Thyroid Medication Side Effects

Anytime you use any sort of thyroid medication, it’s important to understand the possible side effects that they might cause. Oftentimes people are given the wrong kind of medication or prescribed the wrong dosage which can cause some pretty nerve wrecking thyroid medication side effects.

So be sure to note any adverse reactions you might have and below I’ll discuss a few of the common types of thyroid medications and what kind of side effects you might experience and what they mean.

And also keep mind that medication or supplements should only be used together with the right hypothyroidism diet or else your hypothyroidism treatment will not be effective in the long run.

T4 Only Thyroid Medication Side Effects

thyroid medication side effectsBelieve it or not, T4 only medications are responsible for more thyroid medication side effects than the other forms of medication. And it is pretty apparent with how poor patients have been responding to these medications for years.

These T4 thyroid medications oftentimes cause a buildup effect of T4 within the body. And as a result, this tells your body to stop producing so much thyroid hormone. So, your thyroid slows down even more. And you can quickly become more hypothyroid than when you started.

The typical signs of this are when your symptoms begin to get worse or more frequent.

So with that being said, the typical T4 only thyroid medication side effects can be any of the various hypothyroidism symptoms.

T3 Only Thyroid Medication Side Effects

T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that can be used directly by your cells without requiring your liver to be involved. And because of this, it is possible to have some thyroid medication side effects from T3 only medications.

If you introduce too much T3 to your body, your cells will absorb it and it can shift you from a hypothyroid state to a hyperthyroid state.

This can increase your metabolism and raise your core temperature above its normal 98.6 Fahrenheit (37.0 Celsius).

But it also makes you more susceptible to the effects of adrenaline. And this can lead to some uncomfortable thyroid medication side effects.

Mental Side Effects

  • Anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Emotional changes
  • Anti-social behavior

Physical Side Effects

  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate (tachycardia)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Flushing
  • Tremors
  • Hair Loss
  • Decreased Libido
  • Light and Sound Sensitivity


These thyroid medication side effects should be taken seriously but are not permanent and will subside once your thyroid hormones normalize.

And it’s all the more reason to manage your stress levels and keep your blood sugar balanced. Both of these issues will drive adrenaline high.

Combined T4 and T3 Thyroid Medication Side Effects

thyroid medication side effectsCombined T4 and T3 medication such as Armour Thyroid can also cause any of the thyroid medication side effects mentioned above.

Because these medications contain predominantly T4, if your liver can’t convert the T4, then is can cause you to become even more hypothyroid and as a result, your hypothyroidism symptoms can actually get worse.

But if your liver is converting the T4 then you can effectively take too much and produce too much T3 thyroid hormone. And this will result in the same symptoms mentioned above due to the increased sensitivity to adrenaline.

Be sure to take  look at the various Armour Thyroid side effects for more information.

Iodine Supplementation Side Effects

There’s a lot of talk of iodine deficiency and the use of iodine supplementation with hypothyroidism. And while iodine deficiency was a real issue at one point in time, it rarely is now in industrialized countries.

Today the vast majority of goiters are the result of excessive estrogen which has a similar effect of not allowing the thyroid gland to release its thyroid hormones.

But today, there are a lot of people recommending dangerously high levels of iodine without considering the negative side effects.

For starters, it can actually have the opposite desired effect and further suppress your thyroid and cause thyroiditis. It can also contribute to the development of many degenerative diseases.

But since it can suppress TSH levels then many people falsely believe that it is in fact working for them.

Anytime you take medication, for your thyroid or not, it’s important to monitor your body’s response to that medication. If you notice any of the thyroid medication side effects listed above, it should not deter you from using it. But you should work with your healthcare provider to fine tune the dosage or to find a thyroid medication that is more appropriate to your body’s needs.


Natural Thyroid Treatment

The alternative health movement has been gaining quite a lot of momentum in recent years. And it’s quite evident from the number of people who are seeking different forms of natural thyroid treatment instead of relying on the conventional medical community which has had quite the bad track record with hypothyroidism.

But not every natural treatment for hypothyroidism is right everyone. In fact, there are some that are flat out wrong but are still promoted, mostly because of financial interests.

Below, I cover two of the most commonly used supplements as treatment for hypothyroidism and why they aren’t right for everyone. I also discuss a little bit of why the right diet for hypothyroidism should be incorporated as a major component of any natural thyroid treatment.

Natural Thyroid Treatment with Iodine Supplementation

If you do just a little bit of research about hypothyroidism, you’ll be inundated with all different kinds of iodine supplements that are being highly touted as the best natural thyroid treatment available.

Iodine is an element that is required by your thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormones. Before industrial times, the incidence of goiters was much higher and oftentimes attributed to iodine deficiency. If you didn’t get enough iodine in your diet then those thyroid hormones would build up within the thyroid gland causing it swell.

But that was before industrial times.

natural thyroid treatmentToday, goiters are caused primarily by excessive estrogen and iodine deficiency is very rare. But that isn’t stopping people from endorsing or using iodine as a natural thyroid treatment, but at what cost?

It makes sense as to why it’s so highly promoted today. It’s very inexpensive to manufacture. It’s one of the only hypothyroidism treatment options that doesn’t require a medical prescription. So overall, it’s great for profits.

But you have to keep in mind that the daily requirement of iodine is very small (150 mcg is usually safe). And most of these supplements are pumping you full of relatively large quantities of iodine which can actually have a negative effect on both your thyroid and your health.

Excessive iodine can suppress TSH levels and give you the appearance that your thyroid function has improved. But in reality, it oftentimes leads to thyroiditis and further suppresses your thyroid.

And keep in mind that there are other hypothyroidism causes that don’t directly involve your thyroid gland. For example, if your liver is the cause of your hypothyroidism then using iodine to try to stimulate your thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones becomes a very counter-productive natural thyroid treatment.

In this case, T4 would continue to accumulate in your liver which would even further suppress your thyroid, making matters worse.

So keep this in mind because iodine most likely not going to get you the natural thyroid treatment results that you are looking for. And in excess, it can even exacerbate your existing hypothyroidism symptoms.

Natural Thyroid Treatment with Desiccated Thyroid

Desiccated thyroid medication such as Armour Thyroid is one of the most heralded natural thyroid treatment options available. It’s typically extracted from the thyroid of either pigs or cows and has the benefit of the hormones being formulated in proportions that more closely resemble that of your thyroid gland.

natural thyroid treatmentDesiccated thyroid medication is not widely recommended within the conventional medical community even though desiccated thyroid has been shown to provide far better results as a natural thyroid treatment. Instead, primarily due to the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry, they continue to push the T4 only medications with very poor results.

Unfortunately, your money is more important than your health to many people.

But there are still many cases of Armour Thyroid side effects where desiccated thyroid is not the best natural thyroid treatment option. And more often than not it involves the influence of other hormones as well as liver issues that can make any additional T4 a problem. In these cases, it can be far more beneficial to supplement with T3 only.

Natural Thyroid Treatment with Diet

Most people have no idea that diets today are drastically different than they used to be even a century ago. Before the time of fast food and restaurants on every street corner, most families cooked and even raised the majority of the food that they ate. Some refer to this as more of a traditional diet but at that time, there weren’t too many options.

And during those times, there wasn’t as big of a prevalence of hypothyroidism as there is today and that’s because people were getting their own natural thyroid treatment without even knowing it, through their diet.

Today, when you think of natural thyroid treatment, you automatically think of supplements and pills like the ones mentioned above. You would never stop to think that the foods that you eat would have a drastic effect on your thyroid.

We used to consume the entire animal in some way or another. For example, we use to make stock from the organs and bones. Today, we eat the meat off the bone and wrongly believe that the meat is where all of the nutrients are. But nothing could be further from the truth.

We use to get a significant amount of hormones and nutrients from these parts of animals that we so easily discard today as garbage. And because of this, we are feeling the effects by suffering from hormonal imbalances and nutrient deficiencies.

Keep in mind that this is just one example of many, where the standard diet today is contributing to hypothyroidism and where the right hypothyroidism diet could make all of the difference with how you feel.

So, without a doubt, one the best natural thyroid treatment options that you have at your disposal is to eat a diet that does support your thyroid instead of one that suppresses it. And then you can incorporate some sort of thyroid medication to help give you that last little boost that you need in order to keep your thyroid operating at its best.

Hypothyroidism Causes

There’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding floating around regarding the cause of hypothyroidism. Most people are led to believe that the underlying cause of hypothyroidism is some sort of defect to the thyroid gland itself. But the truth is that there are multiple hypothyroidism causes that all need to be addressed as part of any successful hypothyroidism treatment protocol.

Is Your Thyroid Gland Really the Problem?

It’s true that most doctors are trained to believe that 95% of hypothyroidism is a matter of a sluggish thyroid gland that is incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone to support your body’s needs. And you can’t necessarily blame them because on a very superficial level, it makes sense.

But if that were the case, then 95% of hypothyroidism patients who were put on supplemental Thyroxine (T4 thyroid hormone) would respond favorably and their hypothyroidism symptoms would simply disappear. And doctors prescribe T4 because that’s the primary hormone that your thyroid gland secretes.

But the results of prescribing T4 have been far less than impressive. In fact, they have been outright horrid.

The majority of patients who are put on T4 medication get no relief. Many even get worse. And most doctors fail to come to terms with the fact that this form of treatment is more of a problem than a solution. So, they continue to ignore the various other hypothyroidism causes and reassure their patients that the medication is working but that there are some other “unrelated” problems that they now need to investigate.

The Truth About Hypothyroidism Causes

The truth is that there’s an entire long process that occurs between the time that your thyroid gland produces its hormones and the time that those hormones get delivered to your cells for use. And if any part of this process is broken then the end result is… hypothyroidism.

So, it becomes much easier to see that there are a number of hypothyroidism causes that you have to account for if you really want to correct the problem.

But it gets even deeper than that.

Unfortunately, when any one single part of this process is broken, all the other parts suffer as well, much like a domino effect. So it’s not as easy as fixing the one little broken link in the chain. Once this process is thrown off, you have to work to restore functionality to the entire process to get it working properly again.

And that’s why it becomes so important to address all of the hypothyroidism causes at the same time.

And while TSH levels are high in the majority of hypothyroidism cases (but not all) this is not necessarily an indication of a problem with your thyroid gland. If any part of the process becomes broken then your thyroid gland is going to naturally down regulate and stop producing so many hormones. And it’s important to use the right thyroid function test before basing a diagnosis off of TSH alone.

But it’s easy to point the finger at your thyroid as the problem and that’s a big mistake that most people and doctors make.

Below I’ve listed the 3 main parts of this process to give you a much better idea of what can go wrong and the various hypothyroidism causes involved with each individual part.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Secretion

When it comes to your thyroid gland, there are a few factors that affect its ability to secrete the thyroid hormones that it produces (aside from other broken parts of this process).

Iodine Deficiency

One such issue is an iodine deficiency. But in industrialized countries now days, this is actually one of the very rare hypothyroidism causes. And supplementing with iodine should be approached with extreme caution because you can easily experience iodine toxicity based on many of the popular recommended dosages out there. And this can actually have a number of negative health effects and make you even more hypothyroid in the end.

So it’s important to always get appropriate testing to determine your true iodine levels instead of using a shotgun approach of iodine supplementation.

Excessive Estrogen

One of the very common hypothyroidism causes today that affects your thyroid’s ability to secrete your thyroid hormones is excessive estrogen levels. And this goes for both men and women although it’s more of a problem with women since they naturally have higher estrogen levels.

When estrogen is in excess within the body, it deactivates the proteolytic enzymes that are responsible for signaling your thyroid to release its hormones. So the thyroid hormones tend to build up within the gland and many times leads to goiters and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Progesterone Deficiency

The hormone that is responsible for opposing and balancing estrogen is progesterone. And one of the many beneficial roles of progesterone is to activate the same proteolytic enzymes that estrogen deactivates.

And a deficiency in progesterone oftentimes goes hand in hand with excessive estrogen.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Your thyroid gland produces primarily the inactive T4 hormone that must be first converted by your liver into the active T3 hormone in order to be used by your cells. And because this process is responsible for producing about 2/3 of your active thyroid hormone then it can be a major player among the various hypothyroidism causes.

Protein Deficiency

Hopefully you are well aware of the fact that protein plays an important role in your diet. And when you don’t get enough protein in your diet then your body begins to break down your own muscle tissue in order to get the protein that it needs. But this comes with a price.

The process involved in breaking down your muscle tissue requires the use of your body’s stress hormones. And when these stress hormones rise, they also block the conversion of T4 into T3 making this one of the hypothyroidism causes.

Low Carb Diets

There’s a lot of controversy out there regarding the healthiest diet. Some claim that low-fat is the only healthy diet. And others argue that carbs are the problem. But in reality, both are wrong.

But low carb diets can really cause some problems with your thyroid. And this is because your liver requires carbs in your diet in order to convert T4 to T3. So it’s safe to say that carbs are not necessarily the problem. It has more to do with eating the wrong carbs vs. the right carbs.

And this is where a good science based hypothyroidism diet comes into play. But you have to be careful because not every hypothyroidism diet is created equal. And some are flat out bad.

Lack of Salt

Let’s move back to the topic of stress for a minute.

One problem that goes hand in hand with hypothyroidism is the inability to retain sodium within your cells. When you become hypothyroid, your cells easily take up water and sodium is readily eliminated.

But sodium plays a number of very important roles in your body, one of which is to help keep stress hormones levels low. So, your stress hormones are naturally going to be high with hypothyroidism and if you’re not getting enough salt in your diet to then you won’t be able to keep those stress hormones under control.

And as I already mentioned above, stress hormones are another one of the hypothyroidism causes.


Keeping along the same topic of stress, many people over-exercise which only places more stress on your body. In fact, it has been shown that over-exercising with hypothyroidism can actually stop your body’s production of the active thyroid hormone, T3, immediately.

So if you think more exercise or working out harder is going to do the trick then think again.

Hypothyroidism Causes Related to Thyroid Hormone Utilization

There are a few hypothyroidism causes that affect your body’s ability to properly utilize thyroid hormone. But few have the far reaching effects of these.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Poly Unsaturated Fats are a major contributing factor with hypothyroidism. They can easily be put into the category that affects thyroid hormone secretion because they do play an active role in suppressing the thyroid gland from secreting its hormones. But these fats also have more far reaching effects.

Polyunsaturated fats also work by blocking the transportation of your thyroid hormone in your bloodstream. So, this means that even less of the needed hormone is actually making it to your cells.

And to make matters worse, once your cells do get the little bit of thyroid hormone, these fats make your thyroid hormone less effective within your cells. So it requires even more thyroid hormone to keep your metabolism and cells healthy.

And with the prevalence of polyunsaturated fats in everyone’s diet today, it’s very easy to see that this is another one of the major hypothyroidism causes of today.

Miscellaneous Hypothyroidism Causes

Of course, there are so many other hypothyroidism causes that it’s impossible to list them all. But there are a couple of others that I think are worth mentioning because they do shed some light as to why hypothyroidism is so common.

Natural Aging

As you age, there’s a natural shift that occurs in your hormone levels, thyroid hormone included. And as your body naturally decreases its hormone secretion, then it becomes more and more important to get these necessary hormones from other sources, such as this.


Our diets have changed drastically over the past century and unfortunately, it’s been entirely for the worse. And this has become another one of the bigger hypothyroidism causes of today.

We use to utilize the entire animal that we ate including the various organs, bone, etc. And many of these parts that we now discard without thinking use to be very rich in thyroid hormones. So we use to get a good amount of thyroid hormone directly from our diet. And that meant that our thyroid gland didn’t have to produce quite so much on it’s own.

Hopefully this gives you some insight into how complex this issue really is and that it’s not as simple as saying that your thyroid itself is the problem. Instead, you have to consider the entire process and all of the hypothyroidism causes that can be involved along the way if you ever want to truly be successful at healing hypothyroidism.