Thursday, April 5, 2012

Desiccated Thyroid Review – Thyro-Gold

Natural Thyroid Solutions
Format: Powder in gelcaps
Source: Bovine (Cow)
Active Ingredients: 300mg freeze-dried NZ bovine thyroid powder, 100mg L-Aspartic Acid, 25mg coleus forskohlii

Thyro-Gold was formulated by the late Dr. John C. Lowe as an alternative treatment for hypothyroid and fibromyalgia patients. Dr. Lowe’s theory was that fibro and hypothyroidism are both caused by low thyroid levels, and patients would best benefit from thyroid supplementation instead of pain killers, antidepressants, and other therapies.
As a hypothyroid patient who has experienced fibromyalgia symptoms, I find his research intriguing. If you want to know more about Dr. Lowe’s research, check out his website.

I first started using Thyro-Gold around Christmas 2011. At the time I was using a different product and, while I was happy with that product, it was getting too expensive. Like the other product, Thyro-Gold came in 90-capsule bottles, but each Thyro-Gold capsule was 300mg vs. the other product at 130mg. 

Thyro-Gold cost $49.95 but with shipping the total cost was about $61.45. You do get discounts for buying in bulk, and the shipping stays the same, so it’s actually a better deal to buy two or more bottles. I ordered the product around 8AM Eastern time on a Monday and received it within two days.  

Thyro-Gold is potent and that means I need fewer capsules to achieve therapeutic effects. Where I was taking five of the other product I only needed two, at most, of the Thyro-Gold. One bottle lasted me at least 45 days (vs. 18 with the other). 

I also lost 10 lbs while taking the Thyro-Gold, with no changes to my diet or exercise patterns. I’m not actively trying to lose weight, and I don’t recommend taking thyroid hormones to do it, but I’m not crying myself to sleep over the loss.

On the down side, Thyro-Gold only comes in capsule form, which makes tweaking the dosage difficult. I found that taking two 300-mg capsules a day was too much for me, and one capsule was not enough. If I went for a week on just 300/day, my fibro symptoms flared. When I did 600/day, I had shortness of breath, loss of appetite, chest pains, and shortness of breath. When I tried to alternate days (300/600), I was in this weird mixed state where I had hypo and hyper symptoms, and never really felt right.

If you need a smaller dose, Dr. Lowe's suggestion was to open the capsule and release some of the powder. At $50 a bottle, plus shipping, that seems like a waste of money. Plus, even if you reuse the released powder, you have no way to know how many milligrams you have released, or how much is in the capsule.  

Ultimately, I didn’t hate Thyro-Gold, but it wasn’t my favorite. Since it seemed my best, and most cost-effective, hope of treating my condition with NDT, I really wanted it to work out. Alas, not being able to tweak the dosage the way I needed was the deal breaker.

I would only suggest this product under the following circumstances:
You have upwards of $50 to spare;
You are comfortable with opening the capsules, and messing with the powder, to tweak your dosage; and
A backup plan for easing your symptoms while you experiment.

If any of these don’t apply, I suggest trying an OTC product that comes in tablet form, or in smaller measurements, so you can play with the dosage better.

Edited for accuracy:

*Dr. Lowe passed away in early 2012 and, as of this writing, Thyro-Gold is hard to procure. It used to be available through Thyroidscience.us but now you can order the product from a new site created by Tammy Carter Lowe. Unfortunately, you can’t order through the PayPal link on the site; instead you have to call the distribution center to place your order at 1-316-351-7795. You can also contact Tammy Carter Lowe via the email address at the Natural Thyroid Solutions site to get that information. Tammy Carter Lowe is aware that the number is not on the website and is working to update the site.

Have you used Thyro-Gold? What is your experience?

40 comments:

  1. Hi- I recently spoke with Tammy Lowe about Thyro-Gold and she mentioned that she is planning to have it made in smaller doses in the future to take care of the problem you mention Also, the phone number is now on her web site. I am about to try Thyro-Gold and am really hoping it works out for me!

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    1. How or where do you get the Thyro-Gold? I have been told about it but can't find it.
      Thanks
      YKOI

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    2. Unless things have changed, the link and phone number for ordering Thyro-Gold is in the last paragraph of the blog post:
      "*Dr. Lowe passed away in early 2012 and, as of this writing, Thyro-Gold is hard to procure. It used to be available through Thyroidscience.us but now you can order the product from a new site created by Tammy Carter Lowe. Unfortunately, you can’t order through the PayPal link on the site; instead you have to call the distribution center to place your order at 1-316-351-7795. You can also contact Tammy Carter Lowe via the email address at the Natural Thyroid Solutions site to get that information. Tammy Carter Lowe is aware that the number is not on the website and is working to update the site."

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    3. I was just able to purchase it online at Natural Thyroid Solutions. I didn't have to call or anything, I was able to pay through paypal.

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    4. Then that means they have corrected the issue. When I wrote the blog post, Three Months Ago, the PayPal account was locked and you could not order without calling.

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  2. That's good to know. Thanks for the heads up, and good luck!

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  3. Hi. Just started with thyrogold. Am TSH 3.5 and docs refuse thyroid meds, tho I do have symptoms (Dysfunctional menustrating - not ovulating, fibromyalic pains in muscles etc.) You have to love doctors that only "treat" by the test numbers. GRR. anyway, since starting 2wks ago, I'm feeling much better. Going to see how it goes...

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    1. Check out mymedlab, and maybe go through sttm website. You can order the tests you want online, and they connect you with a doctor that will read/review those tests with you. Hopefully from there, once you know your full thyroid panel, you'll have a doc that will prescribe a dessicated thyroid med if thyro-gold isn't potent enough for you.

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  4. I just purchased my first bottle of Thyro Gold. I'm very hypo symptomatic but don't have the TSH numbers to prove it yet, while my FT3 and FT4 and very low. Anyways - How quickly did you begin to feel results? How long did you try it for? How quickly for the weight loss to start? They do have 150mg now to purchase - but I'm going to try 300mg and see how it goes. My weight gain is very depressing :(

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    1. I don't remember exactly how quickly the weight loss started, probably within the first month of use. However, the weight loss did not continue and it could have been due to the serious jump my metabolism took - I felt that I became hyper on ThyroGold.

      I'm glad they have come out with a smaller dosage. It sounds like you have not used ThyroGold before. If you hadn't already purchased the 300mg pills, I would have suggested you start with the 150s. Even if you eventually need 300mg, you need to start small with hormones to give your body time to adjust. Take too much at once and you could become hyper-thyroid, which isn't any better than being hypo.

      Good luck.

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    2. I felt the other effects I'd described almost immediately.

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  6. Does it cause your hair to fall out as your body adjusts with hormone replacement?

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    1. It's certainly possible.

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    2. I should elaborate, I did not experience any hair loss -- or, at least, I did not notice any hair loss -- but every body is different.

      If you have experienced hair loss in the past, from taking NDT, it is certainly possible that you could experience it again.

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  7. been on thyro gold since jan 2013 two capsules were too much. I had no problem reaching system for order. It took time to tweak it but instantly did feel better than compounded thyroid. Was so sick had to try something doc do not believe what autoimmune hypothyroid does to you. On synthyroid for 10yrs and so sick but as long as labs looked all right it was okay. Anyways you can buy vegetable gelcaps from health food store to cut thyroid meds down and not lose money. They do work.

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  8. HELP! I bought a bottle of the 150 mg and am trying to use it since I am TSH 5.5 and have experienced alot of the hyposymptoms -cold body temp, hair loss, weight gain, digestive problems, etc. The first day I took ONE 150mg capsule and by that night my hyper symptoms were so bad I almost went to the ER!!! I felt like I was on fire inside, like I had major heartburn, swollen red skin, palpitations, nausea,anxiety. I was up all night. The next day I took only a half of a capsule and again experieced alot of the same symptoms but to a lesser degree. I also started becoming unable to sleep at night at all, so I stopped taking it entirely. I waited for 3 days for the thyroid to exit my system before trying again, and this time I took only 1/4th of a capsule. I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic again, hot, heart pounding, skin red etc. though to a much lesser degree than the first time I had taken it.

    Has ANYONE experienced anything like this? I am concerned as to whether this is my body getting used to having a hormone put in or if I'm having some kind of allergie reaction or something. Please reply if you have had any side effects from this product.

    Michelle

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    1. First, stop taking it immediately,if you haven't already. Second,consult your doctor. I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you why you're having the reaction you're having. There could be so many reasons based on variety of factors.

      I have had mild hyper side effects from this product, but nothing to the degree that you have indicated. but I stopped takng the product when i couldn't find the correct dosage for me.

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    2. read through www.stopthethyroidmaddness.com there are several things. first split your dose 2/3 in the am and 1/3 in afternoon.Keep taking your temp. If your iron or cortisol are off it will cause t-3 to pool in the blood and not get into cells.take selenium to help conversion.Take a good vitamin with vit. c and b complex for energy.Start with only 60 mg and must raise within a month , two weeks better or symptoms will reappear.You most likely have adrenal fatigue also,they list your symptoms there, so take care of that first. Hope that helps.

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    3. You may have concurrent adrenal fatigue, which, if this condition is not treated first, can cause exacerbated hyper symptoms when taking thyroid replacement meds. You could end up with a cardiac incident. Get a good doctor, start a monitored treatment plan. This is a complex disease.

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    4. If your tsh is 5.5 should you not be on hyPERthyroid meds? By taking thyrogold are you not adding more tsh to your system, thereby raising your numbers even more? I am hypo and was on hypo meds. They sent me to a surgeon to discuss getting it removed. I was 45 or so and starting menopause. Always hot cant stand the heat, never could. Nothing to do with thyroid but all he asked me was are you hot or cold sensitive, said ok handed me a prescription for HYPERthyroid, and against my better knowledge I took it for a couple of days and almost went to the ER myself. My heart was out of control I was getting hives my eyes felt like they were bugging out of my head. I thought I was going to die. So be very careful when treating yourself, knowledge first then treatment!

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    5. "If your tsh is 5.5 should you not be on hyPERthyroid meds?"
      No. TSH is the Thyroid stimulating hormone. The pituitary gland should only release that hormone when your blood thyroid levels are LOW. If your blood thyroid levels are HIGH or HyPER, you don't NEED to stimulate your thyroid to make more.

      The only exception is if your pituitary is broken, in which case your TSH WILL be high, but so will T3 and T4 (the thyroid hormone) levels.

      But if your TSH is HIGH and your T3 & T4 (the actual thyroid HORMONES) are low (or normal) that means you are most likely HyPO-thyroid, not HyPER.

      If you have the actual clinical symptoms of Hypothyroidism (which you can find here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001393/) AND your TSH is high, then it's a very strong possibility that you are HyPO.

      "By taking thyrogold are you not adding more tsh to your system, thereby raising your numbers even more?"

      No you are NOT. Because TSH is made in the PITUITARY GLAND, not the thyroid gland. ThyroGold is desiccated THYROID gland. You are adding the actual THYROID HORMONES, not TSH. Taking ThyroGold can actually LOWER your TSH because it can RAISE the amount of thyroid hormone in your blood.


      I am hypo and was on hypo meds. They sent me to a surgeon to discuss getting it removed. I was 45 or so and starting menopause. Always hot cant stand the heat, never could. Nothing to do with thyroid but all he asked me was are you hot or cold sensitive, said ok handed me a prescription for HYPERthyroid, and against my better knowledge I took it for a couple of days and almost went to the ER myself. My heart was out of control I was getting hives my eyes felt like they were bugging out of my head. I thought I was going to die. So be very careful when treating yourself, knowledge first then treatment!

      Nothing you said here makes any sense. Are you HyPER or HyPO?

      They don't remove the thyroid for HyPO-thyroidism.

      But what they WILL do is remove the thyroid for HyPER-thyroidism, or they will prescribe medication that destroys part of the thyroid -- like radioactive iodine.

      But, because it's not an exact science, the treatment usually leaves patients in a HYPO-thyroid state because they have removed, or destroyed, too much of the gland and now the patient does not make enough hormone.

      In those cases, they prescribe hormone replacement like cytomel, synthroid, or natural desiccated thyroid.

      But, if the dosage is wrong, the patient can have a reaction.

      It's possible that you were prescribe meds for hypo-thyroism after the treatments for HyPER destroyed too much of the gland, and the doctors prescribed too high a dosage.

      Hence you reaction.

      Or it could be any number of any other things that are best discussed with your doctor.


      I absolutely agree the people should educate themselves before attempting ANY treatment, be it self treatment or professional. Because knowledge is power.

      That said, while I appreciate your concern, I think you should follow your own advice and educate yourself -- especially about what TSH is and how it works.

      Delete
  9. I've just started the 150 dose. I've been on synthroid, generic, for 4 years. I've got Hashi. About a month ago i started having an increase in hypo symptoms. My doc was hesitant to add t3. He, like many, was focused on my tsh level. I don't have an endo, as i have no insurance yet. I have already noticed that my muscle pains have eased and my basal temp is going up again towards normal. I am hopeful...

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    1. That's great, I'm glad the 150 dose is working for you.

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  10. can this product be taken if total thyroidectomy has taken. place

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    1. I'm not sure. You can't live without thyroid hormone.

      If your thyroid has been removed you will need some kind of thyroid hormone replacement, and your doctor should have prescribed it to you.
      If you are interested in taking ThyroGold, or any form of natural desiccated thyroid, you should consult your doctor first.

      Then you should contact the ThyroGold manufacturer for more information about their product.

      Good luck.

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  12. People who have had thyroidectomies are usually prescribed thyroid replacement like synthroid, cytomel, or natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). ThyroGold is natural desiccated thyroid.

    It should work but, if you have had your thyroid removed, I would strongly suggest you consult with your doctor and see if you can get him to prescribe NDT.

    The reason is that it's easier to make sure you get the dosing right with prescription NDT than ThyroGold.

    You don't want to risk taking too much. Taking too little is also bad because you don't have a thyroid gland to take up the slack.

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  13. Hi Jill,
    After searching and searching for answers to WHY I am gaining weight among other things I found your blog!
    What an eye opener.
    I could use your help on making a decision.
    First let me give you some back ground on me.
    I am 65 years old, female, in pretty good shape. Try to eat healthy and I am an avid walker. Don't smoke or drink, But I think I should drink, maybe that would help!
    I have battled my weight from the time I was a small child well into my 40's, you name any weigh loss product or diet and I tried them all. In 1985 when I ballooned up to 230 lbs, I had my stomach stapled. That was a big mistake, oh I lost weight, but was sick most of the time and finally in 2008 I HAD to have a revision done. When I had the revision done I was about 120 lbs.
    The revision was no piece of cake, had I been told what I had to look forward to I would have tried a different approach. The surgeon assured me that I would NOT gain weight, he didn't tell me that I would end up having to have my gall bladder out 6 months later, it just quite working, mega absorption issues, and other issues. I have been gaining weight ever since.
    Last year on my 65th birthday I fainted and ended up in a small town hospital, the doctor there ran a battery of test and scans. He did check my thyroid and it was not right. After I got back home I went to my own internal medicine doctor and he repeated the tests in Dec 2012. At that time my TSH was 1.56 the free T4 was 1.22 and the free T3 was 2.65. He told me they were all normal. OK.
    Well, this pass year I had hair loss, awful skin, a few days ago he repeated my thyroid test and it was 2.26, he said it was normal.
    I am at my wits end. I do believe that something is wrong with my thyroid, I watch my portions, I am very picky about what I eat, I am no couch potato.
    I am thinking of trying either the Armour 30mgs, which I can buy online with no scrip or the Thyrogold ?? mgs. I am so confused as to which to try, they are both not cheap.
    You have done a lot of research into the thyroid issue, PLEASE give me some direction!

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    1. Hello,

      I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose you of give you medical advice. I can only tell you what I would do, or have done, in a similar situation.

      Regarding your weight:
      First, it's not uncommon for people to regain after weight loss. In fact, 90 - 95% of people who lose, gain it back and then some -- even with WLS.

      There are a lot of physiological reasons for this, and there are a lot of people out there who explain these reasons better than I can.

      One good place is Linda Bacon's book, Health at Every Size.

      Dances With Fat is a good online resource: http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/.


      Regarding your thyroid numbers:
      A TSH of 1.56 is pretty low. I mean, it's normal, but it's too low to indicate hypothyroidism.

      You said you repeated the thyroid test and it was 2.26, was that the Free T3/T4 or TSH?

      If it was the TSH, that's still fairly low for hypothyroidism. Many people report symptoms when their TSH is over 3.5.

      But the TSH test is not the best gauge. If you have autoimmune thyroid disease, you could have normal numbers and still be sick. So ask your doctor to do a thyroid antibody test.

      If he won't, then go to an endocrinologist or find another doctor who will perform the antibody test.

      Are you having any other symptoms besides hair loss, awful skin, and weight gain?

      You can find a list of symptoms at http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com. You can also find a lot of information written by Mary Shomon at About.com.

      Mary Shomon has also written several books on the subject. She is a patient advocate and lays things out much better than I ever could.


      Regarding what type of thyroid supplement to buy:

      Based on the information that you have given me, I would highly suggest getting a second (or third, or fourth) opinion from a doctor, or endocrinologist, before you try ANY thyroid supplement.

      The reason is that you really need to make absolutely certain that you are hypothyroid. Because, if you take natural desiccated thyroid when you aren't hypo, it can be very, very dangerous.

      It can make you hyperthyroid, and it could actually kill you.

      So, before you spend any money on thyroid supplements, continue getting blood tests, and get a thyroid antibody test.

      Don't just start taking thyroid medication without a definitive diagnosis.

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  14. Thank you so much for your reply!
    I do appreciate your frank and honest comments, with that said I am going to TRY and get my doctor to do the anti-body test.
    I have many, many of the symptoms' listed on the web page.
    I don't want to do anything that would damage my health, so I will not try any supplement for now. I will post later once I have further testing done. I will also look for books by Mary Shomon! Thank You again Jill!

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    1. Good luck with everything. It's hard to get a diagnosis - the average for many patients is five years of effort. Here is a list of doctors, recommended by thyroid patients.

      If one of these doctors is near you, I suggest you start there. That's how I found the doctor who finally ran the antibody test for me.

      http://www.thyroidchange.org/patient-recommended-doctor-list-us.html

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  15. I have really appreciate this blog for bringing up the exact signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. I am very glad I have into this amazing and nice blog!

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  16. I have taken 0.0075mg synthroid for 16 years. I started to take Thyro-Gold 150 mg two days agao, and I feel very good. Do you know if I would like to stop taking synthroid, how much Thyro-Gold should I take?
    Thanks,
    Nancy

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    1. I'm not a doctor and I can't give medical advice. If you want to stop taking synthroid, I suggest you talk to your doctor or look into finding a doctor in your area that will work with you.

      You might also consider contacting the ThyroGold people to see what they have to say.

      Good luck.

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  17. Hey Jill,

    After reading your excellent article, I have a couple of questions on otc thyroid supplements (specifically thyroid gold).

    I am an 18 year old girl, was I am 5'2, was 105 pounds (more on that later), and am currently running 3miles 6x a week.

    Last July, I was put on the birth control pill (Orthro Tri Cyclin Lo) in order to ensure that I got regular periods, which were generally absent (partly b/c of stress of school, track, etc). To put it shortly, my experience was NOT good, and quit mid pack. Since then, my body has gone haywire. I have started to experience crazy mood swings, sensitivity to cold, CRAZY water retention, dry skin, fatigue, sleep issues, (ie, my weight fluctuates up to 10lbs daily), amenorrhea (its now been 11 months since I've had a period), perpetually cold hands and feet, slight anemia, and (most infuriatingly), , a gradual weight gain of 20lbs over the past 7 months (DESPITE a strict diet, plus a tom of other hypo symptoms. I do not have POCS, and my TSH and free T4 were 1.33 (coincidentally).

    I have seen both a general practitioner and an ob/gyn, who were less than helpful. Due to insurance issues, I really can't go and see and endocrinologist either. While I generally don't self-medicate, I am at my wits end with all the symptoms, and I am now desperate enough to try just about anything.

    My question is, should I look into the thyro-gold supplements? For that matter, and one be hypo (ie, symptomatic) and have normal levels? I have heard of "thyroid resistance" (ie, while your body is producing enough thyroid hormone, it can't process it correctly) but have no idea on how accepted it is as an issue. If not, do you all have any other thoughts on what these symptoms might mean?

    Thanks,
    Amelia

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    1. Hi Amelia,

      I'm not a doctor, and I can't give medical advice. I understand that you have a difficult insurance situation, but you really need to see a specialist, or revisit your GP or Ob-gyn.

      I know it's frustrating, but you need to get to the bottom of what's causing your symptoms before you start making plans and decisions about treatment.

      Your symptoms could be thyroid, but they could also be other things.

      Whatever the case, i would suggest not taking any thyroid supplementation. Your TSH is lower than where a lot of people report hypothyroid symptoms, so it could even be heading toward the hyper end. Taking thyroid supplements at this point could do you serious harm.

      I'm sorry there's not more I can do, but you should really seek more medical help before you do anything.

      Also, you should check out Stop The Thyroid Madness, and Mary Shomon's work on About.com. A Google search for both those names will get you there.

      They are both great information sources to help you become your own health advocate. They don't have everything, but they are a great place to start.

      Good luck with everything.

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    2. Hi Amelia,

      I'm not a doctor, and I can't give medical advice. I understand that you have a difficult insurance situation, but you really need to see a specialist, or revisit your GP or Ob-gyn.

      I know it's frustrating, but you need to get to the bottom of what's causing your symptoms before you start making plans and decisions about treatment.

      Your symptoms could be thyroid, but they could also be other things.

      Whatever the case, i would suggest not taking any thyroid supplementation. Your TSH is lower than where a lot of people report hypothyroid symptoms, so it could even be heading toward the hyper end. Taking thyroid supplements at this point could do you serious harm.

      I'm sorry there's not more I can do, but you should really seek more medical help before you do anything.

      Also, you should check out Stop The Thyroid Madness, and Mary Shomon's work on About.com. A Google search for both those names will get you there.

      They are both great information sources to help you become your own health advocate. They don't have everything, but they are a great place to start.

      Good luck with everything.

      Delete
    3. You also might want to look into other endocrine conditions and autoimmune diseases that could be causing your symptoms.

      A lot of them overlap. If you do a search for endocrine disease, you should find a lot of reputable result from places like the national institutes of health.

      Delete
  18. Amelia, I had your same reaction to the pill, exact symptoms.
    I started to do research online, after going to more than fifteen doctors who refused to treat my borderline normal thyroid. Mary Shomon's site was initially helpful, as was Dr Richard Shames site and book, but things really didn't click for me until I found the Stop The Thyroid Madness site. There are a lot of really great personal sites, like this one, but the STTM site is my holy grail. It's the place where I really was able to compare stories and symptoms and reactions and different treatments...where I realized that hormones and hormone producing body organs are SO COMPLICATED and that you can't just take something and say, ok, done for life, I'm good now....it's a never ending dance and negotiation and you have to become your own medical advocate, that if you wait for doctors to save you, well, it most likely won't happen, unless you're really lucky.
    This is too long already, so I'll just say: yes, it's totally possible that one hormone producing organ, your thyroid (and maybe your adrenal glands, either directly or because of the stress to your body and thyroid), was effected by the Pill, because that's what happened to me. Because I have Hashimoto's I feel like it's almost certain that I would have had thyroid issues, whether or not I was ever on the Pill, but I think it was the thing that jump started my bad health. I say this with a bit of confidence because I've watched my three sisters go through the exact same thing: they started the Pill (all at varying ages and stages of life), and went off of it because of all the symptoms I had, and then after a few years of health issues, were diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I don't know if it's triggering, or cumulative, but for me, and people genetically similar to me, the Pill and the thyroid are absolutely linked. But it's important to remember that your body is unique, so you need to get educated so you can be your own best advocate...which might mean you have to self medicate with Thyrogold or something like that.
    I personally feel great on Thyrogold. I feel a lot better treating my symptoms than I EVER felt with a doctor treating my numbers. You have to start slow and small, because hormones are incredibly powerful and you can cause problems by not respecting that. It's frustrating to go slow, with small doses and small increases, but if you document everything, like a doctor (doses, times, reactions, weights, symptoms, including emotional stuff, outside influences like periods or stress or illness), I am in the camp that believes you can take control of your health better than a chart abiding, number worshiping, symptom ignoring doctor. Hang in there. Thank god for the internet, eh?

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