My cholesterol is 167…thanks to my more optimal thyroid treatment

STTM cholesterol is good

(This post was updated to the present day and time. Enjoy!)

I was lucky.

My cholesterol hadn’t started to raise yet when I was on Synthroid and later Levoxy for nearly 20 years. But the risk was strong that it was going to, because all-too-many on a T4-only medication report having a climbing cholesterol number, sooner or later, along with potential heart problems and/or elevated CRP (C-reactived protein–a measure of one’s inflammation levels). Yes, it’s individual, but it’s common.

And what do their doctors do next if any of the above occur? Put them on statins with all the lovely side effects: muscle aches & pains, memory loss, and peripheral neuropathy.

My mother is the classic example.

We have absolutely no heart problems in our family history that I know of. Yet, here was my mother who, in her 60’s, was suddenly in the hospital having a balloon procedure on her heart, called an Angioplasty, done to open up a clogged artery to her heart. Huh??

And years later….

It was only years later, when I become a thyroid patient activist, that I could look back and see why that happened to her. She had been on a T4-only medication for the majority of her adult life, aka Synthroid!

Today, as patients are switching to natural desiccated thyroid like Armour, Naturethroid and WP Thyroid and/or others, and as they are allowed by their informed doctors to raise NOT according to the TSH but by the complete elimination of symptoms as well as the free T3 and free T4…VOILA…. their once-high cholesterol….FALLS!!

But guess what else falls? Your CRP if it’s also caused by the rising cholesterol.

CRP stands for C-Reactive Protein, and it becomes elevated in response to certain forms of inflammation. With that elevation comes the heightened risk of heart attacks and strokes. And guess what: continued hypothyroid (as found with T4-only treatment) can result in an increased CRP level, we’ve noted before.

On an optimal amount of desiccated thyroid, which for me was 4 grains for years (3 1/2 grains after menopause), my CRP is 0.9. Ideal is less than one. Bingo.

***Have a story to share about your improved lipid or CRP levels since you became optimal on Natural Desiccated Thyroid? Let us know. Even adding T3 to your T4 is a huge step, thyroid friends!


  • Proof in research! Check out this study done in 2007–the higher the TSH, the worse your lipids. Ironically, even a TSH IN RANGE does this, according to the experience of MILLIONS of patients!! Thanks Nita for bringing this to my attention!
  • Have you Liked the STTM Facebook page? It gives you daily inspiration and information!


18 Responses to “My cholesterol is 167…thanks to my more optimal thyroid treatment”

  1. Maureen Glickenberger

    Some cases of thyroid disease are caused by a gluten intolerance (Celiac Disease). My ferritin level and tsh improved after giving up gluten. However, after 2 years of being gluten free, my tsh was still not in the optimal range between 1 & 2 and my current doctor put me on Armour Thyroid. I no longer have little episodes of alopecia areata.

    My ferritin went from 4 to 11 after giving up gluten. I don’t want to take iron supplements to get my ferritin level higher. Microorganisms (viruses & bacteria) need iron to survive. If you are sick with any kind of infection, taking iron supplements could be more harmful and prolong your illness.

    Thanks, Maureen

    (from Janie: you might want to read the page on TSH here.)

  2. Justme

    My mother has a shmorgesborg of issues that I can relate to: piss-poor thyroid treatment and unmanaged adrenal function – osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, muscular sclerosis, and depression, to name a few.

    It’s so sad, and it angers me, that doctors can’t (won’t) treat thyroid/adrenal issues better — all this could have been avoided, no?

  3. Julie

    My cholesterol dropped 50 points from 208 to 158 after 7 months of Armour. For 20 years I had high cholesterol, started synthroid 15 years ago. In just 7 short months I have “normal” cholesterol for the first time EVER. And it will stay that way now because we treated the cause.

  4. Tammy

    I have celiac disease, thyroid issues and taking natural hormone replacement. I have started having “cardiac” episodes that no one seems to be able to explain. I wake in the middle of the night with my heart rate as high as 180bpm. I have lost concisousness twice because of this. They now want to put me on beta blokcers, but I can’t help but this is yet another “mask” of what the real issue must be. Has anyone ever heard of these symptoms from the above diseases?

  5. Cecilia

    Janie is right. This is an adrenal issue. Interestingly enough, the genes for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, mitral valve prolapse and celiac disease are linked on the same chromosome, which means when one is triggered, such as celiac, the other two are as well, if you have the genes.

    My history: I have celiac disease, Hashimoto’s, and the concomitant adrenal issues. I used to have mitral valve prolapse. I exercised regularly, and took calming aminos, so I no longer have it. STTM has been a Godsend to me.

    I was first diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse in 1990. Had pounding heart issues that kept me up all night. Cardiologist put me on beta blockers, 25 mg. every night. Then in 2000, I was diagnosed by a naturopath with having hypothyroid. He put me on 1/2 grain Armour and left me there! Of course, my hypothyroid worsened, and I gained 13 pounds and ended up going to an osteopath to get an MRI of my pituitary (which I insisted on). No tumor, so he sent me to an endocrinologist, who put me on Levoxyl and Cytomel because my antibodies were elevated. She at least knew to test that, and diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s in 2000.

    Could not drink alcohol, caffeine or eat chocolate (yeah, like I was going to give chocolate up!) and took beta blockers (Atenolol) for 17 friggin’ years. I got myself off of it after feeling like crap, with taking Alka Seltzer Gold (sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate) at night with 4 grams of L-arginine. That was in 2009. Took me 6 months to do this. Had I read “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross, I’m sure I could have done it a lot quicker. It’s about neurotransmitter balancing. Dopamine causes the heart to race. GABA, L-tryptophan (in a very low dose), L-glycine, L-glutamine, and taurine will suppress dopamine. I take GABA (50 mg.), L-tryptophan (250 mg.), Alka Seltzer Gold, and 4 grams of L-arginine nightly.

    An age-management doc convinced me to change over to Armour, which I did, 2 gr. I am up to 4 now, dosing 3 in the a.m. upon rising, then 1 grain in the early afternoon. No more pounding heart. But I also am still supplementing with 50 mcg. bovine adrenal sublingual adrenal extract. The age-management doc didn’t understand/was threatened by treating the adrenals, so I did it on my own with Isocort at that time. Some days I don’t need it or my thyroid hurts, so I back off and don’t take it until I “feel” my adrenals are down.

    Long story, but I’m doing great now and heed my body’s warnings of what I am ingesting too much/not enough of.

    Hope this helps.


  6. mari

    What do you recommend, I started taking levothyroxine and started to get nodules and goiters…then I was switched to synthroid and when they did another ultrasound and scan they were gone, I’m still taking Synthroid 112mg but now I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol!?

  7. Verna Hebert

    Wait a minute ! Are you saying the thyroid medication may be causing high cholesterol ( mine is at 450 ), and high blood pressure, mine is at (167/ 70 )? I was diagnosed with a MVP 30 yrs. ago. I just saw an endo, she didn’t mention any of this. She said to take my thyroid meds ( Levo ) on time. Come back in 6 months !!!!

  8. Tiger

    I had papillary thyroid cancer (December 2013) which had spread to 9 lymph nodes. I’m on 150mcg (x2 on Sunday) synthroid. My endo doesn’t want to give me natural thyroid because of my cancer having spread so much. Is he right to keep me on synthroid because of the risk of it coming back?

  9. Liz Strong

    I think there is far more to our health problems than all the ailments I see mentioned. I believe much of the obesity and health problems today are caused by all the chemicals and poisons in our food and water. Since I’ve started eating mostly organic foods, and drinking Spring water, I’ve started losing weight and my health, for my age of 85, has improved. The only prescription drug I take is Synthroid, and I would like to try Armour, but I don’t have the choice. I feel fortunate that I’m doing as well as I am.

  10. Carol

    Before I was on Levothyroxine about 6 years ago, I was having heart palpitations; my heart skipped as many as 8 to 12 beats at a time sometimes. After being on Levothyroxine, my heart rate was normal- no more skipped beats. I told my Doctor I would like to try Synthroid and he told me there is a little bit of Synthroid in the Levothyroxine. My cholesterol has gone up during the last 6 years while on Levo but my blood pressure is the same in the normal range.

    I have problems with losing weight. Ever since I started on Levo my appetite sky-rocketed. I wonder if maybe there is something in the Levo that prevents me from losing weight. Any suggestions about how to lose weight on Levo?

  11. Rachele Newcomb

    I’m new to this FB page. I should have done research on my condition LONG ago. I had radio active iodine and they killed off a portion of my thyroid when I was 22 ( at age 42 now, I would have gotten second opinions) I’ve been on sybthyroid ever since. 137 mg! I just started having high cholesterol. I’m going to order the book. Probably time to get more in tune with this. I’ve complained for YEARS of not having energy. 😑 in told to exercise more! Ugh

  12. susan

    In need of help in Boston Mass area. I am recovering from a right side thyroidectomy performed two weeks ago in Boston for multiple nodules with concern for cancer. Told benign at the hospital next morning, not from pathology test but surgeon. Still haven’t seen that in writing. Past year my always normal Cholesterol is steadily climbing. Have arthritis surrounding fused spine with rod and other joints. Also have moderate sleep apnea. Average wgt of 150’s climbed to 171. Endo said not related. On levothyroxine. High markers for celiac and have eliminated foods, dairy, most grains. I am desperate for a doctor in my area.


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