Common QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Topics below in alphabetical order. Search first for your more pressing topic. Also get the REVISED STTM BOOK! Learn, learn! YOU are your own best advocate!
- Why do I see adrenals mentioned on this website or from others? Because a large percentage of patients find themselves with adrenal dysfunction thanks to T4 treatment or no diagnosis thanks to the lousy TSH lab test. See symptoms of poorly functioning adrenals here.
- What steps do I take to find out if my adrenals are affected? 1) Do the Discovery Steps on the Adrenals page, and there’s even more in Chapter 5 of the revised STTM book. 2) If your answers are suspicious, the next important step is a 24 hour cortisol saliva test, which you can order here. Serum blood cortisol does NOT give the right answer.
- Can I treat what I think is low cortisol without doing the 24 hour saliva test? Only with great risk. High cortisol can have the same symptoms as low cortisol, and you treat each differently. You can order a saliva kit here without a prescription.
- Can I treat my low cortisol without HC?? You betcha–it’s called the T3CM. Go here.
- My doctor says my cortisol saliva results are normal. Are they? Probably not. Normal has nothing to do with falling in a particular range, and many doctors don’t get that yet. Go here.
- What do I need to avoid before doing saliva? Go here.
- Why do I have depression and what can I do about it? Low Free T3 can be implicated in depression. Read this. Low cortisol can make the depression worse.
- Is it true that my anti-depressant can make my hypothyroid worse? Yes, with some anti-depressants. And that is also true of lithium.
- Why would natural desiccated thyroid be better for me? Answer found here and read Chapter 2 for more details in the book.
- Where can I talk to others about desiccated thyroid? The Natural Thyroid Hormones group, plus others, listed here. Scroll down to view them all.
- How is desiccated thyroid different than Synthroid or other T4 meds? Go here and read Chapter 1 and 2 in the book.
- Why did I feel worse on desiccated thyroid? Low ferritin/iron, adrenal dysfunction, or dosing it wrong.
- What desiccated thyroid brands can I take? Go here. Or current options here.
DETOXING, CHELATION, CLEANSES:
- Is it best to wait until I am no longer hypo and feeling good on natural thyroid before I do any heavy metal detoxing/chelation or cleanses? Even more important, it’s best to make sure you don’t have low cortisol before doing any of the above. They will also stress your adrenals even more. If you are already on cortisol, you may need to stress dose when doing the above.
- My doctor is clueless! What do I do?? 1) Teach him what patients have learned on this page. 2) Order a book for him, then tell the receptionist to deduct it from your bill.
- How do I find a much better doctor so I don’t have to be alone in this? Find a much better doc.
- Do I need an Endocrinologist? Only if you want to stay sick. See link above.
FDA and DESICCATED THYROID:
- What’s going on with desiccated thyroid and the FDA? Timeline and explanation is here.
- Why does my hair keep falling out? It’s explained here.
- What is Hashimotos disease? It’s all here and has a chapter of its own on the book.
- What’s the best way for me to treat my Hashi’s? Answer found here.
- I have Hashi’s and sometimes I feel really hyper, and other times hypo. Why? Answer found here.
- Is it true that Selenium can help me with Hashi’s? Answer found here, next to last paragraph.
- What labs do I need to find out if I have Hashi’s? Answer found here, third heading down.
- Any other question about Hashi’s, including avoiding gluten for many, can be found here.
- Is iodine right for me? Read about iodine here. Link to Yahoo Iodine group here. The STTM book also gives information.
- Can I just start supplementing with iodine? Patients have found it wiser to do the Iodine Loading test first. Info here.
- Why are some people so adamently against iodine? Because in some, the detoxing affect of iodine can stress adrenals which are already weak, or it has caused a rise in antibodies. But there may be more to this issue, as iodine also improves adrenal function and lowers antibodies in still others. Join the iodine group mentioned above and ask questions.
- What labs should I be asking my doctor for and why? They are here and there is more detail in the Revised STTM book.
- Can I order my own lab work? Yes. Link above this.
- I don’t understand my lab results. Help! Go right here. The STTM book also has details on understanding your results, as well as how to prepare for your labs.
- Why does my iron, my Vitamin D, my B12, or other nutrients go too low? It’s explained here.
PREGNANCY and HYPOTHYROID:
- Learn about it here.
- What is Reverse T3? Answer found here.
- How do I know if my RT3 is too high? By looking at the ratio between your Free T3 and Reverse T3 lab (done at the same time). That ratio can be figured out here.
- Where can I talk to others about RT3? There’s a patient RT3 yahoo group listed here or others in the NTH group can comment.
- When everything in me is messed up, what do I treat first? Patients have discovered that first comes your adrenals, and treating iron can be important at the same time, then your thyroid, and then sex hormones. But treat the at the same time, too.
- What is PCOS? Go here.
SUPPLEMENTS and OVER-THE-COUNTER:
- What supplements do other thyroid patients take? To see examples, go here. There is a also an excellent chapter on supplements and good foods in the Revised Second Edition book. Read about selenium here.
- Do the adrenal and thyroid glandular extracts I see in health food stores have sufficient hormones in them to be of use? To some degree they do, and can be worth a try in a pinch. But most all of them either don’t have enough, or are not consistent from bottle to bottle, or have other ingredients you may not want long-term in order to take enough to feel better, or contain adrenaline, which you do not want. One OTC adrenal support to consider is Isocort.
STILL FEELING BAD:
- Why am I still fat, depressed, having problems, and more while on my thyroid treatment?? You are probably making mistakes in your treatment, as is your doctor. More in the book.
- Why would someone be on T3-only instead of desiccated thyroid? Too much RT3 and the important need to lower it, though many lower it by being on a small dose on NDT with T3.
- Is it okay for me to be on T3 long-term, or even for the rest of my life? Yes, if you need to be. But patient experience over the last decade has shown NDT to give even better results.
- I’m on T3 and a high dose, yet I still feel bad with hair loss, fatigue, etc. Why? You can have either low ferritin or iron, and/or an adrenal problem preventing your body from receiving the T3 adequately.
- Why do I not tolerate T3? Because you have either adrenal dysfunction or low ferritin/low iron…or both. See links above.
- Does T3-only have an side-effects? Yes. In many, it has raised the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, which can lower your sex hormones.
- How do I dose T3-only? NOT rigidly every 4-6 hours, as we used to think. You dose it according to your body’s signs and symptoms that you need each dose i.e. when you start to feel sluggish, or heartrate goes up, or BP goes up, etc. Many start with a morning dose, then do the second and third (or subsequent doses) as their bodies tell them it’s time to take it. That new schedule ( as compared to the old rigid times) is repeated each day once you figure it out. Dosing only 3 times a day instead of 5 has proven more beneficial for many.
- Why does this site criticize the TSH lab test? Go here or the entire chapter on the TSH in the book called Thyroid Stimulating Hooey!
- Why does my TSH lab result say I’m hyper (i.e. it’s very low), yet I still have hypo symptoms? 1) If you are on treatment, the TSH lab test is the first to drop low in one’s treatment, and patients all over the world have found the TSH lab test to completely suck in the diagnosis or treatment of hypothyroidism. Read about it here. 2) If you are not on treatment, you could have hypopituitary or be in the hyper swing of hashimotos. See above.
- My doctor says I’m now hyper, yet I either feel great, or still have hypo symptoms. What’s going on? Your doc is most likely going by an ink spot on a piece of paper rather than paying attention to clinical presentation of symptoms.
- Does a low TSH lab result cause osteoporosis? If you have hyperthyroidism, aka Graves, plus a low TSH lab result to confirm it, yes, you can get osteoporosis without treating your Graves. But in most all cases of of hypothyroidism, the low TSH lab test means squat if you feel good. It can even be low when you aren’t yet optimally treated.
T4-ONLY MEDS LIKE SYNTHROID:
- Why do you say that T4 meds like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, Oroxine, etc. don’t work? I feel better on them! Read more here.
- How can I keep up with anything Janie adds to the Stop the Thyroid Madness website? Two ways: sign up for her blog on the left below the links, and check out this page on monthly additions. You can also access the Site Map. Facebook is another option.
- Why the book? Patients request the book because it’s easier to keep up with the information than facing a computer screen, and they can take it into the doctor’s office and get better response from their doctors. Second, it goes into more detail in many areas. Third, the back cover is too funny.
- Are there t-shirts, caps, business cards and other items I can get to spread the word to millions who still linger on T4? Right here. You can even order business cards to spread the word to others!
WHERE CAN I TALK TO OTHER PATIENTS?
- Right here. You can also choose a paid coaching call with Janie, which patients report repeatedly is a godsend to be able to talk one-on-one. It’s also on the same link. See what 30 minutes will cost you.
WHERE ARE MORE TOPICS?
- On the site map.
WHO IS JANIE BOWTHORPE?
- Janie is simply a thyroid patient just like you who lived an absolutely miserable life on T4 for years. And because she’s rebellious and a fighter, and thanks to the internet, she found out about desiccated thyroid. It hugely changed her life. Janie started the yahoo group Natural Thyroid Hormone users the same year, 2002. And from the NTH group plus other groups she created or has been associated with, patients gained an immense body of information about better labwork, adrenal fatigue, low ferritin, low B12, gluten issues, an so much more. It was so profound that Janie created this patient-to-patient website, Stop the Thyroid Madness™, then the book, as a way to educate patients who in turn can take the information into their doctors offices. And it’s working, doctor by doctor! But we still have a long way to go.