Have been taking Synthroid for 10 years and wanted to try a more nature thyroid treatment, so had my M,D. switch me to Armour thyroid but within a few months there was a national shortage, so I was switched back to Synthroid. I recently had my Meridian testing done (by naturopath) and found that I could probably benefit from taking both together. I don't feel that I am converting the T-4 into T-3. I am unable to loss weight or increase my energy level. I currently take .50 mg of Synthroid daily. My levels are not totally abnormal but not the greatest and my physician doesn't like making any changes to the Synthroid dose. I have heard of taking both and having an increase in energy and a gradual weight-loss as well. I also suffer from adrenal fatigue(overproduction of cortisol).
I was taking both Synthroid and Armour until recently when Armour was no longer available. Previously I had been on Synthroid only until learning that my lingering hypo symptoms were due to not converting T4 to T3 very well. So, Armour was added to specifically increase FT3 level. Now my FT3 is 3.5 and FT4 is 1.05. I am still tweaking dosage slightly, but already I feel the best ever.
In my opinion the very best way to treat a thyroid patient is to test and adjust FT3 and FT4 levels with whatever meds are required to alleviate symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Symptoms relief should be all important. Frequently this requires that FT3 is adjusted into the upper part of its range and FT4 to at least midpoint of its range.
From what I have learned on this Forum, however, you really need to get your adrenal issues addressed first, then you can get your thyroid levels optimized.
I think the first thing to do is to try to assure yourself that you really do have adrenal issues. Here is one place to start., a prior post from Red_Star.
Untreated hypothyroidism puts stress on the adrenal glands so having both conditions is common. A few signs that are found with hypothyroidism but not with adrenal fatigue include sparse or missing outer third (Queen Anne sign/Sign of Hertogze), fluid retention, and poor reflexes. Body temperature is generally steady where as with adrenal fatigue it fluctuates a lot. A few home tests to try:
In Dr. Wilson's book, Adrenal Fatigue , he lists 3 tests you can do at home to help determine if you have Adrenal Fatigue:
Test #1: Iris Contraction Test
Equipment required: chair, small flashlight, mirror, a watch (with a second hand), and a dark room.
In a darkened room, sit in a chair in front of a mirror. Holding the flashlight at the side of your head, shine it across one eye (not into the eye). Watch what happens in the mirror.
You should see your pupil contract immediately after the light hits the eye. The pupil will normally stay contracted, but if you have adrenal fatigue, the pupil won't be able to hold its contraction and will dilate. This dilation will take place within 2 minutes and last for about 30-45 seconds before it contracts again. Time how long the dilation lasts and record it along with the date. Retest monthly as it serves as an indicator of recovery.
Test #2: Blood Pressure Test
If your blood pressure drops when you stand up from a lying position, this almost always indicates low adrenals. This can be measured with a blood pressure gauge (a sphygmomanometer), which you can buy at a drug store. Make sure to purchase the type that doesn't require a stethoscope to take your blood pressure.
Make sure to do this test when you are well hydrated or it could give you a false positive. Lie down quietly for about 10 minutes, then take your blood pressure (while still lying down). Then stand up and measure your blood pressure immediately upon standing. Normally blood pressure will rise 10-20mmHg from standing up. If your blood pressure drops, you likely have adrenal fatigue. The more severe the drop, the more severe the adrenal fatigue.
Test #3: Sergent's White Line
This is only present in about 40% of people with Adrenal Fatigue, but if the test is positive, it's a "slam dunk" confirmation.
With a ballpoint pen, take the cap end of the pen and lightly stroke the skin on your abdomen, making a mark about 6" long. Within a few seconds, a line should appear. In a normal reaction, the mark is initially white, but reddens within a few seconds. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, the line will stay white for about 2 minutes and will also widen.
Then here is a link to a way to test for possible adrenal issue by testing basal temperature daily.
If you find evidence that you have adrenal issues then you can relate that to the doctor and request some tests. One that is frequently recommended here is the 24 hour saliva cortisol tests (Total of 4 taken over 24 hours).
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