Signs Your Thyroid Medication is too Low (What to Look For)

Signs Your Thyroid Medication is too Low (What to Look For)

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As a thyroid patient, you need to be aware of a very important fact: 

Thyroid medication will NEVER be as good as your thyroid gland at managing and controlling your thyroid levels. 

But, just because thyroid medication can’t make up for the real thing doesn’t mean you have to feel poorly. 

Quite the opposite, actually. 

It’s absolutely possible, and it should be your goal, to restore your thyroid function to what it felt like BEFORE you had thyroid problems. 

This is easier said than done, though, and that’s exactly what we are going to talk about today. 

Whether or not your thyroid medication is actually working and how it impacts how you are feeling. 

Many thyroid patients are often frustrated to find out that even after they start taking thyroid medication, they don’t feel as well as they would like. 

As a thyroid patient, you probably imagine that you will feel back to 100% of your normal self a few days after you start taking your medication. 

After all, isn’t thyroid medication supposed to take over for your thyroid gland? 

Well, yes, but also no. 

There’s a high probability that your thyroid medication isn’t working as well as you probably think and there are a few reasons for this. 

In this article we will discuss:

  • How to know if your thyroid medication is working
  • Signs and symptoms which indicate your thyroid medication is too low
  • Reasons why your thyroid medication may not be working
  • And more

Let’s jump in…


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Signs and Symptoms your Thyroid Medication is too low

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First things first, let’s talk about how to know if your thyroid medication is working or not. 

It’s actually quite simple and once I explain it to you, it will make a lot of sense. 

How do you know if your thyroid medication is high enough? 

Well, if it is high enough then you will experience NONE of the symptoms of having low thyroid

So if you are experiencing ANY remaining low thyroid symptoms then you know right away that your thyroid medication is off. 

These symptoms include:

You’ll notice that I used the term “continued” in the description list and this was by design. 


Because the symptoms of low thyroid present with these exact symptoms. 

And if your symptoms did NOT go away when you started your thyroid medication then you know that your meds aren’t working. 

If you are experiencing ANY of these symptoms AFTER you start taking your thyroid medication then you need to look at the reasons listed below. 

Reasons your thyroid medication isn’t working:

The bad news is that you are still having problems despite taking your thyroid medication each and every day. 

The good news is that you don’t have to continue suffering from your low thyroid symptoms as there are many explanations for why you feel so bad. 

#1. You are using the wrong medication

The first thing you should know is that there are MANY different types of thyroid medications available to you as a thyroid patient. 

Unfortunately, most doctors tend to prescribe only one and that is levothyroxine. 

But like other medications, and pretty much everything in life, you are an individual and what you need may differ from what someone else needs. 

This means that even though levothyroxine may work for someone else, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. 

Whether that’s because your body just doesn’t tolerate it, you can’t absorb it, you are reacting to the inactive fillers or binders, or any combination of the above, it doesn’t really matter. 

If you can’t tolerate the medication or if it’s not working for you, you need to swap medications. 

Luckily, you have many options available to you.

Here are some of my favorites that you can read more about:

These medications are all FDA-approved to treat thyroid problems and your doctor can swap you over to any of them.

Note: you may have to specifically request that you be switched over, however, as many doctors aren’t used to prescribing them

#2. Your dose isn’t high enough

What if you are taking the RIGHT medication but you just aren’t using enough? 

Believe it or not, this can happen a lot and it’s very common for people who are just starting out with thyroid medication. 

It can take a while for your doctor to hone in on the dose that your body needs

And each person will need a different amount of thyroid hormone depending on their age, genetics, body weight, and more. 

It’s VERY unlikely that your doctor magically guessed how much thyroid medication you needed and got it right on the first try. 

This does happen but it’s definitely not common. 

You should expect that it will take your doctor 3-6 months to get your dose right. 

So if you just started taking thyroid medication then it may just be that you need a higher dose and it’s something that your doctor can easily remedy. 

If you’ve been on thyroid medication for a long time and STILL feel poorly then it’s probably due to something else. 

Many doctors have become reliant upon thyroid tests such as the TSH which they use to guide their dosing patterns. 

This test is not the most accurate way to assess how much thyroid medication you should be taking and there are additional tests you should look at to get a better picture of what is happening in your body. 

You can find more information about the complete set of lab tests that I recommend for every thyroid patient here. 

#3. You didn’t give it enough time

This is sort of an extension of #2 but I understand exactly why it happens. 

You are probably sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and you just want to get back to normal. 

I get it. 

But your thyroid doesn’t! 

Unfortunately, your thyroid moves as quickly as the Titanic can turn away from icebergs. 

That is to say, it does not move very quickly. 

This can be frustrating for thyroid patients who just want to feel better which is why having the right expectations is so important. 

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It takes about 4-6 weeks of DAILY thyroid medication use to feel a difference. 

And even if you aren’t feeling well and your doctor makes changes to your medication after 4-6 weeks it will take ANOTHER 4-6 weeks to see if those changes are helping. 

Managing your thyroid is a slow process but having patience will be worth the wait. 

#4. You aren’t using it correctly

Lastly, it’s also very possible that you are doing EVERYTHING correctly except for one thing…

You aren’t taking your thyroid medication the right way

For whatever reason, doctors tend to avoid having this important conversation with thyroid patients who start thyroid medication. 

And that is this:

Thyroid medication isn’t the most sturdy of medications and many different things can impact not only how well it is absorbed but how your body uses it. 

It’s both possible, and likely, that you are taking your thyroid medication each day but that you are taking it incorrectly and this may negatively impact how well you are feeling. 

Here is how to take your thyroid medication correctly:

  • Take your medication FIRST thing in the morning or RIGHT before bed
  • Wait 30-60 minutes AFTER you take your thyroid medication to eat or drink coffee (1)
  • Do NOT take your thyroid medication with over-the-counter supplements
  • If you are taking iron or calcium, take your thyroid medication at least 4 hours away from these supplements

These rules are important to follow if you are taking any thyroid medication except Tirosint. 

Taking your thyroid medication without following these rules is a good way to ensure that it will NOT be absorbed and that it will NOT be utilized by your body. 

If it isn’t absorbed then you won’t feel better no matter how long you wait. 

How to adjust or make changes to your thyroid medication

What if you have waited the appropriate amount of time but are still feeling poorly?

It’s time to make some changes to your thyroid medication. 

In order to do this, you need to follow two steps:

#1. Get your thyroid tested (and make sure you get the full thyroid lab panel)

#2. Make changes to your thyroid medication (if you have the symptoms above then you would need to INCREASE your dose)

Why do you need to get your thyroid tested first?

Because you need to see how well your previous dose of thyroid medication was working. 

You should have a baseline set of labs that you received in which you were diagnosed with a thyroid condition. 

When you re-test your thyroid you can compare your new set of labs to the old one. 

Did your TSH go down? If you are taking thyroid medication you should see it drop (which is a good thing). 

Did your free T3 increase? If you are taking the right type of thyroid medication you should see your free T3 increase. 

Did your free T4 increase? If you are taking levothyroxine then you should see your free T4 increase. 

After comparing your old lab tests to your new ones, you should be able to see if your thyroid medication was working and how well it was working. 

If all of your lab tests are going in the wrong direction then you know you need to make dramatic changes (like swapping to a different thyroid medication). 

Alternatively, if your lab tests are trending in the right direction but just not quite there yet then you know you just need to make some small changes to your medication (like increasing your dose slightly). 

There is no one size fits all pattern that you can apply when it comes to your thyroid which makes getting these lab tests all the more important. 

Final Thoughts

It’s actually not common for thyroid patients to start taking thyroid medication but still feel poorly 2-3 months later. 

These symptoms usually stem from either an inadequate dose or because you are taking your thyroid medication incorrectly. 

If you are experiencing signs of hypothyroidism or low thyroid then you KNOW right away that your thyroid medication is off and needs to be adjusted (usually upwards). 

This is an easy problem to fix and requires that you get your thyroid labs retested and that you compare your new labs to your old labs. 

Some doctors are not as good as others when it comes to managing thyroid problems so don’t be afraid to find a new doctor if your current doctor is not up to par with the latest medical research. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you struggling to feel better even after starting thyroid medication?

If so, what type of symptoms are you still experiencing?

Are you sure that you are taking your thyroid medication correctly and that you’ve given it enough time?

Or are you struggling to get your doctor to listen to your concerns?

Leave your questions or comments below to keep the conversation going! 


is your thyroid medication dose too low? Here's how to find out

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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.

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67 thoughts on “Signs Your Thyroid Medication is too Low (What to Look For)”

  1. My NO and previous ME both say my thyroid tests are ok. That I don’t need retesting. I’m on the same meds and dosage I’ve been on for aprox the last 12 yrs. My hair is still thinning, my skin is very dry, I’m always colder than others in the same room, and I’ve been steadily seeing my weight inch up. He’ll me please.

    • Connie, Try taking your medication at bedtime and you will see a big difference. I quit taking my Levo in the morning. When I started taking it at bedtime, then I knew most of the thyroid meds end up IN THE TOILET. By taking them at night, your body ABSORBS ALL OF IT.

      • Hi Dr,

        I have Graves disease and I’m currently having low thyroid issues. Weight gain and my hair is falling out. I take t4 and the Levoxathilen and ldn. I m currently under terrible stress and I’m gaining weight like crazy.

        Can you please help.

  2. I have had to get my dose raised because I have went from feeling yuck to ok and bk to yuck. No I feel like I’m falling again its been a few months. My numbers are always in “range” shouldn’t I want them higher? I am told to cut carbs for my weight loss. I have been crawling up in weight even with exercise.

  3. I realise after nearly 20years I am taking my thyroid tab wrongly. I am devastated. My dose has been increased to 25mg now. Is it too late for me to correct the damage I’ve done to myself? No one ever told me there was a specific way to take it…..Hope to hear from you.

    • Christine, EVERY patient is taking them wrong. started taking mine right before bed and felt like I was 20 yrs old again.
      In the beginning, I made the mistake because I thought i was taking another type of medication then when I swallowed it, I discovered it was the Levo. When I woke up, I felt like I was 20 yrs old again. I had much improved symptoms, some symptoms disappeared. Starting taking it at the end of the evening when you’re thru eating for the day. No food or fancy drinks for 1 hour, you can have all the water you want. Then take it. It will take you thru the next night. You won’t need a dose in the morning.

      • I don’t sleep at night when taken at bedtime. Every time I try it, up ALL night. This is levo 75 mg. I’ve been on levo for years, still not better, think I need T3 but Kaiser won’t test for anything BUT T4 and TSH.

    • Yes, I was never told either when to take it or how, and it does matter. I always take mine first thing in the morning, but may switch to night time just to see. You are fortunate that you take only very low dose at .25 mcg.. I started there and 20 years later I am at .175 or .150 depending on where I am symptom wise. I have to determine what symptoms I am experiencing as to which dose to take this month. It’s a real balancing act all the time.

  4. I have been taking armor thyroid for years. Still have dry skin, hair loss. Along with bouts of depression and increasing weight gain despite workouts twice a day. I take thyroid meds at 4:30am and take over counter vitamins E,D, probiotic, apple cider vinegar pill, magnesium and spirnolaticne at 7am. I wait until noon to take multivitamin with iron and calcium. Is this order ok for thyroid absorption ?

    • Start taking your meds at night instead, it’s helped me to feel better and order Dr. Child’s multi vitamin.
      Hope it helps..,feel better!

  5. So Ive been taking NP thyroid for 3 months- 60mg dosage. I have more energy, but all the other symptoms as mentioned above are the same except one thing- I have developed hive looking things just on my shins! And they it h like crazy! Never had a dry skin problem, but this is the only place it’s showing up since about 3 weeks into the meds.

  6. I’ve been on Armour Thyroid 30mg for years, still having hair loss, weight gain even with prescription weight loss meds, fatigue and bouts of being in a “funk” because I’m so fatigued. Dry skin, which I’ve never had a problem with. My labs are always within range, sometime closer to the lower end. I’ve told my physician I feel like I am operating at about 75-80% and she says I’m depressed. Is it time for a med and/or dosage change? I’ve always taken it first thing in the morning and have waited at least an hour to eat or drink and only drink enough water to swallow the pill

    • Lynn, Before you try other meds, Try taking your Armour in the evening right before bed. I felt 20 yrs old again. Lost lots of weight, my body felt like a feather and exercising all the time. I got to 117 pounds.
      I accidentally took it instead of taking another medication.
      This was a great accident. The symptoms that needed to change did and the ones that needed to disappear, disappeared.
      The next morning’s dose can be taken at night because you won’t need it in the morning, it will take you to the next night.
      Being Armour, it will keep you up an extra 2-3 hours becuz it will give you energy and make you feel 20 yrs old again, but this will go on for a week, then you body will have adapted then you will go to sleep like normal again.
      You got to try this.
      I strongly recommend to stay away from Benzodiazapines, Benzo, depression medication.
      I had depression, I hired a team of doctors. One was a pharmacist from a local compounding pharmacy. I only needed to see her one time.
      She gave me some high-potency vitamins. Read up on how bad thyroid problems can deplete our nutrients. These vitamins kicked in instantly. Don’t be afraid to have a dream team, it will be worth getting your life back, you health back.
      I also strongly recommend to get your ESTROGEN, PROGESTERONE levels checked because ALL hormones work TOGETHER. When mine got checked and were low, I started taking hormones which lead to NO MORE THYROID PROBLEMS. NO MORE TAKING THYROID MEDICATIONS.

  7. Hi,Dr Childs
    I been following you for many years and taking your advice One of my doctor told me he can’t treat me because I’m taking NDT (erffa).after I went to see an other endo and he is given me a combination of 50 mg Syntroid and 90 mg of NDT alternate with120 mg My question is my TSH is allways suppressed it is normal?(0.01) or is needs more adjustment .

  8. Had cancerous thyroid removed 10 years ago. Taking 212 mcg now up from 100 mcg. Suddenly had no strength in arms and legs, cold tingly fingers with no strength (Secretary and can’t hardly type), low tolerance to cold, balance is way off, and constipation. Just feel crappy. Help! My doctor didn’t seemed concerned.

    • I had thyroid cancer which metastasized in lymph nodes 30 years ago. Thyroid was removed also. I have been on synthroid 100mcg ever since. I would take it at night. I am going to start that again (got switched and don’t remember why) I remember about 15 years ago, feeling horrible for about a year. Dr switched to Levoxyl for a year. Researched and told her to switch me back. Haven’t had issues until about 2 years ago. Hair loss is an understatement. I have lost 2/3 of my hair, gained 20 pounds and feel horrible (this over past 4 years). Went to different Dr. Tried armor 60mcg and then increased to 90mcg. Still didn’t feel well. (I always figure out myself) So, for the past 4 months I started taking my 100mcg synthroid and 60mcg of the armor (may be spelling wrong). Went for test April 3 2021 and didn’t stop taking both meds until April 4th. Dr calls me and says we are reducing your synthroid to 80mcg. Because you are way to high. (I am going to get all my numbers, just had to think about how to go about this) So, now, 4 weeks later, I have gained 10 pounds and my hair is falling out again.
      The end result in all this is I FELT GREAT, MY HAIR STOPPED FALLING OUT AND I LOST 7 POUNDS since February of this year until 2 weeks ago! You may be outside the “normal” range, up or down. The normal range FOR YOU is whatever makes you fell good or should I say feel right. I just started taking my 80mcg synthroid and 60mcg armour and I am going to get another lab test in about 4 weeks to see what this “new” dosage is doing. Then I AM going to tell them what I will be taking and I WILL determine where my “range” is going to be. I will make sure it will be lower (since synthroid is lowered) and not in harm’s way of taking to much. We do not have a thyroid it is different then thyroid issues. You will get thru this, but DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND EDUCATE YOURSELF AND KNOW YOUR BODY. Keep a log of dosage and symptoms. Unfortunately, it takes about 4 weeks or longer for you to feel results but do it. It is worth it. Also, Levoxyl and any of the “L” meds. F____ed me up. They do not have all of the same “ingredients”. The other “fillers” that they put in it could be what is not agreeing with you. Try different meds. Mix two together. What worked for me was taking at night and taking synthroid. Now that I am 54 years old I have to reevaluate and figure it out myself. Which I prefer to do. Trust yourself, you are your best doctor. I hoped I helped a little. Lisa

  9. Hi Dr. Childs, Your youtube videos are so informative that I had to share them with my son who is 26 and losing his hair. Hashimoto’s runs in the family. I stated having Hypothyroidism after my son was born. TOO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT….I am 65. Had to get a new doctor. Got a D.O. She did a baseline TSH only . It was .025. She cut my synthetic T4 down from 100 to 25. 6 weeks later FASTING TSH(per your youtube video) showed TSH of 38.054 and fasting cholesterol of 281! So now I am on 50 of synthetic T4.

    Should I try a product of yours like a natural desiccated thyroid? I am trying also to go gluten and dairy free. At age 65 would I need a thyroid ultrasound?

    Thanks for your online help.

    MJP from Iowa

    Thanks for your onli

  10. Dr Childs
    I have issues with six of the symptoms referenced. I had the left lobe removed in 2017 because of nodules that continued to get larger. I was prescribed and still take 0.5mg of levothyroxine. My TSH, T3 and T4 numbers (pre surgery and post surgery) have not changed at at all. Six months after surgery I had the same complaints and my endocrinologist said I should wait at least a year before changing meds. I am now using VA for medical care; a referral to an endocrinologist may (will) never happen. My PCM says the same thing every office visit (“your numbers are within range”, or let’s wait to see if there are any changes). They only check TSH, T3 and T4. I am now so frustrated that I will pay for my own medical care. I am so far removed from sick and tired of being sick and tired. It seems I have no options or hope of ever feeling better which makes my depression worse. I want to stand on the mountaintop and scream (somebody, please help me).

    • Pat, I’ve been where you’re at.
      1. I strongly recommend to have your OTHER hormones checked, INSIST, if the dr argues. Hormones work together. ALL of my hormones were low, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone. When I got my levels normal, NO more thyroid problems, NO more thyroid medications.
      2.I also started taking a high potency vitamins. Dr. Wilson’s adrenal fatigue. Instantly felt great. Thyroid problems deplete our nutrients. There is no amount of food that can replace what you need.
      3. I also started taking my Armour at bedtime. When I woke up, I felt like I was 20 yrs old again. To switch, just take your morning dose before bed, because you won’t need to take it in the morning. This dose with take you thru tomorrow night.
      When I started taking it at night, I realized that most of the thyroid medication ENDS UP IN THE TOILET.
      Taking it at night, it has time to bind to your insides and does it’s job.
      Good luck

      • I wish you would clarify that statement about the toilet; it reads poorly. If your meds are ending up in the toilet then how are they doing any good? Do you mean when you take them in the morning they end up in the toilet but when you take them at night they do not?

  11. Hi
    I have Hashimoto’s and have been on meds since age 30. For the past 15 years or so I’ve been on the same dose. For a short period I had a bad doctor who decided that my dosage was too high (because the standards of measurement arbitrarily changed the ratio of TSH levels to meds) I was mired in symptoms. Switched doctors, changed my meds back and am now fine. Also being celiac and having food allergies, I became tired of being told all the things I “can’t” eat. So I went to a nutritionist who taught me all I could eat and in what proportion. Between this and getting on a sensible exercise routine, I’m having good results. I must have at least 8 hours of sleep a night and still fall asleep on the couch, but as issues go, this isn’t a dealbreaker. Bottom line, I learned that you MUST become an expert in your body and consider medical professionals to be your consultants. Hashimoto’s is last on researchers list for a cure. Mostly because the symptoms are considered “easy” to treat. We need more research on autoimmune issues. Meanwhile, it’s OK to switch doctors and to tell your doctor what you will and will not do and ask for a new idea. Best of luck to all of you.

  12. I’m taking 120mg (2 grain) of NP Thyroid. My recent labs showed my TSH is .055 (it’s never been that low), and my Free T4 is also low at .78 (ref range .82-1.77). That’s also new for me.
    My naturopath is raising my NP Thyroid meds to 2.25 grains.
    She says raising it should raise my free T4.
    I haven’t started the higher dose yet (about to today). I had told her that my symptoms in the last two months have included very low body temp. I’m usually low at 97.3, but I’m talking lately it’s been 96! Once I was freezing and it was 95.8!!
    I’m confused as to why we would increase my meds. I was on Naturethroid for years but the recent recall meant I had to switch to NP.
    Wondering if anyone has insight on this because I have found literally nothing online.

  13. I have been taking Synthroid 0.075 mcg for fourteen years and my weight has increased gradually. Three years ago my hair started thinning on top. During the last month my hair has been falling out in thin wispy strands and texture has completely changed. I also have very dry skin, brittle nails, constipation, anxiety. I have been to see my Dr. a few times and my endocrinologist, but they will not change the dose because the thyroid levels are normal.

  14. Do foods containing iron and calcium need to be taken four hours from thyroid meds, or does that only apply to supplements?

  15. Question-is it still an improvement if the free t3 and t4 stay the same, but the TSH drops. My TSH went from 1.81 to 1.10 just from a slight increase in my medication, Tirosint. Guess I don’t understand why the t3 and t4 which are in the low normal range didn’t change at all.

  16. My thyroid stopped functioning completely 20 years ago and I have been miserable 24/7 every since. I have literally experienced 20 yrs. of menopause, and I am a male! The symptoms I deal with are exactly the same. I have had Synthroid, levothyroxine and now Euthyrox. First I started out with a TSH of 115, was very sick and sleeping 20 hrs. a day. They started me out on very low dose and slow walked me for years, 5 yrs. to be exact up to a dose of .175 mcg. and left me there until I went hyperthyroid to the point of near suicide, then backed me off to .150 mcg. until I went Hypothyroid to a tsh of 10 and feeling crappy and dementia issues, now back to .175. No where in that roller coaster ride have I ever felt normal again, and now after 20 years of this I am no longer sure what normal would be, I just feel poorly all the time and the weight gain of 80 lbs. never changes except, when I go bat crap crazy hyperthyroid, then I lose weight, otherwise I can gain weight eating ice cubes. At 69 years old I am ready to just throw in the towel. I have seen so many doctors, none of them good or caring no matter how many times I tell them I DON”T FEEL WELL EVER!

    • Hey Gary, it’s awful that you have been suffering for 20 years now. Have you had your hormone levels checked, testosterone etc to see if they are at normal levels? It’s worth a shot.
      I hope you get to feeling good again soon.

  17. Hi,I have been taking synthroid for about 25 years( since I was 25 years old). It has gone up and down over the years and closely monitored through two pregnancies. I am currently May 125 mg. I have never been over weight, but after all these years I am still always cold and have very dry skin. I am also celiac so I am not sure this ties in.

    I have become really concerned about these levels when I was diagnosed with estrogen and progesterone positive breast cancer this January.

  18. I had used Synthroid back when I was in my early 30’s then I wanted to do natural, so I switched to Armour had been using that until I was in my 50’s in 2009 the formula changed for Armour, so I switched to WP, but then there was such a demand I couldn’t get it anymore which I felt good on that one no fillers, so I switched to NP, but heard they were recalling it because I assume not enough bovine, so now I am back to Armour. Let me tell you my knees hurt like crazy, can’t walk hardly thought it was the Armour so I had a bottle of NP left so I tried it still my knees hurt badly. So I was reading in Woman’s World about Carnivore Diet which I have been doing now for 5 days have lost 10 pounds, knees stopped hurting at first, but now they started hurting again, they hurt the most at night have to use a pillow between my knees to keep them from rubbing together. HELP!!!!! I started using I am sorry Westin Child’s I used Forefront health’s Glandular Thyroid 65 mg which is the dose I am to be on it helped at first, but does this mean I need to take more of the Glandular Thyroid since my knees still hurt? I have been experimenting because I can’t find a doctor who will work with me so it seems am on my own here. Can someone answer me please.

  19. I think its time we need a new and better AFFORDABLE thyroid medication without all the fillers and dyes. Im on synthroid ( switched 2 years ago from generic) but still feel AWFUL. I have spent a fortune going back and forth to my GP and ENDO, Cardiologist etc… They don’t seem to care AT ALL how you feel, they ONLY look at numbers. Well from blogs I’m on most people taking synthroid don’t feel well. I am taking it properly but it seems to fluctuate so much!? I started on 100mg and I felt that was TOO high, but now my Dr has me on 150 he said bc my TSH was too high. What do we do!? To top it off Insurance does not cover synthroid and its expensive but Trisonet (sp?) is even more expensive!

    • Hi Starry,

      The best thing you could do is use natural therapies to try and reduce your reliance upon thyroid medications. This is something within your control, at least.

  20. Did I understand correctly when you said that Armour Thyroid was approved by the FDA? “Here are some of my favorites that you can read more about:

    Sustained release T3
    Armour Thyroid

    These medications are all FDA approved to treat thyroid problems and your doctor can swap you over to any of them.

    That is a curious thing, Armour approved by the FDA? I just spent the last half hour searching the FDA website under their approved drugs and could not find anything. The NDT’s have never been approved by the FDA, supposedly they were grandfathered in when the FDA became an agency; Armour and Nature-Throid.
    I would love to know where this information may be found.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      That is correct. It isn’t technically FDA approved aside from being grandfathered in. I was just trying to point out that these medications are safe and effective and it shouldn’t be a stretch for your doctor to prescribe them. Perhaps the way I stated it wasn’t very clear, though!

    • Medicare doesn’t pay for NDT meds since they are not FDA approved. At least that is the case with Armour, Nature throid, and NP which I have all taken.

  21. Hi I’m currently trying to lower my dose of Liothyronine from 50mcg daily to 37.5mcg daily as my blood work showed free T3 level at 9.1pmol/L. I feel tired and my joints hurt – maybe the higher dose that I felt good on is better for me despite the blood result???

    • Hi Liann,

      Thyroid lab tests are only so helpful. It’s best to use a combination of how you feel + the lab results. They shouldn’t be ignored but they also shouldn’t drive all of your treatment decisions.

  22. I am currently on 120mg Armour however still have some hypo symptoms but also shakiness, tremors and insomnia. My TSH is 0.023 and FT3 and FT4 are lower range.
    I was told by a medical professional who states I’m on too much meds that when hormones chronically exceed the physiological reference range, it leads to receptor site down-regulations and symptoms of insufficiency..
    I would deeply appreciate your opinion on this.
    Thank you,

  23. I have had a total thyroidectomy, 2018 still struggling to get levels steady. Always either tsh H or T4 H or tsh L . I’m on my third Dr and I’ve done the research I’ve tried adding T3 like you said I felt better but my hair fell out. I take 112 of synthroid at bedtime. My latest lab is the normal tsh 374. t4 H 11.2 and t3 84. And I have gained 40 pounds and now am getting headaches and fatigue. Should I try armor? Will insurance cover it? I’ve tried lyvoxothorine.

  24. I slowly went up to taking 180 mcg of NP thyroid (Armour) but never felt better. Continued for months and felt other hormones were off, too. We tested my thyroid again and it was HIGH but my symptoms were that of a LOW thyroid. We lowered my dosage but I’m getting worse. My estrogen is super high, progesterone & pregnenolone is low (while taking 400 mg RDT progesterone) and my cortisol levels are nonexistent first thing in the morning. I cant figure out why we cant get the right thyroid dose so these other hormones can balance out? Should I focus on something else first?

    • Hi Jennie,

      Your thyroid medication dose is important but you also need to look at other areas including stress, your diet, exercise routine, genetics, and so on. These all play a role.

  25. Hello Dr Child’s,

    I have had a total hysterectomy and total thyroidectomy. Age 47. (Since 2017). Dosage: 2 mg Estrace; 112 mcg Synthroid.

    Labs: Estradiol: 99%
    TSH: 1.05
    T4 Free: 1.05
    DHEA: 34

    Experiencing severe hair loss all over top of head. Extreme fatigue and have gained 30 lbs. Autoimmune inflammation has gone up significantly. Short rem memory is horrible. Cold all of the time.

    My doctors continue to state that my levels are great and that they have no suggestions for my symptoms (on-going)

    Can you please help me? I’m desperate to feel better and have my hair loss stopped as well as weight gain and all symptoms.

    Thank you so much for your time, your passion to help others and expertise.

    Jennifer Todd

  26. Dr. Childs, I was given thyroid medication when I was 15 – w/o explanation – whether it was financial or mother did not understand I was to continue taking it – I think one prescription was all I had. I became anorexic – I think it was in the works for years from childhood. I am no longer anorexic.

    I finally got help, given thyroid; can’t even remember when and then was taken off, gained a lot of weight and Dr. put me back on.

    I had a great Dr. (DO) for several years and lost him due to his death. A nurse put me on np thyroid because I was having months of pruritus that was making me crazy, and we thought it might help. (The pruritus began after a Kenalog injection – I had had several over the years with no problems – all hell broke loose – my daughter packed me in ice, etc, etc)

    I had to find a new Dr. He is very young and an MD. I was miserable for 2 years. About 7 weeks ago, I asked him if he would put me back on what I used to take, in other words, ditch the np thyroid.

    Amazingly, I felt better the first day. The clinical depression I have suffered with since a needless hysterectomy at 29, (I take Doxycyline 60 mugs, and Trazodone to sleep; 50 mgs. backed off.

    The cloud that I have learned to live with, lifted and I began having energy and an ability to THINK and PLAN. I began organizing, cleaning, working in my garden, and feeling great.

    So after 6 weeks, I saw my Dr. and told him how great I was feeling; he was immediately suspicious and took a blood test. Insisted I had too much and took me down to 88 or whatever the down step from 100 (Levothyroxcin).

    I have been very nervous and it has increased the last 6 days. I lost control of myself yesterday. I have no signs of too much thyroid on the 100 mgs. Am I imagining this because I fear his diagnosis? I called his nurse today, and they want me to head to the lab to see what is going on in this new RX.

    I am 76 years old. I weigh between 117- 120. I have lost a couple pounds since he took me down. What do you think? Rosalee Kelley

  27. I was diagnosed with a low Thyroid more than 10 yrs ago. I had weight gain, hair falling out, very tired all the time, not feeling well. I was put on levothyroxine 75 mcg. I have been on this same dose since then. I’m now staring to have the same symptom’s I’ve had before. I haven’t felt good for a while. The medicine has worked great for me, so maybe I need my dose higher. I go to the Doctor’s in a few day’s and would like them to do more tests, than just a blood test. What do you think I should tell them. Thank You,

  28. Dr. Childs,
    My mother is 81 years old and has almost every symptom of low thyroid. When she was I. College she sat out a semester due to thyroid issues but led an active lifestyle until she broke her femur four years ago. She started going to a naturopath with complaints of low thyroid symptoms not know I guess or thinking it was low thyroid. She was told she had extremely low thyroid and was placed on a mild dose 6 months ago of NP Thyroid. She has since switched to Veritas and has had the thyroid increased a bit but is still experiencing almost every symptom including extreme fatigue and shakiness/anxiousness in the mornings. Should she try taking it at night and also ask for an increase as well?

    • Hi Mary,

      It would probably be worth trying something new if what she is doing right now isn’t working. Having said that, you wouldn’t really want to make adjustments to her dose until you check her labs.

  29. Dr. Childs, I just sent a message for Site but Also Just read your Article about Thyroid & Anemia. In the Message or Post I Forgot to mention, I did have a gastro bleed & was hospitalized last October. Very Interesting that now I’m they say a little “Low” on the Thyroid so I need my med Reduced. My Hemoglobin was down to a 7.8 or 6? Don’t remember, just do remember they’d already Typed & Matched me for a Transfusion in case I dropped to a Certain #. I did get out Thankfully as it Stopped on it’s own, But when released it was barely Over 8. Had it checked after few weeks so Last year & It was only 10. Although Prior to it had been a 12 or 13. Could be as You Pointed out, I’m still Anemic. Hasn’t been tested in again, almost a Year. Thank You for bringing that Information Out. Now I’ll get that Value Checked Also.

  30. I had a thyroidectomy 43 yrs ago. My dosage of levothyroxine finally was at a comfortable dosage for me. From 200 an er Dr decided to change my dose from 200 to 150. Since then , February of 20222, I am spiraling down by the minute. Regular Dr.doesnt believe I am suffering. I am in more ways than I ever have. I used to be very energetic and now I don’t even want to get out of bed let alone go shopping. I’m at a dose of 150 since February. I just hurt everywhere, headaches every day. I couygo on and on. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Dianna Molina-Russell.

  31. Hi Dr Childs,
    I am taking 11/2 grains of Armour Thyroid. I just got back lab test. My TSH is 6.2 (range up to 4.78) FT4 is .69 (range .89-1.76) FT3 is 3.27 (range 2.3-4.2). Why would this be so wonky? I read in one of your articles that a person could have some sensitivity to T3. I’m a veteran and being seen at a VA Hospital and the powers that be in the Endocrinology Dept frown on prescribing Armour. But my Doctor did it for me anyway because I had already been using it for 5 months. Prescribed by a Dr outside the VA. So, when my new VA Doc sees this wonky test she’s gonna freak. She was so worried if something like this happened because she wouldn’t know what to do and would have to call the Endocrine Dr’s. It’s almost comical to me, but I need to help her to know how to handle Armour thyroid. So, do I suggest that we add a 1/4 grain and split my dose to twice a day because I’m possibly sensitive to T3. Since I’ve started the Armour I have lost 30 lbs and can actually excercise again. I couldn’t for 30yrs on any type of T4 med. I would get physically sick. I’m not tired anymore and brain is not on fire with rapid thinking. And so many other benefits. It’s been life changing. My only issue at this point is the weight loss has stalled and I’m feeling a little tired and definitely cold. So I really need to keep her on board or I’ll have to pay out of pocket for a doc outside the VA again.?My only issue at this point is some fatigue, feeling cold and my weight loss has stalled for 2 months now. And my test have been this way for the last 2 months. Still on same dose for last 5 months.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      It’s hard to know for sure without a lot more information but some people are just more sensitive to certain types of thyroid medication compared to others.

  32. Hello, I was on NP Thyroid 90mg for a couple of years and with my last prescription refill I started having symptoms again. I read where Acella had recalls for potency problems and asked my doctor if I could switch to 90 mg Armour. I am still having symptoms and wonder if there may be a problem with the conversion? Is 90 mg of Armour the same as 90mg NP?
    Thank you. Judy

  33. Hello,

    I had hyperthyroidism as a child. When I was 25, my doc did a radioactive test which showed my thyroid was hypo. I am now 68, In 2001, I had my thyroid taken out due to Hashimotos. Recently, my doc took my medication from 150 to 100 in early 2022 and I feel terrible. I have gained weight (altho I exercise and eat very healthily) I am tired all the time, I am cold all the time, my hair is dry and falling out, and yet he will not adjust my medication up. My last lab test showed a TSH level of <0.01 uIU/mL. He dismisses my concerns and says I am on the right medication. I tend to differ but I get no where. I need your help!!!! Kathryn

  34. I,ve taken levo for about 20 years. Started at .175 and was changed to .150 years ago. Still cold and tired more than others. My question is recently my np dropped my dose to .125 and more fatigued than I was and gaining weight like mad. She has retested my blood on a followup 6 months later and says my numbers are good so left my dose at 125. Is this the cause for this weght gain? I dont like it


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