I'm finding that I am very frustrated lately. I have tried for a long time to just see what happens as I just to new medicine. I have done well in not concentrating on the thyroid problem. However, it is time again to visit the doc soon so I have begun to evaluate how I'm feeling. I am really not satisfied - I'm either hypo or hyper. I have mixed symptoms - while one thing might improve something else worsens. I'm not looking so great and I'm worried about my health (e.g., my heart, my skin, my hair, my bones & muscles). When does this stop?! It's been years now. I'm also starting to wonder if it's possible that when this first started I made it worse by starting on Synthroid. Is it possible that the then "borderline" (supposedly - although my handsused to bleed and I was sluggish and heavier) problem was worsened by starting medication? Have I created/made worse this awful problem? So far,I have tried Synthroid and now Thyrolar. I had initially seen a lot of improvement with the Thryolar but Ifindthat I'm disappointed <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif"> HELP!
ENUF <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">
On Thyrolar, like on Armour, many people find that they feel better for a while, then the symptoms return.
The reason is that the ratio of T4 to T3 in these preparations doesn't mimic what a healthy thyroid gland produces. Many find that by adding a bit of synthetic T4 to bring the ratio back into balance that the symptoms more reliably subside. I fall into this category, and am STILL tryin to find just the right combination, though I am very close now.
Another reason many people don't do well on Thyrolar or Armour is because so many doctors rely on TSH as a guage of what your dosage should be. Often, a therapeutic dosage of the meds will suppress TSH lower than what most docs like to see, so they cut your dosage thinking you are hyper, when in fact, you are still having hypo symptoms.
The most accurate way t guage your dosage on a combination thyroid med like Thyrolar is to go by the Free T3 and Free T4 tests. TSH is generally done, too, but it is actually an extraneous test in many cases (mine included) that doesn't help determine anything. It has been found that TSH has NO DIRECT CORRELATION with symptoms, whereas Free T3 and Free T4 do. People generally don't feel well if their results are on the low end of the normal range, even if the result is still in range. By the same token, some peopl efeel hyper when the results are on the upper end of the range, but still normal. The goal is to shoot for the middle, or slightly above the middle of the normal range, and this is where most people feel their best.
I don't think starting on Synthroid damaged your health or thyroid. It probably delayed the onset of some of your symptoms, but I doubt that it caused any harm unless you were on a dose that was too large. Considering how conservative most docs are, I seriously doubt that you were overmedicated.
Since you can't change the past, dwelling on it is only hampering your healing, since you aren't concentrating on what you can do to feel better now and in the future. Hang in there and be patient. If you aren't getting results with your current situation, maybe a change is in order. Maybe to a new doc, maybe to a new med, maybe your thyroid problem IS mostly resolved, and there are other things causing your symptoms. The book "From Fatigued to Fantastic" is a great resource for looking at the numerous causes of problems similar to what you describe. If you can check it out at your local library or buy it, it can be a great help in narrowing down what you have going on.
I hate that you are frustrated and suffering, and I hope you find what you need to feel better--SOON!
I think you are dead-on! I was starting to read something about the T3/T4 combo in Dr. Arem's book last night. I already have bloodtest results which would seemto indicate what you're saying (right?) .. My TSH is below 0. (Last time,this caused the doc to lower my dosage but then I ended up feeling even worse and had to go back up again.) BUT, my T4 is 4.1 (range 4.5-12.0) and my T3 is 3.7 (range 2.3-4.2). I'm a little confused since I'm used to the focus being on the TSH myself. I always thought it was the T3 that would need supplementing. Also, I was reading in The THyroid Solution about how to go about getting tested .... the bloodwork should be done 2-3 hours after taking the Thyrolar to make sure that you arent' being overmedicated. Interesting! My doctor never said that but I always wondered. I always go first thing in the morning before my medicine and before food. Hmmmm...
What are you thoughts re: my test results? I'm not due to see the doctor for over a week <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif">
ENUF <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/wave.gif">
PS I'm glad to hear you're close to getting your medicine adjusted!! I love to hear that. <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
PS Are you on Armour (or Thyrolar)? How long has it been?
PPS I don't think I was initially overmedicated with Synthroid,but I was a couple of months into it. The doctor tripled my dosage within a 3-month period, and I ended up extremely hyper with some of the worst symptoms I've ever experienced. I thought I was going to die - no exaggeration. I guess that's what was on my mind .. I didn't know enough then. The doctor tried to tell me there was no way it could be related to the Synthroid, and treated melike I was nutz! What an a--hole!!!!! LOL. You're right though ... it's in the past <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif">
I am on Armour, and added a little Unithroid to the mix this past summer. My T4 is still a litlle low compared to my T3.
In your case, according your tests, you are DEFINITELY HYPO on your T4 and just about right on your T3 for most people. With your T4 below range, it is no wonder you feel awful. Adding in some T4 to bring that test result up to the middle of the range or just above it would probably resolve most of your symptoms.
I would bet that there are some adrenal issues as well, though, and that's why you reacted so negatively to the Synthroid--especially with such drastic dose increases. When you treat for thyroid and the patient has a negative reaction, adrenals must be addressed first, or at least simultaneously. Had the doctor read and properly interpreted the prescription insert, he would have realized that.
Getting your your cortisol levels tested (preferably an ASI) and/or getting an ACTH Stim test would be a good start. If you are low or low normal on these, you will do much better with some adrenal support--at least until you get your thyroid levels stable.
If your doctor ISN'T treating (or won't test or treat)adrenals, move VERY slowly when you make a doseage change, and see about at least getting on some Maca and/or some licorice root to stimulate and support your adrenal function.
At least WE both you you aren't nuts, right? <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif"><p>[This message has been edited by Meep (edited 01-02-2002).]
Oh my goodness! I'm so glad you responded .. your post wasn't here last time I checked <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif"> I feel like crying ... I feel a glimmer of hope (once again). So, even though my TSH is whacky ... I'm hypo with T4! I thought so. I don't konw what to do ...my doctor cancelled again on me ... he will be out all week <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif"> I'm worried ... I get hyper and hypo symptoms. My hair looks awful and it makes me self-conscious most of the time <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif"> I asked about the adrenals ... no go .. but I will ask again ... I'm prepared to be pretty assertive .. which I was last time but I didn't realize the importance (my goal then was to be switched off of the Synthroid ... took some convincing). So, I take Thyrolar and would supplement this with Unithyoid then? What do they prescrible for the adrenals?
Thanks for your support. I could really use it right about now <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/frown.gif"> <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/smile.gif">
i'm sorry to hear about your frustrations...and i hope u get on top of all this soon. I was wondering if u could tell me what kind of symptoms u have been experiencing while u were being "over medicated".