Top Symptoms of Hypothyroidism with Checklist and Lab Guide: ALL the Tests you NEED to Ask your Doctor for

Do you have all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and yet you are told that your lab tests are "normal"? 

I've got some great news for you...

You're not crazy, and you most likely DO have hypothyroidism

hypothyroidism meme do I look fine?

It's just that your Doctor isn't up to date on current Thyroid knowledge and is most likely not ordering the right thyroid tests and may even be interpreting your labs incorrectly...

This post will teach you what symptoms to look out for, what tests you need to ask your doctor for and how to interpret those lab tests

Let's jump on in: 


Are you Hypothyroid? 

Does this scenario sound familiar:

You recently had a baby, went through menopause or some other stressful event in your life and now you're: gaining weight, your hair is falling out, you are more fatigued than normal, you're skin is dry and you aren't sleeping well.

So you go to the Doctor and have him run some tests, only to be told that your lab tests are completely "normal".

How can that be when you feel so bad?

Instead of thyroid medication you are offered anti-depressants or told that this is just normal and part of "getting older". 

So you go home defeated, exhausted and depressed thinking you have to deal with feeling this way forever.

​If this has happened to you PLEASE keep reading! You AREN'T crazy and you AREN'T alone.

The reason I know this scenario so well is because I used to say and do the exact same thing to hundreds of patients...

I know! I used to be that guy. BUT, I've since changed my ways and I'm on a mission to educate Doctors and patients alike.

The truth is that Doctors do want to help you, they just aren't well equipped with the proper tools or knowledge to do so.

That's why it's so important for you to understand these things and be your own advocate. 

​And I'm going to let you in on a secret here...

If you have 5 or more of the following symptoms there is a VERY high chance you have hypothyroidism regardless of what your labs show. ​

thyroid metabolism reset poster for side bar

List of Hypothyroidism Symptoms with Checklist

How to use this list:

  • If you have 5 or more symptoms you are likely to have hypothyroidism
  • If you have 6-10 symptoms you are very likely to have hypothyroidism
  • If you have > 10 symptoms you have Hypothyroidism it just hasn't been diagnosed yet

Top 10 Most Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

If you have these symptoms there is no need to move on to the Symptom checklist below because these are VERY indicative of hypothyroidism...

​1. Fatigue after sleeping 8-10 hours at night or needing to take a nap daily

2. Weight gain or the inability to lose weight

3. Mood issues such as mood swings, anxiety or depression

4. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, irregular periods, infertility and low sex drive

5. Muscle pain, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis

6. Cold hands and feet, feeling cold when others are not or having a body temperature consistently below 98.5 degrees

7. Dry or cracking skin, brittle nails and excessive hair loss

8. Constipation

9. Mind issues such as brain fog, poor concentration or poor memory

10. Neck swelling, snoring or hoarse voice​

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

​The reason hypothyroid symptoms can be so diverse is because every cell in your body has a thyroid receptor. So your symptoms will depend on which cells in your body are NOT getting enough thyroid hormone. 

Thyroid hormone receptor

And these symptoms can be DIFFERENT in every single person because each individual cell has a different thyroid hormone requirement and resistance level.

That means you can be thin and hypothyroid!

Read the complete list below: ​

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Low endurance
  • Slow speech
  • Slow thinking
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Worrying
  • Easy emotional upset
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Low motivation
  • Dizziness
  • Sensation of cold
  • Cold skin
  • Decreased sweating
  • Heat intolerance
  • Non-restful sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Thick tongue
  • Swelling of face
  • Sparse eyebrows
  • Low basal activity level
  • Low basal temperature
  • Slow resting pulse rate
  • Long-normal intervals on ECG
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Dry Skin
  • Dry mucous membranes
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain unexplainably
  • Paleness of lips
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstruation
  • Low sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Hearing loss
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Pounding heart beat
  • Slow pulse rate
  • Pain at front of chest
  • Poor vision
  • Weight loss
  • Wasting of tongue
  • Indistinct or faint heart tones
  • Low QRS voltage on ECG
  • Emotional instability
  • Choking sensation
  • Fineness of hair
  • Hair loss
  • Blueness of skin
  • Dry, thick, scaling skin
  • Dry, coarse, brittle hair
  • Paleness of skin
  • Puffy skin
  • Puffy face or eyelids
  • Swelling of ankles
  • Coarse skin
  • Brittle or thin nails
  • Dry ridges down nails
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Weakness
  • Vague body aches and pains
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Protrusion of one or both eyeballs
  • Brain fog
  • Cardiac enlargement on x-ray
  • Fluid around heart

​Believe it or not there are even more symptoms, but at this point it's usually not worth going over them because if you have hypothyroidism the chances of you have 10+ of symptoms on that list is VERY high. 

​So what do you do if you have those symptoms and you've been told your lab tests are normal? 

First I would recommend you read this post, and then come back to this page to go over your next step:

The "Complete Thyroid Lab Panel" which you will need to ask your doctor for. ​

The "Complete Thyroid Lab Panel" You should be Asking your Doctor for

​The reason many cases of hypothyroidism get missed is because the Doctor and patient aren't aware of two very important things:

1. The proper lab tests to order

2. How to actually interpret those lab tests that have been ordered

One of the most classic mistakes I see is patients asking me how to get their Doctor to order the right lab tests...

If your doctor didn't order these tests to begin with he/she is most likely NOT the doctor that is going to be willing to help you.


Because if they understood how to interpret the lab tests they would have ordered them to begin with!

Don't fall into this trap.

You need to know WHICH tests to order but also HOW to interpret them.

Once you find a Doctor willing to work with you get these tests ordered:

(The optimal reference ranges are listed to the right of the lab tests)​

  • TSH - Anything > 2 is a problem, < 2 does not mean you are "good"
  • Free T4 - Preferably the upper 1/2 of the reference range (though note this will number may go down if you are on T3 formulations like liothyronine, in which case you will want to look at the free T3 levels)
  • Free T3 - Preferably the upper 1/2 of the reference range
  • Reverse T3 - Should be < 15, anything > 15 indicates thyroid resistance
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies - Should be < 30
  • Thyroid peroxidase antibodies - Should be < 30
  • Sex hormone binding globulin - In women this should be in the 70-80 range (but it can't be used if the woman has estrogen dominance), in men it should be around 30
  • Free T3/Reverse T3 ratio - Calculate this number by dividing free T3 by Reverse T3, your calculation should be > 0.20 (if < 0.20 this indicates thyroid resistance or low free T3 syndrome)
The Complete thyroid panel

​Don't go off of the "reference range" that the lab creates. 

You want to use the "optimal range" that I've included to the right of the lab tests above.

There is a HUGE difference in being "normal" and being "optimal" especially when we are talking about very small hormone levels in the blood.

​Lab tests aren't the end-all-be-all either. 

Even if your lab tests come up within the reference ranges I've listed, you could very well still be hypothyroid.

Some patients just don't show hypothyroidism in their lab work, but that definitely doesn't mean they are normal. ​

Why your Doctor says your Lab Tests are Normal when they aren't

There are a couple of things you have to understand about lab testing...

We (both Doctors and patients) like to think that they are 100% perfect but that is so far from the truth.

No test is 100% accurate and thyroid lab tests are no exception.

​We actually don't really care about the blood levels of thyroid hormone in your body.

We only care if that thyroid hormone is actually getting to your TISSUES (like your brain, heart, skin, etc.)

We just make the assumption that if your blood levels are "high" enough they will get to their target destination.

But that turns out to not be true.

What if there is a blockade at the cellular level and thyroid hormone can't leave the blood stream to get into the cells?

That actually happens and the condition is known as Thyroid resistance or Tissue level hypothyroidism.

Tissue level hypothyroidism

​And guess what? 

You'd never know you had it unless you checked your Reverse T3 levels.

Elevated reverse T3 in Hypothyroid patient

Crazy that most Doctors don't know about this condition or how to even diagnose it.

Bottom line:

Don't accept "normal" blood tests!​

What to do if you are on Medication but still have Symptoms

Let's say you're reading this and you've already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and you're currently on thyroid medication with "normal" labs...

What then?

Are you just des​tined to feel this way forever? 

Thankfully not!

​It's actually not that uncommon for patients to feel terrible on thyroid medication if they fall into one or more of the following categories:

1. They are being treated with Levothyroxine (AKA T4 medication only)

2. They are being treated based on their TSH (and the Doctor keeps changing their medication dose all the time)

​The truth is that MOST patients need some kind of T3 hormone added to their medication regimen to feel optimal. 

​Medications that include T3 hormone: 

  • Cytomel, Liothyronine or Sustained release T3 - This is pure T3 medication and is THE active thyroid hormone. Adding this to your current regimen may improve your symptoms drastically. 
  • Natural Dessicated Thyroid hormone - This medication contains T4 and T3 in addition to other thyroid hormones and may also improve your symptoms significantly. 

What is the "best" dose for each of these? 

Unfortunately it's impossible to say without trial and error. Each patient will need an individualized dose and may require a different amount of T4 and/or T3 to "feel optimal".

Most of my patients fall within these ranges:

  • Liothyronine - 10mcg-50mcg per day depending on the amount of thyroid resistance. The higher your reverse T3 the higher dose of liothyronine you will likely need
  • Natural dessicated thyroid - 1-3 grains and everything in between
  • Combination of NDT + Liothyronine - 1-2 grains + 12.5-25mcg of Liothyronine seems to work well for many patients

​It's also worth pointing out that MANY of you have more than just thyroid problems going on in your body. 

If these problems are NOT addressed, it doesn't really matter how much thyroid hormone you get - you will NOT feel optimal. ​

That includes other hormones, nutrients and the basic 4 foundational pillars of health:

Paleo food pyramid

1. Stress coping techniques - Which would include things like Yoga, meditation or spiritual prayer

2. Proper Whole Food Diet - See a list of diets that work for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's here and here

3. Exercise and movement routine - This includes a combination of low intensity exercise (like walking) daily in addition to high intensity exercise once your thyroid function has improved

4. High quality restful sleep​ - You need to be getting 8 hours of sleep per night at least in order for your hormones to function optimally

What if your Doctor Just Doesn't get it​


Life is too short to waste your precious time and energy on a Doctor who isn't willing to work with you. 

If you're meeting resistance from your doctor just stop seeing them and look for a new one. 

Your chances of "educating" your doctor on proper Thyroid function is VERY slim. Any articles you bring them to read will likely end up quickly in the trash. 

Thyroid diet 4 week plan side bar

Your best bet is to look for a Doctor who specializes in thyroid care and I don't mean an endocrinologist.

Before you go to the Doctor call the office and ask if the Doctor frequently orders Reverse T3 and Free T3. If they do then that's a really good sign they understand how to diagnose and treat the thyroid. 

Alternatively you can also ask if the Doctor prescribes liothyronine and Natural dessicated thyroid hormone, again if the answer is "Yes" you are onto something. ​

​You can also look for reviews online or from other patients. 

Whatever you do make sure you find a Doctor who can prescribe medication.

Many Doctors that practice functional medicine may be more willing to prescribe the medications I listed above, but you still need to do your research.

IFM search for a provider

You can find more info here.

​Helpful Tips and Tricks for treating your thyroid:

​Trouble losing weight? Check out this link

Want to increase your thyroid hormone naturally? Check out this link

Want to know the best supplements for your thyroid health? Check out this link

​Want to see case studies of other patients? Check out this link

Want to know if Levothyroxine or Synthroid is the right medication for you? Check out this link​

I want to hear from you!​

Do you have the symptoms listed above?

If so, what have you done to help them?

Have you tried liothyronine or NDT?

Leave a comment below!​

Dr. Westin Childs

I'm Dr. Childs and I write these posts. I'm a physician that specializes helping patients lose weight, have more energy and FEEL better. My practice focuses on hormone imbalances, thyroid issues and weight loss resistance. My goal is to provide the BEST information out there on the internet that is both actionable and trustworthy. Get my free ebook: Hashimoto's Diet Guide here. You can also find more about my personal journey back to health here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 83 comments
How to treat endometriosis naturally without drugs - October 29, 2015

[…] As a quick primer you can evaluate your own labs (you can find more information here): […]

    Kikit - February 27, 2016

    Hi Lizzy~I feel great! I’ve been on Levothyroxin 112 mg since I was diagnosed, and it works great for me. I qluckiy dropped that extra weight I gained and haven’t had any symptoms. My doctor just dropped me to 100mg to see if I can stay symptom free. Have you had yours re-checked? I bet it’s time for a change in your dosage if you are having some symptoms!good luck!

      Westin Childs - February 27, 2016

      Hey Kikit,

      I’m glad it’s working well for you! I find the majority of my patients don’t do well on synthroid, but that’s probably a biased sample as only people who aren’t getting relief will seek me out.

      I would use caution when basing dosing off of blood work – I find this to be highly inaccurate. It isn’t uncommon for patients to go down on medication when inflammation and nutrient deficiencies have been reversed, but this isn’t true for everyone.

      Thanks for your insight!

      Dana - March 13, 2017

      I’m glad to hear someone isn’t affected, however, I on the other hand, have been adjusting my Levothyroxine for 3 years now and was also added Liothyronine (T3) to help me adjust. I started Levothyroxine at 165 and now maintain a 220 weight. I will read this guide much more and do more research as I still don’t feel 100%. The fatigue and weight gain are the most excruciating for me.

    Williamkah - May 8, 2016

    I loved your article post.Thanks Again. Want more. Pyscher

Thyroid problems - January 22, 2016

[…] already gone over 68 of the most commonly reported signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism in a post that you can check out, but I will also include some of the more common symptoms […]

JoAnn - March 5, 2016

I have medicare and I can’t fine a doctor that takes it, I have trouble with my thyroid,

    Westin Childs - March 6, 2016

    Hey JoAnn,

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggle. I know that it can be especially hard to find Doctors that take insurance and that are knowledgeable about the thyroid. The best thing you can do is ask around before you head into the office. In general I recommend that you stay out of the insurance model because, for the most part, you will find that all of those doctors will treat you the same way.

      NancyY - August 29, 2016

      I also have Medicare, and have discovered that Medicare will not allow doctors who step away from levothyroxin therapy are forced to code billing differently than a regular MD, thereby causing non-payment of claims. MEDICARE is not allowing individuals to seek help outside the norm, unless able to self-pay.

        Dr. Westin Childs - August 29, 2016

        Hey Nancy,

        I don’t accept insurance so I don’t know anything about that, but I can tell you that I have plenty of medicare patients (who are self pay) but insurance does cover their medication.

        In general it’s better to pay out of pocket when you are talking about treating thyroid disease because the standard of care is so bad.

Fabie Villaluna - March 10, 2016

Very informative. My lab results are normal but on the low range. Im suffering from insomnia, falling hair, loss of weight, osteporosis, scoliosis.

5 Ways to Naturally Boost Thyroid Function - HealthyArchive.com - April 2, 2016

[…] If you aren’t sure if you are suffering from thyroid problems you can find a full list of symptoms here. […]

Marja Moilanen - April 19, 2016

Hi Dr. Childs!

I am a 53-year-old woman from Finland and my life has been kinda wasted because of UNTREATED hypothyroidism.
In Finland you cannot get treatment; if you do not accept selective serotonin reuptakers, you are “a bad patient” and the story ends. You will not be accepted again as a patient. You suffer. You cry. You dream of a cheap and easy way of treating your illness but you must dream on and on. Because the truth is that if you do not have money to travel abroad to get your treatment, you just drag from day to day.
I got sacked from work because of my fatigue, because they thought I was just plain lazy. I spent all my energy to do the job and when I came home, I dragged myself to bed to be able to go to work again in the morning.

The only option available is to end this all. No one is willing to help.

One important symptom missing from the list is abdominal pain, poor digestion…

Wish you were here in Finland so maybe I could get some help!


    Dr. Westin Childs - April 19, 2016

    Hey Marja,

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation! It’s not much better over here in the US, there are only a handful of doctors that are willing to try and treat patients. You will be able to find some relief using the recommendations in this blog.

Hashimotos Awareness » What you Should Know about Reverse T3: How to Lower YOUR levels and Start Feeling Better TODAY - May 9, 2016

[…] And high levels of Reverse T3 could be acting to slow down your metabolism, reduce thyroid function at the cellular level and result in full blown symptoms of hypothyroidism. […]

Bonny - May 14, 2016

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disease Epstein-Barr virus anxiety sleeplessness now i’ve just had blood tests and a radioactive iodine uptake and scan’s on my thyroid so far no diagnosis can you help please?

    Dr. Westin Childs - May 14, 2016

    Hey Bonny,

    It sounds like you need an extensive history & physical with extensive blood work. Without that kind of data it would be difficult to help you.

Yvonne - May 14, 2016

I’m on medication for hypothyroid for the past 1 month. Would like to know how long does one have to take medication?

    Dr. Westin Childs - May 14, 2016

    Hey Yvonne,

    It really depends, some people may only have to be on it for a while if they can fix the underlying cause of their thyroid dysfunction. Others will have to be on it indefinitely (those with a thyroidectomy or those after RAI).

Paula - May 14, 2016

Wish it was as easy to change doctors in the UK. I’m sure my daughter has a slow thyroid like me. Her bloods keep coming back normal but she shows all the signs Like I did. Took years for my bloods to show I needed levothyroxine. Still feel rubbish most days even though they now regular show up as high.

Heather - May 23, 2016

Hi, Thankyou so much for this website. I am in Australia and I am currently looking for a new GP, wish me luck. I am diagnosed with Hashimotos and i have made progress, but one of the things that is bothering me is High Cholesterol, this has stayed high despite AIP, huge changes in my lifestyle losing 20kg in weight, no mean feat for me. I am hoping that I can sort it out, but I have read that persistent high cholesterol goes hand in hand with hypothyroidism, so I am hoping with some more targeted blood tests, I might be able to determine weather I have T3 resistance. I take porcine extract, and T3 ATM but may need this adjusted. Thanks again

    Dr. Westin Childs - May 23, 2016

    Hey Heather,

    Also realize that high cholesterol levels can really only be determined if you get an NMR lipoprofile. Alternatively you can get an idea by looking at the HDL/triglyceride ratio or evaluating your non-HDL level. LDL levels and total cholesterol levels are largely useless for determining your risk of heart disease.

Vita - May 23, 2016

I’m on a combination of NDT and T3, but my FT4 is low, out of range. Does it matter about the FT4? My FT3 is in range.

    Dr. Westin Childs - May 23, 2016

    Hey Vita,

    It depends on the patient, some do a lot better with higher levels of free T4 and others it doesn’t seem to matter as much.

Julie Skeleton - May 27, 2016

My GP said that they can’t prescribe T3 in the UK. Which was a bit shocking. She must think I need it because she said before I mentioned it. I’m now on 50mcg levothyroxine.

Brenda smith - May 30, 2016

I don’t have a thyroid because of cancer i am on 120mg of armour thyroid meds my body rejects all the medicines I want sleep all time hair falling out can’t remember anything slur words I have sever pain under arms thank you

    Dr. Westin Childs - May 31, 2016

    Hey Brenda,

    Some people don’t tolerate armour thyroid but that doesn’t mean you won’t tolerate other medications. You will just have to give them a try one by one to see what works for you.

Debbie Clark - June 1, 2016

I’m 58 and taking 75 mcg levothyroxine, my labs show normal, but I gain weight easily and my hair is falling out really bad. Does levothyroxine make your hair fall out or is that a sign that my thyroid isn’t functioning properly?

    Dr. Westin Childs - June 1, 2016

    Hey Debbie,

    It could be one or the other or both. Most likely you are just being under treated, but levothyroxine can cause hair loss by itself.

Debra Roop - June 11, 2016

Yes I have hypothyroidism trouble losing weight, sugar problems, stomach problems. Tired all the time. I’very told my doctor time and time again I don’t feel any better. He keeps says it’s in its normal range. First thing is test kidney. That’s the thing I get. I’ve been on every heartburn medicine too. Many foods including water give me heartburn.I’m going to give your diet plan and supplements a try . Going to give it my best shot. I’m tired of being tired.

    Dr. Westin Childs - June 11, 2016

    Hey Debra,

    Great! Also, just remember that many people still need to change their medication and add T3 to their regimen in order to lose all the extra weight and reduce symptoms.

      Debra - June 11, 2016

      That’s the hard part finding a doctor that will think outside that box of normal range bull. I am trying to find one but it isn’t easy.

Debra - June 20, 2016

Do you deal in hypothyroidism in patients who have had total thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer ?

Deborah Roddy - June 22, 2016

Thank you for this great information, I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and I have a goiter. February was 2yrs that I have been taking only .25mg of levothyroxine. Also have high blood pressure 40 mg of linosapril. (Spelling). I have most of these symptoms I see my specialist August 30th. I have been reading so much I’m afraid I still won’t know how my doctor will react to what I’ve learned, or make me think I’m crazy. I also started taking B-1 & B-12 and a refrigerated probottic and seem to feel just somewhat better. My sister 8 to 10 yrs ago had hers radiation and she is really messed up!! Her personality has totally changed!! She doesn’t speak to half of her family, and it’s all so heartbreaking!! I’m one of the family that she doesn’t want much to do with. And most people that I talk to about how I feel with hypothyroidism just don’t understand. Thank you!

Wendy Kuh - June 24, 2016

Dr. Childs,

Thank you for writing this article. I have Hashimoto’s Disease. I am a thyroid advocate, after being mistreated for several years (under medicated, due to reliance on the TSH result, and prescribed ineffective Synthroid medication).

Something I’ve noticed, is that many of us with Hashimoto’s have a greater need for more T3 than what’s contained in Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT). It’s refreshing seeing a doctor write about combination dosing of T3 and NDT. I’ve been taking combination dosing for almost four years. The dosage Ive been taking for over two years is 60mg NDT and 100mcg T3, split into three doses per day. My 17 year old daughter takes the same amounts as I do for optimal treatment.

When reading your article, you stated that an optimal range for Free T3 is mid-range. Based on several years assisting others with interpretation of their labs, I’ve noticed that a more optimal range is the upper quarter to top of the range, and sometimes, over the top of the range, depending on where the labs were done. In my own experience, I feel best with a FT3 of 5.1. There are always going to be a few who feel well with mid-range FT3, but most have a greater requirement. Also, you state that RT3 should be less than 15. Many have issues, when their RT3 begins climbing past 11-12. There are a few, but not many, who feel fine with RT3 at 14.

That being said, I pray that those who read your article, would know that symptoms speak volumes, and labs are only a guide. It’s a shame that many doctors treat individual symptoms, rather than as a whole from an underlying cause. I hope that, someday soon, we can see more open-minded doctors, like you, in practice.

    Dr. Westin Childs - July 10, 2016

    Hey Wendy,

    Great thoughts.

    Lab ranges in general are not very helpful, especially since you can manipulate the data to say whatever you want. If I want your free t3 to be 10 I can simply check your labs 1 hour after taking T3 medication. Once you’ve introduced medication into the mix the value of the labs decreased tremendously. Furthermore, some people can tolerate a T3 of 10 while others are symptomatic with a T3 on 2.1.

    When I refer to lab values I am really only referring to them in the setting of being un treated with any thyroid medication, because once you’re taking it – the labs have very little value.

Diana - July 6, 2016

I have tons of these symptoms. Been to a rheumatologist, dermatologist, primary doctor, and allergist. The allergist ordered more in-depth labs and found I have the markers for Hashimoto’s. I eat healthy but have since cut out all diary, caffeine and alcohol. I have adrenal fatigue for sure and have had major stressful situations in my life recently. I am 58 by the way. I also have had a major rash on my face for over 6 weeks that itches 24 hours a day. Dr. Izabella Wentz’s information has been helpful so far and your website is a huge source of helpful info I just found today. I have always exercised and have been eating protein, healthy fats and vegies for several years (cut out sugar and gluten a long time ago). I feel awful right now: exhaustion, irritable, rashes, itching, cold, edema (ankles), headache, bloating, weight gain, dry skin, depressed, weakness, brain fog, slow resting pulse, cold skin, heat intolerance, hearing loss, trouble with balance, dry ridges down nails, thin nails that easily break, numbness and tingling, blurred vision, slow pulse, no sex drive. Yet I’m told my labs are okay except for the markers for Hashimoto’s. So no medical professional has given me any direction. I am going back for a 2nd dermatology opinion and seeing my regular doctor to beg for more labs. I figured I just need to do this on my own. I’m in the health arena with my job and thankfully there is a lot on the internet to help. I am worn out researching and trying to feel better. Do I rest? Do I push myself? Thank you.

    Dr. Westin Childs - July 6, 2016

    Hey Diana,

    I think the issue is looking in the wrong place. If you stick in the insurance model there is a very small chance you will ever get any real help because all of these professionals are trained the exact same way.

Michelle c - July 25, 2016

I have hashimotos hypothyroid and I’m using a nutritional system with great results.

Teresa - July 28, 2016

I am 48 years old and I need a NEW thyroid Dr in Austin TX. Any suggestions? I’ve had hypothyroidism for many years. 2 yrs ago a began a health and wellness journey with supplements. In the first 6 months I lost 50 lbs. and started feeling better immediately. I started exercising, eating healthy, sleeping better, no more constipation, better moods, no more chronic fatigue and pains, no more hair loss and so much more. However after the first 6 months I stopped losing weight and haven’t lost anymore since and now I’m gaining weight back. I NEED HELP FAST!! I’m getting discouraged. I still feel better BUT I need to lose more weight and I can’t no matter what I try! My current endocrinologist is so OLD school. I’ve been on synthroid for many years. Please help me Dr. Thank you.

jennjenn - July 30, 2016

I had my throid removed in 2000, i get blood test often i,m on 125mg of syntroid a day. I have very sore muscle ,my eyesite is bad .i can,t hardly geet around because my hips are killing me all the time , someone i should be test for lupus, i do not sleeep good at all. I,m accident prone, please any input will great

    Dr. Westin Childs - July 30, 2016

    Hey Jennjenn,

    Many TT patients do better when taking T3 in addition to T4 medications. This may improve your symptoms drastically.

Jane Doggett - August 14, 2016

I am in England and have just been to see a so-called thyroid specialist. He didn’t know me. After 2 minutes he said I had no thyroid problems, I was just fAT! aFTER HALF AN HOUR OF DISCUSSION AND ARGUMENT AND BEING TOLD THAT ALL MY SYMPTOMS (ON YOUR LIST) WERE SYMPTOMS OF OVERWEIGHT AND THAT ANYTHING I READ ON THE WEB WAS LIES, i FINALLY GOT HIM TO AGREE TO FREE T3 AND T4, AND THYROID ANTIBODIES.

When I get the results, do you think they will be enough to show anything up?

    Dr. Westin Childs - August 14, 2016

    Hey Jane,

    I generally recommend against arguing with your provider because even if they do order the tests they won’t know how to interpret them and they will tell you they are “normal”. Ordering the tests is actually the easiest part, the hard part is interpreting the test results and getting on the treatment.

Peggy McBryan - October 18, 2016

I have an under active parathyroid. We increased Vit D3 to 2000 units and calcium to 500 it seemed to be working at first now it’s not. Do you have any information on this problem. I also have hypothyroidism and take Synthroid 0.1 mg a day and have been for a few years now. My hair is still falling out my nails ridged and brittle. I have a majority of the symptoms on your list all still active. I was diagnosed as Celiac a year ago and have been gluten free healing my digestive system ever since. I was diabetic until a couple months ago I’ve lost 40 pounds and am way more active. But the thyroid and para thyroid issues are still there. What would you suggest?
Thank you

Lydia Perales - November 1, 2016

Dr Child’s,
I am soo very anxious to set up an appointment to see you and have submitted a rather long email to your office.
I would like to know the chances of seeing you this next Month of November.
If I submit my first initial payment when could I expect to be scheduled? Please let me know as I live in Washington State but have friends in Arizona where I lived up until 2014. I am so very desperate to find the proper doctor to treat my Hypothyroidism and all the issues related to it.
Was first diagnosed Oct 2015.
Please let me know so I can arrange my flight out and arrange for staying in Arizona.
Please..I need someone to help me to save me..I feel like I’m slowly slipping away!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Lydia Perales
[email protected]

Nora Davis - December 18, 2016

Dr Child’s,
I am going to an endocrinologist and he is running some blood test and cortisol testing. I haven’t received the the rest until December 22, 2016.
The doctor is not very nice, acts like he doesn’t care.
My background is 4 major back surgeries, tons of metal and a spinal cord stimulator. I also have major depression so much so that I want to commit suicide. I tried on April 1st but was unsuccessful. I also have RA and I take Stmponi Aria. I have regular Medicare and AARP. I just need someone to help me feel normal. I’ve been depressed most of my life I think but it manifested itself when I was 25. I have more to say but please if u read this please help me feel normal. I don’t want to be here if I can’t feel better. Help Me!!

    Dr. Westin Childs - December 18, 2016

    Hey Nora,

    I’m not taking patients anymore but there are other physicians out there that have the knowledge and capability to help you.

donna - January 1, 2017

I’ve had hasimoto’s for 40 years. My regular doctor retired and cant believe the problems I’ve had trying to find a doctor that understands the issue. they all follow the “book” with no independent, creative ideas. I’ve been to 4 doctors over 2+ years. 2 endo’s, 1 internist, 1 homeopathic + 40 pounds later, I am still not good. I am with an M.D. now as an interim doctor until a recommended endo is free in several months. I seem to know more than the M.D….

Dr. Childs is 100% correct that the doctors that understand thyroid issues is rare. I also am thinking about surrendering to the symptoms. I am living but not alive. It’s a horrible problem that can be solved easily!

Lisa - January 3, 2017

Hi, I’m so pleased I found your blog, finally someone who understands. Please could you give me any advice? I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and am currently taking levo 125mg daily. I can’t loose weight, no matter what I try and have been told I am in the normal range. I still feel awful all the time. Below are my latest round of tests results which were done by an encro:

Serum TSH level 2.22 mU/L
Serum cortisol 13 nmol/L
Serum sex hormone binding globulin level 33 nmol/L
Serum testosterone 2.4 nmol/L
Non HDL cholesterol level 5.18 mmol/L
Serum LDL cholesterol level 4.6 mmol/L
Serum HDL cholesterol level 1.24 mmol/L
Serum triglycerides 1.27 mmol/L
Haemoglobin A1c level – IFCC standardised 36 mmol/mol
Haemoglobin A1c level 5.4 %
TSH – thyroid stim. hormone 2.36 mU/L
Serum chloride 104 mmol/L
Serum FSH level 6 U/L
Serum LH level 12.7 U/L
Serum free T4 level 14.1 mmol/L
Serum cholesterol 6.42 mmol/L
Serum creatinine 77 umol/L
Serum urea level 4.6 mmol/L
Serum potassium 4.4 mmol/L
Serum sodium 137 mmol/L
Thyroid autoantibodies (PH6545) – positive autoantibodies, FINAL REPORT, Occupation, Onset, Anti-Thyroid peroxidase ab. POSITIVE 364 IU/ml

Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Lisa

    Dr. Westin Childs - January 3, 2017

    Hey Lisa,

    As I’ve mentioned previously it really doesn’t help for me to tell people what is wrong with them because they still require treatment and that’s the most difficult part. I would recommend you seek out someone near you to help you further to optimize your thyroid function because at a cursory glance your thyroid function is indeed suboptimal.

      Lisa - January 19, 2017

      Thank you, what should I be looking for, for my thyroid function to be optimal? Just so I have an idea in my head when speaking to my GP. Thanks, Lisa

Marsha L Seaton - January 13, 2017

Hi Dr Childs. I am 63 years old. I was diagnosed with hashimotos in 1988 and put on synthroid. Dr. Childs you can’t believe the incredible nightmare I have been through. After on synthroid I felt better but was depressed I believe due to nutrient deficiencies. This sad story I am sure has been repeated over and over. The antidepressant led to panic attacks which then turned into benzos and then neuroleptics when all along it was my hashimotos not properly treated. It has been a monumental struggle to get off most of these drugs and relearn how to talk, think and finally do research and realize the sad truth. At this point in time, I have found a Naturopath willing to learn and is committed to helping me restore my health. I am very sick. TPO is 178 as of November 2016. TSI 89. As of December 2016 rt3 19.1, t3 2.1 tsh 1.97 t4 1.34 b12 311 mma 68. D3 34. All four iron labs are normal except ferritin 68. Adrenals working overtime. But I have healed my gut. More testing as I can afford it. Hyper sensitive to b12 will you help and anything activating including a try at switching from levothyrixne 88mcg daily and 25 mg once a week to 32.5 nature-throid for nine days which proved disastrous. So much more to report. I would find a way to pay 995 dollars for your consultation services if it would help my provider. He wants to help me heal but just doesn’t habe all the pieces to the puzzle figured out.

    Dr. Westin Childs - January 13, 2017

    Hey Marsha,

    Thanks for reaching out and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I would say the single best thing you can do is find someone who is knowledgable about thyroid function and other hormones to help get your life back. It can be difficult and tricky in some situations, but in almost every case there is significant improvement to be had.

Eman - January 16, 2017

Hi Dr.Childs,
I’m 41 years old, I have a lot of the symptoms you’ve listed.
I’ve consulted a doctor, he asked for TSH and Free T4 tests, the TSH results were 2.81 ulU/ml and 0.86 ng]dL for the Free T4 test. He told me the results were totally normal and I just need to lose weight. I consulted another doctor and was told the results are normal and no need for extra tests… Should I have more tests or these results are acceptable??

    Dr. Westin Childs - January 16, 2017

    Hey Eman,

    It’s not a matter of the tests you are ordering but the interpretation of the results themselves. You need to find someone who understands the difference between optimal and “normal” if you want the proper treatment.

Mandeep - January 29, 2017

My doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroidism after I yelled and complained for almost a year about weight gain and lack of concentration. My grades dropped to 60’s from 80/90’s. By the time I got diagnosed in 2010 I was almost done college. My doctor’s office called me in the second the results arrived from my blood work. Now in 2017 I am on Eltroxin and my symptoms are just as bad as they were when I was untreated. I keep getting tested for my TSH levels which keep coming back as fine. My weight is now 169lbs which is the heaviest I have ever been, in 2010 I was at 145lbs. I am now 28 years old, I have gone to 5/6 other doctors who also only check for TSH. No one has referred me to a thyroid specialist either. I take my medication daily but it feels like a waste as I don’t think it is doing anything anymore.

Sassy - February 9, 2017

Hi Chris, firstly I would like to thank you for all your helpful information and guidance that you publish on your website. Unfortunately I DESPERATELY need your help in interpreting these test results as my doctor told me not worry and that they were normal. From your article above they don’t look normal. Can you please shed any insight to these results.
TSH – 1.8
Free T4 – 12
Free T3 – 4.3
Reverse T3 – 247
Thyroglobulin antibodies – 46
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies – >1300
Free T3/Reverse T3 ratio – 0.017
Many thanks Sassy

    Dr. Westin Childs - February 9, 2017

    Hey Sassy,

    I’m not sure who Chris is, but I am only able to provide medical advice to my patients. I would recommend that you find someone who can interpret your labs and put you on the correct treatment.

      Sassy - February 10, 2017

      Sorry Dr Child, it was the auto correct on this stupid computer

Katia - February 16, 2017

I’ve been dealing with hypothyroidism for 16 years. Until 1 year ago I was on Synthroid 137mcg but in the past 13 months my T-3 has been too low. My doctor added Cytomel 5mcg but then the TSH got too low. I’ve been on a rollercoaster (3 different dosages in the last year), and now I’m feeling tired, have muscle pain all over my body and have numbness on my hands. My physician is sending me to a neurologist because he thinks I have a neurological disease. He says that hypothyroidism does not cause that symptoms. I know it’s my thyroid, this is so frustrating…

Eileen Kennedy - February 23, 2017

THANKYOU for your informative article. As I looked over your symptom list I found some of mine were opposite. Never being cold, and after very short walk or standing for 5 mins. I am sweating profusely. Doesn’t matter if it’s 90 degrees or 32 degrees. Is that also possibly known symptom ? I am 11 years out of life now. I’m anxious to live again. I will be asking my Dr. For these tests.

    Dr. Westin Childs - February 27, 2017

    Hey Eileen,

    Other hormone imbalances may be causing or contributing to your sweating issues, but I wouldn’t necessarily blame those on the thyroid without further testing/evaluation.

Geri Wusler - March 26, 2017

I have been on the same dose of levothyroxine since 1988, am very obese but not diabetic. Am 62. My sister urged me to try garcinia cambogia because its helped her with no side effects; she is 68. I tried one yesterday with apple cider vinegar and felt ok. Today I took just one again with the cider vinegar and almost passed out while shopping. Why is this dangerous for me but not my 68 year old sister.
I’d like to now try ala. Do you have a book?

Sharon Margiotta - April 6, 2017

I am so relieved to learn of you and your site. I have been struggling with all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism for the past 15 years. I have been on Armour Thyroid med for the past 8 years and a T3/T4 compounded before that and under the supervision of a functional medicine doctor. I continually complained about constant weight gain despite interval weight training and healthy clean eating. My doc changed my med to a porcine capsule, then to a synthetic alternative and now added a lower dose of amour (T4/T3) in afternoon. The weight and cellulite keep increasing. After listening and reading your posts on Leptin Resistance and Thyroid resistance, I revisited my lab results from Sept 2106 (incomplete testing) and Oct 2014. My TSH both times were low (.96 and .82), Reverse T3 high (16), Free T3 high (4.9), T4 low (4.6), Pregnenolone low (7), Free T4 low (.83)

I am going to ask Dr. Rozakis why Leptin Resistance was never considered based on my lab results and my constant complaining of weight gain and cellulite.

I live in Cleveland Ohio and need to find a new Doctor. How do I begin that process? I would like my current Dr. to order test results per your recommendation.

Laura J. - April 7, 2017

My name is Laura. I have been having a hard time losing any weight despite knowing how. I was 200 pounds prior to 2011 when I got down to 125. Then in 2012, I quit smoking. I turned 40 also. I did NOT increase eating at all. I slowly started creeping up to 145 now in 2017. I am now 44 years old. NO matter what I do, I cannot lose this 15 pounds. I went to the doctor and she claims it is peri-menopause which I have no symptoms of. As a matter of fact, my period are very normal. Usually right on the money. Never missed one and very regular. I have no hot flashes nor night sweats. I have been exercising and eating 1200 cals a day. So, I did get some blood tests. My good and bad cholesterol was up the thyroid tests came back as this; TSH-1.710 T4 Free-1.12. That is all they tested on me. She refused to do anymore testing of my thyroid. I am always cold when others are hot. I am tired allot. My mom and all 3 of my aunts have hypothyroid. What say you? What do these test results mean? I am going to see an endocrinologist at the end of this month to see if he can help me. I am so puzzled by the weight gain. I lose a few pounds, then by the time I get my period, it all comes back and I start over. I cannot get under 145.

Please and thank you for any advice.

Laura J.

julie - April 16, 2017

RT3 is 22.2. on cytomel only 10 mg a day. Have every single hypothyroid symptom. Have sibo (on treatment now)and candida (will treat next) . Chronic fatigue and fibro. Can barely function, even to hold cell phone muscles are so fatigued. I think my dosage is just not enough. Do you agree ?

    Dr. Westin Childs - April 16, 2017

    Hi Julie,

    It’s a possibility, but your symptoms could just as easily be related to something else as well, or more likely a combination of multiple factors.


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