Hypothyroidism, Insulin resistance and Metformin: read this brilliant information!

This interesting page has been updated to the present day and time. Enjoy!


The following insightful post was written by UK hypothyroid patient Sarah Wilson.

My daughter (25) has epilepsy. What’s that got to do with being hypothyroid and Natural Thyroid Hormones (NTH. also known as Natural Desiccated Thyroid or NDT)? Quite a lot, by the look of things.

My daughter’s epilepsy is triggered by unstable blood sugars. And since taking Metformin (medication to improve blood sugar control), she has significantly reduced the number of seizures. Being a good hypothyroid Tiger-mother, I have been doing mega amounts of research and we got to the Metformin approach through reading hundreds of academic medical journals. What I found along the way got me thinking about NTH and Hypothyroidism.

I have a strong hunch, backed up by some meaty academic evidence, that when patients develop hypothyroid symptoms, they are actually becoming insulin resistant. There are many symptoms in common between women with PCOS and hypothyroidism–the hair loss, the weight gain, et al. http://insulinhub.hubpages.com/hub/PCOS-and-Hypothyroidism A hypothyroid person’s body thinks it is going into starvation mode and so, to preserve resources and prolong life, the metabolism changes. If hypothyroid is prolonged or pronounced, then it is entirely feasible that even with the reintroduction of thyroid hormones, that chemical preservation mode becomes permanent. To get back to normal, they need a super “jump-start” to kick the metabolism back into action. The super-kick start is effected through something called AMPK, which is known as the “master metabolic regulating enzyme.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMP-activated_protein_kinase

Guess what? This is exactly what happens to Diabetes patients when Metformin is introduced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metformin

If you are technically minded then you might want to read these articles. http://www.springerlink.com/content/r81606gl3r603167/ and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2011.04029.x/pdf

They are a bit tough-going on the science but worth ploughing through. Why? Note the following comments/partial statements: “Hypothyroidism is characterized by decreased insulin responsiveness”; “the pivotal regulatory role of T3 in major metabolic pathways”; “The effect of thyroid hormone on basal metabolic rate was recognized more than a century ago”

The community knows that T3/NTH makes hypothyroid patients feel better – but the medical establishment is scared of T3/NTH – probably because they don’t understand how it really works. The medical establishment might find an alternative line of argument about impaired metabolism more palatable if we can show them this real proof that the old desiccated thryoid treatment **was/is** having the right result – the i.e. the T3 is jump-starting the metabolism by re-activating AMPK. If Metformin (or one of the other anti-diabetic meds) could actually also do the same thing for hypothyroidism without the “dangers” of NTH, they they should be jumping at the opportunity.

The great news is that Metformin is very cheap, stable and has very few serious side effects (and certainly none on the heart). To use the car engine metaphor, if glucose is our petrol, AMPK is the spark plug and both T3 and Metformin are both ignition switches. Sometimes if you have flat batteries in the car, it doesn’t matter how much you turn the ignition switch or pump the petrol pedal, all it does is flatten the battery and flood the engine. Dr. Skinner in the UK has been treating “pre-hypothyroidism” the way that some doctors treat “pre-diabetes”. Those hypothyroid patients who get treated early (before the wretched blood numbers get into the magical range) probably haven’t had their AMPK pathways altered and the T4-T3 conversion still works. The use of drugs as prophylactics is well understood by the medical establishment (e.g. baby aspirin for hearts), so there is no reason therefore why thyroid hormone replacement therapy shouldn’t logically be given to ward off a greater problem down the line.

It’s my belief that there is clear and abundant academic evidence that the AMPK/Metformin research should branch out to also look at thyroid disease.

As a supplementary on the history. I have PCOS; my female relatives have PCOS; my mother has just developed breast cancer which we are certain is related to the oestrogen dominance/insulin resistance. My daughter also has had Coeliac Disease since weaning (and oh boy, that was a fight to get a diagnosis but we got there). My daughter was showing lots of PCOS symptoms (some of which are of course hypothyroid symptoms) alongside the Estrogen, but because there were no cysts…no diagnosis, which is not correct by the Amsterdam criteria, but there we have it. So we moved “off topic” in PCOS terms, did a 9 month experiment of adding and subtracting one thing at a time to get to a (more) stable outcome. We never got the PCOS diagnosis but we did end up with T2DM Type 2 Diabetes) by the backdoor and the Metformin. We had two stupid consultants who reduced her to tears – their logic was unbelievably crass and at odds with long standing proof: “there isn’t a tap in your neck which stops the sugar getting to your brain you know” grrrrr. I have since found the links between people with T1DM (Type 1 Diabetes) who inject insulin and hypothyroidism too.

So my idea is that we need to talk to the medical profession in a language they relate to. They think Natural Desiccated Thyroid is voodoo, so they switch off. YET the NDT is doing something very, very scientific: the direct T3 is kicking the closed -own metabolic process back into life, just like Metformin does for insulin resistance. Who says there isn’t more widespread T4 resistance? There is serotonin resistance! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17250776

http://web.archive.org/web/20130426233947/http://www.hotthyroidology.com/editorial_79.html Take a look at page 63.

Disclaimer: I, Sarah, am not medically trained and I haven’t even got a University degree. My business, however, is researching complex financial data and since leaving school, I have probably graduated with a PhD in the University of Life. My daughter has two degrees and my husband is in IT so I’ve learned a lot about logic over the past 30 years. I think that to take this debate forward, we need someone with the credibility to do a piece of academic research and get it put into one of the highly ranked journals – even doing a relatively straightforward meta-analysis of all the published works on AMPK/T3 /metabolism would be a start. I know everyone feels desperately miserable about not being treated properly, and it is probably very sexist that us bunch of moaning women are not taken seriously. BUT perception is reality and we have to deal with that reality as best we can. And I think that our sisters in the chronic fatigue/ME camp should have reason to join us on our quest too. I wouldn’t know where to start to find out how to sponsor a university researcher but maybe we should think about that as our “big thing”.

Let’s talk.

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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124 Responses to “Hypothyroidism, Insulin resistance and Metformin: read this brilliant information!”

  1. Silvia

    I have Hashimoto and taking only t4 but even when my studies are fine Instill have some symptoms, cold and not losing Weight even while exercising and on a diet with phentermine.

    I have researched a lot and began to add t3 to my dose (44mcg t4/10mcg t3) and will begin to take metformine 500mcg with breakfast.
    I want to experiment one or two months and see how I feel.
    I desperately need a solution the Drs don’t give.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi. It’s a good thing you started on T3. It will change your life once you get optimal. Do know that 10 mcg won’t be enough. Let the following page guide you as to where you’ll need to be with your free T3 and free T4: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/optimal
      And don’t forget the importance of having optimal iron and cortisol so you won’t have problems with raising. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/iron-and-cortisol

    • Shirley

      Hi Silvia. I have Hashimotos, PCOS, celiac and pernicious anemia. I suggest that you get your vitamin B12 levels checked and request a test for celiac since both of these conditions can also cause tiredness. Also analyse your own TSH results. Many consultants prefer treated patients to have a TSH around 1 and 0.34 at the lowest. 1 is a a pretty safe level. If it is significantly higher than 1 your dose really needs adjusting upwards slightly if you have symptoms. Please be aware though that too much levothyroxine and T3 is dangerous and can physically harm your bones, eyes and heart and the damage is irreversable. Please find a doctor you trust and can discuss your TSH and symptoms with.

      The other methods of improving thyroid function are lifestyle interventions. You could try becoming vegan. I did. It helped and my dose is much lower now. Green juices are very helpful. Sprinkle Nori on your food. See The Juice Master website for green juices and general advice but please do not follow a juice fast. I make the juices as smoothies as this builds the gut biome and in turn that normalises autoimmune disorders to some extent. Leaving dairy products and hormone laden meat and milk off your plate will help more than you could ever imagine. You will notice results after 3 months or so, sometimes sooner. Good luck.


  2. susie

    So then will taking AMPK help people to kick-start the thyroid metabolism? There are products such as berberine which may have some kind of relationship to AMPK, but you’ll have to research it to fact check what I’m saying, as I heard about it from a resource that I haven’t fact checked.

  3. Sarah

    Janie I am kinda of the same patient as your daughter – no thyroid anymore due to cancer and PCOS with no cysts evident, but all of the other PCOS symptoms described by Amsterdam Criteria. I take 500mg metformin 2x/day for 2 years now. The first year it was great, all of the 30lbs weight that I previously could not lose, fell off, and I returned to my normal weight. This lasted for about 8 months, and then suddenly just stopped working. the 30 lbs came right back on, very quickly, within 1.5 month and I have since not been able to shake it.

    I\’m trying to learn more about RT3 conversion causes: my hunch is that I suddenly started converting RT3 instead of free T3 – and that is why I am stuck.

    But I am wondering if its actually the metformin? I have read that metformin counteracts NDTS? Also that NDTS can give a false read on TSH. My T4/T3 are in pretty good range right now, but my TSH is barely detectable and I\’m hyper at .09, without any symptoms of being hyper. (I have not been able to get my endo to test the RT3, but am going to have it done on my own)

    Forgive me for being thick – but in this article are you saying that metformin might be good for some patients or not?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Metformin is taken by thyroid patients who have diabetes, and it has not counteracted their NDT use (Natural Desiccated Thyroid). As far as the TSH with NDT or even optimal on the two synthetics, nothing is false with the TSH. i.e. when we’re approaching our optimal amount, and when at our optimal amount, the TSH lab test was naturally fall quite low and that is fine. We have to stand against doctors who don’t get that and try to lower our optimal amount.

    • Shirley

      Hi Sarah
      If your TSH is still barely detectable 2 years after you posted this you are in trouble. This is a result of an over prescription of levothyroxine and is dangerous. The weight you have put on may be due to fluid retention as a result of the over dosing. This will affect your bone density and can damage your eyes. This all happened to me. Buck the GP and insist that you see the consultant as soon as possible. Have your levothyroxine dose lowered to try to bring it back above 0.34 at the very lowest. You may find that you pee a lot. Your dose will likely be lowered by at least 25mcg per day. Please follow this and believe the consultant if they prescribe even less. As the fluid retention reduces you should find your weight reduces. Stay steady on the metformin unless advised otherwise. I find metformin sr more helpful but PCOS ladies need 1000mg per day in 2 doses. It behaves differently to standard metformin. I also read that taking metformin and levothyroxine 4 hours apart is best due to their effects on insulin resistance and metabolism. It wont hurt to try this. Levothyroxine dose must be at the same time in the morning though. Also try improving your overall health. Make green smoothies…try Erin Shneiders glowing green smoothie with flax oil and avocado added in place of a meal each day. Reduce or eliminate your dairy milk and meat intake and read Dr Gregers books on a plant based diet. Eliminate all types of sugar from your diet, only use omega 3 rich oils sparingly and reduce your salt intake. Eat no processed or packaged foods. But above all find a good consultant because your TSH results prove you are hyperthyroid and this is dangerous. Good luck. Shirley

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Shirley, it’s true that we never want to overdose with T4-only. But you failed to touch on two main issues 1) dosing too high will mean RT3 will go up, which makes us more hypo, and 2) She needs t3 in her treatment, period. Forcing the body to live for conversion alone fails most. And not everyone needs to completely eliminate sugar–some are fine with moderation. Green smoothies are better in moderation, as green smoothies are very high in oxalates, which can harm anyone who is susceptible to kidney stones. And neither do all people need to eliminate dairy and meat. That’s a broad brush stroke to say that. And not everyone needs to reduce salt intake.

  4. Elizabeth

    Wonderful information! So helpful! Janie, Sarah, what do you think of this? Sounds like a much better alternative to the drug, but not sure how much the science is backed up (sounds great though, if valid!): http://www.faim.org/can-this-herb-completely-replace-drugs-for-type-2-diabetics

  5. Anina

    Hi. Janie refers to the link http://www.hotthyroidology.com/editorial_79.html which no longer leads to this article. Instead please read it on Web.Archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/20130426233947/http://www.hotthyroidology.com/editorial_79.html

    Please be aware that Hotthyroidology.com is now a fraud, an scam-site.

    As the European Thyroid Association moved to another site system (eurothyroid.com) at the same time ETA closed their other website Hotthyroidology.com during 2014 (?). Instead of keeping the domain Hotthyroidology.com with ETA to prevent possible future abuse, this domain became vacant and bought by an unknown person /organization that hides behind the company name United Privacy Corp. resident in Belize (eastern coast of Central America).

    This means that all scientific articles on the web, referring to sources on the past hotthyroidology.com are now leading to a scam site. The professionals can immediately see that Hotthyroidology.com is now a fraud, whereas thyroid patients who seek help on the Web will find a lot of bad information, possibly in the belief that Hotthyroidology.com is reliable, which is no longer the case.

    Best wishes from Norway and Denmark ♥

  6. LLane

    Agreed to all of the connections between hypothyroid, metabolic syndrome, amenorrhea, weight gain, gluten intolerance, insulin resistance. My 17-year-daughter has it all since she was 15. The thing that is so frustrating is that doctors/people say it will get better if she loses weight . . . as if we didn’t know that. Well, 1 year and $1,500 dollars later–after seeing a nutritionist and fitness expert once a week, my daughter weighs the very same. Basically, the professionals couldn’t figure out how to get her to lose weight. And she tried SOOOO hard. It made me want to cry. The “expert” endocrinologist we drove several hours to see says there is nothing wrong with her metabolism/endocrine system. She is probably just depressed. What????? I took her to a home town endocrinologist who put her on metformin–even though her androgens clearly showed she didn’t have PCOS. Well, she had a period a week later. She then skipped a month but had a period the next month. This is after two years of never having a period. No real weight loss, but at least having some hormone activity is good. I wonder if she could go on some thyroid with the metformin if that might help. Her TSH is 3.02 (so “normal” but possibly subclinical.) She has had low T4 on several tests–but those have been late morning tests and the doctor said everyone’s T4’s go down in the afternoon. Not sure. She’s off gluten. Her stomach feels much better. But, still an uphill battle for her. She doesn’t eat like your normal teen–she is very health conscious. And she exercises every single day–mixing cardio with weight training. She does everything right but her body does not respond. It just makes me angry that some people are so flippant about “Well, lose some weight.” For people going through this endocrine crap, losing 5 pounds is like taking the earth off its axis. And no, she has no eating disorders. We have had all of that discussion/counseling/etc. In the end, her body is just working against her and it is not because she leads “a sedentary” lifestyle. That is another joke. The literature tries to blame having metabolic syndrome on living a sedentary lifestyle. My daughter was a conditioned athlete when things started going downhill. My guess is that often times this happens to people and they give up–and then the doctor says if you would just lose some weight you’d feel better. UGH! Yes to more studies finding a connection between all of this stuff. I think we know so very little about the endocrine system right now. The “expert” endocrinologists we have right now (who know how to treat blatant diabetes) will look like witch doctors in 25-30 years when we finally start to figure out how everything is connected within the endocrine system. Whew, sorry for the tirade. It was kind of cathartic.

    • Linda

      Your daughters story is my daughters story. Swimmer who started having thyroid issues. Eats super well, exercised daily and is stuck at 170 lbs. It’s heartbreaking and I honestly don’t blame her for giving up. We just started 500 mg of metformin and we shall see….

  7. Jackie

    Hello, all you brave souls out there. Here’s a little experiment I did, and maybe it will help someone else. I was tired of being terribly fatigued. I got to thinking, maybe my problem is thyroid, even though the doctor did the initial thyroid screening and it was normal. I had symptoms common to thyroid dysfunction: dry skin, fatigue, depression, overweight, hoarseness. Crazily, if I eat food with preservatives my neck swells up immensely. I know I’ve got 3 thyroid nodules but they don’t change and they tested out as benign. So I thought, What if I increase my iodine intake? I don’t use much salt and I rarely eat seafood. Perhaps the problem is a deficiency. So I went to the coop and bought some liquid algae. I took no more than what is found in mainstream daily vitamin/minerals. Overnight–my skin was smooth! I’d never seen anything like it. It was so leathery. I mentioned my little experiment to my sleep doctor, who is also a neurologist, in discussing sleepiness and fatigue. Now he’s sent me for a bunch more tests, so this should be interesting. I’ve suspected Hashimoto’s for years. I am also borderline diabetic (type 2) and started Metformin but stopped since I thought it made me sleepier and I was able to lower my numbers by exercise and diet. Now I think I should resume. Bottom line–maybe there’s something to this liquid algae. It comes in a small bottle and I just took 4 drops in a small glass of water. I sure wish we’d get more natural options from the docs. Keep up your research. We have to do it ourselves sometimes and wait till they’re “ready” to hear it. A bit exasperating.

    • Shirley

      Hi Llane
      Your daughter needs to cut out meat and dairy and milk products as they are laden with hormones. Encourage her to try a plant based diet following the guidelines of Dr Greger and Dr Barnard in their books. I have had PCOS, celiac and hashimoto’s all of my life and the diet has helped me tremendously. I suggest that your daughter makes sure she really enjoys the type of exercise that she does….and incorporates cycling to school or work and walking as often as possible every single day as well as playing games that require concentration and are social, such as tennis or squash..if she likes those. Maybe a part time job that is very physical too. Otherwise she may feel the exercise is a burden. She needs to also cut out all sugar and reduce fats in her diet…really…they cause insulin resistance. Only omega 3 rich fats are needed. Please see the above doctors advice and perhaps join her in the new eating habits. You will both benefit. Good luck Shirley

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Shirley, one of many things we have learned is that though some people do need to totally cut out certain foods (meat, diary, sugar, etc), not all feel the need to do that. It’s more about moderation, not totally removal, for others. If plant based and total removal of the other foods works for you, we are glad!! But we all have to be careful assuming that everyone has to follow our decisions on eating.

        The exercise comments are great.

  8. Amy A

    After dealing with “PCOS” side effects (irregular periods, adult acne, obesity-despite aggressive diet and exercise, hirsutism, and the final straw – excessive hair loss) for over 15 years, I finally decided to do more research and discuss a “treatment plan” with my OB/GYN. I told him that I read about Metformin being commonly used to alleviate some PCOS symptoms and he agreed to put me on it. It completely cleared my adult acne and helped me lose about 25 pounds in 6 months, but not much help with the hair loss, which is actually what troubled me the most.

    I did more research and presented the idea of adding Spironolactone to the regimen, and he agreed. After about a month of taking it, it seemed that less hair was falling out, but now it seems like it’s falling out again.

    No offense to my OB/GYN, but I got tired of being the one to have to do all the research and come up with ideas. I finally landed an appointment with an endocrinologist, and she seemed pretty cut and dry. She did order loads of blood tests, which is how I found out that my A1c is slightly elevated (as well as my good cholesterol slightly low). I’m not even sure how this is possible since I have been taking 2,000-2,250 milligrams of Metformin for almost the last year. Surprisingly, my fasting glucose was within normal range. I’m just dreading what my endocrinologist is going to say – “you’re pre-diabetic”. I hope she is going to take into consideration that my other levels may seem normal as a result of me taking the max doses of Metformin for the past year. I read another post indicating something similar where the provider didn’t take that into consideration. I’m just so tired (mentally and literally – I feel lethargic almost all of the time, regardless of how much I do/don’t sleep), I hope she has an idea of how to balance me out once and for all. Frankly, I have a lot of the symptoms listed in Hashimoto’s aside from the numbness/tingling, but everything else is spot on. I hope this endocrinologist scrapes more than just the surface, because I don’t know how much longer I can deal with this! I’m tired of popping so many pills, and still feeling like something is just not right with me.

    I’m trying to hang in there, just like everyone else I suppose

    • Robin Stamp

      Have you tried adding zinc? I have normal T3 and t4, but conversion problems resulting in low T3. I also have insulin resistance, thyroid nodules, low iodine levels, low vitamin D, and I’m obese despite eating low carb (modified Keto) and being an athlete. My tests also came back that I was zinc deficient. If you google, zinc is almost as important to metabolism as thyroid hormones and related to insulin sensitivity, thyroid T4-T3 conversion, vitamin absorption, etc. I’m hoping along with Cytomel, iodine, zinc and Berberine I can finally heal!

  9. Amy

    Hi! I had my thyroid removed 21 years ago at 19 and have been on Synthroid ever since. I had a baby a year ago and while pregnant and nursing eliminated all artificial sweeteners. Last fall, my endocrinologist said my A1C was high and suggested a low glycemic diet since I didn’t want to go straight to metformin. I also cut regular sugar way down and went to stevia wherever possible. I haven’t lost an ounce (and still have 15 pounds of baby weight to lose). Thyroid levels were allegedly fine but I definitely don’t feel fine. Having a baby over 9 lbs is literally the ONLY risk factor I have for insulin resistance so that seems odd to me that this is what it would be. Anyone have ANY ideas? I want to have some intelligent questions to ask my endocrinologist later this month.

  10. Ren

    I’m 71 and have been treated for hypothyroidism for over 20 years, mostly on levo. I’ve been on NDT since Oct/13. I recently had an insulin resistance test which revealed (1.8) severe resistance. My “medico” doesn’t know about how to treat, so I’m asking… What do you need to know to offer advice? I’m on 3 gr Erfa, 25 mg Ithroid, B2/B3, selenium, and other supplements… I’m concerned as my medico has inferred that I may be prediabetic … Please advise, as there is a dearth of sympathetic docs in my area and the closest is over 100 miles away… I’ve read your articles, but am unsure as to where I go from here. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  11. patriciabagwell

    I am type 2 diabetes and have an underactive thyroid. Was given metformin in 2013 and suffered major stomach problems with explosive diaphrag. Wasted to try it again this summer same result but worse no energy no enthusiasm for anything felt foggy and worn out stomach so bad. Stopped metformin a month now feel very good sleeping normally stomach almost normal. Have had tenure adrenals and add armour. Will NEVER EVER take metformin again. Sorry but it’s side effects are diabolical.

  12. Amy

    Just wondering if other patients have seen the recent articles posted on the net about metformin,tsh levels, hypo patients and for those of us who have had thyca? Looks like great studies have been done recently, that shows metformin helps suppress tsh levels to below subnormal ranges, without effecting the ft3,ft4 levels which is something else to look at for those of us on suppression therapy but a high thyroid dose, and to take note of when getting your thyroid blood tests done that if on metformin and your redults show a suppressed tsh that your Dr may mistakingly decrease your thyroid, not taking the metformin into account! I found a lot of info that relates diabetes and thyroid and pcos together too and of some patients not needing thyroid after taking metformin as they were wrongly diagnosed hypo to start with. Food for thought! Perhaps sttm can look into this further and write an updated article for us, thanks

    • elizabeth

      I have read about this as well–meformin affect on TSH. Any follow up to this article?

  13. Debbie T.

    I am reading these posts and it sounds like a mirror image of myself. In the 1990’s I was diagnoses with a thyroid nodule which ended up having to have the right lobe removed. After the removal I developed thyroiditis and eventually put on Synthroid. Throughout the years I have had problems with PCOS (used to be called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome), a thyroid nodule on the left side now, extremely dry skin, bloating to the point it is noticeable to other people, osteoporosis and today I get a call from my gastroenterologist and my HgAIC is slightly elevated at 5.7 and he thinks my insulin resistance is out of control. I asked for a referral to an endocrinologist a couple of years ago but all he wants to focus on is diabetes and nothing else. I feel all of my problems are connected but having trouble getting people to listen to me. It is of note that my weight has been a yo-yo and seem to be stuck in the upper 180’s. The endo I did see told me I needed to exercise more and eat better. I tried to tell him that I was a competitive powerlifter exercising 2 hours a day 5-6 days per week but he told me basically I was lying so I brought in my exercise journal but he still didn’t believe me. I have an appointment in a couple of day with the PA at my PCP office to discuss my insulin resistence should I push for a referral to another endo? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am on Metformin 500mg. twice a day but I can’t see that it did any good.

  14. Ruth Keeme

    I’m 28 years old diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis, and PCOS, suspecting I have IR as well. Here’s my story!
    I was a healthy 125 and 5’4 girl in 2013, after having my son who was 10.7 at birth I had 50lbs of baby weight to get rid of. I joined weight watchers, and did INSANITY, and lost the over 50lbs and was so happy! I kept on doing my workout and eating good until I noticed I was gaining weight with my extreme workouts, I thought I was going to start menstrating because it didn’t ,make any sense.
    After gaining more than 5 lbs I quit, and started to feel very tired, and again put a reason to it because I didnt know what was going on. I went to see my GP, told him I was feeling tired he gave me a test and said I had hypothroidism, and to take synthroid and sent me home.. After 3 weeks of synthroid I had enough, I constantly had migraines,and felt worse. I went back said i am not taking this any more and he gave me armour. I like it immediatly and felt better but in 3 weeks felt horrible again, he did another test said my levels are fine I should be fine. I said no I dont feel fine. He said exercise and eat better. I said how can I exercise if I can barely move?! He thought I was lying or wanted attention. I went to a specialist and told her what was going on and she said you need synthroid, I said no I tried that I felt horrible! I asked her if it could be something else and she said no I said are you sure its not pcos or adrenal disease ect..she said no, I said can you do some tests on me she said no. She told me I can give you synthroid or lower your armour. I was so angry,depressed and left discouraged, and hopeless agagin. After months went by, living day by day, I went to see a gyno since I had stopped menstrating. I told her what was going on, and she said I have PCOS, After all I had knew I had it just needed confirmation. She gave me birth control and sent me home. I have tried the birth control and I had horrible cramps and had a forced period it seemed. I stopped taking it, and have NOT lost a pound. Oh yeah by the way I have gained over 50 pounds in 7 months! My sister went to her doctor had all the tests on her since she had similar symptoms as me and she has PCOS and insulin resistance. I want to go back to my doctor but dont have any insurance. I havent had my armour and feel fat, and disgusting! This hashimotos and PCOS has ruined my life! I am desperate to get on metformin since thats what my sisters doctor perescribed her and heard wonderful things for people with IR and PCOS. I have cut down carbs, eat a paleo diet and cant lose a damn pound! I am so sick of this I hate it!!!!!!!!! – A MAD WOMAN WITH HASHIS AND PCOS!

    • Tiffany Verloop

      We have a lot of similarities. How are you doing now?

  15. dianne

    56 year old female.I have Thyroid nodules, with normal thyroid blood work. My endrocrinologist didn’t think that I needed to know that I’m insulin resistant. 5′ 130 lbs to 215 within 3 years. My skin just went awful, dry but oily thick small patches, tiny dry bee- bee size thick balls of skin. Skin tags.Shortness of breath.Muscle weakness. I’m on no medications for either issue, don’t know if that’s good or bad. Diabetes on fathers side and thyroid on mothers. Also High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol, being treated. Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated, I feel awful all the time!

    • Diane

      Hi Dianne . I have been feeling the same exact things ! Did you ever get help ? Please be on here still !! My email is sungirl1962@gmail.com. please let me know !!!

  16. Kim

    I just found this site. Here’s my story.

    When I was 20 years old, the right lobe of my thyroid was surgically removed due to a nodule on it. Way back then they couldn’t just remove the nodules. No, they had to remove the entire lobe. They didn’t even put me on a thyroid supplement at the time. I was so young that I didn’t even know I should take one.

    A few years later, I was feeling lethargic and weird and my doctor put me on Synthroid. For many years I felt fine, but then when I was pregnant with my 2nd son (at 32 years old), something., somewhere, happened to my metabolism. During my pregnancy my body literally swelled up all over, and I felt so weak. They suspected gestational diabetes, but a GTT didn’t find it. Well, of course it didn’t. What I was feeling was reactive hypoglycemia.

    Way back then (23 years ago), as far as the doctors were concerned reactive hypoglycemia was a myth and only existed in the minds of their patients. My blood sugar was always low, in the 70s normally, and a few hours after a meal it would drop even lower, to the 60s. It was never EVER stable, no matter what I tried, no matter how much I ate or no matter what combination of foods I ate. I was so frightened about it that I bought a blood sugar monitor and started monitoring my blood sugar myself. I complained about my condition for 23 solid years, gained 120 pounds and felt completely wiped all the time. The entire time I NEVER stopped watching what I ate and I never stopped doing whatever I could to “work out” regularly. (Although, working out is not what I would have called it, because I usually couldn’t even get through 30 minutes of cardio without feeling dead.)

    In August 2013, I looked for a new doctor and found one who was fresh out of med school. I literally broke down crying in her office the very first time I saw her, begging her to do something. Believe it or not, she was one of the first new doctors I’d ever seen that actually appeared to have read my medical history before my visit.

    After hearing my story personally…just my story and having read my history now…she hadn’t even seen my numbers yet, mind you…she said that she thought what I was dealing with all these years was insulin resistance, and at this point she said it sounded like my blood sugar was extremely unstable and had been for a long, long time, which she surmised was setting me up for diabetes very soon if I didn’t get that under control first.

    She ordered blood work and sent me home and told me she would call me. That afternoon, she called me and told me that my numbers definitely indicated that I was prediabetic and from my history, she also believed there was significant insulin resistance going on, based on my visits with an endicrinologist and the numbers from those tests. (My pancreas was making WAY too much insulin all the time. They even checked me for a pancreatic tumor, which I do not have). She said she had put in a prescription for a drug called Metformin and asked me to pick it up as soon as I could and begin taking it immediately. I was to take a very small dose, 500 mg every evening after dinner. And she wanted to see me again in three weeks.

    I was concerned about Metformin because my best friend is diabetic and she takes Metformin (3 times as much as I am, mind you), and at first she had horrific gastrointestinal reactions. So, I called her to ask about my new doctor and her experience with Metformin and she said that the side effects had eventually calmed down and she was now doing well on it. She’s been my friend for over 20 years, so she knew my history and she thought my doctor might be right. So, she encouraged me to try it.

    At this point I was willing to try anything. Literally anything. I picked up the prescription that day after work and took my first dose.

    I ate dinner and took the Metformin. Within 45 minutes my blood sugar felt absolutely “normal.” I mean normal as in the way I felt when I was 19 years old. I checked it and it was 85. That was three hours after I had eaten a healthy dinner. If I hadn’t taken the Metformin, it would have already dropped to at least 70 again and would have been on its way down even more if I didn’t eat something. (Yes, in three hours–after a full meal.)

    I wasn’t hungry either. So, I got some water and sat down at my desk to do my after work tasks and at bedtime, I checked my blood sugar again. 85. I was astonished.

    I went to bed. Got up the next morning. Checked my blood sugar again. 85. Checked it at work, three hours after breakfast. 85. You see where I’m going with this, right?

    Whatever Metformin does right for people, it was doing for me. I’m not a scientist or a doctor, and so I don’t know what that is, exactly, but all I can say is that for me, Metformin, is a miracle drug. Literally.

    The first week I lost 11 pounds. I was so startled that I went back to my doctor, alarmed. She said that my body was getting rid of the inflammation and water that it was holding due to imbalances, and not to worry about it. She made an appointment for me in two weeks. The next week, I felt pain in my kidneys. It alarmed me. She watched that closely and we did tests and she finally determined that this was also my system getting used to being back to normal, as no abnormalities with my kidneys was found.

    After that, I calmed down and tried really hard to do what I usually did–eat healthy and exercise. Except because my blood sugar was stable now I actually COULD exercise. I mean really work out. And exercise didn’t leave me wiped like it had in the past. Instead, I felt GOOD after exercise. That’s how you’re supposed to feel after you exercise. Good. Not like you are dying.

    Since then I’ve lost 66 pounds. My blood sugar is still stable. And my A1C has dropped from 5.8 to 5.1.

    I’m not saying all of this to “promote” anyone taking Metformin. I think that we all should do what we think is right for us. But clearly, for my system, Metformin was the answer. It may not be for you, though. I’ve heard a lot of people who say that Metformin didn’t work for them, or the side effects were too bad for them to continue. I was lucky.

    But I do know this. Issues with our endocrine system need to be taken much more seriously by the health industry. I now believe there are so many people out there suffering like I did for years simply because their doctors aren’t listening to them. If your doctor won’t listen to you, do what I did. Get a new doctor and make that one listen. And if that doesn’t work, get another one. And do that until someone listens to you.

    Obesity is a DISEASE. The problem is no one out there is “really” looking for a cure. It’s easier for the world to call us fat and lazy rather than help us figure out what’s wrong.

    Another thing that had to be adjusted months later was my thyroid medication. After I had lost all that weight it had to be adjusted down. My doctor is working hard to get that right too. She is amazing. 🙂

    Much luck to you all with your own journeys. ♥

    • Shanna

      Your symptoms sound similar to mine. Now that you have lost the weight have you stopped taking metformin?

    • Macy

      Hi there,

      I story looks so much like mine. I just wanted to knowone thing during this time were you taking synthroid with metformin?

      Thank you


    • Lydia

      This makes me so happy! I swapped to ndt and put on metformin back in October. I feel better then I have in years!!!! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 11 I am now 29 and finally feeling normal!

  17. Debbie

    I have used Synthroid for 20 years. Just the last 5 years, Dr switched me to Armour. 180 mg day. My TSH was 9.8. I think it gives me terrible headaches but not sure it’s the culprit. The Dr just diagnosed me with Type 2 and prescribed Metformin twice a day. Can I take this at same time as Armour? I also suffer terribly with IBS. Any complaints or side effects that are going to increase that issue?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Debbie!! Are you saying you are just now starting on 180 mg? Patients have found that to be a big mistake to start on such a high dose of NDT!! Our bodies are not used to the direct T3 when we’ve been on T4-only that long. Instead, we start at one grain and build up by 1/2 grain every two weeks or so. Read https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101

      Yes, patients take Metformin with NDT if they need the former.

    • Gillian

      go gluten free if you arent already, it cured all my aches and pains and IBS symptoms i three days!!!!!!! I have Hashimoto and also keep to a low carb high, healthy fat, diet which is also helping me have more energy.

  18. katherine

    Type 2 diabetic and thyroid surgery’s partial removal of both thyroid glands and what a nightmare.Using insulin and doing armour and feeling hypothyroid and no answers.Feel the insulin is interfering with armour and not helping not to be low thyroid on both am taking them.Few hours after break out of a rash checking blood work see if its thyroid or diabetes or both.Would like drs to take better care of there patience by listening and if don’t have the answer ask another dr or do referrals and let the patient get some relief and answers to there health.Thank you

  19. Dana

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about twenty years ago. I was placed on synthroid at that time by my family doctor. I spent years telling him I felt worse on the med than I did off. Him and other drs acted like I was crazy. My husband use to joke me when he would come home from work n the house would be spotless and he’d say “you forgot to take your synthroid today didn’t you”. And sure enough… I struggled for such a long time. Time I can never get back. Then one day I bought the thyroid diet book and they suggested armour thyroid so I took a dif approach n asked my gyno if he could help with my thyroid n he did. He placed me on armour like I asked and suggested I referred me to an endo dr. Within days I felt like a new person!!! My house is usually clean now and I have energy! However my endo dr has all my levels under controle but I can not loose weight to save my life. 1200 calories a day and working with a personal trainer three days a week n I’m gaining weight!! My endo said I have insulin resistance and he is placing me on metformin in April! I’m praying this works!! From all the research I’ve been doing I’ve heard that it only HELPS you loose weight. Its not a magic pill! Exercise n nutrition are still a must. Ill post my results when I get started.

  20. Wendy

    I have hypothyroidism and pre diabetes but I was on synthyroid for 3 years I felt miserable then I changed to armour it changed my life. I’m happier and more energetic.
    but I still don’t know what to do about pre diabetes 🙁

    • Sue

      Armour is great. Metformin is wonderful as well. Take the regular and not er if stomach issues. Walk, and watch the carbs. When eating carbs, in moderation, pair with a protein or peanut butter. Dairy counts as a carb not a protein unless Greek nonfat yogurt with minimal carbs. Not a doctor, just going through the same issues.

    • Kellie

      Does metformin counteract or interact with Armour in any way? When and how do you take it?

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Kellie, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with the two. As far as when and how…do you mean for Metformin? Diabetic patients tend to take it twice a day.

  21. Tami

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism three years ago, the T-4/T-3? test came back slightly elevated, but they gave me thyroid medicine anyway and told me that I would have to take it for the rest of my life. I had the test because I had no energy, was getting a lot of facial hair, dry skin, etc. Just last month I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, with a A1c of 8.5. I started taking the metformin, and I felt great. I stopped taking the thyroid medicine several weeks before the metformin because of the increase in the cost of the medicine and it didn’t seem to be doing anything for me. Since the first day of taking metformin, I feel great and am working towards getting my blood sugar back on track. I think too that I was probably pre-diabetic several years ago instead of having hypothyroidism. Interesting article, would be great if it could be studied more in depth!

  22. Jenna

    Wikipedia is not a credible scholarly resource. I would suggest looking into peer-reviewed primary articles to back up your thoughts especially since they conduct clinical trials that have undergone rigorous protocols to ensure the data is unbiased and accurate.

  23. Andrea

    I was diagonsied with Hashimotos two years ago and synthroid has given me no relief. Over the last few months I noticed numbness, tingling, burning, and deep pain in my arms, hands, and feet. Five Doctors later I have one blood test (out of many) that revealed a high insulin level. I fear I have type 2…I have low blood sugar, cry, heart feels out of control, brain fog is huge!, no concentration. After this discovery of high insulin I am told no one can see me for MONTHS. I feel helpless, depressed, and need advise.. Self help says eat no carbs, no sugar, and excercise… but I feel like I can’t even fold laundry I am SO floppy!

    • Janie

      Andrea, so sorry to read what you are going through. This is exactly why STTM exists—to explain why Synthroid or any other T4-only med is not the way to go and why you need to fight to be put on Natural Desiccated Thyroid…or add T3 to the Synthroid at the very least. The former is the best way according to a great deal of patient experiences before you. Google ThyroGold–a stopgap until you can find a doctor to give you a prescription for NDT. Note that you need good iron and cortisol to do well on NDT. Also check your B12–your symptoms also go with inadequate levels–needs to be in the upper part of the range. Here is where you can get more feedback: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others

    • Wendy

      My recommendation is try armour. That changed my life. I felt like you. Now I don’t. The first two days I literally felt something in my brain…it was a kind of numbness kind a weird to explain.but is a miracle in my life

    • Susie

      Hi Andrea, I have been on levothyroxine ever since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto (around 2007). I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes around 2002. Pretty much felt like garage all this time. I came across doctors who like to test your blood and state “Numbers are good.” and nothing else. They didn’t even tell me how to properly take my meds.
      I finally got tired of waiting for them to ‘help’ me and started helping myself. After SEVERAL doctors later, lots of crying, pain, tiredness, and MORE pain.. I finally found a doctor that would listen and not just look at numbers.
      I have been taking Armour for a month, I read somewhere else that a thyroid patient doctor recommended Selenium (200 mcg) with her Armour dose, so I started that with my Armour. I learned the proper time to eat and take my other meds around my Armour.
      Then more research, MOST Hashi people are Gluten Intolerant. I am avid baker and cook. This was a blow to me. But I thought lets give it a try. First week I thought I was going to starve to death because it is a learning process.. BUT I woke up one morning, rolled over in bed, my hand touch my hip and IT DIDN’T HURT. My joints didnt hurt, my skin didn’t hurt and that day i did Laundry, Cooked dinner, Cleaned the frontroom floor and washed the bathroom down! This was amazing as the week before i was so crippled that I couldn’t hardly make coffee, let alone a bowl of cereal was really pushing it!

      My Hypothyroid or diabetes wasn’t killing me…. it was my Hashi’s! And all the wheat products I ate ‘trying to eat good and lose weight’.

      4 weeks ago I couldn’t hardly make a bowl of cereal and just went on a trip to Michigan to visit family! Hashi’s will always be a part of your life and mine. I have come to the conclusion I will have my good days and bad days. I will embrace the good days as I have more of them now than the bad.

      Try eating Gluten Free for a couple weeks and see how it works for you. If you are near a Krogers grocery store you are in luck they have put Gluten Free labels on all the GF products through their store now! I just found this last week, totally amazing and so Helpful! So you are not just having to shop around the expensive Organic and Health food sections. Also if your near a Whole Foods I went to their site online and they have a 29 page list of all their gluten free products.
      I can never thank these people who were before us who had to pioneer and push for Gluten Free people with labeling the products..
      Wish you the best ((hugs))

    • lori herman

      I was wondering if you are feeling any better? I was just diagnosed with high insulin and feel terrible on t4 only but cant tolerate t3 right now. I would love to speak with you. Lori

    • Carla

      Hey Andrea,
      You need to be taking NDT (natural desicated thyroid) sick as Armour. You’re brain is foggy because your thyroid is sick and not producing enough hormone.
      Hey your adrenals checked by the saliva method only. Go gluten free. There are plenty of delicious substitutes. Usually is only a DO (naturepath ) that will help you feel better. You need to treat the symptoms till they go away. DO NOT GO BY LAB WORK ALONE! Best wishes. Post how your doing street treatment!

  24. Samantha

    I have type 1 diabetes. My doctor prescribed Metformin to me for hormone related issues. I haven’t decided if I want to start taking it yet. I’m also on NDT and just swapped over to Cytomel. Will taking metformin help me in regards to still having hypo symptoms along with type 1 diabetes?

    I’m just confused if I should add this medicine because of the side effects.

  25. Burcidi

    I’m actually surprised by how many people mentioned diabetes, hypothyroidism and some type of issue with gluten in the comments.

    I stopped eating gluten four days ago after an elimination test I did. Gluten gives me terrible stomach bloating. It’s so bad that I can’t breathe, I get cramps and I’m tired and moody. I quit the gluten (I was mostly eating bread) and the bloating is just gone.

    Ive been wondering if metformin was causing this because I’ve noticed that it causes an increased sensitivity to some foods. Or maybe I was always sensitive to gluten and metformin just highlighted it to me.

    I’m starting to think that this is all related to the immune system dysfunction. I think this is the reason why many of us are developing all of these issues around the same time. Maybe a virus that we don’t know about? Who knows.

  26. Burcidi

    You implied that starvation (or the body thinking that it’s starving) will lead to insulin resistance. But why?

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and type two diabetes at the same time last year. I had the symptoms of diabetes for a year before diagnosis. I was put on metformin and synthethic thyroid hormones at the same time. I lost some weight in the few days following this, but then it leveled off. I took thyroid hormones for a year, after which my thyroid started working again and I have been off of them for more than six months now. I continue to take my metformin.

    The ultrasound technician had said that my hypothyroidism is due to an infection that I suffered some time ago (she could tell it was not new). I’ve always wondered if there was a connection between my hypothyroidism and diabetes. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, but I’m the youngest member to have developed it. Everyone else developed post their fourties. I developed it around age 24.

  27. Isabelle

    PS: I also should note Dr. Barnes put his patients on higher fat diets. I’m presuming this would be good fats/essential fatty acids which help us lose weight. He was also doing this during a time when food had more nutrition and no GMOs and poisons like we do today.

  28. Isabelle

    I echo the comment posted regarding Dr. Broda Barnes, M.D. discovery. The bottom line is: untreated hypothyroidism leads to diabetes. He also treated what is called hyperthyroidism with dessicated thyroid (i.e. Armour). It’s been many years since I read the book, but it was a life saver. All thyroid problems needed treatment with Armour and he did this successfully.
    My personal experience is my heart will race WITHOUT my thyroid meds. It also races a day or two adjusting to getting them when I’ve been without for a long time. I was without thyroid Rx for long periods when I was trying to find a suitable replacement for the old Armour and had not been successful. My experience so far is NOTHING matches how well the old Armour worked. The info STTM has on selenium, however, helped my Erfa Rx to start to actually work. I had chewed it up for a year with no real results particularly with bloat/edema resulting in being far too overweight. I also have to take the selenium with pumpkin (I just use canned) for the nutrients needed to absorb and utilize the selenium. I never had to go to all this trouble with the old Armour, but at this point, I’ll do what it takes to get thyroid Rx to WORK.

  29. Ian

    K. Dior
    I used to have diarrhea when starting the metformin , which is a common side effect.I would always give up after a few days of constantly running to the bathroom. Then I read that it can take up to 2 weeks to get used to metformin. When I finally decided to keep at it, the diarrhea eventually stopped. For me it was 2 weeks. Also, it helps if you take it with food and never on an empty stomach. At least, that is my experience.

  30. Connie

    A friend casually remarked about the symptoms of insulin resistance and the symptoms all sounded so familiar. But I ate hardly any sweets – how could this be? I started the paleo diet – NO GRAINS, NO PASTA, NO BREAD. Within a week my energy level was up and after two I finally actually lost a pound. My friend explained that bread, etc. is quickly converted to sugars. Since I was a vegetarian many of my calories came from this. I started eating meat when I started the paleo diet. This upped my protein levels as well. As I was running yesterday suddenly it occurred to me that the insulin resistance and the hypothyroidism were connected. When I typed in the searchI found this page (and lots of research hits as well). Thanks for the corroboration of my hunch, and all the great info. Now I am wondering about next steps..

    (From Janie: I’ve just received word from a progressive doc that he’s seen some of his diabetic patients have their sugar levels go down 20 pts thanks to being on natural desiccated thyroid for their hypo!)

  31. Rachel

    Hello! What a relief to know I am not alone! I am 32, have had a dx of pcos for 10 years, and hypoT for about a year. I currently take synthroid, .75mcg. I feel horrible! My hair is gone..it just falls out my body feels as if it was ran over by a semi, my hands and arms are numb,& I am huge(very overweight and swollen) I can go on and on…but I wont. I really just need help so bad… I have no idea what to do, or what to tell my Dr. to do. I have taken Met. For many years on and off, I hate it with a passion it does nothibg for me. If anyone has any advice I would be so thankful, I see my Dr. in two days.

    From Janie: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others 🙂

  32. Danielle

    Thank you for this. I have been fighting to get my thyroid regulated for over 4 yrs now. Every dr i see wants to only try synthroid and nothing else. While it has helped, it still has not fully worked. I have infertility issues too. I was diagnosed with PCOS three yrs ago, but i think it is odd that in those three yrs, they have never found one cyst on either of my ovaries. I think it is a generic diagnosis because they cannot figure out what to do with me. I also have hypoglycemia (that gets worse every yr). I know several women who have hypothyroidism and their docs have treated them with metformin and it has helped but i begged for metformin and am told it will not help me. I just dont know what to do anymore.

    (From Janie: for one, say many, many patients, get off Synthroid and onto desiccated thyroid, and learn about adrenals and iron from the STTM book.)

  33. Jill Smith

    Hello, I was born with Hypothyroidism and they did not find it till I was 3 and now I am 55 and the doctor took me off of the armour which is natural and put me on Levothyroid and cymotel well she took me off of the cymotel and she did the sugary test on me and my 3 to 6 months test was high and now she has me on Metformim and I am not losing any weight I am gaining and my hair is coming out not in chunks but more than it should so I do not agree with the Metformin deal it may work for some but please do not suggest it works for everyone ! Every one body is not the same and does not react the same way so just cause you searched a lot does not mean we have all the answers !

    (From Janie: your problems may be more due to being left on nothing more than levothyroxine than a problem with Metformin. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work )

  34. Shawna

    These stories are amazing! I recently started looking into thyroid conditions after my sister, who has suffered with Hashimotos and Celiac disease was recently diagnosed with another thyroid condition called “thyroid hormone resistance”. We are from Montana, so she is looking at specialists in other states since doctors here are having trouble treating her. There are several cousins that have Celiac disease and one with Hashimotos, as well. For years, I have thought that I have hypothytoidism but my lab tests always come back “normal”. Now, after stumbling upon this post about Insulin Resistance and the thyroid, I’m wondering about my daughter. Last year, at 17 she was diagnosed with Insulin Dependent Type 1 Diabetes (no family history) and just a month ago was diagnosed with Celiac, no surprise with the family history, but her thyroid test was normal. So, within a year’s time she was diagnosed with Diabetes and Celiac, could this be a connection to the thyroid? Plus, she is still fatigued and has gained around 30 pounds. She works at a fitness club and tries to work out but most days is too tired. Also, somewhere on this website it stated that, Hashimotos can be diagnosed as Bi-Polar, and two years ago that’s what my daughter was diagnosed with (Bi-Polar II Mood Disorder) and prescribed an anti-seizure drug. She continues to take the anti-seizure drug but maybe she’s taking the wrong medication. Over the last couple of years my daughter has been to a counselor, then psychiatric nurse, plus numerous doctors before her Diabetes was diagnosed. Does anyone have or know of anyone with similar circumstances? Or any advice?

  35. April P.

    Hi everyone. What a great post! I have had hypoT for 6+ years but just yesterday was dx’ed with Hashi’s. My fasting BG has steadily increased over the last few years (from about 79 to 97). My dad has Type 2 diabetes and I think I have PCOS (based on symptoms–I have almost all of them). 2 years ago I managed to lose 50+ pounds on my own with a low carb diet, exercising/walking, and taking a ton of natural supplements. They included alpha lipoic acid, NAC, magnesium, B-complex, omega 3’s, biotin, chromium, vit D, gymnema sylvestre, and a natural herbal formula for healthy ovarian function called Femtrol. Most of these have been studied for glucose management. I was also on 175mcg synthroid at the time. I managed to lose that weight in 4 months. I felt great. Periods were normal. Lab work looked great. Unfortunately, I got lazy with exercising, my diet, and taking the supplements and have gained most of that weight back. I understand the importance of food, supplements, and movement!! I am currently on 200mcg synthroid and still showing symptoms. Their answer has been to only increase synthroid and prescribe Metformin but seeing how sick my dad was on it makes me not want to take it! I hope that with my new dx of Hashi’s and a new doctor I can change to Armour and lose more weight and hopefully lower my fasting BG levels. I bought a book called “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo and she has sections for diet recommendations based on condition (she has a thyroid section, autoimmune section, and weight loss/blood sugar balance), and recommends NO GLUTEN. I highly recommend her book! I have also recently enrolled in a 6 month program with a local thyroid specialty doctor and one of the first things he told me is to avoid gluten. Leaky gut is connected to thyroid imbalances and can be caused my ingesting gluten and other irritants.

  36. Susan Silverstrom

    Hello. I am interested in finding out more about Stopping the Thyroid Madness!!

  37. Sheena

    Wow, this all makes total sense…I have just been diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism and insulin resistance all at the same time. It’s scary how interrelated all of these things are. I’m hoping that after reading this, I might be able to reduce from 3 meds to 1! Here’s hoping my doctor will listen!

  38. Christina

    So interesting-thank you for researching and posting.

    I have PCOS, hypothryoid and insulin resistance, as well as gluten intolerance. It’s been a journey the past couple of years trying to piece it all together. My thryoid appears to be in a good range now on Armour. I tested negative for all of the auto-immune thyroid issues.

    I started taking Metformin a few months ago for the PCOS and insulin resistance to try to regulate my very irregular cycles. The first 10 weeks on Metformin were absolutely horrible with side effects, but now the side effects are much more tolerable (just some food aversion and mild nausea and mild exhaustion from time to time). Metformin did, however, regulate my cycles right away, something I had been trying to do on my own for 1.5 years with no success.

    It seems like iodine could play a role in all of this too from research I have done. I had my iodine level tested, and it was super low, so I am working on building back up my iodine levels. Since my thyroid problem is not Hashimoto’s or Graves, I really think it could have a root in the iodine deficiency.

  39. Jane

    Broda Barnes figured this out long ago, see chapter in his book “Hypothyroidism The Unsuspected Illness”

  40. Adria

    Great read, seriously! I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism about 4 years ago, but after learning about the symptoms I’m quite sure I’ve had it for much longer. About 3 months ago I found out I have PCOS, am a celiac and pre diabetic. It’s been a bit rough coping with the information but mostly, it’s been harder to find a doctor that see’s how clear the connection is between all of these, I mean not only do the symptoms overlap, but there are plenty of other things that link them together.

    I apologize as I don’t know the proper names in english for all my treatment, but I take levothyroxine (100 mcg), Novotiral (100mcg), Metformine (500 mcg) and Dicetel. Thus far my belly definitely feels better and I’ve been slowly losing some weight which is a huge plus. I have also changed my diet and eliminated gluten, it’s only been a few months so I am not really sure how much differences I should be seeing and feeling. However I do have to say that my energy level is at times where it used to be and at others, i simply feel like I have a giant rock over my shoulders.

    Aside from all the meds I really try to focus on keeping a healthy diet and finding other natural stimulants like wheatgrass shots and umeboshi (japanese plum), but If anyone has any other tips, advice I’d be more than greatful.

    All the best!

    (From Janie: I don’t understand why you are on BOTH T4-only and a combo of T4/T3! It’s only the latter that’s needed, and Natural desiccated thyroid is even better. Join patient groups: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others)

  41. Kristen

    I’ve struggled with hypo and PCOS, insulin resistance, all that. Finally just saw an endo (Dr. Gangi in Mesquite, TX) because I’m getting married this year and would like to get pregnant before it’s too late (I’m 32). After years of being on Levo but still being symptomatic even tho my “levels” were “normal” according to docs, the new doc told me my T3 was low, switched me from Levo to Synth (she says there’s a difference), lowered me from 125 mcg to 100, and put me on 10 mcg of Cytomel (which I started today) and sublingual B12 (I was B12-deficient anemic). I have tried both Armour and Metformin and had terrible reactions to both. The Met put me in the ER – I could barely walk I felt so bad. They were afraid I was acidotic (lactic acidosis is a rare but potentially fatal side effect of Metformin). Armour made me feel almost as bad. My mom loves it. I have seen websites full of people who had my experience with Armour. In the past few months progesterone cream has finally regulated my periods, but for years I had month-long (or longer) periods that were heavier than you can imagine. Plus my beautiful thick hair fell out almost completely, gained weight almost up to 300 lbs., and only lost it with a 100% zero carb (meat/dairy only) diet. Treating my insulin resistance with a diet that requires little to no insulin to digest has made my blood sugar rock steady and dropped 60 lbs. off my body in a year with no exercise. As of now I am doing my progesterone cream, eating zero carb, exercising daily, and taking the Synth/Cyto combo. I just started the Cyto today and it was like being on speed. I am going to talk to the doc about getting my dosage lowered for the time being. I am very optimistic about the addition of T3 to my treatment. I think the combination of Cyto/Synth with my diet, exercise, B12, and prenatal vitamins will help me get healthier and maybe God willing get pregnant. And look prettier at my wedding. 🙂 God bless all of you and may we all get the answers and treatment we need and deserve.

  42. Daniella cox

    Berberine may be worth looking into it is a herb that can be used instead of metformin.

  43. Andrea

    I’ve been on TRH since February of this year, but weight is still an issue. I suspect it has to do with the on-off switch for AMPK which can be remedied thru Metformin (and mine’s been “off” for a long while).

    I once took Metformin without the benefit of TRH and as I recall, it made me feel ill, no weight change.

    I tested genetically as a low carber who benefits from high intensity exercise (InherentHealth.com) – in spite of a low carb diet and TRH (2 1/2 grains) + Isocort, my weight is steady.

    I did see results when I had the energy to get to the gym and do 20 minutes 3 x week of high intensity exercise on an elliptical machine (which supposedly works as well as Metformin) – however, the key word is “energy”. My job leaves me too beat at the end of the day to hit the gym. I am going to try again now, since I have the summer off.

    Also looking for a natural substitute for Metformin. Cinnamon has been mentioned.

    For those ambivalent re: low carbing, here’s an article of interest –


  44. Toni

    @Kelly __ Oh my, can I relate! I have had a weight problem all my life, though not quite the sugar addiction you describe. But I have experienced TWICE the “shutting down” that you describe.

    The first time: I was in my 20’s and my mother took me to a clinic for the HCG diet. At the end, nice and thin, the clinic told me that to maintain the weight loss I needed to live on what is today called the Paleo diet. I loved being thin, and I avoided any carb unless it was a green leafy vegetable for two years! Health problems began to compound until the day when I stood looking at a flight of stairs and didn’t have the energy to lift my foot onto the first step. With what can only be called a supreme act of will, I made it up those stairs. Then I ate a single animal cracker cookie, and I felt a flood of energy coursing through my body. I knew I couldn’t stay on a no-carb diet any longer.

    The second time: My weight bounced around the same 20-30 pounds after that, including through three pregnancies. Then I had my fourth baby. I tell her she is worth every pound, but I’m now 80 pounds heavier and cannot lose the weight. A few years ago, in my early 50’s, I read a diet that had you eat Paleo one day and low calorie/high carb the next. I was sure this would be my answer as the theory was you’d replenish your muscles on the high carb days. There were two problems: on the high-carb days I was a sugar fiend, and on the low-carb days I was paralyzed. My husband and my kids were so worried about me. I tried to tell them that I wasn’t sad or mad, but my body would just curl up into a cocoon and I couldn’t move.

    I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone. Ultra low carb diets destroy my ability to move. It’s good to know that someone else knows what it’s like.

  45. Erin Dunklin

    I was totally normal and thin and had no problem with my thyroid that I know of before I got pregnant. I did have trouble getting pregnant and my OBGYN put me on Metformin and Clomid to get pregnant. 3 months of taking that and I was pregnant. I had the carpel tunnel syndrome during pregnancy and 3 months after delivery. It went away. I had placenta previa which went away at 18 weeks. I also had swelling of the legs, feet, and hands and pain when I would touch the inner thighs from my blood vessels being swollen during the third trimester of my pregnancy. Delivery was fine even though I had to be induced due to my water breaking and 24 hours later still in labor but no progress. After I of course started breastfeeding, and I lost my weight which at the time of delivery I weighed 164 and I went back down to my pre-pregnancy size of 134 in about 4 to 6 months. I did notice that I would get sick easier but other than that things were great. Until I got sick, my son got sick and then got thrush and passed it to me. Well we’d had several episodes of thrush while breastfeeding but this was the worst. It wouldn’t go away. I decided since he was almost a year old…10.5 months and I was having a hard time pumping milk and he was losing interest, it was a good time to wean him and put him totally on formula and milk. This is when my thyroid went all wacky on me. I noticed all the symptoms that was listed for the Hypothyroidism I had them. I gained 19 pounds back in a month, was so sluggish and tired that even a nap or sleeping long periods, caffeine, herbal energy pills, or exercise couldn’t revive me. When I exercised it got worse. I wasn’t eating a lot so I had no idea where the weight gain came from. I went to my doc and had my thyroid and hormone levels checked. My thyroid level was a 22…yes I have the complete test they did although I don’t believe it was quite as extensive as the one listed on here. So I need that done. But I was put on the generic of synthroid. I did notice a slight difference for the better, but no weight loss really, still sluggish, still no enegery, and about more than half the symptoms on the hypo list are still present. What I want to know is if this pregnancy induced hypothyroidism will go away eventually and I will normal out or am I doomed to live with this condition and have to resort to taking desiccated natural thyroid and synthroid for the rest of my life. Will it be reversed if I get pregnant again or get worse? Please help! I’m desparate! I hate the way I feel and look and want my old self back!


    • Erin

      Hi, Erin, your situation sounds so similar to mine, except I found I had PCOS prior to getting pregnant. Have your symptoms improved since this post?

  46. Kelly

    I’m not sure if this is related but I think it is. I am wondering if there is anyone out there like me. I have ALWAYS (ALWAYS AWLAYS ALWAYS) consumed a diet of high sugar. I was taught/fed this from a very early age. My family was very poor and everything we ate came from a box.

    As a teenager, I turned it up a notch and became very addicted to soda. I have been drinking soda (lots) for 20+ years.

    Just this year, things got really bad healthwise. I was having symptoms of hypoT/PCOS. I started digging into all of the health issues that come with my high-sugar diet and, after reading 10+ books on how bad sugar, carbs and gluten were, I gave it all up cold turkey and switched to a Paleo diet with no carbs (except in vegetables) for 7+ weeks.

    Two weeks after switching though, I started to experience something very odd. My body pretty much completely shutdown. I would sit in a chair and stare into space for hour. I would get fatigued from washing my hair or chewing food. My mind almost stopped thinking. I would actually be thinking about. . .nothing! I had zero energy. I was, in effect, “hibernating”. I was exactly like a zombie. Craziest thing ever! I couldn’t work. I couldn’t function.

    I thought it was lack of calories so I would eat high volumes of food (only meat and vegetables though). And I would be stuffed full. But still completely fatigued.

    Just recently, I changed my diet back to some soda again and some carbs and I have “come alive” again (still some bad days of zombie exhaustion though each week). I do believe this is a thyroid issue and sugar resistence issue. I just don’t know what to do. I really really want to be off the sugar but I am going to get fired from my job if I go back to how I was.

    Recently, I convinced a doctor to prescribe a small dose of T3 (5mg). I’m wondering if a higher dose of T3 and a gluten free diet would be the answer. It was so hard to stop cold turkey the first time. I know it’s going to be a struggle again and I’m scared I’m going to back to zombie mode.

  47. keven mccord

    great stuff

    it is my firm belief that ther is NO such thing as type 2 diabetes that it is all thyridic in nature but it is more profitable to treat diabetes and hypertention and all the other related disorders than to CURE our thyroid disfunctions!!!! big pharma strikes again.

  48. Lillian

    It is refreshing to find a forum like this where information can be shared so that we can help each other. I am a Hashimoto’s patient who find it impossible to lose weight unless I reduce my food intake to 500-800 calories. I am on a gluten free diet and have made all of the dietary changes I know to do. I have always suspected insulin resistance and I am glad this issue is being discussed. I am also Type O blood and am curious to know if many of you out there are also Type o. We need to understand our condition and work together to “crack the code” because many women are suffering out there! I would also like to ask any of you out there if you have tried iodine with any success? The iodine actually has made my hypo symptoms worse.

  49. machteld schrameyer

    I am not sure if this related although I expect it is. On this website I once found the name of the Holtorf Medical Group in California.
    I did go there and was not happy with how they treated me, but they do use a system of resetting your body as far as losing weight is concerned by using a subtance used for diabetics. They claim to have a lot of success with this.
    I have finally found relief after years of being on the verge of adrenal failure with the timing of my T3 as described in the book, on the website and with Vitamin C for heart palpatations, Vitamin B12 and most importantly the help of Dr. Winters, a chiropractor in Paducah KY who has a very good insight, especially with people like me who got very sensitive to everything. I do get DHEA drops and Pregnenelone drops, cannot tolerate Isocort, but have responded very well to his treatment. Feel almost normal after only a month. The first time I have felt hopeful after 12 years of trouble and 3 years on being on the verge of total collapse. His website already tells you about his experience with this issue.

    • Karen Gardner

      Where did you get Isocort? I am on Armour Thyroid had my thyroid removed in 2000. Did fine until diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 6 months ago. After 3 med changes. I am on Metformin Er 500 mg in the evening. And I take 1/2 of. 15 mg Actos around 4 pm and then my second dose of Armour. My energy level is down. I get brain fog in the early afternoon but after I take my second dose of Armour I get energy and head clears. Do you have any advice. I do notice that I have energy when I don t take the Metformin and I can t cut it in half cause it s time release. I can only stop taking it for two days then my body wants it. Maybe I should try the Isocort. It worked for you. I ve changed my diet and my numbers are good. Someone suggested taking the Metformin every other day. Thanks.

      • Janie

        Karen, one thing patients have learned repeatedly is to not start on any cortisol-containing supplement until one has done the 24 hour adrenal saliva test to make sure it’s needed. Here are patient groups: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others

        • Karen Gardner

          Hi Janie, I did have the saliva test for cortisol and the Naturopath said mine is high at 8 am and goes to 4 (should be 1.5) at 10 pm. Tried the phosphatidyl serine (had gingko bilboa in it) and had a stimulating effect. The GlucoFit he also gave me, Calmed me down. I took the Calm C P (that s phos serine without the gingko) and that was very calming but the next day I had the shakes and my blood sugar went high. I m afraid to take any more. I m taking Vitamin C ,B complex, zinc, to help with the adrenals. I have tried so much. I m going to see a holistic doctor who had given me Dhea compounded time release that took away migraines and it s helping me now. Karen

  50. Donna

    I tried Metformin for a brief time – it made my borderline blood sugar higher. I went back to diet and my blood sugar went back down. I do have the symptoms of thyroid but always “pass” the tests ! Never been treated. My temp runs around 96 – 97 frequently. I am exhausted. Foggy brain – which is related to Fibromyalgia I’m told. It is very frustrating. I’ve been fighting this for years and don’t hardly bother to go to the doctor anymore. Tired of being told its in the head !

  51. paulette

    I am a 41 year old female who has had hypothyroidism for 30 years. A doctor put me on Armour when I was 37 and it made a dramatic difference for me. Then, last year a different doctor took me off (as my tsh tests show I had gone borderline hyper at .1)and put me on a low dose generic levo. 20 # and 6 months later, I finally realized that I needed a new doctor. I’m back on Armour, but I’m not sure if I need more or if there is something else going on. I exercise 3-5 days/week high intensity with strength training. I always feel like I’m going to die and I absolutely have no energy. I’m nauseous all day and want to lay down all the time. I have a healthy, mostly organic diet with lean meats, whole grains (early in the day), fresh fruits and lots of vegetables. My emotions are off the chart and my monthly cycles are more often than I prefer. Could the batch of levothyroid I took for awhile have turned me insulin resistant? I’m trying to figure out what the Heck is wrong with me.

    (Go here: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info)

  52. Lisa

    Very interesting.

    Along with insulin resistance, leptin resistance needs to be addressed. This can often be done very easily by doing a “leptin reset” diet, the general idea being that you eat a very large, high protein & high fat breakfast to start your day and do not snack, at all, between meals. There are several books and websites that go into depth on this topic.

    The GAPS Diet has eliminated PCOS in several women that I know personally. It is worth looking into for someone with PCOS.

  53. Terri Callahan

    I actually tried the Metformin route several years ago — I had been hypothyroid for about 10 years, on Synthroid, fatigued, fat and sick most of the time. My glucose was 99 – borderline. My Endocrinologist put me on 1,000 mg of Metformin. In the first year or so, I did feel marginally better and I did lose some weight. But then the effects stopped. Also, the Metformin blocked my absorption of vitamins in foods and I went into a severe B12 deficiency. After about 1.5 years, all the weight came back, my hair continued to fall out and hypo symptoms were very bad. I recently got on NDT and am a lot better. I just don’t think Metformin is all it’s cracked up to be.

    • Karen Gardner

      So what do you take now? They tried me on Januvia and then Onglyza and they gave me depression after a month so a diabetes specialist put me on extended release metformin 500 mg take before bed and it lowers my blood sugar but vitamin levels have dropped I take Vit D it s supposed to help your pancreas and Vit B Complex helps nerves and mood and now iron (take Hema-Plex from Health food store) very good. So i start the day with Armour then take all these vitamins. The metformin now on regular and taking 250 mg makes me hyper for a few hours everyday with my Armour but it works so well lowering blood sugar. I m allergic to sulpha and there is one whole group of diabetes drugs that have sulpha in them. Now they tell me my cortisol is high. The good news never ends. Just hope my kids don t get all this stuff. Karen Gardner

  54. Emily

    I am hypo and have been helped tremendously by this site. I am also very interested in the Paleo diet and metabolic syndrome. it has been very interesting to me to see more and more posts on STTP with very similar themes to those of the Paleo (or ancestral health) blogosphere.

    I agree that insulin resistance and hypothyroidism seem to have commonalities. I think an alternative to taking more medications such as Met is a change in nutrition. Cutting out dairy and grains has drastically increased my energy level and I’ve lost 16lbs without trying.

    Thank you for this site. It truly did save my life.

  55. SarahW

    Dear all,
    Thanks everyone for the comments, it’s as appreciated as it is unexpected.

    Some observations:
    Metformin is a very old remedy based on the herb “goats rue” http://www.thehealthierlife.co.uk/natural-health-articles/diabetes/goats-rue-plant-help-diabetics-00674.html
    In its synthetic form as Metformin it does indeed have side effects but these can be lessened by using the extended release version (XR) and cutting down on processed carbs (of any sort).

    Yes, Met can destroy B12 but that’s easy to prevent and resolve. Vegans may have a harder time than omnivores but B12 is a sensible supplement to take anyway IMHO.

    Yes, we do take a high dose multi-mineral now. A gluten free diet for life can be low on minerals esp calcium and magnesium.

    I am not in a position to recommend that anyone takes any drugs in any amount, that would be very unwise of me not having a medical qualification and you all having different circumstances. All I am suggesting is that a rational line of questioning with your doctor could well be “has being HT for so long made me insulin resistant?”
    The Leptin Reset is part of the same metabolic switching issue as AMPK.

    I can’t easily to do the US to Int’l blood sugar numbers but my daughter aims to stay steadily under 5 throughout the the day. At first the doctors were reluctant to treat because her sugar was only ever around 8/9 but over 6 and there were lots of fits. She also had tell tale Acanthosis Nigricans – brown skin on elbows and armpits which is another sign of IR – another example of where the numbers don’t always tell the truth.

    You will see that IR has similar features to HT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_resistance

    So, my thinking is this: if any HT patient is technically overweight/obese, chubby in the middle, brain foggy and generally still feeling miserable, sick and tired then I think it is reasonable to ask a doctor who refuses to try NTH to ask instead for a short trial on a low dose of Metformin – especially as it is a globally approved (cheap) drug which they can prescribe without fear of losing their licence/insurance. It wouldn’t be the first time patient groups managed to nag doctors into submission, it’s exactly what happened over in the PCOS community.

    If anyone is up to it then weight training rather than aerobics may be a way to go for keep fit because AMPK is activated by this type of exercise.

    What we need, I believe, is a good academic to do the biology and statistics for us, explore these connections and bring them all together. Either that or find some body building friends!

    BTW I am not suggesting giving up on T3 or NTH either, simply suggesting that we use the resources at our disposal and if we can’t get a doctor to try one thing then let’s try another way around to get the same result.

    Kudos to Janie for the great site, let’s all keep plugging away for better health.

  56. Heather

    I was diagnosed hypo a few years ago by my GP and put on Synthroid only treatment. It improved my symptoms, but never did away with them completely. Eventually I started seeing an internist who is pro eastern and western medicine, and has recently started adding T3 treatment to my regimen of vitamins, minerals, and Synthroid after a year of diet changes and tests that consistently reveal elevated leptin and cortisol levels. He started me off on 5MG of liothyronine (T3), which I’ve already noticed has made a little bit of difference in things like easing constipation, dry skin, depression and anxiety. I need him to keep upping to dosage until I feel normal, but it’s a start. Before all this thyroid mess I had no issues with my weight. Now I have about 15 lbs laying around that won’t budge, but I’m hoping that the T3 treatment can help kick start my metabolism and alter my leptin and cortisol levels enough to get me back to normal.

  57. Cathy

    As a former Metformin with Armour user, I will tell you that it has horrible side effects….compared to a chemo drug. I was sick the entire six months I was on it. Fortunately, found a naturopathic physician who took me off of it and encoured me to research Met studies that had taken place in Asia….well I did and found out that Met completely depletes all Vitamin B sources in your body, yes, I found out the hard way. I had a full Spectracell done on all vitamins and minerals, ALL of my B’s were zero, after only six months. So remember, if you choose Metformin you need to increase your B’s so that you don’t end up depleted.

    • Karen Gardner

      Need diabetes drugs to bring blood sugar down and have to take Armour (my thyroid removed). Armour is
      making me anxious. Allergic to sulfa. Tried Januvia and Onglyza both made me depressed. I was fine on Armour for 12 years. Just trouble since metformin. Taking Vit D and B Complex and that helps. Going to try Nature Throid and see if that helps. Feel like I m losing my mind. Any advice. Karen

  58. Gail

    You can get 400mg caps or 300mg caps and the 300mg are the most efficacious. You can take up to 3 of the 300mg caps per day. Some people take it 15mins before food as a dietary aid.

    ‘They’ did tests on rats and it reversed the effects of diabetes on the pancreas.

    Google it

  59. Gail

    K Dior – my husband is type2DM and the doc wanted to put him on metformin, but when I read the side effects I looked for an alternative and came up with Gymnema Sylvestre an Indian herb. His Dr (my boss) poo pooed it, but after 2 years and good bloods, he just says ‘carry on doing what you’re doing’. In India they call it the sugar destroyer.

    You have to have the 300mg for best efficacy – the brand I use is Swanson – it’s about £17 for 120 caps, and no side effects. You can take up to 3 a day, but do not take it with other diabetic meds as you risk having a hypo.

    (From Janie: 300 mg a day, or each dose??)

    • Odette

      I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and my gynae told me (without testing me) that I am probably insulin resistant – and put me on Inofolic, which he says does the same as Metformin, just without the side effects. My GP has now said I must have my thyroid and insulin tested, which Im doing tomorrow. Maybe worth looking into??

  60. Tom D.

    I belive the author is on the right track but took a wrong turn. Insulin Resistance and Hypothyroid (possibly even Hashi’s) go hand in hand. The wrong turn occurs at Metformin. This just proves that a Low Carb-Gluten Free diet is absolutely essential in aiding the fight against Hypothyroidism.

    (From Janie: Good points, but not sure that gluten-free is necessary for everyone with hypo, though….)

  61. Patricia Dunlop

    I need this explained more simply to me. Are you saying in this article that everyone who has hypothyroidism should be taking Metformin?

    (From Janie: if she is, I don’t think everyone will agree. We all know that each of us has differing symptoms and connections with our hypothyroidism.)

  62. Gail

    I wish someone would hurry up and sort this out before both of my daughters (with high peroxidase) develop full blows hypothyroidism like me.

    My thyroid has been so unstable over the last couple of years that, because of the constant constipation, I now have diverticular disease!!!

  63. Karen

    For those of you who want to try something else, study this paper (based on solid research):


    And, this one:




  64. Stacy Teitelbaum

    I was diagnosed hypo right out of college and spent many years on synthroid. When having my 3rd baby, I was diagnosed as “gestational diabetic” but the numbers were so borderline that I suspect it was just insulin resistant from a decade on synthroid. The docs gave me a metformin-like drug that is safe during pregnancy, but I read the warning labels on it and it scared me to take it. So, since cortisol plays a role in letting insulin into the cells, I increased my dose of Isocort. My blood sugar readings came down, and I delivered a healthy baby.

    I totally believe that thyroid/cortisol/insulin levels are interconnected. Very interesting article!

  65. Dena

    I am currently being treated for stage three adrenal fatigue. My doctor and I agree this is probably what took down my thyroid two years ago. I have forwarded this to him. I believe it is all very inter related. I will be checking the links you added. I also believe there is a stronge arguement in the lack of micronutrient in ou diet. We are on our third generation of processed food and chemical laden as well. I think they also play a role here.

  66. Andrea

    Wow, Sarah, that is just brilliant. Thank you. My niece, who has been on meds for seizures since early childhood, has had weight problems her entire adult life and guess what just got a dx of hypothyroid, and I would bet anything she’s already insulin resistant.

    I have had hypo and insulin resistance for years, was officially dx’d with T2D in 2008. Even with eating a low-carb diet, Metformin, and serious exercise, weight was always a struggle. About a year ago it was found I had high RT3 – what a relief that dx was, as I was feeling like total cr*p,had gained weight, and could not control my blood glucose (bg). [THANKS TO THE AMAZING JANIE BOWTHORPE WHO HELPED ME GET THROUGH THAT PERIOD.] Even though I had been taking Armour for years (but probably not enough I now realize), the high RT3 meant switching to T3 (Cytomel in my case). A year later I feel great and had lost 15 lbs (Just 3-5 more to go). BUT – my bg levels were still too high, especially in the morning, when they should be the lowest after an all-night fast. And my weight loss had stalled.

    If this ever happens to you, you may be Leptin resistant – Leptin is the hormone that tells us when we have eaten enough, and if overweight is your issue, you may be resistant to it. Always being hungry is another sign. (I would fix any RT3 or thyroid dosage issues first, though, as I don’t think it’s possible to lose weight if you are under-treated with your hypo.) Dr. Jack Kruse has a Leptin Reset protocol that is a miracle – I am back in my size 6 clothes and would like to lose only another 3-5 lbs. The other miracle – my bg readings are coming down, from an am fasting average of 150 now to 125 (which is not even technical diabetic.) I expect that to continue to improve. So if weight gain / high blood sugar is an issue for you, even on Metformin and the right thyroid meds, check out the Leptin Reset http://jackkruse.com/easy-start-guide/

    Thanks again Sarah and Janie!

    • Melissa Crozier

      Hi Andrea! I’m interested to know where you live & who Janie Bowthorpe is?? We r struggling w/many of the same factors in my 18 yr. old daughter & are at wits end!! I suspect hypothyroid & PCOS!! Pls. help!

  67. K Dior

    I don’t understand why Metformin is the only DRUG used to control pre-diabetes. That drug is something I cannot stand or take. I would have to quit my job or end up sitting on the toilet for the rest of my life with my laptop if I am to take that stuff again. I tried it four different times, different dosages and I still get sick. There HAS to be something else.

    • neeters

      Metformin (aka metfartin lol) is hard on your guts but I found that by taking half a pill with each meal I had zero gas or the runs. if i take a whole pill, I get very bad symptoms. it is worth taking even just a small amount of Metformin for the anti aging effects of it. It has been shown to prevent cancers, helps preserve your beta cells since you are becoming more insulin sensitive while using it, and clears up fatty liver. I was an alcoholic for many years and damaged my liver, and then stopped, and became type 2 diabetic. with Metformin and weight loss I reversed that, but then Menopause and hypo T made me Insulin resistant again. while I never again had high sugars, I got very low sugars due to adrenals and untreated hypo, but while I was on adrenal meds and hormone therapy my brilliant hormone doc put me on half a metformin 3 times a day. Presto, no more low sugars. now I am stronger and started NDT and I am starting to feel like my old & younger self!

      • Burcidi

        I always break up metformin. I take 850mg– but half in the morning and half at lunch. It makes a huge difference in terms of side effects.

    • Larry (Female)


      I have been trying to take T3 (cynomel) and adrenal supplements but found that my underlying problems were as a result of MMR vaccination damage. I have been receiving treatment to repair vaccination damage to hopefully be able to take T3 and Isocort as my system continues to not use the supplements properly . I have also found that i have many hormonal imbalances that need to be corrected before my body will accept the supplements. In doing the weekly treatments it became apparent i am insulin sensitive (due to the mmr vaccination damage) and noticed that Higher Natures OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT helps my body balance sugar and take up the T3 (it’s still a work in progress) If you are unable to take Metaformin you might want to look into the clinical trials on olive leaf extract, as it is being used by people to balance blood glucose and help insulin resistance. Hope this helps? xx

  68. Yvonne

    Sarah, many thanks for your post. I wonder if your daughter has tried daily topical application of magnesium oil to bring up her cellular magnesium levels? This has had dramatic results for some epileptics, reducing seizure activity or eliminating it. It’s safe, since any excess magnesium is cleared from the body through functioning kidneys.

    Lyle McDonald on his Body Recomposition website says, “Probably the most relevant activator of AMPk is exercise and muscular contraction.” As a non-diabetic, I think I would try the simplest strategy, a moderate exercise program, before I would try a pharmaceutical drug like Metformin. All drugs have risks and contraindications.

  69. Caren

    I find this particularly interesting.

    I never was told I was insulin resistant or pre-diabetic.

    I was also not told I was hypo for 20 years so my body suffered needlessly for too many years.

    I was finally diagnosed hypo January 2010. That same time I was told I was diabetic. My Dr. wanted me to go on Metaformin but I refused because I didn’t think my numbers were bad enough to need the drug and I thought I could easily control with diet and exercise – which I did.

    I have been on t3 since Aug 2011. All this time my blood sugars have gotten better and better.


  70. Deb in MI

    Wow! That has been my experience as well, in that I was hypothyroid for so long, unknown. As I look through what old labs I do have, my fasting glucose has been off for a long time too.

    So within 2 years of getting my hypothyroid state addressed, my fasting glucose goes above 100 which my new doc says should be watched and she gives me metformin which I can’t tolerate in any form. It had been hovering in the unsafe area in the 90s for years though, which no doc said a word about, or else it was 66, which isn’t good either as it still indicates glucose dysregulation.

    But my insulin is low, rather than high.

    I can’t believe how many at the NTH group who post for the first time and have fasting glucose labs in the 90’s and low 100’s whose docs haven’t said a word to them.

  71. Fiona Kennard

    THANK YOU ! My daughter had PCOS and now doesn’t have PCOS ( really according to our NHS) ! I have hashimoto’s and am trying to use T4 and T3; my son has always had sugar processing problems he’s now 28 (I first flagged this when he was 2). Shall be following through your valuable links.

    Interestingly my son is much much better over the last few weeks taking a glass of salt water before he goes to work and a mulitvitamin – interesting!

    • Rhonda

      Fiona…once you have PCOS you have PCOS…you may not have cyst and menstual cycles do sometimes get regular and then are absent again. “Specialist” also told me I no longer had PCOS after being diagnosed with it and on fertility pills to conceive a child. Went to this “Specialist” and because he didn’t see cyst on a sonogram I was cured! NOT! When it was time to try for a second child, I had to wait 6 months to start treatment because I had 3 cysts on one ovary and they had to wait for them to dissolve or fall off! I do know through my own family history that with PCOS you should also pay close attention to undiagnosed thyroid issues! My 21 year old was just diagnosed with Hashimotos one year ago and now PCOS 6 weeks ago. She has been on synthroid for a year and her levels are just where we started out. Synthroid is not working for her and we are switching to a doctor who will prescibe desiccated thyroid. She currently takes metformin for PCOS!

  72. Avril Reed

    Your article makes great sense.
    What dosage 500 mg or 850 mg.for Metformin?
    I used to be on armour but now take synthroid and cytomel for T4 and T3.. I exercise 4-5 times a week and eat no gluten.
    I am trying to lose 25 lbs that I gained. I have already lost 6lbs but it is so slow….only a pound a month so I really need a kick start.
    Metformin sounds like the right kickstart.

  73. C. J.

    Are there any clinical studies/patient research being done? I’m at that desperate stage, desperate to stop the weight gain (most is all around the middle, typical of insulin resistance).

    Yes, I’ve tweaked my menu’s and educated myself as best I can, and I’m doing most everything right. I Know absolutely that I need something else, in addition to, what I’m doing now (and yes, I’m on Armour).

    I’ve often thought of the similaries, diabetes and hypothyroidism, and the insulin resistance factor, but haven’t seen anything like the articles mentioned. Fantastic. I’m So ready to try the Metformin. I live in St Petersburg, FL area. Now I just need a doctor willing to experiment with me. I’ve now reached 100 lbs overweight, so hey, of course I’m ready to try something.

    And thank you, Sarah Wilson. You’re awesome.

  74. Ann Nederdal

    Dear Sarah

    Thank you so much for your post and research! This is good news!
    I will support any action that will make progress for us all.
    I like to follow your future investigation.
    Please contact me if I can do some good.
    Anna Nederdal. Sweden.

  75. Rosemary

    Great article pulling together different aspects of metabolic dysfunction usually looked at separately, but here Sarah Wilson urges us to look at the relationship between them. I think there is lots to think about here; Thanks Sarah for putting this together.

  76. Elizabeth Brault

    This is a great article. Thanks for putting this all together – I’ll be researching it more, as I’ve been thinking a lot about blood sugar and hypoT lately, particularly in my case but also in regards to my 8 year old daughter.

    • Jane

      Broda Barnes showed that hypoglycemia and by default, insulin resistance, is hypoT.


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