High Dosing on Synthroid?

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For 30 years I was hypothyroid and did fine on a high dose around 250 mg daily.  Two years ago I started the well known "foggy head, tired all day" syndrome. I'm seeing a good endocrinologist but nothing works. My levels are normal at 190 mg daily. He cautions against a higher dose because of the danger of osteoporosis etc.

Still, I wonder how I would feel on a radically higher dose. Has anyone tried it? I'm thinking 300 mg daily maybe? Please share any relevant experiences.

Thanks!

Dave

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Dave, my experience with Synthroid and levothyroxin was that it worsened the thyroid autoimmune response. So as I increased the dose, the meds became less effective, as my immune system reacted more to them. 

    I ended up on a very high dose, but still had hypo symptoms so I went off the levo and tried other things. Eventually, I dumped the meds completely.

    However, there are some controversial protocols using high doses of T4 or NDT temporarily to desensitize the immune system by going extremely hyperthyroid for a short period of time, resulting in lowering thyroid resistance, and hence much lower doses that are still effective.

    In all, the reason doc's are hesitant to prescribe high doses of thyroid meds is due to the fact that side effects increase as the dose increases. So you basically increase your odds of a serious illness due to the meds. My dose was very high and I ended up with multiple fractures and breaks in my foot due in part to bone deterioration caused by high doses of medication.

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  • Posted

    I agree with Madski.   If your hormone levels are where they should be, you don't need more hormones.  That's all that Synthroid is (a synthetic hormone).  I'm about to get a little "hippie" on you but you might want to consider your dietary intake.  You may be low in certain vitamins - possibly vitamin B. 

    I barely have any Hashimoto's symptoms ("yet" I'm told), but I've been a pescatarian for 2.5 years and upon receiving my diagnosis of hypothyroidism in early October of this year, I've decided to try a gluten-free diet.  I began some herbal supplements after doing some research, and starting taking a Vitamin B Complex and D3.  I'm 5'3 and was around 150 lbs at the time of diagnosis.  I weighed in today at 137.  I didn't feel symptomatic at the time of the diagnosis (maybe mild fatigue - I'm a 29 year old careerwoman, what do you expect), but I feel great now.  Niacin can apparently be an energy booster.  And I think the two go hand-in-hand; if you're feeling fatigued, you're probably not thinking well. 

    Good luck to you... -L.

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    • Posted

      Lisa, you're right. Diet has a huge impact on thyroid disease. Many supplements are also helpful. I've found amino acid therapy to be incredibly helpful.

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  • Posted

    Synthroid is in mcg, not mg...so I am reeling...are you perhaps taking 250 mcg daily?

    What are all of your levels?

    I suspect that if Cytomel which is T3 were added, you would perk up. Synthroid is T4 and is converted into T3 for our body use. The reason T4 is given is that it is longer acting.

    But some of our bodies do an inefficient job of converting T4 into T3. This is why about 50% of Synthroid users respond so favorably to the addition of Cytomel. The initial dose is 5 mcg daily...I take 10 mcg.

    You may also be able to reduce the Synthroid dose after the addition of Cytomel, I did...from 212 down to 125.

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    • Posted

      So Dave, sounds like you're pretty backed into a whole. The worst part of this is the three month lag time for results since the thyroid system takes a while to adjust, especially with diet. The best we can hope for are early signs of success to help guide us. I've found blood tests most setup when things are super wonky or to see if there's on number on the high end and another in the mid or low end. 

      Since cytomel did not help, you know that either 1. synthetic T3 doesn't work for you, or 2. You have sufficient T3, 3. The synthetic T4 converted to T3 doesn't work, or 4. The synthetic T4 doesn't work or only partially works.

      After my horrible experience where none of the meds worked well enough to justify the side effects, I would encourage you to think outside the box and be willing to try other options. I'm getting the best relief so far from amino acid therapy. My mother had declining health for years on the levo, I switched her to ThyroGold and she's a different person, doing much better so far.

      I've been at this thyroid thing my whole life. Always difficulty heeling weight off, a large cyst for over 15 years, very severe hypo symptoms since 2009, on meds since 2012, now off the meds. My sense is that thyroid disease has many causes, so to truly heal, you have to do a little detective work and trial and error to treat the causes of the disease. Otherwise, you're most likely to go down a path of worsening thyroid condition even with the meds.

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    • Posted

      Just in case....it takes a minimum for 6 weeks for a change I make today to be read in a blood test...thyroid is agonizingly slow...another thought, are you on a very high protein, low starch, low sugar diet...lots of vegetables...Catherine is our diet guru ...
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    • Posted

      I have wondered about thyrogold. I tried NDT for a while, but that only saw my TSH go way high so I went back to Synthroid. It has been my impression that Thyrogold is similar to NDT, but perhaps that is not the case. Can you verify that? Any other info and/or experiences wth Thyrogold?

      Thanks for this!

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    • Posted

      Catherine! I was recently referred to a kinesiologist who does a lot with aminos and has helped people, in general, get off meds (though I don't know what kind of meds those were). I hadn't come across anything about aminos when it comes to the thyroid so I have been a little hesitant but now I think I have to give it a shot.

      May I ask, do you have Hashimoto's or hypothyroidism? I have Hashimoto's, was diagnosed in early October and haven't started synthroid yet because I really want to reverse the disease, if I can. I wasn't diagnosed because of symptoms; I barely have any (I feel terrible for the people on this thread with their symptoms); I was diagnosed based off readings on blood tests results that I had drawn for a different issue. I've started taking some supplement to support my immune system and thyroid function, I was already a vegetarian but I have now ditched gluten, soy, and most dairy. Since ditching gluten, I lost 13 lbs and I haven't been to the gym since late September (when I had an issue that lead me to going to the ER and having blood drawn). I'm 5'3 and now 137 lbs, and feel good. I'm starting to really believe diet has a lot to do with it.

      I have a call in to consult with a DO who does a lot with diet for Hashimoto's but I know I also need to get established with an endocrinologist. Hoping the DO thinks he can help, and that the DO and endo will play nice together...

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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa, I tried the aminos bc the meds were really not working enough for me to be functional,Mao I started looking at different points in the feedback loop and found tyrosine. But the tyrosine is made by the body from phenylalanine. I figured if I'm low on one, I'm probably low in others. 

      So so I did therapeutic doses of essential amino acids plus extra phenylalanine. After about three weeks, I was able to lower it. Had a few migraines, but am feeling MUCH BETTER,

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    • Posted

      Hi Dave, NDT comes from pigs' thyroid glands and it has much higher T3 /T4 than humans. It's more biologically compatible except for the ratio problem.  The high T3 is contraindicated for older folks because it can cause heart palpitations due to the highT3/T4 ratio.

      Levo is T4 only, so you tend to get high T4/T3 ratios compared with natural human levels.

      The problem with your TSH spiking is probably due to incorrect dosing (too low). It also takes a full three months for the meds to level out after each dose adjustment.

      The Thyrogold is made from cow thyroid, and has a T3/T4 ratio much closer to humans. So for people on a very high dose, it offers the best biological ratio. 

      I started my mom on the ThyroGold a couple weeks ago and she's doing really well so far. She's requiring a much lower dose than expected.

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    • Posted

      I just started my mom on ThyroGold. Barbara who posts here has been using the ThyroGold for a while. 

      Here's what I started with for my mom; 

      300mg ThyroGold = 50mcg thyroxine. 150mg ThyroGold = 25mcg thyroxine

      She was on 125 mcg of levo, which was too low, so I tried three x300 mg (2in the morning , 1 at night). This was too high for her, so I dropped to 2 of them for now.

      She has had her thyroid gland removed, so needs a high dose. She has other health problems, she doesn't notice changes in her body so she can't tell me how she's doing on the meds, and her system is rather delicate. So I'm being very careful with her dosing. I also have her on amino acids.

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