is 75 mcg a fairly low dose of synthroid?

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teacher29
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 4/10/2012 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I am newly diagnosed and have been on 75 mcg of synthroid for almost a month. Is this considered a low dose because I am not feeling any different at all! And I am taking exactly like I am suppose to. Also..how do you find out if a gluten-free diet is the way to go?

Judy2
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9498
   Posted 4/11/2012 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, 75 mcg is a relatively low dose. For comparison, I've had thyroid ablation by radioactive iodine (my thyroid produces no hormone, and in fact can't even be felt in my neck now) and my dose is 200 mcg. Usually the initial dose is low, with rechecks about every six to eight weeks because it normally takes about six weeks for the effects of the replacement hormone to manifest themselves. The dosage is increased gradually based on blood levels and symptoms. It's much safer to be hypothyroid than hyper, so they don't want to overdose you. It takes some patience while you're going through this process, I know.

The only way I know to evaluate a diet is to try it. If you eliminate gluten and it makes you feel enough better over the long-term that it's worth giving up those foods, then that may be the way for you to go. Everyone has a different tolerance level for both physical symptoms and dietary restrictions, so each person has to examine this for themselves. (This is assuming, of course, that you haven't been diagnosed with celiac disease. If you have, the gluten free diet is a must.)

Good luck, and let us know how you do.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

maggiemay
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 4/18/2012 11:19 PM (GMT -6)   
You might want to talk to your doctor about trying a little T3 along with the synthroid. A lot of people
feel better when they are on both T4 and T3. For a discussion of this check out the following
 
Also, which lab tests did your doctor run? If he only ran TSH, you definitely need to have free T3 and
free T4 and have your thyroid antibodies tested to see if you have Hashimoto's. If you aren't
feeling any difference, you really need to get some answers. A gluten-free diet can be very helpful
for Hashimoto's. From what I have read, a lot of patients are able to decrease their thyroid meds
after they are gluten free. You should try it for several weeks and see if you notice any difference.
 
 

Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9498
   Posted 4/19/2012 7:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Just for balance here, I want to point out that while a minority of people do indeed have atypical symptoms and need atypical treatment, there are millions of people worldwide being successfully treated with T4 only who are happily euthyroid (normal.) If it works for you, that's great. I've been treated this way ever since my Graves disease was treated more than 15 years ago, and I never even think about my thyroid as I go through life.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

maggiemay
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 4/24/2012 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Judy,
 
It is important to have a balance of opinions but I do have to respectfully disagree with you
that  people who require both T4 and T3 represent a minority of people with atypical symptoms
and atypical treatment.  I have read too many books, medical articles,
web sites, blogs and  thyroid patient forums to believe that this only affects a minority of
thyroid sufferers. I have been looking for the reference and can't find it, but I read one interview
with a doctor who said 90% of his patients do better on a T4/T3 medication rather than on T4
alone.
 
Here is an excerpt from Stephen Langer's book Solved: The Riddle of Illness that I think is very
interesting:
 
     Unfortunately, steady and efficient conversion of T4 to T3 is not automatic, a slam-dunk.
     In this age of stress, the adrenal glands of many-if not most- people are overworked and
     weakened. Even mild adrenal insufficiency can slow down his conversion. The adrenal glands
     must be strengthened for thyroid supplementation to be effective.
 
     In  a journal article, "The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism," Michael Schacter, MD, 
     FACAM, stated essentially this same fact. If this T4 conversion doesn't happen, the patient
     experiences symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland: rapid heartbeat, palpitations, and
     increased sweating.(3) Symptoms of a weak adrenal system include allergies, asthma, 
     breathing difficulties, acne, eczema, psoriasis, lupus, flaky dry skin, arthritic pains, and wide
     emotional swings. Previously, low production of T4 was thought to be a major cause of hypo-
     thyroidism. Now Dr. Schacter asserts that it is due, in large part, to an inability to convert
     the less active T4 to the more active T3. Beyond tired adrenal glands, he feels a valid cause 
     could be weight loss or low protein diets lacking the amino acid tyrosine and iodine, essential
     to secreting thyroid hormone. Additionally, insufficient selenium could block T4 from
     converting to T3.  
 
 And Dr. Langer goes on:
 
     On her thyroid Web site (www.thyroid-info.com), Mary Shomonwrites:
 
        For years, patients have been told that all they need is levothyroxine treatment to
        get them into normal TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) range, and thyroid treatment
        is considered complete. Time and again, people who still suffered with symptoms-
        including fatigue, depression, cognitive problems, and more- were told that once their
        thyroid range was normal , these problems were no longer related to the thyroid.
        Instead, they were now depression, stress, PMS, or simply in your head. Patients who
        had done well on Armour, then switched to Synthroid, for example, and complained of
        not feeling well, were told they were getting old.(4)
 
     Ever since research demonstrated that the T4/T3 combination is more effective than T4
     alone, the thousands of medical doctors once branded as mavericks have been proved
     right by no less a mainstream authority than the New England Journal of Medicine.
 
I am happy that the T4 works well for you.  I just think that it is important for people to know
that if they feel better but are still having problems on T4, that they might want to consider
talking to their doctors about adding a little T3 or trying a natural thyroid such as Armour.
 

sjmjuly
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/24/2012 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
For me personally, just being on T4 was a nightmare. I felt HORRIBLE. Once I started a combined T3 & T4, I felt much better. Though I agree you have to be very careful when dosing with T3. You have to start low and increase slowly.
But everyone is different. My mother has been on Synthroid since she was 28 yrs old (she's almost 77 now) and has never had an issue with it.
I hate this disease and would much rather have hemorrhoids!

toughenough
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 5/22/2012 11:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Judy2 and all,
My thyroid has been managed by synthroid or the generic for almost 20 years. I also have ulcerative colitis (UC) like Judy2. It became too bad and I had the surgeries to remove 5 feet of my colon/rectum/large intestine, make a j-pouch. The j-pouch is a little replacement to hold a small amount of poop for normal bowel movements through my butt.

Anyway, I've had complications since receiving my new plumbing. I've also had testing time and time again that shows I'm receiving too much thyroid medication, of the generic synthroid type. I've also lost 75 pounds over two years, most of which I'd gained from the medication to treat my UC.

I am just about not functioning at all, am in therapy and on large doses of anti-depressants and am diagnosed with PTSD, major depression and anxiety. I went to the Mayo Clinic because of complications relating to my new plumbing. The blood testing showed again I am receiving too much medication.

It read .03 and the normal range is .3-5.0. My last test the reading was .034 and after reducing the dose the reading is now lower. My local Internist has lowered the dose and it is lower than it's ever been in 20 years. After research I've realized that many of my current symptoms can be side effects of having too much medication. Depression , Insomnia, low blood pressure, hair loss, fatigue, and on and on. I also have fibromyalgia which contributes to my problems as well. I have too many to list. I am leaving all of my pain, etc. issues out of this as I believe they have nothing to do with my thyroid problems.

Sorry for the long narrative. After reading this thread and finding out another gal, that has a j-pouch because of UC, is totally off of any thyroid medication I'm wondering if the T3 and T4 issues need addressing for me.

Could it be something so simple as my colon was causing my thyroid problems, as with my friend, or do I need to have the T3 and T4 issues addressed.

I just need to get some energy and/or relief from the pain and sleep and fatigue help as well. Thanks!
Hysterectomy 1996, UC diagnosed 1997 - 1st surgery 11/2/10 colonectomy, 2nd J-Pouch take down 12/29/10, incisional hernia surgery 7/5/11, Restless Legs syndrome, Fibromyalgia diagnosed 1998, GERD diagnosed 2005, Neuroma like pain in both feet started around 2002, Depression, anxiety and PTSD.

maggiemay
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 5/24/2012 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi toughenough,
 
I'm sorry that you've had such a horrible time. My daughter suffers from Crohn's disease (or UC,
the doctors can't decide) and I know how horrible that is. 
 
I was just wondering if you have ever gone to an endocrinologist? Would that be any help? Also,
you talk about your TSH level but what are your free T3 and free T4 levels? Have they changed?
Also, have you had your iron and ferritin level checked?  You seem to be suffering from several
autoimmune diseases, any of which can cause depression, fatigue, pain, etc.
 
I have read of a connection between the gut and the thyroid. Here is an excerpt from Datis
Kharrazian's book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests are Normal:
 
     One of the first things to go in a poor digestive environment is the balance of healthy gut
     flora in the intestines, and 20 percent of healthy thyroid activity depends on healthy gut
     bacteria. Poor digestive function depletes the body of nutrients that support thyroid health
     particularly zinc, tyrosine, selenium, and vitamins A and D.Also, faulty digestion is believed
     to be a leading cause of autoimmune disorders, (he quotes two studies here) including
     Hashimoto's, since at least 60 percent of the immune system is located in the digestive
     tract. An inflamed GI tract and parasitic infections exhaust the adrenal gland, which in turn
     drags down thyroid function.
 
After restoring your gut health, he says the following:
 
     This is also the time to have another thyroid test. You my find yourself pleasantly
     surprised at the results.  Restoring gut health alone can turn around a functional
     hypothyroid problem (quotes a study) as well as successfully bring down TPO and TBG
     antibodies in people with Hashimoto's. Also thyroid medication works more effectively
     after you complete this program so you may need less of it.
 
So it seems possible that your colon was contributing to your thyroid problems. I would
definitely talk to an endocrinologist or maybe consider talking to a naturopath or functional
medicine doctor who can look at your big picture since it seems like you have so many
medical issues. Good luck. I really hope you start feeling better.
 

toughenough
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 5/24/2012 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Maggiemay -

Thank you for your reply and the book reference and excerpts. Yes I have seen an endocrinologist but at least 5 years ago. I've looked over my blood work and I find no T3 or T4 results, just the TSH ones. I ws going to ask my Internist about this at my next appointment. I don't think she is droping the dose enough each time. It's a good suggestion and I will talk to her about seeing the endocrinologist again.

I'm sorry about your daughter's UC/Crohns. I'm assuming they've done the Promethous test to determine which it is. I think that's what it's called. There appears to be a continuum of IBD where there are varying results of the testing and sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. There are several people in my support group that went through the colon removal and j-pouch surgeries for their UC and find out afterwards they have crohns. It's not that it changed to crohns but that they couldn't tell. I hope she is doing well with her treatments and never needs surgeries.

Thanks again for the book reference, your concern and your suggestions.
Hysterectomy 1996, UC diagnosed 1997 - 1st surgery 11/2/10 colonectomy, 2nd J-Pouch take down 12/29/10, incisional hernia surgery 7/5/11, Restless Legs syndrome, Fibromyalgia diagnosed 1998, GERD diagnosed 2005, Neuroma like pain in both feet started around 2002, Depression, anxiety and PTSD.

maggiemay
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 5/24/2012 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, she did have the Prometheus test which came back as UC but she has skips in her
colon which they said is indicative of Crohn's, so who knows. She thinks it's Crohn's
because of all the sores she gets in her mouth and throat. Did you get those with UC?
 
Also, I was thinking that people might have missed your post because it's under this thread.
If you started a new post with a different heading, more people might reply and hopefully
someone else might have some suggestions.
 
 

toughenough
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 5/25/2012 12:16 AM (GMT -6)   
maggimay,

I forgot to answer your Iron question, it is ok but it was low and I had to take supplements after the surgeries. My B12 and D are also good too. The 3 of these need to be monitored as I have absorption problems.

It sound to me like she has crohns too as I never had sores in my throat and mouth. I've never heard of skips so that must me a crohns thing as well.

I'm going to print out this thread and bring it with to my next appt. with my internist. You have answered my question and have several excellent references in several of your posts.

I really appreciate your help! Thanks
Hysterectomy 1996, UC diagnosed 1997 - 1st surgery 11/2/10 colonectomy, 2nd J-Pouch take down 12/29/10, incisional hernia surgery 7/5/11, Restless Legs syndrome, Fibromyalgia diagnosed 1998, GERD diagnosed 2005, Neuroma like pain in both feet started around 2002, Depression, anxiety and PTSD.

bloodyspartan
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/8/2013 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
sjmjuly said...
For me personally, just being on T4 was a nightmare. I felt HORRIBLE. Once I started a combined T3 & T4, I felt much better. Though I agree you have to be very careful when dosing with T3. You have to start low and increase slowly.
But everyone is different. My mother has been on Synthroid since she was 28 yrs old (she's almost 77 now) and has never had an issue with it.
I hate this disease and would much rather have hemorrhoids!


I had roids and you are correct better to see blood in the Bowl and itch like crazy from a roid than Auto Immune.

GOD BLESS and I will say a quick prayer for all of us.

toughenough
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 180
   Posted 5/9/2013 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe my problem is solved, at least for now. The testing has remained good at the dose I'm at for 2 times and she is still having it tested every 6 weeks. I had nothing to bring up as it was smack dab in the middle of the good range. I did tell her if it starts going all over the board again I'd like to see an endocrinologist and she agreed.

Thank you all for your support turn

Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9498
   Posted 5/9/2013 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad to hear things are turning out well for you. Six weeks is a prudent plan until you have been stable for a time, as it can take some time to get your optimal dosage identified.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum
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