Living with Thyroid Problems: 7 Things You Should Know

Living With Thyroid Problems: 7 Things You Should Know

What I Wish Thyroid Patients Knew Before They Were Diagnosed

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Let’s talk about how thyroid disease can impact your life. 

Did you know that being diagnosed with a thyroid problem means that you will experience life-changing symptoms?

Did you know that these symptoms may persist for the rest of your life?

Having a thyroid problem is no joke because it’s what I refer to as the master regulator of your hormones. 

Your thyroid helps to control and regulate other hormones (1) in your body which, in turn, can impact functions such as your metabolism, your mood, your mental clarity, your hair, your digestion, and much more. 

I’ve been helping thyroid patients for around 6 years and I’ve learned quite a bit in that time. 

And one that I wish was more common was a simple understanding of what thyroid patients (both existing thyroid patients and future thyroid patients) face. 

If thyroid patients were armed with this information then they would be better equipped to deal with their doctors, to advocate for better treatments, to better manage their relationships, and much more. 

Unfortunately, most thyroid patients are not equipped with this information which means they can easily be swayed by the incorrect opinions of doctors and even other thyroid patients!

Some thyroid patients may spend years (or even decades) of their life before they learn this important information all on their own. 

So allow me to set you on the fast track. Let’s save you years of learning so you can get on the path to feeling better right now. 

And, by the way, this information applies to ANYONE that has a thyroid problem and regardless of how long you’ve had that thyroid issue. 

With that in mind, let’s jump in: 


Foods to Avoid if you Have Thyroid Problems:

I’ve found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should avoid if you have thyroid disease of any type.


The Complete List of Thyroid Lab tests:

The list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose and manage thyroid disease correctly!


#1. It will be Harder for You to Lose weight Compared to People Without a Thyroid Problem. 

Every single thing on this list is important but this is something that you need to be aware of right away. 

The fact is that because you have a thyroid problem it will be more difficult for you to lose weight compared to someone who has a functioning thyroid gland. 

I know, it’s unfair, but that’s just the way it is, and here’s why:

Your thyroid gland helps to control about 60% of your metabolism (2). 

That means a huge percentage of the calories that you burn on a daily basis stem from how well your thyroid gland is working. 

If you have a hypothyroid or low thyroid condition then you better believe that your caloric burn will be less than the average person. 

So if you go about trying to manage your weight by reducing your calories, it’s just not going to work very well and may actually cause thyroid problems

This, by the way, is why it’s so easy for thyroid patients to pack on the pounds even while watching what they eat. 

The good news is that it doesn’t mean it will be impossible for you to lose weight but it does mean that you will need to be much more aggressive in your weight loss efforts compared to those with a normal thyroid gland. 

It also means that copying people who use standard weight loss tactics is not a good idea. 

Let’s take, for instance, the keto diet:

Imagine you have a girlfriend (with a normal thyroid gland) that hops on the keto diet and loses 20 pounds. 

So you think to yourself, “I should do that too!”. 

Because you have a thyroid problem, you can expect to get results equal to about half of whatever she experienced (and that’s assuming that the keto diet works for you! There’s good evidence to suggest it may be harmful to thyroid patients). 

This applies to pretty much any healthy weight loss diet, method, or tactic. 

Your weight loss success will take about twice as long as the average person and you will lose weight at about half of the rate. 

But let me be clear:

This information all assumes that your thyroid medication is not optimized. 

If you can optimize your thyroid medication (usually with a combo of T4 and T3) and if you can get your metabolism back to normal, then it will pretty much be as if you do not have a thyroid problem. 

We will talk more about how this works in later options so stay tuned. 

But if you are someone who goes to a standard endocrinologist or family practice doctor and gets on a dose of levothyroxine that is optimized based on your TSH, you can expect this 50% reduction in your weight loss efforts. 

#2. Doctors May Not Take Your Symptoms Seriously. 

This is something that is incredibly frustrating for thyroid patients and is something that you may have already dealt with (or will deal with, if you haven’t already). 

Doctors live in this box in which they believe that managing thyroid function is easy. 

They believe that if your TSH is in the normal range that your thyroid is perfectly normal. 

But what ends up happening is this:

Your TSH will be “normal” but you will still experience low thyroid symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, cold intolerance, and other low thyroid symptoms

And when you bring these symptoms up to your doctor they will tell you that it couldn’t possibly be related to your thyroid because it’s “normal”

Has this happened to you?

Some even take it a step further and blame your symptoms on depression, old age, and menopause. 

Here’s why this is such a big deal:

If you are a thyroid patient experiencing this problem then you might be thinking to yourself that it may be true or that you are just crazy. 

After all, you would assume that your doctor would know best, right?

But when you start to hear other experiences from thyroid patients you quickly realize that this is the norm and that many other thyroid patients are experiencing the exact same thing!

In fact, if you have experienced this issue please let me know below. 

The truth is that you are not crazy. 

The entire reason I have this website and produce so much information on the thyroid is to explain why this occurs!

If doctors did a good job treating thyroid patients then there would be no reason for my website to even exist. 

Just like I mentioned in #1 above, managing your thyroid symptoms will require looking beyond the TSH and using thyroid medications that contain both T4 and T3 thyroid hormones. 

#3. Some Thyroid Problems can be Reversed or Cured (But not all). 

It is absolutely the case that some people will be able to reverse or cure their thyroid condition. 

But you will find that this runs contrary to the advice given by most doctors. 

When you start taking thyroid medication your doctor will probably tell you that you will need to be on it for the rest of your life. 

But this isn’t always the case!

There are many causes of thyroid disease that can be reversed, especially if they are caught early enough!

Some conditions which can be reversed or cured include:

  • Hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s thyroiditis – Hashimoto’s, especially if caught early, can be reversed or at least put into remission in some people. 
  • Hypothyroidism from nutrient deficiencies – There are many reversible causes of hypothyroidism including zinc deficiency, selenium deficiency, and vitamin A deficiency. If your thyroid problem is from a nutrient deficiency then it will improve when you replace it! 
  • Hypothyroidism caused by infections, viruses, trauma, or inflammation – Viruses, trauma, and inflammation can all cause temporary low thyroid states which tend to resolve within about a year or so. 
  • Hypothyroidism caused after pregnancy – Some women experience postpartum thyroiditis which is often reversible and goes away on its own. 
  • Hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiencyIodine deficiency used to be the most common cause of reversible hypothyroidism and, more recently, is increasing in prevalence. 
  • Hypothyroidism from unknown causes – We don’t always know what caused a thyroid problem so if you don’t know then it may be the case that your thyroid problem was caused by one of the potentially reversible causes listed above. 

Even if your particular flavor of thyroid disease is NOT reversible, you should still have the mindset that you are going to go all-in and try to reverse it. 

Here’s why:

If you go all in and get as aggressive as possible with natural and medical therapies and along the way you discover that your disease can’t be reversed, well you have done a lot of good in the process. 

Many of the natural therapies that I recommend (which you can check out here) have the added bonus of reducing inflammation, assisting with weight loss, and helping your thyroid medication do its job. 

No one ever got hurt by eating more healthy whole foods, exercising more regularly, taking supplements, or making sure they exercise consistently. 

There’s virtually no downside to doing these things and the potential upside is huge, even if you can’t reverse your condition completely. 

If you can get off of your thyroid medication then it means you can be free of seeing your doctor every 3-6 months and getting your blood checked at the same interval!

Getting off of your thyroid medication means saving a huge amount of both money and time. 

#4. Some Days you may Feel Better Than Others. 

It’s pretty standard and normal for thyroid patients to have good days and bad days. 

The reason for this is simple:

When doctors replace the function of your thyroid gland with a prescription medication, they are giving you a single daily dose of thyroid hormone that is supposed to last all day. 

This is not at all what happens with your own thyroid gland when it is healthy. 

In fact, it’s the exact opposite. 

In the healthy setting, your thyroid gland is constantly producing thyroid hormone as it needs to throughout the day (3). 

If you find yourself in a particularly stressful situation, if you are sick, if you’ve gained weight, etc., then your thyroid gland will automatically compensate for this by changing how much thyroid hormone it produces or converts. 

But what happens if you are taking thyroid medication?

You lose the power to make these adjustments!

A single daily dose of thyroid hormone in the form of levothyroxine or Synthroid is better than nothing, but it’s nowhere near as efficient as your own thyroid gland. 

The result is that you will have some days where you are feeling great and others that you are feeling much worse and this is fairly normal. 

By the way, this same thing occurs even when you are taking forms of thyroid medication such as Natural Desiccated Thyroid or Cytomel/liothyronine

It may happen less frequently on these thyroid medications but it will still happen. 

This brings us to #5…

#5. Your Dose of Thyroid Medication Will Likely Change Throughout Your Life. 

A lot of thyroid patients wrongly believe that once they find their “dose” of thyroid medication that they will be on that dose for the rest of their life. 

Some even go as far as to stop seeing their doctor when they feel that they get there!

But the truth is that your dose of thyroid medication is very likely to change throughout your life. 


Changes to your stress, changes to your weight, changes to your health, new diagnoses, and even dieting, can all change how much thyroid hormone you need. 

And guess what?

If you are taking thyroid medication, your body will not be able to compensate for these changes which means that you will have to make changes to your thyroid medication dose. 

One of the most common scenarios in which thyroid patients need dose adjustments has to do with weight gain. 

The more weight that you gain the more likely that you are to need to adjust your dose of thyroid medication upward. 

But if you gain weight and do NOT change your dose then you will be more likely to gain even more weight. 

This also works on the flip side as well:

I talk a lot about natural therapies that thyroid patients can do without their doctors

Many of these therapies, if done correctly, can help your thyroid work better on its own. 

If you take supplements, change your diet, focus on reducing your stress, lose weight, and improve your sleep quality, there’s a good chance that you can lower your dose of thyroid medication

If you are taking thyroid medication and something has changed in your life that you think will impact your dose of thyroid medication then make sure you go to your doctor to get your thyroid labs rechecked and make adjustments as necessary. 

#6. You May Not Need to be on Thyroid Medication Forever. 

The standard advice that thyroid patients get from their doctor is that once they start taking thyroid medication they will need to be on it for the rest of their life. 

But is this really true?

Not exactly and new studies (4) have shown that there are many people taking thyroid medication that don’t need to be on it. 

Why do so many people get “stuck” taking thyroid medication?

Because no one ever bothered to ask two very simple questions:

#1. Why were you put on thyroid medication? 

And #2. Is it possible for you to get off of it?

Most doctors are more concerned with IF instead of WHY. 

They want to know IF you need thyroid medication not WHY. 

As a result, tons and tons of thyroid patients get put on thyroid medication and kept on it for years or even decades. 

And while it may have been the case that you did need to be on thyroid medication at some point in your life, it may not be the case that you need to be on it now. 

This really goes along well with my previous statement about the reversible causes of hypothyroidism. 

If you are like most people taking thyroid medication then you will probably never know why exactly your thyroid started to go slow down. 

All you know is that you felt terrible, your doctor diagnosed you with a sluggish thyroid, and you’ve been taking thyroid medication ever since. 

But there will be no way to ever know if you can get off of your thyroid medication unless you give it a shot. 

You may find that you are one of the lucky few thyroid patients that can get off of their thyroid medication either because you never needed to be on it, to begin with, or because whatever caused your problem is now gone. 

The idea of trying to get off of your thyroid medication is probably not something that your doctor is going to bring up, though!

So if you think that this is something you’d like to try then you will have to start that conversation. 

And do make sure that your doctor is on board before you start making changes to your thyroid medication! 

If you find that you want to give it a shot then check out this resource which can help you wean off of your thyroid medication the safe way. 

#7. If you are Treated Correctly you can get Back to 100% (Or Close to it). 

If you are getting depressed after reading numbers #1-#6 don’t because this is the one that matters most!

No matter what type of thyroid problem you have, I want you to know that it is possible to get back to 100% (or close to it). 

I’m leaving some wiggle room here because not everyone will be able to get to 100% of normal but they should still be able to get to 90% or 95% which is still much better than the average thyroid patient. 

Based on my own experience in helping thousands of thyroid patients, and the thyroid patient experience surveys, it’s safe to assume that the average thyroid patient is living at around 70% of “normal”. 

If we put this into context, it’s like thyroid patients are C students at living their life (at no fault of their own!). 

They are living day to day with 70% of their normal energy levels, with 70% of their normal metabolism, with 70% of their normal hair growth, with 70% of normal gut function, and so on. 

But here’s the good news:

It’s almost always possible to get back to your normal pre-thyroid life or as close to 100% as possible! 

Yes, it will be hard and yes, it may take some time, but it can be done and it should be your goal. 

This is possible even for those people who don’t have reversible thyroid conditions, it’s possible for people without a thyroid, and it’s possible for people who must take thyroid medication for the rest of their life. 

How is it done? 

The part most people get stuck on is finding the right doctor. 

If you are working with a doctor right now that is not helping you or who is trying to blame your symptoms on everything else aside from your thyroid, then it’s probably time to seek out a second opinion. 

Don’t waste your time on doctors that aren’t interested in helping you get back to 100%. 

They don’t live life in your shoes. You are the one that has to live with pain, hair loss, fatigue, weakness, and weight gain every day. 

If that sounds like you then it’s time to take your health into your own hands so you can start feeling better. 

If you need help finding a doctor then make sure to check out this resource

Wrapping it Up

Even though living with thyroid problems can be very difficult, it doesn’t have to be that way forever. 

There are some things you won’t be able to change but there are many other factors that are still within your control!

Spend the time and energy now to find a good doctor who can help you guide you back to 100%. 

Spending your time and energy will prevent you from wasting years of your life feeling poorly. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you new to the world of thyroid management? Or are you a veteran thyroid patient? 

What type of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

Are there things you wish you would have known years ago that you now know?

Do you have anything to add to my list?

Leave your questions or comments below! 





What You Should Expect Living with Thyroid Problems

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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 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

#2. Need better symptom control? Check out my thyroid supplements.

#3. Sign up to receive 20% off your first order.

#4. Follow me on Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram for up-to-date thyroid tips, tricks, videos, and more.

58 thoughts on “Living With Thyroid Problems: 7 Things You Should Know”

  1. Hello,
    My doctor changed my meds eliminating T3 due to the T3 which contained traces of mcc ( a celiac ) but bumped up the porcine powder (with Vitamin C powder as a filler) to 65mg / 2x/ day.
    Am I still getting the T3 in the porcine powder or does T3 need to be added in a different way?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Joanne,

      Each person needs a different dose of T3 so it’s possible it could be sufficient for you but it’s also possible that you need more.

  2. How would someone try going off thyroid meds without a doctor. Haven’t found a doctor that really knows much about thyroid. Mostly due to insurance or money. ???

  3. I can not take T4, even in the smallest dosages. I’ve tried compound, different brands, etc. it all gives me headaches. I’m gaining weight like crazy since my total hysterectomy. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Darlene,

      I would probably focus more on your other hormones for now instead of your thyroid. You’d want to check out leptin, insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

  4. I have hyperactive thyroid. I also have thryroid nodules. Biopsied and not cancer. Have been on a high dose of Methimazole 25mg 3 days a week and 20mg 4 days a week. My endocrinologist suggests either the radio active iodine and having my thyroid fully removed as being on this high dosage for an extended period of time is harmful to my liver. I don’t really want to have either but would like to find a way that I can manage my hyperactive thyroid.
    I was diagnosed in January 2020. Very low B12 2 years prior. Kidney stones in early January 2020 and then an increased heart rate of 185 beats per minute. Lost about 30 pounds in a short period of time and absolutely no energy.
    Thoughts on a different avenue to take other than full removal.
    Thank You

  5. Hello Dr Childs from Australia. I was diagnosed Hashimoto’s 11 years ago. Feeling terrible now. Been keto for 4 years. You suggest not good for thyroid. Why not? I do feel less inflamed. Also I have one meal per day, attempting to loose 20 kilos. (No luck).
    Can Hashimoto’s do intermittent fasting?

  6. Hi Dr. Childs!

    Thanks so much for all you do!! I’ve been following your blog and Facebook page for a while now and love how thorough your information is. I had a baby 4.5 months ago and since then I have not lost any weight… in fact, I’ve gained weight. My hair is shedding pretty bad, I have low energy levels and my milk supply is really low. I do have a history of postpartum hypothyroidism, and a history of hashimotos. I’ve asked my doctors to run thyroid tests but I keep getting told I’m in normal range and that is probably just related to stress. How long does it take for test results to show thyroid issues after birth? My previous diagnosis was around 8-9 months after birth because I had no idea about thyroid stuff. I’m wondering if this could still be related to thyroid and just not showing up on tests yet? I hate to keep asking my doctors to run tests, but I don’t know what else to do to find out what is going on with my body. Thanks so much!

  7. I had most of the symptoms but my doctor never once mentioned it could be my thyroid. Then I moved to another state and when my eyelashes started thinning that was the final straw!
    I thought hrt might help with the hair loss and got hooked up with a women’s health doctor who listened to my symptoms and immediately diagnosed low thyroid condition.
    He has been a Godsend and working with me on a program to help with the fatigue, weight gain and sleep issues. I was diagnosed less than 2 months ago and already feel better.
    Your articles have been invaluable in helping me understand the problem and how to combat it. Thank you so much for the information !

  8. Hello, I am taking T3 and Berberine. I started last year. I took some breaks about 2 month. I eat clean. Was helping me to loose weight. Now suddenly I can’t loose any more weight. Should I start to take something else? Thank you

    • Hi Eva,

      It depends on a lot of factors! Do you have any known issues such as leptin resistance or insulin resistance? Are you also eating clean (healthy whole foods) and exercising regularly? Are you getting enough sleep and how is your stress? You may be able to break through your plateau by managing those issues and staying on the same supplements.

      You might also benefit from adding additional supplements such as those found in this bundle:

  9. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos where the antibodies are high but the TSh & T4 are normal but T3 is low. How can I reverse this?

  10. I have been dealing with thyroid issues for 19 years. Had a total thyroidectomy at age 26 and I agree with EVERY WORD of this article. I have been told it’s all in my head my endocrinologists, I’ve adjusted my doses so many times I cannot count. And I’m now on T3/T4 and a full supplement regimen. Dr. Child’s is right, his website is so needed (and appreciated). If I had known more of this at a younger age, I could have prevented years of suffering and up and down weight shifts.

  11. This fall, my doctor started me on levothyroxine which worked okay, but I started to lose my hair in clumps. I asked her to change my meds which she did to NP, but she lowered the dose. My hair stopped falling out, but my fatigue gradually returned. When I asked her to up my dose, she balked, saying my numbers were “normal.” I pointed out that they were normal but were not as good as on the higher dose of levothyroxine. I talked to the nurse practitioner who called me after responding in a somewhat snarky fashion to a message, and the doctor upped my dose, but with the caution that a lot of my symptoms were common from old age. I’m 49. I have to have more bloodwork to check for hyperthyroidism, but my energy is SO much better and my hair has stopped falling out. I still don’t find losing weight terribly easy, but at least I’ve stopped gaining weight and the scale is creeping, ever so slowly back down. I’ve also had chronic pain issues for years but I have noticed those are much better too, especially since starting the higher does of NP.

    I’ve always liked my doctor and felt she was very proactive, BUT, in this instance, I felt like she was upset with me for insisting that she up my dose. It was almost like she was saying, Fine, I’ll do it but you’re going to regret it. I found that frustrating and I didn’t like being made to feel like I did something wrong because I was persistent. I will probably stay with her because she did end up changing my dose which has really helped with a lot of my symptoms but I was really surprised that the changes in my labs even though they were still in the normal range didn’t seem to make any impression on her.

    • Hi Roseanne,

      You would think that your doctor would be happy that you were feeling better and that you were right! But that typically isn’t the case. When you increase the dose and your TSH drops it sort of creates an internal problem for your doctor who was taught that a normal TSH equals normal thyroid function. They have cognitive dissonance when it comes to TSH, thyroid symptom control, and thyroid medication dosing. They can’t rectify the fact that you are feeling better with a T4/T3 thyroid medication and a lower TSH because it doesn’t jive with the standard conventional treatment paradigm. Just be aware that your doctor may ultimately try to reduce your dose even if it makes you feel worse all in the name of getting your TSH back to normal.

      Glad you are feeling better, though! All of your symptoms sound like stock standard hypothyroid symptoms including the pain. You’d probably do even better with more T3.

  12. I’ve been on medication for 20 years. When I was first told I needed to go on it I didn’t feel badly at all and didn’t follow the doctor’s recommendation. Take a medication I would have to be on for the rest of my life? NO! However, about a year later another doctor told me the same thing….so I relented and started on medication. If I were starting over, knowing what I know now, I would never have gotten on medication and would have changed my diet to see what difference that would make. Now I doubt I’d be able to get off it after being on so long. I’m 75 years old. However, within the past few months my NP Thyroid has been changed from 60 mg to 45 mg and I feel the same, which is good. I just had bloodwork done today so am anxious to see what my numbers are now.

  13. In the article you mention that one dose of T4/3 a day is not as good as the thyroid glands natural way of releasing it throughout the day, so would it not be better to split the dose into 2 or even 4 to achieve a better result

    • Hi David,

      Sometimes that makes sense but splitting the dose comes with a lot of other issues such as absorption problems and compliance issues. Typically it’s only done for T3 but I’ve recommended it for other types of thyroid medications in the past under unique circumstances.

  14. Hello
    I had my thyroid removed 2 yrs ago. I’m on 125 mg of syntroid and 5 mg of cytomel. My doctor told me I’m insulin resistance and hypothyroidism, she prescribed metformin 500 mg. I have been on a low calorie diet for the past 3 months and only lost 4 lbs. I’m so frustrated. I have no energy, I have gain a total of 30 lbs since my surgery. I would love to spot taking metformin and start one of your supplements. What do you recommend.

    Thank you

  15. I have been on levothyroxine for over 20 years and have been struggling to lose weight for all that time. I eat healthy and work out 4 times a week at the gym, dance classes and yoga, but because my TSH level is normal they will not check my T3 and T4 because they don’t have the funding for it, by the way I live in England. I have done weight watchers, slimming world and even saw a dietician recommend by the doctor as she said I was not doing anything right which made me mad as I have a programme worked out by a gym coach so I know what I am doing is right. I still have thyroid symptoms like cold all the time dry skin and of course weight gain. So I was wondering if you could recommend an Endocrinologist who could help me with my problems. I live in Birmingham England. My TSH result was 0.95 Thanking you Rosaleen.

  16. I live in the UK and haven’t found a sympathetic doctor on the NHS who will help me find the optimum dose. I currently take 75mg of levothyroxine but struggle with weight loss (despite eating clean, exercising etc), muscle aches, very fine hair, feeling the cold etc. When I finally got referred to an endocrinologist, they agreed I should take T3 but the NHS has stopped providing it due to cost. I have imported Armour and Liothyronine from the US using your advice as guidance on how much to take but this is guess work and expensive. It’s also expensive to see a private doctor here so I’m left with all the typical thyroid problems I started with. It’s so frustrating

    • Hi Jaquie,

      My understanding from chatting with a lot of UK thyroid patients is that a private doctor is the way to go, unfortunately. I’m not sure you’ll have much success getting on the right medications due to the NHS and the limitations they put on treatment.

  17. I have been on Levothyroxine for 10 years and need to loose 30 lbs. (it was a stressful time in my life and I wish I would have given my body time to adjust and got retested before taking this crappy medication). I have been on 75 mcg for the past 4 years and my blood work that was done 6 months ago showed my TSH at a 5 but my doctor said she did not want to increase my dose. I asked her to give me 5 mcg of cytomel and she said no and said maybe you should try weight watchers and I wanted to punch her! 🙂 Two months ago I thankfully found you on YouTube and started taking the T3 conversion Booster and the Thyroid Grandulars. I also started taking your Berberine supplement a month ago. I decided to try to wean myself off the Levothyroxine so I cut it down a quarter for 2 weeks and no change in the way I felt so then I went to half a pill for over a month now and I do not have any thyroid symptoms at all. I had a total hysterectomy in 2014 and the only thing I have been feeling differently is an increased amount of hot flashes and have been craving carbs the past two days that I usually stay away from. I am 63 years old, exercise and eat a healthy diet. I do your neck exercises everyday and also rub walnut oil on my thyroid everyday that someone else mentioned (desperately trying EVERYTHING). I am planning on taking my meds down to a quarter and then if no symptoms I am hoping I can stop taking it and my thyroid will go back to normal and so will my weight. Do you think the increased hot flashes could mean a hormone change and my thyroid is starting to work on its own?

    • Hi Patricia,

      Typically hot flashes are associated with hyperthyroidism and not hypothyroidism so it’s unlikely directly related to your thyroid medication reduction. It’s possible that your reduced thyroid dose may impact your estrogen/progesterone levels which are then resulting in hot flashes but it’s also just as possible that they are 100% related to your estrogen/progesterone levels and not your thyroid at all. Hard to say for sure!

  18. In 2004 I had a thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer.

    The single biggest thing that improved my health was finding an integrative medicine doctor who wasn’t constantly trying to reduce my thyroid hormone dose based on an undetectable TSH. He is willing to do the requested lab work inc all of the thyroid labs (FT3, FT4, RT3 & TSH) & vitamins and minerals. He is currently helping me to address a B12 deficiency by testing the MTHFR gene mutation and prescribing B12 injections if needed. Getting my liver labs in range was essential (ALT, AST & Alkaline Phosphatase). I drive 10 hours to another state to see him but it is well worth it and interim appointments can be done via telemedicine.

    One of the pre-thyroidectomy practices that I absolutely refused to give up was running. I ran the St George Marathon and qualified for Boston the year before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I’m not at my pre-thyroidectomy training levels but I continue to run and travel inc. running races in Cuba, Beirut, Athens, Cyprus, and Bethlehem, Palestine.

    I wholeheartedly agree that with the proper medical care and a competent and compassionate doctor healing is possible.

    Thank you for advocating for optimal thyroid care and healing! There is every reason to be optimistic.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for sharing and that’s what I try to preach! It’s always better to spend some time finding a competent thyroid doctor than trying to work with a doctor who isn’t willing to work with you.

  19. When my functional MD put me on WP thyroid, it seemed to do the job and then WP medication was recalled and she started me on Armour at 105 mg. I have sense dropped her because of the expense and now go to my general practitioner. She continued with the Armour but told me to drop it down to 90 mg. I am so tired but my labs look great.
    Two things, should I boost my intake of bovine thyroid in the afternoon with an over the counter source (thyroid granular, raw, desiccated 130mg)?.
    Can I switch from Armour to this over the counter bovine thyroid med?
    How can I get the NP thyroid (I dont see WP anymore) since it is through a compound pharmacy?

    • Hi Linda,

      One of the big problems with seeing conventionally trained doctors is that they will tend to underdose you. This doesn’t mean it always happens but they will lean that way for most patients. So even though you may be getting the same medication as your other provider, your current doctor will most likely try to reduce your dose over time.

      In regards to your other question, thyroid supplements never take the place of thyroid medications because they do not contain the same ingredients so you really wouldn’t want to think of them as interchangeable. Supplements can sometimes be used to help you get off of thyroid medication but only if you can reverse whatever was causing your thyroid dysfunction in the first place.

      Finally, you can get a compounded version of nature-throid from specific compounding pharmacies that may be worth looking into (it’s identical to the desiccated thyroid that nature-throid used when it was not on recall):

  20. I’ve been on Synthroid since 2006. I had a bacterial infection (H Pylori) from Feb-May 2022 which was eradicated after my 14 day treatment. The problem is during this timeframe my TSH 3/4 has gone down each month from Sep 2021 2.050, March 0.080 (TSH stim hormone sensitivity) Thyroxine free 2.03; May 0.029 TSH Stim, Throxine Free 2.03; June 0.015, & 2.03. The doctor switched me from 137 to 125 in Mar and in June to 112 Synthroid. My B12 and Iron have also gone down during this time from of H Pylori infection….I’m frustrated with medical since they just say—well your in the preference range even though its shows “lower than normal”.

    • Hi Ben,

      Unfortunately, that is quite common and one of the main reasons I recommend against using conventionally trained doctors to manage the thyroid. Please see this article which outlines how to find a competent thyroid doctor:

      Spending the time and energy to find someone willing to help will pay dividends to your future self. This is much preferred instead of banging your head against a wall of doctors that are unwilling to change or listen to you.

  21. I’ve been taking synthroid since 1990, when I was told by the hospital physician that my thyroid gland is ‘dead’ and I would need to take thyroid medication ‘forever’. I am 63 years old, male.
    I’ve been on the same dose 0.088mg of synthroid for a few years now, with my TSH levels ‘normal’, according to my current MD.
    I’ve noticed gradual hair loss in the last couple of years, especially as hair gets longer, beyond couple of inches.
    I remember that since I was 12, till about 30 years of age, I swam for about 60 minutes every single morning, doing laps. All that was in chlorinated indoor pool. I wonder if the regular exposure to chlorine in the water affected my thyroid gland function. My skin was definitely showing it. It was dry and flaked. I stopped swimming at about same time as my low thyroid diagnosis, and my dose was much higher for a while. I practice yoga now and other body weigh exercises plus daily walks.
    I plan to speak to my doctor about starting a gradual reduction of my synthroid dosage to help boost my gland to normal function.
    Dr. Childs advised reducing by 0.012 per week until totally off. Would it be smart to reduce by 0.012 or so to say 0.075mg, and wait till my TSH returns to normal? Then reduce some more, etc?
    I too feel nervous discussing this with my doc, afraid of a negative response.

  22. Hey I often read your articles and have found them to be quite beneficial. I am a 22 yr thyroid patient. Diagnosed Graves back when. RAI to kill it off & I do believe I have next to zero thyroid function from it due to how quickly my tsh rises w/o being on NDT.
    Just a little backstory there. Having said all of that, I am frequently left wondering/feeling after reading these articles if much/some of the info is different for those like me w/o a thyroid.
    Do you have an article out there for Graves patients or those w/o?
    I realize that peeps like me are now hypo but just curious if being w/o creates different circumstances, therefore treatment.
    Been working towards optimizing my levels for years and although there have been improvements, it’s still a battle.
    I’m 59 btw. THANK YOU!!

    • Hi Staci,

      Great question! All information regarding hypothyroidism still applies to you so that’s not an issue. There are some special considerations, though, that you should be aware of if you no longer have a functioning thyroid. I have articles specific to those without a thyroid and for those who are post RAI such as these:

      I also have weight loss articles on these topics as well. If you search around my website you will find them.

      I don’t typically send emails about these topics even though I write articles on them just because it can confuse people.

  23. What type of “diet” would you recommend for someone with Hashimotos who is mostly vegetarian and gluten free? Any meal ideas? This seems to be the hardest part for me.

  24. My Dr did tell me I wouldn’t be on Levothyroxine forever. I had tonsillitis for about 2 years before I had my tonsils out. The Dr thought thats what started my thyroid problems. Then I moved to a different state, new Dr. That Dr told me I’d be on Levo forever. My labs always looked good but my symptoms never went away. Couldn’t sleep, no bowel movements, bad brain fog, and a terrible cough. I went to the health store and bought supplements and my symptoms were completely gone. Now I am on Dr Childs regimen and I am finally able to lose weight. I have worked out for years and never had trouble with my weight until my diagnosis. Now I feel better than I have in years. I can’t wait to see my Dr because his last words to me when I told him I wanted to go off Levo and try a healthier approach was: “Good luck losing weight”. I’ve lost 20 pounds so far.

  25. Hi Dr. Child’s

    Recently I had a hip replacement. I had a thyroidoctomy 5 years ago and on Levothyroxin. My numbers were good and felt good before surgery.since the surgery my levels have off, could the surgery have cause this? Thank you

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Your surgery really shouldn’t impact your thyroid directly. I suppose it’s possible that it indirectly impacted your thyroid if it resulted in decreased activity or exercise or something like that.

  26. Hello! I was diagnosed with Graves 1973, had ablation and have been on several different doses with either levothyroxine, did best on Armour, synthroid. Always using endocrinologist until last year. I now have to deal with FMF since 2017. Almost died since no one knew what I have. Treated with high doses of prednisone and my thyroid went crazy. Have bad GI problems sporadically bc of FMF. My hair was falling out badly, skin terribly dry, severe fatigue. Endocrinologist gave me liothyronine. Left him. Started fixing myself. Dropped levothyroxine started back on Armour under my internist. Much better but energy still low. cannot get my weight to budge. Even on WW for a month and only lost 2 pounds. Will be on prednisone low dose probably forever because I flare when taken off. Also take colchicine and methotrexate. Using your Adrenal Thyroid Reset. No change. Right now at a loss of what to do to lose 15 pounds and feel more energy.

    • Hi Jody,

      A couple of things!

      The first is that thyroid adrenal reset complex is not a weight loss supplement so I wouldn’t expect much in the way of weight loss from that. Its primary purpose is to help support the thyroid-adrenal connection.

      The second is that it’s always more difficult for those without a functioning thyroid to lose weight because they almost always require higher doses of T3 compared to T4. while NDT is a great option, it typically doesn’t contain enough T3 to get T3 levels back to normal. Please see this article for more information:

  27. Dr Childs
    I am postmenopausal and after going through menopause I developed hypothyroidism. I have not seen this addressed. I am taking armor thyroid 90 mg which is working well for me. I take supplements and exercise 5x/week.
    My reverse T3 was high and a year ago I was changed to Synthroid and Liothyronine. I was on these medications for one year. This did not agree with me at all. I had leg cramping mostly at night but I noticed when in the ocean or pool I would get the leg cramping too. My weight went up and I did not feel well on these two medications. I have been on Armour thyroid now for 2 months and feeling much better. No leg cramping at all. Sleeping is a problem though. I wake up and cannot get back to sleep. My T3 at last blood work check was low and the hormonal gynecologist said to use cytomel which I’m pretty sure is liothyronine. I have not started this yet because I am afraid of leg cramping again. May I have your opinion.
    Thank you

    • Hi Cindy,

      Liothyronine and Cytomel both contain T3 thyroid hormone so they are very similar but how you react to one could be very different from the other. It’s impossible to know without a trial, though.


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