Read what this Eye Doctor Observed in His T4-only Treated Patients!

Matt Dixon ODThe following Guest Blog Post has been written Matt Dixon, OD who currently practices optometry in Perry, Georgia.

And not only did Dr. Dixon find himself with hypothyroidism, he made quite an interesting observation: 90% of his patients currently taking levothyroxine still have symptoms!

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So how did an optometrist (eye doctor) become passionate and obsessive about spreading the news about what Janie calls the “Madness”?

My personal journey

I don’t quite fit the typical patient profile for a hypothyroid patient.  I’m not female, no weight issues. I’ve always been very active. Yet when the symptoms started, I was clueless about where they came from or that they all could even be related. 

All eye docs are trained to recognize thyroid eye disease, but truthfully, we focus on end-stage symptoms of Grave’s disease and the ophthalmopathy that often comes with it.  And the typical optometrist does not encounter this very often.  I had no clue that in my own practice, hypothyroidism was one of the most common conditions I see. 

I suppose my first symptoms were body aches and pains.  I had always experienced annoying back issues and I presumed that deterioration was setting in as I became older (40’s).  I’ve also always been cold-natured. And by 2010, I noticed that I was struggling to make it through the work day. So by the end of the day, I was exhausted.  In fact, I was no longer exercising, but found myself buried on the couch as soon as I came home, not getting up until I forced myself to climb into bed.  Once I made it to bed, I couldn’t fall asleep and became addicted to Ambien.  When the alarm clock woke me up the next morning, my wife had to literally pull me out of bed.  If I ever forced myself to jog, I felt as if I was carrying a 25 lb. backpack.  I also began to struggle with unexplainable stress and anxiety.  

But what finally prompted me to seek answers was in fact eye-related.  I was driving my kids home one night and the road in front of me actually moved suddenly from left to right.  I hit the brakes and feared for our safety!  My 17 year old son took the wheel and we made it home.

The madness for me began

My physician at the time is a well-liked internist in my community.  I made an appointment for a checkup complete with blood work.  I had some issues that I was concerned about, but neither the assistant nor doctor reviewed my symptoms. 

I went back in a week and promptly received a prescription for Synthroid for hypothyroidism.  With little discussion about the disease, I headed to the pharmacy. After a couple of weeks I began to improve.  But I wanted to know more.  I found the vast list of hypothyroid symptoms online and could not believe how many I was experiencing.  I read enough to know that elimination of symptoms was the best way to dose the medication and focusing on TSH only would lead to under-treatment. 

More importantly, if my doctor did not know any of my symptoms, how could he know when I was adequately treated?  It was time for a new doctor.

Why do MD’s undertreat hypothyroidism?

My new doctor, unlike the previous one mentioned above, did review my symptoms and pledged to increase Synthroid until my TSH was reduced to around 1.  I made sure they were paying attention to how I was feeling.  Yes, I improved tremendously and found my happy place on brand name Synthroid.  But I did move over to natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) and was even happier. As I adjusted to the new medication and found the correct dosage, I was able to get through the day with full energy and better mental focus.  Most days I am symptom free.

In my area, I have yet to find more than a handful of docs who use NDT with any frequency.  In my patient population, I rarely encounter a patient on NDT unless I have coached them to find a way to get the prescription.  (Optometrists are licensed to prescribe oral medications but only for eye conditions) 

Synthroid is the number one prescribed drug in America!

This is no accident and it will not be easy to battle the industry that achieved this coveted ranking.  Doctors clearly have been trained to use synthetic T4-only meds as the treatment of choice, having been convinced that it is highly effective.  Trying to change this at the medical school level will likely never happen.  Attempts to enlighten physicians who are convinced that levothyroxine treatment and normalizing TSH levels is the best care will rarely lead to change.  In fact, general practitioners and internal medicine docs will continue to get it wrong as long as endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association (ATA) promote Synthroid religiously.  Those who have seen the light, thanks to educators like Janie Bowthrope, will laugh (then cry) when they read the preview from the ATA’s published pocket guidelines http://eguideline.guidelinecentral.com/i/521958-ata-hypothyroidism-pocket-card How could these smart folks be so misinformed and allow patients to suffer?

What can one eye doctor do?

I’ve decided to review residual symptoms with every patient who comes into my office taking any form of hypothyroid medication.  The majority of them have never reviewed such a list!  Occasionally, a patient will not circle a “single symptom”, but more often patients will have “several” symptoms.  I offer a 3-page summary of how hypothyroidism can be properly treated and, of course, I have them google STTM.  After counseling over 100 of these patients (with only one complaint), many have returned to say thank you.  Sadly, most patients get the push back from their MD and will remain on T4-only meds.  I’ve also learned that if a physician has not studied the use of natural desiccated thyroid and is only committed to normalizing TSH, even the patients who convert to NDT may still suffer due to ineffective dosing.

I treat many patients with dry eye syndrome, which is very common and sometimes costly to treat.  I am convinced that treating dry eye syndrome in a patient who is undertreated for hypothyroidism is like trying to change a flat tire on a car that is still moving.  Every eye doctor should take an interest in this disease even if for this reason alone!

What can a patient do?

Refuse to tolerate inadequate treatments.  Be passionate about your own health.  Recognize that very good doctors with good intentions have been misinformed and may be facing tremendous pressure in our rapidly changing healthcare system.  They do not quickly change deeply held beliefs when it comes to recommended treatments.

Study Janie’s recommendations.  Make an effort to help your physician understand.   http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/doctors-need-to-rethink/  When seeking a new doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or osteopath, ask questions before you make an appointment.  And do not assume that a board-certified endocrinologist is any more enlightened about this disease.

Final thoughts

My best analogy in attempting to drive home the importance of optimal treatment of hypothyroidism in my patients is to show them their vision as it would appear through a half-strength pair of glasses.  I ask them if they would be happy to see like this.  I ask them how quickly they would find a new eye doctor who prescribes full-strength glasses.  They get it.  I’m passionate about this disease and the patients who are literally suffering and feel uninvited to shout “I feel like crap!” to a doctor who won’t listen.  Together, we will make a difference.

Matt Dixon, OD

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Dr. Dixon has practiced in Perry and Warner Robins, GA for over 25 years.  He provides comprehensive eye care and frequently counsels patients regarding wellness.  He has written numerous articles on eye disease and the business of optometry.

He is married to Jenna and has 3 children and 2 dogs.  He is an aspiring songwriter and has recorded 2 albums.  Thanks to NDT, he is quickly becoming a CrossFit addict.  www.drmattdixon.com

152 Responses to “Read what this Eye Doctor Observed in His T4-only Treated Patients!”

  1. Marsha

    How does hypothyroidism affect eyes besides dry eyes.

    Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      Hypothyroidism affects all tissues of the body. I think dry eye syndrome is clearly the most common eye condition that I see associated with HT. Next most common would be puffy eyes, dark circles and thickening of the eyelid skin. I don’t believe it leads to vision loss or other eye diseases directly. I did personally experience eye muscles spams that made me dizzy. Many people experience eye lid spasms and it would make sense to me that uncontrolled HT patients would experience those more often. I have not had those symptoms since my treatment has been adequate.

      Reply
      • DD

        I experienced almost the same thing. I was walking through the store and suddenly it felt the floor tilted at a 45 degree angle. It felt like I was falling off the side of a very steep hill. Everything swirled for 2 hours causing me to be extremely dizzy and disoriented. When the swirling dizziness subsided, each eye saw doubles independently. So I was seeing 4 of everything. Now I’m only seeing 2 of everything. But when I tired or my BP goes up, I see 4 again. This was just a couple months after starting levothroxine. I was on that for a while, then synthroid and now Armour. There’s not really been much improvement in my vision and it’s been that way for 4-5 yrs now. If I look towards my left, my eyes will cross and vision gets blurred and swirly. Have you seen this kind of thing in your patients? My vision is steadily getting worse. It’s pretty scary to think about how much it has changed in the last 4-5 yrs and much worse it will be in the next 5 yrs.

        Reply
        • Marilyn

          DD. Have you had your blood sugar tested lately with an hbA1c or fructosamine test? I would highly recommend it, because high blood sugar can affect eyesight.

          Reply
          • DD

            Blood sugar was checked. It’s always normal. I consume way less sugar than in the past.

      • CrystalwolfLady (@krystalwolfgrl)

        So glad to see this! I got dry eye when my Endo was lowering my Armour to get it in the TSH! Its been ONE year and a half, I had a spasm in Oct where I fell while walking my dog. I broke a bone in my R foot and a toe in my L foot. My Endo just fired me for ASKING to be Treated to symptoms and Free T’s! He wanted to give me back to the dr. that did this too me! He told me I would have to “Get off that Armour and I should get on Levo thyroxine”! I told him to take it himself b/c a FDA alert come out about Levo being Cancer causing, Lung cancer.
        My eyes are also painful and I’m trying to use the Bacitrian oint on there it helps a little the other eye dr. just tell me to use drops in my eyes. Not helping. I’m on 3 grains and had to get from offshore b/c my Dr. quit on me.
        This has impacted my life, not in a good way. I’m going to tweet this out and Thank you Dr. Dixon, my other eye dr. will be asking about the ointment so I’m going to link here. One of the eye Drs did mention thyroid but they shut him up so fast it wasn’t even funny. There is some kind of “something” about these dr. who don’t like Armour or NDH.

        Reply
      • Rita

        I’m a Hashimoto’s patient in the UK in 100mgs of levothyroxine by Mercury Pharma, although no one has formally told me that I have Hashi’s, but I have elevated antibodies which are increasing. Endo has told me to ignore this!!! I have had to fight my doctor and ends to stay on this dose as they say I am over medicated. They ignore symptoms, say they are menopausal symptoms, even though most of my symptoms disappear on the higher dose!!! They will not prescribe NDT as they say they do not wish to risk their jobs so I am consigned to poor health!!! I have dry eyes, sensitivity to light, difficulty with nighttime vision when driving, eye watering due to the care heater being on in the winter even if I use artificial tears before setting off! I also have occasional optical migraines and in the last month or so, have been experiencing redness and a severe burning sensation on my eyelids, blacker than Isla circles around my eyes and more severe eye watering. I have an appointment to see my doctor but expect to be told that the symptoms are unrelated to my thyroid disease. I have mentioned dry eye as being thyroid related in the past only to be dismissed. Can you help me to alleviate the symptoms? Would increasing the T4 help? Please can you suggest what I can use to bathe my eyes?

        Reply
        • Janie Bowthorpe

          You are not consigned to poor health! Join the Facebook FTPO UK group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FTPOUKandEurope/ 🙂 Make sure they can see either your friends or wall posts to know you are not a spammer.

          Reply
        • Dr. Dixon

          Hopefully, better treatment for your HT will help. Dry eye syndrome could have other causes as well. You should see an eye doc who can provide aggressive treatment. In the US that includes cyclosporine (Restasis), heat treatments for more oil production from meibomian glands and even artificial tears made from your own blood serum- and many other treatments. Artificial tears alone won’t have any lasting effect.

          Reply
    • Tina

      I have been experiencing what my ophthalmologist diagnosed as constant ocular migraines where I see a snow like effect all the time. Also, my night vision is terrible. I started NDT a week ago and I suspect that these issues will resolve.

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

    Before I was diagnosed with hashimotos my sister got new glasses and just for fun I wanted to try them on. To my surprise things were clearer. I never would have thought that. I went to the doctor and got my own pair and found out I had astigmatism. I never wore them because my eyesight wasn’t too bad. A few years later after my diagnosis and being on cytomel I went for a recheck and the doc said my eyesight was better! I still got a new pair of glasses because they were covered by insurance but I didn’t change anything in my life except my thyroid.

    Reply
  3. Melania

    I would like to add that my night vision has significantly improved and become much clearer and sharper since adding T3. Please, if you are in T4 meds only, find a doctor willing to help get you well
    with NDT and T3.

    Reply
  4. Chris

    Dr. Dixon, I wanted to take the time to thank you for sharing your experience. this gives hope to us non-medical folks to know that there are people in positions to be taken more seriously by medical professionals—well, ok, maybe not by endos…….. Together and on multiple fronts, is the only way to hope for any change. Thank you and God bless.

    Reply
  5. Emily

    I recently read that Medicare will no longer approve Armour thyroid because they said that Synthroid was a much better medication. So much for enlightenment. I got so tired of fighting with my endo and my GP that I finally get my natural dissicated thyroid from Thailand by mail. No prescription needed. I buy a bottle that lasts me about 3 years. Also much cheaper than copay was, too.

    Reply
    • Debbie Cordero

      Emily…how can I get natural dissipated thyroid from Thailand by mail….please help ….can it be mail to the USA. I have been looking and can’t find anywhere to get it. Can you send me the site ou use Thank you

      Reply
      • Lynne Leason

        I ordered “Thiroyd” (note the spelling) in a white plastic bottle. It cose £34.99 plus £3.99 p & p and it arrived in just over a week. I am in the UK.

        Reply
    • Carey

      Emily- can you tell me where you ordered the Armour thyroid & is there different strengths that coincide with your prescribed synthroid levels? Thank you for your help and information. I am new to this. I assume you did your research and the product you ordered is pure/ safe? Sorry- just very interested myself and a little concerned about what I would be getting when ordering form out of the country… ie. has it been tested & does it pass sfety & purity regulations. How does the cost compare? Thank you again.

      Reply
    • Andrea

      Can you tell me how to get it from Thailand?

      Reply
      • Monique

        Hi I wanted to see how I could order it from Thailand as well. If you have any info I would be grateful.
        Thanks

        Reply
    • Kathy Borowski

      Hi. I found your post to be very interesting. This past year I went on Medicare and was also told they would not pay for anything other than a generic thyroid med. I was on Armour, now on WP Thyroid which is half the price of Armour, and since I am paying out of pocket, that was very important. I was specifically told Medicare wouldn’t pay for Armour because I was “elderly” and Armour type meds were bad for the elderly – specifically for their heart. I am curious, though you might not be able to say, who you get your thyroid med from in Thailand? Any website you can direct me to. Also, thyroid meds have a shelf-life of about 1 year. How do you get yours to last 3 years and still be viable? Thanks for any answers I can get.

      Reply
      • Emily

        On this webpage, up on the sub headings, click on thyroid meds then from the drop down menu read all the sub headings. Thyroid 101 and the others. The one year shelf life is a bogus number, as you well know from all canned goods and most scripts. I, personally, keep my pills double wrapped in the freezer….they will last for years. I take, not thyroid-s, but Thiroyd which is uncoated so I can dissolve it sublingually. It is also listed above in the sub headings. All these tablets are 60mg which is 1 grain. You cut them with pill cutter to get your dose. Tim, I looked at Nutri-Meds website and I am not sure these are the same thing. Also, much more expensive at 31 dollars for 90 pills plus shipping. Of course buying 1000 pills might be a bit much to start out until you get an idea of how these work for you. Some websites let you buy just 30 or so. Do your own research;; the STTM website and/or book are great source of knowledge. Read all the headings at the top of this page. You may want to start with Nutri-Meds. Check them out…..they have good knowledge, also.

        Reply
        • Kate

          Emily,
          Please e-mail me with instructions on how to get meds from Thailand. I can’t find any doctor willing to prescribe anything other than Synthroid!

          Reply
          • Emily

            Hi Kate, Go online and Google thyroid Thailand. A few sites will pop up and you can look at them and email them for instructions or questions. You do not need script. I usually go with whomever has the best prices at that time for Thiroyd (yes that’s how it is spelled) which is the brand I use.

        • miri

          please Emily e-mail me with instructions on how to get meds from tailand too!! I live in spain and there is no way I can buy them here.
          thanks!

          Reply
      • Jackie

        Kathy, I’d stick with the WP Thyroid. Yes, it is more affordable than Armour, but that doesn’t mean it’s a less superior product. Additionally, many individuals use this NDT without issue as it contains the least amount of fillers of any of them. I was prescribed WP by my Naturopath 4 months ago, and I am quite satisfied with it; I’m feeling much better than I did the past few decades, very hypothyroid and very untreated.

        Reply
        • Kathy Borowski

          Jackie, thanks for your reply, however, I probably wasn’t being clear. I have no intention of getting off WP Thyroid or any other NDT. I am desperately trying to never go back to any Synthroid-like medication. I have been on Armour since about 2002 and am happy, so far, with the WP. Everything comes down to what I can afford now that I am on Social Security, which is why I would look into NDT meds from Thailand if they were even more affordable than the WP Thyroid. I switched to WP 4 weeks ago and things are going well. Looking forward to doing labs to see what my #’s are and whether I need to up my dose a bit. What I love about the WP med is that I can get it in a 1 and 3/4 tablet and I don’t need to cut and paste anymore with the Armour dose I was taking. I did not mean to imply that I was unhappy with WP. Quite the contrary. I can even dissolve it under my tongue, which I have always done. But, again, thanks for taking the time to reply.

          Reply
    • Tim

      you don’t need to order from Thailand. There is a couple good places to get them right in the U.S. They are Nutri-Meds and Natural Sources.

      Reply
      • Brenda

        How can I find a doctor in the state of Michigan that will prescribe NDT?

        Reply
        • Trudy

          I found Dr. Jennifer Franzese on a top thyroid doctors website. She is at the Diabetes/Endocrynology center at Domino Farms U of M. I fired my first endo four years after thyroid removal, he absolutely refused to prescribe NDT (Synthroid exclusively). The synthroid was not working well for me. When taking Synthroid, I experienced many of the typical symtoms listed on STTM web site such as cold feet and hands, brain fog, itchy dry skin, etc… Armor had relieved many of those symptoms for years (before the reformulation) now the cold hands and feet are returning and the prescription price has went up significantly. There are still challenges when changing to NDT but if you present information that supports your descision to switch, you may find more doctors/endos are willing to help you.

          Reply
    • Susie

      Emily, I was on Armour. I recently found these and just started using it. This is my first month so I dont know how well its working. My doctor has been keeping me on the LOW side of my meds so I have been being under treated. I do feel like I have more energy. Crossing my fingers! Something you might want to look into. You do not need a prescription but its not covered by insurance. Thyrovanz

      Reply
      • Jessica

        Hi Susie,
        I have been on 75 mic of Levothyroxine and I hate it. I was researching Thyrovanz because of your comment but can’t find much feedback. How is it working for you?

        Reply
    • Clair Ash

      I live in WA and haven’t been able to find a doctor that knows anything about it, tried on line and had no luck either. Any advice ?

      Reply
    • Lisa

      Emily..where do you order from? Name please☺

      Reply
    • Kerry

      My 13 year old daughter is on levo. Sure her numbers come out ok usually but the symptoms are there. NO ONE will listen to me! It is so hard watching my daughter go through this. There isn’t a children’s endocrinologist in my city. We currently drive to Milwaukee where they are not going to budge on the levo. We live in north eastern Iowa so we can travel to Milwaukee or even Chicago. In Iowa, we have the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics but before I switch, would like to know if the doctors would be receptive to Armour or something..Any insight or advice?

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Kerry, we know it’s not easy to find a doctor who is knowledgeable, and even when they are, it’s only a beginning. So two things are important: 1) At least find one who will prescribe NDT by using this: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc 2) And YOU have to become knowledgeable, too, and expect to guide any doc, which the STTM books and website will help. 🙂

        Reply
      • Marygee

        I live in Des Moines, was operated on in Iowa City but now travel to Madison, WI. To see dr. Rebecca Georgia there. She is a naturopath who has saved my life, or at least given some of it back to me. Started on WP in December after almost a year of Levothyroxine, then Synthroid and then added Cytomel . I think my whole body was slowly dying. Going gluten free has tamed much of my inflammation and I am hopeful for the first time in a long time.

        Reply
      • Vienna

        Dr John Stracks at northwestern hospital integrative Med prescibes NDT .

        Reply
    • Sally

      Please, give details of address, etc of locale in Thailand where you can get DT. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Reply
  6. Andrea

    Thank you, Dr. Dixon, for writing this and thank you,Janie for publishing it. Based on my experience of being hypothyroid nearly my entire life but un-diagnosed for decades and under-medicated for years after I was finally diagnosed, my sense is that it’s only when enough doctors themselves are diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on T4 only medications and get to feel like crap that the standard of care may finally change. Thanks to STTM I am a very well educated patient, and I am well-prepared when I meet a new doctor. And it makes not a shred of difference if they are already believers in T4. T4 is all you will get. I give them articles and my medical history – and they look at me like I have two heads. It’s even harder to get the right thyroid medication if you genetically can’t convert T4 to T3 and can’t take NDT but require T3 only as I do.. I am sorry you suffered from T4 only treatment, and I appreciate you for speaking out. I would like to see a million other doctors do the same. It’s easy to tell patients to get informed and talk to their doctors about what they want – but most of the time you are better off finding a new doctor, as almost none of them care to be educated (tread the STTM Facebook forums and you will soon see how rare it is to change the mind of a doctor who has been brainwashed to believe in Synthroid.

    Reply
    • Teresia

      Dear Andrea! I am on NT and T3 and trying to find the right medication and how much to take etc… I am starting to think I need only T3 to. I would love to be able to ask you some things about it…would you consider emailing me so I´ll get your emailadress. I live in Sweden. nocheatingrecords2@hotmail.com . /Teresia

      Reply
      • Andrea

        Hi Teresia, I will email you. Also look for the Facebook group FTPO (T3 discussion group) – lots of great info and support! (FTPO = for thyroid patients only)

        Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      Thanks Andrea. We just need a pill that would let professionals know what HT feels like for a day! Janie’s resources have really helped me help my patients. If I’m in hurry I just say “google STTM”!

      PS While in my doc’s office I saw an advertisement promoting Synthroid as a “thyroid transplant”!

      Reply
      • Andrea

        I first heard about STTM from a doctor (Ralph Luciani in Phoenix in case anyone in AZ is looking for a good one). So am happy to hear you do this as well. I like your 1-day pill idea… though I would make them suffer for at least a week. Synthroid as a thyroid transplant.. now that’s scary. Thanks again for everything you’re doing!

        Reply
      • Marygee

        I like that idea of a pill that would give symptoms of hypothyroidism to our health care professionals for at least 24 hours. Is Big Pharma behind this nonsense? Shouldn’t they want us to feel better?

        Reply
  7. Dani

    Emily, how do you get it from Thailand? I am very interested in that route for my husband.

    Reply
  8. Susan

    Dani.. google Thyroid-S. My life is so much better since I switched. I did get my doctor to switch me to Nature-throid, but fighting for an increase wasn’t on my agenda. So I add thyroid-s as needed. I also order my own blood work online as my Dr won’t order T3 or reverse T3 tests. There is a facebook group that is very helpful when I have questions!

    Reply
    • Cindy Guida

      I also have a tale of woe… Here in Wilmington, NC. it is almost impossible to find ANY MD that will do blood work more than TSH…and when I show them my Blood Labs from Life Extension, where I can buy them myself, they jump in and tell me how I am wasting my money—I don’t need any T3 or RT3 info…and on they will go. My situation worsened. I have now had Hashimoto’s for over 8 years and STILL the MD’s here are virtually useless when it comes to any situation Thyroid. The Endo’s are the same….they hail the brand Synthorid and nothing more. I found a wonderful Doctor that was hoping to move here from Durham, but then decided not to. She helped me get my adrenal situation in hand. I had Breast Cancer in 2012, afterwards, the pain totally around my chest and back hurt day and night. Each year it lessen some—but until 2015 I did not know what it was or what to do about it. I tested (from saliva testing she got me) that I had severe adrenal fatigue. After just a few weeks on the the supplements my world changed to being almost painless! Can’t handle the drive from here to there with my older cars, bad vision and lack of nerve…..so chest pain (since out of the supplement now) have started to appear back during exercise and/or stress. We must continue on to push MD’s and tell our stories to others so they will notice the symptoms in themselves or others when it surfaces….and know there are enlightened Health Care Folks out there …and to keep searching for them.

      Reply
    • Donna

      I’m on Nature-Throid 97.5 mg. my doc tried adding T4, Citamel 5 mg but made me feel awful. It actually increased my body temperature to where I was hot most of the time. I live in Fla so that didn’t help. I’m off the T4 now and it’s a little better. I still dont feel the Nature-Throid is helping. No energy, foggy brain, weight gain. Armour did not work for me either. I will check out the thyroid-s.

      Reply
  9. Rod

    I have only had mild hypothyroidism – but my eye symptoms have included:

    Reduced ability to cope with on-coming headlamps when driving;
    Reduced colour perception – like turning down the chrominance on a television;
    Reduced 3-dimensional perception;
    Dry eyes;
    Easily tired eyes;
    Discomfort bordering on pain all around the orbits;
    Slower focussing;
    Floaters – not sure if was the quantity or my ability to deal with them.

    Am quite sure there are others! All the above have either resolved or at least improved to the point of not being much of an issue any more. For example, I very occasionally get slight discomfort in my orbits – and forget about it entirely for the weeks or months between occurrences.

    This is on levothyroxine (not Synthroid).

    Reply
    • Montana NAR

      Levothyroxine is the generic name for synthetic T4. Synthroid is the brand name.

      Reply
      • Rod

        I know.

        I was simply pointing out it was not the Synthroid brand of levothyroxine I am taking.

        Reply
    • CrystalwolfLady (@krystalwolfgrl)

      Rod,
      I have all those symptoms pain around the orbit also! Mine started when the ENDO trying to treat me to my TSH ONLY! As the TSH showed my hypo symptoms went UP very bad eye issues 1 1/2 yrs later. I’m on 3 grains and still haven’t resolved. The Endo at Kaiser fired me b/c I dared to ASK to be TREATed to SYMPTOMS and FREET4 &T3. My eye issues cont and I even fell b/c of a eye spasm like Dr. Dixon reported in his blog post. So far everyone is ignoring me.
      I had to order Throid from Thailand also.
      Dr. Dixon What can WE DO? Do we write to the Endo societies? How can we change? Have you submitted a write up to your colleagues in the Ophthalmic dept? This need to be in Pub med or somewhere, Web MD or something! So many of us are undertreated and even on 3 grains I’m still having the issue. WE NEED a PAC!
      To Lobby medicare and Congress to change the TSH rules.
      Something needs to be done! FAST. I can’t be in another fall. I haven’t recover from my last fall.

      Reply
  10. onita caldwell

    How do you even get diagnosed if your numbers are in the “normal range” & all the doctors refuse to pay any attention to your list of symptoms?

    Reply
    • Michelle

      I am in this same boat. I have a lot of the signs/symptoms but my thyroid tests come back normal. I even have vision issues that are getting worse. I’ve gone to local Dr and to the Mayo in Jacksonville both tested thyroid as normal.

      Reply
      • Rod

        My first TSH test was done only because I requested it. As I did the next few over many months.

        Each TSH test came back with a higher number – made a lovely straight line on a graph. With the last one, which took me just over the local top of range at about 5, I also got Free T4 – which was close to bottom of range. It was this progression that convinced, otherwise I’d probably have been left until TSH got to 10 (common practice in the UK).

        Simply making a graph of your results might help you… ?

        Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      This often means that TSH is normal. Others have referenced this link https://www.nahypothyroidism.org/how-accurate-is-tsh-testing/ Be sure all the thyroid levels including RT3 have been tested. Many are denied treatment based on “normal” labs. A more aggressive provider might consider a trial treatment with low-dose NDT. Otherwise, look for other conditions that might cause your symptoms.

      Reply
    • DD

      You need a holistic dr.

      Reply
  11. Amanda h

    There was a recent press release detailing the medication that Hilary Clinton takes for her hypothyroidism. Now, in her oosition you would imagine she only takes the very best…. And what is she on? Yep. natural Dessicated Thyroid, from pigs….

    Maybe if you all vote her in over there?

    Reply
    • jennie

      hahahah maybe the web page owner and the rest of us sufferers could write to her direct and cause a storm to be heard on how poor doctors are just relying on T4 bloods, misdiagnosis and poor treatment

      Reply
  12. Lula

    My Thailand experience was not very positive, never got an answer as to how to order it. NP Thyroid by Acella is produced in the US, reasonably priced, shop around !!!, and very effective. My wife has been on it for almost a year after the usual T4, started with 60 mg and has increased it to 90 mg.

    Reply
  13. Kathy

    I just moved to central FL. HOw do I find a good doctor? I was tested in NC years ago and it was positive for hoshimotoes.
    I am taking armour thyroid. Synthroid did not work for me 35 years ago when diagnosed with hypothryoidism

    Reply
    • Gay

      Welcome to central Florida.Within this list is several good dr searches. One of the best is the link to funcional doctors and practitioners search. They usually look for and treat for root cause.
      Also Thyriodchange has a good doctor search. World wide too. The list specifies that the Dr’s listed run full testing not just TSH. Listens to patients symptoms and not just tests and willing to prescribe optional thyroid medicine not just synthetic.
      If you do not have a good dr this is a good place to look.
      Most people can not get help from Endos they are limited by thier association protocals. They commonly will not treat for “optimal” range in fear of loosing thier accreditation. Also their association AACE recommends synthetic medicine for standard treatment.
      Do not be afraid to drive a distance. Its worth it to get help. Once you get on track you will only have to do the trip once in a wile. Some take ins and some don’t so ask. Almost all will take insurance for labs. Best to ask first.

      Reply
    • Gay

      We have a Facebook group here in Florida. We share where we have had good treatment, optimal standards. Also who not to go to.
      Hashimotoes ladies of Orlando

      Reply
  14. Kathy

    35 years ago I was diagnosed with hypothryoid and put on synthroid with no results. Then sent to RA for fibroymalgia and no medicines worked. A couple of years ago a doctor put me on armour thyroid saying my body would not recognize the chemeical verision of synthroid. Moved to central FL. My eyes have been bothering me. Not sure if it is the outgassing of new house or the light bulbs my husband put in to save energy. How do I find a good thryoid doctor who understands the disease and realizes each patient needs a different path of healing.

    Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      There are good docs out there who understand this. Generally, they are almost exclusively Rx’ing NDT. Talk to your pharmacist and ask who is the number one prescriber of NDT. You can also call the offices and ask the head nurse what the doc’s beliefs are about NDT. You can also just persist and ask for NDT rather than T4 only.

      Reply
  15. karen

    hillary though works for monsanto,she actually told them to not say genetically modified but to call the seeds drought resistant instead to get the public to accept them!
    bernie did the vermont GMO labeling law which goes into effect july 1rst .althoguh his website says he doesnt think GMOS are neccesarily bad [!] we need to tell him so he knows that GMOs ARE bad .
    i think GMOS [ and glyphosate used on non organic wheat rye oats potatoes peas you name it !] are one of the major causes of all the autoimmune diseases running rampant today.

    thats why i switched to thyrogold 5 years ago from worthless synthroid,[the synthroid that caused very bad adrenal fatigue in addition to being no help whtasoever ] , thyrogold is from cows raised in new zealand on organic pasture . armour is from pigs fed GMO feed .
    although i still have the weight gain puffy face fatigue muscle and back and foot aches and injuries so am still not sure what to do, havent even seen a dr or endrocrinologist in 5 years
    sinc e all they do is go by tsh and will only prescribe worhtless synthroid and refuse to go by symptoms . i eat all organic now because of the GMOS and chemical pesticides herbicides and fertilzer and almost never eat out .

    Reply
    • Emily

      I don’t think the dissicated thyroid from Thailand is from pigs raised on GMO feed. Most countries in the world have banned GMO feed, except for the USA. It is not the GMO feed that is so bad a lot of time per se, but rather all that glyphosate they can spray the crops with. That herbicide is the real killer.

      Reply
      • karen

        i t would be good to know for sure about the thyroid from thailand .,i dont know if thailand has banned GMOS a lot of countries that have banned planting GMOS still will import GMO feed from the u.s.a. and brazil or wherever a nd use it for the animal feed and even when they label GMOS for instance in europe it doesnt include whether the animal feed was GMO i think .france and the u.k and other countries i recently discovered actually do feed the animals GMO feed .most supermarket eggs dairy meat there in the u. k and france maybe also is from animals fed GMOS unless its organic , maybe not as bad as in the u.s but still a lot . i do think the GMO feed[ and all GMOS so called food ]
        is extremely dangerous besides the glyphosate of course .the glyphosate and the GMO seeds and plants are made to kill insects by exploding thier stomachs.that is what it does to our stomachs look at all the food allergies the autoimmune diseases the gluten and dairy soy egg avoidance diets i think would not be necessary if it werent for the GMOS and glyphosate and the chemical based farming in the last i dont know 70 years? but especically since the GMOS in the mid 1990s

        Reply
        • Emily

          I agree with you completely about the GMO and glyphosate. I don’t think it has been 70 years. All this stuff started in the 90’s. Of course hybridization has been going on forever, and that is not the same thing. Between the GMO non foods and the pesticides and herbicides we are all being poisoned. Couple that with Fluoride and what is being sprayed in our skies every day, it is no wonder that our endocrine system is whacked out. If one is concerned about GMO fed pork or beef, it would be a good idea to contact the manufacturing company and ask about it. However, considering all the synthetic chemicals in our supplements and medications, what is in my thyroid pill is the least of my worries. Now at that Nutro Med site, they claim their bovine dissicated thyroid is from grass fed cows in New Zealand. So, do they spray the pastures with Grazon or something? Who knows. Sometimes I even have doubts about food labeled as Organic since there is hanky panky going on there, too. I do know that synthroid did not work for me. Erfa from Canada was OK, but it was a hassle to talk my GP or Endo to write a script for it. So I just threw up my hands and decided to take matters into my own hands. I refuse to be treated like a dolt by doctors that think they are God.

          Reply
          • karen

            i so agree emily! am pretty s ure thyrogold says is from cows raised on organic pasture . i trust thyrogold and tammy lowe. yes i jsut read[ from wonderful raw milk organic farmer] about dow chemicals selling to farmers chemicals to kill so called weeds in the grass the very ‘weeds’ that are good for the cows to eat and good for the soil! and that unsuspecting people will buy ‘ grass fed beef, dairy , chicken eggs lamb from these chemical farmers thinking they a re eating healthy food ! when will it end !

          • karen

            i meant the chemical farming started i think right after world war 2 , yes i think the GMOS started in the 1990s . and youre right emily they always try to confuse the issue by mentioning hybrids which are not the same at all as GMOS .

  16. Michelle

    It would be valuable for this to be shared with more eye doctors world wide. I find my opthalmologist has more thyroid knowledge than my endocrinologist and that I generally find opthalmologists will attempt anything to improve sight. They also seem to keep more up to date with new procedures and medicines.

    I wonder if Dr Wilson could say if taking NDT improves the eyes, especially in my case as I have Graves’ eye disease.

    Reply
  17. Montana NAR

    Kent Holtorf MD has written an excellent article about the inadequacy of the TSH test. He has attached 118 references to back up his facts. I have given a hard copy of this article to several doctors.

    https://www.nahypothyroidism.org/how-accurate-is-tsh-testing/

    My thanks to Janie for making available podcasts of her interviews with Dr. Holtorf!!

    Reply
  18. Barbara

    I used to have dry eyes before beginning NDT. Now I rarely reach for eye drops and have also noticed that my vision has improved. I see colors more vividly too!

    Reply
  19. Alice

    My family member is legally blind 22 years old-2 years ago 20/70 now 20/400. 2 years ago was on Armour thyroid and endocrinologist switched her to levothryroxine. Could this be the reason for her vision deteriorating. The opthamologist and the retinal doctor said her eye structures are normal. Please tell us where to go or suggestions.

    Reply
  20. jill

    what dr do you go to in perry ga for that has helped you?

    Reply
  21. Whitney

    I have been on Synthroid for almost 8 months now. I can tell a little difference but still low in energy. My main problem or my eyes. A little over year ago I went to an eye doctor for the first time And my eye sight was horrible. I got new glasses. Just a couple of months ago I went back and my eyesight has changed. I had to get a new prescription new contacts and lenses for my glasses. I am only 28 years old and I feel my eyesight is changing every day. I am so lost at what to do. I’m getting scared that in a couple of yrs it will be even worse.

    Reply
  22. Brenda

    When my TSH goes above .35, my upper eyelids sag down and lay on my eyelashes, this causes issues focusing, especially from typing then looking up at the screen.Seeing your own eyelashes is annoying because your eyes want to follow them like they would anything that was too close. My neck ends up killing me from tipping my head back to keep focused while driving. My forehead gets achy from raising my eyebrows while I’m talking to people. The dryness some times causes my upper lids to stick to my eyeballs while I sleep, waking me painfully. I have to keep drops by the bed.

    Reply
  23. Christine

    Thank you Dr.Dixon for posting and everyone else with their stories. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid back in 1999 and currently taking 250mg of Snythroid (Monday-Friday) Nothing on weekends but after a month I had to go back to dr and because I found myself really struggling to get through Sat and Sun (No energy and just body pain) well I take Mon-Thursday nothing Friday and take on Saturday then nothing on Sunday then start back up Mondays.I have always had dry eyes and I could get by with good eye drops but in the last month or so my eyes are very watery and vision blurry. I stopped with eye make-up thinking it might be that but its not. I live in Gettysburg, pa area are there any eye dr in my area that know the disease/eye health? I started wearing glasses for reading about 5years ago. After reading some of the comments I want to get in and talk to my dr about possible change in my meds. I just told myself if I can just get out of bed and function I can deal with not feeling good.:( My eyes really bother me and have been.Any suggestions ?

    Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      Definitely get an exam to check for Dry eye syndrome, also have them check meibomian gland function. Treatment options are numerous. If condition is severe ask about hot compresses, plugs, restasis, autologous serum, EZ tears and oral Pilocarpine.

      Reply
  24. Cookie

    Is Armour Thyroid appropriate for both T3 and T4?

    Reply
  25. Kira

    I am amazed to read your comment re dry eye…10 yrs ago I was diagnosed with dry eye and tore my epithelium repeatedly and had surgery to help. Since then I have taken daily drops and gels to be comfortable.
    I was diagnosed last year as hypothyroid and after a pitiful battle with doctors finally received NDT treatment….2 months into dosage I realized I had forgotten to take my eye drops one day. A few weeks later I realized I had forgotten several days in a row. I NEVER forget – my eyes burn if I don’t use my drops. My dry eye issue was the beginning of what I thought were age related problems. The doctors back then all told me it was expected, I was in my late 30’s and “drying out” as we all do as we age. Not one considered checking my thyroid or anything and went straight to surgery.

    I haven’t used a single drop or gel in over 6 months. I completely “forget” about my eyes as I should. I open my eyes every morning without fear or pain, they are perfectly comfortable! This is not a coincidence, I had zero expectation of my dry eye resolving or being related to thyroid.
    Please keep educating your patients, Thank you for writing this and reaching out, I can’t help but wonder how many “dry eye” cases are warnings of thyroid dysfunction.

    Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this. The only topical pharmaceutical drug for dry eye is very expensive and widely used, and of course, very well marketed.

      Reply
  26. Leslie

    My tests have all come back in the “normal range” however when I tick off all the symptoms I have just about all of them to some degree and some I’ve been suffering from for years. I finally got into see an internal doc and he’s diagnosed me with “chronic fatigue syndrome” saying it’s not my thyroid. He also had my iron tested which again is “normal” even though I am barely above the very low marker. His prescription for me “start being more active with just 10-15 minutes a day and I should start feeling better”. Really? Until the last 18 months I had been very active.And now I was at the point where I could barely function or do my job. After much research and educating myself, I have started seeing an ND and she has started treating me. After 6 months we are starting to find things that are working for me and I am finally starting to be able to function. With this newest puzzle piece with my iron levels we are starting work on that now. It’s been a very frustrating journey but thanks to my ND I don’t feel as helpless as I had felt with the MDs. I look forward to going back to my MD and requesting all my blood work and letting her see the improvement and then tell me I wasn’t hypothyroid or my iron low. I may be in the coveted “normal range” but that was not my optimal level.

    Reply
  27. Yvonne hughes

    My whole family is thyroid my son is worst on 300 levothyroxine I only on 50 a day I have dry eyes but have had uvitus in my 30 and a detached retina but the dry eyes only since last year am 49 now only been on meds one year , but my son has very dark circles he’s 28 we never get asked about T4 they don’t seem to know in England but I am going to ask and to be referred to some one who knows

    Reply
  28. Jeannie

    I am a surgery induced hypothyroid patient. My thyroid was removed through two separate surgeries due to benign tumors. I have been searching for a doctor that will treat not just a number but my symptoms as well. One doctor even put that I was a difficult patient in my files because he was not treating my symptoms just the number on my TSH levels. I have switched doctors but the same thing is occurring. I never put the dry eyes together with my condition. I cannot wear contacts due to this. If there is anyone out there that knows a doctor on the Mississippi gulf coast that will treat my symptoms and not a number and would prescribe something other than Synthroid, please give me their name!

    Reply
    • CrystalwolfLady (@krystalwolfgrl)

      @Jeanie “One doctor even put that I was a difficult patient in my files because he was not treating my symptoms just the number on my TSH levels.”
      ***
      Yep! That happened to me. Now the Dr. fired me. I had to go get throid from thailand. Thanks Kaiser Permenate! Thrive/NOT!
      I’m on 3 grains of Armour still having problems. HAD NO problems what so ever until the 1st Endo wanted to raise my TSH. I got very HypoThyroid and then the eye problems started and have not resolved. I will be getting my Throid from Thailand today or tomorrow so I will switch to that and see if there is a improvement. Now I have no one to test/rx my thyroid meds at KAISERPEMENTE!

      Reply
      • Eaamon

        with a difficult Kaiser. tell them you want a second opinion! they should pay for it.
        I had a fried whose mom was a nurse there, he could get a referral to a outside the system doctor.
        use care in you dosage, if you overdose NDT the symptoms are the same as too little.

        Reply
  29. Gay

    Thank you for fighting the good fight!
    Very good read. Thank you for the insight.
    I had dry eyes, swollen lids and floaters. Also the beginnings of macular degeneration. My eye doc was very familiar with eye problems and bad Endos. He knew most have to get NDT to feel better and optimal treatment.
    My depths of my cups have improved since last year. Yea! Also my dry eyes, puffiness and floaters have lessend -Thanks to armour!

    Reply
  30. Matt Adcock, RPh

    Congratulations Dr Dixon on being able to correct your issues. I am a pharmacist in Hawkinsville and if you would like to further your education on the subject (or even Crossfit), feel free to shoot me an email. I have years of research if you wish to take the time to hear it.

    Reply
  31. Melissa

    Dr. Dixon,
    I was diagnosed with central serius retinopathy almost 12 years ago, which was prior to my hashimotos diagnosis. I have had recurrent episodes at least 6 times, possibly more. My doctor told me I’m the only patient he has with so many occurrences. I have seen 2 retenal specialists who say we’ll just watch it and that the episodes go away with age, but the damage will remain. Is there a possible connection and is there anything I can do? I tried switch to Armour under the care of a DO but felt worse. She said that sometimes happens with hashimotos and I’m back to levothyroxine and Cytomel (T3). We’ve had great success in bringing my antibodies down from 6000+ to 145 with the use of LDN but my vision hasn’t improved in the eye with CSR. I am 47 years old and hate that my vision in that eye is like looking through a Coke bottle. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Reply
    • Dr. Dixon

      I do not know of any connection between thyroid and Central Serous. Hopefully your episodes will not recur. An ocular vitamin with Lutein would be wise

      Reply
  32. Danielle W

    Wow, I find more and more info that pertains to what I’ve experienced everyday. NOW, I’m wondering if in late january or february of 2013, if the extreme dizziness I experienced at least once a week for about 3 months, was the beginning of my thyroid getting worse. I went to a doctor who did testing & opted for an MRI to rule out any possible brain issues (like a tumor he stated). I was diagnosed with V.O.R…vestibular ocular reflex. When I would get this dizziness, it would take me down for a whole day or sometimes up to 3 days. I wouldn’t be able to move my head to either side, but had to move my whole upper body with my head/neck as extreme dizziness, nausea would begin. I was given exercises that initially caused me to be dizzy but it subsided within a total of 6 to 7 months. However, I was so fatigued, gaining weight steadily, body swelling, hair loss, had low body temp for over 12 yrs with a very low RHR of mid 30’s to 40’s. STILL no doctors would listen on thyroid. I am on NDT now, but about to change to Natureroid as Armour is too inconsistent. I feel so cold somedays yet other days I can be burning up for several hours to a few days. I’m still trying to find a decent doctor!!!

    Reply
  33. Melissa

    Tried to post earlier but don’t see it. Sorry if repeating. Any chance Central Serous Retinopathy is connected to Hashimotos?

    Reply
  34. Hadassah

    Dear Janie , I need your help PLEASE . I want to know if there is any difference in genetic CYTOMEL ? I was on the very first time on Perrigo 5mcg . And now my pharmacy sent me Liothyronine by Sigmapharm . I feel like I keep raising my dose a lot more then previously . Is this my imagination that I need more or is it the new brand by Sigma that is not 5mcg that it’s supposed to be ? What should I do ? I was kind of excited that Sigmas tasted better and Perrigos tested like talc powder . I’m wondering if you know about the potency of both companies . I could hardly wait to hear from you .
    Thank you ,
    Hadassah

    Reply
  35. Hadassah

    Janie , which one of the brands is better ? Perrigo or Sigmapharm ?
    Thank you ,
    Hadassah

    Reply
  36. leesa

    Wow, I have been going through my own nightmare with this and still seeing a ND next week that I hope will put me on a road to recovery. I am so angry reading this post because we live in AMERICA and people come from all over to have what we supposedly have? SOMEONE help me understand … WHY WE CANNOT PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER and get this legalized or put on medicare list? Do we sign a CHANGE.ORG petition? AND CHANGE THIS! People passionate about some cause do this all the time. I may not know how to start it but I can be a part of it. Maybe we all feel like crap because of this disease but TOGETHER with the little bit of clarity we do have we can do something. It concerns me getting the medicine from Thailand:
    – quality
    – potency
    – has it been sitting in hot weather waiting to be shipped
    – is it have some type stamp that lets us know it is NDT
    – are there fillers
    – are there hormones or antibiotics given to these pigs
    I do not want to put something so UNREGULATED in my body to have new issues?
    If it were Australia, Canada other countries that have laws in place even more stringent then ours maybe I would order? Why are we being treated like and acting like drug addicts trying to buy something off the street? When we are just seeking the care we deserve and want a quality of life? This is beyond ridiculous and something needs to be done. NOW WHAT CAN and ARE WE going to do? STTM you have emails or a huge readership how can we make a difference and save lives because I am sure woman are dying from the conditons they get secondary by not getting proper treatment for their thyroid. Leesa

    Reply
    • Dr Dixon

      I agree. Some may say that NDT is expensive or non-covered by their insurance. But we should stop and think about the annual cost in America that we spend on the sequelae of poorly treated HT. Just think about 4: Anxiety/depression, hypercholesterolemia, dry eye and constipation. Millions.

      Reply
  37. Patricia

    A few months back, my endo left his practice and I was forced to find a new doctor. I had been on Armour for years after initially being put on Synthroid following a thyroidectomy. Synthroid never worked for me so my endo switched me to Armour. My numbers on Synthroid were never good and I suffered from various side effects including joint pain, constipation, weight gain and elevated cholesterol. Well, my new endo immediately switched me back to Synthroid, insisting that Armour is bad, bad, bad and potentially harmful. She did not care at all that I felt good on Armour. Within days on Synthroid my digestive system had shut down (constipation) and I’ve had severe headaches for the past week. Thanks to Synthroid I’m now an Advil/laxative junkie. I, too, am looking at ordering Armour from an online source. It’s very difficult to find a doctor who will actually LISTEN and treat your symptoms. I look at Synthroid as the Premarin of the thyroid world. It is being pushed by Big Pharmacy and doctors who probably get rewarded accordingly; no one seems to care how it makes you feel.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Endos can be disgusting.

      Reply
      • Dr Dixon

        Armour comes from pigs. Synthroid from baloney.

        Reply
      • karen

        i agree jamie,and dr dixon! try thyrogold patricia ,you dont need a prescription.i was wondering why when i first started taking thyrogold 5 years ago i lost 9 pounds in a week or 10 days without changing anything else but then after stopping taking it temporarily for 3 weeks because of a very fast heartbeat i gradually gained back the weight plus more ever since .had adrenal fatigue that improved alot . new dr will try not taking anything to see if thyroid will start working agiain i hope so !

        Reply
    • Jessi Bodell

      I would find a new doctor. Ask your pharmacist if they know of any doctors who prescribe armpit thyroid. That’s what I did and I found the most amazing doctor!

      Reply
  38. kimi

    I am suffering so much! I need to really speak to this thyroid community. I want to reach out and find out if any of you are suffering as I am? Also I want to know if any of you know that the FDA took thyroid hormone out of synthroid and levothyroxine back in 2013? Well they did/ Sharon shamon used to talk about this before but I haven’t seen her say anything to inform lately so I am. Please report to FDA ask for form to dr fill out and request him to send it to fda with request to increase potency back to 90 110 percent. This is the biggest problem right now. Kimi

    Reply
  39. eljii

    You folks keep talking about “Armour” which used to be used here in Finland in previous years. Until the price rise. Nowadays Erfa Thyroid and Nature Throid are prescribed instead, the price being 60…70% lower.
    Also tell your uninformed doctors that American Thyroid Association now allows using NDT after the research results of Thanh D Hoang, DO, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California. My source: MedScape 836828 page 6)

    Reply
  40. Brenda Smoke

    As a fellow OD I would like to commend Dr Dixon on a great blog and bringing an important health care issue to light

    Reply
  41. Jessi Bodell

    I can totally relate! On synthroid my eyes were terrible and I had to wear glasses. I had the worst dry eyes I couldn’t wear contacts. I switched to ndt and my eye sight went to 20/20 and my dry eyes improved! I wish all Endocronologist and MD’s would educate themselves on NDT.

    Reply
  42. Patricia

    Here’s my latest. After being back on Synthroid for less than a month and having a host of side effects, this morning I tried to put my contact lenses in and my right eye felt like I had just put acid in it. I took the contact out and decided to wear my glasses to work (I haven’t had to do that in many, many years). By the time I got to work, I realized I really couldn’t see out of my right eye – double vision and extreme blurriness. I had just gotten an eye exam in January. In a bit of a panic, I called the eye doctor and went in just to make sure nothing was seriously wrong. She said I had a significant abrasion. Yes, I have noticed that my eyes have been much drier since I got forced back on Synthroid. Now, I’m dealing with this. I’m so mad at the medical profession for refusing to admit that Synthroid is NOT the wonder drug they pretend it to be. So, I’m back to trying to find a doctor in Dallas who will treat me and my symptoms instead of just throwing Synthroid at me and telling me that NTD’s will “harm” me.

    Reply
  43. Dr. Dixon

    It’s easy to really get angry at the state of current thinking in the medical field. But what will actually leave to change? And who do we blame? Generally speaking, we are all to blame. What I mean is that in the US and other developed countries we are blessed with very good medical care. But in a way that has led us to abdicate our own responsibility when it comes to our health. Many live an unhealthy lifestyle without regard for the consequences and fully expect a doctor or a drug to come to our rescue.

    For this community, including myself, we are seeking answers and want to live healthy. But a few decades ago, a treatment that was working got replaced. You can read the history for yourself. In a nutshell, a pharmaceutical company discovered a drug, developed a great marketing plan and produced profits. Nothing wrong with that. Happens all the time. Better medicine has led to great discoveries and longer lifespans.

    For hypothyroidism, in my opinion, the discovery of levothyroxine and it’s wholesale adoption by the ATA is only part of the problem. I think the main problem is that providers have been trained to embrace labs, specifically TSH, as the sole indicator for successful treatment without regard to the goal of eliminating symptoms. Some patients are successful on brand name Synthroid when dosed effectively, and some on NDT may feel bad if the provider is only interested in a “normal TSH” which leads to thinking that even NDT does not work.

    So, like Patricia, we should get mad. That’s not enough to stop the madness. Educators like Janie, together with patients who are empowered to ask their provider to “stop and listen” will lead to change- one thyroid at a time. We must walk into the office prepared, with a detailed history and list of our symptoms. Ask for proper lab work. Ask for more frequent follow-up visits (why wait 3 months?) Change doctors if you must. Don’t give up.

    Reply
  44. Carlo Lee

    Great write up by Dr. Dixon. I just like to add a couple of things. A good way to locate a doctor who practice functional medicine is to go to http://www.a4m.com Just put in your zip code and it will give you a list of providers. Fatigue can be cause by more than just not having the right medication. Hormonal imbalance or just low hormones can cause fatigue. Adrenal fatigue and malnutrition also play a big role in how one can feel. It is very important to find the right doctor instead of trying to fix it yourself.

    Reply
  45. Dr Dixon

    Thanks Dr. Lee. That’s an awesome group and fortunately lots of providers are getting great training through them. (Dr Lee is one of only a few MDs in my area than I can recommend!)

    Reply
  46. Karen Vernon

    Drs Lee and Dixon….I live in your area so your opinions are of great value to me. As a person who takes T3 only due to RT3 issues, I would love to get back on NDT at some point but have been afraid to. I feel pretty good on T3 (cytomel) and don’t know if I should rock the boat. Also, in reading a recent article about Hillary Clinton taking NDT, the author of the article states that under medicare NDT is not covered. Which scares me because although I am only 50 now, at the age of 65 I will be on medicare and am terrified I will be forced back on synthroid crap if T3 is not allowed either. Just curious if anyone knows if it is true that NDT is not covered by medicare and if T3 is covered? I know that is a long way off for me but I have friends who are older than me that this could be a real concern for. Thanks!

    Reply
  47. Urvi Patel

    Hello Dr.Dixon,
    I am an OD in California and also a Hashimotos patient. Thankfully I have recently switched to NatureThroid after reading your article and doing more research so I thank you for that. I also have worsening dry eye…I would like to discuss thyroid issues with my pts as well, would you be able to share your thyroid questionnaire with me that you review with your thyroid pts? Thank you!!

    Reply
  48. Hadassah

    Hi Janie , I could tell you my experience with Synthroid is awful . The only very big problem was that I never associated my symptoms to the Synthroid . Eye dryness floaters , muscle cramping , high blood pressure cold hand and feet brain fog etc. I went to an endocrinologist who finally put me on T3 and lowered my Synthroid . I’m now on 88mcg of Synthroid and 35mcg of T3 . I was wondering How much T3 do we need to dose with in divided doses daily ?Someone told me 40mcg . Is that correct ? My basal temp. is 97.4 and sometimes goes to 97.6 very seldom it will go a little higher . I know in advance that my temp is going to be low by the way I feel . No energy ,brain fog . I went off iron supplement and Iodine due to UTI . I thought maybe that was bothering my system . I could be wrong . I’m on antibiotic and take D-Mannose . I don’t know if that lowers my temp . Or should I raise the T3 ? I’m lost . Can you please advise .

    Thank you ,
    Hadassah

    Reply
  49. Eaamon

    interesting story.
    but tell me Doc.
    if you or your patients issues were caused by a lack of Iodine in your diet ( folk medicine Dr Jarvis 1958 ) and you or your patients started taking a T4 medicine and now after time your thyroid went into atrophy (muscle not used for a period of time) just for a missing vitamin. T4 is 4 parts Iodine isotopes. T3 is same but 3 isotopes.
    what would you think now?
    ya’ all stuck with taking meds for the rest of your lives…….
    I for one would recommend any one to do several tests and vitamin supplements before taking anything T4 T3.

    Reply
    • karen

      eaamon, is j crows lugols solution 2 % what you a re taking?

      i bought some but was afraid to try it , sometimes i read that iodine makes your thryoid worse and sometimes that it cures it .
      i have the weight gain fatigue high cholesterol [ive read that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart health] etc
      i took synthroid , against my better judgement, now thyrogold but still have all the symptoms. i would like to not take any thyroid medicine .did you ever take any adn then stop and feel fine without the medicine?i have friends who stopped taking anyhting a nd are fine

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Karen, there are some who had a high TSH, got on Synthroid, then got off without an issue. The high TSH can be from excess stress, not always true hypothyroidism. As far as ThyroGold, sounds like you aren’t on your optimal dose? And yes, the vast majority of us see our cholesterol go down when on an optimal dose of NDT.

        Reply
      • Eaamon

        hi karen. I have both Lugols 2% and 5%. online you can research but I think 5% is about 10 times atomodine, 6.25 mg.
        http://www.jcrows.com/calculating.html
        I also have Atomodine, atomodine is about 600mcg.
        I also have some kelp at about 360mcg, natures bounty 600mg caps.
        USDA recommends 125mcg is a daily allowance, Atomodine is 4 times that.
        note there is ‘mcg’ and ‘mg’ difference add a zero.
        I use the 5% (one drop) one week then kelp (2) a few days apart another week and
        5 days single drop of atomodine. and multivitamins a few times the next week or
        Scallops/and some fish high in iodine.
        opinions; Lugols is a mixture of iodides and iodine some think is better. some even
        use the 40MG iodine tablets, not sure what to say about that.

        as for Atomodine, I found it through my research on another subject Edgar Cayce.
        he did some 14,400 health readings for people. he died in 1945 and all his readings
        for the rich and famous have been recorded and are a library. I was studying his
        readings on the future and Atlantis then. but I did find some of those were people
        who had been on what sounded like Armour thyroid. he prescribed the mixture
        of Atomodine and how to make it so it could be consumed. had those he told to
        stop the thyroid meds they were on and had them use Atomodine one drop daily
        for 5 days then two off. I guess that was to let the body adjust. they were told it
        could take about 60 days for them to heal naturally.

        one more thing, taking any iodine supplement if your body does not agree with it
        you could always just apply it to your stomach, leg or arm and let your body absorb it.

        every time my doc up’ed my levothyroxine I gained 10 pounds when he said I should
        be loosing weight. I put on 40 pounds using that stuff. I have been on nutrimeds
        tried both porcine and bovine. down to 1 cap now. hope to get completely off some day.
        I felt better using one more than the other.
        do your own research, Cayce’s readings can be bought and studied. I paid $600 for the
        CD rom back in the early 1990s but I see today it is about $120. people called him
        “the father of holistic medicine” as his prescribed treatments were for the whole body and mind.
        as for cholesterol, if you good and bad are in a 4 to 1 ratio that is good. guess like 200 LDL and 50 HDL.
        eggs use to be the bad but I believe now it is the HDL to balance the high number.
        hope this helps you.

        Reply
  50. Hadassah

    Janie , I suffered with “DRY EYES” before my Dr . finally added T3 to my Synthroid . Janie I would love you to educate me please . My Dr lowered Synthroid to 88mcg from 100 mcg and originally from 125 mcg . I’m taking 15mcg of T3 and I don’t seem to raise my basal temp. only to 97.4 and 97.6 . Very rarely I get to 97.7 . Do I increase T3 ? And by how much ?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      There’s honestly no way we can tell anyone how much of anything. We just know that patients report that when they are optimal, their T3 is towards the top of the range.

      Reply
  51. nicholas losco

    hi looking for any help i can get, i have been on Naturethroid for about 5 yrs all of a sudden out of no where i started having adverse effects, hot flashes down my left arm numbness and tingling in my left ring finger and left pinky pain deep in my left bicep and forearm, numbness in my tung lethargic feeling tingling in the center of my head about 1 inch up from my forehead pains under both under arms all within 10 to 15 mins after taking it. At first i thought i was allergic to it then i thought that maybe the pills some how got tainted i order through express scripts so i told my doctor she wrote me out an emergency script being as i was to scared to take the naturethroid that was giving me those effects so i was off the meds for about 3 weeks got a script for WP thyroid and about 3 days into taking it started to get the exact same effects as the naturethroid so i went back to my doc she did a blood test and my blood work came back as if i was not taking thyroid meds TSH 118.800 (ref range 0.270-4.200) THYROXINE FREE 0.329 (ref range 0.930-1.700) Triiodothyronine 0.365 (ref range 0.800-2.000) Hemoglobin 17.8 (ref range 13.5-17.5) mean platelet volume 11.3(ref range 8.0-11.0) Absolute Eosinophil Count 0.11 (0.20-0.90) NO FREE T3 NO FREE T4 then she decided to put me on T4 meds Levothyroxine 175mcg and about 6 days into taking that I started having the same exact effects minus the lethargic feeling iv been waking up the last two days feeling like i have a hang over i have tremors feet are ice cold and i feel as if I have been off my thyroid meds for over a month like when you come off of them to do the full body scan I REALLY AM LOST AND NEED A HAND AND ALL I FEEL LIKE I KEEP GETTING IS KICKED IN THE FACE……. Please anybody with some info can you help please.

    Reply
    • James

      Hi Nic
      I have all the same symptoms as you – with me it happen after doc kept increasing Synth T4 to try (Nov 2015) and get me to close to TSH 0. I was about 10 at the time. I changed over to NDT60 (Jan 2016) and felt 90% better for a month, but all the symptoms began coming back. I started halving my NDT dosage and they were significantly reduced. My blood tests borderline but I feel okish. (TSH 6.5, T3 and T4 within range but low). I take between quarter and half the prescribed dose depending on how I’m feeling each day.
      Feel cold or depressed take a little extra.
      Feel itchy, hot, skin crawling – take a little less.
      I’m also investigating Testosterone (mine low) and Cortisole (waiting saliva test results).

      Final note These symptoms for me are also induced by Gluten, I am 100% gluten and preservative free (not a crumb) and I avoid eating anything not made by me from scratch with fresh produce. Simply described – meat rice potato and veg. I cook extra at night and take it to work for lunch. Breakfast at work – I buy a Fruit salad, glass of milk – no coffee. I quit coffee recently because I read a few blogs where NDT people were getting nerve issues from coffee. And I was drinking a heap of real coffee every day and had a few nerve shakes and pains. Also checkout Low FODMAP Diets – Ive been trying for a few weeks and feel improvements.
      Ive lost 10kg since going gluten free and on NDT. My weight hovering in top percentile of correct weight for height. But concerned about losing any more. Also swimming and jogging 4 days a week (always have) – I find exercise really helps when the symptoms are bad. Occasionally you’ll find me jogging round the block a 2 in the morning.
      Anyway that’s my two cents worth – hope something helps you.

      James

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        James, one grain is just a starting dose from which we have to raise. Check out this page: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101 But if we have low cortisol or low iron, we won’t be able to raise without issues until those are treated.

        Reply
        • James

          Hi Janie, understand. I was on Thyroxin150 for 3 years and then something happening in my body and I cant tolerate it.
          I get hot crawling skin/scalp when I go above NDT30 or Thryoxin25 perday. Is it possible that my Thyroid is making a recovery since going gluten free Nov 2015. My T3 and T4 numbers are within range – TSH poor at 6.5. My Iron is good waiting on cortisol test to come back. Taking a Calcium D supplement. MS testing later this week. Reading about pooling and RT3.

          Thanks
          J

          Reply
  52. Stephanie

    This is a great blog entry. I would love to see something similar from a dentist. I have had tons of dental problems and dentists are always asking me if I chew ice, suck on lemons, etc. in an effort to figure out what is going on with my teeth. I suspect the problems result from years of untreated hashimoto’s and then years of poorly treated hashimoto’s (thankfully followed by years of well-treated hashimoto’s). The enamel is basically gone, pieces of my teeth fall off all of the time, and a tooth cracked entirely and had to be removed. I have good dental hygiene and do not chew ice, suck on lemons, etc. I once saw a brief writing about links between thyroid and dental problems, but I never really found anything in depth. Each time I ask a dentist about this, they say that there is no link. If hair and bones are weakened by thyroid disease, I am sure that teeth are too. We really need some professional writing on this subject so that we can raise awareness.

    Reply
    • Patricia

      Stephanie – I’m not sure about dental problems per se, but from what I’ve read there is a link between hypothyroidism and osteoporosis, which seems to point to low calcium and Vitamin D or the inability for the hypothyroid patient to properly utilize these nutrients. I recently found some information that said that if you aren’t getting Vitamin K2, then the calcium isn’t going to be absorbed by your bones or teeth, but is more likely going to attach to soft tissue (like your arteries) and cause you heart disease problems. Will you hear this from most doctors? Probably not. Instead they’ll put you on some expensive medication (with a host of side effects) and tell you to take more calcium.

      Reply
      • Stephanie

        Thanks! I just heard this from the clerk at my local health food store as well. It is interesting that they have become my first resource for medical questions.

        Reply
  53. Ginny

    I thought I was moving around to quickly making my vision alter – nope, Dr. Dixon just confirmed, it’s my thyroid doing crazy things again. What a great article and an issue that should be discussed at medical meetings. Keep up with your research Dr. Dixon.

    Agree with blogger Patricia, teeth (and eyes) seem to be adversely affected by the malfunctioning of thyroids. My teeth have hairline fractures and enamel is disappearing. Dentist says no way to repair enamel and now I’m just waiting for the cracking to result in crowns and caps that will probably be needed for my teeth.

    One other adverse reaction to Levothyroxin – GERD. Stop taking the medication and the GERD goes away.

    Reply
    • Jean L

      I am so glad you posted this problem with your eyes and teeth. My teeth felt like they were going downhill. It is hard to describe the feeling. Also, I had very bad night vision and slight problems with day vision. A lot of professionals out there do not really realize the effects of hypothyroidism. It effects just about everything. So, anybody out there who is not sure what is wrong with you- get your thyroid levels checked. It certainly cannot hurt and you may solve your health issues by having this test done.

      Good luck to the people having symptoms. I hope you resolve your problems.

      Reply
  54. Ginny

    New doctor and new prescription. Here I go again. This is a never ending fight to stay on natural thyroid. New endo doc says, this new prescription for sodium levothyroxine is the “purest” synthetic you can get, you’ll see a difference right away. You bet I did!!! Three weeks on Tirosint 137 mcg and I was ready for the hosptial. Experienced myxedema and almost went into a coma. Thankfully endo doc saw the danger of ALL sodium levothyroxine’s for me and immediately put me back on Armour thyroid. Thyroid patients must constantly fight this battle so I’ve discovered a good way is to post on ALL my medical records “ALLERGIC TO SYNTHORID”. I keep all my thyroid medication presciption labels AND 1 tablet taped to the prescription so I can show the doctor how many prescriptions/dosages I’ve taken over the years (this one was really impressed with all the “colors of sythroid” I had taken.

    Reply
  55. Karen Waters

    Interesting to read about the teeth issues. I have had teeth issues for several years. I thought it was just that I malabsorb calcium as I do all vitamins due to the duodenal switch weight loss surgery I had in ’09. Now a double whammy it is my Hashimoto’s that is causing issues with my teeth and yes with my eyes. So hard to read sometimes. My eyes seem to flutter. Things are not clear especially this light print in this post. My ophthalmologist will be doing a procedure on my eyes in a few weeks to help the blurriness. It is a laser procedure called the YAG capsulotomy if anyone is interested. I need to get this done so badly.. Yes so my eyeballs hurt a lot like I want to pull them out. Anyone else have this eyeball issue? Awful, awful. I think maybe it is time to increase my Armour. Currently on 60 mg. of Armour morning and afternoon. Maybe add another 30 grams?

    Reply

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