October 6, 2011 in Health and Hygiene , Thoughts and Tips

I have long suspected that my thyroid was not working to its full potential and so about a year ago I started getting blood work done to analyze the situation.

At the time, my only symptoms were hair loss and an inability to lose weight no matter what I did to alter my diet and exercise.

I did not want to start taking medication just because I wanted to lose weight, but I did want to know if my suspicions were correct.

And they were.

My TSH is on the high side, but nothing alarming.

The real problem is that my T3 and T4 do not convert.

Because my symptoms were so minimal, I decided not to take the meds at the time. I decided just to continue monitoring it with periodic blood tests.

At that point I really tightened up my paleo diet, and started taking some natural supplements that are supposed to help with thyroid.

I felt pretty sure that I could control it myself. Maybe not get totally better, but certainly not get worse.

This past July, I went to get follow up bloodwork done.

THEN, This past August as I was on my way to get the results, and I decided to make a quick pit stop at Walgreens on the way.

Like a nervous high school student, I bought a pregnancy test, went into the bathroom and peed on the stick!

We all know how that worked out for me!

My heart was racing when I got to the Dr. and I just laughed when the nurse went to take my blood pressure!

I knew that pregnancy would totally alter the course of action in terms of thyroid, and it did.

Turned out my T3 and T4 were still not cooperating at all.

The Dr. was concerned about my ability to sustain the pregnancy without proper thyroid function and so I am now hesitantly taking Armour Thyroid.

We are constantly monitoring it until we get the dosage correct. And I am still not sure how I will feel about taking it after the baby is born.

I am posting this abbreviated version of my thyroid story becuase I am shocked at how common thyroid troubles are. If you have any of the symptoms you should just go get checked.

BUT, DO NOT GO TO A GENERAL PRACTITIONER. They only test your TSH and maybe T4. You need ALL your hormones tested to get the real picture.

For example: At my first ObGyn appointment, with the standard bloodwork, they tested the TSH and T4. I was told both were normal, which is true, but I have NO T3 so the other numbers are not telling the whole story.

You have to be your own Advocate!


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This post was getting too serious so I thought I would show you what happens when you ask weirdos to help you roll the change!!

23 Responses to “Thyroid”
  1. Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been in the same boat: hair loss and unable to lose weight despite working out and eating correctly. I recently went off my birth control thinking that this was the cause, but so far, it is not helping. I once had my thyroid tested (10 years ago) and it was okay, but I think I’ll have it tested again. It’s also good to know about the different levels and how most doctors only test for two. What doctor did you originally go to? Have you always gone to your OBGYN for this? Good luck with your pregnancy and congrats on that news!

  2. Jennifer says:

    after i found out i had it, it was amazing how many others in my family had it! extremely hereditary (mom, brother, aunts, etc.) thanks!

  3. Jen says:

    Wow! I literally just hung up the phone with my doctor and received the same news! I, too, have been struggling to lose weight no matter how much I exercise or eat right and will be hesitantly taking Armour thyroid as well. I’m glad to hear that I am not alone. Let us know how it works out for you!


  4. Darby says:

    So if you don’t suggest a General Practitioner and your OBGYN didn’t get it right… what kind of dr did you go too? I hope that the medicine helps tremendously and that you have peace about being on it.

  5. Susan says:

    My husband has been struggling with thyroid issues for about six months now. At first, we thought his gp could handle it, but we soon learned he needed to see an endocrinologist. Determining his course of treatment has been a slow process, even with the specialist handling his problems. His thyroid is hyperactive, and he is being tested this week to rule out/in Graves disease. Like you, I have been surprised at how many people are affected by thyroid issues. I have also been shocked by how important the thyroid is, and how an ill-functioning gland can affect all aspects of a person’s well-being, from energy level to mood swings and personality changes. I am glad you have gotten a proper diagnosis and have know what it is you are dealing with.

  6. Ruth says:

    And it is the FREE T3 and FREE T4 that you need to really know what is going on. There is a great book called what your doctor is not telling you about hypothyrodism – I would recommend that to anybody. Also the ranges for TSH that many doctors consider normal would have me flat in bed and gaining weight – this is one topic in which YOU need to be your own advocate for sure.

  7. lucy m says:

    My mom has a problem with her thyroid as well… losing her hair, not losing weight, etc. She also has celiacs (I’ve mentioned this before), and that is causing her body to reject the thyroid medicine. Totally complicated and frustrating for her. The hair loss (although certainly less important that her overall health) is definitely hard for her. Has your hair loss slowed or stopped? She has done TONS of research and seen lots of specialists, but it always helps to hear from other people who have success stories.

  8. chris says:

    i was diagnosed in 2003 and am finally frustrated enough to do some serious reading and research. i am currently reading “living well with hypothyroidism” by mary j shomon. there’s so much information its kind of overwhelming. i am also doing research on the websites and all these are guiding me to find the right way to handle my health.

    i dont know where it will all lead but i’m so grateful that people are doing something about it, otherwise i would have to live in this misery forever thinking there isn’t anything more.

    if you don’t feel good don’t stop searching for why. be more in control of your own health.


  9. Luci says:

    Just wanted to give you a heads up- a naturalist doctor here in the DC area has a weekly radio program and happened to be talking about hashimotos/thyroid disorders this past Sunday. (listen here to Oct 2nd podcast I was only able to catch a moment or two of the program, but Dr. Roselle did say that apparently the gene mutations that result in thyroid issues is the SAME gene where wheat/gluten intolerance is found (don’t think I just worded that properly, but since your kids have gluten intolerance, figured I should at least try :) His programs are only 1 hour, so it might be worth listening to!

    Hope you get back to feeling more ‘normal’ soon. love the blog, please keep writing!

  10. Michlyn says:

    Many congrats on the pregnancy! So exciting!! I understand your hesitation to take any medication especially during pregnancy but it is actually WAY better that you are on the armour while you are pregnant than to go through pregnancy with insufficient thyroid hormones or conversion. While Armour isn’t synthetic, it is made from pig and there have been a few recalls over the years. I was on it for years and never had any problems (except when I couldn’t get it because it went on extreme backorder from Forest a couple of years ago). Two products that are also natural and exact to Armour in T3 and T4 ratio are Nature Throid and ERFA Thyroid (Canadian manufacturer) and also available at without a Rx. Also, Dr. Soto in Sandestin stocks Nature Throid– two options if you don’t feel better on the Armour. Also, loads of B12- all forms! You’ve already got it down with the diet… lucky baby on the way!! Take care! Michlyn x

  11. Grace says:

    Hey Marla – I just got back from the OBGYN check-up where she found that my throid was enlarged – they took blood for lab work and I am scheduled for an ultrasound this week. I wish I would have read this before I went. I didn’t think I had any symptoms of anything, but readling the list realize that I do….we shall see. I am not sure what labs were ordered but will be sure to address it all with them at my followup. What type of Dr. are you seeing for this issue if not your ob?

  12. Jacqueline says:

    Congrats on the pregnancy! Have you looked to see what the drug class rating is for Armour during pregnancy? Your doctor would for sure know this (and I am sure knew before prescribing, but it would still be reassuring to know). There *are* natural alternatives that don’t involve any meds–these might help and you don’t have to have any pregnancy concerns. Check out the Women to Women site’s info: and Good luck and thanks for the blog about thyroid and pregnancy. I am sure everything is going to be great!

  13. Alima says:

    Wow! It’s so awesome to read a post from someone so likeminded! Love Dr Datis. He’s a genius. My dad (who is a chiro) has taken many of his seminars and helped me get my thyroid on track without having to use anything but natural supplementation. My issue is TSH though, my T4 and T3 show normal. I was able to regulate mine with the natural supplements through my pregnancy and have a very healthy son. So you will do great. Some people need the Armour (my mom had to take it as the natural supplements just weren’t helping her enough) and according to my Dad it’s much better than centhroid and the other artificial thryoid meds. Eating paleo is the best thing too. High insulin is the thyroids worst enemy, so you are doing all the right things! Keep it up! I love seeing someone else who advocates and educates themself on their own health instead of just listending to what the MD says.

  14. Laurie says:

    Thanks you thank you thank you for posting this. I just went to the doctor yesterday and suspects a thyroid issue for me! Hair loss, fatigue, weight gain in my mid section, night sweats, the whole sha-bang! I go for blood work next week. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant and the OB has had me on all kinds of fertility drugs but nothing seem to work. Thanks for the resources, I’m going to dive in!

  15. Megan says:

    This is actually my first time to your blog and I just went to the doctor this week because I suspect I may have hyperthyroidism… so it’s crazy for me to stumble across this now! Thank you for sharing your experience as well as the website and books… it’s truly helpful for someone like me who is just getting started learning about this whole issue/process. It’s also encouraging to see there are others dealing with similar issues, and I’m also looking into starting the Paleo diet as well!

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing and congratulations on the news of your sweet little one, I’m definitely adding you to my reader!

  16. Barbara says:

    Could it be that you may have elevated Bisphenol A levels (sources: canned goods & plastics)? You mentioned that you’ve tried to alter your eating lifestyle…have you tried increasing your iron (ideally plant based iron). I would recommend Dr. Sebi’s herbs. They are wonderful.

  17. Karen says:

    What natural supplements were you taking?

  18. Tiffany says:

    Life is amazing sometimes. I have suspected that I have thyroid issues for a long time. I had it checked several years ago and it came back “normal.” My symptoms have been increasing lately, so finally yesterday I called and made an appointment with a different doctor. I will be going in next week. Today I was looking at the updated list on 100 days of real food blog of other whole food bloggers. I clicked on your blog to check out first ONLY because my daughter’s name is Amelia. I read some posts, liked what I saw and was about to close it down when I thought I would look at one more “page” of pictures, since I love your photography. What was the title? You guessed it “thyroid.” I have been looking at the resources and crying! I am sure part of this is due to the crazy “fog” my brain is in but also because I finally feel like I can figure out what is wrong with me! Thank you for posting this. You helped me today!

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  20. valT4Thomas says:

    Love your blog. Thank you. Just staggering how many people are suffering and continue to go undiagnosed. Helps to know I’m not the only one. Weight gain, severe hair loss, extreme fatigue, brain fog, huge goiter, etc….normal labs. Go figure.

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