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Taking My Thyroid Medication: Benefits and Concerns

The author enjoys writing on various topics, including mental illness, wellness, bipolar and tips for recovery..

Take your thyroid medication as directed...

Take your thyroid medication as directed...

Medication? Yes or No?

What are some of the most common reasons for not taking my thyroid medication, you may ask? Some of the reasons why I don't want to take medication may be the same reasons you don't want to take your thyroid medication, either. I have hypothyroidism, and I go through stages when I feel like taking the medication is useless and unproductive. I base this article on my own experiences with hypothroidism, medications, doctors and general maintenance of medication compliance. This is not to be used as a guide or medical opinion of any kind.

First, hypothyroidism means your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy. It is not uncommon for hypothyroidism to be present for a number of years before it is recognized and treated.

If you have hypothyroidism and are not taking your thyroid hormone replacement medication (which might include Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Thyrolar, or Armour Thyroid), then the untreated condition may cause a huge number health problems for you. Seeing a doctor is better than making guesses or self-diagnosing.

Consult Your Doctor

Always consult your physician or health professional when making decisions about your medications. Adjusting or stopping your medication should be done only under a doctor's guidance.

Some symptoms of Hypothyroidism you might experience can include:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Low body temperature
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Up and down blood pressure
  • Problems with remembering things
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Severe changes in your menstrual cycle
  • Hair loss
  • Increased goiter

Hypothyroidism can often be diagnosed with a simple blood test. If you have a low level of thyroxine and high levels of TSH this can indicate an under active thyroid. That's because your pituitary produce more TSH in an effort to stimulate your thyroid gland into producing more thyroid hormone. The TSH test is one of the best screening tools, your doctor will likely check TSH first and follow with a thyroid hormone test if needed.

Now onto the reasons why I sometimes prefer not to take my thyroid medication. This thyroid disease has touched me and, my 4 siblings, and mother and father. My sister has come close to dying on several occasions after stopping her medications. She has a more serious thyroid condition than I do. She has taken anywhere from 50 mcg of Synthroid to 400 mcg since she was 10 years old.

Her doctor says this dosage is very rarely prescribed. I am in no way recommending you stop taking your medication. This article is written solely from my perspective and is not a recommendation for you to stop or tweak your thyroid medication. Every person is diagnosed and medicated to their own special needs. I am writing from what I have experienced with my thyroid condition and my prescribed medications.

Do Not Stop Your Meds Without Doctor Approval

This article is written solely from my perspective and is not a recommendation for you to stop or tweak your thyroid medication. I am writing from what I have experienced with my thyroid condition and my prescribed medications.

Some Reasons I Stop Taking Thyroid Medications

  • I don't feel any different or any better, so what is the point I ask myself?
  • I don't like taking any more medications than I have to. Believe me a handful or more is quite enough. And yes one more pill is always one to many for me.
  • I have side effects I don't like when I take the thyroid medication. They can be rather bothersome depending on the dosage I am taking.
  • I can't remember to take it every day. When taking multiple meds it can sometimes be a problem.
  • It cost to much. Sometimes finding money for an expensive medication can be difficult.
  • I can't keep track of all my medications, yes this can be confusing if you take medications for various things.

This Is My Personal Decision

I don't always like taking the Synthroid because I do not always see the difference when I take it. Which doesn't always mean that I don't need it. Because I do need it. But by not taking it, am I causing damage to myself? Because I need the proper amount of hormone in my body to function properly. I think this is the biggest reason I don't want to take the thyroid medicine. I don't see a difference either way, I don't feel any worse or any better, so I question whether to take it.

My brother and sisters take it and lose weight, and feel better right off the bat. Me? Nothing happens. It doesn't make me feel better mentally either. So I am led to believe that I am not better off either way. So my research begins. I do take it when I feel I need to. I do however keep up on my blood work and monitor myself. If I am out of whack then taking the medication is probably the better choice than not.

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I take medication for bipolar disorder and adding another medication only aggravates my situation. Now to clarify, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder long before I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition. So the two are very separate conditions. I hear people say "what's one more medication?" Well that adds up doesn't it? It is easier to take 7 medications than 17. I worry a lot about what all these medications are doing to the inside of my body. My liver, my kidneys and so on. How good are these thyroid medications? Do the research, on all your meds.

I suppose this might be a lazy way out of having to not take it. In a logically sound argument what is one more little tiny pill? And Synthroid is really just a tiny pill. When I look at it in realistic terms, one more small pill is not entirely a really good excuse. IF it is really going to make a difference in how I feel. IF my readings are low, and I take the medication, and it doesn't make me feel better, but my readings are normal, what do I do? Take the medication? More than likely yes.

I worry about the side effects. So far there aren't any that I can actually pinpoint, as I mentioned I take medications for bipolar and I have side effects from those. So that is really not an excuse for me to stop taking the thyroid medication. I already have side effects so not taking it is not a workable excuse for the most part. If for some reason you have a serious enough side effect tell your doctor, he may be able to try another form of thyroid that may be better for you.

As far as forgetting to take it, well that doesn't really work all that well for me either. I have all my medications set up in a pill container that I take at a scheduled time. So one more should not be a problem as far as remembering. There are many ways to remember to take your prescribed thyroid medication.

An alarm clock, a schedule on the fridge, a pillbox, an alarm on your watch or cell phone will do the trick very well. Taking the pill at the same time each day will also help you to remember to take it. Make it a habit. Believe it or not I do forget to take my medications on an occasion. Not often, but there are days when I am rushing to get out the door and forget to grab the pill container. But otherwise I am on a very strict medication schedule. For some people, it can be an ongoing uphill battle keeping track of everything.

So the above reasons are not really good excuses for me. I actually have no reason to not take the thyroid medication. I have a bunch of illegitimate reasons to avoid taking another medication. A medication that I know I need. So my dilemma is, do I or don't I take my thyroid medication? For now I don't see why I should take it, because I don't see or feel a difference.

I feel good, my levels are coming back a tad low. The doctor says as long as I feel okay and levels remain steady, I can stop taking the thyroid medicine for now. I am not advocating anyone else NOT take their prescribed medication. Because everyone has a different diagnosis. So please follow your doctor's instructions. You and your doctor are the ones who need to decide what is best for you. It is not something you decide to do on a whim.

As far as cost goes, I have an insurance plan with a low co-pay, so that really isn't much of a problem for me right now. However it is a problem for some people. Thyroid medication is not all that expensive. But if you are on a limited budget it can still be unafforable for you. There are programs for you, if you need them. Contact your prescription label company for discounts, NeedyMeds, or search Patient Assistance Programs for further help with your medications.

I take medications for bipolar as well, and sometimes it gets overwhelming trying to keep them all this in order. By adding something else just adds to my anxiety about taking medications. But like I said previously, organizing them into a pill container can help with that. You can do it weekly or monthly. This is a very good way to make sure you are taking all of the meds you should be taking without missing an important dose. Keeping a list also helps keep the medications in proper order.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on December 05, 2013:

Thank you for taking the time to read my hub on thyroid medication. it is such a complex issue to say the least. I am finding there are many opinions on taking or not taking medications. Thank you for your sincere comments. they are greatly appreciated.

guAmpcemwerce on November 19, 2013:

A lot of thanks for your entire labor on this blog. Ellie really loves going through internet research and it's really easy to see why. We learn all of the dynamic tactic you present both useful and interesting items through this blog and improve response from people on the point then our favorite princess is certainly discovering a lot. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You're performing a really good job.


Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on June 11, 2013:

I would find another doctor that possibly understands thyroid issues better. This doctor is way off base. He is not recognizing you have options and choices for your medical care. He should be looking into why you feel lie you do. For a doctor to tell you your're fine when you know you are not is not acceptable. Please consider finding a doctor that will work with your value's and help you find a proper dosage of medicine. You deserve to feel healthy and a doctor should be helping you, not ignoring you when you have concerns.

SwooshVolley on June 03, 2013:

What I am having problems with is my lab values are all over the place, but yet within normal limits. I talked to my primary care doctor and he said he cannot step on my other doctor's toes. Let me back track, I had thyroid cancer and they took my entire thyroid out. When I had a thyroid, I was fit and motivated. After the full thyroid lobectomy, I am unmotivated, depressed, and have gained a great amount of weight. It weighs heavily on my mind.

I have discussed this issue with my doctor. I want to go holistic because I don't feel "right" with my levothyroxine. I have verbalized this more than once. However I met with,"you're fine. Your lab values are within normal limits." The normal limit scale is .1-5. My lab values differ from month to month. It is not within MY normal limit. I am fed up playing these reindeer games with my doctor. I just want to feel "normal" again.

Advice? Thoughts?

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on March 11, 2013:

Well thank you Stellar Phoenix, your review most appreciated.

Stellar Phoenix Review on February 22, 2013:

This post is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader sustained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost..haha) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! Stellar Phoenix Review

aricabutto on March 02, 2012:


I'm diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease. I take Levothyroxine.

I can tell you what is happening: you're taking overdose of medication. Even if your doctor prescribed. Let me explain something:

There will be times when the medication dosage will need to be adjusted up or down. You HAVE to go to your doctor and tell him/her. The doctor will adjust the dosage. This panic attacks and palpitations are symptom of over dosage (too much levothyroxine).

Then, when you talked about why you stop taking your medication, you sound depressed. If you stopped taking your pills, you will be.

If you are a thyroid patient, you will be, more likely, for life. Forever. Get use to it. Is not a dead sentence, is only a condition and you can live very well with.

Now, your doctor must tell you, but you'll need the blood test every four-six months to check how your hormone levels are. Then, you MUST check closely your overall diary of "how do I feel today?". This things can help your doctor to adjust dosages of levothyroxine. Also, the dosage is not "the one": you will be needing adjustments every now and then.

I urge you not to treat badly your body. If your organism needs the hormone to work properly, do not play with it. You can damage even your brain, your heart... Be careful and take care of your health. Good luck!

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on February 04, 2012:

I don't think he would be angry. Just tell him why you stopped and I am sure he will order some blood work and set you back up with the proper dose. If your panic attack went away after stopping the med, that is something he needs to know, so he can perhaps try something that works better.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on February 04, 2012:

Hi Ann, Any new med can cause a great deal of side effects, I would definitely get with your doctor.

Taylor on February 03, 2012:

I got diagnosed with Hypothyroidism when I was thirteen. I took the medication for a while, but it started to give me panic attacks. I hated it. I stopped taking it for almost a full year, and now I'm worried that I should be taking it, because when I did get diagnosed, it was very severe.

I tried to re-order my meds, but it is expired and I am in panic mode that the doctor won't put me back on because he'll be angry. Could he do that, or will he put me back on? I'm freaking out. :*(

my name is ann on January 22, 2012:

hey i been taking my new medication could it make u spot for two days and stop or could it be i meant be pregnant could any one help me tell me what it could be

Jan on January 18, 2012:

I have Graves Disease which is hypo with auto antibodies and kicked off about 12 years ago with full blown thyroid eye disease. I take 100mg a day now since my TSH levels shot up to 17 and I felt like death though now a bit better. I've thought a few times about 'what's the point' of taking thyroxine but realise with my problems I'd be a lot worse off without them plus I'd put on weight without them. My advice to anyone with thyroid problems - take each day as it comes, keep on keeping on and always remember there's someone out there a lot worse off than you - hopefully.

Mrs. B on January 11, 2012:

I stopped taking thyroid meds called "Thyroid" because I got this irregular heartbeat. All thyroid meds have this side effect. I have tried them all. Now I am taking Thytrophin PMG and one drop of supplemental iodine each day. My irregular beat has not completely gone away but it is just worse in the early morning. I realize I have to go back on the meds eventually but would like to give th Thytrophin a chance. I have to find a better doctor. He is not helping me with my main issues. Will keep you posted on the Thytrophin PMG.

Mandy on January 01, 2012:

Ok at 14 i was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 and hypothyroidism while in a psychiatric hospital for depression(having to do with many family problems in my childhood), at 16 i got pregnant and stopped taking my bipolar meds (Abilify) and in all honesty really have been fine since, I'm 19 now if that gives you any indication of how fine i've been since then, seriously no mania or extreme depression. As for my hypothyroidism i stopped taking my levothyroxine 0.125 mcg once daily and half on weekends? like my doctor had told me to over 2 months ago. I feel the same as i did while on it and i haven't had a blood test since last spring. I maintain normal weight i don't eat overly healthy, i don't really exercise too much more than chasing my daughter around and playing at the park every couple days. I'm just not seeing the point of taking it or getting blood tests and what not if i'm feeling the exact same. I have lost all baby weight and i'm back to my normal weight of 125 and i stay pretty close to that again i don't diet. my hands are usually cold but it's winter, i smoke, and i don't put the heat higher than 60 in most rooms of the house. I have chipped nails and i can peel off pieces of them at times but i work with machinery and high water pressure sinks at my job which i would assume breaks anyones nails. If i see things getting out of whack i will go back to my doctor but until then...i am good as ever i guess. I don't think it's gone or anything just wondering, how could not taking levo. affect me in the long run if taking it hasn't helped either?

Jaime on December 30, 2011:

Ive been on meds since June. My levels were 65. They started me out at .25. I'm up to 125 and it's still not at the right level. I'm so frustrated. They move my meds so slow. If the doctor felt how I felt they wouldn't just drag their butts! I sleep during the night. I can't function without a 3 hour nap during the day. I never have any energy, mood swings, foggy memory, bowel trouble, extreme weight gain. I'm so tired! I'm beginning to think my dr doesn't know what they are doing! I feel worse than when I first started meds!

octapussyprime on December 20, 2011:

im only freaking 12 and i have active thyroids and ADHD and i give alot of people a hard time because they force me to do things that help me and hurt me and my family at the same time.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on December 19, 2011:

Taking a thyroid medication doesn't always mean you will lose weight. Check out hypothyroidism at the Mayo Clinic website. excellent source of information.You may get lucky with the Vitamin D and have good results on your next blood draw. A low dose of medication may do the trick for you with weight loss. My advice is good communication with your doctor, know your results and what you are taking. Hope this helps some.

Eric_7 on December 17, 2011:

I am on a low dose of synthroid for subclinical hypothyroidism. The only time I don't take it is when I want to go out drinking. I skip it for a day or two and avoid the awful hangover that synthroid seems to cause. If I don't skip it, then I get bad hangovers even with very little alcohol consumption (e.g. 2 glasses of wine).

nikkimiller on December 14, 2011:

I'm a 24 year old female who was just diagnosed with borderline hypothyroidism. About 5 years ago I came off of Yaz birth control and since then my hair has continually fallen out to the point where I've lost about 80% of my once thick, beautiful hair. I believe the birth control pills may have contributed to the change in my thyroid. Last week I just had blood work done and came to find out that I am extremely deficient in Vitamin D (14 out of 60) and my doctor believes this may be the reason I am showing a TSH level of 6.35 instead of the normal range of 2. My doctor has me prescribed to 50,000 units of Vitamin D 1x per week for 3 months and then wants to do another blood test to check both my Vitamin D and thyroid levels. If my thyroid is still too low then she says she will want to put me on a low dose of a thyroid medication, but I'm not sure which one yet. One of my concerns is that I am only 100lbs. @ 5'4" and cannot gain weight, but the thyroid medications may cause me to lose more weight which I cannot afford to lose. Is this a possibility? I'm very much unfamiliar with the way hypothyroidism works, and hopefully someone can help fill me in with some information. Thanks so much in advance.


Lisa on November 30, 2011:

I too take levrothyroxine for hyprothryoid (Hashimotos), however on the weekend, I use Mode 3 on my Q1000 low level laser on my thyroid in lieu of taking my thyroid medication and I feel great. There are many success stories with use of a low level laser. See:

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on November 18, 2011:

scribblecoach-Thank you so much for sharing your trials with thyroid disease. I know it doesn't help when you have bipolar and thyroid condition. I am very concerned about meds, it is important to keep healthy, which I try to do with healthy food and exercise. I am happy that you are on the right path. I am so glad you posted, I feel less alone :)

levothyroxin-The moral of your story hits it right on. As I've mentioned before, finding the right doctor as well is so important. And vigilance is a good thing. Thank you for sharing, it does help others.

levothyroxine on November 17, 2011:

got diagnosed 20 years ago after Losing my voice and sore throughts for a few years. I was a dancer so everyone thought that i was not eating. my behaviour got very high and had nurses that i taught their children think i was taking illegal drugs. I started to hum and rock all the time. then when driving to a workplace that was an hour away became unable to keep alert to drive. the littlest thing made me exhausted the goiter started to grow - i started teaching dance by sitting on the floor.... lost all work and many friends. Had my thyroid radiated took a liquid and had radiation treatments done. I then lost most of my hair and eylashes. felt crazy with anxiety and angry that i lost what i loved to do.

became very depressed and then started gaining wieght; skin issues - large pox all over body and all kinds of other rashes for a few years. very ugly and total opposite from what i had looked like before. Family now thought i was a drug attic and bi-polar....lost touch with them.

kept away and tried to get back to normal - was put on every anti-depressant around but they didn't work almost felt like i stared at the wall for seven years. took a while till i got leveled out with the right dose then was able to work out and slowly my brain started to function again. i went back to school and then was out there working. had to have some lazer treatment to contact the acne scars but now that they are faded look more like my old self. felt great normal weight but can never workout to the extreme or do anything to extreme- eating - only can have a drink- need to watch what i eat and have to sleep. when there is stress and i dont eat -it all starts over again and i have to get back on track. now in CBT to deal with all the garbage of misconception from family and friends and my tainted self esteem. But dose was too high this last year for one year and didn't sleep for three days in a row till slept, paranoida and anxiety took a while till released my dose was off.

moral to my story. have to really work at getting the right dose and then stick to a very balanced life with the right amount of exercise and the right food. Just have to care about keeping your self on the right track AND now ive realized that i need help from others to keep me so that i will follow a regiment. hope this helps others.

scribblecoach123 on November 16, 2011:

i never post to anyones forum. but i can relate to you, i also am bipolar, and have a generalized anxiety has nothing to do with the other, maybe like you i had it when i was a child. one month i spent in bed and wasn't able to be with my grandbabies because i had no energy and was very weak. at first i thought maybe i was depressed, but i felt like all the energy was sucked out of me. i waited like this until mothers day of this year. after my son took me to see my mom up by philly, i said to him on the way back home drop me off at the emergency room. It was there that i learn that i had a very low thyroid. so i follow up with the Dr. n they did more bloodtest and then put me on the synthroid. i too, dont see any difference and its been like 6 months already. he says in 3 more months after blood test he might increase it. just like u i already take all these other meds for the bipolar n GAD. and i hate taken pills. even for headaches, but i also see myself laying around letting life pass me by and cant do anything about it because of lack of energy due to the thyroid. but i raised 4 gorgeous boys, and have 5 beautiful g.babies that are like my own.i am still young i shouldn"t be feeling like this. That is what makes me take that extra pill. what else can i loose. not taking care of your thyroid can be dangerous, not to mention the ugliest part, The Goiter. I just had to send u my comment cause when i read it, i could swear u were me. good luck to you

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on November 15, 2011:

Hi Martina- I know it is frustrating when your doctor blows you off. I went through a few before I found someone who actually listens and explains my thyroid numbers to me and adjusts accordingly. Sometimes if you take to much you will feel like crap and if not enough you get the same result. That is why it important to find someone who will listen and TRY to find answers for you. It sounds like a different doctor might help, as yours doesn't seem to be listening.

Martina on November 10, 2011:

One more thing, I also used to have problems with heavy bleedig like a month long and have a polyp, they put in coil which helped a bit, now it's out as I want to get pregnant.

Anyway, I am also aneamic, and taking iron is just taking another pill, which I hate as iron causes stomach cramps but it helps when taken with orange juice. I find it hard to stick to iron for some reason. The doc says it's my fault I feel tired as she attributes it to lack of iron. Again, the doctors are not helpful and I am feeling awful. I don't know what to do.

Martina on November 10, 2011:

I've been on Levothyroxin for 3+ years and like others saying it doesn't make difference. I still feel tired with or without, only now when I don't take it I feel worse within a few days. I usually take it regularly unless I run out and have to wait several days to have my prescription filled. The tiredness, fog, loss of memory etc. is really awful. No weight loss either. Have gained a few pounds but nothing dramatic. I went back to doctors but they just do a test and say the result was ok, and that's where it ends. However I do feel tired and lightheaded, can't concentrate, and remember. I got me a pill box because I also take warfarin and take meds every morning. I wonder if there is a light in the end of the tunnel. Also understand co-workers etc, don't see broken arm therefore they think you are fine. It's not fair they make you feel worse just for going to doctors.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on November 10, 2011:

Hi Patricia- Thank you for sharing your thyroid experience. I find it does help others possibly understand their thyroid condition just a little bit more. Thanks for the links, and I wish you the best success with your testing. It is always a good idea I believe to research all methods of treatment.

Patricia on November 09, 2011:

I want to first say Thank You to all of you for educating me by telling your stories. I was just recently diagnosed for possible/positive Hurthle Cell blah blah from the FNA biopsy and I spent days visiting sites that will tell me I don't need to completely remove my thyroid. Well, after meeting with the endocrinologist this past Monday, he strong suggests I have the surgery immediately because the nodule is 3/7 ct and I only just discovered it in Sept. Blood work negative. So, I found information about a clinic in SanFrancisco that will do an extensive molecular Gene Expression (dna testing) to accurately diagnose if cancer or not (or at least 95% accurately). The company is Veracyte and test is Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis. I know that a lot of you no longer have your thyroid and the problems to live without it. I truly searched for an alternative and found and watched the video from Fred Eichhorn. It is not just for cancer patients. I also went to and ordered the supplements. I don't want to be afraid of having this removed or living without my thyroid and thanks again for your honesty and stories. You helped me.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on November 07, 2011:

Thank you Kalina for your input about bipolar and thyroid disease. Yes I agree doctors throw a prescription around like candy and it is annoying to say the least.

Kalina on November 05, 2011:

I once was diagnosed bipolar, then I found out they were feeding me all these medications and I wasn't even bipolar (I had celiac disease). I think doctors diagnose people bipolar automatically without truly attempting to find the real problem. I also have thyroid disease, I would suggest taking an organic thyroid medication because synthroid doesn't work for me either.

frommumbai on November 01, 2011:

For treating the symptoms, I have found that accupuncture based on SUJOK KI therapy is the best as it reduces the symptoms one by one.Not many are aware about the efficacy of SUJOK KI treatment on various ailments for which we regularly pop antacids/nsaid unknowingly.

frommumbai on November 01, 2011:

This thing about the effectiveness of thyroid medications ALLOPATHIC/HERBALis all made up by the pharma companies.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on October 25, 2011:

Hi Steph, Thank you for your input. I see a GP, never been to an endo as of yet. But I would imagine some people need more than just a GP. But your input is appreciated.

Steph on October 25, 2011:

Why don't y'all just go to a regular GP doc than messing with endocrinologists? I've never been to one myself in the 12 years I've been dx'd hypo. I just make sure to find one that will prescribe Armour thyroid and look at how you feel and not just lab numbers(you can search thyroid top docs and find a list). Once you're on it most other doctors won't take you off of it. (I've had to "shop around" and fire a few uncooperative doctors lol).

I can call my GP and more than likely get into to see her that day or the next.

Maybe I'm just biased against endocrinologists? *shrugs* I've never really heard that must good about them. From what I heard most only prescribe Synthroid/Levoxyl and are very attached to labs. I guess I just don't see the point.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on October 17, 2011:

nen some people take mere handfuls of pills, so taking another that may or may not work is a tad overwhelming for some.

Ms V. My sister was diagnosed at 10 with a thyroid disorder and she has not had surgery. She takes synthroid for her condition and it helps her very well. She is now 40 and does well. She takes one small pill for her thyroid. But if you have something more serious than just thyroid disease your doctor should be able to answer every question you have. Please be forthright with him and do not be afraid to ask questions.

JRJFon-doctors I believe have a nice way of blaming everything on anxiety and depression. Do not give in, keep going to your doctor until you get the answers you need. Your dose may be to high for you causing you anxiety, but ask them to be sure. Insist or change doctors if they will not listen. You should not have to suffer with anxiety, and if it isn't the meds talk to someone about relieving your anxiety, a therapist perhaps may be able to help in that department. I wish you lots of luck. be persistent.

JRJFon on October 16, 2011:

I have been taking levothyroxine for about 2 yrs now. I am wondering if it is causing my anxiety. It first happened a few months ago. I started feeling foggy & weird/tired lazy. Went to bunch of Dr and they said depression/anxiety. Turns out my thyriod levels were low. Upped my dose & was feeling better til last week. All those feeling came back its been about 4 mos. Going to get lab work done this week. I hate feeling this way. Makes me feel so strange, hard to funtction, ut I try to ignore it. I dont want to be on these meds

Ms.V on October 16, 2011:

I might be diagnosed witht thyroid disorder and im only 12 im bloody scared How many pills do u take everyday?

Will i need surgery?

If i do how ling will it be?

will i have to stay over at the hostipal without my family?

These are the questions i have!!!!!!!!!

please awnser make me feel better Please

nen on October 10, 2011:

this person is crazy. thyroid meds keep your heart, digestive system, brain, breathing and so much more working. one little pill. overwhelming? now i

ve heard it all..

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on October 10, 2011:

Heather that is fabulous news. Hopefully this new set of doctors are going to get you on the right track, I wish nothing but the best for you. I would love to hear how you are doing in a month.

Sandy you have excellent points. I thought I might have a gluten intolerance, and gave up gluten on my own. Lost 37 pounds in three months. Along with an increase of synthroid. Felt much better. But it is always a good idea to be proactive with your doctors instead of just taking that prescription. I am in total agreement with you Sandy, do your research, and find answers that will make you feel better.

Sandy on October 09, 2011:

I have read so many of these comments. Refer people to the resources that are out there already, the only common link that you are not seeing in still feeling miserable is could your common thyroid issue actually be a whole other disease itself. Go out and research celiac disease. It has been known to have a causal link to thyroid issues, depression, weight gain vitamin deficiencies and a host of other nasty side effects that the average person just brushes under the carpet. Not to say that every thyroid patient has it but those people that have one auto immune disease over time actually have more than one. Before being diagnosed with hypo thyroid issues I had no idea by vitamin levels were off y cortisol was through the roar and the depression that I struggled with could all be linked until I took my health into my hands and was honest about writing down all of my symptoms and looked at everything together. I was diagnosed with celiac disease a year ago and have been gluten free I will tell you. No more depression, losing over 50 lbs and finally have enough energy to chase my kids around. I am not saying this is what everyone struggles with just push back on your doctor instead of just letting them write you script for more medicine. The diagnosis is a blood test to see if you carry the gene and one to see if you have gluten in your blood. Then they do a colonoscopy but that is only if you want a definitive diagnosis. The gluten in your blood ISA good sign since normal people will not have this. Then you remove gluten and that is not and easy task. You have no idea how many things have it in them and you start living happy and healthy

Heather on October 08, 2011:

Well I had my appointment with the new Dr. She checked my blood results back to 2008 and then asked me why I was on the Thyroid medicine? She said my numbers looked fine back then and now were quite low 1.25. She is a resident and hadn't heard of the medicine I was given so she asked the main Dr. They figured out it was a more natural thyroid medicine then synthetic one. She did another blood test, took me off the medicine and wants to do another test in a month to see what my numbers are. It has been about a week and already my hands don't hurt as much.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on October 05, 2011:

Leah- My mom can't take any generic of synthroid or she gets so tired she can barely move. So you're right about everybody being different. GOOD communication with your DR is essential as well.

Leah on October 05, 2011:

Whoops, I'd just like to add that for me the problem was Synthroid medication. Didn't work well for me, too many side-effects. Things got much better when I changed my dosage and switched to armour thyroid. Everyone's body is different, and using just one drug to try to treat all hypothyroidism patients is foolish.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on October 02, 2011:

Thanks Meganl for your comments, they are always good to hear, it sounds like you are doing good.

Hi acuriousmind365-Wow you have a unique problem. I would try taking the thyroid med on it's own with water only, wait an hour and go from there. I always take my thyroid med an hour before anything else. Some say it makes a huge difference, others say not so much. But my doctor did advise me to do it this way, It wouldn't hurt to get some info from your doctor or pharmacist, as they usually recommend an hour between thyroid meds. Perhaps there is something in the toothpaste that is making you sick, so I would wait and see what happens, and talk with my doctor, it can't hurt to get as much information as you can from those that are willing to educate you more on your thyroid med. I hope you find the right answers soon. Do let us know how it goes for you.

acuriousmind365 on September 30, 2011:

Hello crazybeanrider and others. I am new to writing on a Hub or even a post but I found your comments very helpful and interesting so I wanted to add a few comments of my own and ask for your help.I am taking Armour Thyroid 60 mg. I also have a soy and peanut intolerance verified through a skin test. Soy allergies cause tiredness and head fogginess along with many, many other symptoms. A good resource about soy products and allergies is the book "The Whole Soy Story." Within 20 to 30 minutes I end up having to take a 3 hour nap if I eat the wrong type of soy--usually soybean oil. Toothpastes are often made with soy products. I take my thyroid pill at 5:45 am. I have been getting really dizzy and sometimes I have to "lose" my breakfast before I feel better and my head clears and my dizziness goes away. I am beginning to think if I brush my teeth just before I take the thyroid pill that it causes me to become dizzy and just not feel well for about 7 hours or more. In reading over your posts, you mentioned to only drink water when you take the pill so I am thinking I should wait to brush my teeth for at least an hour. So between the pill and the soy in the toothpaste - I'm not sure that's the cause of my dizziness or not. Any info you have would be appreciated. p.s. Soy products cause me to have throat and neck issues - so the lady with that problem might consider a soy intolerance.

meganl on September 27, 2011:

Hi Im taking 100 mg of levo, & I guess I dont feel any difference, I weigh 125lbs..... My hypo has came and gone.... weird.

Heather on September 23, 2011:

I went to the pharmacist and asked about other throid medicine they carry and they said it was the only one. I am in Toronto and when to Shoppers Drug Mart. Anyone else have this experience with them? I had heard that different ones react differently. Walmart says they have to order it???? it is a comman medicine why would they have to order it?

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on September 22, 2011:

Hypo-Sandy-Thanks for sharing, I so agree searching for alternative methods to fix your thyroid. I am in the process of looking for no prescription options for my bipolar. I am worried about my kidneys. As far as your question I would ask your doctor or even a pharmacist might be able to help. Looking forward to any updates....

Leah- Don't give up. Keep looking for a doctor who understands your symptoms. If it is depression there are meds that can help. I started walking everyday during one of the worst depressions of my life. I cried while I walked, but kept telling myself it was my way out of depression. I wanted more than just a pill. If you can get your depression under control, perhaps you can get the right dose of meds for your thyroid. I take my synthroid and notice very little either way, but after trying to lose weight I lost 37 pounds in less than 3 months. So hang in there and communicate your feelings to your doctor.

Leah on September 22, 2011:

I'm the same, I always forget to but even when I don't, it doesn't make any difference. I also have all the symptoms for it, but I an beginning to think my depression is more about the fact that I am always tired and can't lose any weight when I want to. Wish there was something that worked better but oh well :(

Hypo-Sandy on September 20, 2011:

interesting to read all of these entries. I do not know much about an underactive thyroid, but i have one. I'm on 25MCG of Synthroid since end of February. After about 1 month I could feel the difference of more energy. Before, i had to have a bottle of 5 hr energy beside my bed in order to get out of bed! no, i have not lost weight either but i can get out of bed and function all day. i am on the far side of menopause and some symptoms of menopause are similar to low thyroid.....low energy, weight gain, brain fog and so on. Other than that, I only take a prescription vitamin D since I was very low in that. I take vitamins (natural/raw), probiotics, fish oil and that helps with energy most definitely. I don't like to take prescription meds, so I'm searching for a safe acting alternative. I found something called Thyroid Assist on Native Remedies website that I think I will try. My question is, is it ok to take both until I wean myself off the prescription? I am due to go back to Dr and will ask him that and hope he gives me an honest answer. Will update when I know more..........

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on September 18, 2011:

Hi Heather, I am sorry you are having such a hard time of it. Perhaps a different medication or dosage will help. Your new doctor may be able to get things straightened around for you. That is the worst part about meds, they are supposed to make you feel better, but often times they make you feel worse, so you either give up or keep trying to find answers. I hope you find answers.

Heather on September 17, 2011:

I have an appointment with another Dr. at my old Drs office. Another symtom I am having is joint pain. If I take more medication I get headaches. What is the point of taking it if you feel worse then when you don't take it.

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on September 17, 2011:

It is all very frustrating to say the least. I went for so long taking then not taking my synthroid because of weight gain or other exhausting side effects, but eventually found a doctor that gave a damn about my condition and began to monitor it. I had to go through a few doctors to find one that would listen to my complaints and actually do something about them.

As far as taking it for the rest of your life that would be up to you and your doctor. I imagine it is a lifetime regimen. Wow 4,000 dollars to get well, that is so unfair. Only the rich get to feel good. What crap. I would continue to look around for a doctor that concentrates on the thyroid, ask around, ask your doctors office for a referral.

Keep at it and don't give up until you find someone who can help you. Someone YOU feel comfortable with and trust with your condition.

Frustrated on September 17, 2011:

I no longer have a thyroid. I have been taking levoxyl for 10 years. My Dr. lowered my dosage a month ago because my T3 and T4 were normal, but my TSH was low. I have gained pound everyday this week. It's ridiculous. I feel exhausted all the time, my libido is completely gone, I am depressed when I wake up everyday, I have a difficult time remembering things, etc. I told my Dr. She said it is from my lack of sleep. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I have been sleeping 7 hours a night and gaining weight like crazy!!!!!!!! I am angry, frustrated, did I say angry? I feel hopeless. The Hotze Center seems like a great place to go because they treat symptoms, but wait...THEY DON'T TAKE INSURANCE! Yep, that's right folks! You will pay at least $4,000 just to be seen and assessed. What do you do?

Alice on September 16, 2011:

I had my thyroid removed 3 yrs ago, I am taking throid meds lovozyl. do I have to taked this meds for the rest of my life? I was told i have too. I can't seem to lose weight.what can do anything natural?

Thank you

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on September 15, 2011:

kk92- I have had nothing like that happen to me, which doesn't mean it can't. I would most definitely look into it deeper. Because it sounds like the med is causing the problem. There must be something your doctor can give you that will not cause this thickness in your throat. I wish you much wellness. let us know how it turns out. Keep at it.

KT-Thanks for the information kt. Research is the best policy, if one med doesn't work let your doctors know, so they can try something else. Communicate to them. Be very forceful about your wellness.

Hi Sara- Sometimes it takes time for the med to work, and it causes a side effect, it may pass, but as I have mentioned many times, the dose may be wrong, so please keep your doctor informed, so they can adjust as needed. Don't be passive about how you feel. They need to know.

sara on September 14, 2011:

I am 18 have hypothyroid and take 75MCG of Levothyroxine. To be honest, I feel so deppressed and I don't feel like studying, talking to my friends, or going out. I just isolate i seriously have no life :(

Kt on September 14, 2011:

Wow, that's really too bad. I have a friend who can't get hers regulated either :( I guess I take for granted the diagnosis and treatment! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 3 years ago. My TSH levels were at 75! 75! Can you believe that!? And I had no idea! I wasn't tired, but boy, in the last few years I had packed on the pounds and couldn't seem to shed them. But they put me on levothyroxine and my TSH immediately dropped to about 9 which they still said was high so upped my dose to 125 mcg and now I'm at a level of about 2 for my TSH! I also started eating better and lost 70 pounds. Here is the problem- once you go on a drug for your thyroid- if you actually DIDN'T need it- it would kill your pituitary gland which creates your hormones so no matter what you need to take that drug, because either you need it- or you didn't need it and now you do because it killed you hormone producing gland, so you need to create false hormone stimulators with the drug- either way- if you've ever taken it you will need it lifelong now!!!

kk92 on September 14, 2011:

hello. my question is to find out if anyone has had any kind of side affects other than what is shown on the medication pamphlet. I took Levothroid for a few years and quit. I too got tired of taking so much medication (for other issues) and thought this was one I could do without, especially since I felt no different either way. Plus, I had developed a cough and choking/tickling in my throat. Sometimes I felt like I was going to choke to death. My GP even sent me to a ENT to check things out. He said I had a throat muscle that was prominently enlarged. He then sent me to a specialist who wanted to stretch my esophagus. I didn't do it. These "side affects" subsided after a few months but happened so gradually I didn't even notice until, I had to admit to my GP that I had quit taking the Levothroid and she ran a full blood test to find out what my T3 &4 was (they were both a .25 off from what is considered normal - one lower and 1 higher)and said I had to go back on the med. Guess what, after almost 2 months of taking them again, my cough is back as well as the tickling/choking/thick feeling in my throat. I see her again next month but think I'll be laughed out of her office if I tell her because none of the side affects mention anything like this. Anyone had anything like this happen?

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on September 14, 2011:

smash,Jaybird02,Meganolia,franciscondine,Heather- Thank you all for your comments and sharing your struggles with your thyroid medications. I have learned having open and honest communication with your doctor is extremely important. They need to know exactly what you are feeling or NOT feeling.

My dose was recently increased to a 100mcg and I lost 37 pounds in 3 months. I was shocked. I mainly just lost my appetite and haven't felt like eating much. So I have to make sure I eat right.

But franciscondine has good information to pass on. It is hard to tell how long a med will take to work, it is different for everybody, as you can see from all the comments. Synthroid works different for everybody as this list of comments attests to.

Please just speak with your doctor and let him/her know what you feel. You may need an adjustment, if just a small one. Again I thank you all for sharing, and opening your stories for everyone to read, as it helps each person with the information you have. You all deserve to be well so stick with your doctors, find new ones if you don't like them. Get the treatment you need and find wellness.

Heather on September 10, 2011:

I have gained weigh since going on my throid medicine. I was losing weight before. For a while it helped me sleep now I can't sleep again, my right eye twitches and I feel like I did before I was on it. I have tried naturalpath and that did the same thing. It worked for 2 months then stopped. I ca't afford all the ntaural stuff. The presriction is covered by my drug plan at least but if it isn't going to work what is the point. If I am going to have all these same symptoms and gain weigh on top of it all what is the point of taking it. My Dr. just got laid off as well so now I have to hope she didn't put my file in storage and the Dr.s still there will see me.

franciscondine on September 08, 2011:

@Meganolia - do you check in with your doctor or endocrinologist often? It sounds serious! In my experience, it took several months to get the exact dosage down, and many, many trips to the endocrinologist, and many, many blood tests. Unfortunately, the body needs time to adjust to each dose that is tried out until it finds the right one.

Thank you for this article, crazybeanrider.

I've been taking synthroid, or a generic equivalent, since I was 12. Now I'm 25.

At first, I would skip doses here and there, but since I was still at home then, my mom would always come remind me. Nothing too bad happened. However, when I went off to college, I began lapsing on getting refills or checking into the doctor's office for updated prescriptions. After forgetting to get a prescription after my last refill ran out, I went about a three weeks without taking my meds, and that was a huge mistake. My hair began getting brittle and dried out, I began eating very infrequently (only once ore twice a day, and fairly small amounts), but still felt full all the time. I slept too much, felt hazy much of the time, and had very spaced out bowel movements (about once every 2-3 days!). It took a few days to rectify these feelings once I began taking them again

Now I take it every day. I bring along extra "just in case" pills when I go away from home to make sure I have enough for every contingency. It's made a huge difference in my life, and I'm glad that taking a little pill gives me the regularity that I need to live my life. I feel that it's a small price to pay--but maybe that's because I've spent over half of my life taking levothyroxine.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your thoughts, crazybeanrider! This thread has been very emotional to read, because so many of us have had to deal with the ups & down & uncertainties of having various thyroid disorders. It was tough having to accept this lifelong illness as a child--but now that I'm an adult, I realize that you can take charge of your own life, while still taking daily medicine.

Meganolia on September 08, 2011:

I found out recently I had Graves Disease. After trying the radioactive iodine, I went into severe pain in my body being without the PTU, which suppressed my overactive thyroid. I had surgery for the removal on July 29, 2011. It is Sept 8, 2011 and I do not feel any different. I am still tired, depressed and inactive. I have insomnia and I do not go anywhere if I can help it. How long does it take for the Synthroid to work? I am so tired of being tired. I was told I would feel wonderful after the surgery. any comments would be appreciated.

Jaybird02 on September 03, 2011:

Hi all,

Part of my thyroid was killed off from radioactive iodine back in january. My ex finally was able to convince me to take this step. Before that I was on a hyperthyroidism suppression medication, and if I don't take it my body basically paralyzes due to my thyroid over consuming magnesium and potassium. Now that part of my thyroid is killed off I went in to hypo and started taking synthroid. As much as I hate it I take it because I feel better. I can function and have the energy to do what I want to do. I know some of you refuses to take synthroid. But you are playing a very dangerous game on your own body. I suggest those of you who refuse to take the meds to seriously consider taking it. I take it first thing in the morning when I wake up, and wait half hour before I eat or drink anything. I'm only 28, and it definitely changed the way I would like to live my life. But guess what, it's not the end of the world. Life goes on and just keep doing what you're doing. When life gives you lemons make lemonade out of it. Taking care of yourself should be a priority.

Smash on September 02, 2011:

I am 25 had thyroid removed at 17 and now on 150mcg replacement. I do know, that I traveled once and forgot my meds and thought I would be fine. I am a fairly healthy, fit 25 year old. I was out of meds for 10 days, in another country so I couldn't just have my doc call in a script. I thought I would be ok... First day no meds... fine, 2nd day, ok starting to get sleepier in the evening by the 3rd nd 4th day, I was tired, I was cold and very very cranky. 5th day I slept. by day 6 I am overdosing on caffeine just so I can hang out with my family, and then came the nausea, and dizziness and cold chills. I was able to enjoy some of the trip, I wasn't bedridden just ingested a lot of caffeine to be ok. That is my personal experience without taking my meds. I take them every morning 9am on the dot. FYI if you have thyroid issues and you are pregnant, you MUST take your medication. It is so dangerous not too. I suggest just taking it, whether you feel your body being healthier or not, it most likely is. The meds regulate your hormones metabolism, and all that fun stuff, I cant say I "feel" it working, but I have felt life without it, and wasn't a big fan of that. Give it a shot, ,your body will thank you

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on August 28, 2011:

vicvic12, hi thank you for writing, I would let your doctor know you stopped taking your meds. It may have been the wrong dose or wrong med. With new results he may be able to make adjustments.

I was on 75 mgs synthroid and recently went up to 100mgs, and within 2 months dropped over 25 pounds. Lost my appetite completely. I must say though i don't feel all that healthy. But am hoping that changes.

Healthynow76 I would like to hear more from how you are doing, as I have been sick off and on and have been doing some research as well. please e-mail me at caspersme769 at if you will. I also will look into your links. Thanks so much.

Healthynow76 on August 27, 2011:

Hi Crazybeanrider,

Thank You for sharing your story. I was taking synthroid for five years until I developed a sickness last year as a result of taking it. I found out that it only contains one hormone Thyroxine. This is interesting because the thyroid makes T3, T4 and Free T3(stored T3) Synthroid does not support the thyroid and eventually, the thyroid will cease to work at all because of the existence of the one harmone in the system. I also found out from research that synthroid is made up of sodium, which is why they ask you to watch your salt intake. You can replace synthroid by simply taking an iodine supplement since the thyroid hormones are made up of iodine. Which causes me to wonder why the pharm industry would create something that would only partially help you. I think the answer is because they want to keep you coming back for the rest of your life. The doctor's told me that I would have to take synthroid and other hormones for the rest of my life. This is true because they know that drugs cannot cure diseases, they only help you to manage diseases. I knew that there was a better way to help my situation other than taking harmful perscription drugs. So i did plenty of research and found out how to cure the thyroid without taking drugs. Since the thyroid hormone is made up of iodine, finding a pure and healthy form of iodine would help to get the thyroid kicked up and working again. I found out about Kelp and Dulse which are sea vegetables found in the Atlantic Sea. It is healthy and contains trace minerals that the thyroid needs in order to work properly. It is also a great way to lose weight. I've been taking Kelp now for seven months and no longer need synthroid. I have more energy and feel GREAT! Another natural food that helps nourish the thyroid is the coconut. Particularly Coconut Oil helps the thyroid and is an all natural weight-loss treatment that helps the body to shed unwanted pounds. I believe that hypothyroid is simply a condition of mineral deficiency. Another note, Perscription drugs suppress your immune system making a sick person sicker! I'm speaking from personal experience.


vicvic12 on August 25, 2011:

I am really totally confused....for the last few years i have been taking thyroxine ....colestral 40 and now been told i have diabetis and must take 2 tabs a day.....i have stopped taking them all this last three weeks and at the moment feel absolutely no different..too soon... maybe...told just a few and have blood tests lined up again in one i tell the doctors or see first what results come in....someone realistically tell me what i should do?

Boo McCourt (author) from Washington MI on July 31, 2011:

Hi Izzy-I know what you mean exactly. You have to take the med or it will make you sicker, but at the same time the side effects are horrible. Is there a different brand or perhaps a different dose he can give you? My doctor started giving me B-12 shots I was so tired and that has helped some. I started walking even if I have to drag myself and that helps some as well. Maybe talk to your doctor about B-12 shots for a bo