This is a common problem among people with hypothyroidism. At Serenity Health Care Center, we have found that many patients feel better when they use Armour Thyroid instead of the synthetic thyroid hormones such as Levothyroxine or Levothyroid.
It is true for a while Armour was not available in the United States, but that has changed, and it is available through the pharmacy. Another option to Armour is Compounded Thyroid that can be formulated specifically for each patient. This option allows the practitioner to change the dosage of T4 and T3 based on exactly what the patient needs.
In order for the practitioner to know exactly what hormones to replace, blood testing is necessary. The thyroid tests you want to request are TSH, FT4, FT3, and Thyroid Antibodies. More recently, it has become popular to order Reverse T3 as well. These thyroid tests can be ordered from a local lab and taken to an Integrative Medical Practitioner for evaluation. An Integrative doctor will look at these tests differently than your general practitioner. Conventionally, practitioners were trained to only look at FT4 and TSH this does not always show the entire picture. It is also important that your doctor is up to date with the normal ranges for thyroid tests. If your thyroid tests are being evaluated based on old data, then you can wait many years for treatment to begin.
TSH or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is a test used by all conventionally trained practitioners to determine if the thyroid is functioning properly. This test has been utilized since 1973. This test actually measures a hormone from the pituitary gland, not the thyroid. A feedback loop within the body is what determines how much hormone to produce in response to the level of hormone circulating in the bloodstream.
FT4 is a measurement to determine the level of thyroid in the blood stream. FT3 is the hormone used to determine how much hormone is available on a cellular level. Often times the FT3 can be low, and you can have all the symptoms of disease, but the other hormones can be normal. Functional medicine doctors will treat patients who have a low FT3 even if all the other hormones are normal.
If you have any of the symptoms below and are receiving treatment for thyroid disease, you may benefit from choosing a different type of treatment. If you are not being treated and have these symptoms, we recommend that you have your blood evaluated for thyroid disease.