The intrusion of reality about levothyroxine, Synthroid, T4 and depression


STTM Depression and T4-only(This post was updated to the present day and time. Enjoy!)

I’ve been perusing comments in response to the UK’s Royal College of Physicians blundering and dark-age-constructed Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Hypothyroidism. And though all comments are quite good and worth your read, I was struck by the comment titled May Reality Intrude? by a man named Charles.

Charles profound story about his wife’s depression

Charles explains that in 1999, his 67-year-old wife had RAI (radioactive iodine) and was then put on levothyroxine, a T4-only medication (aka Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, Oroxine, levothyroxine, et al). And not long after, she complained of having depression.

He had an idea why after reading the New England Journal of Medicine about T3, and proceeded to buy her Armour off the internet. For those reading this, Armour is one of several brands of Natural Desiccated Thyroid–the latter which contains all five hormones that a healthy thyroid produces: T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.

Without her knowing, he switched medications. Lo and behold, he states “she promptly returned to her usual sunny disposition”. Her physician knew nothing of the switch either, and found nothing to be concerned about in her.

Charles then explained how, at age 74 in 2007, she was near death thanks to an ulcer bleed. And to continue treating her hypothyroidism, the hospital gave her levothyroxine, aka T4-only, all over again. Back came her depression and a feeling of wanting to go home and die.

So Charles brought her Armour to the hospital, and though her physical state was depressing enough, her sunny disposition returned. And that happy spirit while still on Armour continues today after a full recovery.

And Charles pondered: If his wife had been in a NHS (National Health Service) hospital under the care of a so-called thyroid specialist of the NHS, would she have failed to obtain T3 in her treatment and instead, sent to a psychiatrist as if her depression had nothing to do with her levothyroxine treated hypothyroidism–the very treatment that the Royal College of Physicians has a dogmatic love affair with?

He then concludes: My wife’s depression was obvious. Since she is equipped with much the same assortment of body parts and associated physiology as others, is it not likely that many levothyroxine-treated patients suffer from less-noticeable depression?

Our experiences as thyroid patients agree with Charles!

Well Charles, most any thyroid patient who decides to respond to this will tell you unequivocally YES, YES, YES. Because there’s no research, study or directive that is more profound and telling than the actual EXPERIENCE of patients all over the world with T4 treatment and depression…besides a slew of other side effects of continuing hypothyroidism on T4-only meds.

Why have so many experienced depression on T4-only?

Because we’ve learned repeatedly that the body is not meant to live for T4 alone, which is simply a storage hormone, not to live for conversion alone. T4 is meant to convert to the active hormone T3. Studies reveal that T3 influences the effect of the transmitters serotonin and catecholamine in the brain–both which effect mood. Without enough T3, an imbalance in serotonin seems to occur. So when one is forced to live for conversion alone, the body doesn’t appear to get enough of the powerful T3. Depression is just one of many side effects of a poor treatment with T4-only.

Go here to read several stories of patients whose depression went away with the right thyroid treatment.

* Did you have depression on a T4 med? Tell us about your experience in the Comments section of this post.

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Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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69 Responses to “The intrusion of reality about levothyroxine, Synthroid, T4 and depression”

  1. Sally

    I can definetly say since being on t4 Levo only I’ve gone from bad to worse to the point now my emotional state is daily crying angry feeling of my life taken away I’m on a 100mcg now and I’m hardly sleeping or eating the list goes on I can identify with posts on here I’m just glad I’ve seen them I’m not imagining anything there’s so much more to this Hashimoto’s as it is without the actual medication making you feel worse so badly treated by these endocrinologist n Gps they really don’t have a clue

  2. Sally

    I can definetly say since being on t4 Levo only I’ve gone from bad to worse to the point now my emotional state is daily crying angry feeling of my life taken away I’m on a 100mcg now and I’m hardly sleeping or eating the list goes on I can identify with posts on here just had I’ve seen them I’m not imagining anything there’s so much more to this Hashimoto’s as it is without the actual medication making you feel worse so badly treated by these endocrinologist n Gps they really don’t have a clue

  3. Bonita Kinney

    Thanks for posting. This happened to me. The higher I have gone the worse the depression got. I finally had to stop it because my endocrinologist wasn’t doing anything about it. Sure wish they would start with t3 to begin with. Such a nightmare dealing with all this and their very stupidly strict procedures. Why is everything to the books. People obviously work very differently from books. Glad to hear you can buy it off the internet!!

  4. Kim K Kocourek

    I quit taking my levothyroxin (125mcg daily), to start essential oils. I cut back over two weeks and was feeling better then I had in years. Had annual wellness check, thyroid and liver tests were off the charts. Dr. put me back on same size of Levo and I feel worse then I ever have. Today I want to kill my husband just for talking and slitting my wrists seems like a very sane thing to do! And I told Dr. how good I felt with out meds and she didn’t even consider anything else. If I make it through today I am stopping the levo and calling her Monday. I would rather live shorter life felling better, then live another day the way I do now!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Sorry that this wasn’t approved sooner. The notifications I’ve been getting show nothing, so I’ve had to figure out to go in manually to see these.

      Levo has been proven by patients worldwide to be a inadequate way to treat hypo. The body is not meant to live for conversion alone to T3. But no need to consider slitting your wrists!! Sounds like you need a much better doctor or find one who will understand it’s T3 in your treatment you need. Also worthy to test your iron and cortisol, plus RT3.

  5. missy

    Thank you so much for your article! After the birth of my first and second child I became very depressed, was completely fatigued and also suffered from anxiety, etc. We went to many doctors who diagnosed me with postpartum depression. But, I knew that there was something else wrong with my body. We saw another doctor who after examining my dry skin, took an ultrasound of my thyroid. He said that there was a massive nodule. I went to a thyroid specialist who gave me 50mg of L-Thyroxine T4 and told me to come to him a year later The symptoms continued..the fatigue, the depression and so my husband found a new doctor who diagnosed me with Hashimotos. She encouraged me to have a thyroidectomy and gradually put my level of thyroxine higher every two to four weeks. After the thyroidectomy, the biopsy showed cancer on both sides. Eventually she had me on 200mg L-thyroxine T4. I do remember her telling me to try using T3 as well but if I remember correctly, it made me quite anxious. After the thyroidectomy, I felt like committing suicide, it was so bad but eventually started feeling much better. I also came off of eating gluten and dairy…this seemed to help somewhat. I started feeling happy and depressed no longer. From my experience, it seems that when I do consume gluten or dairy, the symptoms of thyroiditis become more severe, almost like a ‘auto-immune attack’. Eventually, I saw a psychiatrist who put me onto three other meds. One of them being Lamatragine. This seemed to push my thyroid levels down so the thyroid specialist pushed my levels to 225mg of thyroxine T4. I felt good but still suffered once a month with anger and agitation. The Lamotrigine didn’t seem to work like how the doctor had hoped and so he started taking me off of it slowly. After coming down, I realised that the symptoms got stronger and so I came down to 200mg L-thyroxine T4. I then started feeling worse, and had severe bloating and pain in my stomach. I went to see an internal doctor and he told me that my TSH was non-existent which meant that my brain was saying that my body had too much T4. So he brought my L-thyroxine down to 175mg. Since then, Ive been lying in bed each day, depressed. My hair is falling out, even my eyebrow hair is. I feel completely fatigued, and I have incredible bloating and constipation. He told me that thyroxin does not fix the gut as many believe. But, in all honesty, I suffered with constipation until I started L-thyroxin. His argument is that a high dose of thyroxin can cause osteoporosis in later life. But next week, I have to do another blood test and will see the thyroid specialist again. She felt that 238mg T4 would be my perfect level. I am a bit confused. For one, the medical world is in a state of chaos…each doctor says something different. Would 238mg T4 be too much? Or is it that maybe I would need Armour?
    Please help, your experience means a lot to me.
    Many thanks!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Missy. Sorry you’ve been having all those issues. Tell you what…everything pertaining to STTM is about solid reported patient experiences. And from all those, we know repeatedly, for all too many, that being on T4-only is simply not the way to go. It forces you to depend on conversion of T4 to T3 alone, which has caused problem for millions over the years, sooner…or later. Read this to understand if you haven’t already, because the way to truly get well is understand all this:

      Instead, it’s natural desiccated thyroid which has changed lives, as it contains all five hormones, which means you also get direct T3. And no, it’s not about just “Armour”. There are many brands. And since Forest was bought out by Activas, there have been a substantial amount of people who have left Armour behind for those other brands because they got worse on the Activas version of Armour. So, study this page: It will explain how patients start on NDT, how they raise it, what they look for, and how important it is to know your iron and cortisol levels, as well. And be prepared that you’ll have to teach your doctor all you read, or find a much more open-minded one to get well.

  6. Tk

    I would love to know if anyone else has experienced the opposite?. After 3.5 years I have literally, and I mean that seriously, tried every type of thyroid medication available to me in canada. All of them have given me side effects that are worse than not taking anything at all, but the most intense was suicidal depression. 100% related to the medication, when I wasn’t taking it I was fine, when I took the medication and it built up in my system then the depression will come on again.

    Unfortunately I’m allergic to filler in almost all of them called micro crystalline cellulose. I had to go with the very expensive compound option of natural desiccated thyroid suspended in olive oil . Even that creates the same problems and I gradually reduced my dose to one drop every 7 days being initially told to take 30 drops per day!

    I’m taking the time to write this because hopefully there will be some information here that’s helpful to others. And maybe there’s someone else out there who has some insight into what to do?

    And someone who has never taken medication and is not keen on it in the first place, I am really hoping to find some balance. Otherwise what is the point of taking medication for your thyroid if it makes you suicidally depressed with physical symptoms that are worse than the symptoms you had when you started?

  7. Cathy Craig

    Yes! This is my fourth time trying synthetic thyroid hormone for my hypothyroidism. So glad to find this site to validate my own personal experience. I definitely feel depression on this medicine. I need to see an expert!

  8. Elizabeth

    I was diagnosed about a year ago as hypothyroid. Unlike most of you, my doctor started me on armour. For the first six months things looked good, I had more energy, my hair filled back in, I felt happy and motivated…. Then things started to change, my TSH started creeping up, despite increasing my dose three times in four months, all of the horrible symptoms that originally drove me to the doctor to begin with returned along with this horrible irrational rage. Each time we increased my dose the symptoms got worse. After not missing a single dose in ten months. I missed two days in a row and by the end of the third day I felt a million times better and determined there had to be a link. My doctor agreed to try me on something different after letting the armour wash out of my system for a few weeks(by the end of the three weeks I was physically trashed, exhausted, but still emotionally better than I had been in months if not since before diagnosis) I’m a week into 25mcg of synthroid and drove to work today in tears while debating driving my car head on into oncoming traffic. It started the first day for about an hour after taking the pill, I felt really anxious. Same thing the second and third day. But by the afternoon of day four, the rage is back, I snap at everything and it’s not just a snap, I get so mad and just can’t drop the littlest things. And now the thought of suicide. I know it’s a reaction to the medication, my doctor says give it another five weeks and we’ll go from there. After seeing how fast I developed severe physical symptoms being unmedicated, I’m terrified to think this might be my new normal. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Were you able to get relief? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Elizabeth. Your answer is here:

      • Julie

        Dear Janie,
        Thank you for all the amazing work you have done and are doing for the large population with thyroid issues. I intend to read the book, but wonder if you could say why it is so many people are suffering from thyroid issues. Is there a cause?
        Also, I understand that comma hypothyroid is one disorder and Hashimoto’s is another. Hashimoto’s Disease comes from the presence of anti-bodies in the thyroid and is considered an auto-immune disorder (usually with other auto-immune problems showing up in other systems of the body as well). Does the discussion here pertain to both kinds of hypothyroidism? I have the auto-immune type and have been on Levothyroxine for a little over a year. I find it has helped with some of my symptoms, such as migraines, forgetfulness, and weight gain (but these are not entirely gone). The reason I finally got out of bed and looked on line this morning is because I wake up every morning from an episode of anxiety, heart racing, and dread. That same feeling comes occasionally during the day too — kind of out of the blue. I wondered if it had to do with the fact that the anxiety attack comes just before I am due for my pill. And the afternoon anxiety might have to do with some corresponding bio-rhythm 12 hours later. Is the animal hormone good for the auto-immune form of Hypo-T? What if one is vegetarian? What if they are feeding the pigs a bunch of crap in an industrial feed lot? Thanks for your answers.

  9. Sue Asch

    I have been on Levothyroxine for about 2 years, now. Again, I am feeling tired, no energy, and losing hair. That has been going on for about 1 month. I have also had no sex drive for about a year (is this related also?) I called the Dr. who ordered some labs. I already know he is not going to change the medication because he said “He highly doubts it has anything to do with my thyroid as I am on thyroid medication”. He did ask me if I felt depressed. I have been reading some of the other comments, and it sounds like depression goes with this medication. I am also down to about 900 calories a day, because if I eat more, I will put on the pounds. Between the “NO Sex Drive, moodiness, tiredness, and weight problem, I don’t know what to do. I am 62, and before all this came about, I was jumping my husband every other day. I really miss those times. I was reading about Charles and what he did for his wife. I was wondering how he was able to get the Armour over the internet. Every website I have gone to says it is by prescription only. Any help you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated. Here are the labs he has ordered for me: ALT, SERUM [84460 CPT(R)]
    LIPID PANEL [80061 CPT(R)]
    TSH [84443 CPT(R)]
    VITAMIN D, 25-HYDROXY [82306 CPT(R)]

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Yes, there are plenty of females who have reported a diminished sex drive due to their treatment with T4-only meds, besides so many other symptoms of continued hypothyroidism due to a poor treatment….such as easy weight gain, inability to lose weight, hair loss, thinning outer eyebrows, brittle nails, dry skin, depression, easy fatigue, the need for naps, aches and pains, painful soles of feet, anxiety…and the list goes on and on. Of course, what each person reports is individual, but they are so common.

      Also, your doctor is only going by the TSH…a huge mistake that informed patients have learned repeatedly. He’s the kind of doctor we run from to find a much more informed one! Take the time to read this:

      Also, Armour is just one many fine brands. In fact, many patients are not happy with Armour right now–it’s doubled in price, and some say their symptoms have returned. This page explains the other different brands:

      And finally, here’s a page on how to find a much better doctor: prepared that you will have to guide even a better doctor by learning this:

  10. Cris

    I ve had depression when i took a break from the treatment.

  11. Sandra Lynn

    After only 4 doses of 50 mcg of levothyroxin I thought I was losing my mind. I had terrible anxiety, heat flashes, rage and depression. Since two friends had been prescribed this drug and told me they ‘felt terrible’ on it, I stopped it and asked my doctor for Armour. After another blood test which showed all my levels to be well within normal range (after only 4 doses!) she then prescribed the Armour. Because I had done some research and learned that this stuff has a half life of 6 to 14 days (which means it continues to stay in your system for that period of time, slowly diminishing by half each day) I asked the doctor if I should wait a week or so until the levo got out of my system before starting a new drug. She cheerily replied “Sure, if you want.” What I wanted was to reach through the phone and yank HER thyroid out through her throat. It has been 10 days since my last dose and I still feel so chemically unbalanced that if I didn’t know about the horrible effects of this drug, I would be trying to get myself committed. The manufacturers list 27 symptoms as “less common” or “bothersome” and actually say they will go away as the body ‘adjusts’ and that it may be weeks before these side effects occur. I would like to start a class action against manufacturers of this drug for their failure to warn of the truly dire, immediate and long lasting side effects of this drug. Who wants to join me?

  12. Ros Hall

    Just to add my voice to all these. I felt horribly depressed on synthetic levothyroxin and felt sure the drug was causing it. I told my doctor who replied “there is no evidence that levothyroxin causes depression”. So I shrugged and left, feeling that I was right anyway. Bought natural thyroid from New Zealand, experimented with dosage and lo and behold my depression lifted. I think I would be dead by now if I hadn’t done this. It was that bad. I have not suffered from depression since, even though I have had some very traumatic events. There is clearly a problem. It is being reported by patients. And it is being ignored.

  13. Jennifer Smith

    I am at the bottom with what’s going on with me. I have ZERO motivation to do anything, feel hollow, depressed obviously, and honestly feel like I have nowhere to go with it. I have been on Levo for over 10 years now, and after reading so much on this site, I am convinced my thyroid is not being treated correctly. I want to try Armour, or something natural, but am afraid I will really risk messing myself up, and also know my GP won’t go this route, so I am lost. I could really use some input on all of this and what I need to do. I feel sad all the time and wonder why I even walk this earth, I feel pointless. I DO NOT want to go on anti-depressants and I feel in my gut this is not the answer for me, but at the same time, I feel helpless with no other place to turn to try to find out what is really wrong. Note: I am currently taking 100mcg of Levo. Thank you in advance for any advice, input, etc.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Jennifer, sorry you are feeling so bad with depression and hollowness. Here’s a page that will help you find a much better doc than the current one you have: But I also want you to know this: though there are some doctors far better than others, you will also need to be informed, because you will have to guide even the better docs in some areas. For example, though my doc easily prescribes NDT and understands you can’t go by the TSH, he will proclaim me normal in other areas simply because I fall “in the range”, such as iron. Lab results have nothing to do with falling in the normal range.

      So after you have found a much better doc, start with this: Also get the revised STTM book. I know you probably still have brain fog, but learn a little at a time.

  14. Randa

    Ok so here is my story. I started on levothyroxine, high dose and turned hyper symptoms were so bad, then switched to synthroid, felt okay then blood work is not good kept playing with dose till numbers were fine but feeling so bad. I never related my moodiness to the meds always thought it was either my period, my stressful life, sth until I looked back before 2 years before my diagnosis and remembered myself. I then decided to go holistic approach I felt great but my numbers were off. I started on sth similar to armour call pure thyro that I felt great on, then I found out I was pregnant. Obgyn wouldn’t be okay with this meds refers to endo. Meanwhile I talked to my PC who is also against the pure thyro her argument is if anything goes wrong you can’t sue, really it’s my health that I care about not wait for sth wrong to happen so I can sue (ignorance is the word) anyway had to be on sth else while pregnant according to them, so I took a compounded version of t3 and t4 no fillers vegetarian capsule also felt great on it. Endo says she is not willing to work with this!!! Now I’m on synthroid again for 3 days and I already can tell the difference first she puts me on high dose and I feel so bad… Now I’m waiting to go to my naturopathic dr to discuss options. Has anyone had any experience of this while pregnant? One endo said she won’t work with pregnant women on armour… Are these more natural hormones bad for pregnancy? This decision is so hard to make 🙁

  15. E

    I was never depressed growing up, but recently I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism. I have been taking levothyroxine for the last 6 months. During that time I’ve been more and more depressed. I thought it might be the medication, so I stopped taking it. That only made it worse. I could barely make myself get out of bed in the mornings over the most ridiculous little things. I’ve actually been seriously considering suicide, so I’m glad I found this. I’ll try T3, and see if it’s just me or if it’s the medication.

  16. Jay

    I was really fatigued and just didn’t feel right for years. I was diagnosed with sub-clinical hypothyroidism and have been on levothyroxine for about 6 months. At first I had hair loss and that was hard for me. I did notice I had more energy and less fatigue. My thyroid levels are normal now but I have been struggling with depressive symptoms and recently it has been harder to deal with. I’m just miserable and don’t want to do anything, especially wake up. I don’t know what to do but I am curious about Armour and what it is. I am really concerned with changing and trying new medications. I especially don;t want to take anti-depressants if it is due to side effects.

    • JJ

      Ive been on Levothyoxine for 14 years now. Im a 38 year old male. Otherwise fit and well.
      I was origonally diagnosed after complaining of weight gain and sever fatigue.
      My prescription has increased over the years from 50mcg to 125 mcg daily and so have my side effects which, if Im honest were noticed by my wife more than by me.
      I work in health care and am very aware of the oversubscribing of anti depressants and the mis diagnosis of depression, bi-polar and other mental health issues when the real issue is the levo….. sadly I refused over the years to accept my own issues.
      I work in emergency medicine and am calm and un stressed by any of the sitations i have to deal with at work. Sadly I appear to have kept my frustrations building untill I got home to my family. I was so tired and irritable with those who meant the most to me. Violence or shouting was never an issue. I would simply walk to an empty room to think things over…. always blaming others for my issues.
      I have, or sadly should say had a beautiful wife who , along with my kids mean the world to me.
      We never had any real arguaments or issues but I would be easily irritable, impulsive and on several occassions I escalated simple problems into a major issue and packed my bags and left. by the time I was 5 minutes along the road, reality would hit and I would wonder what on earth I had done.
      On the last occassion, my wife decided it was to be just that…. the last occassion as she could no longer put up with my issues.
      I am finally seeing my Doctor to insist on a change from levothyroxine and a referral to a specialist on the thyroid issues.

  17. Toni

    I am currently taking 75 mcg of levoxyl. I to am dealing with depression. I also take cytomel which helps a bit but does not relieve my sypmtoms. I went off of levothyroxine for six weeks and the depression lifted but my hypo symptoms went wild. I was so ill. I’m truly confused about this disease and what I should do.

  18. Ivy

    I was diagnosed with hypo 4 years ago and have only taken Synthroid. I know this is terrible, but I stopped taking it all together. I’m on 100mcg and I’ve noticed that I get very depressed afterwards. I didn’t take it for a log time and the depression went away..then my mother forced me to start taking them again. I took it at night and when I woke up, I felt extremely depressed and emotional when I had been completely fine the night before. I know I need to take better care of myself and I hope I can discuss this depressed feeling I’m getting afterwards to my endo without being referred to someone for depression and being put on other meds I don’t need instead. I want to try Armour if my endo will let me… I hate Synthroid and I’m actually afraid of taking it because of how it makes me feel emotionally 🙁

    (From Janie: talk to your mom about getting you a much better doctor who understands that NDT is a better way to treat hypo. Thyroid patients frequently report being very dissatisfied with Endos, who they state worship Synthroid and the TSH lab test.)

  19. Matthew

    I’ve been on 200mcg of levothyroxine for about 2 years and all of a sudden I’m becoming depressed, a lot, I hate being alone, when I do just think about all the things that have gone wrong. Has anyone else had this after being on Levo for so long?

    (From Janie: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

  20. Mary

    Have been on levothroid for 3 years. My depression has increased in the past year, drastically. My mood swings include irrational overraction to events, uncontrolable crying and lack of control, which is out of character. I am considering Armour but as you all know, the medical profession thinks this is black art or nostrum-type treatment. I will try to talk to my endo and see if she is open minded enough. I will not take anti-depressants because I believe this is an endocrine issue. I have not suffered from depression in my life so far, except after prolonged use of levothroid. Adjusting the dossage does not seem to help, but when I am hypo it is worse. Dry, brittle hair, skin and demeanor is getting old and not necessary. I am an active, healthy, formerly vibrant 59 year old and this is ridiculous. Thanks for the info on this blog!


  21. Lizzy

    I was diagnose hypo a few month ago. I had lots of symptomes but no depresion at all. So I started to take levothyrox at the beginning of march and now, in may, I begin to feel depression. Just a feeling of wanted to sleep and don’t see the day. Don’t want to do anything. I’m so glad I found this website. That must be my levothyrox. I’m very sensible to synthetic hormones. I use to take contraception pill years ago and feel very bad, always angry and wanted to cry all the time. The doc said that it was not the pill. But I stopped it anyway and felt a LOT better. So I think that being on synthetic thyroxin can give me depression too. Would like to try that armour medication. Thanks for putting that website on! It really helps!

    • Liz

      Goodness me I had wondered the same thing – I was diagnosed with Hypo about 6 months ago, from a routine health check up. I never had ANY symptoms and didn’t want to start taking Levo but several different doctors insisted that I would start to feel worse and get symptoms if I didn’t take it. I had ‘depression’ at the age of 14 when first trying the contraceptive pill, came off it after seeing a therapist, (who talked with me for 3 sessions, concluded there were no underlying issues, then asked my what meds I was on!) and went back to the normal happy me. Same thing happened two years ago – I had a contraceptive implant and after a while I became suicidal and extremely depressed. I had the implant removed after months of begging the doctor, and went back to normal within a matter of weeks. I can ONLY think that I am reacting to the Levothyroxine. I need to get my hands on some of this Armour. My problem – the doctors at my local practice are the most unsympathetic, least understanding bunch of ******* I have ever met, along with having about 2 minutes to see you for an appointment. I haven’t read all of this page, mainly just been skimming for people with similar experiences to myself. Can anyone advice what my next step should be? I am so tempted just to stop taking the Levo altogether and see if my depression lifts. I spoke to the doc and she said I was depressed because I am not taking a high enough dose of the levo – so she has out me from 50mcg up to 75 a day.

      • Ros Hall

        Your story sounds familiar. I hate to advise anyone re health issues because they are SO personal but I think at this stage you have to take charge of your own health, until medicine catches up with what is really happening. You could just try natural thyroid for a month and record what happens. There is always the option to go back if it doesn’t work and at least you know you aren’t taking anything harmful. I wish you the best of luck. X

  22. Teresa

    I’m so glad I found this website. I have been taking levoxyl for about 2 years and have suffered from horrible mood swings and depression since. My muscles and joints ache and I can’t sleep. I have episodes of fogginess and forgetfulness. I don’t like the person I’ve become since being on the medication– I feel like I’m crazy. I’d love to know of other options. My doctor keeps treating my symptoms instead of the cause. Ugh!

    From Janie:

    And where you can get feedback:

  23. tiffany

    I m so glad I found this site.. I am recently put on Levothyroxine for my hypothyroid issues. I am on Levo for 8 days now. Right off the bat, I get these headaches that last all day. In the beginning I didn’t think it was the Levo (I m only taking 37 mcg a day)…but now after 5 days of headaches, I think it is the med. Also, I am so moody.. I can break down and cry so easily. I even have some suicidal thoughts….Even right now, I am a mess.. I feel so depressed! I am going to call my doctor tomorrow and see what she says… but thanks to everyone who has posted for us all to share…

  24. jane

    I take 250mg of levothyroxine a day, I’m constantly ill lately . Since Nov 2010 I who was once a really happy person have depression and panic attacks. The other day I wanted to jump out of our moving car. I’m very happily married and have a stress free life , great son , 2 little dogs and a lovely part time job in a church. I’m seeing my doctor on Tuesday and I’m going to ask for differnt medication. Hope this works as I can’t go on like this, losing my mind and feeling so week, sleepy yet can’t always sleep and have really bad tummy pains and bloating. Tingles in my lips tongue and feet , bad headaches lasting several days. Feeling sick and being sick sometimes. I’m on iron tablets too but I take them hours after the thyroxine.
    How many people are suffering like this.

    (From Janie: teach your doc: And be firm. Do NOT give your power away in that office! If you have problems, join NTH Europe: In NTH Europe, you can also find a link to a good UK group. Hang in there. You WILL get past this. )

  25. Kayleen Peavy

    I know this site is pretty old, however I have just started levothyroxine, I have been on it for about a week, and I feel MUCH better than I did a week ago…the only diff is that I’m having an EXTREMELY hard time sleeping and staying asleep when I DO fall asleep..waking up every hour on the hour all night long. Is everyone saying I should expect to get worse? Im hypo.

    (From Janie: Old??? Not really. It’s a site which has been continually built upon since it’s creation over 5 years. i.e. it’s always updated to reflect current information. 🙂 And yes, you will get worse in some areas, whether sooner or later, according to the experience of patients: )

  26. Connie Frank

    Synthroid and Levothyroxine should be taken off of the market! The FDA must begin an investigation on these drugs and include a black box warning for side effects such as severe depression, suicidal thoughts, severe fatigue. Here is my story: About 1 year ago, a Physician prescribed me Armour Thyroid. Just like this Doctor told me would happen with Armour Thyroid did happen. My headaches begin to lessen, my hair loss stopped and my body was not cold all of the time. My thyroid levels were in the normal range, but he felt that these complaints would go away and they did with Armour Thyroid. Well, another Doctor said that Armour Thyroid was a “natural” drug and switched me to Synthroid 75 mcg. After 3 months of Synthroid, I became severely depressed, severely fatigued, sleeping my life away and became nervous and anxious. I never thought that it was the Synthroid. A couple of months, I took Levothyroid because it was cheaper and felt the same way. After about 2 more months of Synthroid 75 mcg samples from the Doctor’s office, my hair started falling out. I started freaking out. I had to drag myself out of bed. I still never blamed it on the Synthroid or Levothyroxine. I thought it was my 3 herniated disc that causes me to be inoperable because my disc are so bad. I am in constant pain. I also thought it was my hormones or that it was the Vivelle Dot Estrogen patch that I am on. Then for some strange reason, I googled Synthroid and Hair loss and found out that it was a side effect of Synthroid. Then I googled Synthroid and depression and found this sight. I quit taking the Synthroid and on day 4, my depression, fatigue and hair loss magically started to disappear. I am just hoping that the hair loss is reversible. I am very angry at the side effects I experienced with both of these medications. What scares me the most is the real suicidal thoughts that I had. I even started googling things like: “if I commit suicide, will I go to Hell?”. Synthroid & Levothyroxine are very dangerous drugs. Thank God I found these helpful websites or I may not be writing these words of caution to you all. God works in mysterious ways. I feel like my life has been saved.

  27. Donna Boyd

    Forgot to mention, have adrenal insufficency and get treated only when I crash! No maintenace. Told Have Lupus, on Methotrexate 5 moths then told oops, guess its not that! I could go on and on. My husband and family would like to have me back. Hell, Id like to have me back, I was and the key word is was, a person I enjoyed and so did others. I dont know who I am anymore exceoppt these pitiful image of the person I used to be. Not getting any younger, dont have another fourteen years to go from doc to doc, not do I wnat to anymore. Tiered, emoptionally, psyically and mentally. If anyone can help me, Id be eternally grateful. My family would as wel! Donna

  28. Donna Boyd

    I have literally been thru hell. i know that 14 years ago, all of these happened to me after RAI. Docs think Im crazy! I just get so bad, i dont even want to live anymore. Cant find anyone that listens to me. No Docs around me even consider the 14 years of hell are related to levethyoxine. I have even considered going off it on my own. Is it safe> I just cant live this way anymore! Been house bound a year now. On so many different harmful meds, buecause I keep getting on e diagnosis after the other, or told Im depressed and anxious. Well, yeah, who wouldnt be forced to live this way? I lve in Lecanto Florida, and Stop the madness has no one in Florida as far as Docs go. So what to do? Thaks for listening! Donna

  29. Darcy Gray

    I have been on Levothyrozine for one week and on Pristiq for two weeks. I feel like I am losing my mind. I spent two hours yesterday researching suicide by over-the-counter meds. I just feel like I can’t do this anymore, can’t feel this crappy forever, but also won’t take the coward’s way out and subject my husband and kids to the horror of taking myself out. I am addicted to shopping and can’t seem to control myself. I can hardly make it to work and when there don’t get anything accomplished. I’ve missed 2.5 days in the past week. I keep thinking the Levo needs time to start working so I keep expecting to wake up and feel better, then don’t. I am miserable and irrational and just not nice to be around. My husband mentioned he hasn’t seen me smile in days. I hate to call my doctor since it has barely been a week. Still giving it time and hoping to wake up and feel normal for once.

    (From Janie: And here’s the good news: http://www, Join patient groups for support: )

  30. Amy

    Up until about 2 weeks ago I was on Armour for almost 2 years. I felt well. Recently a fertility doctor switched me Levothyroxine because she says it is more stable and is convinced that it is easier to regulate my T3 and T4 blood. She started me on a very low dose of Levothyroxine of 50mcg. I feel like total garbage – depressed. I don’t want to get up off the couch. I’m just not myself.

  31. r smith

    I was misdiagnosed for thyroid problems since 1983 and just was diagnosed back last year! I know what ya’all mean about docs saying we need antidepressants and giving us wrong meds. Well, I’m on the wrong meds again! Had the rad-iodine already and then started levothyroxine. Junk. Finally put me on synthroid – it is dangerous for me. Then I try to call my doc who just happens to be closed on Friday pm. Well, I know I’m not taking any antidepressants and I’m not taking any more of this junk for the thyroid. If it means being sick without this junk, well I’m certainly just as lethally sick with it.

  32. Julie

    I am so glad that I found this. I thought I was going crazy…literally! I was on Armour Thyroid and felt good, but due to all of the recent manufacturer issues, they switched me to Levothyroxine a couple of months ago, and I have been suffering from terrible depression ever since. It’s been awful!

    Does anyone know if Armour Thyroid is still having the manufacturing issues?

    (From Janie: Armour is slowly making its way back to shelves, but you might want to look at other options in case the “new” Armour is problematic for you: )

  33. Nancy

    Thank heaven I have found someone to make the connection between Levothyroxine and depression. I don’t believe it is listed as a side effect of the drug, but I developed a severe depression after about 10 weeks on this drug. I wondered what to do, as my endocrinologist had refused my request for Armour right out of the box (after radioactive iodine treatment). I was too tired to even research this — somewhat immobile except when I dragged myself to work. Then a light bulb went on. My 79-year-old aunt, who had a severe and unexplained depression, slipped into a catatonic state and had to have electroconvulsive therapy, followed by daily Prozac. This was three years ago and she had a relapse after two years. So when this happened to me, I was wondering if it ran in the family, and why I would get this 30 years before she did . . . until it hit me that she was on Synthroid. Still is, sad to say. I don’t think I have any hope of convincing her doctors what the real problem is. I have a hard enough time with my own.

    But I went off of the L-thyroxine and within 5 days was pretty much back to normal. My doctor did agree to prescribe Armour, and I started that today.

    I also had muscle pains and though I have no idea what fibromyalgia is, the word popped into my mind, and I wondered if it could be caused by L-thyroxine. Then I see it mentioned here. Remarkable.

  34. Rebecca L

    Hi there,

    I was finally diagnosed as Hypothyroid about 6 months ago, after years about 10 years of on and off illness and depression.
    My current GP isn’t very helpful for finding solutions to all my symptoms claiming I should except severe fatigue, weight gain, and severe constipation as part of ‘growing older’. I am thirty two. Or if I do not go into the appt armed with my own ideas for treatments he tries to pass me off onto specialists…to for my colon or to check for sleep apnea.(I am trying a new doc this week)

    I did manage to have this GP prescribe 5mcg of cytomel for the T3..starting out at the lowest dosage. From what read the T3 meds, unlike the T4 meds, should show change within days. I just started taking it today, and so can not determine any effects.

    I am still struggling with on and off various hypoT problems. Mainly being the severe fatigue, listlessness/depression, constipation and weight gain (about 10-15 pounds)

    My energy levels fluctuate. For the past 3 weeks I have put myself on a strict diet and exercise regime hoping this would help. I have always been a very healthy eater: eating mostly whole foods, very little processed foods, mostly organic fruits and vegetables. I am lacto-ovo vegetarian consuming about 1500-1800 calories a day. I dropped down to consuming 1200-1400 calories a day and increased my exercise from 4-5 days to everyday 45 minutes to 1hour and half. I have barely lost any of the weight that I gained. Though I have noticed better energy levels and more regular bowel movements.

    In regards to depression, I strongly believe it is due to low energy and poor health and the frustration which accompanies these issues. I have been on various anti-depressants in the past which I think have had short and long term undesirable effects. I have not taken any sort of anti-depressants in 6-7 years and would only consider them again as a very last resort.

    I wanted to suggest anyone who has fatigue and depression problems to have there B12 checked. I have had chronically low b12 (even though i eat eggs and take b12 supplements) for at least 7 years. I have noticed I feel tremendously better (lots of energy and no depression) when my b12 levels are in the 800-1100 levels. In America acceptable levels of B12 in lab tests are from 200pg/mcl-1200pg/mcl. In Japan they diagnose and treat for B12 deficiency , anyone with levels below 550. The more I read about B12 levels, it sound like they should be above 500. If your levels are low, often times sublingual b12 vitamins can increase your levels. For me I get B12 shots and take the sublingual vitamins. If you do notice your levels are low, I would try to insist your doctor give you a shot of will notice a difference in energy and mood within the day or in the next few days.

    I also agree with Janie on her 7/22 posting…I feel remarkably better when i cut out the caffeine. I still eat chocolate and drink decaf but i may try to cut this out as well. I am a recovering caffeine addict…I used to drink ridiculous amounts of espresso and miss it terribly but it will be worth it to avoid depression and fatigue.

    I would also recommend to try to cut out wheat and gluten from your diet. Many people with hyoT have problems digesting this kind of food. It isn’t easy to do, but I feel much better without wheat and gluten than I do with it.

    I have also very recently cut out all goitogenic foods. This was an arrow through the heart and made me want to spit nails. Not only could I not enjoy coffee or a piece of toast but I read that I should not be eating broocoli, cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries, peaches, kale, collard greens. In a way, it is almost difficult to get to 1200 calories with all the limitations in my diet.

    I am hoping that with some medication tweaks that I will be able to consume a more normal diet. But I have also come to accept that if such restrictions help me, then I am willing to accept them with an open heart.

    It is just frustrating when I still feel unwell and continue to have weight issues when i am working so hard to be healthy….

  35. John S R.Ph.

    I take some issue with general statements about levothyroxine. There are many statements being made that there is nobody doing well on Levothyroxine. That is simply not true. Keep in mind that the body produces levothyroxine from the thyroid gland. therefore Levothyroxine really is a bio-identical hormone just like bio-identical estradiol, estriol, progesterone and testosterone. Many people then don’t convert Levothyroxine to Liothyronine. There are many reasons that this happens including nutritional deficiencies and medications.

    In my practice I show a list of hypothyroid symptoms to all thyroid patients that I talk to. I do this after asking them how well their thyroid is controlled. Everybody says that the Doctor says their thyroid is well controlled. I then show them the symptoms. I find that about half of the people I show report no symptoms from the list. I would conclude that these patients are being treated with Levothyroxine.

    That being said however, can anybody imagine a treatable disease being treated successfully only 50% of the time. I’m amazed at the many Doctors are willing to say “You know you are getting older, you’ll just have to live with it” or “You are fine because that is what your lab value says.” Start saying to them “Does the lab value have any symptoms?” IMHO

    (from Janie: John S R.Ph., I will beg to differ with your first and second paragraph. It would be interesting to find how many of those 50% you claim reporting no symptoms are on anti-depressants, and it would be interesting to find out what the cortisol levels are of those who claim no symptoms, which I’ll bet are climbing slowly but surely, as well as a hefty amount of adrenaline. Finally, it will be interesting and sad to see what is going to happen to those so-called asymptomatic 50% who stay on an inadequate medication, because where they think it’s not getting them now….it WILL later.

    And by the way, the body does produce T4. But the body also produces direct T3, as well as T2, T1 and calcitonin. And for any doctor to claim that giving a patient no more than a thyroid storage hormone is “adequate” is curious and dumbfounding to me and a huge and growing body of thyroid patients who have found out the truth.)

    • Randa

      Levothyroxine and synthroid have fillers that’s why they are not bio identical or anything close to what the body produces!

      • Julie

        Yes, the doctors NEVER talk about the fillers. Fillers are in these pills and you are taking them into your system every day.

  36. e.

    I was diagnosed with Hashi’s 5 months ago and put on Synthroid. At first I thought the synthroid helped because my headaches went away. My digestive problems grew worse and I still was exhausted early in the day after waking! Yesterday I asked for Armour and was given a RX for Nature-throid. I am hoping and praying that things will get better for me. Thanks to this site for providing me with the valuable info I need to make informed decisions!!! God Bless You!!

  37. Kerrie

    Hi there – I am a little different to the others that have commented here – but have experienced depression because of Thyroid Medication. I am Hyperthyroid and have been taking neo-mercazale an anti-thyroid drug – when the amount was slowly increased until I was taking 12 to 13 5mg tablets per day – i quickly became HYPO and in turn depressed. Over the past 12 months or so I have see-sawed between HYPO and HYPER. The most significant symptom I notice is when HYPO (caused by too much ATD) I feel depressed – it is such an obvious turn that I know exactly when I go over from hyper to hypo even before the doctor has tested me and adjusted Medication – my aim is to get off and live without this medication eventually – I have changed my diet and have noticed a significant improvement in symptons – I have kept a blog for people who may be interested at……Kerrie

  38. Lisa

    It is such a relief to have discovered your web site.
    I have been so sick and depressed and was ready to give up any hope of ever feeling normal again.
    I have been on here for hours and I cannot thank you enough
    for creating this site.
    I was diagnosed with Graves disease last January and then had the radioactive Iodine after which I crashed and burned to Hypo, Put on Levothyroxine 4 months ago and feel awful. I traded in Hyper symptoms for all this Hypo stuff. Anyway, thought I was losing my mind alone until I stumbled on here. My DR is history as of Now. He insisted there is only ONE way to treat my illness.
    I have already located a DR from the Armour site you listed and will be in his office next week to try dessicated thyroid. I am now so FULL of hope.
    I can’t wait to read your book.
    Thank you to everyone on here for all that you have shared.

  39. Janie

    Fr0m Kara: just tested my Armour and it’s the new formulation. And yes, I’ve been having drier skin and bouts of depression. I was diagnosed hypoT seven months ago; Kaiser put me on levothyroxine, and for the three weeks I took it, I was miserable. Although I had largely learned how to not get depressions (more on this below), on T4 I found myself crying and miserable for a couple days, then I’d be overadrenalized, shaking and unable to think straight for a day or two, then back to depressed, and so on, over and over. Kaiser was terrible – the endo (from the UK, I learned later) wouldn’t even make an appointment with me. I found a GREAT doc here in San Diego, who started me on Armour and hydrocortisone, and I have been slowly getting so much better. So yes, I had some bad depressions on the T4 meds. Before about four years ago, I used to be apathetic and depressed for a week at a time, and terribly moody. I found (I’ll skip the long story) that I’m hypersensitive to CAFFEINE. Oh boy, did I fight that… I loved my mochas. But through trial and error, I found out that even trace amounts of caffeine or theobromine (think tea & chocolate) had the effect of making me miserably apathetic and depressed for two to three days. I now avoid even decaf things and (damn damn damn!) chocolate. My husband & friends help me when I start gazing longingly at fudge… because they have to put up with me if I eat it! Yes, it’s that bad (sounds stupid, doesn’t it). But it’s SO nice to not be so depressed. Others have found the same thing with caffeine; one even wrote a book on it. Here’s a couple websites with her writings: I hope to someday get to enjoy chocolates and mochas again, if my thyroid treatments fix that part of me.

    • Adrienne

      I had my thyroid radiated and I was on Synthroid and very, very depressed, even wishing I would die. The Endo I went to just kept testing my blood and changing the prescription dosage. I went to a Doctor of Osteopathy and she prescribed a custom thyroid medicine for me. It was okay, unfortunately, the practice closed for about 8 months. In the mean time, I had enough prescription for a few months, but then the compounding pharmacy said there was a nation wide shortage of what I was using. So I estimated my dosage, went to a doctor and asked him to prescribe me Nature-thyroid. I was feeling okay but I was worried I didn’t have the right dosage, because…I’m not a doctor! Finally went to a great Endocrinologist and she said my dosage was way too high. She cut it in half. My doctor of Osteopathy opened up again and they said it was still too high.. So to make a long story short, they keep playing with the dosage to get all four levels in the right range. DO prescribed me some Levothyroxine and I went right back to extremely depressed and I’ve been gaining weight. Also had palpitations, anxiety and of course, horrible sleeping. Just yesterday, I visited both doctors and I am cutting back the Levothyroxine. I pray this makes a difference. I am so grateful for this STTM website! That’s where I got the idea to try Naturethyroid.

  40. a story to tell

    I had a total tyroidectomy 9 years ago (at age 25) for a toxic multi nodular goiter with suspicous cells. I was put on Synthroid afterwards and have routine TSH levels WNL. 4 months after surgery I began complaining to my endo. dr. that I was always tired, having a brain fog, headaches, dry skin and hair and simply just not feeling like myself (TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 all WNL). I am a nurse and knew better but allowed her to put me on an anitdepresent. This of course did not help either. I also had a cortisol challenge and 24 hour cortisol urine test after demanding this from my PCP. It was all WNL also. I had begun to think I was simply just crazy. My Endo. Dr. acutally told me that I just was so used to being hyperthryroid so long that I could not adjust to being “Normal” and it was just going to take more time. I have seen many specialists over the last 9 years with no real improvement. My newest symptom to this cascade of Feeling BAD daily is that i am now getting body aches in all of my joints. I did try armour about 6 months ago and did titrate the dosing as described but it hasnt helped either. Today I ordered the iodoral testing kit and medication since every symptom listed is consistent with my complaints. ANY SUGGESTIONS as to what to do next would be appreciated!!!! I used to be a outgoing, fun loving, easy going girl who was full of energy and excitement for life and I just feel BAD. Also note I AM NOT IN NEED OF DEPRESSION MEDICATIONS (this is not my problem) I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO FIX THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF THIS CHRONIC FATIGUE AND SLUGISHNESS!!!

    (from Janie: go to the following page:

  41. Lisa G.

    I’m 42, divorced, single mother and only parent to a child with special needs. I live in Colorado. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been on Levothyroxine for several years now. I’ve seen my health deteriorate over these past several years as well. I never knew that I could still be experiencing symptoms until a couple months ago. I had gone to see a psychiatrist but they told me that I was so mildly depressed, they felt I didn’t need to continue seeing them. However, they did prescribe meds. The meds did nothing for me. I contacted my primary care dr. at the time and he said “if you just exercise 30 mins a day, you’ll feel as good as you choose to feel”. I fired him and changed drs. Meanwhile my symptoms, both mental and physical have persisted, things like extreme fatigue, not being motivated to do very much at all(definitely not exercise), joint pains, anger, mood swings, irrational emotional reactions, you all know the things I’m referring to. I KNOW it’s not just a mild depression. I KNOW there is a link to my thyroid there somewhere. I’ve persisted until my primary care dr. is doing an assortment of tests. I suggested a T3/T4 treatment regimen. She said if all tests come back in the normal range, I should consider Prozac. I think I will insist on a referral to an endocrinologist before I go that route. I’m now thinking my adrenal levels and cortisol levels are off. It shouldn’t have to be this tough for us…but it is. I just wish drs. would make more of an effort to educate themselves about thyroid problems.

  42. Jess

    I’m thankful that I’m pro-active about my health and have the internet, because no answers have been forthcoming from the med professionals for the past 18 or 20 years since I was diagnosed w/ hypo (aka “hippo” which is how I feel.) Yes, there is the depression, currently on Effexor, and don’t dare go off, from what I’ve read and the way I feel. Also the ridiculous weight gain, resulting in my being 40# overweight. As a person who has always been active, and eaten a healthy fresh diet (w/ no fast, fried, little starch, sugar, 4 footed meat), and has no serious vices (wine, a very occasional beer or drink), when I look at my body, I feel it doesn’t belong to me. I’m embarrassed and disgusted. And the cement-brain, which others call brain fog…talk about embarrassing! I’m forgetful, which in my line of work is seriously not good, and it has made me an inadvertent promise-breaker w/ friends and family. It makes me seem irresponsible and self-centered. I can’t tell everyone “my thyroid made me not do it!” On top of everything…the fatigue! Eight hours sleep isn’t enough. I’m too tired to go dancing, which is great exercise. I used to salsa dance for 3 or 4 hours straight…now I get tired after one dance. Vicious cycle…carrying around 40 extra pounds could make me tired and depressed, but where did that come from in the first place? So, long story short, happy to stumble upon the T3 T4 discussion, as it looks like the solution for me might be T3 or some good ol’ pig thyroid tissue. Currently taking Synthroid that I now know is just T4. Thanks for this forum.

  43. Tori

    I have a long standing history of being on and off antidepressants, and the entire time, I knew something else was wrong. The first time I was put on them was before I was diagnosed with hypoT, and I had a horrible time with the side effects. A few years later I was diagnosed hypoT, and ever since then my depression has come and gone over and over, and they kept wanting to prescribe antidepressants. Finally when I thought I had a good doctor, I told her I did NOT want any more drugs, and thought something wasn’t right with my thyroid, she told me to work out more, and eat better, and that was that. Then I called her again a few weeks later and told her I wanted to try Armour to change my thyroid treatment, as this might work. She didn’t even call me back, had her nurse call me, to tell me there would be a prescription waiting for me at the pharmacy of Effexor ..more antidepressants. That was it. I was DONE. I knew I was smart enough to know my body and that this was not how I wanted to be treated…it still brings tears to my eyes, because I was in the middle of my divorce, and all hell broke loose on top of my doctor not even listening to me. But here I am today, and I didn’t put up with their bull, and I’m getting better, on a dessicated thyroid med……..She also wouldn’t prescribe Armour because “ugh, you DO know it’s made from pig thyroids right??? I don’t believe in that”. HA

  44. Sam

    I suffered from severe recurrent depression for about 20 years before my hypothyroidism was finally diagnosed. I am now on T4 and T3 meds although I had to fight hard to get the T3. My doctor decided it was not my thyroid problem causing my exhaustion and tiredness but a rare form of depression which causes tiredness but no feelings of depression! He was wanting to put my anti-depressant dose up rather than consider that it could be my hypothyroidism not being properly treated. I managed to persuade him to let me try T3 – I couldn’t get him to go as far as Armour. I actually don’t feel any better though. I did try to get him to look at adrenal fatigue but he ruled that out based on a blood test (calcium levels I think). So I have had the 24 hour saliva test done, and guess what! I have low cortisol levels. Just waiting now to see if I can persuade him at our next appointment!
    It is interesting however that the T4 could be causing depression – so he could be right after all – but treating the symptoms instead of the root cause. I will be taking this info with me next time I go!

  45. Laura

    When I was on Synthroid for almost a month after first being diagnosed hypo, I became very depressed. My doctor at the time was listening to me tell him about how awful I was feeling, and reached for his script pad and started to write. I was already mad at him for not wanting to increase the Armour he had switched me to (I felt so much better right away on just 15 mg of Armour and wanted more) so when I saw him writing I said “And I am NOT suffering from an acute Prozac deficiency.” He quit writing and put the pad away and suddenly decided I needed to see a rheumatologist for my CFS and fibromyalgia. I never went to him again, never went to a rheumatologist, but gradually got up to 180 mg of Armour daily and all problems went away. No depression, no CFS, no fibro.

  46. Sue

    I cannot help but wonder if the Synthroid I have been on for the last 10 years is causing my depression. It has always been low grade until I am nearing menopause and now it is very bad. I do not know if it is from this Synthroid or declining and fluctuating hormones. I still have nearly all the hypo symptoms. This is all so frustrating because hypo and meno symptoms are so similar. I did have to lower my dose of Synthroid because of declining estrogen. This is all so complicated. Looks like there should be a doctor somewhere who can treat both.

  47. Chris

    I was on Synthroid for ten years with constant depression that got worse every year. I even started to fantasize about leaving my wonderful husband and kids, completely irrational thoughts. I never took antidepressants, being a pharmacist, I’m familiar with their adverse effects. I started on Armour in April, and am feeling much more like my old self as I work on increasing my dose to my optimal level. Thank you to STTM for all the helpful advice.

  48. Lee Morgan

    I was on Synthroid or many years (at least 8). I was on antidepressants (on and off) for many of those years. No matter how much I tried I always ended up depressed. Finally, I got on Armour Thyroid. While I still have many problems, constant depression is not one of them. I do believe that changed with the change in medication.
    BTW I love your blog!

  49. Lee Morgan

    I was on Synthroid or many years (at least 8). I was on antidepressants (on and off) for many of those years. No matter how much I tried I always ended up depressed. Finally, I got on Armour Thyroid. While I still have many problems, constant depression is not one of them. I do believe that changed with the change in medication.

  50. Christine

    I recently switched over to Armour and the first thing I noticed was my depression completely disappeared – like magic! Still working on the dosage to relieve the rest of the thyroid symptoms, but glad to not fell so desolate every day!


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