Addressing folks who do well on T4 aka Synthyroid, Levoxyl, etc.

I received a reply to a post below that I was unable to approve because it mentioned someone by name. And the reply was not particularly friendly, and definitely not accurate. lol. But the reply brought up some good issues, which I have no problem addressing.

Namely, can I agree that there are some people who do well on T4-only treatment such as Synthroid or Levoxyl??
I can…sorta. I have a friend whose husband is one of those seemingly lucky individuals on T4, with no thyroid, who leads a fairly active and happy life. Considering how lousy I did, he amazes me. But I did notice something else about him: he has high and rising cholesterol and is on statins. That’s a classic symptom of a poor treatment and continuing hypothyroid, even if he does have much better energy that I ever did.

And by observing him, and knowing a few others who subjectively feel they do well on T4, I came to the following conclusion: though some may do better than others on T4, I have yet to find anyone on T4 who doesn’t have some kind of side-effect of a poor treatment, whether they are treating it with statins, treating it with antidepressants, or not treating it at all & denying it. Sure, some may do better than others, but the proof is in the pudding if you look deep enough. And, at the very least, I’m just plain suspicious that ANYONE on T4, even doing subjectively well, is going to have symptoms of a poor treatment creep up on them as they age. The body was not designed to live on conversion alone.

Can I agree that some people just canNOT tolerate desiccated thyroid like Armour and need to be on T4?
Initially, that may be. The gal that wrote me stated she felt a lot better on T4, and that no matter what she did, she couldn’t tolerate Armour. I believe her. If Armour was that miserable, she should be on T4 for the time being, or even better, a synthetic T4/T3 combination. But I also believe that even if she feels she did everything to a “t” and still couldn’t tolerate it, there was more for her to learn that she didn’t get the first time around when it came to her adrenal fatigue treatment. I see it too many times. And perhaps, over time, it will become more clear.

Do some proponents of desiccated thyroid go overboard in their fervor? I don’t doubt it one bit. We’re human. And we hope you are forgiving. But once you get past however you view are communication shortcoming, do know that our fervor is based on the fact that a huge volume of individuals are having lives changed due to desiccated thyroid (and/or treatment of low ferritin, and/or treatment of adrenal fatigue). And it’s too widespread and global not to have fervor, besides common sense that a treatment that gives us back what our own thyroids would be giving us is just plain remarkable.

So, do know that if you are on T4, and feel well, I’m behind you. It’s your life, not mine, and I believe you. But neither can I stop my belief and too many observations that if you are truly hypothyroid and need treatment, desiccated thyroid is a superior choice, now or later, whether you are lucky enough to have escaped adrenal fatigue, or whether you have a challenging case of adrenal fatigue that can be adequately treated!

5 Responses to “Addressing folks who do well on T4 aka Synthyroid, Levoxyl, etc.”

  1. Jackie

    I would first like to say “Thank you”! It is an extreme ease to know that there are others out there like me (not to sound like an alien). It seems only my mother can relate as she too has Hashimoto’s and also feels as poorly as I do.

    I was diagnosed when I was 27 years old and I have to admit I had a bit of an easier time convincing the Dr that I had hypothyroidism for 2 reasons. First it is genetic. Secondly, I am a medical technologist and was working in a hospital lab and was able to test myself based on my symptoms. That part was easy. The rest, well, not so much.

    I started out at 50ug of levothyroxine and 9 years later I am up to 112ug of synthroid. That boost up was just recently and the switch back to the name brand was written by the 1st endocrinologist (yes I said first). My problem is that my anti-thyroid antibodies are and have been >1000 (over the analyzer range) meaning my body is still attacking my thyroid. The first specialist didn’t really care about that and was more concerned about the high TSH. Guess what? I have news for the Doc…it seems to not matter if the TSH is w/in range or not! Either way I still feel run down and gain weight like a 7 month pregnant women. I have an appoint. with the 2nd specialist in 2 months (yes I said 2 months…apparently it takes that long) and will print everything I can about Armour and try to convince her to write a script! 9 years of feeling like crap is long enough for me! Does anyone know if the Armour will decrease the anti-thyroid antibodies? Also, will losing weight be any easier when on the desiccated thyroid.

    Again I want to thank you for this web site and also introducing me to alternative forms of treatment. I understand that some medication does not work for some people…may I just say that is why there is SO many different meds out there. Also, if something makes you feel better or “more normal” please do not discourage others just because it did not work for you. The main thing is that you feel more like yourself than you ever have. I know that is my goal!

    Reply
  2. kate skouros

    i was switched to armour and felt less fatigued after three weeks, but still needing a short nap every afternoon. upon testing we found my antibodies were up OVER 20,000 (normal base is 40). my doctor told me to get to a health food store and buy a product called saventaro cat’s claw. i take three a day. while most take 3x daily for the first 3 weeks and then drop down to 1x per day, he told me to stick to 3x a day until it’s time to put be in a box in the ground. it has rid me of sciatica, plantar fasciitis and overall stiffness and fatigue. i feel like i have my life back. so while armour did help somewhat with fatigue it was the introduction of the cat’s claw that helped tremendously. i suffered from depression for the last three years. i am no longer anxious or suffering the devastating effects of depression since the introduction of the natural hormone and now the cat’s claw. good luck to you.

    Reply
  3. Georgianne

    I have stumbled upon this blog researching any new research on T3/T4 combination for thyroid patients. I don’t take Armour but I do take synthetic T4/T3. The difference is amazing. The most noticeable difference is in my mood. I’m more positive, happy, readily see the positive side of a bad situation. Before going on the combination drug therapy, I was so negative. I don’t seem to have the same aches and pains that were usually attibuted to getting older (I’m 54). Can you imagine all those years in college/med school, internships, residency and the final diagnosis of joint pain, etc. is: You’re getting older? But I digress.

    I’m very fortunate to have a primary care physician who was reluctant, but willing to hear me out on going on Synthroid/Cytomel.

    I’m happy to have stumbled on this website. Thanks for everyone’s comments.

    Georgianne

    Reply
  4. ibeji

    Dear Janie,

    I have been hypothyroid without adequate treatment for almost ten years.

    When I finally got diagnosed and found a good doctor (who knows about adrenals and sex hormones and all the rest), I still needed 1.5 years of adrenal support (with doses between 6 and 8 mg of prednisolone a day) before I could tolerate (and switch to) Armour.

    Now I am taking Armour and feeling much better (although the symptoms have not vanished completely, and I still need 25 µg of synthetic T4 per day, otherwise I get muscle pains (fibromyalgia-type) in the back).

    So when somebody does feel better on T4 than on all the alternatives, and does not tolerate Armour, it is as you said: check and treat the adrenals first!

    Reply
  5. Adelle Marie

    I CAN TELL YOU THAT NOT EVERYBODY DO WELL ON ARMOUR,PEOPLE WITH HASHIMOTO’S, LIKE ME ,I TRIED SO MANY TIMES TO TAKE ARMOUR, AND I EXPERIMENT MORE FIBROMYALGIA AND MORE MUSCLE PAIN THAN EVER!!, IS LIKE BOTH METABOLISMS ARE CRASHING, THE ADRENAL AND THE THYROID!!
    i TREAT MY ADRENALS WITH HERBAL COMBINATION LIKE ASHWAGANDA,LICORICE,PANAX GINSENG, RODIOLA,ECT, AND STILL WHEN I TRIED AGAIN MY BODY IS FROZEN IN PAIN, TAKING THE ARMOUR, SO I CONSULTED AN NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR, AND ALSO HE TOLD ME, THAT THE ARMOUR BECAUSE IS NATURAL HORMONE VERY SIMILAR TO OURS THYROID HORMONE, DOES THAT REACTION, THE BODY IN PEOPLE WITH HASHIMOTO’S,(AUTOIMMUNE)ATTACKS THAT HORMONE IN ARMOUR BECAUSE THE INMUNE SYSTEM “THINK” IS OUR HORMONE.SO PLEASE WRITE TO ME IF YOU HAVE OTHER CASES LIKE MINE! I REALLY APPRECIATE…..THANK YOU SO MUCH..A.M.

    (You didn’t raise high enough to stop the attack. Read http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/hashimotos)

    Reply

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