Why don’t I feel better? When your thyroid medication isn’t helping.

Did you know?

  • 12% of the United States population will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime?
  • 60% of the people with thyroid disease don’t have a clue they have a thyroid condition?
  • Woman are 5-8 times more likely to have a thyroid condition then men?

Those are completely staggering figures to me. That means the likelihood that someone you know being treated for a thyroid condition is relatively high.
For a lot of people, they don’t even know their symptoms can be linked to a thyroid disorder.

Synthroid isn’t working for me.

A question I hear so often, “Why do I feel bad when I am taking Synthroid?” There are a few reasons why you may still be experiencing hypothyroid symptoms.
After being screened by your general doctor, typical treatment of a thyroid disorder is to get referred to an endocrinologist. They will run a thyroid panel to determine the levels of thyroid hormone in your body. From there, they will prescribe a pill and retest you in a few months.
Easy, peasy, right? Nope. Sigh. It seems most doctors want to fit thyroid disorders in this tiny box with a fix of medication.
This is not the solution, there is no one size fits all solution to thyroid disorders. They are as unique as the person themselves.
Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disorders are so very different, yet if you talk to a thyroid patient under standard medical care, they are most likely taking the same medications, with varying amounts.
You are left wondering why you still feel bad when you are being treated. 
But, the bigger issue as to why most thyroid patients don’t feel better on synthroid. Synthroid is a synthetic version of the T4 hormone, levothyroxine sodium. 
While synthroid can supply you with the T4 your body needs, your thyroid needs much more than just T4 depending on the condition of your thyroid.

What Can You do When your Thyroid Medication Isn’t Helping?

The good news is that there are more options when it comes to thyroid medication, including natural desiccated forms. Natural desiccated thyroid medications are more than just T4 and will work with what your body needs.
Outside of just changing your medications, there are some other things you can do to make sure you are getting the proper medication and dosage.

1) Find a doctor that listens to you.

Many will  tell you that you are fine, yet you are experiencing many thyroid symptoms. If you are having symptoms, you are not fine and your body is calling for help. You need to be your own thyroid advocate.
(I have been through five doctors, anything less than someone that will listen is not good enough!)

2) Make sure that when you are getting a thyroid panel drawn, that you are getting a FULL panel.

A full thyroid panel includes, TSH, T3, T4, Free T3 and T4, Reverse T3 and thyroi1d antibodies. (Source)
Many doctors only order a TSH, T3 and T4. They are only a small portion of the thyroid puzzle so if you are being dosed according to just those tests, your dosing of medication can be wrong.

3) Check to make sure your doctor is using an up to date thyroid chart.

An up to date thyroid chart will help you to  see if your numbers fall into the ‘optimal’ range. Many doctors use the standard lab values and that is too broad when it comes to thyroid health.
If you are one of the many that is taking thyroid medication and still experiencing symptoms, push for answers. You do not have to live with those symptoms! You need to push for change and demand the care you deserve.

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