Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Arizona Thyroid Doctor Comments:
I just had a patient come in with low thyroid symptoms and ask if it was possible to feel worse when switching from an synthetic to natural thyroid hormones. You may be surprised at the answer I gave her. I told her yes, of course they can. She’s a 42-year-old teacher with two children. She’d been diagnosed years ago was low thyroid condition after having her second child. She was put on synthetic hormones.
Over the years she had had her dosage changed several times trying to find the sweet spot that would eliminate all of her symptoms. She was tired and frustrated with the constipation, weight gain, fatigue, and brain fog and hair loss. Her doctor was able to change the dosages for she would feel better for little while, but then the honeymoon would be over and her symptoms would be back in full force.
So, after several years day that she decided to try to find a different solution to her low hypothyroidism. She decided that natural hormones would be better for her to take. When she approached her primary physician with the idea of taking natural thyroid hormone replacement, he was not receptive to the idea. She decided to go to a natural path and was put on natural thyroid hormone replacement.
She was also put on some adrenal support for her fatigue, vitamins for her hair loss, neurotransmitters for her brain fog, digestive enzymes, and some melatonin to help her sleep. Unfortunately for her, her symptoms only got worse. Unfortunately, the natural path used the same model that most medical doctors use. He just replaced the medication with vitamins and herbs. He did not search for the cause of the patient’s low thyroid symptoms.
It turns out she has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune condition where the body has lost self tolerance and attacks the thyroid gland. Was it a matter of just switching her thyroid hormone replacement back to the synthetic hormones that enabled her to become symptom-free? It was one piece of her health puzzle that helped. She also had some neurological imbalances, sugar issues, gastrointestinal issues, immune system issues, and triggers that needed addressed.
Yes, it is possible to feel worse on natural thyroid hormone replacement.
If you are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms, make sure you find a doctor that understands we’ve just talked about.