The Best Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss (+ Pitfalls you are making)

The Best Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss

Thyroid & Weight Gain

Thyroid patients often struggle with their weight. 

If you are reading this, and you have low thyroid or hypothyroidism, then you probably know what I am talking about. 

Your thyroid is one of the primary regulators of your metabolism

This is why people who have low thyroid or hypothyroidism end up gaining weight. 

Low thyroid leads to a lower than normal metabolism which ultimately results in weight gain. 

But why is it that so many thyroid patients continue to stay overweight DESPITE taking thyroid medication?

And why is it that so many thyroid patients continue to experience low thyroid symptoms DESPITE taking thyroid medication?

The answer to both of these questions is basically the same and it has to do with the type of medication they are taking. 

The truth is that some thyroid medications are better than others when it comes to losing weight and helping you to feel better. 

And that's exactly what we are going to talk about today. 

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The Best Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss? 

Is there a "best" thyroid medication for weight loss? 

One that stands above the others and one that you can reliably count on to help you lose weight when you take it?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. 

But, there is definitely a class of thyroid medications which can give you a much higher chance of success in your weight loss efforts. 

And these medications work because they are much more powerful than standard thyroid medications. 

Which medications am I talking about?

Any thyroid medication which contains the active T3 thyroid hormone. 

T3 thyroid hormone is the most powerful thyroid hormone in your body and it's the one that you want to take if you are having issues with weight with low thyroid. 

How do you get T3? 

Fairly easy, actually. 

It's just a thyroid hormone and it's found in several types of thyroid medications. 

The most potent include:

T3 differs from T4 thyroid hormone medications like levothyroxine and Synthroid because it is active immediately upon absorption. 

Medications like levothyroxine must be activated before they can be used by the body. 

And this seems to make all of the difference in many thyroid patients. 

And I'm not the only one to suggest that T3 thyroid medications are superior when it comes to weight loss. 

We also have several studies which show that thyroid patients who switch to NDT medication (like Armour thyroid) lose weight even when switching from levothyroxine (1). 

It's important to note that this weight loss occurred without changing diet or exercise routines, as well. 

In addition to these studies, we also have data directly reported from thyroid patients which shows that they prefer thyroid medications with T3 in them compared to those with T4 only. 

A survey of over 12,000 thyroid patients illustrated this point perfectly

Thyroid patients taking NDT and T4/T3 combinations had fewer weight issues compared to those taking levothyroxine and Synthroid. 

It's pretty clear that if weight loss is your goal you should be taking a thyroid medication which contains T3. 

Understanding Dose

This is one huge area for confusion for many thyroid patients, so let me take some time to clear it up. 

I frequently hear thyroid patients complain that "X" or "Y" thyroid medication didn't help them lose weight. 

This is true of even the most powerful thyroid medications which contain T3 thyroid hormone!

But there's one big problem with these statements...

You cannot tell whether a thyroid medication is effective or not unless you first know that you were dosed CORRECTLY!

natural thyroid supplements version 2

Let me explain...

Imagine you have two people who are both taking the same thyroid medication but at different doses. 

Person A is taking liothyronine at a dose of 5 mcg per day along with her levothyroxine at 75mcg

This person is still struggling with low thyroid symptoms and weight gain even while taking T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. 

Person B is taking liothyronine at a dose of 15mcg per day along with her levothyroxine at 50mcg per day

This person is feeling better and has lost 10 pounds while this combination of medications. 

When all is said and done, person A claims emphatically that liothyronine is a failure and does not help with weight loss while, on the other hand, person B claims that liothyronine is an amazing weight loss medication and has helped her lose 10 pounds without changing her diet or exercise routine. 

Both people have the exact opposite experience despite taking the exact same thyroid medication. 

But there's a big difference between the two of them, right?

Person A is taking 1/3 of the dose that Person B is taking of the SAME thyroid medication! 

And this is a perfect example of how dose plays a HUGE role in how well you feel

I often will see thyroid patients make sweeping claims and generalizations about thyroid medications without saying ANYTHING about dose!

And you simply cannot make assertions about any thyroid medication without first talking about the dose. 

So don't fall into this trap!

If you want your thyroid medication to work you have to be on the RIGHT type of thyroid medication AND the right dose. 

Taking Too Much isn't the Answer

Another trap I see thyroid patients fall into is what I will call the "more, more, more" trap. 

If the answer to my weight problem isn't solved by my current thyroid medication or dose then the answer MUST be simply taking more of the same thing but at a higher dose. 

The theory here is that if you can push yourself into a hyperthyroid state then you will lose weight, right?

You would think so, and maybe hope so, but it isn't really true in practice. 

Not only is taking too much thyroid medication dangerous, it's also not likely to help you lose any weight. 

This is also why you do NOT want to use thyroid medication to aid with weight loss if you don't have a thyroid problem!

Why is this?

Most thyroid medications that people take contain only the T4 thyroid hormone. 

Medications like levothyroxine and Synthroid fall into this category. 

These medications, while they can be effective for some, often fail to help many people (as many as 20%) feel better. 

It has been shown that these medications can readily be converted into the inactive thyroid hormone metabolite known as reverse T3

And if your body takes levothyroxine and turns it into rT3 instead of T3 then your symptoms and weight gain can often get worse. 

This process can occur due to something called thyroid conversion and it's something that you should be familiar with as a thyroid patient. 

Thyroid conversion is the process by which your body takes and either activates or inactivates the thyroid hormone that you are taking by mouth. 

Bottom line:

Don't think you can just increase your dose to help you lose weight. 

In fact, taking a high dose is not only dangerous but it might cause you to gain weight through reverse T3 conversion. 

Reasons you aren't losing weight on your Thyroid Medication

You should also be aware that it is possible to lose weight with whatever thyroid medication you are taking. 

In my experience in treating thyroid patients for 5+ years, here are a few of the most common reasons that thyroid patients aren't losing weight...

#1. You Need T3

There are just some people out there who will need T3 thyroid hormone in some form no matter what. 

Most doctors like to believe that everyone is fine taking a T4 only thyroid medication like levothyroxine but that just isn't the case. 

We know from studies that approximately 20% of the population has a problem utilizing levothyroxine to its fullest

And if you are one of the unlucky few then you will probably need to add T3 thyroid hormone to your regimen in some form. 

You can do this simply by switching up your thyroid medication but it will require a new prescription from your doctor. 

Talk to your doctor about doing this, but be sure to discuss dosing to ensure that you are not only on the right medication but also the right dose. 

#2. You aren't absorbing your medication

You also need to be aware of absorption issues with your current thyroid medication. 

Thyroid medication, in general, is quite the fickle medication. 

Do you remember your doctor or pharmacist telling you to avoid taking your thyroid medication with any food?

Absorption issues are the problem. 

Your thyroid medication will look for basically any reason to not make it into your bloodstream through your intestinal tract. 

Before you jump to another medication, make sure you are actually absorbing whatever thyroid medication you are taking now. 

Avoid taking your thyroid medication with food, coffee, various drinks, and even supplements as all of these things can negatively impact absorption

You can also try switching to cleaner thyroid medications which are easier to absorb, such as Tirosint

#3. Your dose is not quite right. 

Lastly, don't blame your thyroid medication if you can't lose weight until you optimize your dose!

Optimizing your dose includes basing your dose off of more than just your TSH. 

You should also be looking at your free thyroid hormone lab tests such as free T3 and free T4

You might be on a dose of thyroid medication which puts your TSH in the sweet spot but is not high enough to increase your free T3 and free T4. 

If this happens you simply won't feel better or be able to lose weight. 

Final Thoughts

If you are a low thyroid patient struggling to lose weight and you are looking for some help from your thyroid medication make sure you follow these rules!

#1. Make sure that that your thyroid medication is being absorbed properly. 

#2. Make sure that your dose is optimized and high enough for your body. 

#3. Consider taking T3 thyroid hormone medication in some form (any type will do). 

#4. Check your lab tests to make sure your free T3 and free T4 are in the right range!

By following these steps you should be able to finally lose weight and start to feel better. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you currently struggling to lose weight?

What thyroid medication are you taking right now? Do you think it's helping or hurting you?

Are you taking a medication which contains T3 right now? If so, have you noticed a difference?

Leave your questions or comments below! 

References (Click to Expand)

the best thyroid medication for weight loss pinterest

Dr. Westin Childs

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 45,000+ people have used them over the last 4.5 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

92 thoughts on “The Best Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss”

  1. Hi Dr Childs
    I am a 52yr old female and I am currently taking 112mcg of synthroid and I am struggling with weight gain since having a thyroidectomy in 2014. It seems no amount of diet or exercise is helping.
    I have started taking your supplements for patients without a thyroid for a week now.
    I am hoping this will help me.
    With the weight gain has come high blood pressure,acid reflux and heart palpitations among other medical issues.

    Reply
    • Hi Rachael,

      Weight loss is always much more difficult after thyroidectomy. You will have to be very aggressive with everything including supplements, diet, exercise, thyroid medications, etc. I would also strongly suggest looking into this program if weight loss is your primary goal: https://www.restartmed.com/hormone-mastery/

      Reply
  2. My doctor will not prescribe T3 as to expensive. I used to be slim but the last few years since having underactive thyroid I am now so overweight. I take woodhark levo thyroxine

    Reply
  3. I’m taking levothyroxine 200mcg I’ve been struggling ever since the old formulation Eltroxine was changed to new formulation

    Reply
  4. Hi I’ve been on levothyroxine and have switched to desiccated hormone and still haven’t lost weight. I’m taking 30mcg a day and feel lousy!!! And still have weight gain issues. My doctor won’t test any other range of thyroid because when the they test my th4 is within range and says it needs no more testing!!! What can I do??? Maybe I need t3?

    Reply
    • Lucia, Did you know that T3 only stays active for around 3 hours, so it must be dosed at least twice a day. I take NP thyroid twice a day. The first dose is 30 mg. and the second dose is 6o mg. I was taking one 60 mg. twice a day and found that to be too much thyroid hormone for me. When I cut it back to taking 30 mg. once and then 60 mg. later the same day, it was just right for me.

      Reply
  5. Hi I live in Scotland we have GP’s from our NHS -in our local doctors surgery – I have been taking t4 Levothyroxine for 20 yrs I argue with my doctors each and everyone that I’ve seen and none will give me T3 – I have many debilitating effects of hypothyroidism that I’ve given up on my GP’s there is no point in asking anymore- I take 100mg daily can you suggest a T3 I could add myself ( I did ask doctor to support me if I bought it myself no one will help) it does frighten me as I cannot get test done to monitor my levels – should I just add it anyway – I can not afford private health care and apparently it’s the same doctors that specialise in t4 only anyway – desperately seeking help my mistreatment is going to end me or leave me with a life not worth living as I cannot do the things I should be able to at my age which is 53 I feel 83
    Many thanks
    Laurna

    Reply
    • Hi..my name is Rj and I am Fromm Malaysia and I follow you Dr Westin.
      I am 61 and have been on Levoroxine Sodium 50mg for about 3-4 years.
      Appetite and weight loss is such a pain even though my GP assured me that the Levo will address my hypothyroid issues
      I have been reading your articles about the new formulated supplement that may help with this issue.
      Please advise

      Reply
    • Omg, you sound so much like me, 6yrs living with this horrible illness and it’s getting worse instead of better, I’ve been taken off all medication now as my levels are surpressed? I’ve gained a stone and half since May haven’t been this weight for years, fat bloated angry frustrated fatigue and no one really cares! My life and me have fell apart, I hope you find someone to help you? Just wanted you to know am thinking about you, Debbie x

      Reply
  6. I have been taking NP Thyroid medication since April 2020. I started your supplements recommended for low Thyroid the first part of May. My doctor ordered labs but this pandemic occurred so I have not gone to have this done. Anxious to find out if the medication and/or supplements are making a difference so will go soon. One thing I do know is the scales are not budging. I take 0.5 GR of NP first thing in the morning and wait at 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything. Perhaps I am under dosed. I only took Thyroid supplements prior after trying Levothyroxine 5 years ago. I just don’t like to take medication.

    Reply
    • Hi Phyllis,

      You very well could be underdosed! That’s the first place I would look. Make sure to recheck your labs when you are able, especially free thyroid hormones.

      Reply
  7. I’m on 60 mg of Armour. Was on 90 mg but my hair has been shedding so bad since the increase that Dr took me back down to 60 thinking I was getting too much thyroid even though my numbers show I could probably use an increase in meds. I feel fine, but I’ve put on 5 pounds since January and it’s not budging. I’m a personal trainer so I know all about exercise. Any thoughts? I’m also on bio identical hormones, maybe that’s why the weight gain?

    Reply
    • Hi Kristel,

      It could be many things and there really isn’t enough info for me to say one way or the other. But, yes, if your BHRT is off or you are taking too much then that can certainly impede your ability to lose weight.

      Reply
  8. Hi Dr Childs
    I’ve struggled for the last 5 years trying to find a dr that understands my situation. I am currently on 100 mcg levoxyl and 10 mcg liothyronine. I’ve gone gluten and dairy free and I’m still gaining. I exercise some but I’m always exhausted. I feel helpless. Do you have any advice for me?

    Reply
  9. I am currently taking Naturetyroid. I’ve gained 15 lbs since I started. I am losing my mind! I workout and watch everything I eat, but I can’t lose a pound. I am so depressed that I don’t want to leave the house.

    Reply
  10. I’m currently taking 125mg of Levothyroxine and struggling with my weight. Every time my doctor increased my dosage my weight went up 10-15lbs. My last lab results showed I may need another increase. I currently work as a Correctional Officer and walk an average of 6-8miles in a 12hr shift, I’ve completely cleaned up my diet and I still struggle with not losing weight.

    Reply
  11. Hi, I’m currently taking 113.75 of Nature Thyroid. I’ve been autoimmune hypothyroidism for 15 years. 4 years ago dr wanted me to try levothyroxine , I gained 20lb. I went back to Nature Thyroid and haven’t gained but can’t lose it. I have tried everything from exercising a ton, gluten free, high protein low card, IF, and can’t drop a pound. I’m 49 and miserable at my current weight. What else should I be asking my dr? I asked about adrenal failure so she put me on 300 mg Bupropen. Covid stress at work has made fatigue worse which I know effects the thyroid. I’ll try anything. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Tammy,

      You’ll want to start by checking all of your hormone levels including thyroid, insulin, leptin, cortisol, etc. From there you can then figure out what your main issues are 🙂

      Reply
  12. I take 150 mg of Armour daily and wait an hour before eating breakfast. I tried 90 and 135 mg Armour daily and couldn’t function. I even tried splitting dose ( 135 mg upon waking and 15 mg in the afternoon). Last year I tried 120 mg of Armour with 10 mcg of Cytomel. My TSH, Free T3 and 4 are optimal. I have gained 35 lbs and the fat in my midsection is causing medical problems. I diet and exercise constantly. Keep a diary of thyroid medication, food, exercise, sleep, etc hoping to find an answer.

    Reply
  13. Hi
    I take 200mcg levothyroxine daily. My weight has increased constantly, I do SlimmingWorld exercise 4/5 times a week but still am unable to loose any weight. I’m at a loss what more I can do. Reading your article has made me think maybe it’s my thyroid problem, what can I ask my GP for to maybe help me?
    Before I was diagnosed I lost 5 stone in around 4 months, I had iodine treatment to remove my thyroid and since then have really struggled to maintain my weight.
    Thank you

    Reply
  14. I’m almost 70. For at last 5 years my TSH has been a little to high – between 3.5 and up to 6.3. My free T3 and T4 are in the low end, but a lot of symtoms. My doctor finds everything is fine, and didn’t give me any medicine.
    I found some help a couple of years ago from another doctor, who started treating me for Leaky gut. That helped, but not enough.
    Becide lansoprazol, I don’t take any medication. Only minerals as Zink, Selen and vitamins as D, C and B. And of cource probiotic and glutamine.
    I’m folowing your website with great interest here from Denmark.

    Reply
    • Hi Hanne,

      Glad it’s helping! One piece of advice would be to try and get off of lansoprazole as fast as possible as long-term use is known to cause many problems with nutrient absorption and gut bacterial diversity.

      Reply
  15. I am not currently taking anything for thyroid but was previously diagnosed hypothyroid in 2013, my doctor put me on levothyroxine and I started to do better and lose weight. But I moved from CO to Fl in 2016 and I ran out of medicine and have been unable to find the right doctor here in Fl. Not for a lack of trying! No one would test anything other than my TSH and they all said it was in the “normal” range!! No one will help me here or take my symptoms under consideration! Meanwhile I continue to struggle every day with terrible symptoms that I had when originally being diagnosed! I have been reading your articles and really wish you were here in FL!!

    Reply
    • I understand, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 1999! I was on Synthroid for years and then they changed it to levothyroxine, finally an integrative doctor added T3 But that was about five years ago, I live in Florida also, my new primary care doctor is treating my thyroid he says it is optimal now but I still have all those terrible symptoms which I am thinking could be due to adrenal glands…I have an appointment with my primary care in a few days he is a great Dr. but … I am going to ask him to do the cortisol serum and maybe a few other test help determine what is going on… Have gained so much weight, extremely tired, depression.. u know the list.. if he doesn’t care to help I will look for another Dr. that will..

      Reply
  16. Hi I’m Chantelle
    I take 100mg of tertroxin in the morning without food .
    I have put on 10kgs since February and I’m feeling very puffy and crap .

    Reply
  17. Hello. I’m taking 105 mg (90+15)of NP thyroid. I take it early in the morning or even the middle of the night sometimes so absorption should be good. Been taking the thyroidectomy + RAI supplements too but I’m very bloated. Can’t lose weight to save my life despite exercising 5-6 times a week and cutting fried foods and other fatty foods. It’s a losing battle. Been dealing with this for 14 years and I’m exhausted. The brain fog, the lack of good medical care, the excessive weight. I’m so over it. I don’t know what’s helping or hurting anymore.

    Reply
  18. I have been on Synthroid, then Levothyroxin for 20 years. I am 54 yrs old and just lost 33lbs and dropped 4 pant sizes. I am not alone. I know many others with hypoactive thyroid, like me, who have lost their weight and are keeping it off. I wish I could share because it has been life changing. I have energy, sleep soundly, and no more back pain I dealt with for 26 years. My doctor is thrilled!

    Reply
  19. I’m 55 a was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at age 34. I have always taken Levothyroxine at various doses. I started on 50mcg daily and was on that for years, then bumped up to 75mcg for several years and currently on 100mcg. I am a nurse so I know to wait 30 min after taking it for any foods, drinks or other meds. I have been trying to lose weight and the struggle is real. I have lost 18 lbs in the last year but, again, a struggle! I still need to lose another 60 lbs. I have had my thyroid labs checked in the last year and my dose was increased from 88mcg to 100mcg. I still have daily fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails and dry skin on top of very slow weight loss. I seem to be stuck with my current weight for 5 or 6 months now. I want to work out but when I get home from work, I’m just too exhausted. I have an appointment with my PCP in the morning so I’m going to talk to her about adding a T3 med. My Endocrinologist moved away but he took offense when I had my PCP do a full thyroid panel, saying,”I guess you know better than me what labs you need ordered.” I am currently looking for another Endocrinologist. Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Reply
  20. Hi!
    I have been having thyroid symptoms for a couple years post three kids (I’m 37). My numbers have just been tinkering back and forth. My most recent bloodwork a week ago showed my tsh at 3.6, free t4 at 1.36 and t3 at 4.3. Currently have been on 32.5 mg of Naturthyroid for almost a year and dr. just suggested taking another dose per day. What supplements would you suggest for that or any advice? I feel pretty good, but would like to loose 5-10 lbs, and it just seems hard to do that even while being very active and working out 3 times a weeks for an hour. Any help or advice for your supplements would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  21. Hi..I’m a 47 yr old female that had jo health issues until about 1.5 years ago when all of a sudden I just bottomed out after 3 years of tremendous stress. My hairdresser urged me to go to the dr Nd demand a thyroid test due to my hair texture had changed drastically. I also had lost about 45 lbs of weight and suddenly it started coming back with mo change in my diet or exercise regime. Dr visit confirmed hypothyroidism…currently taking Natur thyroid 65 mgs daily.. still on same diet and exercise but no change in my weight but thyroid symptoms are much better… not sure what to do about the weight problem at this point

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa,

      Once diagnosed with a thyroid problem weight management becomes a lot more difficult. This means you will have to be aggressive with healthy eating, exercising, hormone management, etc. If you aren’t already doing these things then I would start there 🙂

      Reply
  22. Hi I am 51 been on a very low dose of 15mg of Amour and supplements to support my thyroid since my hysterectomy 10 yrs ago (Also using BHRT) and have felt pretty much level until the last 6months something shifted in my body and I am gaining weight, fatigue excessive loss of hair, dry skin NO sex drive, sleep issue etc. I’ve tried increasing my Amour and I get heart palpitations, anxiety and IBS. So after researching I think I need to address possible cortisol/adrenal issue before increasing would you agree? I’m thinking I should try your full thyroid support? I do have MTHFR and histamine issues.

    Reply
    • Hi
      I’m glad you brought this up. I have Hashimotos and did very well on Armour Thyroid for years. Until I didn’t anymore. Suddenly my T3 levels were too high. Racing heart, anxiety through the roof, lost 40 lbs in 6 weeks without trying. I was having a thyroid storm- which is often fatal. My GP did not catch it- thought I needed to go to the mental hospital!!!!
      Finally saw a good endocrinologist (not all are good) who immediately identified the problem. I am now on brand name Synthroid. We have tried adding minute amounts of Cytomel (T3) to help with weight loss, but the racing heart starts right up again.
      Please go see an endocrinologist immediately.

      Reply
  23. For the past 3 years I’ve been taking a combination of 100mcg Levothyroxine and 10 mcg T3. No weight loss. Prior to that, 125mcg of Levothyroxine. Yesterday I started have taking 4.5 mcg of LDN. I am hoping this will work. I need to lose 30kg, I have put on 40kg in 20 years, 10 of it in the first year, and 10 in the last year, so 20kg over the remaining 18 years. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s for 10 years. I used Contrave last year, lost 6kg but when stopped using it, I put on 12kg. I got down to 80kg in 2015 using Duromine, but again once stopped, put it all back on, plus more. Would be grateful for any feedback.

    Reply
  24. Dr. Childs,

    I been in Levothyroxine for many many years. Last October my dose was increased to 112mg but I started to gain weight and feel more tired and without energy. What worries me the most is the weight gain. Should I have my doctor increase my dose, even though my T3 and T4 are normal? Only my TSH is high.

    Reply
  25. I am Person A….! on 5mcg liothyronine and 75mcg levothyroxine….. and still struggling with weight issues!
    I am afraid that my GP won’t change my dose if bloods come back ‘in range’
    I only got the T3 by going private, 3 yrs ago….. and it has been over 2 yrs since I had my bloods checked…. ‍♀️

    The only way I have managed to lose a few pound is by doing 800 ish cals…. which is difficult to sustain.

    (Scotland)

    Reply
  26. Hi, I ( I was born with a non functioning Thyroid gland. in 1957. so I was put on the Dessicated thyroid meds. Did great no major health or weight issues until 1970’s I was switched to Synthroid or Levothyroxine and my dosages changed a lot depending on the doctors and by blood tests over the past 40 years. Granted as I got older it was harder to control my weight. But I can not believe that just because I am 63- old that I should give up on trying to keep slim . now with the Covid19 I definantly do not want to fall victim because I’m obese. I want to get this extra weight off as quickly as I can.
    I am very active, but it’s seems like diet and exercise is not cutting it. Been struggling with my extra weight for the past 3 years. I do not want to be Fat/obese. but when you take just Synthroid it’s not cutting it either, and I get it. 90% of doctors do not want to switch people dessicated that easily. and ya can’t just switch doctors if they are not in your Health insurance .

    So Currently I take 112mcg of Synthroid… my recent blood test
    my doctor did a
    Peg Stark

    Thu, Sep 17, 9:14 PM (3 days ago)
    FTSH W/RFLX FT4 1.60 reference range is 60-4.80 (uIU/mL)
    Back in June 13, 2020 he did a T3 total lab result 106. Reference range is from 76-181.

    do you think I can benefit with going on Liothyronine and how much can I take with out it going over 181 in the reference range? I really need to loose the weight I have tried weight loss meds, Phentermine it made my heart race too much I could not sleep felt like I was running a Marathon at full speed.
    I am not diabetic my fasting blood glucose tests always at 100 but not enough to take diabetic drugs yet. and even those cause too many side effects. that now days if it causes diarrhea, nausea , stomach issues , headaches, can be hard to distinguish from the medication or if you have Covid19.. ? NOPE can’t take those.

    I did take Liothyronine last year for a short time by an endocrinologist but she had me on such a low dose of the T3, 5mcg or 10mcg. but I did not seen much weight loss. and my Doctor said at one time that I may be one of those who may need more T3 or more Synthroid. but now that my Synthroid is in the Normal range, I think I need the T3 med????

    Reply
  27. I’m 58 yr old female and I’ve been taking Synthroid since I was 29 yrs old. I’ve struggled with my weight since then. I now weigh 230 lbs. my dosage on synthroid is .137. I’m also on metphormen as well. No matter what I do my weight does not budge. It doesn’t matter how much exercise I do or don’t do it doesn’t matter how much or how little I eat or what I eat my weight stays the same. Do you think perhaps I would do better on a different thyroid medication.

    Reply
  28. I started SR T3 at 15mcg & then 20 mcg 5 years ago at 55. I’ve put on 50 pounds since. I was always slender prior, my whole life. I now have a Leptin of 75, my TSH is 1.2, R3 is low, free T3 & T4 normal. I have tried everything, gone to every kind of dr & functional med person, have severe fatigue & weight just goes up. Going to try saxceda. Switched from SR T3 to Cytomel this week. Idk if its thyroid or Leptin, or why I became Leptin resistant. Can’t be just menopause.

    Reply
  29. Great info! My husband had thyroid cancer 5 years ago with a full thyroidectomy and is only on levothyroxine. Is an added T3 something that would help him combat weight gain (aside from just getting more exercise) since he doesn’t have a thyroid to do the T3 conversion? He argues with me about these topics and refuses to believe that I’ve been battling hypothyroid (even if only subclinical), so I’m highly curious on a professional’s opinion. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  30. Hi, I’m 64 and have been on levothyroxine and synthesis since I turned 40 over 20 years. I recently tried going to a naturopath chiropractor about 4 years back, and was feeling pretty good while doing so and following his protocol with supplementation, but it became so expensive, I had to quit. When I went to an endocrinologist for my thyroid care, he made me come off the natural desiccated thyroid supplement because he said it was damaging my heart. Now I’m back on synthroid and I’ve been gaining weight like crazy! I’m so mad! But don’t know what to do!!

    Reply
  31. I have a stash of thyroid T4/T3 meds that have not worked. I have issue with the T3 conversion and possibly absorption. if I take one thyroid tablet, powder it , dissolve it in something acidity. Something like Apple Cider Vinegar or HCI or digestive enzyme and creating a drink like this help the body absorb the thyroid better? What do you think? Do you have any ideas about this line of thought? There has got to be a way to release the thyroid from the filler material.

    Reply
  32. Dear Dr Child’s,
    I have read your articles with interest. I live in Uk and have been taking Levothyroxine for over 15 years. Hypothyroidism is treated very much at arms length by NHS. An annual blood test by the GP if you are lucky. At the present time due to COVID-19 seeing Doctor to discuss anything’s a luxury not afforded to us. I find it Impossible loose weight and getting my medication changed to suit me personally rather than a one size fits all is not going to happen. Is there any advice you can offer me and fellow suffers in UK to help us. I notice you had a correspondence from a lady in Scotland back in May 2020 in a similar situation but you haven’t published a reply.

    Reply
    • Hi Lesley,

      I’ve had a number of patients from the UK tell me that the best option is to see a private doctor. A number of people on this blog are being treated with T3 in the UK through various means and mostly through private doctors as I recall.

      Reply
  33. Hi Dr. Childs,
    This information is very helpful. I do well with T3 in my prescription. I’ve been on all NDTs but Armour due to multiple recalls. I was put on 105 MG of NP Thyroid in October 2020 due to recalls and my energy has dropped significantly. My latest labs are: TSH 2.4; Free T3: 3.14 and Free T4: 0.90. Both the Ft3 and FT4 have dropped off from when I was taking Naturthroid and the TSH has increased. I know my TSH is too high, but don’t know how the effects of lower Ft4 and Ft3 playout? I want to ask my doctor to switch me to either Armour or Cytomel/Tirosint, due to my very low energy, but am debating which to go with. Any guidance is appreciated! Angela

    Reply
  34. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I switched to Armour Thyroid this summer and have lost NO weight. I actually believe I have gained weight, but I do not know if that is thyroid or stress related. I take four pills a day, two in the am/two in the pm. I also struggle with leaky gut (from SIBO and IBS) for years now. Any thoughts or suggestions?
    Thank you

    Reply
  35. Hi Dr. Child’s,

    Happy New Year!

    I’m 49 and been on Synthroid .75 mg for 10 years or more. I struggle with energy and the only thing I’ve noticed and hate is all the hair I’ve lost. You can see my scalp. I need to eat better but I try to take Synthroid in the morning an hour before anything else.

    How do I know when I should switch. My Dr always says my labs are good but I know she doesn’t test me for everything. Where do I even go to get tested for everything?

    I miss my hair and I can’t loose weight fast enough even I do try at times. Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Mashel,

      If you have been with a doctor for 6+ months and aren’t feeling any better than that would probably be a good indicator that a switch is necessary 🙂

      Reply
  36. Every year, I tend to gain weight starting before or around Thanksgiving through March. I make no real changes and start losing after that. I’m thinking shorter days effect my metabolism more than holiday eating. I’m wondering if there is any research about conversion issues through the winter months? I will have to test (Especially RT3), but I was hoping my doctor might be willing to add T3 to my nature thyroid.

    Reply
    • Hi Carrie,

      If it makes you feel any better it is seasonal with me, too. I am not on any prescription medication, but I have hypo symptoms (a little weight gain, brittle nails) in winter. I up my supplements (kelp, L-Tyrosine, selenium, berberine, etc.), and that helps. When summer comes around, I lose a few pounds effortlessly and my nails grow long, but I also get pretty severe insomnia. I probably have adrenal issues, but I’ve come to accept this. At least it is predictable, and I don’t have any fatigue, joint pain, brain fog or other issues at any time of the year.

      Reply
  37. Hi Dr Childs,
    I had a total thyroidectomy nine years ago.
    I am on both Levothyroxine and Liothyronine 100mcg each!
    As the T4 can be converted to rT3 would be ok to get off the T4.
    After hearing about T3 through your blogs a couple of years ago, I gave my doctor a link to your articles and my doctor was ready then to work with me and prescribe the T3 Liothyronine!
    It has worked really well for me, however I have noticed a little weight creeping on!
    So just wondering if T3 only would be ok without a thyroid?
    Thank-you so much for your articles and sharing your wealth of knowledge freely on the internet!
    Regards,
    Barbara

    Reply
  38. I had RAI ablation of my thyroid years ago and struggled with wretched doctors unwilling to prescribe. Other thyroid patients and researchers helped me manage despite US doctors unrelenting insistence on T4 only – or mostly T4 with a smidge of T3. I spent a fortune on naturopaths and endocrinologists and sought medical help in 3 countries. Finally I connected with a researcher in the UK who said that I should be on T3 only since the destruction of my thyroid meant it would no longer be strong enough to efficiently convert t4 to t3 (then to t2 and t1). That finally made complete sense to me! I found a way to get that prescription and take 125 per day. Now I can get out of bed and think like a human again. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m about 80 percent and greatly improved.
    To the other patients, I say ignore them and seek your own path to well being. Read everything. Listen to your body. Seek information elsewhere than the establishment and you shall find. This website is great at explaining much of what you need to understand.

    Reply
  39. 42 yr old female, taking 100 mcg Levothyroxine. I am 5’6” and 169lbs, vegetarian and always eating healthy, still can’t lose weight. No coffee, tea, junk foods. Don’t know what else to do. My dr tried adding a small dose of armor thyroid, but she said the numbers went wrong, so made me stop that. Need to lose at least 15 lbs , my original weight before being diagnosed with Hashimoto.

    Reply
  40. I’m at the beginning part of addressing my thyroid. I’m a 49 year old that has a thyroid nodule on my left side that is 4.5×4.8 cm. I have had an ultrasound that came back suspicious so I was sent on to have a FNAB last Wednesday and am waiting the results. My TSH is .86, T4, free 1.3, T3, free 2.4, T3 reverse 26, thyroid antibodies 1. Is there anything I should be aware of or concerned about?

    Reply
  41. 64 yo on synthroid for over 30 years. Added cytomel 10 years ago currently on 88mcg Synthroid and 10mcg Cytomel 2 times daily., for a total of 20mcgs daily….. tsh fluctuates between .350 and 1.0 free t4 always low .51 last time and free t3 hangs around 2.6 feel bad most of the time

    Reply
  42. I was fortunate to come across Dr Westin on YouTube. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email reply the next day (thank you Dr Westin!). I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in July 2020 and started on Levothyroxine 75mcg. Blood work up after 6 weeks on the Medication revealed TSH back to normal. I cannot remember the results of T3/T4. Unfortunately, healthcare is not what it used to be. Nowadays it’s all about money and less time educating the patient. The Endocrinologist did not educate me but just told me my TSH level was back to normal and will maintain me on the dosage with a F/u appointment in 6 months along with blood work up. I requested a nutritionist, but he is not that good. I find myself doing my own web and YouTube research causing undue stress. The more I research the more confusing Ive become due to information contradicting one another. It seems that it’s not clear what foods should and shouldn’t be consumed by those with hypothyroidism. I’ve been on Levothyroxine for almost 5 months now and still feel awful. Within the 6 weeks I lost 6 lbs, but thereafter gained it all back. I continue to not lose weight, but gain. Part of my problem is that I don’t have a diet to focus on. I need help with an affordable 7 day diet plan. I am extremely fatigued, generalized muscle aches and joint pain, severe insomnia, swollen, and constipated (on meds which helps). The one good thing is that I have not had a migraine for over a month now. Dr Westin sent me a wealth of information which included a list of T3 medication. I plan to contact the Endocrinologist to discuss my case. Thank you bunches Dr Westin for helping us staying educated about our thyroid issue. We need more medical providers that cares about health than the politics that goes along with healthcare. God bless you.

    Reply
  43. I’ve just started on compound T4 (100mcg) and T3 (10mcg). On day six and has not noticed improvement as yet. I have high TSH (above 15) and low T4 and T3, very high RT3 and both antibodies very high as well. How long should I expect before I see any results? How will I figure out the right does. Weight problem or hairloss isn’t my concern, but tiredness, vertigo, shortness of breath, brainfog, and mood swings. My doctor has agreed to the compound but is not a great support. I have to figure this out for myself. My naturopath helps me with gut and andrenals but when it comes to the thyroid medication I feel I’m on my own.

    Reply
  44. Hi Dr Childs,

    When taking T3 Liothyronine, what is the best time of day to take T3? I have one tablet a day.
    How long is a T3 tablet active in the body for, once consumed?

    Reply
  45. Hello Dr.Childs,

    I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidsm fairly recently. I am currently taking Levothyroxine 75mcg.I eat a whole 30 Diet, Workout 5 days a week (strength training) but still not able to lose any weight. My symptoms are better than before but I am not as energised as i used to be anymore. Can you please suggest what can i do to lose the gained weight.

    Reply
  46. Does anyone feel worse when taking Synthroid or Levothyroxine?
    I have been prescribed this for hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s however as soon as I start taking it I wake with headaches, have muscle aches like I have completed an intense workout, extreme hot flashes, and feel like someone has their hands around my neck. My doctor primary, and endo have only checked the TSH and T4.

    Reply
  47. Hello Dr. Childs. I’m am 58 yr old female, hashimotos for 31 years. I’m taking 60mcg desiccated thyroid. Have struggled with weight for 25 years and I now need to lose 80 lbs. I am relatively active. (Minus Covid) but I can’t find what works. I’ve used the help of apps to count carbs/keto/macros, followed strict keto 1269cal for 4 months and lost 2 lbs. (fell off the wagon at Christmas) How do you feel about eating for your blood type? I’m “O” and I’ve not tried that version.

    Reply
  48. Hello Dr. Childs
    Let me start off by thanking you for all the available information you provide, as well as your supplements. Those have been a great game changer. I do have a question on dosing. So I was on Naturthroid until the recall, Which I have you to thank for bringing to my attention. My doctor knew nothing of it. The pharmacist had heard, though hadn’t bothered bringing the information to anyone’s attention. I since then have switch to a compounded T3 /T4 at the same dose as the Naturthroid. I feel good, though my weight is consistently increasing, despite my efforts of an incredibly clean diet and exercise. My doctor was happy to see my last lab- my T3 & T4 were in range. Though to my concern, my reverse T3 was incredibly high. In a red zone on the lab result form. My doctor didnt pay it any attention. I feel perhaps she just doesn’t understand it all. Finally getting my other numbers in check was the goal, so- goal accomplished, right? Oh, how I wish. However, wouldn’t the high reverse T3 possible kick me in to hyperthyroid and, as I am experiencing, weight gain? So I ask for your advice, Which should be decreased in such a case, the T3 or T4? and by how much of a decrease is recommended at a time? I feel most doctors are just not educated on prescribing such meds, so they are reluctant to rock the boat. It was difficult enough seeking out a doctor who would prescribe the Naturthroid. In the western world of big Pharm medication, what they know is Levothyroxine. How and why would I ever question the authority of a doctor who is telling me I need to take it! Whew. The hoops we must jump while advocating for our own health. So thank you for helping navigate. Any advice would be most appreciated! Many New Years Wishes to you and your lovely family.

    Reply
  49. I am 48 years old, 5’4” and 185#s. I have been taking different doses and types of T3 and T4 since 2014. In 2018 my previous Dr retired and my new dr only prescribed Synthroid, which I packed on 45# in three months. He passed away and in 2/2019 I found a new dr who agreed that I needed T3, so I was still on Synthroid and she added Sustained Release T3 compound at a dose of 10mcg and gradually increased it to where I am now at 60mcg in the morning and 30mcg in late afternoon. I had some RT3 issues during the increases so we removed the Synthroid altogether and I am now on SR T3 only.
    I still am overweight by 45#s but some of my other symptoms have subsided. I still have fatigue issues but I also have CAEBV, so we are looking into gut issues and trying to clear them all up in hopes to put the CAEBV in some kind of remission. She also will look into heavy metal toxicity on my next labs in Jan. I take numerous supplements and BHRT Progesterone because I am estrogen dominant and low cortisol, which I will also test salvia in Jan. I am on an Intermittent 14/10 & 16/8 diet.

    My last labs were:
    TSH <0.50 (1.8-2.0)
    T4free .20 (1.0-1.5)
    T3free 3.4. (3.0-4.0)
    RT3. 2.5 (9-35)
    T3:RT3 ratio 136
    Iron 121 (37-145)
    Ferritin 126 (20-50)
    TIBC 330 (250-350)
    HS-CRP 14 (<1.0)
    HBA1C 6.2 (<5.2)
    Homocysteine 4.9 (5.5-8)
    Vit D 70.78 (35-80)
    ESR/SED 17 (<10)

    Any ideas of how to get this weight off?

    Reply
  50. My name is Anna I have been on thyroid medication for about 8 to 10 years, mostly levothyroxine. In the last 1 1/2 years I have been taking Synthroid 125. My doctor keeps telling me she will not let me take any other natural drugs because she is probably getting a kick back from giving me these drugs. I have no thyroid. It was removed around 2018. I have tried and tried to get her to let me try something else. I have gained more weight than I even weighed at 9 months pregnant. I have since switched doctors and I am running into the same situation. I have told her of the side effects I have and she dosen’t seem to care. I am ready to just stop taking anything at all. PLEASE HELP!!!

    Reply
  51. My Dr let me try T3 alone but I can’t seem to sleep through the night when I take it. I wake up around 3 and can’t go back to sleep. I stopped it after one week because I cannot go without sleep. Is this common or should I have kept going with it?

    Reply
  52. Hello Dr. Childs,

    Do patients, who have about 15 pounds to lose and have been diagnosed hypothyroid, generally have more success losing 15 pounds of weight with a NDT like Armour or a straight compounded SR T3? I understand that everyone is different, but I just want to know what is your opinion ‘generally’ among patients. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Catherine

    Reply
  53. I had been taking Levothyroxine for about 3 years and had an extremely hard time losing weight, even with diet & exercise change. I recently switched to Tirosint, and though I still want to give it some more time, it isn’t doing much at all to help. My T3 levels are within normal range, but do you still think I’d need a T3 medication to help with the weight loss? Or would that just cause me to go hyper? I don’t even think my endocrinologist would approve of it.

    Reply
    • Hi Val,

      T3 medications tend to be better for weight loss compared to T4 only thyroid medications but they can cause issues such as increasing your risk of hyperthyroidism.

      Reply
  54. I take armour thyroid and have for many years. All of my labs are in the normal areas except for the t4 is always low. I have never seen any weight loss benefit. My doctor seems fine with this but I would like to know why the t4 remains low. Even if he ups the dose it still remains low.

    Reply
    • Hi April,

      Armour thyroid pushes the T4 lower because it contains T3. Some people experience this issue when using NDT because they are more sensitive to the effects of T3 at the pituitary level.

      Reply
  55. I am on 5mg liothyronine plus .137mg levothyroxine.

    I just added the liothyronine 3 months ago. I still hair fatigue and hair loss not losing an weight. Alot of other symptoms.

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy,

      It’s important to remember that it’s not the medication that makes you feel better but the dose. So if you are not feeling well on those medications then take a close look at your dose as you may need a higher dose.

      Reply
  56. Hello Dr.
    After the birth of my son In November of 2018, i lost about 40 pds in 2 months. Then, about a year later, I gained the 40 back within about 4 months, plus 20 more! This is very abnormal for me, as I’ve always been pretty petite and active, especially as a new mom. I finally got into an endocrinologist and was diagnosed w hypothyroidism. After several labs and complaints to my Dr., she finally did more than just a tsh- she did a free t3, and free t4 and those levels came back within a normal range. However, I’m still not losing ANY WEIGHT!! It’s been a year on my t4 now(synthroid 88mcg), so why havent I lossed any weight? I don’t know what else 2 do and my Dr is refusing anymore testing or med changes. Please help!, Dr.!!

    Reply

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