Why Synthroid Medication Isn’t Enough To Treat Underactive Thyroid?
Updated: Feb 28
"As soon as I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was immediately put on levothyroxine-a.k.a., a synthetic medication for low thyroid after diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I didn’t notice any difference in my symptoms after taking levothyroxine for months. I am still experiencing fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, cold intolerance, mood changes, and sleep issues."
So, why isn't Synthroid working for me? These are common input and questions from my patients who have been struggling for years with an underactive thyroid.
Can you relate? You are probably taking Synthroid for low thyroid but noticing slight or NO difference in your symptoms.
If so, you’re not alone. Especially since 70% of low thyroid cases or hypothyroidism stem from an autoimmune disorder that starts in the gut also known as Hashimoto thyroiditis, Synthroid alone will not solve the problem.
Did you know that low thyroid is 8 times more common in women than men? The simplest explanation as to why Synthroid isn’t the answer to your low thyroid is because Synthroid does not treat the root cause of your health problem. The truth is Synthroid only targets 0.1% of your total thyroid function, which means the other 99.9999% of your thyroid needs support with nutrition, and other necessary lifestyle changes to regain optimal thyroid health.
Studies show that if an auto-immune condition such as Hashimoto is identified Synthroid can do more harm than good since this medication depletes the two most important nutrients known as selenium and zinc. Your thyroid must have plenty of selenium and zinc to function effectively. Zinc and selenium also prevents antibodies from showing up in your gut that are associated with your current lifestyle and certain medications.
To better understand the root cause of your low thyroid, and turn around your thyroid health for good, first, your doctor must evaluate seven different thyroid markers, iodine deficiency, and adrenal hormones. In addition, leaky gut must be checked.
Complete thyroid panel looks like this:
TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormones)
Reverse T3 (inactive form of T3), measures conversion ratios between T4 and T3
TPO (Thyroid peroxidase)
TBG (Thyroid-binding globulin)
Urine Iodine to evaluate iodine induced hypothyroidism
Secondly, you have to have the right plan of action onboard per your individual health needs to regain your thyroid health back naturally without wasting time and energy. The third, and very important concept, is that you have to think outside the box for the sake of your own health. Take consistent actions so you can live the life you deserve WITHOUT feeling tired, continuously gaining weight, and depressed, which are common clinical signs and symptoms of low thyroid that I witness among my patients.
Other common symptoms of low thyroid include:
Muscle stiffness and pain
Slow post-exercise recovery
The best thing you can do right now to improve your thyroid health and give your metabolism a kick start is for you to reduce stress, plan your meals ahead and eliminate processed foods as much as you can.
Sugar and processed foods increase inflammation in the body, which depletes the immune system, and slows down the functioning of the thyroid.
Studies show that inflammation from process sugar can slow down the conversion of T4 (Thyroxine) to T3 (Triiodothyronine) another essential thyroid hormone. This can make your symptoms and thyroid disease worse. Also, sugar only boosts your energy level in the short term, eliminating it from your diet may help regulate your energy levels. Additionally, removing sugar from your diet may help your stress levels and improve skin health.
It's not easy to adopt a processed sugar-free diet, but the benefit to your overall health is worth it.
Lastly, if you are currently having any of the symptoms mentioned, you must have a complete check-up every 3-6 months to prevent major thyroid damage and auto-immune conditions like Hashimoto.
Other things you can do at home to maintain a healthy thyroid and reduce the likelihood of gaining weight since it’s easy to pile up extra pounds with hypothyroidism due to sluggish metabolism.
Get plenty of rest. This can't be addressed enough. Aim to get 7–8 hours of sleep every night. Any less rest causes your body to live in fight and flight response, which triggers cortisol release, and fat storage, especially around the belly area.
Practice mindful eating. Prepare ahead, and pay attention to what you’re eating, why you’re eating, and how fast you’re eating can help you develop a better relationship with food. Studies also show that it can help you lose weight.
Try yoga or meditation or any other form of activity that you enjoy to reduce stress. Yoga and meditation can help you de-stress and improve your overall health. Research also shows that they help you maintain a healthy weight.
Try a low carb or ketogenic diet. Eating a low amount of carbs daily, I have found to be quite effective for maintaining a healthy weight.
Please take care of yourself and those around you.
CLICK HERE if you want to learn more tips and tools on how to get your thyroid health back naturally.