People always seem to disappear from the boards once they feel better. I wanted to share my story before I disappear, because I'm feeling much better and don't plan to be back.
My ND put me on desiccated thyroid after labs came back with slightly high TSH (2.8) and very low range FT4 and FT3 (I tested negative for antibodies though). I felt okay at first, but as I slowly increased the dosage because my FT4 was not going up, I felt worse and worse. And to top it off, my FT4 went down and FT3 did not increase at all (even at 2 grains) over the course of 6 months. In January I was at my lowest point: constant water retention, hair falling out, joint aches and pains, depression, panic attacks, heart rate of 130 bpm, exhausted. I kept thinking, "I didn't feel anywhere near this bad before the thyroid medicine!" So I stopped taking it. Within a couple of weeks I felt better, and my new symptoms started slipping away.
However, I still experienced the symptoms I had prior to the thyroid meds: moderate fatigue, some water retention, digestive issues, severe PMS. Also, I have had elevated liver enzymes for years (even though I have no risk factors, my MD couldn't explain it after ultrasounds, lab tests, etc.). I decided to go to an Acupuncturist who specializes in liver health. After hearing my health history, my L.Ac. suggested that all of my symptoms, even the low thyroid numbers, were due to my liver (the liver is responsible for making T4 into T3 and it is well established that hepatitis patients sometimes get "euthyroid sick syndrome"). She began treating my liver and my symptoms have been getting progressively better. I have not had my FT4 or FT3 checked again yet as I've been feeling good and have therefore not been motivated to spend the time/money on the tests. But, judging from how I feel, I think my L.Ac. was right about my liver being responsible for my symptoms.
I'm not suggesting that everyone really has a liver problem and not a thyroid problem. I know that the vast majority on here have true thyroid issues. But, if your history/experience sounds similar to mine and you don't know how to proceed, consider talking to an alternative health professional about your liver.
Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.