Too many patients, as documented in an on-line study of 12,000 individuals conducted by the American Thyroid Association published in June 2018, (https://doi.org/10.1089/thy.2017.0681) , complain of persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism despite what their doctors believe is successful treatment with levothyroxine (brands include Synthroid, Unithroid, Tirosent, Levoxl). We believe something needs to be done to resolve this conflict between patients and their doctors.
Every so often I like to bring attention to someone who has struggled to get properly treated for hypothyroidism. Not everyone shares the same dilemma regarding treatment of hypothyroidism because T4 by itself may be sufficient in many instances. But for those who continue to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism despite T4 treatment, adding T3 can be a life changing experience.
Here is Sarah’s story:
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my early twenties and Synthroid did not help. I did not know at the time that many of my symptoms were due to hypothyroidism. After changing to my long time physician, I told her of my original diagnosis some years back. She did only the TSH and told me I was no longer hypothyroid! So for some 15 years after being in her care and continuing to feel crummy, then for the last 8 steadily gaining weight and feeling worse, I was not on any medication. I begged her for Cytomel several years back and was deniedâ€¦she said she didnâ€™t treat with that. When I finally was deemed hypo by her, she put me on the smallest dose of levothyroxine. It did not help. I finally went to see a shrink and he put me on 25 mcg of Cytomel. For the first time in my post pubescent life, I feel like living. My dose was upped to 50, and I felt even better but my thyroid levels were off, so we are now working on that and I am back to 25 mcg per day. If you canâ€™t get Cytomel from your regular physician, you might get a psychiatrist to prescribe it. It changed my life and I finally feel alive. Iâ€™ve since switched primary physician because she wouldnâ€™t listen to me, and she didnâ€™t like that I was on Cytomel. I donâ€™t know what it is about this medication that regular physicians donâ€™t like and make them refuse to treat with it, especially when so many can benefit from it. Iâ€™ve lost only 12 lbs since being on it, but I gained nearly 35 unnecessarily while not being properly treated and was told to eat less and exercise moreâ€¦I only ate about 1500 calories a day and walked my dog 2 miles each day, so I donâ€™t feel it had anything to do with my diet!