T Nation

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired


I know it's odd that I'm making a thread here but a reputable T-Nation guy recommended it.

I was diagnosed 3 years ago as being hypothyroid and Hashi's this year.

I stopped taking synthroid late summer of '09 because I was pissed off..I was being managed by a crazy Nurse Practitioner who literally told me I was "hunting zebras," when I brought up anything other than standard concerns. I was sick of taking a pill that I didn't know anything about for a disease I didn't know anything about.

So I read everything I could. I cleaned up my diet, lost 30lbs and thought I felt ok. I was cured! But not really.

Last Summer I started feeling horrible but I passed it off as stress because my Husband just left for duty overseas. He was gone for 1 year.

I finally broke down and bugged crazy nurse lady to run some labs and sure enough..I was out of range of course.


So I started taking synthroid again in July. I switched practitioners within the clinic here on base. She is much easier to deal with. She started me at 50mcg and we worked up to 88.

After two months I was still feeling bad but my new Dr. felt that she had done everything she could within her scope of practice. So she referred me to an Endocrinologist.

The Endo. I saw didn't think anything of my symptoms and considered me "NORMAL," because my lab values are "normal." That's just the worse thing to hear, you know??

I now have an appt. at the big military hospital for a second opinion. It's only for a re-evaluation. If they say the same thing the first Endocrinologist did then they won't treat me. Then, according to my insurance I only have one more chance to find a Dr. who will work with me. After that they are suggesting we consider going up a notch in care. But we can't afford it.

Like many of you have in the past or still are, I'm going through hell and want off this roller coaster. I'm dizzy and confused. I'm tired and my head hurts. I'm young still and just want to be done with this and get on with my life.


Is there a certain way I should approach my appointment with the new Specialist in NOV? I've read that I should leave the emotion out of it and not complain of my symptoms because they don't like gripe fests.

Instead I should make it factual and present my 'case,' in a more quantifiable manner. And that I should find legit citations and literature regarding my symptoms and what it suggests we can do about it.

Here are my lab ranges from last month. And like I said previously I've been on 88mcg of synthroid since July.

Thyroglobul AB- 363 (0-80)
Thyroid Pero AB- 93 (0-29)
FT4- 1.51 (0.89-1.76)
TSH- 0.958 (0.550-4.780)
FT3- 2.6 (2.3- 4.22)
RT3- 32 (11-32)

That's all I got. In my unprofessional opinion, my FT4 could be lower and my FT3 higher. And I'm not sure why my RT3 is high. The Endo that I saw said something to the effect of it is my body's way of getting rid of T3 because it is overproducing...which doesn't make any sense at all.
In my mind I am not converting T4 into T3 and that's why. But I'm not the Doctor. :confused:


Any help or advice anyone can lend would be great.
You can also PM me.

FWIW, I'm 32 and female. :slightly_smiling:

I have two small children and just want to be able to keep up with them. I love the gym and I go 4-5x a week but rely on energy drinks to get me through. I've been hanging on to 20-30 extra pounds for a couple years now. I have to drop cals to the extreme to get the scale to budge. The moderate approach+ cardio doesn't do jack.

I'm fatigued constantly but I get heart palpitations when I'm overtired. And I'm overtired all of the time because I have a hard time sleeping through the night. It's a vicious circle. I have head aches everyday and my sense of well being and excitement for life is dull.

I'm not myself and I don't want to be told this is as good as it can be.



welcome on board. My wife (and I) have been there and done that... and we are still fighting with docs even with all that we have learned...

What you have experienced is unfortunately extremely common.

yes. your numbers are horrible.
yes. your doctors have been idiots. (most are, and Endo's are typically the worst)
yes. you know your body better then they do.
yes. you have a treatable medical condition.
No. They are not treating you or your condition correctly.

a lot of people have problems taking T4 only medications in that it overloads your body with thyroid hormones and your body converts the excess to RT3 which blocks your FT3.

Your Ultra High RT3 means all of your FT3 is being blocked. (ideal is like 15)
Very low FT3 means you don't have enough Free T3 for your body to use in the first place. (ideal is 3.2 - 3.8)

You really really really need to check out stopthethyroidmadness.com/things-we-have-learned/ and thyroid-rt3.com

REALLY... just humor me, and check it out. You'll be amazed how similar your stories are to the ones you will read, and what they did to get better. They have some great amazing information that will help you tremendously.

You also really need to get some additional blood tests primarily for ferritin, total iron, D25-OH, and 8am Cortisol at a minimum. Getting Progesterone, Pregnenolone, DHEA-S, Estradiol, Estrone, and Total&Free Testosterone wouldn't hurt, and could provide some invaluable insight. I can almost guarantee that if your thyroid numbers are this bad, that you more than likely have imbalance/issues with your other systems.


Hey thanks!!
I'm familiar with the sttm website.

I know this information and you know this information and anyone else that does some reading knows this information.

The problem I'm having is finding a Doctor who knows and AGREES with this information and is willing to HELP.

Sorry to hear you and your wife are battling these problems.


Pure Chance gets you on the right track with his advice. You really need to check out the Things We Have Learned section of STTM. The information there will be right up your alley. You should also check out this section:


You probably don't need the battery of tests he listed as optional--I haven't seen a woman be able to successfully treat herself with those since they are highly variable. You're mostly working with Thyroid tests (which include ferritin/iron) and cortisol (which you do need!). Get the other stuff if you can, but if insurance and costs are a concern, then you aren't doing yourself a great disservice, especially since you have a demonstrated thyroid disorder.

You're right, your doc is wrong...he would be right if he said it is your body's way of getting rid of T4 (not T3) because it is overproducing...but according to you, he didn't. When you have Hashi's your body is switching between hyper and hypo production constantly...the T4 and TSH levels you demonstrated in this labwork were merely a snapshot at what was going on at the time...The RT3 levels, which have a longer half life, tell the longer term story in that you are not converting enough T4 to T3.

You need to talk to your doctor about switching over to a T3 only medicine. This has to be dosed more frequently (multiple times per day) but will give you direct benefits. Your goal is upper 20% of the Free T3 range (and elimination of symptoms). STTM has some good info on T3 meds and natural dessicated thyroid.

Another possible reason for RT3 pooling is poor cortisol. Since you do have a thyroid disorder, this is far less likely the cause, but should be investigated nonetheless (especially since you have trouble sleeping). 8 AM cortisol test is good, but a 4x daily saliva test would be the best (I think you can get these through Labcorp now).

You can also get an idea of your thyroid and adrenal output by using a temperature chart. Take your temp immediately upon waking (before getting out of bed, drinking water, anything) and record it. Then take it 3 more times throughout the day, spaced 3 hours apart starting 3 hours after getting up. Do this for 4 or so straight days.

If your temps are varying wildly from day to day, this indicates a possible cortisol imbalance. If temps are constant, but low then your cortisol is probably ok but thyroid is now. You want constant and higher (approaching 98.6 degrees). This is a good test when you are on thyroid and cortisone to check your response to meds as well...


Forgot to add that Celiac's disease also has a correlation to Hashimoto's. Do you eat a lot of gluten? Have you ever been tested for Celiacs? May be beneficial to look into that panel as well.


Hey, thanks for chiming in.

I understand this information and it's my theory as well. But how do I present this information to my Dr in a way a factual way. Not 'I read this stuff on the internet.'

Also, funny you should mention Celiac. In the beginning of all this craziness, I started researching food intolerance's related to thyroid problems. I brought it up with my PCM at the time and that's when she told me I was crazy.

Turns out I had a gluten intolerance when I was a toddler but back then the Dr's told my Mom that I would just grow out of it.

My appt. is set for Nov 16th @ up at the military Hospital. Between now and then I will keep a detailed journal of temperatures, how much sleep I got, what and how much I ate, etc.

But really I just want to be able to discuss these things without being told I'm wrong. And I have no choice to agree because I have no rebuttal. I have all this information at hand but I don't know how to argue my case if he tells me I'm wrong and there's nothing he can do.


there are some notes under the finding an HRT doc sticky thread that could help (in general) with your discussions.

basically, you have to treat your doctor like a spoiled child, and slowly work them around to your way of thinking...

keep talking symptoms, require action (not antidepressants), propose options (can we do a trial of X like Armour or T3 only meds and see how I do?), don't demand, but be persistent. Can you please test for X if nothing else then for my peace of mind? Wouldn't it be good to test for X just to make sure that it is not contributing? and keep pushing. It's your body, your life, they're not the ones who have to suffer for months while they want to just wait and see how things go. It is slow, tedious, and backwards from how it should be, but it is the reality that we live in today. Doctors are not true partners in our health. They are simply service providers looking to make money. They are not even subject matter experts (as your experience demonstrates). We should treat them like the consultants they are and take their 'advice' with a large grain of salt.

thyroid-rt3.com has some good information as well that could help. Have you checked out that site?

you might also benefit from the sea salt pupil test - to see how your electrolyte balance is doing.


here is an article from yahoo news just today on thyroid issues.

haven't read it all yet, but it seems more balanced then most.



The Finding a Doctor stickey also has some good advice for: find a doctor! Seriously, if your current medical practitioner has his head so far up his ass he isnt willing to listen to any reason, go to a compounding pharmacy and ask for referrals to doctors who prescribe T3 only medicine. That would be a good start.


In the least you could take armour. Many doctors don't prescribe that because they think it is unreliable which is stupid. Maybe that will be enough to help your symptoms as many people report after switching they feel much better. For me I didn't notice much of a difference on armour vs. being off it so I stopped it all together as I think my sex hormone issue is what is causing me probs. So you should get a basic panel on that as well. Good luck..



As a person who has thyroid disease and has gone the route of Synthroid only for about 10 years and now has Cytomel (T3) added to the regimen, do the following:

1.First and foremost, ween yourself off ALL the stimulants. Adrenal "exhaustion" and thyroid problems go hand in hand. I know it'shard and I understand you're tired hence the energy drinks, coffee, etc., BUT this is creating havoc with your cortisol theat is already out of whack due to the hypothyroidism.
2. Do your absolute best to find a Dr. (try looking for a D.O. if possible) that will get you on T3 med or maybe Armour. I understand this may not be easy re: military healthcare though.
3. While dealing with the first two, make sure you're taking a multivitamin, maybe some additional Vit D.

Sorry I don't have more and just kind of threw these out there but I understand what it's like. Trust me, I cut back my coffee intake (2 cups/day) by more than half and my energy levels (and mood) have stabilized greatly. Huge difference.


Thank you all for the input. It is much appreciated.

Give up energy drinks???? I will try. But I only drink one pre gym..the rest of the day I'm 'clean.' Does that count? :slight_smile: And on days I don't go to the gym I don't have them.

As suggested I started taking my temp every 3-4hrs for the last few days..I haven't even climbed out of the 96s.


my wife was on T4 for the longest time and never believed in Reverse T3 issues, but once she went to Armour and got on the right dose (plus started taking IsoCort to support her adrenals) she is doing 75% better. She still has a ways to go, but at least she is now functioning.

IsoCort is an OTC supplement. It contains 2.5 equivalent of HydroCortisone. You can take up to 8 pills a day to support your adrenals (if shown needed from a blood test and with discussing with your doctor - if you can find one who actually wants to partner with you). Might be something to look at. The extra cortisol will help clear your high RT3 and boost your free T3. If you do try IsoCort, start off slow. 1 pill am / 1 pill pm, wait a 4-7 days then increase by a one pill, up to a max of 4 am / 4 pm.


Thanks again.

I am hoping beyond hope this next Dr. 'get's it.'

I've been taking temps, keeping track of cals and morning weight, etc.
I can't even get the scale to budge doing 'veggie fasts,' during the week. I'm using that as 'proof,' for my case as well.

I've had a cold this week which means no gym time. Which means no energy drinks and guess what? My temp has gone up in the morning(to 97.4 yesterday.) and I haven't had any heart palps during the day/night. Interesting...


Going back to the gluten intolerance thing.
Would talking to my regular Doc be the way to go with investigating that? The more I think about it and the more I read, I really would like to know for sure.

When I was toddler I had a gluten intolerance but it sounded more like Celiac the way she described symptoms. But back then the Dr's said I would 'just grow out of it.'

I'd like to know for sure so I can avoid it entirely for health reasons. As of now I have it every once in awhile because I don't know for sure. I don't want to avoid it unnecessarily if I don't need to. Does that make sense??


Also, I sucked it up and got the sttm BOOK, 2nd edition. Can't wait to get my hands on it!


Bah, I wish you asked about this before buying. I would've just mailed you my copy.

Oh, wells. Best of luck with all this.