Aside from not being on the correct dose, what are the reasons why you may not be feeling well on T4-only medication (e.g. Synthroid, levothyroxine)? Thyroid treatment options and dosing are as varied as the individual patient. Many patients and practitioners report that T4-only medication doesn't always resolve patient symptoms. There are reasons for this. ThyroidChange contributing writer, Kent Holtorf, MD, discusses the important reasons why in the following article.
Many patients are finding their path to health with expanded laboratory testing and expanded treatment options thanks to the advocacy within the thyroid community. However, many patients are still suffering due to a lack of diagnosis or inability to access options beyond levothyroxine-only. How can we help to end the global suffering of thyroid patients?
Submitted by Erica H.
Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Patient Question: "Does Hashimoto's go away with treatment? I have Hashimoto's and it seems to go away and then it comes back. It also seems to come in cycles: skin breakouts (hormonal acne, predominately on my chin and neck) followed by extreme dry skin/hair and water retention/weight gain/constipation.
Submitted by Sharon B.
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Patient Question: "What is the major cause of high reverse T3 (RT3)? When high RT3 is cleared with T3-only therapy, is it usually necessary to continue on some type of thyroid medication containing T4 as well (such as natural desiccated thyroid)?"
Submitted by Justine W.
Rochester, MI, USA
Patient Question: "I'm currently on T3-only (Cytomel) for thyroid resistance (I also have adrenal issues which my doctor and I are addressing). However, I'm confused about how we will know if I'm ready to introduce NDT or T4-only medication to my T3 medication. Also, I would love more information about Reverse T3 and Free T3/Reverse T3 ratios. Thank you! My questions are below:
What Follow-up Testing Should You Get On Thyroid Replacement Medication? (Answer by Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD)
Submitted by Monica M.
Charlotte, NC, USA
Patient Question: "What do you suggest for follow-up testing (which tests and how often) once a patient is on thyroid medication? Do you ever find that that people have hypothyroid "episodes" and can gradually go off of meds?
by Michelle Santonastaso
ThyroidChange Guest Writer and Hashimoto's Patient
Cue theme music… Physicians will only use a single, outdated approach, and believe in its exceptional powers to cure everyone. The patient who speaks of suffering is scoffed at, because the thyroid is fine for the doctor used the golden test and miracle cure.