Did you know?
- 12% of the United States population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime?
- 60% of the people with thyroid disease don’t have a clue they have a thyroid condition?
- Woman are 5-8 times more likely to have a thyroid condition then men? (Source)
Those are completely staggering figures to me. That means the likelihood that someone you know being treated for a thyroid condition is relatively high.
For a lot of people, they don’t even know their symptoms can be linked to a thyroid disorder.
Synthroid isn’t working for me.
A question I hear so often, “Why do I feel bad when I am taking Synthroid?” There are a few reasons why you may still be experiencing hypothyroid symptoms.
After being screened by your general doctor, typical treatment of a thyroid disorder is to get referred to an endocrinologist. They will run a thyroid panel to determine the levels of thyroid hormone in your body. From there, they will prescribe a pill and retest you in a few months.
Easy, peasy, right? Nope. Sigh. It seems most doctors want to fit thyroid disorders in this tiny box with a fix of medication.
This is not the solution, there is no one size fits all solution to thyroid disorders. They are as unique as the person themselves.
Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disorders are so very different, yet if you talk to a thyroid patient under standard medical care, they are most likely taking the same medications, with varying amounts.
You are left wondering why you still feel bad when you are being treated.
But, the bigger issue as to why most thyroid patients don’t feel better on synthroid. Synthroid is a synthetic version of the T4 hormone, levothyroxine sodium.
While synthroid can supply you with the T4 your body needs, your thyroid needs much more than just T4 depending on the condition of your thyroid. (Source)
What Can You do When your Thyroid Medication Isn’t Helping?
The good news is that there are more options when it comes to thyroid medication, including natural desiccated forms. Natural desiccated thyroid medications are more than just T4 and will work with what your body needs.
Outside of just changing your medications, there are some other things you can do to make sure you are getting the proper medication and dosage.
1) Find a doctor that listens to you.
Many will tell you that you are fine, yet you are experiencing many thyroid symptoms. If you are having symptoms, you are not fine and your body is calling for help. You need to be your own thyroid advocate.
(I have been through five doctors, anything less than someone that will listen is not good enough!)
2) Make sure that when you are getting a thyroid panel drawn, that you are getting a FULL panel.
A full thyroid panel includes, TSH, T3, T4, Free T3 and T4, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. (Source)
Many doctors only order a TSH, T3 and T4. They are only a small portion of the thyroid puzzle so if you are being dosed according to just those tests, your dosing of medication can be wrong.
3) Check to make sure your doctor is using an up to date thyroid chart.
An up to date thyroid chart will help you to see if your numbers fall into the ‘optimal’ range. Many doctors use the standard lab values and that is too broad when it comes to thyroid health.
If you are one of the many that is taking thyroid medication and still experiencing symptoms, push for answers. You do not have to live with those symptoms! You need to push for change and demand the care you deserve.
Do you suspect thyroid problems? You may want to check out…
- 10 Warning Signs You Have Thyroid Problems
- 3 Steps to Finding an AWESOME Doctor to Treat Hypothyroidism
- Could Wheat Be Destroying Your Thyroid?
- How Doctors Gamble with Your Health: Testing and Treating Hypothyroidism
I’ve been tested a few times for thyroid issues, but so far so good!
Great suggestions. So many people suffer from thyroid problems. I am sure this will be helpful to many. Pinned!
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
Great post Jess! Thanks for sharing your 3 tips … it’s so important to have a doctor who believes in you and can be an advocate for you.
This is some great info! I wish my mom would have looked into this more before deciding she was better off without a thyroid =/
As complicated as thyroid balancing and support can be, it IS possible to find healing. You just need to see the issue from all angles. I think the time would definitely be worth it over having to rely on conventional methods if possible. Having a great doctor helps too!
Thanks for the informative post 🙂
Great advice! I also had to find a second doctor who listened to my symptoms, not just treated me by the numbers. Plus, one who knows the “optimal” lab ranges vs. “normal”. I’ve also found that my stress level is also intricately related to how well my thyroid meds work (or not). Gotta keep calm! 😉
From watching “The Thyroid Secret” and looking into other resources, it seems that thyroid problems are the “messenger” rather than the problem. There is an underlying cause to why the thyroid is not functioning and bringing that into control will help. Do some research and look to why else you may be feeling wrong. Chances are you will be dependent on a medication when you need not be.
Am still reading lots to see if I can handle this new diagnosis.after my first round of levo I felt refreshed. Now I have slumped back into the fog. Always was heavy, now fatter and fatter. Fired my first Dr. Hopeful for the new one. Gathering data.
I hope you’ve found some relief now! It’s very difficult to find a doctor who truly understands how to effectively treat hypothyroidism.
My Dr told me NDT is dangerous for people and would not refer me to a specialist.
This is some great info!
Thanks for the info it has been a terrible journey for me trying to find a good thyroid doctor. Been on thyroid medicine for 16 years still cannot get it right I’m on 175 µg my numbers are still ridiculous every time I have my blood work done, I’ve been to 6 doctors to no avail. Hopefully someday , Lord willing I’ll be successful in finding a good doctor.