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    Old 11-01-2014, 04:30 PM   #1
    cleo0924
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    Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    I have been taking 75mcg of Levothyroxine for 23 years. I've always had hypo symptoms that never cleared up but they are now getting bothersome. (severe cold and heat intolerance, weight gain, allergies/sinusitis, memory problems, foggy brain, hair loss, constipation, ringing in my ears all the time, joint pain in hips & legs). About a year ago my stomach started bothering me and it has recently gotten worse. I started doing some diagnosis myself. When I took the levothyroxine, my stomach would kill me all day long. When I didn't take it, my stomach would feel wonderful. I did this about 7 times. So, went to my GP and I expressed my concerns about my stomach is related to the thyroid med. And, would she switch me to Armour or a natural thyroid med because I'm tired of the hypo symptoms. She absolutely refused. Of course, she said no that my tests were in line and she would prescribe brand synthroid and a stomach med. She had a dumb answer for every symptom I mentioned.

    So, a friend suggest I see a DO doctor that she recently switched to that believed in alternatives along with western medicine. He said the test she did were useless because she only tested the TSH.

    He re-tested and my result are:
    T3,Free: 2.7 (range 2.3 - 4.2), T4,total: 11.0 (range 4.5 - 10.9),TSH: .79 (range .35 - 4.0), Vit D3: 43 (range 30 -100), Vit B: 493 (range >211). He said they are inline but my T4 was a little high which would give me hyper symptoms not hypo. My take on it was T4 is high because levothyroxine gives you T4 and your body had to convert to T3. My T3 was on the lower end. He seems to think that I can get off the thyroid meds totally by taking a thyroid stimulant of herbs/vitamins. I asked him for Armour and he said lets try thyroid stimulant first and if it doesn't work, he would try armour. He said stop the levothyroxine cold turkey and start the thyroid stimulant. Then in 8 weeks we will test again and see where we are at.

    So, my question, has anyone had stomach issues with levothyroxine? What is your take on my test results? Do you think I can just stop the thyroid meds and go to a thyroid stimulant?

     
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    Old 11-02-2014, 06:14 AM   #2
    Harri3t
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    Hi Cleo I personally haven't had issues with levothyroxine but allergies to the fillers used in some formulas have been reported especially in those with seasonal allergies and/or lactose intolerance. That could explain both the GI symptoms and the sinusitis. Switching to another brand may or may not help depending upon the fillers they contain and your response to them. I don't know enough about the different formulations to advise any further. Maybe someone else reading this can help or you could talk to your pharmacist.

    As for stopping a med you've been on for 23 years, that sounds a little dicey imho especially since your labs are not perfect but at least fairly normal. If your body isn't producing enough thyroid hormones on it's own then it seems to me you could get into trouble. If you decide to switch doctors, I'd want to know exactly what "supplements" this new D.O. is talking about and then do some hard research based on scientific studies, not anecdotal accounts, before making that decision.

    It takes about 2 weeks for LevoT to clear out of your system after which I'd expect your hypo symptoms to get worse over time if the supplements aren't working. If you go that route, maybe testing sooner, say at 4 weeks, might be helpful if the DO agrees to that That said, I'm a little confused why this new doc ordered Free T3 levels but chose to check total T4. That seems odd to me since measuring total T levels are outdated and aren't considered very useful.

    Hope you're feeling better soon and please let us know what happens.

     
    Old 11-02-2014, 08:11 AM   #3
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition like Hashimoto's, supplements are not going to do the job for you, plain and simple. I say that as a great fan of natural supplements. They have saved my life. But if you have an advanced thyroid disease you need thyroid medication.

    If your free T3 is low while you're on T4, it can mean that you don't convert well from T4 to T3.

    I, too suffered all of the symptoms you mentioned during my 20 years on Synthroid (Levothyroxine). In fact, I often wondered why I was bothering to take it at all, since I felt no better on it than I did before I started taking it.

    My new GP switched me to Erfa desiccated thyroid and the symptoms have all gone.

    I am still having some heart pounding with the new meds after 4 months, but these are abating as I increase my B12, my iron, and other things.

    DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR LEVO ABRUPTLY. There is no need for that drastic a measure.My GP had me go off it entirely for 6 weeks prior to starting the new medication, and I have never been so ill in all my life. At the end of the 6 weeks, my TSH was 146!

     
    Old 11-02-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    I forgot to mention the he did test me for thyroid antibodies and there are none. Meaning that I don't have Hashimoto's or any autoimmune disorder. I am also not lactose intolerant and have no food allergies. I did recently read on the internet that Mylan (manufacturer of my Levo) was being investigated by the FDA.

    I also agree that I should stop the levo abruptly. This is the 2nd day that I didn't take the Levo and I supplemented with "Raw Thyroid" from Natural Sources. I haven't noticed any adverse symptoms yet (too early yet). He told me to find a "thyroid stimulant" and I could find it anywhere at health food stores, chain stores, etc. I asked if there was one he had experience with and he said no.
    I think I may call him tomorrow and see what he advises.

     
    Old 11-02-2014, 10:24 AM   #5
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    Carol, if you have concerns about a drug manufacturer and possible FDA actions against it, then you should be even more worried about taking "supplements" which do not fall under the same strict FDA oversight. Supplements are treated more like a food than a drug. Although supplements like yours do not claim to contain thyroid hormones, my understanding is that many of them do contain them. The problem is there is no way to know exactly how much hormone you are taking if any at all, or if the same amount exists from batch to batch let alone manufacturer to manufacturer. I'd feel a little more confident if your D.O. could recommend one specifically because of some experience using it. Please proceed cautiously.

    Again, good luck to you

     
    Old 11-02-2014, 10:49 AM   #6
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    I agree with both these ladies.
    The supplement you're taking is derived from bovine thyroid, not porcine (as prescription natural thyroid products are). Bovine thyroid carries a negligible but unnecessary risk of mad cow disease. Why risk that? My advice is to find an MD or other DO willing to prescribe genuine natural thyroid USP medication.

    The DO you're seeing hasn't ordered the most accurate free T4 test. Total T4 is inaccurate and can't determine whether your free level of T4 is too high or not. On one hand, it's better that he doesn't sell or 'push' any particular supplements; but neither should he leave you hanging out on your own to experiment, either. I wouldn't feel very confident in his care.

    After 23 years, it wouldn't be unusual to be antibody negative. That might only mean that your gland is kaput. If that's the case, discontinuing your levoT would have a profoundly negative effect. A dead gland can't produce enough hormone for your needs, no matter how many OTC supplements your throw at it.

    Please reconsider this DO's drastic advice.
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    Old 11-02-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
    cleo0924
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    Thanks everyone for your advice. I will start my Levo T again tomorrow morning and stop the raw thyroid supplement. I will go back to him and ask him to give me Armour or Nature throid.

     
    Old 11-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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    Re: Tests normal but tired of feeling symptoms

    I think that's a good plan, Cleo. I hope you're feeling better soon.

     
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