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  • Thyroid Medication – Frequently Asked Questions

    The vast majority people who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism are currently taking some sort of T4 only thyroid medication (see list below).

    While I do not recommend the use of T4 only thyroid medications, I believe it’s important to educate yourself on potential negative effects of these medications so that you can be a proponent in your own healthcare instead of relying entirely on your doctor to have all of the answers.

    Below I’ve provided answers to common questions that I receive and information that should help you become better educated and make better decisions about your thyroid and your health.

    What’s This Talk About T3 and T4?

    Thyroid hormone is produced by your thyroid gland in 2 forms known as T3 and T4.

    T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that your cells can directly use.

    T4 is the in-active form of thyroid hormone that your cells cannot use. It must first be converted by your liver into T3 in order to be used by your cells. This conversion requires sugar, selenium, and other nutrients in order for your body to properly convert T4 into T3.

    Your  thyroid gland naturally produces thyroid hormone in the ratio of 1 T3 for every 4 T4. While your thyroid gland naturally produces 4 times as much T4 as T3, T3 is still a very important component to your thyroid function that is almost always overlooked.

    Supplementing T4 only without T3 oftentimes causes more imbalances with your thyroid which can contribute to hypothyroidism instead of helping.

    Am I Using A T4 Only Medication?

    There are a number of T4 only medications used today including:

    • Synthroid
    • Levothyroxine
    • Levothyroid
    • Levoxyl
    • Unithroid
    • Eltroxin
    • Levaxin
    • Eutrosig
    • Oroxine

    Should I Stop Taking My T4 Only Medication?

    First, let me start with a disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. Because I am not a medical doctor, I cannot tell you to stop, start, adjust, or change your prescribed medication.

    Unfortunately, almost all doctors are forced to follow the same inadequate protocol when it comes to hypothyroidism which is to prescribe T4 only medication and adjust your dosage until your TSH levels are within their acceptable range (which is an unacceptable range to me).

    I’ve received countless emails from people who have gone through this process and still feel that something is not right. When they question their doctor, they are told that everything is fine and that there is no need to worry.

    My goal is not to tell you to take something else. My goal is to educate you so that you can make your own informed decision instead of just trusting everything that your doctor tells you.

    Here’s some more information about T4 only thyroid meds like the one that you are using and the issues with them:

    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/

    I try to educate people about this so that they can work with their doctor to try a T3/T4 combination medication like Armour Thyroid if they are concerned about trying the American Biologics thyroid extract that I use.

     

    What If My Doctor Won’t Listen To Me About T3?

    It’s important to understand that your doctor is supposed to be your health advocate and not your health dictator. Unfortunately, many doctors aren’t willing to try an alternative or more natural approach.

    If you find yourself in this situation then you really have two options.

    1. If you like your doctor then you can continue to educate your doctor then there are resources to help such as this:

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/dear-doctor/

    1. Oftentimes it’s better to find a doctor who is more open to working with you on your health. Here is another good resource for finding a more appropriate doctor for you:

      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc/

    Should I Take the Thyroid Supplement You Recommend With My Thyroid Medication?

    The supplement that I recommend on the program is a glandular extract that contains a combination of both T3 (active thyroid hormone) and T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) which most people respond to much better than T4 only meds like the one you have been taking.

    It’s similar in composition to Armour Thyroid but it is not assayed to determine the exact amounts of T3 and T4. If it was assayed for this purpose then it would no longer be available as a supplement and would instead require a prescription.

    I do not recommend taking the recommended thyroid supplement together with any other thyroid medication or supplement, including Armour Thyroid or T4 only medications.

    Combining it would only increase the amount of T4 you are using which could further contribute to buildup issues and potentially have a negative impact.