Thyroid Disorders Community
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is there anyone here who just cannot take the synthroid, and crashed on even a small amount of it, Im at such a loss as to what to .  I dont feel good, i have a pretty large goiter, and feel much worse when i take the thyroid hormone, would i be able to take the hormone if i had the thyroid out or anything like that
40 Responses
Avatar universal
I hate to answer a short question with ten of my own!  However, I had a hard time tolerating levo at first, and I know I'll end up asking all of them (and maybe more)eventually, so here goes.

Can you describe the side effects you have from taking the Synthroid?  Are you on brand name Synthroid, another brand, or generic?  What is your meds history?  What dose did you start at?  Did you have to decrease because of side effects?  Are you over 50, OR were you hypo for a long time before starting meds, OR do you have a history of a heart arrythmia?

I suspect your intolerance to the drug would be the same, thyroid or none.

Do you have the results of any thyroid labwork...free T3, free T4, TSH, antibodies?  If so, please post with the reference ranges and members will try to help you figure out what's going on.
Avatar universal
i was takin levothyroxine, started at 12.5, kept taking it, went up to 50m the goiter grew, so i went back on to 25, because i continued to feel reall bad,but not sure. sore throat, night sweats, dizzy , right side of neck enlarged, feeling faint, nausea, feel like something caught in my throat, tired confused, up and down emotions, hot flashes, cramps in the calves of my legs, went back to 12.5 got sever chest pain, and poundin heart rate. chest pain.  my tsh was 18.81 my thyroxine free was.67. free triiodothyronine was 2.20 and thyroid peroxidase antibody, 1000 iu/ml.  i take xanax
and hctz, and othing else, im 53 years old female, gone through menopause. i dont know , but i dont think i have a history or heart arrythmia
Avatar universal
do you see anything that lets you draw any conclusion about my situation
Avatar universal
Well, since your antibodies are elevated, you definitely have Hashimoto's.  Lots of people with Hashi's experience swings from hypo to hyper because as the thyroid is being destroyed, it becomes unstable and puts out hormones on a pretty insonsistent basis.  

Your FT4 (thyroxine) is still quite low (my lab uses a normal of 0.6-2.0 - you should check to see what your lab uses)...just barely in range. Your FT3, at 2.20, is close to the bottom of the range also (my range again - 1.8-4.2).  TSH also indicates that your are still quite hypo.  

Your doctor started you off nice and slow at 12.5mcg, which is good.  You definitely need to increase your levo to get yourself less hypo.  It takes several weeks before a change in dose stabilizes in your system.  How long have you been on meds altogether?  So, you have to be very patient.  

My first suggestion would be to switch from the generic levo to a brand name (Synthroid, Levoxyl, etc.).  Many people have trouble with the fillers in the different brands and switching can make a huge difference.  Start at 12.5mcg and build again.

I think all your symtoms could be due to undermedication and probably won't improve until you get the meds up a bit.  Don't hurry this too much...take your time.  If after switching from generic to brand name, the cardiac symptoms persist, look into a beta-blocker to control the palpitations.  They really help.  

What's hctz?
Avatar universal
hydrochlorothiazide, im scared to start it over, but an appointment a few days ago, indicated my figures were worse than those of dec 2008, which is what i gave you before
Avatar universal
So, you are on generic levo?

Once you get less hypo, I bet you won't need the HCTZ...I retained fluid something fierce when I was hypo.  It was one of the first symptoms to go away for me.

When was the last time you had thyroid labwork done?
Avatar universal
i had thyroid checked on tuesday, of this last week, not sure the figures, but he wrote me a letter and said they were getting worse, but im not takin anything now for the last couple months, it was making me too sick, how long can a person live with a bad thyroid, and if i have it taken out, can i take the medicine then
Avatar universal
i had thyroid checked on tuesday, of this last week, not sure the figures, but he wrote me a letter and said they were getting worse, but im not takin anything now for the last couple months, it was making me too sick, how long can a person live with a bad thyroid, and if i have it taken out, can i take the medicine then
Avatar universal
i took the medicine 6 months and never felt good at all, are there cases of this happening, where the synthroid doesnt absorb itself in the body, and is stored in the thyroid itself, hense, the thyroid grows larger, i just dont know anything about this very very confusing situation, but its detrimental to my health, and my quality of life is bad
Avatar universal
If you have your thyroid removed, it will not change your reaction to the medication.

If you've been off meds for a couple of months, then it's perfectly understandable that your labs are getting worse.

Your thyroid is getting larger because you are not on meds.  Once you get on meds, the thyroid doesn't have to try to work so hard, so it stops enlarging. The reason yours kept growing is that you weren't taking enough.

If you took meds for six months and never felt any better, I think that's because you were still hypo, i. e. you never took enough to  make you feel better.  I know that you have to get back on meds.  I'd try a different brand or a brand name versus generic.  For some people, that makes all the difference in the world.  I'd start out slow, and build very gradually...maybe 12.5 to start, then 25, the 37.5 all over four week periods.  You can live for a while without thyroid hormones, but life really isn't worth living at that point.

Get the actual results of your labs from Tuesday, post your free T3, free T4 (and their reference ranges) and TSH, and we'll have a much better idea of what's going on.
Avatar universal
i hear what your sayin, but the most i ever took was 50 and i got so sick, i thought i was gonna die, i had incredible chest pains, im reall scared about this., i really am, i dont wanna die, but i dont know how to make myself tolerate the medicine, im only 100 lbs and 4 ft 11,  so i dont know how much i can do here, the 50mcg, i took for ten days, the right side of my neck got huge.
Avatar universal
my endocrinologist kinda dismissed me, because it wasnt workin out on the levo, so some other quack, took my tsh the other day, its like they could care less, im a dificult patient, because i dont respond to the meds, so i guess she wanted to ditch me, we dont have private insurance, so i have been going to the teachin hospital in iowa city iowa, you would think that would be a good thing, im really worried about this. when i do take the meds it also feels like im goin through menopause again,
Avatar universal
I think you should find a good endocrinologist.  You need to find one that will treat you according to your free T3 and free T4, not just TSH.  Also, one who will pay attention to your symptoms and the side effects the meds cause you.

I also think that another brand name or a brand rather than generic might be a lot better for you.  Many on this forum report bad side effects from the fillers that are in the different brands.  If you try Synthroid or Levoxyl, for example, you might be really surprised at how different your experience is.  But, in order to do this you are going to have to find a doctor who knows what he's doing with thyroid.

You are so teeny (I'm jealous!) that I'm sure very small changes in dose probably effect you more than most.  Thyroid meds dosing is a bit of an art form, and if your doctor doesn't really know what he's doing, it can be really bad.

A teaching hospital should be one of the best places to go.  However, there are jerks everwhere, so you have to get a bit lucky in finding a doctor, too.

I think, with the right doctor, you can find a way to manage both your hypothyroid condition and the side effects of the meds.  You don't have to choose between the two.  I have never heard of anyone who couldn't tolerate one of the available products.

Are they testing your free T3 and free T4 also?  This is very, very important.
Avatar universal
i can try to get an appointment with a diff endocrinologist, but usually you get who you get there, and she has one way of dealing with this problem, and wont think outside the box, im at a loss
Avatar universal
Then I think you have to go somehere else.  I know it's tough...both my husband and I are self-employed and have catastrophic-only health insurance.  But you have to find a doctor who can help you.  You don't have to suffer...someone with knowledge will be able to figure out what's going on.
Avatar universal
is there a thyroid clinic , or study in the midwest
Avatar universal
I'm sorry, but I'm on the West Coast.  I have no idea.  Why don't you start a new thread asking members for resources in your area?  Be sure to get your city and state in the headline.  I'm sure we have lots of members in the midwest.
Avatar universal
if i cant take the meds, then what i just die  , have you heard of this before, im serious when i say, i think im having a heart attack, after a week or so of this synthroid
Avatar universal
I have never heard of anyone who couldn't take some form of levothyroxine.  There are several brands to choose from, the generic, Armour, and if nothing really agrees with you, there are pharmacies that will compound special preparations just for you.  I'm SURE that if you try an alternative to the Synthroid brand, you will find something that you can take.  Also, some of us have to take other medications to counteract the side effects of levo.  I get tachycardia (fast heart rate) as a side effect of the levo, so I have to take a beta-blocker to counteract that.

Getting medication to the correct dose is sometimes a trial, but you have to start again, and try another levo besides Synthroid.  You also have to explain to your doctor, before starting up again on a different brand, what you experienced on Synthroid.  Then he'll be prepared to give you something for the side effects if you need it.  Have you had a cardiac workup?

I wish I could say there was another solution, but it just takes time, patience, a good doctor, and some luck.  You'll get there...you just have to try something different.
Avatar universal
i think we can try a beta blocker, as this is the big reason i dont take synthroid, i feel like my heart is going to explode, how do you get your endocrinologist to get off her ***, and try different things,
793305 tn?1493929118
I'm in Iowa too.  There is one endocrinology clinic at Mercy hospital in Des Moines.  It is the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Center.  number is 515-643-5100.

With me, I could go hyper on 25 mcg of synthroid and I did so daily.  I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  I had to have my thyroid out (no choice for me)  and now I'm on 150 mcg and not having any problems...still a bit tired, but have never gone thru the hyper storm that I was going thru before.  
Avatar universal
im terrified if i have out and i still cant take the medicine, also, how big of an operation is having it out, please explain what happens, time in hosp, etc, incisions
Avatar universal
I think in order to get your doctor to get off her butt, you have to do exactly what you're doing now...educate yourself and talk to other people who have been through it.  Then, go in to talk to your doctor and say very SPECIFIC things and ask very SPECIFIC questions.  For example, I tried taking Synthroid, and no matter how much I decreased my dose, I had tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) or heart palpitations (thumping heart beat) or both or chest pain (I don't know which you had).  I stopped taking it because I couldn't deal with the side effects.  Then, the questions...I've heard beta blockers can relieve the tachycardia and palpitations.  Can you prescribe a beta blocker for me along with the levothyroxine?  Doctors don't often deal well in the abstract...you have to tell them EXACTLY what happened and ask them for exactly what you want and need..

Having your thyroid removed is not a solution.  Except in the case of cancer or "dire "circumstances this is just not recommended.  As hope4thegoodstuff said, she had "no choice".

Here's my story:  I started out on 88 mcg.  Tachycardia increased markedly a couple of weeks later.  I reduced to 44 mcg.  A couple of weeks later...tachycardia again.  I reduced to 25 mcg, and you guessed it.  Finally I went to a cardiologist and got on the beta blocker.  Then I was able to increase my dose of levo.  Later, after a couple of more increases, I had to increase the BB also to compensate for the levo.  I think, for the moment, everything's balanced out...in the future, maybe not.
Avatar universal
im beginning to get a feel for this, yeah having a heart attack scares the hell out of me, the family physician did an ekg last week, and i guess it was ok, so i dont think i damaged my heart yet. its ridiculous that you have to tell a dr what to do, my god, thats why they went to medical school, wheres the schoolin even come in,
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