Coping with Your Undertreated Thyroid Problems

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If you’re like many people with thyroid disorders, you’re taking your medication regularly and your TSH level shows “within normal range,” but you still suffer from a wide variety of thyroid-related symptoms, you’re probably suffering from under-treated hypothyroidism.

Undertreated hypothyroidism means that in spite of the medicine and “within normal range” TSH levels, you still feel horrible! You still suffer from depression, weight gain, fibromyalgia/muscle/joint aches and pains, fatigue, hair loss, fertility issues and/or many more thyroid disorder symptoms.

There are two reasons this can occur. Either your doctor feels that giving you just enough thyroid medication to get you in the mid-high normal TSH is sufficient or taking levothyroxine (generic name for many brands such as Synthyroid) may not be enough for you. In addition to the T4 hormone replacement, your body still needs a small amount of T3 to begin to feel well again.

For hypothyroidism, a TSH level from .3-3.0 is “normal range,” but the ranges vary between laboratories. Not everyone feels good at 2.9 or at .4, yet they fall in the range, so they are just fine…wrong!

For some people, simply taking a T4 hormone replacement medication only just isn’t enough to make them feel better and rid them of the terrible symptoms of hypothyroidism. For those, adding T3 is a better option. Medication such as Thylar, Cytomel, or time-released T3 gives them greater relief of symptoms.

Another option that works well for many is a medication called Armour Thyroid. This medication isn’t a synthetic drug like other thyroid hormone replacement medications. Armour Thyroid is a natural thyroid hormone replacement medication. It is a porcine-derived thyroid hormone replacement containing d it also contains both T4 and T3.

You may be surprised to find out that even with the large number of patients who truly need both T4 and T3 to overcome thyroid symptoms, it is still considered to be a controversial treatment. T3 still isn’t regularly used for those suffering from hypothyroidism.

A publication in the New England Journal of Medicine as early as 1999 published groundbreaking research that stated just that…patients who fall in the normal or low normal range that are taking medication for thyroid hormone replacement and continue to be symptomatic, feel much BETTER when they are given BOTH T3 and T4.

Giving their research subjects T3 in addition to T4 helped relieve depression, fatigue, “foggy” brain feeling, and a large number of other symptoms. It is a revolutionary discovery for those who still don’t feel well taking T4 alone.

If you are still suffering in spite of taking medication regularly, you need to talk to your physician as soon as possible. You don’t, however, want to go in unprepared. You need to document how you’re feeling in a way that is easy for you to present to your physician. It can be as elaborate as a spread sheet or as simple as writing on your calendar, but it needs to be in black and white for them to see.

Make your argument that your current medication isn’t enough. Your doctor has probably heard this before from you, so being armed you’re your documentation will help. Show them the documentation and let them see that your current thyroid medication isn’t doing its job.

Research the medications from this article so you’ll be able to discuss what you think is best for you. It is your doctor’s desire for you to feel better. Understand that most of them really feel that they have you on the right treatment. By approaching the topic in a prepared, logical way, you can take the first step toward feeling better!