the STTM forum because this is honestly the first I’ve heard about it and it really concerns me as I was actually on Cytomel for a short time even though I’m supposed to be gluten-free. I did think I had done my due diligence, but we shall see.

    Thanks again for raising awareness!


    • Dana Trentini says:

      Great Sarah. Yes please let me know whatever you find about Cytomel. My suspicion is that a closer look is needed at all the common thyroid drugs.

      • Cytomel has a gluten filler. There is a generic T3, Paddocks (I think I spelled that right) is the manufacturer. I take brand Cytomel and do ok with it. I am not GF though and don’t notice.

  4. No doubt you’re right, Dana. My first instinct would be to contact the manufacturer and ask them, so I may just do that once I get a chance.

    BTW: I also really like Chris Kresser.

    Will keep you posted!


  5. Dana Trentini says:

    Excellent idea Sarah!

    • I just sent an email to King Pharmaceuticals/Pfizer, the manufacturer of Cytomel, and am awaiting their reply as to what allergens this medication contains and whether or not it does in fact contain gluten. Hopefully, I can get an answer “straight from the horse’s mouth”.



    • Dana, I also follow the writings of Chris Kresser but he wrote an article a while ago where he stated that a below normal TSH reading means that a patient is taking too much hormone and they are hyperthyroid. This really concerned me because I know from personal experience, that a totally suppressed TSH in some patients on T3 only medication can be completely normal and the only real test of a euthyroid state is to judge one’s symptoms.

    • Jamie Garrett says:

      I’m reading all these comments with tear filled eyes. I found out last November that I have Hashimoto’s, a goiter, and four nodules. My endo told me I’ve probably had this condition for 20+ years and my thyroid is “lacey and moth-eaten” in appearance. My TSH levels have always been normal. It took my son finding out he had Hashimoto’s for any of my doctors to take just one more step to find out what was going on with me. My anti-thryroglobulin was/is at least 18 times higher than normal and my TPO was/is at least 9.5 times higher than normal. I was given Levothyroxine manufactured by Mylan. I don’t feel like anything has changed. I still feel like someone is choking me. I have constant fatigue. I’ve asked my endo to check my T3 and my adrenals, but he claims he wants to treat one thing at a time. Meanwhile, along with other health conditions, I am unable to work or function as I need to. I’m currently in a Disability appeal and have no income. I have state funded insurance and I feel like I’m not being treated as a patient with paid insurance would be. I’m losing hope more and more every day. Please help me.


      • Hello, Jamie~
        I feel your pain. We are in the same boat~ let me share what has worked for me:
        Diagnosed last December with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (I believe I was undiagnosed for at least 10 years). I was too scared to take the Levothyroxine until June of this year, so I researched information on the internet and began taking vitamins and minerals and feel sooo much better today! All of these items can be purchased from amazon.com and the customer review testimonials are VERY helpful. There are some wonderful books you can read, too.

        Magnesium Malate 1250mg (at least 3 per day). This has tremendously helped ease the Fibromyalgia-type symptoms of very sore and achy joints.
        Survival Shield Iodine (3 drops per day)
        Silver Wings Colloidal Silver (12 drops per day minimum)
        Ionic Copper (1/2 capful daily)
        B Vitamin
        Vitamin C
        In addition to these, I can’t say enough amazing things about BRAGG brand organic Apple Cider Vinegar (2tsp in 8oz H2O 3X/day)
        Raw, organic COCONUT OIL
        Raw, organic unprocessed, unheat-treated HONEY
        Also, I eat non-GMO food whenever possible and minimize food that contains gluten as much as I can, as well.
        Stay away from any GMO oils like Canola and vegetable oils…they cause serious inflammation. I recommend avocado oil, REAL olive oil, macadamia nut oil or grape seed oil. Stay away from processed foods at all cost.
        I started changing my nutritional habits one year ago this month.
        I have received massage therapy 1 to 2 times per week which has been a painful experience with excellent results with my lymphatic drainage and my headaches have gone away.
        Inflammation has significantly decreased.
        Energy level has skyrocketed (no more afternoon naps).
        Brain fog has diminished.
        Memory has improved.
        Pain has subsided in my limbs.
        Tingling and numbness in my hands and feet has improved significantly.
        Allergies have been minimal lately (was allergic to everything, including the SUN! Clorox, anything with fragrance like perfume, Febreze, candles, any aerosols like hairspray, etc…,anything with PTHALATES)
        Goiter is getting smaller
        Choking feelings have improved significantly
        I haven’t had the feelings that I cannot breathe in several months…That is the SCARIEST FEELING EVER!
        Shakiness, fluttering and trembling have improved like crazy! Thank GOD!
        I finally feel like ME again.
        Good luck, Jamie…Hope this HELPS YOU, TOO!

  6. I am a 56 year old woman who has spent the last 4 years as a medical nomad going from doctor to doctor seeking help. I have explained that I am exhausted all of the time, have shortness of breath on the tennis court, insomnia…including 4 or 5 all nighters every month where no matter what I do or take, I can not sleep.

    I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, Diabetes, Zero B-12, and wildly fluctuating hormones after undergoing a radical hysterectomy last April. I am wearing a hormone patch but I have days which I feel like I am totally about to loose it to days.

    I am on my 2nd day of Levothyroxine…taking 1/2 a 75 MCG pill for the first week then moving up to taking the entire 75MCG dose. Last night… I think I slept 2 hours. I’m sure when I move up to the 75MCG dose I will be awake all night.

    My biggest fear is being able to continue successfully functioning in my high stress, deadline oriented marketing firm. In the last year, my thinking has become so foggy and I have struggled at time trying to keep all the balls in the air. Would love any and all advise from anyone who has been on this journey ahead of me/


    • Dana Trentini says:

      Joan, You would be surprised by my post attached below 300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms…Yes REALLY” because your symptoms are all there. I’m not sure what testing you’ve had done but it’s essential to have your Free T4, Free T3 and reverse T3 levels tested as well as thyroid antibodies (although since you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I assume your thyroid antibodies have already been tested). The issue is that often times mainstream relies on one test TSH to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism but it doesn’t provide a complete picture of the issue so the above testing will help determine the type of treatment you need. While Levothyroxine works for some, for many this does not relieve our symptoms which is why I included above T3 treatment. For many of us our bodies don’t convert the T4 hormone in Levothyroxine to the T3 we need, and we benefit from adding T3 treatment. By testing your Free T3 levels you will know if it is low in the range that you will benefit from T3 treatment. If you do not feel well on your Levothyroxine speak with your doctor about all the treatment options. In addition, you should test for issues that may underlie your Hashimoto’s. I’ve included below two posts with points to also discuss with your doctor. Best of luck to you Joan!




      • trendfriendpa says:

        When you do have your FreeT3, Free T4 tested along with the Reverse T3, take the Free T3 x 10 divide by your Free T3. The minimal acceptable result is 1.8 – 2.0. Below 2.0 may contribute to hypo symptoms.

        These are optimal levels I have seen posted on other sites for hypo or patients with no thyroid on thyroid medication.
        Ratio of T3 to T4 is 4 to 1
        Free T3 – upper half to top third of range;
        Free T4 – approx 50% of range;
        TSH >1<;
        Ferritin – 70-90 minimum;
        Vit D – 50-80 min in range;
        Serum iron 110; B12 – upper range of 200-1100

        • I’ve been on levothyroxine for 11 years, to begin with it was great, but by symptoms slowly came back, even though my TSH is 0.9 but my ferritin is crashing,was 30 then 13 then 9 currently 7
          I feel more fatigued than ever, waiting for an iron infusion to try and raise my ferritin, have never had my free T4 or T3 or Vit D tested my GP has no idea going to copy these take on my next appointment. Thanks

  7. Thank you so much for your website Dana!

    I am trying to get a referral to see an endocrinologist. I have a huge number of hypothyroid symptoms, many of them severe. I am currently existing, rather than living.

    I have done a fair bit of reading about thyroid issues, and am aware of the controversy as to what constitutes a normal range for TSH. With my recent (6 weeks ago) TSH of 4.4 and free T4 of 0.8, I was all set to push an endocrinologist to treat my hypothyroid symptoms despite the numbers. I still feel terrible, but had bloodwork done today. Confused as to my TSH being 2.8 and T4 1.0… I have never taken any thyroid meds.

    Do you have any advice for me? Thanks so much!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Liz,
      One of the biggest issues for thyroid sufferers is the “normal” TSH range used in mainstream medicine. Most mainstream doctors use a range around 0.5 to 5.0 depending on the laboratory and area where you live. As you’ve read there is a push by thyroid advocates to narrow that range with many thyroid experts recommending a TSH range between 1 and 2. See thyroid advoate Mary Shomon’s article attached below. Of course in your reading you probably have come across the fact that TSH alone does not provide a complete picture of thyroid function and you need a doctor to test also your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. What’s interesting is to see your TSH fluctuating like that. Of course there may be other reasons for your TSH change, however one thing to check closely are your thyroid antibody levels in particular the antibodies associated with Hashimoto’s – called TPO-Ab and TgAb. People with this autoimmune condition often cycle up and down with TSH going up and down and their labs in the early stages can appear normal but their antibodies are sky high. Please be sure to get your thyroid antibodies tested to double check. Best of luck to you.


      • Thanks so much for your reply Dana. I saw a new doc in January, supposedly a specialist in integrative medicine, and he tested for two thyroid antibodies in addition to TSH, T3 and T4. I was told the antibody tests were normal and that they ruled out both Graves and Hashimoto’s…

        Our medical clinic has gone digital and I can see blood work results as far back as early 2008. My TSH has fluctuated from 4.0 to 1.8 during that time. Most recently: June ’12 it was 2.8, Oct ’12 4.1, Jan ’13 4.4, two weeks later 3.8, and March ’13 2.8. I’ve only had 4 T4 results, beginning in Oct ’12: 0.8, 0.8, 1.1, 1.0.

        My symptoms are screaming HYPOTHYROID, however, having weaned off of 9 year regimen of Zoloft in August 2012, docs I see want me to take another anti-D. I started to feel like I was coming back to life when lowering and then off of the Zoloft, was then slammed with several stressful physical ailments from August-now, after 2 very stressful years dealing with a mentally ill colleague. Stress level in my life has been huge and I think the depressive symptoms I have now are a symptom, not the root cause of my illness. I don’t want a bandaid fix. It is sooo hard to find a doc who will really listen to me with an open mind. Still have my fingers crossed for the referral to an endocrinologist to come through.. it is pending approval by the endocrinologist at the moment. No idea what criterion he will use to decide whether or not to accept me as a patient…

        I plan to do a lot more reading on your website. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all of the information you provide. (And this Ontario born and raised gal thinks it’s cool you got your undergrad degree at U of T.) 🙂

        I don;t know if this is addressed on your site, but is throat pain a common complaint of hypothyroid patients? I had an ENT doc scope my throat and tell me there is no tumor… but I’m not sure exactly what he was ruling out. The pain I have is almost always on the right side of my throat and often a sharp stabbing pain once in a while. Other times it is a general ache. The feeling that there is something “wrong’ in my throat is constant…

        • Dana Trentini says:

          WOW Liz so great to have an Ontario born hypothyroid mom on my site!! Born and raised in Toronto and my family all lives there still. My husband and I moved to the US in 2000 and never went home. We love it here but miss our family and Toronto too! So much to consider. First, there are Hashimoto’s sufferers who show up with negative thyroid antibodies but who have the condition and thyroid ultrasound can confirm. Here is a link to that below. Your pain in the throat is something I’ve experienced before and absolutely because the thyroid is located at the base of our neck, it can affect your neck and mouth. Have you been checked for a goiter which is an enlargement of the thyroid, which is also characteristic of Hashimoto’s? Also unfortunately many hypothyroid sufferer are misdiagnosed with depression. Turns out many have low Free T3 levels and that Free T3 treatment helps with the depression. See link below. So please ask for a thyroid ultrasound and Free T3 testing.




        • I would love to be in contact with Liz as her comment is so similar to my situation and to see what she finds out. Awesome article.

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Shari, try replying to her comment right under her comment is the “reply” button. There is greater chance she will see your comment that way. I hope Liz checks the comments to see your message. I too agree I would love to hear from her to see what she finds out too.

  8. I am a long time Hypo/Hashi patient. I was diagnosed approx 10-14yrs ago but had symptoms for about 3yrs leading up to becoming full blown Hypo. I am been on Armour for the majority of that time but, for the last 1-1.5yrs have been seen symptoms crop up again. My hair started slowly falling out a little over a year ago. I saw my doctor in Jan of 2012 and he up my dosage from 1 grain to 1.5 grains. The hair loss continued at a slow pace until late last year. I’ve lost about half my hair in whole and it is falling out by the bulb. I have more sound sleep nights but do experience a night or two a week where I am tired but just can’t stay asleep the entire night. My skin is becoming crepey, I’ve been sick more often over the last few months than I’ve been in the last 2yrs. I am seeing my doctor in a week but need to better understand what some options could be for me from an RX perspective. I am not convinced that soley uping my Armour dosage is the answer and I want to be ready to have this discussion with my doc.

    Thank you very much Dana!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Jessica, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I know how important our hair is to a woman so I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Absolutely you need to see your doctor. Hashimoto’s can worsen over time so it’s possible that your thyroid is functioning less optimally and that you need an increase in your medication. You need to see your doctor and get testing to know what’s happening. The fact that your doctor is open to Armour makes me think he/she will be open to additional testing. First off be sure your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 are tested. There are also many potential underlying issues with Hashimoto’s that should be tested including sex hormone levels, vitamin D and selenium. Also adrenals are very important for thyroid health, so ask if your doctor will give you a saliva test for cortisol levels to test your adrenals as well full blood panel for iron including ferritin. In addition, there is a great deal of research on the connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s as well as other food sensitivities. It is worth a try to go gluten free for a few weeks to see how you feel. Here is a link to a post on Hashimoto’s, as well Mary Shomon wrote a book on hair loss for thyroid sufferers. Best of luck to you.




  9. 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:

      Hi Nicole, your symptoms of baby blues, hair loss, not producing enough breast milk, dry skin, chest pain and depression all sound so much like hypothyroidism symptoms. You must look more closely with your doctor at how you are being treated. It may just mean a change in your dosage of Synthroid is needed, however as this article points out there are many people who don’t do well on Synthroid. There are some of us that our bodies just don’t convert the T4 in Synthroid to the active T3 our bodies need. You can tell that by testing your Free T3 levels, so be sure that’s tested. Please speak with your doctor about testing your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse, T3, thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab, TgAb) and adrenals. Hashimoto’s is one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism and many hypothyroidism sufferers don’t realize they have it because thyroid antibodies are not routinely tested. Please be sure to ask for all those tests so that you have a complete picture of your condition. Ideally your testing would also include iron and ferritin, vitamin B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium, as well as sex hormone levels and any other tests your doctor recommends. If your doctor won’t do all these tests, then it’s time to find a new doctor. Best of luck to you.


      • Hi dana. I have been struggling since I have had a ablation to my thyroid. Anyone out have this done? I am on synthroid and so tired. Brenda

      • Dana: I’m a male dealing with Hypo and when first tested my thyroid was over 150. After being on a combo of T3 T4 for a couple of months retesting showed a drop below 150 and my cholesterol also dropped. then they put me on armour thyroid I started losing weight like crazy. My normal weight is 134 and I was down to 120 so I quit taking it period. I feel chilled when inactive but not all the time and people tell me my hands are cold. I’m now back to my normal weight and I avoid gluten too. I work out almost everyday and sleep well at night. I’m seeing a new Dr. next week and will get some test done and will see if he will write me a prescription for T3 T4 compound. I like what your doing and glad I found your website.

    • Have you had your vitamin D level checked? I too have hypothyroidism for 20 years. About 3 years ago I suffered with shortness of breath, chest pains and hair loss among other symptoms. I had my vitamin D checked and it was low. After a high dose vitamin D prescription, I take 2000 ui daily and the symptoms have subsided.

  10. Janna Johnson says:

    I was diagnosed on 1/3/13 w/Hashimoto’s after hitting a wall right before Thanksgiving. I have always been an energetic, happy, confident individual and now I am the complete opposite. Things starting to go downhill w/my health in 08/2012 but I chalked it up to my hormones. 2 days before Thanksgiving I had the worst panic attack of my life. The brain fog came on (which I would describe exactly the way the definition of it is), fatigue, I was debilitated. I couldn’t even take care of my own children much less myself. After the Hashimoto’s diagnosis, which was diagnosed because my right lobe was enlarged, I was put on 50mcg of Tirosint. It didn’t do much. 8 weeks later I was put on Armour and I had a bad reaction to it (worsening symptoms), which I assumed were the fillers. I went to a holistic doctor who ran more thyroid test other than TSH and T4 and come to find out my body is not converting T4 to T3. He said I was just hypo and didn’t have Hashi’s. Since then. which was 3 1/2 weeks ago I have been on T3 only (4.5mcg in am and 4.5 in pm). My symptoms are better but still there. I DO NOT feel like myself!! I feel out of my own body, no focus, detached from everything, mild depression, anxiety, and horrific brain fog!! Has anyone else felt this way? If so, what did you do to get better and how long did it take? I honestly feel like I will never be better!! I have a 2 1/2yr old and a 4 1/2yr old and a husband. I want my life back!!

    I did go see a new DO last week who did more blood work and I gave her all of th einfo on the new Wes-throid -P. I am hoping it works but I don’t go back to see her for 2 weeks and then I hope she prescribes it.

    I welcome any and all feedback. Thank you!!!!

    • Janna Johnson says:

      Looking for some advice and inspiration please!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Janna, Is there a reason your doctor put you on T3 only? While some patients are on T3 only treatment for various reasons the majority are on a combination of T4 and T3. The first step is you need to be sure to have comprehensive done. Get a copy of your lab results. Ask your doctor to test your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and thyroid antibodies for Graves since some people have both (TSI), ask for full iron panel including ferritin, sex hormones including testosterone, vitamin D3, B12, zinc, magnesium, selenium, as well as adrenal testing. All these factors could underlie your condition. Also many hypothyroid sufferers report doing well on a gluten free diet. I found my symptoms improved going gluten free. Try it for 30 days to see if it makes a difference. The good news Janna is that there is hope to live well despite your thyroid condition. Thanks to finding a great thyroid doctor, I feel better at 42 years old than I did at 20!


      • Janna Johnson says:

        sorry for late reply! I did T3 only just to see how I would do. but Ionly did it for 3 weeks and then tried Armour again but by chewing it this time. That made a world of difference to me. I got my sex hormones tested and adrenals. I am working on all of it and hope to feel “normal” again soon. I have been gluten free for 2yrs but recently cut out sugar, soy, and dairy.


    • Jana, I have been feeling the same way for 9 months now. I have been trying to find the cause of this myself! I too have a 3 yr old son and 15 yr old daughter. It has been a living nightmare, as you know. I reely haven’t come across anyone that has felt this way. I have been going from dr. To dr to find out what the heck is going on with me. Please, if you find out anything that can be causing this, let me know. I will do the same! You are not alone!!!

    • Jana, I have been feeling the same way for 9 months now. I have been trying to find the cause of this myself! I too have a 3 yr old son and 15 yr old daughter. It has been a living nightmare, as you know. I reely haven’t come across anyone that has felt this way. I have been going from dr. To dr to find out what the heck is going on with me. Please, if you find out anything that can be causing this, let me know. I will do the same! You are not alone!!!

    • Teresa R. says:

      I hear the frustration. I too have been tired, I think all my life, but after giving birth to my last/2nd child, she took everything out of me. I asked my doctor to put me on desiccated Thyroid (here in Canada) when my TSH was 3.59. Well that’s been a couple of years now and a couple of days ago, I got a TSH result of 4.19. When I’d first started to take “Thyroid” (Afra) I had to go down to 7.5mg as my heart was beating hard. I increased it the last couple of days to the full 30mg and yesterday and today I’ve been breathless, gasping for breath, with little exersion and my heart is beating more rapid. Dana, Am I having an allergy to the desiccated “Thyroid”?

      • Dana Trentini says:


        Be sure to contact your doctor whenever you are having any strange reaction to a new medication or increase in dosage. It may an issue of dosage. It may also be your body’s sensitivity to an ingredient in that particular thyroid drug brand because we’re all different in how our bodies react. Also T3 can be stimulating to the heart for some people so it’s recommended to increase slowly in increments to give the body time to adjust. Also there are two other very common reasons why people react badly to thyroid meds including natural desiccated thyroid: Poor adrenals (best test is saliva for cortisol) and poor iron levels (be sure to get a full iron panel including ferritin). Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe from Stop the Thyroid Madness writes about this very thing you are describing.




    • Zephra M. says:

      I have these same symptoms…plus more! I have always been ADHD and very energetic. Now, I can barely function. My results keep bouncing back and forth. They gave me just the free T-3 and it made me lethargic. My endocrinologist tested for antibodies and it was negative, but she says I could still have Hashimotos. I just started Amour again and it helps a bit, but not completely. However, they said my thyroid levels “looked good”…I don’t know what to do. I WANT MY LIFE BACK! It’s been 2 years now and I’m up 15lbs, despite my healthy (vegan) diet and active lifestyle. I’m living on 5-hour energy bottles, and before all this started, I never drank caffeine.

      • Ed Arnold says:

        When they tell you your levels “looked good” …. DEMAND a printout of the test results. Otherwise, people here can’t give you real help.

  11. Hi,
    I have been on Synthroid (75) for about 3 years. My job does “wellness” blood works every year which I do. Last year my TSH level was 1.3. This year my TSH level was 4.9. so I went to Dr. and showed my PA. (I have gained 20 pounds in the last 4 months and have not been feeling well.) But I do have other diseases. My Dr. took another TSH test and it came back 4.1. She said it looked great, in normal levels. After visiting your website I am thinking about going to another Dr. Is that a big jump in TSH levels in a year? Should I push this? Thank you for your advice.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Gina, absolutely push this push this push this! Hmmm did I insist enough! The average TSH range in most areas is about 0.5 to 5.0 but there is great controversy over this with thyroid advocates pushing to narrow that range.

      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.” Your TSH 4.9 or 4.1 is high. Also you need your Free T4 and Free T3 tests done. Check where your scores fall relative to the range. You can have normal TSH for example but very low Free T3 levels and that would explain your symptoms.

      Go to your doctor and ask for testing your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies (TPO-Ab and TgAb). If your doctor won’t test these, find a doctor who will.


      Best of luck.

  12. I was diagnosed w/full blown hashi and as a result hypothyroid . I think I have been hypo/hyper for years. Like one of the posts I hit the wall Thanksgiving and have been trying to recover ever since. I have gone from Synthroid 125 to 88 in combination w/5 cytomel. Thought I was improving but symptoms seem to be coming back. Any advice on how to balance meds? Seem to be going from hypo/hyper in 2 week intervals. My Dr is working with me but we can’t find the balance. I just want to be myself again. At 57 now and feel like 67! It has been a roller coaster and there just doesn’t seem to be an answer. I share all of the symptoms of those posted above. Hair Loss weight gain, pale skin, puffy face on and off, exhaustion but can’t sleep….etc….any advice? My daughter is getting married in 6 months and I just want to show up as me per diagnosis!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Judy, It is common with Hashimoto’s to swing up and down in TSH with hyper and hypo symptoms and back and forth. First off you may not be optimally treated for your condition. It’s great your doctor was open to adding cytomel so maybe your doctor woudl be open to more investigation. Have you discussed with your doctor your dosages as well as whether or not switching to a natural desiccated thyroid would work for you. Speak with your doctor about how you are not doing well on your medications on those dosages and ask what options there are for you. It may mean getting a second medical opinion from someone who works with many Hashimoto’s sufferers. There are also many potential underlying issues with Hashimoto’s so be sure to have your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, iron/ferritin, B12, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium, sex hormones including testosterone, and adrenals. All of these issues could potentially be worsening your condition. Also there is a great deal of material written on the link between gluten and Hashimoto’s so it’s worth it to try going gluten free for 30 days to see if it is helpful for you. Best of luck to you.




    • Thank you for the response . I went for a blood test today so ill have a better idea of what’s happening. Dr increased cytomel another 5 mcg so now 88 synthroid and 10 mcg of cytomel. Time will tell. As for B12, I have been getting injections for several years due to low levels of B12. I am also taking vitamin D as prescribed my Dr. The truth is I was in pretty bad shape when diagnosed going from normal to no thyroid function at all in months. Can it take more than 5 months to get back to normal? It has been a rough road back.

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Judy, it is a process for you and your doctor to find the right dosage for you however the fact that you have a doctor who is listening to you is a step in the right direction. Best of luck to you.

  13. Thank you Dana!!!! I will call and ask my Dr. to take a look at the bloodwork and see when they tested me last for 3 and 4. I am 43 and should take more control over my care, I guess. LOL.
    Thanks again.

  14. Nadine D. says:

    Dana, I never thought the thyroid can be such a pain!
    i have had 3 m/c already and my previous doctor never mentioned that my TSH levels were a bit High.
    Fortunately my actual doctor tested my thyroid and prescribed Synthroid, I started it 3 months ago and my TSh levels are normal now.
    My ferritine levels are low but Dr said he won’t care about it as long as i’m taking my prenatal vitamines .
    I’m now 5 weeks pregnant, I’m still freaked out especially that I’m diagnosed with insuline resistance as well. I hope this time my pregnancy will end with a healthy baby. Thank you again for your articles.
    Good luck for everyone.

    • Dana Trentini says:


      Congratulations on your pregnancy. If you haven’t already contact your doctor today to get your thyroid levels tested. TSH can rise quickly in pregnancy so you want to test as soon as possible. Many times thyroid sufferers need an increase in dosage during pregnancy to meet the needs of the baby. Your baby relies on your in the early part of pregnancy for thyroid hormone for growth and development. Also the American Thyroid Association recommends a TSH less than 2.5 in the first trimester and recommends you be tested every 4 weeks to monitor your thyroid levels. Bring a copy of the attached guidelines by the American Thyroid Association because many doctors have not read these guidelines. Best wishes to you and your baby.


  15. I’m struggling. In two and a half years since being diagnosed, I’ve not found my drug routine that gives me enough energy. Wondering what the stats are for what drugs work best for people. I know we’re all different, but it would be great to have an article or website that shows just the drug stats… trinoset works for 65 percent of people who go on it, synthroid 35 percent, etc. Very curious if natural or synthetic T3 work best for what percentages. I’ve read a bunch on this. I think of this every single day, and yet there seems to be so much mystery to medicating. Really mind-blowing how messy the endocrine info is. It’s all over the place. I’m so disheartened. Will I ever feel normal, clear headed again?

    • Dana Trentini says:


      Now that would make for a very interesting research paper for any researchers on my site. I would love to know the percentage of people who do well on the different thyroid medications. I can’t say that I’ve come across information like that. All I can say is that the majority of my readers do not do well on Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid alone. I have a mix of people who do best on Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid combined with Cytomel, then another group that does best on natural desiccated thyroid. Even within the group that does best on NDTs some do better on Armour others on Nature-throid. I personally do my best on Nature-throid. Should you find an article that provides the information you are asking please share it with me. The bottom line is if you aren’t feeling well on your medication then you are not being optimally treated. It may be the drug brand, type, dosage, or it may be that you haven’t been full tested for other factors that can interfere with thyroid function such as adrenals, iron, sex hormones, vitamin D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium. Be sure to have them tested along with your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3.

  16. Hi Dana,

    My mom is taking levothyroxine sodium for about two years. She had a mild arrhythmia before but she believes that after taking levothyroxine she is getting worse and can’t sleep at nights. I did a research and found out that levothyroxine increases arrhythmia in some cases. Would it be possible to let me know whether there is any replacement for levothyroxine. Please advise.


  17. Dana,

    What an interesting page.
    I had a horrible time having children. We m/c the first two, then had a daughter at 26 weeks because the placenta had infarcted (she fied a week later). My successful pregnancies (#4 and #5) resulted in low birth weight kiddos with partially infarcted placentas. I’m lucky to have my kids, though, as I was told there was no reason to think I could ever carry them to term.
    I’ve been on Synthroid for six years, and in the last two years it has been useless. I have gained twenty pounds – while on a strict calorie counting diet with daily strenuous exercise! Coincidentally, I also had breast cancer during this period. Bad to worse…
    My dose has been increased all the way to the 200mcg without significant lab changes and no change in symptoms. Just this week I switched to Armour. We shall see. I will be forty this fall, but I feel eighty. Between the mibd numbing fatigue, forgetfulness and weight gain, I might as well be.
    I’m curious if my collection of reproductive issues (including the cancer) follows a pattern you’ve seen. I’m also having a hard time finding a list of doctors in the Dallas area that are not just Synthroid pushers. As a twenty year RN, I find myself basically doing the research FOR my current doctor. Thankfully, she is open minded , but this isn’t optimal.
    Thanks for all you do!

  18. Hello, I’m so excited that a dear friend recommended your website! I’ve had Hoshimotos for about 15 years, and in the past 3 months my symptoms have gotten so much more severe. I’ve gained about 20 pounds (mostly in the waist) and feel foggy and tired all the time. I also have body aches and irritability. My last tsh # was 4.8, which my Dr. considered “normal”. I’m in search of an endocrinologist in the Putnam/Westchester NY area, and wonder if you could suggest a physician and also recommend what additional tests are necessary to properly diagnose my condition. Thanks so much.

  19. Was put on Synthroid several months ago. Started having ringing in ears, fluid in eyes, not tears, blurred vision, slurred speach and feeling of being drugged or drunk. balance was effected. The worse time was after a meal. This would happen for about 2-3 hours after a meal. Blood sugar readings went up. Started falling sleepy all the time. I still worked and cusomers coming in thought I was drinking on the job. Don’t drink. I am 81 . I take Zocor and Cozar. Dr took me off Blood Pressure meds for blood presure dropped too low. I just stopped taking Synthroid. He told me go back on them. SYNTHROID was the only new med and nothing else could be causing the things that were happening to me. I go back to doctor july 7 but I will not go back on this medication, I feel like I am dying when I take it. I cant live like that. Had a flu shost last Septemer and immediately my knees swelled up and I could barely walk For the first time in my life I had adnormal thyroid blood test. To be ttuthful. I would rather die than take Synthroid wth all the side effects. I think I am allergic to it. I forgot to take it one day and started feeling better and the next day 30 minutes after I took it I started feeling drunk and disorientated.

    • Dana Trentini says:


      I am sorry that happened to you. I appreciate you sharing your experience here. Your story shows so clearly what I mean when I say we are each different in how our bodies react to the ingredients, fillers and binding agents in the different thyroid drug brands. This goes for all supplements and medications of any kind. Listen to your body. You may be very right and your body may be sensitive or even allergic to an ingredient in that brand. At the same time there is concern about going off your medication because hypothyroidism can cause serious even life-threatening complications like heart disease and diabetes. There are other thyroid drug brands and I hope you’ll go back to your doctor or find a new doctor who will explore them carefully with you.


  20. Christine says:

    I had an interesting experience with Erfa Thyroid that so many patients praise. I was so hopeful when starting on it a few months ago but, after a few days on it, my whole body started itching. I could wake up with blood on the sheets from scratching myself in my sleep to get some relief. I also ended up with some clear hyper symptoms (rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, insomnia), while gaining weight and bloating (usually hypo symptoms). Labs 24 h after latest dose showed an FT4 of 0.9 (ref 0.8-1.8) and an FT3 of 3.3 (ref 2.2-4.2).

    My doctor suggested we try Armour instead, and I just got the delivery from the pharmacy. Tomorrow will be my first day on Armour, and I’m both excited and nervous at the same time…I hope it will provide the same symptom relief Erfa did, although my FTs were borderline low. I have been off Erfa for the past couple of days, and the itching is all but gone, so I must have been reacting to something in Erfa.

    It would be interesting to know if anyone else has had the same or other problems with Erfa Thyroid, or is everyone happy with it except me? I almost hesitate to critizise Erfa after reading so many glowing reviews by patients stating that Erfa gave them their life back after Armour’s reformulation…

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the NDT thyroid drug from Erfa. Your experience shows so clearly how we are each unique in how our bodies react to the different ingredients, fillers, binding agents in the different thyroid drug medications. This is why there is no one perfect thyroid drug for everyone. I’ve heard from many who have negative reactions to the various brands more than likely due to sensitivity to one or more of the ingredients. I’ve heard good and bad about all the brands, so you see one person will do great on one brand but another person tries it and doesn’t do well. For example, I did not do well on Armour. All my symptoms worsened when the manufacturers changed the ingredients back in 2009 and thankfully my doctor switched me to Nature-throid and I do great on it. Then I have readers who do terribly on Nature-throid and prefer Armour, then others who have tried all the NDTs and just do better on synthetics. It’s all about having a doctor who is open to explore the different brands with you to find what’s right for you.

      The other possibility for the hyper like symptoms is that if the dosage is started too high, many people have heart sensitivity to T3 and need to start at a low dose and increment increases in dosage over time to give the body to adjust. There are two other common reasons why people experience hyperthyroid symptoms like heart palpitations, insomnia, shakiness, nervousness – poor adrenal function (best tests is saliva for cortisol levels) and low iron (request full iron panel including ferritin). Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe wrote a great article about the various reasons why patients don’t do well on T3 or NDT medications.


  21. Hi,
    I have a question.. I do not have a thyroid any longer and with this recent issue with the manufacturer’s recalling of thyroid meds the medication I’ve been on for the last 10 years is no longer available. the only medication that I can get on is synthroid or the generic levothyroxine, unfortunately that medication does not work for me I am having a huge issue getting my hands on any other type of thyroid medication, I’ve spoken to my doctor about this because my levels are completely whacked out I’m exhausted my hairs falling out and I feel like I’m going to have a huge medical issue if I don’t find something that works for me really soon my levels have been really off for the last 4 months. do you know of any other Siri medications besides the synthroid and it’s generic? I am in the USA and I am willing to buy from Canada if needed! My Dr. had told me of another medication out there but no one has it and now I can’t remember the name of it… my memory is really going on me due to my level being so low I think he is getting worse by the day and I really really need to get this under control soon. I actually am starting to feel panic at this point. any suggestions would be helpful…
    thanks, Mia

  22. I live in Ontario, Canada and i think I need Cytomil but my endo won’t prescribe it.

    TSH: 3.66 (0.35-4.94)
    Free T3 : 3.1 (3.8-6.0)
    Free T4: 10 (8-15)

    Any suggestions on how to convince. My previous would not prescribe either despite my feelings of fatigue.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    The reason why Armour is no longer working as well as it used to is because the FDA (under pressure by Synthroid’s manufacturer) changed the regulations overseeing this medication that had been grandfathered in. In other words, desiccated porcine (pig) thyroid extract (which is Armour) was developed in the late 19th century and used with great success.

    Then in the 1960s Synthroid was heavily marketed as the synthetic version of T4 by Abbott Laboratories, and doctors started to prescribe Synthroid instead of Armour. Since Armour is a natural formulation (hence not patentable for big profits), its manufacturer. this medication doesn’t have the big pockets to convince doctors or the FDA.

    However, due to the advent of the Internet, hypothyroid sufferers rallied and shared their horror stories of losing hair, concentration, energy, etc with Synthroid. Not only that, they shared how they came back to life with Armour.

    Then in 2009, Synthroid manufacturer heaviliy lobbied the FDA to change its regulation of Armour (which had worked wonderfully with no recalls for more than 100 years) and require an extended shelf life.

    So Forest Pharmaceuticals reformulated Armour, and people who took the NEW formulation of Armour never felt the same again – they started suffering from the same (and even worse) symptoms than Synthroid. Then Abbott Laboratories financed studies showing how Armour (the new version) is not better than Synthroid – nu duh!

    • Dana Trentini says:


      Thank you for sharing this. This explains why I was doing great on the old Armour until 2009 and then my symptoms started coming back. My doctor had many patients complaining on the newly formulated Armour and she switched her patients to Nature-throid. I’m doing great on it. It’s scary the power of big pharmaceutical companies.

      • Catherine says:

        This is so interesting! I have been struggling on NDT since 2011…first, I was put on Armour, and found it was not effective. I went as high as 8 grains per day, without result. I was then put on Erfa and did great on it until about a year ago (incidentally, that is when the labels on the bottles changed, and went from blue/white to green/white or pink/white depending on pill strength…). Especially the 125 mg pills of Erfa have been problematic, causing severe itching which goes away if I combine them with Benadryl, suggestion to me some kind of allergic reaction or oversensitivity. I have been considering Nature-Throid, but read somewhere that it, too, was reformulated shortly after Armour…however, many seem to be doing just fine on it, so I was wondering if anyone knows HOW exactly it was reformulated?! Also, I understand that Nature-Throid is hypoallergenic, and since I seem to react to many of the fillers and binders used in other NDT meds, I figured Nature-Throid might be a better option for me…

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Desiccated Thyroid became a commercial treatment option in 1934 with Westhroid[citation needed], and has to this day, never been recalled for instability. In the early 1960s, desiccated thyroid hormones (thyroid extract) began to be replaced by levothyroxine (T4), or by combinations of T4 and T3. Replacement occurred faster in the United Kingdom than in North America, but by the 1980s more patients were being prescribed levothyroxine or T4/T3 combinations than desiccated thyroid extract.

  25. Elizabeth says:


    Synthroid, one of the most successful brand names in pharmaceutical marketing history, became as synonymous with thyroid replacement to generations of American primary care doctors as Kleenex or Xerox became with their respective products.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I am very angry – FDA making such a corrupt, short-sighted decision! I have been reading online about how Armour worked miracles for hypothyroidism in the past but now is on par or worse than Synthroid.

    I have taken Synthroid for almost 20 years and never once did any of my doctors or endocrinologists mention Armour as an alternative. I feel like my youth was stolen from me – hair loss (wearing a wig for more than 10 years), fogginess, loss of concentration, depression, weight gain, difficulty to lose weight.

    It just makes me so sad and angry – it’s not fair! I don’t see why the FDA had to kowtow to a money-grubbing pharmaceutical firm’s blatant ploy to eliminate competition from a more effective, cheaper, natural, time-proven alternative (that just so happens not to have a large army of pharmaceutical reps pushing it on doctors). I’m angry that this information is not widely known.

    Since our Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the same rights as a person, then this company should be put on trial for taking away the lives of millions of hypothyroid sufferers – the loss of income and livelihood, the economic and emotional cost of wearing wigs, the compromised health of millions.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Elizabeth, thyroid hormone replacement is madness absolute madness. I have heard from countless readers that their doctors refuse to treat with anything but Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid. The internet has made it possible for thyroid patients to come together and voice our stories. The more we share what’s happened to us the more attention we will receive. Of course we have a hard road up against big money companies but it’s worth a try.

  27. my doctor prescribed levothyroxine .005 , after only a few days i had severe hair loss.
    is there another drug that does not have that side effect

    • Yes, hair loss is a listed side-effect of levo. I was on it and it didn’t make my hypothyroidism any better but when the hair loss just got worse and worse it was so upsetting. Doc didn’t have any answers so I said I wasn’t willing to stay on it with all the side effects. natural desiccated thyroid didn’t agree with me either (although hair loss stopped) so I am on T3 now. Turns out I can’t process levo nor the T4 (which is levo) component of NDT. Maybe you’re like me, maybe you can’t process levo. Don’t just put up with it if you’re feeling rotten and having lots of hair loss. Docs will say that will stop and it is just short term but it isn’t, it can keep falling out. My hair got so thin I had it all cut off, 18 inches, I was so upset to see my scalp through at the sides when in bright light. Good luck and really, don’t put up with it as it is right there on the info sheet that comes with the levo. You can’t stay on something that’s giving you side effects.

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Hi Yvonne,

        I’ve heard from several readers that experienced massive hair loss when they started certain brands of thyroid medication. You’re right that we’re all different in terms of how our bodies react to the different medications and it’s about finding what’s right for you.


        I too cut off all my hair to a pixie cut length for the hair loss and now thanks to proper thyroid treatment and testing and treating of my low ferritin my hair is growing back in healthy.

        • How long did it it take for you to see a change in hairloss and growth. I’ve been on synthroid since 2011 and have continued to lose hair extensively especially in the last 12 months. I have now seen an endo that changed my thyroid med from .75 synthroid to .25 sythroid and 10 mcg citomel since June 15- fatigue and depression has improved A lot – hair still shedding like crazy . My t3 is 5.2 , t4 is 11 and total tsh is 1.4. My t3 averaged 4.2-4.5 in the last few years.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Doris, everyone reacts differently to the binding agents, fillers and dyes used in the different brands. I’ve heard from several readers who had hair loss when they started certain thyroid drug brands. There are other brands to try. Levothyroxine is a T4 only drug. Synthroid is the most common brand name, although I’ve heard from readers who complained of hair loss with this yet others didn’t have that same reaction. So again we’re all different. Here is an article attached with the different thyroid drug brand options.


  28. Had fantastic results with Synthroid for 1st 2 months in energy and metabolism but then some side effects causing me to inform PCP I wished to discontinue ie headaches, sweating, appetite, itching, swelling. I’m thinking that I have unmedicated, high blood pressure that perhaps a sodium free option may work better-what is there proven on the market as sodium free synthroid option?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Faith,

      It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to one of the binding agents, fillers, or dyes in the thyroid drug. I have many readers who have bad reactions to a particular thyroid drug then try a different brand and do better. We’re all different in how we react to the different brands so it’s about finding the one that’s right for you. Unfortunately I am not aware of which brands are sodium free or not. I wish I did to tell you. Perhaps calling the manufacturer of the brand to ask if they are sodium free or not.

  29. Hi,

    OK, so I am 40 yr old man and was diagnosed with Hasimoto’s about 1.5 years ago. My TSH was through the roof – 56 and I wasn’t really experiencing any symptoms. I started taking Euthyrox (100mg per day) and my body went into shock. Went down to 50 and then back up to 100 after I got used to it. Ever since taking it I have been having issues with my heart. Palpitations, couplets etc. had everything checked out and nothing serious going on. Any idea how to help stop the heart paps? Now I am on 100mg per day for more than a year my TSH is steady under 5 – floats between 2 & 5.

    • Dana Trentini says:


      Euthyrox is a type of Levothyroxine drug that contains T4 hormone only. These drugs are the number one prescribed for hypothyroidism but they don’t work for all of us. We’re also all different in how our bodies react to the different fillers, binding agents and dyes in the different brands, so you should know all the drug options and find a doctor who is open to exploring them to find what’s right for you.


      Testing should include at a very minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, and full iron panel. Poor adrenals and poor iron levels are two common reasons why people experience hyperthyroid symptoms like heart palpitations on thyroid medication. There is a concept called “pooling” that you should read by thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe.


      Also your heart palpitations may be due to your Hashimoto’s. Thyroid medication is an important factor in slowing down the autoimmune attack in Hashimoto’s however it is equally important to identify and treat the root causes that triggered your Hashimoto’s in the first place. Potential triggers include food intolerances (I have readers who went gluten free and their thyroid antibodies reduced to normal), nutrient deficiencies including selenium, D3, B12, zinc, blood sugar issues, abnormal sex hormone levels, bacteria/viral infections, Candida, heavy metal toxicity and digestion issues. There is a great new book by Dr. Izabella Wentz that goes over all the triggers for Hashimoto’s and what you can do about them.


  30. Hi. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism almost 8 years ago. I was always thin and very active, but within the past few years I have gained 70 lbs. It is so frustrating. I work out 4-5 days a week and eat very healthy. I am on synthroid. I go for blood tests every 6 months, my doctor says my levels are within the normal range, but I feel awful. Some days I feel like I am dieing, because of the lack of energy. I want my life back, I have 2 small children, and I feel like I can’t keep up with them. I am so tired of feeling this way. I am thinking of trying the gluten free diet, has anybody had any experience with this.

    • Dana Trentini says:


      TSH is often the only test run for thyroid patients but this one test does not give a full picture. Testing should include at a minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, full iron panel and D3.


      Synthroid is the number one drug prescribed but it doesn’t work for all of us. This may be the issue.


    • Hi Amy,

      If you are gluten intolerant, eliminating it will make a HUGE difference in how you feel and look! When I gave up wheat, which is a challenge to do, the first gift was improved eyesight (my nightblindness disappeared). My digestion improved, fibromyalgia gone and my energy significantly improved. My hair/skin improved too.

      You might want to check out the recent Gluten Summit http://theglutensummit.com/

      If you don’t already cook regular meals for yourself, this is a big change but absolutely worth the effort. You have to build a new gluten free pantry but the payoff is BIG. People seem to think the fast food/prepacked dinner route is faster but once you are organized, you can bang out amazing meals in less time than running to the fast food joint. Once you start eating real food (gluten free/organic/nomGMO) you won’t want to eat the other stuff. I just had an omlette of pasture raised chicken eggs, spinach, parmesan, garlic, smashed tomatoes that was awesome. Took me 5 mins.

      I could go on and on. I would also recommend this site if you are looking to educate yourself. I’m taking her course which set me back several hundred dollars but in the grand scheme of things, will save me thousands in medical cost and untold suffering.

      Good luck.

  31. Amy – I feel you. I am so foggy headed. And I’m on Tirosint and Armour. Just started testosterone to the mix. Might – just might – go have my HGH (human growth hormone) tested. I hear it’s expensive and if I need the stuff – means shots for the rest of my life. But, I, like you am so tired of feeling tired. I suggest you try T3, before all else, if you haven’t tried it. I’m already on it and still struggling, but I do believe it helps a lot of people.

  32. I just wanted to thank you for recommending Dr. Borenstein. I saw him on Monday, and am so excited at the prospect of feeling good again! Thanks again- will keep you posted, but I’m really encouraged.!

  33. Michelle Hale says:

    I am 42 years old and started on synthroid 3 months ago. At first I felt great but now I have stared gaining weight even despite my efforts of reducing calories and excersising. Is there any other option out there for me?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Michelle,

      You know from this article that Synthroid is the number one drug prescribed but it fails to help many of us. Synthroid contains T4 hormone only and our bodies are supposed to convert it to the active T3 hormone our cells need but for many of us our bodies don’t convert it properly leaving us with low T3 and symptoms. The thyroid controls metabolism so you bet weight gain is a symptom. Many of us benefit from a combination of T4 and T3 treatment as I write about in this article. The first step is speaking to your doctor about these T3 medications such as natural desiccated thyroid. If your doctor is not open to these medications, then find a doctor who will explore them with you to see what’s best for you. There are options besides Synthroid. Also testing should include not just TSH but also Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, Adrenals, full iron panel including Ferritin, and D3 at a minimum.



  34. My hair started to fall out right after my doctor increased my levothyroxin. I have since gone back to my original dosage. Will my hair grow back now that my dosage has changed back? Does anyone have any personal experience with this?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Patty, some people lose hair in reaction to certain thyroid drug brands so be sure to tell your doctor this happened because there are various brands. Also be sure your ferritin and sex hormones are tested because in my case these factors played a role in my hair loss too.

  35. Hi there i need your help plz my free t4 & free t3 are all normal and my tsh but my symptoms are getting getting bad my mental is bad. I got my 2 of my antibody tested and came back very high. My doctor put me on sythriod but i still feel the same even tho blood work is normal free t4 and free t3 what is going on with me and what can i do thank you.

    My adrenal and vit D are all good everything is all good in my blood.

  36. Geddy – Synthroid did nothing for me. I’m on a compounding pharmacy version of T3 and 100mcg of Tironsint. It’s what works best for me. Get the book by Kenneth Blanchard “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About You about Hypothyroid.” He looks at symptoms and not only bloodwork. I know it’s frustrating. Hang in there. And be your own advocate. Go seen another doctor if the one you’re seeing isn’t helping you.

  37. Julie Doerr says:

    i was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 16 years ago. was told i needed to take a radiation pill so they machine could scan my throat for thyroid activity. found out later that the radiation pill KILLS the thyroid glands. after many years i went to an endocrinologist complaining i wasn’t feeling any better with the “synthetic thyroid medications” . she decided to take an ultrasound to see what was going on with my thryroid glands. low and behold! the radiation had killed my thyroid glands and was left with only specks of hormone in my throat. i did some research and found a natural medicine called armour. ive been taking that since 2009. although i feel much better, i still get depressed and i have mood swings. thank you for sharing , because i had no idea that thyroid disorders could lead to unhealthy brains..

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Julie, I’m sorry all that you’ve been through. I’m on a natural desiccated thyroid like Armour, but the brand I take is Nature-throid. Dosage is key for me. I feel terrible if my Free T3 is low. I only feel well when my dosage is high enough to get my Free T3 top quarter of the range. Here’s how.


      Be sure testing includes Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, adrenals, full iron panel, sex hormones, blood sugar, and nutrient deficiencies like D3, B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium.

  38. Erika Donaldson says:

    I was recently diagnosed with secondary hypothyroidism, so the issue is less my thyroid gland and more my pituitary gland. This Todd over a year of advocating to find out. My T4 was low so the endo prescribed synthroid about three months ago. I felt better initially after a dose increase but now I feel like I’m crashing. my symptoms are slowly returning. She once tested my T3 which was normal, but not the free T3. I think I will ask her to do so. I’m really concerned because we never found the cause of my pituitary issue. An MRI was done and came back normal. Which should I investigate more, my thyroid hormone levels outer my brain?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Erika,

      The thyroid is a puzzle with many possible factors to consider. First it may be a dosage issue and that your dosage is not right for you. However as you know from my article the majority of us do better on a combination of T4 and T3 medication and Synthroid is only T4. Then it’s important to have a doctor who will test Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, adrenals, full iron panel, sex hormones, blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies including D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium. Get a second medical opinion to be sure all factors have been considered.


  39. Every doctor that I have been to will not listen to me when I tell them that I know my Levothyroxin isn’t working. It makes me so sick but they will not switch me. It’s so upsetting when they won’t listen to me. I’m going there for their help but all I’m getting is try this diet and take these pills. =( I’m 23 and I constantly flip flop between hypo and hyper on top of having PCOS.

    • Julie Doerr says:

      I had that issue . But that is why i went to an endocrinologist because they specialize in diabetes and thyroid disorders. you have to be really direct to the doctor. tell them you want to be put on a different medication. dont ask them. for years i had felt horrible despite using medication. because they were synthetic my body rejected them. so i did some research and found a natural medication called “armour”. since then, i have felt so much better. if the doctors you are going to dont give you the answer you want, go to another. but i highly suggest you go to a professional . because family practice doctors dont understand the kind of tests and levels of the thyroid.

    • Dana Trentini says:


      You have to find a new doctor one who is open to thyroid meds outside of Levothyroxine. Here are resources to help you find one. Also the fact you flip hypo to hyper and have PCOS are signs of Hashimoto’s which is considered the number one cause of hypothyroidism yet thyroid antibodies are not routinely tested so you need them tested. There are two tests you need: Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies.



  40. Jennifer Padden says:

    I have hypo/Hashimoto’s and have so many symptoms for the last 20 years that I thought it was just from ageing.

    I have been see sawing between hyper and hypo for about 7 years & my dr was always just adjusting dosages. Now he has me alternating doses of 0.088 mg and 0.10 mg. I haven’t felt well for

    My dr refuses to do proper testing – just does the T4 and one antibody test.

    My latest symptoms of this downward spiral are Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia which is a precancer & I had 10 biopsies of my right breast & finally a lumpectomy on October 2/13. I am now considered high risk for breast cancer with lifetime risk 66%-73% due to already having ADH and family history of Breast cancer.

    About 3 years ago I began having vaginal pain with intercourse & I haven’t been able to having intercourse since. Drs could not find a problem but did believe it was atrophy and put me on Premarin cream just this past August /13. In Nov/13, a gyneo said I have scar tissue build up due to vaginal deliveries of my children & believes it’s been there for years but the pain of it is the atrophy & bag dryness. He wants me to try 1 mg of the Premarin for 3. months. I expressed my concerns due to being high risk for breast cancer but he said its very low risk.

    I just feel like there’s just so many issues & signs that my body is breaking down. I have Osteopenia, Vit D def, wrist & neck & jaw pain, weak ankles, trouble swallowing which is getting progressively worse, facial pain, aching teeth, swollen & bleeding g gums, hearing & vision problems, either freezing cold or extremely hot, indigestion, constipation, fatigue, chronic insomnia, no motivation, cold nodule on thyroid, etc etc.

    I will say that since my dr has me alternating doses of the Levothyroxine that I’m no longer constipated but all other symyoms have remained the same.

    I am 56 years old & feel like this has taken over me. I can’t shake it. Does anyone know of a good Thyroid dr who will do proper Lab tests on me. I feel like my life depends on it. I LIVE IN ONTARIO.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Jennifer, I am sorry all you have been through. Please please please find a doctor who will look more closely at your thyroid health. Someone who will do all the right tests including Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, adrenals, full iron panel including ferritin, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, food sensitivities and sex hormones. There are so many pieces to thyroid health that should be checked. As you know from this article Levothyroxine drugs do not work for everyone. For many of us we do better on a combo of T4 and T3 meds. Here are resources to help you locate a good doctor. In particular the link to Mary Shomon’s list if you scroll down that page you’ll see a list of doctors for Canada. Also if you click on the ThyroidChange list there is a list of Canadian doctors too. Best wishes to you.


  41. CAN SOMEONE PLZ JUST HELP ME! Can hypo/Hashimoto mess with your thoughts like can it mess with your irrational thinking and make you irrational paranoia? and give you delusion thoughts!? schizophrenia too? PLZ someone help me i never had this before till i found out i was hypo/has just came out of no where and NO i do not have any mental health in my fam nothing like that ! im on sythriod right now 25mcg and i dont feel good mentally and all this TSH free T3 & Free t4 blood tests keep coming back normal ! like what should i do can T3 help me get my normal mental and irrational thinking back? PLZ SOMEONE HELP ME !

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Tasha, I’m so sorry to hear all you are going through. I am sorry for the delay in responding. The months of December and January I had 4 million people weekly on my site and Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page that I’ve struggled to get to everyone but here I am reading your comment and so upset to not get to you sooner. I’m sorry. Yes Yes Yes thyroid health can affect your mental health. Every cell of the body including in the brain requires thyroid hormone for proper functioning. Here are two articles from my blog on this topic.



      As you know from this article, Synthroid does not work for all of us. For many of us we do better on a combination of T4 and T3 meds whether that be through synthetics or natural desiccated thyroid. Half the battle is finding a good doctor who gets it and who listens to your symptoms and bases decisions on you the person and not strictly on your labs. There are good doctors out there and they are worth searching for. Here are resources to help you locate a good doctor.


    • B12 deficiency can cause psychiatric symptoms, in fact there is a paper which is available online called Megaloblastic Madness from 1960. Be aware that the serum B12 test misses up to 35% of people with a deficiency and neuropsychiatric symptoms can start well before any changes to the blood. Also about 50% of people with a thyroid disorder will have a B12 deficiency as I do.

  42. Virginia Bake says:

    I have been on Levothyroxine(25 mcg) for about a year. I have shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle weakness & trouble sleeping. the Dr. says my labs are OK now. I’m not sure what to ask him to do. After reading most of these I’m still confused. If the med. is working, should I insist on trying something else? What should it be? I’m thinking I need a second opinion, but don’t know where to go. I have an HMO & it has to be within their providers.

  43. Hi Dana, I am going to begin treating my hypothyroidism with thyroid supplement. I am still breastfeeding my baby and was wondering if you had any information on the safety of taking the natural desiccated thyroid supplement while breastfeeding. I know that it is “safe” to take levothyroxine while breastfeeding, that is, it’s okay for baby and it shouldn’t deplete milk supply. After reading your blog it seems like it would be better to try the natural supplement but I can’t find any information on taking that while breastfeeding. Thank you for this wonderful resource!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Breeayn, Here is an article from thyroid advocate Mary Shomon about the safety of thyroid medication while breastfeeding. Now she does not specify which thyroid medications are safe or not safe. I personally took Nature-throid, a natural desiccated thyroid, while breastfeeding. Of course it’s important to be under close supervision by your doctor to be sure you are taking the right dosage for you.


  44. Thank you so much for posting all this information. I am trying to learn as much as I can and all these stories mean so much. It seems all so overwhelming but I am so glad you wrote it.

  45. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 7 years ago and drank radio active iodine to kill my thyroid. Of course I immediately became hypo. I have been on levo ever since. My levels have fluctuated so much I almost expect the results to be abnormal each time I see my endo. Recently though, my TSH was 32.0. I am now on 200 mcg of levo. I am not even sure where to go from here. I have two little girls and teach kindergarten. It’s exhausting. I need help. I don’t know what to even ask the dr for. Do you have any advice on what I should ask for or what tests I should be receiving? Thank you so much. Hopeful…

  46. MariahPacheco says:

    Hello my names Mariah I just found out Im hypo and I feel as of my life just ended im not a pill person just because im very scared of the side affects I may get K went to get cheked out bc of how weak and tired and felt dead all the time I have a soon to be 3 year old and a one year old and I cant keep up with them . I have no Doc I found out threw the Er room I Have so many questions about this levo pill and so affraid to take it im driving my self nuts ive been crying alot im 21 years old and feel li ke a Child affarid of a monster lol . Should I find a doctor before I take this pill? Ive been reading about peoples effects like racing heart beat cant sleep and so on and thats on a 25 mg pill the same amount given to me … please help I feel like my family dont understand the fear I have right now the last pill I have took was back in 2010 and did a natural childbirth to skip the meds and now im on a pill for the rest of my life… sorry for sounding like a big spoiled brat or something but its 647am I woke up out of my sleep with butterflys its driving me nuts !!!! Thank you for anybody who kinda knows what im going threw and for the advice .

  47. Hello my names Mariah I just found out Im hypo and I feel as of my life just ended im not a pill person just because im very scared of the side affects I may get K went to get cheked out bc of how weak and tired and felt dead all the time I have a soon to be 3 year old and a one year old and I cant keep up with them . I have no Doc I found out threw the Er room I Have so many questions about this levo pill and so affraid to take it im driving my self nuts ive been crying alot im 21 years old and feel li ke a Child affarid of a monster lol . Should I find a doctor before I take this pill? Ive been reading about peoples effects like racing heart beat cant sleep and so on and thats on a 25 mg pill the same amount given to me … please help I feel like my family dont understand the fear I have right now the last pill I have took was back in 201and did a natural childbirth to skip the meds and now im on a pill for the rest of my life… sorry for sounding like a big spoiled brat or something but its 647am I woke up out of my sleep with butterflys its driving me nuts !!!! Thank you for anybody who kinda knows what im going threw and for the advice 🙁

  48. Thank you for your interesting website. I was diagnosed with hypo about 10years and it has taken me many years to get my dosage to what I believe seems to be working for me. I have had to ask my Dr to mark my presc generic only after being given non-generic (my dosage is a 6mth supply) by the chemist causing fogginess in the brain, exhaustion then one incident of complete memory loss (very frightening) I have since found out that non-generic have a shorter shelf life and also the ingredients are the same but caseing and fillers can be very different. You have also written about this so I have decided I am not going nuts. Anyway after 3mths of being back on “Oroxine” I am generally feeling much better. My only other query is that the Dr says I must take the tablet first thing in the morning as it has to be take on an empty stomach but this clashes with my only cup of coffee for the day is when I first hit the ground each morning so I have set my alarm and take my 100mg at 4pm each day as this is when my stomach is empty an hour before and after do you thonk this is okay? As it seems to work for me. Thanks for all the help

  49. I am so glad that I just found this website. I have been on Levothyroxine for 10 years now. I still have brain fog and forgetfulness which is very embarrassing at times. I can’t even remember simple things some times. My dr. only orders test for the TSH and never tests the free T3 or any other thyroid tests. Because my range for the TSH is in a normal range a little above a 2, then they don’t do the other tests. I am wondering if this is ok or not. I cannot convince my Dr. to test those. I have had three drs. and they only do the TSH.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Linda, TSH doesn’t give a full picture of thyroid health which is why testing Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies is so important. In addition the issue of what is considered “normal” TSH and “optimal” is very different. Thyroid advocate Mary Shomon from the site About.com Thyroid has this list of recommended tests on her Facebook page that includes optimal ranges. You will see that she writes optimal TSH is 1 to 2 so even by that alone you should seek out a doctor to do fuller testing for you. If you do not have access to Facebook and cannot open this link to her post please let me know. I will also post a list of resources to help you locate a doctor for a second opinion.

      Levothyroxine while it works for some does not work for us all. Many of us do better on a combination of T4 and T3. This may be an important issue for you if you continue to have symptoms on your treatment.



  50. 2002 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, put on levo, very low dose. But it did the trick went to feeling relatively normal for a mom with 3 kids, job etc. by 2005 my little girl, 10 y/o got diagnosed with hyper. She was given radioactive iodine and went hypo, like most. So heart wrenching for a mother watch as her 12 y/o now gained 80 lbs in 4 months after being hypo and being treated with levo. Then youngest daughter in 2009, 9 y/o diagnosed hyper with more pronounced eye disease and I think given what damage the dr did to the other daughter she just decided to treat the hyper with increasing methimazole. Now both girls one 18 one 14 both are hypo but stable but both 250 & 220 lbs so on to me again. Totally freaky but started having heart racing and feeling like I someone was choking me. I called 911, when enroutetothehospital I could not berate and they decided to intubate me. They did tests to find out I was in the midst of a thyroid storm. So they tried to keep me sedated for 6 days while they were aggressively trying to bring the level down to a manageable level and then do surgery to take it out. They did the surgery. My thyroid was double the weight of a normal person and no signs of cancer which is apparently unusual for a 43 y/o woman with hypothyroidism. They sent every student to the pathology lab I was told. I developed pneumonia and was in in intensive care for 12 days. It was horrible, that was when he’ll just began. I lost 8% muscle mass each day of being in bed. I lost 20 lbs which made me partly happy until I realized it was all muscle and I couldn’t hardly walk and definitely could not go up the stairs to my own bedroom. Post op they started me right away on 137 mcg levo then 6 weeks later dropped it down to 112 then to 88 then back up to 125. Two weeks before Christmas I started to become overwhelmingly depressed and 3/4 of my hair fell out. I felt like a peacock that had its feathers taken away. Depression and anxiety were extreme. I put that 20 lbs back on plus 10 in one week. I begged my dr to switch me to armour as I had read so many people getting relief from that drug vs the one I was on. That’s when I went on a rampage looking for a dr. And made several consult appointments and explained that I pay for my healthcare and I they only were going to look at the numbers and not consider how I felt that they were not going to be my dr. I found one and when igot my blood drawn a week ago, I asked her if I could try the armour and she agreed but said that she was going to go slow and that there are only 5 strengths to the medications so it can have limitations. I have now been on it since February 3 rd and it is too soon to know if it will be the right strength or if she will ad something to make up for T3. I am vitamin d deficient since the surgery and take that also. My hair is so thin and wispy. Luckily I walked into this salon next to my pharmacy crying and the beautiful girl behind the counter said you will be fine you just need to go to Sally Beauty Supply and get some clip in extensions, she showed me that she herself had them in her beautiful hair. It was huge! Got the extensions, which were pricey 100$ and did not look like much but man oh man. I clip them in and no one knows that it is not my hair. I have even tested this and told people and they are shocked and amazed it’s not my hair. I want you to know I have never written on any posts before now and I wanted to share my story. I am hoping to feel normal again. And another thing that made me fire the first endo was gaining 10 lbs in a week and losing that much hair and having them tell me that it was no big deal, that I just overate during the holidays and the stress of the surgery is what made my hair fall out. Sorry, NOPE! Not with what I was reading and the way I felt in my gut that something was just wrong. I am happy you have this and maybe my story will help someone else, even if just one person reads this and decides to question how they feel and how they deserve proper care, money or no money. I live in the USA, served my country for our freedoms and am a disabled veteran. All politics aside, I hope this makes a difference.

  51. Kristina – Your story is tough to read. Why are so many of us having this issue with our thyroid? Is that planet just so poisoned now?

    The best thing to work for me has been compounding pharmacy T3 (desiccated pig thyroid) and Tirosint.

    If your doctor won’t put you on a NATURAL type of T3 – FIRE THEM. And find a doctor who will.

    Good luck to all.

  52. Hi! I recently found your page after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism just a few weeks ago. My lab results showed a TSH level of 374 which from what I have read seems drastically high. My physician so far is not treating my condition as anything unusual and just the normal hypo condition to be treated with the medication Levothyroxine. I have always read on your site about the correlation between miscarriages/stillbirth and thyroid conditions. I had never seemed to have any symptoms of this condition until after I suffered a stillbirth of our daughter (3rd child) last June at almost 41 weeks. It looked like her death was due to a cord compression accident with the cord presenting before her head and being compressed during labor. I am now worried that her death may have actually had something to do with my condition. I am scheduled to go back to the doctor this month for a recheck to see how I doing on the medication and if it needs adjusting. I am suspecting I will need to increase my dosage since it seems my levels were very high and I am still exhibiting the same symptoms of swollen neck, increased weight that isn’t coming off, lack of energy, and no menstrual cycle for several months. Do you think the stillbirth of our daughter could be related to my condition since I wasn’t diagnosed with the condition until after the birth? Do you think I could have developed the condition postpartum? My husband and I were really hoping to be able to try to conceive again, but I am worried that I will not be able to do so now or that my condition will cause me to lose another baby. After what we went through, I just don’t think I could handle another loss like that. Thank you so much for all of this information!

  53. So I went to my doc five weeks ago and she said my thyroid levels were too low despite my levothyroxine, and so she upped the dosage (I’ve been receiving treatment for about seven years, and just got a new doc). I’m thinking, “Great! Maybe now I’ll get some relief!” Instead, I think my symptoms have gotten worse. Is that possible, or is it just a coincidence?

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jen, ask your doctor if she would be open to trying other options with you including a combo of synthetic T4 and T3 or natural desiccated thyroid to see how you do.

  54. Christie says:

    I was born with hypothyroidism and have been on synthroid my whole life, from day 1. I had no idea there were other options for medication and have finally found a doctor who is willing to try me on something else – I don’t feel bad or good – mainly because I don’t know anything different. I am hoping by trying some other options I will learn what it feels like to have more energy and possibly keep my weight at a fairly regular level!!

    thanks for the awesome work you’re doing – so glad I stumbled upon your site <3

  55. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos last week and started off with Amour thyroid 30mg. I took one tablet for 2 days and experiences intense itching on my face, swelling of the tounge and lips. I shared this with my doc and she put me on Natures Thyroid and while the allergic reaction isn’t quite as bad I’m still feeling swelling of the eye lids and a burning sensation in my throat and at the back of my mouth. Kind of like I’ve been eating hot peppers. Any body else have these wierd reactions? Did they go away in time?

    • Teresa R says:

      I was having problems with the pig thyroid too. I was only on a 1/4 of a 1mg tab as anything higher caused my heart to beat fast, and a soreness in my left arm (tho’t I was heading for a heart attack!). Went off it for 6 months, onto an herbal support, but now my TSH is even worse & I felt it, worse! So, tho’ I hate synthetic I was desperate & switched to Synthroid (Levoxin sp?). I’m @ .05mg with no reaction, feeling a bit better. Retesting in 5 weeks. I understand that going on a “thyroid diet” also looks promising. I’m currently doing a blend of the GAPS/Maker’s diet/Nourishing Traditions WAPF, for my son’s tummy issues, but even avoiding eating broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage in the raw state, I noticed this made an amazing difference last fall! I believe what u eat & how it’s prepared makes a difference in our overall health! Blessings to u all!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Lisa, there are different fillers, binding agents and dyes in the different brands of thyroid meds and why our bodies are all different in terms of how we react to them. You may be sensitive to something in these two drugs. There are other options to discuss with your doctor including WP Thyroid by RLC Labs or having a compounding pharmacy custom make thyroid meds without the ingredients to which you are sensitive.

  56. Hi. Is there anybody out there who has converted Hashimoto without using medication?

    My daughter got diagnosed in January and I would so much like to find away for her without medication. Has any of you any experience concerning this?

    Gtatitude. Dagmar

  57. I buy my thyroid and bio-identical hormones at CVS. They keep a database if you tell them your allergens and they will inform you if they cannot fulfill a script based on your profile. I accidentally didn’t tell them I’m allergic to soy and peanuts and purchased the progesterone before reading the bottle. I really found it hard to believe that soy and peanuts would be a part of the mfg. process. They let me return it one time, but once you pay for it, they normally will not return it once you leave the premise. This was a 50.00 error. I’m better off getting a compounded script, for just a little more money.

    I’m trying tirosint/cytomel which seem very expensive and hoping for results. Armour gave me a serious sinus infection. Naturethoid did not work at all. I’m on a paleo diet and rest a lot, but I’ve been on tirosint on a few days and I feel tired. Perhaps 50 mcg to start is too low. Can anyone tell me if you’ve had similar issues? I went to a specialist and she put my on low dose naltrexone at our first appointment and it’s doing a beautiful job lowering my antibodies down to 100 from 700 in just two months. Google LDN, I was disappointed when I found out my regular GP knows about it and didn’t once recommend it to me in over a year after I told her my antibodies were elevated and the Naturethoid does nothing.

  58. Hi, Lisa. I have been on Synthroid/Levothyroxine for over 5 years. My recent bloodwork has my TSH level at 0.441 and my Free T4 level at 1.9 and flagged as HIGH. Should I be concerned? My endocrinologist thinks it’s all good. I am having some thinking issues and have gained weight recently. I am allergic to iodine and avoid all iodine products. Could that be influencing how my thyroid is working?

  59. Hello, I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few days ago because I went to see my doc about my enlarged thyroid. Seen him the same day I called to make an appointment did blood work and a cpl days later my TSH was 40.0. Got more blood work done to check for Hashi’s (I’ll know by Friday) and had an ultrasound done (which will take a bit longer for the results to come back) He prescribed me Eltroxin 0.1mg but he don’t want me to take it until he knows if its hashimotos that’s causing hypo! And tbh I’m kinda scared to take it because of all the horror stories I’ve read! Lol

    Anyways, my symptoms seem like a mixture of both hypo and hyper. Like feels and looks like I’m losing weight, I am tired but I get spurts of energy, also cant sleep at night! I get hot flashes, sweat when I actually sleep, there was only a cpl times I’ve felt really cold! Slow heart rate w/ palpitations, Im not experienceing any hair loss or brittle nails (I take biotin) eye and ear pain (had that for over a year) my eyes are becoming more sensitive….and have had bad aching bones and joints and stiffness….but the achiness has gone for now and the brain fog and forgetfulness is starting to set in lol….I wonder if this is just the start or if I’ve been hypo for a few years! Cuz of other symptoms but I won’t go there cause this post is getting too long lol

  60. catherine kostelec says:

    Since using Cytomel my numbers and energy is better but my hair has turned to wispy baby fine hair and falling out -has anyone had this experience

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Catherine, let your doctor know this reaction to Cytomel. I’ve heard from readers reporting hair loss when starting various thyroid medications. Our bodies are all different in terms of how we react to the different fillers, binding agents and dyes. There are other options including natural desiccated thyroid that contains both T4 and T3. There are also compounded T3 meds that can be produced by compounding pharmacies without the ingredients to which you are sensitive. So different options to discuss with your doctor.

  61. Hi, I’m 23, I went to the doctor a little over two weeks ago to get tested for hypothyroidism. My hair had been falling out and I was always exhausted. My blood test came back positive for hypothyroidism and I have been on Levothyroxine since.

    My hair is still falling out and I can’t stand waiting as it gets worse. I am also taking biotin and a liquid b12 complex. The medicine has also caused mood swings from crying to anger.
    My doctor told me to take the medicine for a month.

  62. Hello Dana:
    I have hypothyroid symptoms and am on Erfa Thyroid right now. I am on 90 mg. one day they 120 mg the next day…then 90..then 120. I have insomnia, hot flashes, light headedness, fibrilations, foggy thinking, unable to loose weight, thinning hair, etc. My last blood work was Free T3 was 6.5 (high end of range) Free T4 was 16 (mid range) and my TSH was 0.02 (low end of range which makes me hyperthyroid). My doctor will not increase my thyroid meds. I am also on Progesterone cream, Estrogen Cream and Testosterone Cream. I have had a Right Hemithyroidectomy done in 1991 for nodules. I have been on Levothyroxin 0.1 mg for many years but that dose did give me palpitations so dose was decreased to 0.05mg but that was not enough. I did have a mitral valve prolapse which was repaired in 2005. I went back on Levothyroxin 0.1 mg but that eventually started my arrythmias again. Started on Erfa Thyroid about 1 year ago. Started on 15 mg then slowly increased. Not as fast as the “Stopthethyroidmadness” website recommends and I am now at the dose mentioned above. I now have arrythmias again. PLEASE HELP ME. I would love to find a doctor in my area to help me and do all the blood work necessary to give me a proper diagnosis. My grandfather had and my mother also has thyroid issues. Look forward to hearing from you SOON!

  63. p b kansagara says:

    I have Hypothyrodism TSH is found 6.67 how much mcg tablet should be taken everyday

  64. I’m going nuts with this Hashimoto diagnosis and treatment! I am 56 now and I just don’t feel like I will ever be anything near “normal” again. Every time I go in and have my levels tested, they tell me they are within the normal range. But I feel as if I am not anywhere near who I once was. I can gain 5 pounds in a matter of days! and not be eating anything different than I was the week before!! That is so discouraging! I have gained a total of almost 60 pounds over the course of about 10 years…about the time I was finally diagnosed. Getting that diagnosis took me almost being totally out! I kept complaining I had no energy and all of the normal symptoms…but mainly no energy. It got to the point that I could hardly work. I remodel houses and I would be on site but would just lay down and answer questions like that. It was just awful. They finally did the re-uptake and then they freaked! It’s a shame that it went that far. I weighed about 110-120 most all of my life until I was about 42. Now I weigh 190!!!!!! I take a cluster of all kinds of meds that I am sure that I would not need to take if I could lose this weight! but I can’t get it off. I take 50mcg of levothyroxine. Whenever I make a suggestion that maybe I need to increase my dose, I get told that I don’t understand how my thyroid works. argh! Any and all help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

  65. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s / Hypothyroid. My goiters grew extremely fast and began affecting my voice, breathing, and swallowing. My ENT (who has had thyroid cancer and a thyroidectomy) tried me on 3 months of Synthroid 75, which did nothing. As the goiters grew, he finally recommended thyroidectomy. I had my thyroid out just about a month ago. Since then, I’ve been on Synthroid 125 plus Calcium and Vitamin D. The Synthroid is doing NOTHING, as I still have hair falling out, uncontrollable body temps, mood swings, no energy, brain fog, dry skin, can’t sleep…and many other issues. I go back for my 1st increase (had blood work done last week, but don’t have results yet) in a few days. I just want to know what I’m to be expecting. Without my thyroid, am I still considered to have Hashimoto’s?? I can tell I’m not on enough medicine and need to feel better. I felt better before surgery. How long should I wait once the medicine is increased to start feeling better?? Any help would be appreciated. Kim

  66. I am slightly hypothyroid so my physician put me on Levothyroxine…25 mg. My blood pressure went from a historic 117 over 72 range to low 140’s over 82. I cut the Levothyroxine to 12.5 mg and my blood pressure still is high in the mid to upper 130’s over low 70’s and my pulse is down to low to mid 50’s. Thoughts? Thank you!!

  67. Hi, I hope someone out there in Hypothyroid Land hears me and can maybe offer me some advise. Since at 59 and have felt so lousy for so many years, once I came across this wonderful thyroid site, I decided damnit……this is the year that I am going to do something about feeling lousy starting with my thyroid. I was 35 and 6 weeks post-partum when my OB doc noticed that I had a goiter…..well I admit to being as dumb as a box of rocks when it came to knowing anything about goiters or thyroid. I remember it was the size of a golf ball,attractive too. I had never had any thyroid problems prev. I now know after researching, that this is not uncommon post-partum. Ok, so he ordered an US and labs. T he US was negative, I never questioned the labs but he started me on Levo or S ynthroid. Now 20-some years later, gradually I begun to have symptoms extreme lethargy,fatigue,memory loss,zero energy,apathy, saw my PCP ,given an antidepressant and told to workout more. That was 15 years or so ago. Now I am 59 and feel 79…hate my life, hate myself…..oh and lets not forget to mention massive weight gain and guess where?? all in the front/belly, I look like I am 9months pregnant with twins and I am not exaggerating. Altho I don’t expect to weigh what I did in my 30’s,I know that all of the weight gain going to my abdomen is just not right, I have never had any stomach even after 2 kids. And getting bigger all the time, I now have high blood pressure. I begged my PCP to switch me from Synthroid to Armour, she was clueless as to how go about this conversion wise, so I contacted my Pharm. and he used his conversion chart to tell me what dose of Armour would be equal to Synthroid, I gave this info. to my PCP and ended up on ARMOUR 90mg.(in one tab) and ARMOUR 15mg.(in another tab). This worried me since I knew she didn’t know anything about all of this, but out of shear desperation, I began the Armour. Meanwhile 1 month later I had talked her into ordering the labs I had read about in ThyroidMom info. Without the doctor herself calling me to come in or anything, she has her CMA call me to tell me that my TSH was too low and that the antibodies were way high nothing was mentioned about all of the additional thryoid tests I had done that day with the exception of the Cortisol test that couldn’t be performed due to insufficient specimen…..thats because my mouth is cotton-dry all of the time. So I said to myself….self……youneed to see a good Endo. Hell, I’ll even see a bad Endo. at this point, I realize I sound like I’m joking but the truth is I am scared to death of whats happening to me and my body not to mention my mind and it amazes me the total lack of interest the MEDICAL FIELD with regards to anything thyroid….as far as they concerned, we women are just a bunch of nutcases. Anyway, I truly didn’t mean to go on and on this long and because I have I doubt anyone will be able to stay awake through it. However, if ther is anyone out there that would have ANY ideas, advise, I am completely open to their stories as well. Thank you so much for your time IF you did make it this far! Lainey Jacobson

  68. So in your opinion (or your readers’ opinion), which is the best NDT drug currently available? There are so many; Armour, Naturethroid, Westhroid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid, Thyroid by Erfa, plus the Thai brands and probably many others…I admit to being completely confused, and would really appreciate your input. Some say Naturethroid apparently isn’t as bad as Armour although it was also reformulated in a similar way, others say Erfa has a consistency problem, some claim that NP Thyroid is like old Armour, while others say it’s much weaker so they need a lot more…the confusion is total?!??!

  69. I was changed to synthroid after they quit making the medicine I used to take. I went from .75 to .50. I still get really tired and have a bit of a side effect I don’t hear about. When my thyroid isn’t right my heart slows down. Quite a bit really. from 40 to 50 beats a minutes. I really don’t like this new medicine but my new doctor sent me to a cardiologist. He thinks this is just who I am. I just want to get back to normal.

  70. DarnButterfly says:

    I am 35, dx with Hashimoto after having my baby at age 33. My “hypothyroidism” if that is all I have (which cannot be!) is a little different from what I hear. I do get the tiredness, ugly hair, saggy skin, big belly, constipation, edema, puffy eyes, extreme brain fog, personality changes that i like to call “autistic phase” since I have difficulty interacting with others, I concentrate on one activity (but only one at a time) and I don’t call or talk to anybody. My brain cannot process people talking to me, it really annoys me and frustrate me. I cannot find the words to talk anyways and start to say some words when i want to say others…
    But of all of these symptoms (and i have all 300 and more) the ones that bother me the most are these:
    – ALLERGIES to everything i eat that leave me dizzy, confused, leg pains, exhausted (specially when dose becomes too high)
    -EDEMA in my whole body (including brain i guess) and the tone of my skin now is red, my fingers leave an impression
    -Impossibility to KEEP A DOSE since they work very well for a week or two and then it is too much making me sick. Some time i have to stop taking the pill or i get really sick. then for a few days I’m great and all of the sudden i cannot stand up and I’m all swollen.
    -EXTREME HUNGER 20 min after i take the pill and throughout the day
    -MY TSH HAS TO BE BETWEEN 0.10 and 0.20 for me to feel better (I’m red at that point and my body aches, but that’s only 2 symptoms out of the 300)
    I don’t have time to go on but, just want to add that i have been on NATURE THROID for almost a year now and i really think it gives me allergic reactions. I was on ARMOUR for almost a year as well and same results. AND before that i was on Synthroid (and before that on levo) and it made me swell and couldn’t breathe. In other words, IM ALLERGIC TO ALL of these pills! I don’t feel fine on any of them. Any suggestions???
    Right now i started a bottle of transfer factor in a pathetic attempt to fix the immune system instead of replacing the hormone, which doesn’t work for me.

  71. Lisa Pavin says:

    Hi – I love that you have this site to help so many with different issues since we all aren’t the same. I’ve been struggling with finding the “right” doctor here in the LA area. I feel like I’ve been bounced around to one extreme to another. One that goes purely by textbook and numbers to another one that is purely holistic without much backup. I’m getting a tad frustrated to say the least. Can you recommend a site or know of where I can find a list of doctors that aren’t so restricted in their findings, researches, and most importantly, their diagnosis? Any help would be so much appreciated. Thank you so much!!!


  72. Sharon Blutcher says:

    Hi – I’m a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump with hypothyroid and celiac disease. I’ve been trying to loose weight and not having much luck. I eat pretty clean since I’m gluten free and follow a low card, high protein diet. I’m very active as well, exercising 4-5 days a week. I just saw my endo, my TSH came back at 3.74. I’ve been on levothyroxine for years but asked my dr if I could go on Armor Thryoid, she told me now but put me on a T3 pill liothyroxine. I’m hoping the combo will help me loose weight. Does anyone else take these two pills? What has your experience been. Also is my TSH # too high?

  73. noushin maneshi says:

    My daughter is born with congenital hypothyroidism. She is currently taking syntheroid but I am wondering if there is anything out there that contains no chemical fillers? Any information helps. Thanks kindly.

  74. Amy Vance says:

    So I had a complete thyroidectomy at age 13 due to Graves Dx. I have 5 year old twins and the last 7 years have been exhausting. My levels seem to be on the low side of normal but I’m always exhausted. I work full time as an RN and was also diagnosed with SLE-lupus about 7-8 years ago. I’m looking more into Armour due to the energy people seem to get from stitching. I’ve been on Synthroid for 23 years…I just don’t know where to start.;) thanks for any suggestions, insite.

  75. WOW. I’m curious if anyone can give some insight on lab interpretations. October 2013 I went in for a full-check up because I was off kilter mentally and something was wrong. That’s when I found out about my thyroid. I’ve been hesitant to jump prescription medication and have been working with a naturpath using various supplements. I’m taking 12 supplements daily (which is extreme in my opinion).

    Here’s the breakdown, I start with high TSH then drop to the other end of the spectrum with a low TSH and get a low positive for antibodies that haven’t been present before. T4 has been pretty constant. Any insights or similar experiences? Can someone interpret these results on what’s happening with my thyroid?

    OCT 2013 (diagnosis hypothyroidism w/o Hashimoto)
    TSH: 4.780
    T4: .96
    TPO: 11
    Triiodothyronine: no result
    Reverse T3: no result
    Antithyroglobulin Ab: no result

    FEB 2014 (vitamin supplements)
    TSH: 2.710
    T4: .93
    TPO: no result
    Triiodothyronine: 3.1
    Reverse T3: no result
    Antithyroglobulin Ab: no result

    AUG 2014 (vitamin supplements)
    TSH: 1.380
    T4: .98
    TPO: <6
    Triiodothyronine: 3.0
    Reverse T3: 25
    Antithyroglobulin Ab: low positive <1.0

    • Kelly, it is great that you are working with natural supplements. I strongly belief it must be our first choice of defense. I use essential oils and ess oil based supplements to keep Grave’s disease at bay without any synthetic medication. I am so glad I did not do the surgery or radiation treatment. I personally know 2 people who got completely opposite effect after radiation. Now they have low thyroid function and have to take synthetic hormones.
      I was under Endocrinologist supervision for two years. This January she released me. I am all set. As long as I give my body enough rest and do not work late hours I am fine. I even do not use ess oils as often as I used to. Keep trying; it worth it. Be healthy. Olga

  76. Anna Sanders says:


    Thank you for a great website and priceless info;-)

    I wanted to ask you something: you mentioned in a previous post that you are now taking Naturethroid and doing great on it, although it too was reformulated shortly after Armour. But, in your opinion, is Naturethroid still working? If that is the case, I might try that, because Armour did not work at all. Was Naturethroid not reformulated just like Armour, that is, dextrose was reduced, and cellulose raised…?

  77. SP Graham says:

    Thank you so very much for your fine, thoughtful, informative approach to sharing precious data regarding one very difficult subject. Your article is one of the best I’ve come across in years of research in the ever challenging arena of medicine. The fact is that we are all ‘zebras’, not ‘horses’; as my health-care industry sister speaks of our fellow humans.
    Generalizations do not assist those suffering the ups and downs of medicinal swings. It has been 14 years since my once blessed thyroid gland was removed. 6 or 7 different doctors have tried to wangle the ‘right’ medicine to assist my body to its return to something resembling ‘normal’. Eventually there may be a solution. One shouldn’t give up.
    Trial and error seems to be one of the only ways to get things closer to the return really good health.
    Your suggestion regarding second and third opinions or diagnoses is spot-on. It could be a matter of life or death. I’ve experienced A-fib caused by a doctor’s lack of communication regarding an important thyroid blood testing result; the experience far less than fun and cost a lot to be medically corrected at local hospital ER. I now receive my own blood testing results, sometimes before my family practitioner.
    Here’s hoping that more HypothyroidDads or GrandDads review your site more for the wisdom shared, even though evidence seems to show that fewer men suffer from problematic thyroid glands then the female gender.
    Continued success on your web site. Best wishes.

  78. Nkechi obi says:

    My TSH is 18.340 uIU/ml, my T4 is 55.41nmol/lit and T3 is 1.44nmol/lit.
    I am currently on 75 mg. but feel very sick. My bp is very high. I feel worse when I increased dosage to 100mg and 88mg. What do you advise I do.

  79. Anna Sanders says:

    I have been doing fine on Erfa Thyroid for the past three years, although I have been itching terribly lately on 30 + 60 mg pills…I have now switched to 125 mg pills, and the itching is all but gone. I read somewhere that the different strength pills contain different fillers and binders, but I never believed it until now…

    I’d like to know if anyone else has noticed this? I have several friends doing great on Armour Thyroid, and I have considered switching to it too, but the fact that I have been doing great on Erfa (besides the itching) makes me hesitate…if it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it, right…?

    • I have also been having terrible itching on Erfa lately. I ordered new bottles in September, and they look different (the labels are no longer white and blue, but white and green and pink and green depending on strength). The new pills look slightly different too compared to the older ones (the new ones are brighter) when I hold them under a lamp…

      I have been waiting for the itching to subside, hoping it was just temporary and that I needed to get used to new fillers…but it is getting worse, it even keeps me awake at night. I have been on Erfa for the past three years with no problems at all, and now this…not sure what to do?! I have been considering trying Armour Thyroid instead, but all the negative reviews about the reformulated Armour, and the return of a host of hypo symptoms in many, make me hesitant….would NP Thyroid be an alternative? I read somewhere that it is exactly like Armour was before it was reformulated…

  80. Hi everyone,

    I’m in the UK and just wanted to say what a god send your site is.

    What a horrible journey most of us seem to be on 🙁
    I’m a 33yr old mum of two little ones. I went to my dr initially with back pain and feeling exhausted (but I believe I have felt that way a long time but blamed work/kids etc) my initial bloods showed two abnormal patterns -tsh was 18 and I had elevated creatinine (84 I believe) although my t4 was not under.
    Forward a few months of living hell where I felt so ill I couldn’t stop crying and had lots of weird symptoms. I eventually saw a diff Dr who told me I tested positive for antibodies & later on an endo confirmed I had enlarged thyroid glad. Started on 25 levothyroxine & now up to 75mg.
    The good news my latest bloods showed my tsh was down to 2.0 – I was gobsmacked when she told me as I still feel as dreadful as ever.
    I, like many others just want the old me back it’s s hard living each day as an uphill struggle & I refuse to believe this is my life forever.
    Has anybody else had their hypo affect their kidneys/liver/electrolytes.. It worries me that I’m young and always looked after myself.. I’m healthy weight etc yet my vital organs are being affected. They hadn’t improved despite the normal tsh range & I still feel fatigued/back pain/anxious. (Should point out I had lots of blood work/urine test and nothing obvious showing e.g infection) I’ve also been gluten free for few months.
    Sorry for the long post, would love to hear from you guys.

    Le x

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  82. I’ve been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and was prescribed Liothyronine Tab 25MCG one a day. I took this for a month and was first week of my second month and stopped. Taking in the mornings I suffered panic attacks, which I was already struggling with so I started taking at bedtime. I felt great at first but about three weeks into taking the medicine, I started feeling worse. Like a wrung out dish cloth! My Dr. stated he may have given me the wrong medication and it was burning up to much of my energy. He then prescribed Levothyroxine .025mg tab. one a day. I can’t take this at all as it makes me feel horrible.

    I don’t understand the test results and wonder if I even need to be on meds. I do have most of the symptoms, but was wondering if results are low enough to be on meds and maybe that is why I feel worse when I take them rather than better. My main symptoms are severe fatigue, weight gain, especially in my stomach, dry skin, trouble staying asleep, severe depression and mood swings ( also being treated for bi-polar II)

    July test results
    Free T3-2.4
    Total T4 – 5.0
    TSH – 2.084

    November results
    Free T3-3.1
    Total T4 – 3.9
    TSH – 2.223

    My doctor never mentioned Hypothyroidism until November even after all my complaints previously. The last visit in November, I told him again of being so tired, not being able to lose weight and heavy and aching legs. any suggestions?

  83. mitzi hill says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and was prescribed Liothyronine Tab 25MCG one a day. I took this for a month and was first week of my second month and stopped. Taking in the mornings I suffered panic attacks, which I was already struggling with so I started taking at bedtime. I felt great at first but about three weeks into taking the medicine, I started feeling worse. Like a wrung out dish cloth! My Dr. stated he may have given me the wrong medication and it was burning up to much of my energy. He then prescribed Levothyroxine .025mg tab. one a day. I can’t take this at all as it makes me feel horrible.

    I don’t understand the test results and wonder if I even need to be on meds. I do have most of the symptoms, but was wondering if results are low enough to be on meds and maybe that is why I feel worse when I take them rather than better. My main symptoms are severe fatigue, weight gain, especially in my stomach, dry skin, trouble staying asleep, severe depression and mood swings ( also being treated for bi-polar II)

    July test results
    Free T3-2.4
    Total T4 – 5.0
    TSH – 2.084

    November results
    Free T3-3.1
    Total T4 – 3.9
    TSH – 2.223

    My doctor never mentioned Hypothyroidism until November even after all my complaints previously. The last visit in November, I told him again of being so tired, not being able to lose weight and heavy and aching legs. any suggestions?

  84. I just found your website – very informative. I am 62 and have had low thyroid for 15 years. TSH was 20.2 then – put on 100 Synthroid and then it was lowered to 88. Had all the usual symtoms (except for weight gain, I lost and was down to about 100 lbs.), took close to a year to feel normal again. I felt fine for about 14 years after that. Then this past August got a stomach flu, then a sinus infection (on antibiotics) and finally a terrible head cold and cough that lasted weeks. Couldn’t seem to get better. One night I felt like my blood sugar was off – I have a Type 1 diabetic sister who had given me an extra blood sugar monitor. I tended to hypoglycemia when my thyroid went wacky in the beginning. Much to my surprise my sugar was HIGH (240) when I tested it! I made an appointment with my family doctor who did blood work and pronounced me pre-diabetic. At that time in September my thyroid was perfect at 1.2. I decided to do what a friend of mine did and cut out all white carbs, excess sugars, etc. to lower her levels and avoid having to take medication. Within a month started feeling HORRIBLE and knew the symtoms only too well – I was convinced it was my thyroid again and it was. Tested again and was then at 9.1. Doctor upped my dosage to 100. That was beginning of December but it only seemed to get worse. Went to see my sister’s endocrinologist who ran many tests, including most of the ones mentioned in these comments. Only know that my TSH is now
    12.2 – rest of results not back yet. So, I now test my blood sugars which go up and then drop dramatically – have to eat something every 2 hours, sometimes more and still feel awful all the time. Anybody else have the sugar problems as well as thyroid????

  85. Jesslyn Michel says:

    Hi there:) I’m new to this site and I recently had my thyroid removed at the end of September due to nodules on my thyroid and am now on Levothyroxine 0.15 mg is my dosage. I have noticed that a week before my menstrual cycle my hormones are out of whack more then usual and I’m very anxious. I don’t feel this way all the time it comes and it goes. I don’t have the lathargic symptoms as much. I’m 31 and have a 19 month old and I’ve noticed handling stress is much more difficult at times. Just wondering if by not having a Thyroid anymore I am Hypothyroid and is it easier to find the right dosage or is it the same as anyone?

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  88. Just had another blood test, and now with a .484 TSH, which is back down on the bottom of the graph again. I’ve had a lot of fluctuation throughout the years, yet my Dr.’s comments for this recent result were “looks good, we’ll keep you on that dosage again.” I’m presently on .88mcg Levothyroxine, but I’d like to make a change: 1) in taking both T4 & T3 OR
    2) trying Armour. Any helpful suggestions.???
    My overall symptoms are the same: dry skin, hair loss, moody, depressed at times, lethargic, and gaining weight !! Thanks!!

  89. radhika says:

    i am suffering from thyroid t3,t4 are normal but tsh 16.46 so plz give reply wich medition you suggese

  90. hi, I am 43 yrs of age trying to conceive for the last 3 years i got married late, my TSH is 3.45 and am taking eltroxine 50mcgms for the last 3yrs. we have have undergone 3 UTI but failed so can you tell me should i increase my dose of medicine to conceive or my TSH is normal for conceiving.

  91. Hairsutism


    Over production of Androgens hormone.


    -Abnormality in ovarian

    Adrenal gland or pituitary gland over production of androgen.


    A woman with the mildest form of hirsutism may notice significant growth of hair that is mature (the same color as scalp hair) on the upper lip, chin, sideburn area, around the nipples or lower abdomen. More advanced hirsutism will cause mature hair to grow on the upper back, shoulders, sternum and upper abdomen.


    If you need more testing, you are likely to have several blood tests:

    The hormones testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone may be measured to check for signs of polycystic ovary syndrome, ovary tumors, adrenal gland tumors, adrenal gland hormone deficiencies (causing overgrowth, or hyperplasia, of the adrenal glands) or tumors that can stimulate the adrenal glands.

    The hormone prolactin may be measured to check for signs of a tumor in the pituitary gland.

    Blood sugar and cholesterol levels may be tested, because diabetes and high levels of cholesterol commonly are associated with some causes of hirsutism.

    Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may order additional hormone tests to help clarify the reason you are producing too much androgen by evaluating the function of your adrenal gland and pituitary gland. In some cases, your doctor will want to see a picture of one or more organs. Commonly used tests are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the adrenal glands or an ultrasound of the ovaries.

  92. I have just recently started taking levothyroxine and i am having vision problems . does anyone know if this is perhaps a side effect .

  93. SANDY HOLLY says:

    I was prescribed levothyroxine 0.05mg , and I never knew my thyroid was a problem!!!!! What are common symptoms for the hypothyroidism? Im confused, I actually had stopped taking the medicine as I felt no change or difference in my everyday life. I did go back on as the nurse chewed me out for stopping it, but I’m still not sure why I was given it, only that I was given it after blood work.

  94. Hi, I’m hooked to your website, blog etc… I live in the UK I was diagnosed with under active thyroid when I was pregnant with my son nearly 9 years ago although I think it was under active for about 3 years previous to that. After I gave birth I was put straight on thyroxine and then monitored. I had my thyroid taken out completely in the August after giving birth so nearly a year later as I had goitres and cancer lumps. At first I was feeling so much better I lost weight, had so much more energy, depression had lifted etc… But a year after that it was like I went back to having a under active thyroid… Weight put back on… Depression at a all time low… Hair falling out… Nails breaking… No adrenaline I could go on and on…. Since then for the last 7 years I have been up and down with my medication the highest I was on was 250 micrograms of levothyroxine but it did nothing I went to see a ‘specialist ‘ and to be honest he was useless he didn’t have a clue …. I pushed for months for adding t3 so he finally took down the levothyroxine to 175microgrames and gave me 20mcg of liothyronine … I seem to be better but still have all the symptoms of a under active thyroid .stress… More hair loss ( including eyebrows and lashes) no sex drive… No adrenaline… Tired all the time… . I recently had a blood test done and the doctor wants to put my levothyroxine back up to 200microgrammes but it gives me heart palpitations….. The other thing I should add is me and hubby are desperately trying for a baby and whilst they keep messing with this my ovulation a are all over the place and we can’t conceive …. Can you offer any advice I’m going crazy with such little help here in the UK ?!

  95. gianna says:

    HI, I m writing from CHile.
    Here we are almost isolated about information on natural ways to treat hypothyroid, and nor NT nor Armour T are available on the market.
    My question is: Thyroid Support, produced by Natures sunshine, belongs to dessicated thyroid kind of medicines?
    Thanks for all your posts.

  96. Meghan says:

    I have been treated for hypothyroidism since my early 20’s and I am now 32 and on a daily dose of 75mg Synthroid but I still have all the symptoms so much that I am angry at myself for the lack of “drive” and energy to get anything done and just sleep.

    I live in Canada and am afraid if I mention I want to try to have T3/T4 combination medication my doctor is just going to dismiss my concerns. What can I do?

  97. Ed Arnold says:

    I question the accuracy of this article. The article claims Cytomel contains gluten. Glutenfreedrugs.com says Cytomel does NOT contain gluten. Before I went on Cytomel, I contacted King Pharmaceuticals, which sent me a letter declaring that Cytomel is gluten free.

  98. Dear M’am,

    Can U please look at the following test resuls and let me as to what is the diagnosis according to ur kind self ? I have taken the thyroid tests 4 times and the endocrinologist told that it is borderline though I have full-fledged symptoms of depression, extreme fatigue, anemia, excruciating headaches, cervical disc degeneration, stenosis, muscle pain to the extent that one side of my body is degenerated in muscle mass and terrible joint pain in shoulders, swelling in the head which recedes occasionally, a very hard lump at the back of the neck, very hard, stiff neck on 1 side…bodily secretions are very poor…an inflammed stomach / intestine…to the extent that I cannot tolerate even a bit of spice or hot foods (Chillies etc.)…..My readings are :
    Latest : TSH – 5.37, free t3 – 3.44, free t4 – 0.71, anti-thyroglobulin antibodies – 194.38
    2014 : TSH – 4.08, free t3 – 3.4, free t4 – 0.83, anti-thyroglobulin antibodies – 120.64,
    2013 : TSH – 5.63, free t3 – 2.32, free t4 – 1.05, anti-thyroglobulin antibodies – 182.32
    and all the times titre of anti- bodies for peroxidase turns out to be < 1.

    Please let me know as to what am I suffering from and whether it would be wise to start t4 or t3 therapy and which one if so ?

    Thank you.

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  101. Hi!
    I’ve been through it the past 6 years. Long story short I’ve been battling a chronic illness(cpn) and finally recovered from it and got my immune system up. Ironically my immune system started attacking my thyroid (hashis) as well as my sebaceous glands (sjorgrens). Neither have showed up in my labs although I haven’t retested for the sjorgrens since my immune system started working again. But my question is about hashimotos. I have all the ugly symptoms even down to ammonia smelling urine, nightsweats and low blood sugar. So my dr tried me in the wilsons temp protocol. I took the sustained release t3 and I would get all the way up to 75mcg and for that day I felt great! (But Slightly tired for 1st hour) Temp went up and all sx disappear. But the next day I would take the same dose and low and behold-my temp would plummet and I’d feel tired again. So then we figured that wilsons wouldn’t work since I couldn’t keep my temp up so he decided to try me on cytomel since I did respond somewhat to the SR t3. Well, he put me on 25mcg twice a day. The first day was great. Felt gret and temp went up. The second day I felt awful. So tired and sleepy I couldn’t hold my eyes open. My temp dropped and I have felt bad since. I’ve been on it for a week now. I feel like cytomel is making my autoimmune sx worse. I’m so tired I can’t get out of bed. None of my hypo sx have returned yet but my skin is so dry and the fatigue is killing me. Can anyone help?? My labs show nothing. They never did. The only thing they show are high WBC and high absolute neutrophils. I’m not gluten or dairy intolerant but I do eat healthy and avoid both for the most part. Has anyone taken cytomel and it made them sleepy?? Thanks in advance.

    • Ed Arnold says:

      First, I can’t recommend time-release T3. I never found it had an advantage in my case.

      So what are your labs showing from 25mcg 2x/day? Where are your TSH and FT3? Are you taking T3-only, or have you added T4 to the mix? Temp drop says to me that you are climbing the “sawtooth” and haven’t gotten to the right dose yet. When I was on T3-only, I was taking 62.5mcg/day and that may not have been quite enough. I’ve heard of people who have taken up to 150mcg/day … the late John Lowe was such a person.

      Also part of your problem may be that you’re not taking T3 at night. See “T3CM” at StopTheThyroidMadness.com. Taking T3 in the middle of the sleep cycle, usually at a dose in the range 10-25mcg, is a tremendous adrenal support for some patients. If you are one of the T3CM people, that could help you have a more normal adrenal rhythm, which could reduce daytime sleepiness …. assuming your total daily dose is sufficient.

      BTW, are you one of those people who is NDT and/or T4 intolerant?

      • Ed,
        Thx for the reply:) I actually used the SR T3 twice daily. So it was at 75mcg in the morning (9am) and 75mcg at night (9pm). The Wilson’s protocol call for it this way bc it has to be a steady release in your system. On the protocol you gradually increase t3 in increments of 7.5mcg every day until your temp rises to 98.6 and then you try to stay on that dose as long as you can or until your body compensates and temp drops. Then you start the cycle all over. I got to 75mcg twice daily and then the next day I tried 75mcg and my temp dropped. So thats why my dr put me on Cytomel instead of any t4 meds. We figured since it helped a few of my symptoms and my temp actually went up that cytomel would work. But i think it had something in it that flared my autoimmune diseases. I’ve never experienced anything like that. I was so sleepy I literally stayed in bed all day. And today I didn’t take the cytomel but I did take the SR T3 and i feel better. But my temp is still low and i have hypo symptoms. So I don’t know what happened. My labs are are good-i’ve worked in the medical field so i know what they look like. Unfortunately i don’t have access to them right now due to us painting the house (everything is out of its place). I even did the RT3 and FT3 conversion and it was good at 23. I was concerned about going to high a dose with T3 bc i believe that it also suppreses the thyroid at a high dose (could be wrong).

        • Ed Arnold says:

          After suffering thru the Wilson Protocol, I finally came to the conclusion that I could do well on Cytomel. I ended up being on 5*12.5mcg doses of Cytomel per day until my doc nagged me to get back on T3+T4.

          I have to assume you’ve never had insomnia from hypoT. Since I had severe insomnia for a long time, I don’t necessarily see sleepiness as a bad thing. The fact that you’re having disruptive sleepiness during the day, I see as a clue to try nighttime dosing to see what that does.

          • No I don’t suffer from insomnia. I also thought cytomel would work but man it did me wrong. I’m just not sure why.

  102. Hello Dr. I am 28 years old male from India. I am suffering from auto immune hypo thyroid. My current test reports are T3 (Cerum)- 83.43, T4(Cerum)- 7.4 & TSH – 3.35. Method of testing is CLIA. At present I am taking daily 75 MCG of Eltroxine. I am trying to put some weight but after eating also too much fruits, meats etc also I am not able to gain even an ounce of mass. My height is 165 cms and weight is 56 KGS. I also do not feel energetic after sleeping for 7 hours. Iseen too many doctors for thyroid but they are telling all the reports are normal but I do not feel good. After working for some hours only I get exhausted. Please suggest me what next to do. I don’t feel contipitation , but there is a loss in hair.

    • Ed Arnold says:

      You won’t feel well and energetic until you figure out what is causing autoimmune thyroiditis, and get rid of it. One common cause is gluten, but there are many others, such as artificial sweeteners, as well as general environmental pollution. It would be helpful if you would add units to your T3 and T4 readings, as the units you use are obviously not the ones I’m used to in the US. Optimal (functional medicine) range is 1<TSH<2, and the AACE range is 0.3<TSH<3.0, so your TSH is obviously too high. What are your TPO and TG antibody readings?

      Chances are that you would feel better if you were on T3+T4 or NDT therapy. I don't know if those are options in the Indian medical system.

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  106. Any one knows about an instrument that measures TSH
    for use at home. or an home kit for a blood test that mesures TSH
    that I can purchase ?

    • Hi Nurit, I don’t know of a device for home use but I do know of trusted online lab companies that you can order your own thyroid lab tests and even get expert advice from them to interpret results. I’ve used True Health Labs myself and found them very good. A functional medicine physician helped interpret my results for me and I found that invaluable because I couldn’t afford to go regularly to a functional medicine physician. Here are sample lab tests with them and they have more comprehensive thyroid testing too.


  107. Hi All,

    I also dealing with hypothyroid sendrome since 5 years. I use euthyrox 100mg per day. Although I use this drug, when I was in NY I met Gaia herbs thyroid support which only include herbals. I bought it and I use it about 1 month. It really works. My levels get better than before started. But I give up to use it cause I am not able to continue this product due to in my city there is no any Gaia herb sale office in Istanbul/Turkey . Does anyone use it ? Or What do you recommend for non drug/alternative medicine for hypothyroid problem?

  108. This whole article, and all of the comments, have been a huge eye opener for me! I was diagnosed with hypothyroid in November of 1999. I take 50mcg once a day. Although my levels are considered in the “normal” range, I have always still had my symptoms. Extreme fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, menstrual issues, and the list goes on! In the last couple of years, I’ve also started having bizarre allergic reactions to anything that touches my face. I have swollen up so badly, that I had to take prednizone. Most recently, I reacted to the gloves my dentist wears….which are nitrile not even latex. And now my dentist is considering not having me as a patient anymore because they can’t do any kind of dental work without wearing gloves for their protection. Although I completely understand where she is coming from, this is still very frustrating.
    After reading all of this, I am wondering if it would be beneficial to take T3 medication along with my Snythroid. I was so intrigues by this article, that I called and made an appointment with my doctor. I go in tomorrow morning, and am excited to go over all of this with her and see what plan we may be able to get started on!
    Thank you!!

  109. Hi,

    I just received the following test results and recommendation:

    T3,FREE 2.4 – 4.2 pg/mL 1.9

    TSH, 3RD GENERATION 0.34 – 5.60 uIU/mL 0.05

    T4,FREE,NON-DIALYSIS 0.60 – 1.60 ng/dL 0.88

    Increase Synthroid to 112mcg daily.

    Shouldn’t I be on T3? Is the analogy somewhat like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time? How will increasing the Synthroid help the T3?

    Any advice and / or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  110. I am 35 years old and I have been struggling with hypothyroidism for over 15 years.
    I have tried synthroid, levoxyl, cytomel, Armor, and now on Nature-Throid. Armor I did the best on but still did not feel like me and I felt tired all the time. I just started on Nature-throid and my TSH is now 2.10, T3=4.5 and T4 is 1.0. I have heart palputations, anxiety, frustration, sleeplessness, yet tired all the time, exhaustion, mental fog, did I mention I never feel good? Can anyone share their Rx experiences or offer advice?

  111. I am 36 and have been dealing with Hymoshioto (I’m a bad speller sorry) for approx 8 years. Over that 8 years I have slowly gained nearly 50lbs! I’m energetic when I wake up and after a couple of hour tired. I try to be active but if I exersize I am drained after. Tingling and numbness in wrists, hands and sometimes feet. Mood swigs and depression (depression is getting worse and they threw me in wellbutrine). I do have three nodules on my gland but they are concise red benine at this point an they will monitor every other year. I am on levothyroxine 100 mg everyday with 1-1/2 pills three times a week. I get overwhelmed, my memory is horrible and I can not find the right words when talking half the time. I feel horrible for my family for dealing with this! I do have three children (16,9 &3). But my husband and I share the work load and when I talk to drs (I have gone thre four) they all tell me it is not from thyroid that I just need to loose weight and am depressed. I’m lost and just keep going down! May I ask more info about t3? Can you buy on Amazon? Would it be worth a shot?

  112. Norma Penny says:

    I’ve been on Levothyroxine sodium, Eletroxin .05 mg tablets for well over a year. I feel like such a dummy because I don’t know anything about Hypothyroidism. All this talk about T3 and T4, etc. is like a foreign language to me. I believe my doctor simply put me on it after I had routine blood work. Can anyone tell me where I can start to find out more about this condition and what these T thingies are all about? I have other medical conditions that I get the impression have the same symptoms as Hypothyroidism but I’m not sure because I’ve only read that someone said they just didn’t feel good. That’s how I feel too, but I also have Fibromyalgia and I had a triple bypass, one of the arteries harvested from my leg is blocked due to diabetes (Type II). So who knows why I feel this way. Any info you can provide me is really appreciated. Thanks peeps.

  113. Hello,

    I had RAI two years ago and I became hypothyroid 8 months after that. I started out on Levothyroxine but I did not feel better. I ended up switching to Amour and all my symtoms have gone away but I can not loose weight .I have tried everything except surgery. How hard is it to get once doctor to switch to Natural -throid

  114. Hy..I’m From Pakistan And I’m 22Year Old..I Suffer From HypoThyroidism from don’t know how many time But I the following syptoms are available in my Body Like Dry hair,depresion,dry skin,Fatigue.low memory loss,Muscle aches,limited Thoughts.puffy face and Mostly Heavy Menstrual peroid.
    Please I request all of You that What I do First(Suggest Test Or Medc).I Really Feel so happiness to visit this website.I waiting For Your’s Reply.

  115. Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this coincidence
    didn’t took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  116. I got my test results in April 2015, the doctors diagnosed Hypothyroidism, I’v been on thyronorm 150 mcg for the past 6 month. I got the test done once in July, the results were great. The doctor however advised me to continue the 150 mcg dosage for 3 months & then get it tested again. Recently I have started getting bald patches & graying in my beard. Is there any thing that can stop the patches

  117. Hi,
    I just started taking 50 mg levothyroxine on the 8th and about 20 minutes after taking it I get horrible headaches that last all day. As soon as I get up I feel fine and then I take the pill again an BAM, headache again. I called the doctor and he said it wasn’t from the med. he told me to stop taking it for a week and than start again. I haven’t taken it fir two days and no headaches. I hate it when the doctor makes you feel like a nut case. I had been on it for 12 days and the headaches were getting worse with every pill I’d take. Anyone ever experienced this.

  118. Desperate…that’s the only word I can think of to describe how I’m feeling. Hypothyroid for the past 27 years and have never had relief from my life altering symptoms! Have always taken Synthroid. Tried Cytomel but it had no affect. I’ve been to so many doctors, including endocronologists and they all basically tell me that my symptoms are just part of my physiology and I have to live with them. I have no energy! No quality of life! I’m in despair! They say my levels are normal on Synthroid so…sorry about your luck. That’s my life in a nutshell. Every day is a struggle. I’m so extremely tired and forgetful. What should I be asking my endocronologist? To start me on a T3 along with the Synthroid? Any advice is so welcomed!!

    • Oh Amy I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. That is how I would have described my life before thankfully finding a good doctor who understood that my labs meant nothing if I didn’t feel well. Often times TSH is the only test run. I feel my best taking natural desiccated thyroid (I take Nature-throid) and a time-release T3 (from a compounding pharmacy) but I feel awful if my Free T3 is low or even middle of the normal range. I feel my best with my Free T3 is top of the normal range. So you see if I went a doctor that went just by normal I would be very ill. Here are resources to help you locate an open-minded doctor:


    • This is exactly how I feel right now 🙁

  119. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and a TSH of 76.6 I was started on 150 mcg of Levothyroxine and ended up in the ER with my heart rate going nuts. My dosage was reduced to 50 mcg and the anxiety was terribly high, I felt like I was going to go insane and not to mention the nausea and other things. I’ve been given ND Thyroid, generic for Armour. I was told to start on one half grain and I am scared to death I’m going to have the same reaction due to the levo in it. Does anyone know if it’s the same? I feel I’ll have better luck, just scared to even start it. Haven’t taken anything for about 4-5 days now and I know I need to. Please help! Scared to death!

  120. I am so glad I found this site….

    I have been hypothyroid (Hashimotos) since my middle child was 2 (he is 25 now). My levels stayed pretty consistent (some variations) up until I had a total hysterectomy in 2013.
    I am receiving monthly estrogen shots. The incredible anxiety I get off of the estrogen is debilitating.
    I have been up and down since. I cannot seem to get on a right dose. I was referred to an endocrinologist who is very hard to get in touch with after a visit. I recently had to go back to my GP to have thyroid testing done again because of the incredible weakness, anxiety, constipation, cold intolerance and hair loss I was experiencing. My levels jumped from 1 to 4.5 in 3 months!! So I was increased from 100 to 112 mcg. That was 5 days ago and I’m still feeling terrible. I can’t focus at all (as you can see by this rambling message) but I still have to work!!
    I’m starting to feel I may need to have T3 added to my regimen. What do you think?

    This whole ordeal is driving me (and my family) crazy 🙁

  121. Hi, I have Hashimoto and I am on a Combined T4/T3 Therapy (75/10) Since I moved from just T4 to T4/T3 I am facing a strong cystic acne that has covered my whole neck and half of my face. Does anybody had these side effects when switching to combined therapy? Thank you so much.

  122. could you please mention the names of the medicines?
    especially of the time released one

  123. Hi Nurit, The time-release T3 medication that I take does not have a name because it is created by a compound pharmacy. I take this in addition to a brand name of natural desiccated thyroid called Nature-throid. Speak to your doctor about these options.


  1. […] Optimal 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 improving. This is a critical step for every hypothyroidism sufferer. If you are reading this article right now and you suffer from chronic constipation but you’ve never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, please get your thyroid tested. If you are being treated with thyroid medication but you still suffer from common symptoms like constipation, take a closer look at whether you are being optimally treated. […]

  2. […] Optimal 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 improving. This is a critical step for every hypothyroidism sufferer. If you are reading this article right now and you suffer from chronic constipation but you’ve never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, please get your thyroid tested. If you are being treated with thyroid medication but you still suffer from common symptoms like constipation, take a closer look at whether you are being optimally treated. […]

  3. […] Optimal Thyroid Treatment. In mainstream medicine Levothyroxine drugs are the gold standard for the treatment of hypothyroidism. While these drugs work for some, for many they fail to relieve symptoms. Levothyroxine drugs contain T4 thyroid hormone only. Our bodies are supposed to convert that T4 thyroid hormone to the active T3 hormone our cells need. For many of us our bodies don’t convert T4 to T3 properly, leaving us symptomatic. Many of us do better on a combination of T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement treatment. It wasn’t until I found a great doctor open to exploring the thyroid drug options to find what was right for me that my constipation began improving. It 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 desiccated thyroid and it changed my life. She retested my levels regularly in the beginning and increased my dosage each time until one day I felt incredible. All my hypothyroidism symptoms improved including my life-long constipation. I felt so good I cried. If you are reading this article right now and you suffer from chronic constipation but you’ve never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, please get your thyroid properly tested. If you are being treated with thyroid medication but you still suffer from common symptoms like constipation, take a closer look at whether you are being optimally treated. Finding a doctor open to comprehensive thyroid testing and thyroid treatment options is key. Sadly not all doctors are open to the options and it can be a very frustrating journey. I’ve put together resources to help readers locate great thyroid doctors across the globe. […]

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  13. […] all it is critical that your hypothyroidism is optimally treated. ‘Normal’ doesn’t necessarily mean your thyroid lab tests are […]

  14. […] is much debate about whether it’s better to take straight thyroxin or a version that has both T4 and T3. The former is produced by the big pharmaceutical companies. Ergo, you’ll find most doctors and […]

  15. […] T4-only drugs like Synthroid. I’ve heard so many stories of doctors refusing to try the other thyroid medication options including natural desiccated thyroid even though their patients are suffering debilitating […]

  16. […] person and not strictly my lab numbers. I personally take a natural desiccated thyroid called Nature-throid plus a time-release T3 medication created by a compounding pharmacy. My TSH is suppressed below […]

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  27. […] hypothyroidism. So I think you should try a different kind of medication,” he said and prescribed Liothyronine (T3) which I was to take together with my usual T4 […]

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  33. […] symptoms did not go away – they got worse. It wasn’t until she got a new doctor who added Liothyronine (T3) to her treatment regimen that she felt well again. Her website is From Hypothyroid to […]

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