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Effects of Synthroid Reduction

Hi - my mom is 80 and she has been on Synthroid for quite some time.  Her doctor is reducing her medication because of bone density and her age.  She is in excellent health.  Since they have reduced her medication she has had horrible depression.  Is this something anyone else has experienced?  

Also, after reading several posts, I noticed that a lot of people mention that the T3 and T4 levels are important.  I am asking for myself on this one.  My blood levels are below normal on every part of the T7 results with the exception of the TSH.  The TSH is low but not out of range.  3 out of 4 doctors say I need to be on thyroid medication.  Unfortunately, number 4 that says it is fine is the one who has to be the one to prescribe it.  

If you could help me with any information for my mom, I would truly appreciate it.

9 Responses
1756321 tn?1547098925
T7 (also called free T4 index) is an old and inaccurate thyroid lab test.  From a December 2007 Clinical Laboratory News: Outdated Lab Tests:

Brian Jackson, MD: “This is a pretty clear- cut case of something being really obsolete. The free T4 index is an estimate that requires a calculation. It became obsolete as soon as good free T4 assays became available.”

Not enough thyroid hormone in the body is a noted cause of depression. It is pretty clear that your mother needs an increase in thyroid hormone. The doctor is playing it safe in regards to bone density but in my opinion your mother's mental health should take precedence.  A bone building nutrient program is highly recommended. One such program is listed on this article: "Jeffrey Dach MD Reversing Osteoporosis Naturally."
Avatar universal
Just to add a bit to the good info from Red_Star, this is a quote from a good thyroid doctor that I highly respect for his knowledge and experience.

"Thyroid hormone does not cause bone loss, it simply increases metabolic rate and therefore the rate of the current bone formation or loss. Most older people are losing bone due to their combined sex steroid, DHEA, Vitamin D, and growth hormone deficiencies. The solution is not life-long hypothyroidism or bisphosphonates; one should correct the hormone deficiencies."

So your Mom needs to get her med increased back to the prior level or higher.  She also needs to correct the deficiencies that are really causing her bone loss problem.  She also needs to be tested for Free T3 and Free T4 (not Total T3 and Total T4), in order to her determine if her thyroid levels are optimum to relieve her hypo symptoms.  Free T3 is the most important because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have shown that FT3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while FT4 and TSH did not correlate.  

For yourself you should also get tested for FT3 and FT4.  Also, what symptoms of hypothyroid do your have?
231441 tn?1333896366
Vitamin D3 and K2 can assist in prevention of bone density along with weight bearing exercise.

Reducing your Mum's medication so she is depressed is so wrong.  Am assuming that she was not over medicated based on h er blood work (which should have included FT3 and FT4 - with ideal levels being in the upper 1/2 of the reference range).

Please be agressive on getting this addressed.  Thyroid requirements in older persons need to be monitored closely as the requirement for thyroid meds may increase as they get older.

Staying well is so important for quality and quanity of life.

totally agree that reduceing meds for purpose of bone density is not appropriate....there are other ways to address bone density...
Avatar universal
I cannot thank you enough for your information.  
Avatar universal
I cannot thank you enough for the information.  
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the information.  After looking at my current blood work, I was tested for T3U, T4 and TSH.  I don't see anything for Free T3 and Free T4.  I now can give my dr more information.  I know it is not possible for them to know everything.  T3U and T4 are the only ones lower than normal range.  The TSH is 1.39 based on a range of 0.45 - 4.50.  I have had low results in the past two years and have experienced depression, anxiety, lethargy and a recent and significant weight gain.  Again, thank you for the information.
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1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
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