No better

Can anyone tell by looking at my test results (on profile or previous post) if I may need to add T3 to my Synthroid? I am feeling no better, and am going back to my GP Monday (until appt with Endo). Doesn't Armour have both T4 and T3 in it, and can you get it in the U.S.? I'm sorry just feeling desperate at this point. I realize that I haven't been on Synthroid long enough.

Also, I am 5'1 1/2" tall, and weigh 132 lbs. Need to lose about 15-20 lbs.

11 Replies

  • oops!

    Thank you,


  • Susan, it takes 7-10 days to absorb Levothyroxine before it starts working, and up to six weeks to feel the full impact of the dose and metabolise. There's no quick fix with low thyroid, you will have to be patient.

    Armour, NatureThroid, WP and NP are American brands available on prescription in the USA but take as much time as Synthroid to be absorbed and metabolised.

    When you see your GP ask for ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate to be tested. They're often low/deficient in hypothyroid patients and can cause musculoskeletal pain, low mood and fatigue similar to hypothyroid symptoms.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Thank you sooo much Clutter. If that didn't explain things clear enough, nothing will. Patience is not one of my best virtues, but I will practice it!


  • Susan, it's an overrated virtue IMO, but necessary when dealing with thyroid and any chronic health condition :(

  • Susan,

    You have only been medicating for about two weeks.

    Levothyroxine takes up to 6 weeks to initially saturate the body which will only tolerate small increases at any one time. Your doctor should retest your thyroid hormone levels after 6 weeks and adjust the dose according to results.

    Leave 24 hours between last dose and blood draw and try to have the blood draw early in the morning when TSH is highest and you have fasted (water only.)

    It is important to take your pill on an empty stomach with a glass of water, 1 hour before food, 2 hours before supplements and 4 hours before calcium, iron or vit D supplements.

    Depending on how long your hypothyroidism has remained undiagnosed, your symptoms may continue for a while, but be assured that you should start to see an improvement once you are wholly medicated. The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status and for most people that means TSH just above or below 1.0. Symptoms can lag behind good biochemistry by 6-8 weeks.

    People with thyroid issues often have vitamin deficiencies and it is recommended that you have tests for B12, vit D, folate and ferritin as optimum levels are required to ensure thyroid meds are absorbed.

    Don't try dieting to lose weight as it won't work while your TSH is high.

    The main dietary advice is to avoid all forms of unfermented soy which are very bad for the thyroid. Otherwise make sure there is fat, carbs and protein in your diet to provide essential nutrients.

    I hope you start to feel better soon.


    This following link explains the importance of vitamins and where they may be obtained. This forum is supported by the charity ThyroidUK. You do not have to join the charity to benefit from this forum but by doing so you will be supporting the charity and also entitled to various discounts when buying supplements, as detailed in the link below.


    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.


  • The side effects fr Synthroid and Levo made me sicker the longer I was on them which was 6 years. Tons of aches & pains, sharp pains in hip, still exhausted to the point I could barely function for more than 2 hrs a day, increased blood pressure, depression, & motivation, etc. Armour Thyroid made a world of difference. I feel human again and have energy all day!!!

  • Thanks, Piper! I am going to ask my doctor about Armour. Have appt in 1/2 hour.

  • You must wait 5 half-lives (5 weeks) on T4, until you really know what is happening. It wasn't clear from the post on your profile, how long you had been on T4 when your test showed TSH=4.98. Which is way too high.

    So I will tell you about my experience in advance, if your TSH remains high and you still don't feel well. My full-replacement dose of T4 is about 130mcg (the Abbott estimate: 1.7mcg/kg body weight). On T4 only, when I reach 100 or 112mcg, I just feel TERRIBLE. Anxious, almost panicky, generally out of sorts. If I drop the dose to 75mcg, the terrible anxiety goes away but I don't feel great and my TSH sits at ~4.

    I eventually worked my way up to T3+T4=15+75 mcg. This pulls my TSH down to 0.5, my FT3 rises to mid-range (3.4; range 2.3-4.2 pg/ml) and I feel GREAT!

  • Thank you for your post, Eddie.


  • Eddie, I just reread your post, and realized that I didn't answer your question. Sorry! When my levels were checked, I had not taken any thyroid meds.


  • Maybe you should give it more time but don't wait as long as me if it doesn't work. I was taking Levo long enough to bring me to the edge of my work and life. Then I started experimenting on my own as basically there was nothing else for me to lose. I first added some T3 that I got on my own (no doctor involved) but this combo didn't work for me because I obviously have some problem with T4, so I continued with just T3. Since then I can say that I feel so much better. It's almost like T3 gave me a completely new life.

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