What Medication Should I Take?
When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was reassured that it was a simple health problem to resolve. All I had to do was take the medication Synthroid (or generic name for this is Levothyroxine) for the rest of my life. Simple, right? What I discovered was that resolving the symptoms of hypothyroidism was more complicated than that, in fact, Synthroid wasn’t resolving the symptoms but creating MORE symptoms! If Synthroid wasn’t the answer, then what was?
Shortly after I started taking Synthroid, I discovered sores on my shoulders and back. The more I took the medication, the deeper and more raw they got. When I pointed this out to the doctor, he didn’t believe the correlation and prescribed a cream to help the sores. Not only did the cream not help, the sores continued to spread and cause more pain.
I also started to get moody, I was getting depressed, I was even crying for no reason at all. While these can be symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, I did not have these symptoms prior to taking Synthroid. It got so bad, the doctor recommended that I start seeing a psychiatrist and therapist.
On one visit to the therapist, she suggested I try the supplement ‘Thyroid’, just Thyroid. She suggested that others had felt better on this instead of Synthroid. When I looked this up, it was considered a more natural form of thyroid hormone produced from dessicated pig or cow hormones. At the time, this was an over the counter supplement. It had been used successfully for over a hundred years prior to the synthetic form of thyroid medication, or Synthroid, came out. She couldn’t explain why it seemed to help, but she had patients who had better luck with it.
So, I tried it. I got my doctor to work with me, to continue to do lab work, to ensure I wasn’t taking to much of the supplement. And lo and behold, the sores on my back faded and the depression lifted. I no longer felt the need to see the psychiatrist or therapist.
But my struggles did not end there. The FDA decided to make ‘Thyroid’ and any other dessicated thyroid hormone ‘prescription only’. No problem, right? Well, not so fast. Most doctors were firmly indoctrinated in the value of the new synthetic version of the hormone so it became hard to find a doctor who would prescribe it for me.
I ended up back on medication Synthroid. The sores came back, the depression came back, I was miserable again. Ha! My family was miserable. My co-workers were miserable. My friends were miserable. No matter what I said to the doctors, the correlation of Synthroid with the sores and depression were all in my head.
I eventually turned to the internet to see if there was a way to get this dessicated thyroid, to see if others were having similar issues, and see if there was a solution to my dilemma. What I found was that there were many others who were facing similar struggles! There were lists of doctors, created by groups of patients with the same struggles, indicating who would prescribe dessicated thyroid – yes!!!!! I was able to continue on the dessicated thyroid using the brand Armour Thyroid.
Years later, I discovered that doctors were learning the reasons why the dessicated thyroid was working much better for some people. I learned the hard way by trial and error. I did not know why it worked better, I just recognized the reactions in my body and made choices based on what I was sensing and feeling.
It can be hard to make choices contrary to what a doctor is recommending. They hold power over you when they don’t feel comfortable providing a prescription for what you know is better for you. Based on my experience, I can tell you it is worth the search for another doctor who understands your struggles, understands the treatment options, and is willing to prescribe what you KNOW deep down inside is working for you.