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Thyroid, Normal but Not Right

By Mary_RD on Apr 12, 2011 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

By Mary Hartley, RD, MPH

It is not so easy to ameliorate the symptoms of hypothyroidism according to a recent study published in the medical journal, Thyroid.  The study found that many patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the most common form of hypothyroidism, continue to have residual symptoms even though their thyroid function tests come back normal from the lab.

A Hypothyroidism Primer

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that secretes hormones that regulate the speed of metabolism.  Metabolism is all the chemical reactions that occur in the body to maintain life.  The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).  T4 and T3 are made by the thyroid as directed by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), produced by the pituitary gland.  During hypothyroidism, T4 and T3 levels fall while TSH rises as the pituitary pushes the thyroid to produce more hormones. 

Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an auto-immune condition that occurs in response to thyroid inflammation.  At this point, no one knows what causes it.  The symptoms are non-specific and may develop over the course of many years.  Doctors are usually prompted to test when a patient reports feelings of chronic tiredness and sluggish, dry hair and skin, depression and forgetfulness, constipation, irritability and nervousness, weight gain, and a hoarse voice.  However, not every symptom occurs in every patient, and the symptoms may be due to something else.

To treat hypothyroidism, the doctor prescribes a replacement dose of synthetic T4 and T3 to be taken every day.  A low dose is often started and is increased in small increments every four to six weeks until the TSH level returns to normal.  Some people experience rapid favorable results with thyroid hormone replacement, but for others, the full effects of treatment may not become apparent for many months – or ever. Once a stable maintenance dose is achieved it usually doesn’t change for years. 

Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Sometimes, a person's TSH level is mildly elevated but the T3 and T4 levels are normal and the patient doesn’t complain of symptoms.  That condition is called “subclinical hypothyroidism” and its treatment is controversial.   To prevent the risk of bone fractures that comes with overtreatment, doctors often withhold therapy until T4 and T3 levels drop below normal.  But when asymptomatic patients have high levels of anti-thyroid antibodies, treatment is often initiated to prevent future thyroid failure.  The treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism is individualized at best and frustrating at worst.

Getting It Right

Dr. David S. Cooper, director of the Johns Hopkins Thyroid Clinic in Baltimore told the New York Times, “Roughly 20 percent of people on thyroid replacement therapy receive more hormone than they need.”  But also, “20 percent of people on thyroid hormone don’t take enough medication.”  However, under-treatment is thought to occur mainly in patients who don’t take their medications regularly. 

Still, the authors of the study published in Thyroid acknowledged that some patients continued to report symptoms after thyroid hormone levels returned to normal. They proposed that hypothyroidism might not be the only factor contributing to their symptoms.

The Bottom Line

It would seem wise for patients who struggle on thyroid replacement medications to keep a journal of their symptoms and weight and along with their TSH levels to assist the doctor to make optimal medication adjustments over time.

Your thoughts….

How's your thyroid?


My levels are normal, but I still can't lose any weight at all. It's been years and I'm just getting tired of trying. My weight is just slightly over the normal range, by less than 1, though I'm not happy about the way I look, I just can't obsess over it anymore. There is only one kind of medication around here for it as far as I know, so no choices. The doctors claim my numbers are in the right place, I should be able to function normally, but something is probably not right. You have to wait at least 6 months for a doctor's appointment, so I just can't manage that.

What I don't get in this article is how we're supposed to keep a log of our levels? You need blood tests for it. I get one blood test a year as a check-up. It's always the same. So how could we keep a record?

I think what most doctors don't get is that you have a life, a job and things to do and can't sit in their waiting rooms forever. You eventually get to a point where you just can't keep doing this trial and error thing with them. Things like this can take years and after a while you just give up and try to move on.

I've been on thyroid medicine for several years now and my levels come back normal yet I can't lose any weight. I'm eating healthy, exercise is a problem due to foot and ankle problems but I do walk. I limit my calories yet no weight comes off, it's frustrating.

My TSH is 6.35 but have a normal T3 & T4, however, i feel tired most of the time and prone to cold & heat in addition to other symptoms.

What shall i do ?


I had more trouble with weight gain/loss while I was on the medication. I have found it much easier to loose this time since my primary physician rechecked my levels and discontinued the hormones. However, my hair, skin, nails and sleep patterns still are not great. (Of course, they never were.)

I have A 279;been on Meds most of life for this.. One year I am on the meds , next they take me off...It get to be so fustrating.. I can't loose any weight no matter what I do. I have been tested and they say now I have the hashmioto thyriod. But now that they up it I get headaches everyday which sucks. so at this point I would rather not take it and not have the headaches. my dr. says you should not have the headaches..well she needs to read the side affects...

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and hypothyroidism a few years ago. Devistating since I'm a busy Pilates trainer and mom of 2 little girls.  I was on medication, not losing weight, tired, cranky and fed up. In Feb. '10, I did my first 24 Day Challenge. Since then, I've lost a total of 18lbs, 20inches off my body, have a normal thyroid and feel incredible energy. I had heard from a colleague that eating the right foods, regular exercise & nutrition would improve the attitude & ease symptoms, but who knew that today I'd feel this wonderful again! If you want more information, contact me off my page I created.

I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism for over six years.  My levels are 'normal' but I never feel better.  I found recently that I am extremely aniemic and have extremely low B12 as well.  I am starting to feel better as these levels become normalized. Just a thought for everyone else.

I've been hypothyroid since age 18 (37 years) and my test levels and dosages have changed over the years.  I've learned 1) you should go to an endocrinologist with a thyroid specialty for treatement and followup 2) many endocrinologists think the upper range of "normal" is too high a number 3) We try to keep my TSH below 2.  I see my endocrinologist yearly, but went earlier last year because so much of my hair was falling out.  I needed an adjustment.  She then checked my levels after 3 months and 6 months and because they were the same, i'm back to yearly visits.  I still have great trouble losing weight, but can easily maintain my weight.  It's not perfect, but the medication does help in many areas.

There are MANY things that can affect your medication levels.  If you start another medication, such a s birth control pills, you need to have your T3/T4/TSH checked.  The hormones in these pills will affect the amount of synthroid you take.  I also recommend seeing an endocrinologist to treat your hypothyroidism.   They know so much more about this than a generalist.   I have had a good Dr. treating me for 18 years and it makes a HUGE difference.


question for leahsmom0827:

What is the 24 Day Chalenge?  Thank you. 



@leahsmom  What is the 24 day challenge


I was diagnosed with  a thyroid problem right AFTER i swore into the navy....lost 60 lbs to get in it.... but felt like CRAP... got on pills and was doing off pills..and GAINED A BUTT TON... back on pills and i am BARELY losing any..i need to lose 20 lbs before the navy says..."your to fat for us"  and NOTHING is working...i even doubled up on my pills...  I hate it cause i am VERY active, and eat healthy or in moderation...


I was just diagnosed with Hashimotos and must say that having been treated for about 15 years for hypothyroidism, that the symptoms rarely if ever subside for me. There is always one symptom or another that is nagging me in the background. (The biggest being weight gain followed closely by mood issues)

I have found that its easy to get depressed and feel hopeless, but now knowing that its Hashimotos and that I'm not just crazy..... I have a new vision for myself and that means taking back my life and not letting the mood swings and manic phases make me feel out of control and lost.

I encourage anyone who is feeling 'off' and tired constantly paired with other symptoms to ask their doctor for the simple blood test for Hashimotos or hypothyroidism. Knowing means you can take back your life and live a normal life.

I will be taking medication for the rest of my life, but its a small price to pay to be healthy.


I was diagnosed with hypothroidism when I was very young, the doctors put me on synthroid then between my jr. & sr. year in high school I was in a car accident and they told me I didn't need it any more. About 8 years ago a doctor told me I had nodules on my thyroid and threw in the word cancer, which scared the heck out of me. They did a biopsy and the results were inconclusive, so they removed half of my thyroid. I have been struggling with my weight ever since. The doctors said "at least you're healthy". I have gained 40 lbs and no matter how active I am I just keep gaining. I eat well, exercise, and do a lot of walking to no avail. At one point I did take my self off the medication for about 2 years and I lost weight at first, but then I started have lapses in my memory and really couldn't think straight. When the doctor did a blood test they said my numbers were off the charts and I'm lucky I didn't die. So here I am, back on the meds and fat as ever!! It is so frustrating!

I have hypothyroidism (don't know if it is Hashimoto's, but it probably is) that was triggered by pregnancy.  One thing I've noticed is that if my TSH is above 2, I feel bad, including depressed and slow.  Most doctors that I work with acknowledge that "normal range" is not necessarily normal for individuals, and they have worked with me to the point that I feel good.  These days my TSH is usually between 0.9 and 2.0, and I feel good.  It is true that I tend to be overweight, and the thyroid may be an issue, but i'm not sure of it.


Finally, I forgot my meds at home during a trip last year, so couldn't take them for three days.  I felt worse than I have for years.  Sluggish is an understatement.  I could barely move, felt dizzy, depressed, and will never make that mistake again. 

I had Hashimotos, but went to see my acupuncturist. After 6 months of 1x/week treatments, I finally got in to the endocrinologist who rechecked my blood. My TSH levels came back normal : ) . I didn't want to be on meds for the rest of my life. Turns out, you don't have to...

I've also just discovered... If you drink lots of water all day long, and lower your calorie intake, you WILL lose weight. After 6 months of struggling with a 10 pound weight gain, I JUST discovered this (giggle). Hang in there everyone! Ask God for wisdom, he cares about every think you deal with. He'll answer (you just have to be open to what He wants - even if it's hard) But I was SO over excercising more, diet pills or weight loss shakes. I just decided to be healthy, and last week I lost 2 pounds.

I had the same problems loosing weight but not anymore. I have Hypothyroidism. I switched to brand snythroid medication instead of generic from a doctor recommendation. I nearly gave up trying to loose weight. I watched everything I ate & walked and walked and walked. Jan 1st I tried the 17 day diet book, keep up with walking and it has worked wonders for me & my husband. (I am not at all associated with the book or company) Everything is really healthy. I feel terrific. For what ever reason it has worked great. I have gone down 3 jean sizes. The best part is that I know I can loose weight and my body isn't broken. I started to believe it was impossible for me to loose weight with my hypothyroidism. I know exactly what everyone is saying on this post. The sluggishness, the problems loosing weight, depressed. This is what worked for me to help with these problems. 

In 2002 I was able to lose about 95 pounds from my 283 lb body...I was so proud! Until my checkup found me to be extremely hyperthyroid. I can remember crying to my doctor "I've worked SO hard to lose this weight. Don't tell me that my thyroid is what caused the weight loss!!" I had the RAI done, and sure enough...I slowly started gaining the weight back. Within 3 years I was back up to 280. ALL of my thyroid levels tested normal year after year, so my doctor wouldn't put my on thyroid. In desperation, I went to a "quack" diet doctor who put EVERYONE on thyroid. I managed to lose about 30 pounds after a year or so. I went back to my endocrinologist, had my annual blood work done as usual. When my thyroid levels still showed normal, I fessed up that I had been taking thyroid. She was surprised to say the least, but she put me on synthroid. After a couple of rocky years, I feel like my body is finally cooperating. I am down to 230 and still losing a pound or two a week on a 1600 calorie diet. Now my thyroid is growing back and have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. Ultrasounds every 6 months and biopsies with any significant's a hassle but am feeling halfway decent. Hang in there everyone!

I have been diagnoses with hypothyroidism for just over two year.  When my doctor first started me on th synthroid I was able to lose abot 25lbs.  Which I thought was great as I had been doing wieght wtchers and gaining.  After regulating the meds I am now gaining again putting on the 25lbs plus another 40.  I am at the heaviest I have ever been.  My doctor has told me my levels are within the normal range and I kept telling her something was wrong as I am still gaining weight even after forllowing the calorie count for over six months at the 1200 a day and still gaining.  Who can help me.  I am starting to self medicate as  I am fed up with this.  I have bought the Idione plus 2, but it does not seem to be doing anything I have been on it for a month although I have gained less than normal I am still 150lbs too heavy.  My doctor wont help as she just shrugs her shoulders and says I do not know what it is.  But your thyroid levels are in range.

I want to scream, but after reading all the above maybe some one will come up with an answer as I am not alone.  Doctors, Specialist please findout what the cause of this miserable disease is and help us.

Comment Removed

I couldn't lose weight at all (in years of trying),  gained 10 pounds in 2 weeks (after finally having lost 10 pounds in the 5 weeks before)....and realized something might be wrong with my thyroid. 

I went to a nature store and ended up buying organic flaxseed oil (to eat with salad), coconut oil (to cook my 1 egg every breakfast), a mega food whole food vitamin for women (vitamins from food source, not chemical), acidophilus bifidus (yogurt bacteria for gas, bloating, intestinal tract), and ate salad for lunch and dinner--sometimes had protein with them, ate fruit not more than 1 or 2x a day, and had air popped pop corn w/ parmesan cheese & olive oil for nighttime snack before bed.  I drink at least 4 16oz bottles of water every day, too.  Basically, I cut out almost all starch (potatos, corn, wheat) and FELT GREAT, thanks to the vitamins/oil/yogurt bacteria.  I also began walking 30 minutes almost every day of the week.  Lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks and got energy AGAIN. 

Btw, I quit coffee and tea---caffeine was really messing me up.  Thanks to the multi-whole food vitamin, I didn't even have a "caffeine relapse" afterwards and I didn't have the crazy food hunger pangs, either.    It also does help to get to bed before 10pm and I do wake up around 6:30, sometimes earlier.    Hope this helps someone else, too. 

I have to have my TSH checked regularly and adjusted as well.  If you are hypothyroid you need to be proactive with your treatment and with your doctor.  I prefer Armour thyroid vs Synthroid and I had to plead my case to my doctor.  Synthroid just doesn't work well for me, but I responded immediately to the Armour.  Also, as someone has already mentioned, keeping your TSH level below 2 is optimal.  I always shoot for this goal, but doctors will tell you you are within normal if your TSH is anything below 5.  I am symptomatic above 2!!  Finally, I am also a nutritional counselor and I get clients all the time who say they can't lose weight or have tried everything.  Once they get on a well balanced, well timed, whole food diet they lose weight.  Those of you who say you can't lose weight and have tried everything, you are obviously consuming more calories than you are burning.  Try logging your total food intake for a few days to get a good idea of what you are truly consuming, then you can cut calories based on that.  Hypothyroidism, when treated and managed, is no longer an excuse for excess weight (my doctor informed me of that).  It may be a little harder for us to drop weight due to slower metabolic rates, but it is NOT impossible!  Hang in there, stay consistent and positive in attitude and it will work.

The issue is that not only does hypothyroidism need to be diagnosed and treated, but it also needs to be optimized. And that often means more than just a doctor writing a prescription for Synthroid or another levothyroxine drug, and then telling you to come back in a year for a TSH test. 

I'd recommend thyroid patients sign up for my Thyroid “4 Weeks to Weight Loss for Thyroid Patients” free email ecourse online at:

You can also visit my Thyroid Diet & Information Center online at

Beyond TSH, most importantly, the cutting edge thinking about thyroid and weight loss is to have Leptin and Reverse T3 levels tested, and treated if elevated. I write about this at: loss-diet.htm


(Don’t have a doctor who would do that testing, or even understand it? Check out the Thyroid Top Doctors Directory – we have some who might be able to help: )


For thyroid dieters, I recommend my book "The Thyroid Diet," as well as the "Self-Hypnosis Diet" by Dr. Steven Gurgevich, and Marc David’s book “Slow Down Diet” 


I also have a thyroid diet-focused free email newsletter, called “A Weight Off My Mind." Sign up by sending an email to with "Subscribe Diet" in the subject.

 Mary Shomon

Thyroid Patient Advocate, Author Thyroid Guide

The thyroid is the most misunderstood organ in the human body. Most doctors don't really understand what it does and how it really works. I have a very rare cancer of the thyroid that is hyperactive and weight gain was my very first symptom. It took 5 years to be diagnosed and in that time many doctors called me a hypochondriac. I had repeated thyroid tests done because of my families history of thyroid cancer and they would all come back normal. As long as I fell between the numbers it was all good in doctors eyes.

I can't stress enough how important it is to see a specialist if you are thinking your thyroid is acting up. 99% of regular doctors will not be able to diagnose you. A family physician spends maybe 2 hours of his whole education learning about the thyroid. I was even mis diagnosed by two endocrinologists! How scary is that? Now I see a thyroid oncologist. Being diagnosed with thyroid disease is Probably the hardest thing to get a doctor to do.

If your struggling with this as I did don't give up! Keep searching for a doctor who will take you seriously, the problem might be bigger than you think. I don't have a thyroid anymore but I still have cancer and always will. I sometimes can't help but think that wouldnt be the case if doctors had really listened to me 5 years earlier.

I was first diagnosed with Graves disease but certain things didn't make sense as my thyroid scan didn't present normal for Graves or Hashimotos.  However, the endocrinologist see has seen Graves slowly evolve into Hashimotos.  A big factor was the number of individuals and history of autoimmune deficiency diseases that plague myself and my family, i.e. rheumatoid athritis, MS, Lupus and severe allergies.  My doctor prescribed levothyroxine and was told do not let the pharmacy substitute a generic. 

I'm very active and the biggest help with my weight and energy was limiting my carbs and began walking and increasing my exercise.  I am not affliated with the Atkins group, but in one month of being on the new Atkins (phase I and then to II) I lost over 20 pounds last month and no bloating or swelling which has plagued me.  I read that thyroid disease sufferers shouldn't consume certain foods such as soy products for instance and what a difference it has made changing my diet!  It may be worth a try for some of you.  One thing I have learned from my family (great-grandmother - thyroid cancer, aunts - lupus, MS, and Hashimotos, sisters - rheumatoid and Graves disease) that there are different triggers.  It isn't fun trying to figure out what it is that is aggravating symptoms, but starting with a limited diet and slowly adding foods, I have found some of the foods that have been troublesome for me causing (bloating, bowel trouble, inflammation, sleeplessness, and fatigue) and tracking them and avoiding them is key for me.   Those with Hashimotos know that it (Hashimotos) is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid and may not be the only autoimmunity problem you suffer from. 

I was having all the syptoms of thyroid problems and I had been for years.  I kept going to my primary care physician and telling them something was wrong.  They would tell me "no, your levels are normal."  I still knew their was something wrong.  I made an appointment with an endocronologist.  He did some tests and I found out it was a growth hormone diffenancy.  This is with your pituary gland.  I was put on medication and feel so much better.  If I had continued to listen to my primary physician I would still be having trouble.  I want to let other woman know they can take control of their health.  You know if something is wrong, have it checcked out.  Even if your primary physician says you are ok.

My test for thyroid came out at the lower end of normal, yet my doctor states there is no miracle tablet. He says that my thyroid is probably normal. I'm in the obese bracket yet I train in the gym 3 + times aweek and eat healthly foods, in measured amounts, yet the weight will not shift.

Quite annoyed!!!

your tsh levels should be 5 or less.  I have been on thyroid medicine since 1999 and just recently by dose was upped, but I am still feeling tired, lathargic etc.  If I was you I would do some research on appropriate tsh recommended levels and take them to your doctor.


Has anyone found anything to help with Hair Loss and thinning? I too have this wretched disease and have lost quite a lot of hair, it is very depressing when I used to have such nice think hair. Now I have thinning from my bangs on up to the top of my head..and my hairbrush looks scary.



When my doctor diagnosed me with Hashimoto's, he started me on Synthroid.  I wasn't doing well on that, so he added Cytomel.  That caused my ankles and feet to swell up like three day old road kill on a hot summer's day.  I had several friends who were having success with Armour, so I finally asked him to let me try it.  As he was writing out the prescription, he commented, "most of my patient's do better on Armour."  So why the heck didn't he put me on it from the start?!?  Anyway, I feel much better on Armour and have managed to lose forty pounds, relatively easily.  If you're not happy with the way you're feeling on Synthroid, or any other synthetic med, give Armour a try.

I have hypothyroidism because my thyroid gland has been removed surgically. I have remained the same weight and it has been gone for 5 years (5'5" and 154 lbs). I have my doctor keep my TSH around 1, if it gets towards 2 I get sluggish and we up my medication. I used to get headaches daily until I switched to synthroid (brand name) as I was getting headaches and nausea from the levothyroxine.

Work with your Primary Care Provider, exercise and enjoy life!!!

Nurse Julie

Maybe you should talk to your doctor about possibly having Cushing's Syndrome.  They will do a cortisone suppresion test and it's super easy to check.  I had one done and am borderline, but the neurologist said my pituitary is normal.  I've been going on and off of levothyroxine for years and have had different results each time.  I know it's frustrating, but perhaps you could endure one more test.  Good luck to you!

I was recently diagnosed with hashimotos and insulin resistance (almost pre-diabetic.) My father is a type I diabetic and he has hashimotos too, so I knew it was going to be sooner or later, I just didn't think so much sooner. =( I am sure they are interrelated somehow, perhaps my weight gain being spurred on by the thyroid, I don't know. But I do know that only about two years before I had lost a lot of weight easily, and now it's a struggle, though I have also started an intense exercise regimen and and soooo hungry! And I am gaining muscle. One thing I do know is I feel better over all and lose more weight if I eat basically no carbs and very little dairy, drinking lots of water.

I'm not taking any meds right now, though the endrocronologist said if I don't lose weight they'll have to put me on metformin. =( So the slow weight loss is even more discouraging since I really don't want that option. I didn't really know much about hashimotos before reading this article and these comments, I viewed it more as secondary since the doctor doesn't seem as concerned about it, but now I want to do some more research and have a few questions for her next time.

This topic is so scary & frustrating.  It is clear that in many cases our medical community has failed us with regards to thyroid.  I agree with one of the previous writers.  If your doctor "shrugs" at you and fails to help you, you must see a specialist.  "FIRE" that doctor now ! Be empowered as a medical consumer and advocate for your own health.  Do not accept an indifferent doctor.  

If you are a borderline thyroid case and have not received a formal diagnosis..check out alternative health therapies.  I have found naturopathic physicians very helpful when orthodox medical practioners failed to look further than a lab result.  Naturopathic practioners look at the whole human being. 

It is our birthright to have a healthy, fulfilling life, full of vitality.  It might takes us extra effort to claim it but its results are well worth it.

Wishing everyone a healthy life !



I have Hashimotos disease, and have always had trouble losing weight, but this was even before the disease occurred. When I was finally medicated for my thyroid levels, I lost about 5 lbs within a few weeks, but if I want to lose more I have to really work at it.

When my thyroid levels are off, I feel absolutely terrible: my knees hurt, I feel like a zombie and I can't get enough sleep. Also, I can tell if my levels are off because working out feels TERRIBLE. I can't ever get my "second wind" and it is worse than trying to work out in the first trimester of pregnancy. I just feel so exhausted, but no amount of sleep helps!!!!

I've been hypothyridic for about 15 years, and for the most part my symptoms are controlled through medication. However, it is a finicky thing, and changing from generic to name-brand meds or vice versa, or starting a new diet, can throw off my metabolism and I would end up gaining weight. I was able to lose about 25 lbs on WW, and I believe that a very moderate diet/exercise combination is crucial for this condition. I tracked what I ate and how I exercised very carefully and much of the time only managed to lose about half a lb a week, but it was worth it in the end. For the past two years, my overall health has been great, and that includes my thyroid symptoms.

I've read that hypothyroidism does not cause significant weight gain. Well, the condition might not, but the side effects (lethargy, depression, tiredness, carb cravings...) certainly do!

I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto's Thyrioditis when I was only 17 years old. With a very small frame ( 5'7" and 115lbs) Over the years I have switched between Synthroid, Compounded T3T4, and Armour thyroid. In addition, I have gained weight over the years. 

It is surly a rough road but, if you watch what you eat and exercise you can achieve... 

My only success has been while taking Armour thyroid. This compound has the T4T3T2T1. No other synthetic provides this. Just a thought.

Continued from above... if your only symptoms are you can't lose weight, it is quite possible that it is not your thyroid. Too many people want a quick fix for not being able to lose weight, and a reason to blame, when in reality they may just have bad genes (or bad eating habits -- 2 things I struggle with). I have struggled with weight loss my whole life, while all my friends seem to just eat what they want and they stay slim.

It is VERY dangerous to take thyroid medicine if you don't need it, and once you start, you will never be able to go off of it!!!! If I could go back to not taking it everyday, I would. It is a hassle -- you have to take it on an empty stomach and then not eat or drink anything but water for an entire hour. It's really annoying. And if you are a woman and you get pregnant, it is VERY dangerous for your baby if your levels are off -- so don't go on it unless you have to!!!!

Also, when thyroid levels are off you feel terrible, and you become super forgetful and air-headed. It is so frustrating.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their experience.  In addition to what doctors tell you, this is the real source of information in my opinion.  I am printing this out and taking it with me to my next appointment to give to my MD to read (and she prob will, she is like that:)

I related to so many of the experiences posted and I want to make sure that all possibilities are being explored for my treatment.


Thanks everyone

I am going to go to a new doctor with my symptoms. And now I know what to ask and what to look for. Wish me luck.

I was diagnosed 10 years ago with hypothyroidism, but I'm certain I'd been that way for well over 20 years by the time a test showed any indication.  I was 100 pounds overweight, depressed, eyebrows falling out and freezing to death.  (95.5 temp!) Synthroid did not work for me.  a total fail.  A nurse-friend told me about a doctor who prescribed to the individual as opposed to trying to stuff everyone into the same prescription bottle which is a very common  practice among doctors who don't understand thyroid, imho.  He prescribed the old-fashioned 'Armour Thyroid'  which worked like magic and within about a week I felt like myself again.  A self I had forgotten existed.  It has taken me a long time to lose the weight (25 more to go!), but it still feels like a miracle.  And one word of advice, if you've never had your reverse T3 tested, twist your dr's arm till he will or get a new doctor.



Original Post by: asj6459

When my doctor diagnosed me with Hashimoto's, he started me on Synthroid.  I wasn't doing well on that, so he added Cytomel.  That caused my ankles and feet to swell up like three day old road kill on a hot summer's day.  I had several friends who were having success with Armour, so I finally asked him to let me try it.  As he was writing out the prescription, he commented, "most of my patient's do better on Armour."  So why the heck didn't he put me on it from the start?!?  Anyway, I feel much better on Armour and have managed to lose forty pounds, relatively easily.  If you're not happy with the way you're feeling on Synthroid, or any other synthetic med, give Armour a try.

I have read about Armour, and how great it is!  Synthroid  is just that a snythetic product pharmaceuticals produced, to replace Armour. My doctor told me a year ago my thyroid was off, tsh 2.69  25mg. synthroid  never tested me for a whole year. Went back for my yearly check up, and my TSH was 4.0. I felt like crap, I stopped taking it.. I was tired of arguing with the doctor, had blood work done again TSH 1.63!   all of my numbers according to the "SCALE" were in range.  So, I am not even sure why she put me on Thyroid meds.   In a few weeks I am having more blood work done.  I am seeing an endocrinologist, if any of my numbers looks off.  I will insist on Armour.  It's made from NATURAL products. Amour was used over a hundred years...with much success, but the doctors have to monitor you more, so, they don't prescribe it!  Which is crap!  Monitor your morning body temp.  That is one of the easiest tests we can do at home, and keep a record of it.  If your waking temp. is below 97.8 for a few consecutive are probably Hypothyroid. 

This disease is not in our heads,  we are not crazy, we know our bodies, when you don't feel right, you don't feel right. DOCTORS are suppose to help not make us feel like we are nuts! 


For those of you taking Armour...I was on Armour originally but then my pharmacy couldn't get it so I had to change. Is it readily available again?

I was on Synthroid and Cytomel and even though my TSH came back within normal limits I still felt aweful and my weight remained a problem, my doctor was smart enought to know that some people just dont respond to synthetic meds and replaced it with Armour and wallah its a whole new levels of course were the kind that also went back and forth.  We are military and every time we moved I'd get a new doctor and they would put me on them and take me off...I am now on them and staying on them and my doctor listened to me and put me directly on the natural disected pig thyroid (Armour) without even giving me the hard time I'd been given in the have to be your own advocate and if your doctor is giving you a hard time about your condition, my suggestion is FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR!

Just had my tests done two months ago and even though the labs came back normal, my doc said I might have "physiological" markers for PCOS. But she was not comfortable treating me with any hormones.

If I have many of the physical symptoms: depression, fatigue, irritability, excess weight, inability to lose that weight, excess body and facial hair... what am I supposed to do? How do I get the doc to treat what is wrong with me.

I am already exercising at least 1 hour every day or every other day when the kids need me, my caloric intake is down where it should be.

Any suggestions?


A year ago I was diagnosed with hipothyroidism (Hashimotos), though I also have whats called hot nodules which cause the opposite effect, (Hiperthyroidism) so the two of them are fighting it out in there though at the moment the Hashimotos has the upper hand so my endocrinologist says.

The diagnosis was after at least two years of feeling really down and tired all the time, everything was too much effort, I just about managed to keep on top of  work but all else suffered.  My weight gradually rose 10 kilos over this time even though I was eating the same as always.

I think the thyroid meds that I take are synthetic though brand names are different here in Spain, my doctor is of the opinion that anything below TSH 5 is ok but after reading up I'm inclined to think that it should be at least below TSH3. At the beginning I was checked every 3 months now its every 6 months, the dose started ok but then TSH rose again so she upped the dose, the next check up was normal so now I'm waiting to see what happens next. 

 I also take vit E, (natural 200IU -have done for years), and also every so often 15 days of high dose vit B1,B6,B12 which really seems to help with tiredness only thing is I would really love to lose those 10 kilos, haven't put any more on since I was diagnosed by seems impossible to lose anything unless I stop eating altogether.  Going to take a look at some of the pages mentioned above see if anything helps so will keep you all posted.

Hashimoto's Disease: Follow a GLUTEN FREE DIET.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease a year ago. My thyroid antibody levels were through the roof.  I had terrible classic low thyroid symptoms but my T3 and T4 levels were normal.  The New Life Center for Health, Encinitas, CA, put me on a 100%  GLUTEN FREE DIET and with 3 weeks I was feeling better.  After 4 months my thyroid antibody levels were almost zero.  If I'm accidentally exposed to gluten I notice tiredness and lethargy for a few days.  After 12 months on the gluten free diet my hair is thicker, the outside third of my eye brows has grown back for the first time in 20 years and I feel energized again.  I still haven't taken any thyroid meds, just stuck to the gluten free diet.  As a bonus all the stomach symptoms that I thought were lactose intollerance have cleared up too. Google 'Hashimotos Gluten Free' for tons of information. It's easier than you think to go Gluten free and so worth it.

I suffer from several symptoms of thyroid problems yet my tests come out OK each time.  There is a history of thyroid problems in the family and I suffer from another autoimmune disorder, Psoriatic Arthritis, but I have yet to have a doctor really give me a good study.  It could be that all my symptoms relate to my problems with low vitamin D levels and my arthritis. 

I live in a smaller town and we only recently got an endocrinoligist in town.  I plan to make a visit to him soon to get another screening.  I need to go and have the growth on my thyroid checked anyway.  I was diagnosed with a tumor on my thyroid about 12 years ago and they just watch to make sure it hasn't grown. 

For those of you out there suffering from fatigue, inability to think properly etc... get your vitamin levels checked.  Several of my issues were corrected with supplements, folic acid, a good B complex and loads of vitamin D3. 

I have to order my Armour from Canada.

Many of you have been asking me what the 24 Day Challenge is I referred to this morning.

The 24-Day Challenge is a SYSTEM that is producing up to 10 inches and 10 lbs LOST on average in 24 DAYS. Energize your mind and body, feed your muscles and starve your fat as you lose inches, improve health and melt away body fat in a way that will fit into your busy life and be realistic for any hectic schedule. This jump start program will teach your body to continue losing body fat and increasing lean muscle.

I have more details I can share if you want to contact me, or call me, or cal me at 412-983-7818. I don't mind, I help people all over my area, my clients, my own family for that matter and they get great results. I just want to share this program. It's been amazing at helping people boost their energy, get LIFE back into their bodies and help them lose the weight we all struggle with.

Thanks for inquiring!

- Lisa

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