Thyroid Time Wasters (Things you should NOT be doing)

Thyroid Time Wasters (Things you should NOT be doing)

Are these things wasting your time? 

Did you know that many thyroid patients end up wasting their time on things that don't matter and won't help them feel better?

The goal of every thyroid patient is to obviously try to get back to feeling 100%

And you know, if you have thyroid disease, that this can be a tall order, especially if you don't have the right help from your doctor

But it doesn't have to be impossible. 

In this article, you will find out more about common pitfalls and traps that thyroid patients frequently run into on their journey to feeling better. 

By avoiding these traps you can enhance the speed at which you feel better by potentially several years. 

Are you guilty of doing any of these thyroid time wasting habits? If so, leave a comment below and let me know which one(s) you are doing! 

Let's jump in...

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

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Calculating these ratios is important because it can help you determine if your efforts are on the right track and whether or not your medications are working. 

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#1. Checking your Labs too Frequently. 

One thing that thyroid patients want to do more often than they should is to check their thyroid lab tests. 

Of course, it's tempting to read about some new therapy or some new thyroid medication online and then implement that therapy and want to see if it is working. 

What better way than to check your thyroid lab tests?

That is obviously the best way to determine if you are on the right track but there's something very important you should know about thyroid lab testing. 

There's no benefit to testing your lab tests more frequently than every 6 weeks. 

If you do this you will NOT get accurate results

Why?

Because the thyroid hormone system in your body takes weeks and weeks to react to any changes that you make. 

It also takes at least 6 weeks for your thyroid status to reach an equilibrium between what is happening in your cells and what is happening in your bloodstream or serum. 

And since you can only check the thyroid status in your bloodstream (and not in your cells) you must wait until this equilibrium is achieved. 

Checking more frequently will give you information but that information will be incomplete and, therefore, you shouldn't take any action based on that result. 

And, by the way, this also applies when checking to see if your new thyroid medication is working as well!

You should not check your thyroid lab tests anymore frequently than 6 weeks AFTER you make any changes to your thyroid medication for all of the reasons above. 

Doing so is just a waste of time and money. 

#2. Staying with your current Doctor for too long. 

Another obvious one that thyroid patients fall prey to all of the time is staying with their current doctor for far too long. 

I understand that it's easy to become attached to your current doctor for whatever reason. 

Maybe they've been treating you for 10 years or more. 

Maybe they are a family friend or something similar. 

But it doesn't matter if your current doctor is NOT helping you to feel better. 

Even if they have a good heart or want the best for you, that means nothing if you are still feeling crappy day in and day out. 

And I know that this is a huge problem among thyroid patients based on the thyroid surveys of tens of thousands of thyroid patients (1) which are available for you to look at. 

These surveys show that people often stay with their doctor for 10 years or more despite feeling terrible and suffering from symptoms of fatigue or weight gain or depression. 

Why on earth are you staying with a doctor if you still feel this way?

I also see patients who lave comments on my blog posts and videos which ask for help with ways to help their current doctor understand the information that they read here. 

My only response to this is that it's far easier to just find a new doctor than it is to teach your current doctor how they ought to be treating you. 

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, as they say. 

Do NOT waste your time with your current doctor if they are not helping you feel better, if they are not willing to work with you, or if you don't have confidence in their ability to help. 

I have articles which are designed to help you find a knowledgeable doctor and I have articles which outline why endocrinologists aren't the best doctors for managing thyroid disease. 

Make sure you read those articles if you haven't already. 

#3. Copying what other patients are doing (especially from Facebook groups). 

This next topic is something that I see happen ALL of the time, especially on places like Facebook. 

Someone will leave a comment saying something like this:

"I fixed my thyroid with zinc, vitamin D, and taking Armour!". 

Following their comment, you will see a string of people asking about what dose they took, where they got their supplements, and so on. 

And it's all for one purpose:

So they can do the exact same therapies that this person did because they feel that this is the "key" to helping them feel better. 

Let me be the first to tell you (if you don't already know) that managing the thyroid is an INDIVIDUAL endeavor

This means that there is no one size fits all in terms of treatment or management. 

It also means that whatever works for one person is unlikely to work for you in any way shape or form. 

There are countless causes of thyroid disease and hypothyroidism (including Hashimoto's) and some of these can be easily reversed and others are completely irreversible. 

Before you jump headfirst into any therapy you need to have information on your "brand" of thyroid disease including what caused it, what treatments options are available for you, and what your expected outcome is. 

And I can promise you that you will not find this information on a random Facebook thread or Facebook group (or any other social media source) online. 

natural thyroid supplements version 2

I don't think thyroid Facebook advocate groups are all bad but I do think that they are often filled with information which is really only relevant to a select few people. 

Watch out for this time waster because if you follow down this path you will not only waste time but potentially lots of money. 

The chances of you finding the random concoction of therapies, supplements, and medications which could help you through a shotgun approach is so unlikely that it's not really worth giving it a go. 

It would be far better for you to spend that time and energy finding the right type of doctor to help you and leaning on their experience. 

#4. Counting on your medication to do all of the "work" to help you feel better. 

This is one that applies to a huge number of thyroid patients as well!

And it has to do with you relying completely on your medication to help you feel 100% better. 

And while there is some truth to this idea, there's much more to the story. 

As a thyroid patient, you should realize that the reason you feel so poorly is that you simply don't have enough thyroid hormone in your body. 

And if you take medication shouldn't that completely fix your problem and make you feel better?

Well, yes and no. 

Yes in the sense that you will have fixed the deficit of thyroid hormone that you were suffering from but ONLY if you use the correct dose of thyroid medication (most people are under medicated). 

And no in the sense that there is so much more to helping you feel better and regain your health outside of your thyroid medication. 

You must realize that feeling optimal has to do with the foods that you put into your body, how much stress you are under, whether or not you are exercising, your relationships, and more. 

All of these factors play a HUGE role in managing your overall health. 

So don't fall into the trap thinking that if you can just dial in your thyroid medication to the exact right dose that suddenly all of your thyroid symptoms will disappear. 

While it will certainly help you to feel better (which is a great thing) it is probably not going to be the 100% solution you are looking for. 

For that, you will have to look into those other areas I mentioned above and I have tons of resources to help you manage those on my website. 

#5. Staying on supplements which are NOT helping you feel better. 

Another issue I see all of the time is the use of unnecessary supplements, especially those which are not helping

It's not uncommon for me to see people who take 10, 15, or even 20 different supplements! 

And as I go through each of these supplements one by one, most of the time they aren't quite sure why they are taking them or whether or not taking them improved their situation in any way. 

If you are taking any type of supplement, including thyroid specific supplements, you better know why you are taking it and, ideally, you better be feeling some benefit! 

Not all supplements have a noticeable benefit such as Vitamin D3 and multivitamins but most thyroid support supplements should help you feel noticeably better. 

If you are taking thyroid supplements, or adrenal supplements, or weight loss supplements and you are not seeing any improvement in your thyroid, adrenal health, or weight then it may be time to swap out your therapies. 

Please realize, however, that you must give your supplements an adequate "shot" before throwing them out!

When it comes to your adrenals and your thyroid, the time you should give can be anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks because these hormone systems are often slow to respond. 

But if you've been taking certain supplements and you aren't noticing any net benefit then it may be time to try something new. 

#6. Living with thyroid symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, depression, and more. 

Lastly, and this is probably the most important time waster of all, you need to pay attention to how you are feeling. 

It's absolutely NOT normal for you to have thyroid disease and live with the symptoms of hypothyroidism

These symptoms include things like weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, cold intolerance, brain fog, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. 

All of these symptoms should be reversible provided you get on the right treatment!

And you should NOT settle for anything less than that. 

Hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's should not rule your life or dictate how you feel day in and day out. 

While these conditions may be chronic, they are not chronic in the sense that you MUST suffer from them forever. 

Both conditions can be completely managed provided you catch them early enough and get on the right treatments. 

This isn't always possible (especially if you've had your thyroid removed or ablated with RAI) but for many of you reading this you should be able to get significant improvement with the right therapies. 

Final Thoughts

These are my top 6 thyroid time wasters and things that I want you to make sure you are NOT doing. 

Doing these things will prolong your ability to get on the right treatment and may negatively impact your day to day life. 

You can find all of the resources necessary to help manage your thyroid disease directly on my website, blog, and videos

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you guilty of doing any of these time wasters?

If so, which one(s) are you doing?

Are you planning on making any changes or taking action after reading this list?

If so, what are you planning on doing?

Do you know of any other thyroid time wasters that thyroid patients should be aware of?

Leave your questions or comments below! I want to hear from you. 

References (Click to Expand)

thyroid time wasters - are you making these mistakes?
Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders. He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances. You can read more about his own personal journey here.

35 thoughts on “Thyroid Time Wasters (Things you should NOT be doing)”

  1. I’m 52 and have been dealing with weight loss challenges for over 6 years due to leptin resistance and hormonal issues. I started Dr. Childs’s protocol 2.5 months ago (under the care of Dr. Robb Bird in AZ) and seeing some weight loss. I’ve lost 10pounds and it is staying off, but wondering if anyone is dealing with some of the issues I’m encountering:

    1. I only seem to lose weight when I do my fasting/hcg days
    2. So, if HCG is contributing to most of the weight loss then wondering if the high cost of Victoza is even worth it.
    3. LDN has totally cut my desire to eat so not getting enough calories- approx. 1,000 day. Trying to get in more calories with the Functional Fuel Complete and interestingly not losing weight at 1,000 cal /day

    Reply
    • hi – so the days you take the HCG you are fasting – how long is your fast? I was thinking about using HCG but read his suggested use and it didnt seem to have enough info to follow – I guess it’s a push to buy the program, I just will have to find a dr that will follow it with me or else it won’t be all that useful!

      Reply
      • Hi Louise,

        The blog posts are typically only meant to introduce people to the topics, they don’t contain enough information to do it all on your own, at least not usually. The therapies that I discuss here were created by me based on my own experience and how I look at weight loss which is why I need the blog posts to introduce the topics. Hope this helps!

        Reply
  2. Brook, how did you get Dr. Westin’s recommended protocol ? or are you just following his video/post recommendations?

    Reply
  3. Hi Christina,

    I purchased the $97 programs since Dr. Childs is not accepting new patients. He outlines recommendations and then you can also follow his blog posts, articles, and videos, to make any needed adjustments. Truthfully, we all respond so differently that it can be difficult to find the sweet spot as there’s a lot of tweaking to get results (case in point my long-winded post above). So, I recommend you find A Dr that can help you decipher through all this. It would be nice if there was an online forum so we could all share our challenges and successes (maybe I will start one on FB :). Whichever route you take, I wish you all the best – it’s a journey!

    Reply
  4. Hi Doc Westin,
    Hope you have a good day!
    I would just like to ask…Is it still safe to get pregnant if you have hyperthyroidism? Will the baby be healthy?
    Im still single though but I plan to get married and have a family when im 33..,;) i was diagnosed with thyroid problem at the age of 28.

    Reply
  5. You mention not staying with a doctor who is not helping you. Here is my question, how do I find a doctor who knows how to help someone with hypothyroidism? I have tried at least five different doctors and have yet to achieve any positive results. It is extremely frustrating dealing with the constant fatigue, weight gain and hair loss. Most days I don’t even want to get out of bed.

    Reply
  6. I have a question about how quickly the medication starts to make a difference. I’ve tried Levotorixone in the past, and I’m currently on NDT, and in both cases, I saw/felt changes withint the first 2 weeks of treatment.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  7. Most likely I am not eating the proper foods that my body needs. I have no thyroid and rely on my thyroid meds plus I do walk everyday for exercise. I only take Vitamin D3 and I do have a multi vitamin. I have only had my endocrinologist for a couple years. My surgeon thought that this doctor could be a big help to me because he is an expert on the thyroid, not in my eyes. I have talked about leaving him but just haven’t done so yet. My primary has already told me that she would take over.

    Reply
    • Shirley – I have been without a thyroid for over 20 years. I am 64. The first half was removed when I was 15 yrs old; the 2nd half when I was 43 yrs old. No cancer; multi-nodule goiters that had overgrown. I have never been overweight but find myself in hypothyroidism a lot. I’ve been on so many different treatment plans. I am always tired and have been with my current dr (nurse practitioner)for almost 4 years. She’s open and willing to try new treatments but we never seem to arrive. Previously I had an endocrinologist that treated the numbers instead of the symptoms. Like everyone, I’m looking for the magical cure.

      Reply
  8. Shouldn’t you have your labs checked prior to 6 weeks if you are experiencing symptoms that are concerning? Within 3 weeks of making a switch from Tirosint to Synthroid (even though the Synthroid was a higher dose To compensate for the Tirosint potency ) I started experiencing an unhealthy low heart rate. My TSH had gone up so my doctor increased my dosage even more. Another time within a few weeks of changing my dose I had bleeding (and I am post menopause) and found that my TSH had skyrocketed so we had to change my dose. I would think that a blanket statement of “don’t check your labs before six weeks “ could be misleading to some people. That’s been my experience. But I find that I am having a much different experience after TT than a lot of people.

    Reply
  9. My thyroid simple dried up and it took years to find a endocrinologist then bottom line he didn’t bother to tell me I also have Hashimoto immune disease I’m 76 and I feel like nothing more can be done for me

    Reply
  10. Hi,doctor, my name is wasla, I am struggling low thyroid problems, so I still taking medication but the big problem is mucle pain and depression, I can’t live my life like a normal person, which medication is best for me.thanks

    Reply
  11. Hi,

    it’s interesting becuse with hypothyroidism/Hashimotos nearly everyone suggests excluding gluten from your diet. I did that, along with sugar and dairy, but I’ve found that eating bread actually makes me feel better. I don’t know if it’s the magnesium, but it does. I still don’t really eat pasta and other things with gluten, especially not sugary things with gluten.

    /Cecilia

    Reply
  12. You are right…there is not enough info here to be helpful and I have been looking for a doctor for 4 yrs. Here’s the truth, if you dont’t want to move where you can find a doctor and pay him a pile of cash….this info and website are worthless and its quite frustrating to have all this knowledge but not be able to use it because you can’t do it yourself and there is no medical care available because you don’t live in the right place and you don’t have a bunch of money lying around
    So is this more than an add for his supplements? I used to think it was but now I’m not so sure

    Reply
    • Hi S K,

      You probably won’t have much luck if you are trying to find a doctor in the insurance model, that much is true. But I have many resources to help you find a knowledgable thyroid doctor listed here: https://www.restartmed.com/thyroid-doctor/

      The situation right now is that you will most likely have to pay out of pocket for the good doctors. Hopefully, that changes in the future, as more information is out there (the purpose of this site).

      Reply
  13. Mine is staying with the same practice too long. Have been going since 2005 and have been passed to 6 different doctors thru the years. Have tried to find functional endo but haven’t had any luck.

    Reply
    • You may not need an endocrinologist. Look for a Functional Medicine doctor on IFM.org. My general doctor (a DO) continued her education to learn Functional Medicine. I left my endocrinologist as soon as my new DO said she was willing to manage my thyroid with me! (I lost my thyroid to cancer 15 yrs ago.) Have felt like crap. My Reverse T3 was 36! Working w my new doc to get it down to 12. It is slooooowwwww. But at least we are making progress. Good luck.

      Reply
    • Charleston Thyroid in Charleston, SC, The doctor is an MD and a Functional Practitioner. This means your health insurance will pay for visits..

      Reply
  14. I have lots of energy and feel great. I have been on Synthroid for 25 years. Hair loss is my problem. I also have a very healthy diet. What kind of vitamins can I take for my hair loss?

    Reply
  15. I really like drinking coffee both for a pick-me up as well as social reasons plus it tastes good! Lately, in the past few years I have noticed that it’s not giving me the boost I need. I have been dx with hypothyroidism since 10 years. I am 55 now and an about 20 pounds overweight but remain active- I go to the Y 5/7 days to work out! I am pretty sure my adrenals are shot but am trying to recover them. I have been cutting down on caffeine but not cut out entirely.
    Anything you think I can do to improve this entire situation?

    Reply
  16. Dear Dr. Westin,
    I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism for at least 10 years now, I changed 3 endocrinologist and presently seeing another endo, but not completely satisfied with her.
    I also saw A ND but she didn’t stay at the practice very long and moved away without a trace.
    I take several vitamins and recently bought your thyroid support and adrenal pills.
    I have terrible insomnia and chronic sinusitis, I’m just fed up and don’t know what else to do about my health. I am trying to be gluten free and I don’t consume junk or processed foods.
    My left eye aches and I constantly has puffy eye bags which I detest .
    How can you assist, can I send you a copy of my blood work ?

    Reply
  17. Hi Dr.!
    So I had my thryoid OUT in February and thanks to your info. I made sure to ask for Cytomel since my body was not converting Synthroid to T3 enough. I am on .75 Synthroid and 10 Cytomel. I am feeling pretty good, sleeping well again, no more hair loss or brain fog. Energy is pretty good. But here’s the thing. I have been doing intermittent fasting and now Keto and can lose only about two pounds a month. ANd… my heart still beats kind of fast when I try to work out so I decided to give up my tennis. It’s like I have a symptom of HIGH and a symptom of LOw thyroid. Wondering if you have any advice.

    Reply
  18. Senior with Hashimoto’s and Sjogren’s. Some treatments for one are in conflict with the other. Was getting things better last year, then things started reversing and now struggling again. Didn’t change diet. Any blogs or other info on addressing both Hashi and Sjogren’s?

    Reply
  19. I’ve had a new doc say that if you do not treat your adrenals, thyroid meds won’t do much. And that thyroid meds deplete the resources of adrenals as well.
    So would you say to start by addressing adrenals if having hypothyroid symptoms, first?

    Reply

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