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Dr. D.J.
Dr. D.J., Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19838
Experience:  MD
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I have been taking a thyroid replacement hormone since 2000

Resolved Question:

I have been taking a thyroid replacement hormone since 2000 when I had radiation treatment for Grave's Disease. I have been on .175 mcg of synthroid since 2004, had 3 successful pregnancies and overall felt great. I recently moved and had to find a new dr. Once she began treating me, she said my blood test showed that I was on too high of a dose of medication and she began reducing it. After a few adjustments I am now taking .137 mcg. Since the reductions began, I have gained 30 lbs., my voice has changed, I am exhausted, can't focus, always cold, the skin on my heels are cracking, and so much more. When I look at a "checklist" of hypothyroid symptoms I have almost everyone of them. I had another blood test yesterday because I feel awful. The results showed my TSH was .405 and T4 was 1.5. According to these results, my dr. says the medication is correct and I am at the high end of normal. However, I am experiencing every symptom of Hypothyroidism. Do you have any other suggestions on how to feel normal again? She will not increase my medication back to where I felt "good", and I cannot function as I am now. Please help!
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D.J. replied 7 months ago.

Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hi there,


I am Mysticdoc, experienced Internal Medicine Specialist.


I am here to help you with your concerns.

Mysticdoc :

I am sorry to hear about your problem.

Mysticdoc :

Your new doctor is treating the numbers, not the patient.

Mysticdoc :

That is dangerous.

Mysticdoc :

Although your numbers are in normal limits, you are still symptomatic.

Mysticdoc :

Hence, your levothyroxine dose should be increased to the point your symptoms subside.

Mysticdoc :

Another possibility can be iodine deficiency.

Mysticdoc :

Iodine is required for thyroid hormones to function properly.

Mysticdoc :

This is often overlooked.

Mysticdoc :

Iodine deficiency makes thyroid hormone less effective.

Mysticdoc :

Another possibility can be T3 deficiency.

Customer:

I have to pay for all treatments out of pocket due to "pre-existing condition". I went to a specialist to seek help since my family dr. was not listening and I got the same response. The numbers are in a good place so we will not change anything. I cannot afford to keep paying for dr. visits until I find someone who will listen to me. How do I get the help I need?

Customer:

I also asked to have my T3 checked and the response was no dr. in the area checks t3 - it is not necessary. TSH and t4 are all the information we consider.

Mysticdoc :

T4 needs to be converted into T3 in peripheral tissue by an enzyme deiodinase.

Mysticdoc :

Deficiency of this enzyme will cause T3 dericiency.

Mysticdoc :

Reducing T4 dose may make it more apparent.

Mysticdoc :

That is what is happening in your case.

Mysticdoc :

You are a rare case and only few patients experience this.

Mysticdoc :

So, what your doctors are saying, should not be forced upon in your case.

Mysticdoc :

My suggestion will be to consider a bigger academic medical center.

Mysticdoc :

Or a sympathetic MD who will listen to your problem.

Mysticdoc :

Now this is a hard job, but can be possible.

Mysticdoc :

Also selenium deficiency can make this problem more apparent.

Mysticdoc :

You can start taking selenium supplement meanwhile.

Mysticdoc :

Dose is about 100 mcg daily.

Mysticdoc :

This may help to boost your current thyroid dose.

Mysticdoc :

Also, you may consider taking animal thyroid extract from health food stores which also contains T3 as well.

Mysticdoc :

These are substitute options till you are able to find a doctor who will work with you for your welfare.

Customer:

I do have selenium and was taking it for a while, didn't see much of a difference - but can try again. All receptionists seem to think their drs. will help me when I call and ask questions. How can I find one that will make a difference in my treatment without continuing to waste my money?

Mysticdoc :

this is through words of mouth.

Mysticdoc :

You need network with other thyroid patients to find out.

Mysticdoc :

Also, which place you are from?

Customer:

I also have a thyroid blend sp-26 (kelp, irish moss, gentian, fenugreek, cayenne), that I got at a health food store - will that help?

Customer:

Omaha, Nebraska area

Mysticdoc :

animal thyroid extract ( pig thyroid)-- may be better for you.

Mysticdoc :

that will contain T4 and T3 both.

Mysticdoc :

and you can try Nebraska Medical Center.

Customer:

Is there any other possible illness that could be causing all of my symptoms that I should be considering, or would you think it all revolves around my thyroid?

Mysticdoc :

Most likely thyroid since your symptoms started after reducing the dose.

Mysticdoc :

Adrenal gland disorder is another possibility.

Customer:

Should I look for additional help before taking any "over the counter" supplements so the results are accurate, or will it not make much of a difference?

Mysticdoc :

you can try to look for help while taking the supplements.

Mysticdoc :

Since your labs are 'normal', they will not make much difference.

Customer:

Thank you

Mysticdoc :

very welcome

Dr. D.J., Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19838
Experience: MD
Dr. D.J. and 6 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. D.J. replied 6 months ago.
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