Do you take your thyroid medications everyday and you still feel like you are taking placebo? Your hypo or hyperthyroidism symptoms didn’t really fade away? Thyroid diseases are complicated. Each case is different and you have to really control your body signals. However, there are some things you should pay attention to.
#1 Hormones in lab ‘norms’
As I mentioned a few times in my previous articles, the fact that your TSH, T3 and T4 hormone seems to be in ‘norms’ doesn’t really mean too much. Unfortunately some doctors (some!) will prescribe you the amount of thyroid hormones based very strictly on your lab tests. In some cases it may be too less for you, then you would stay sleepy – zombie, like it happened to me, or which is less common, but can happen as well – you will take too much hormones – then instead of sleepy, you will be hyper active. None of these is good for you.
Tips: do not rely on your lab tests completely, you do not want to treat the numbers, but you. When I once was still too tired (hypothyroid) I increased my levothyroxine from 50 to 75mg and felt much better. I am brave, but you may want to ask your doctor before you do that. Also you should have more expansive thyroid tests done, not only TSH level. You can read more here.
#2 Medications fillers
This is ridiculous, but some of thyroid meds may contain fillers which can actually make you feel worse. Gluten, lactose, corn starch – they can interfere with your thyroid hormones, especially when your disease has autoimmune background (check antibodies!). Many patients suffer also from some food intolerances, so if their medications contains gluten or lactose, they suffer even more. Once I was told to take the medication and I felt bloated right away, because it had lactose. Maybe you should check the ingredients list on your medication?
#3 Conversion of T3 hormone
If you are hypothyroid, you do not have enough T4 & T3 hormone in your organism. Majority of medications contains only T4, so your organism must convert it itself to T3. Usually it works, so by taking just T4 hormone you automatically have T3 in your body. But… what when your body cannot convert it? Some patients cannot convert T4 to T3, so they still suffer from T3 deficiency. Luckily, there are medications in USA which contain both T3 and T4 hormones, so you may find them helpful.
What may have bad influence on T4 to T3 conversion:
some medications (beta blockers)
Cortisosteroids – this group of medications may interfere with conversion as well
high cortisol levels
#4 Low absorption
Soy, soy-based foods, high fiber foods may decrease absorption of thyroid medications. Even supplements like iron or calcium can interfere with thyroid hormone – it doesn’t mean you should stop taking your iron if you have its deficiency, but it is good NOT to take your thyroid medication at the same time with your supplements. Usually it is recommended to take your thyroid medication about 1 hour before breakfast, and the supplements 4-5 hours later.
#5 Leaky gut
When your intestinal lining is damaged it is allowing undigested food proteins and bacteria to pass into the blood stream. It causes inflammation in the body and an immune response. Very often leaky gut is actually the reason why you have a thyroid disease, especially Hashimoto’s. This may also be the reason why your thyroid medications does not really work for you, because you should start from treating first your leaky gut. You can find many information about it for example on this blog or Dr Myer blog.
I hope this article will help you to find a reason why your thyroid medications does not give you expected effects. Let me know what is your experience, maybe you would like to share something in a comment? You can also contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org