I am just about ready to stop taking my Levo. I felt better before ever starting on this med. I have had a very rough, emotional two weeks. I have had an issue with not being hungry and have been eating very little, maybe 600-800 calories a day, and have kept up with my daily exercise routine of about an hour a day. After two of the longest weeks of my life.....I actually have gained 2lbs (to go along with the 9lbs I gained when I first started on the Levo 10 weeks ago). How is that possible? I am so sick of being depressed and working my butt off with no results. I go back to get tested next week and have a doctors appointment in two weeks. Sorry this is such a negative post, but I really needed to get it out....
It sounds like you are not getting enough thyroid hormones and are still hypo. Can you tell us how much you are taking and for how long and if you have any recent bloodwork? You need to test your Free T3 and Free T4 levels especially. Also have you been tested for Vitamin D, B12 and Ferritin?
Often doctors do not raise our homones high enough to treat effectively. If you are unable to lose weight your metabolism is still slowed down and stopping the treatment will only make it worse. Another reason we don't respond is because T4 meds don't work for everyone; we need both T3 and T4 such as natural thyroid hormones contain. Also you should check out the condition of your adrenals to see if they are fatigued or not. A saliva cortisol test is the best way to do this. Low cortisol will prevent thyroid hormones from getting into the cells and this keeps you hypo and feeling horrible.
I had posted my results several weeks ago. My TSH was 6.07 (0.40-3.80), My Free T4 was 1.3 (0.9-1.7), and my T3 was 109 (80-200). This test was done back on June 3. I also had low Ferritin, Vitamin D and B12, and am on vitamins to help raise those. I am currently taking 50 mg of Levo. The only reason I went to the doctor to begin with is because my previous doctor had me on Iron for anemia for years, and I had been having an issue with very heavy periods. I also often felt tired and cold. My new doctor is the one who ran all the tests on me. I also found out I have GERD and an ulcer.
My weight had been stable up until I started on the Levo....within a short time frame I stared gaining weight (9 lbs), despite increasing my daily exercise and decreasing my calorie intake. I have worked very hard for a very long time to keep my weight stable and when I started gaining it really showed on my small frame (normally 118lbs). I am just totally discouraged and feel like I hit a wall the past few weeks. I have also have had to deal with some pretty heavy emotional issues regarding my family, so that hasn't helped. I go back for my new blood work next week and then return to see my doctor in two weeks. I plan to discuss my issues with her at that time. I already had a discussions with her last month, but she felt at that time I needed to give the Levo more time and let my body adjust. I cannot imagine keeping up my current daily exercise routine and diet for the rest of my life, just to maintain my weight. I thought getting on meds would help me, but instead I find that not to be the case...
How long have you been on the 50mcg? Generally when synthetics are prescribed you get rechecked every 6 weeks and new bloodwork. Then if the levels are still low (as yours likely are given your symptoms) an increase is prescribed.
It can take a while for the T4 to build and convert for some. You might be better served by getting some T4 and T3 (with natural thyroid hormones) if you are having problems converting to T3. Your upcoming free T3 and free T4 levels will tell you more.
Given your symptoms prior to treatment and your bloodwork, you have hypothyroidism and to not treat is not a good option. It will lead to all kinds of very serious health issues down the road, including heart disease. I know it can be discouraging to get started on treatment for many but you need to hang in there and get your levels up to a therapeutic level so you are not having hypo symptoms. 50mcg is a very small dose of T4 and most are 2+ times that dose before they feel better. Also if you are low in cortisol you need to treat that before thyroid treatment will work.
I started on the 50 mcg of Levo the second week in June. So, I have been taking it for about two months. I will be going in next week to have it rechecked, and my appointment is in two weeks to go over the results. I know that I need to be treated, but I felt better before I ever started my treatments, before I even knew I was Hypo. I can't figure out why my weight issues kicked in only after starting my meds. I would think my levels would be better after the meds, so having the weight gain several weeks after starting the Levo is very confusing. I also feel just as tired now, as I did before starting the meds, and my emotions are all over the place. I got the impression from my doctor that she thought 50 mcg might be too much, and I might possibly need to cut it down to even less. I guess until I go back and get my results, there isn't much I can do. I got the impression that my thyroid issue wasn't really a big deal, and I would be able to take a pill and be fine. Boy....that sure isn't the case..
I got the impression that my thyroid issue wasn't really a big deal, and I would be able to take a pill and be fine. Boy....that sure isn't the case..
Yes, you are learning that the stuff the makers of Synthroid has been telling us all along isn't so true after all
I would think about finding another doc and look into getting prescribed natural thyroid hormones, slowly bringing the dosage up 1/2 grain every two weeks until you have relief of symptoms. Your doc isn't too on the ball to give you such a tiny dose and make you wait two months to re-check. This just makes things worse overall, like you've been experiencing. * Disallowed website and related information removed by hb-mod, moderator *
Last edited by hb-mod; 08-23-2009 at 02:04 PM.
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The fact that you're having worse symptoms means that you probably need a dose increase. This is extremely common for people beginning treatment. Giving a body the hormone it's been lacking for a long time throws it for a loop. Your levels are in flux, and that spells trouble for almost everyone. It may take 3-6 months of dose adjustment before you feel your normal, healthy self. Doctors never tell us this fact, but it is the truth. To feel well just 2 months after beginning treatment would be a rarity. I know that isn't good news, but it should help explain things for you.
It shouldn't take 2 weeks to get thyroid results back from a lab. Mine are done within 3-4 days. Delays longer than that are the fault of an MD who doesn't review them in a timely manner. If you can move your appointment up, do so. No need to suffer any longer than you have to before getting a dose increase.
It is possible you have gone hyper. The symptoms of overmedicication can be oddly the same as for undermedication. It happened to me, I know. The labwork - free T4 and free T3, not TSH - will tell.
Even though I take natural hormone myself, IMO it's too soon for you to think about switching. Even though many people don't do well with synthetics, millions of people do. And because you're still so early in treatment, it's too soon for you to know whether you're one of them or need something else.
Let us know what your labs are when you have them.
I didnt do too well on levo either I had pretty much the same symptoms as you describe. However Midwest is right you need to wait a while before changing over to a natural thyroid replacement. I waited 8 months then switched. You have to give the levo chance to work. Its not like an aspirin it can take months of tweaking the dosage before its right for you,
Thank you so much for your advice with this matter. I have been feeling totally alone and so unsure of what to do. I know its only been a little over two months since I first started on Levo, it scares me to think I will keep gaining weight, and not feeling any better. It is so hard for me to understand why I actually feel worse now that I am on medication. I sometimes wish I had never gone to the doctors in the first place. I have a feeling that I probably have been Hypo for a very long time and somehow...I managed to get by without any medication. But, the reality is that I know I need medciation, and hopefully....in time, I will feel better.
Once you feel well then you will look back at this time and wonder how the hell you had the strength to get through it.
You will get through and and then find yourself helping others who are going through the same process.
I was so desperate when I first started posting, I really thought I would never feel well again. My brain was so fogged up, my body racked with pain and so exhausted I could of slept for 23 & 1/2 hours a day, and that was after starting on thyroid medication.
Now I am doing the job of my dreams, and enjoying life.
Last edited by daisy01; 08-10-2009 at 12:17 PM.
I did go and have my blood work done today. I go back next week to get my results and discuss my options. Its so hard to know what to do. Part of me wants to give the Levo more time, hoping that I will see more of an improvement. The other part of me wants to change and try Armour, before I gain more weight. I guess for now, I will just have to wait and see what my new blood works shows next week and take it from there. Just got off my treadmill after doing 3.5 miles, and I am exhausted!
I can't say for certain if switching to natural thyroid hormones will help the hair loss or not, but I do think that you need to get optimized and get your FT3 and FT4 up to upper range before this gets better and your new labs will tell you something.
I'll respectfully differ with Midwest and Daisy and say that I'd make the switch over to Nature-throid sooner rather than later, just because I think NTH is a better balance of hormones overall (But I recommend you avoid Armour and try Nature-throid instead). There's no perfect time to switch and I would make the change gradual * Disallowed website and related information removed by hb-mod, moderator * . I think the addition of some extra T3 might help you somewhat rather than having to convert it all from the T4 med. Again, just MHO.
Last edited by hb-mod; 08-23-2009 at 01:53 PM.
Reason: Please don't post disallowed websites as per Posting Policy. Thanks.
It can take months or even years, (as in my case) to get your thyroid to the proper levels. Depends on your doctor and the med they give you. I do best on Synthroid, plus had to find a doctor that was up on the most current TSH levels. I usually test at 1.0 now, which is the target range for females. You might also want to take selenium on a daily basis. It revs up the thyroid and helps T4 (stored hormone) properly convert over to T3 (useable hormone). It's also nature's anti-depressant. I can only use it for a couple of weeks at a time and have to stop because I become hyperthyroid and have to cut back on my Synthroid. It's an annoying balancing act.
I go back to see my doctor today. I did call for my lab results last week. The nurse told me that I was *normal*. My TSH was at 2.07, which was an improvement over the 6.09 in June. I asked about my current T3 and T4 levels, and she told me that they were not tested, only the TSH. I was a disppointed, because I had them tested in June, and assumed my doctor tested them again last week.
Still don't know what I should do? I feel like I am getting some results from the Levo, but I am still tired, and having problems with weight despite my hour long workouts and low calorie meals. I have a feeling my doctor will want to leave things as they are since my levels have dropped down to the *normal* level. I would be happier if she added Cytomel to my Levo, or let me try a natural hormone.