Informed thyroid patients are officially a bother, says the American Thyroid Association

The American Thyroid Association is losing its marbles and squirming in its uncomfortable seat thanks to informed thyroid patients.

Oh boy. Here we go again with a brand new nutty focus by the American Thyroid Association.

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) has recently released a dim-witted and negative article towards informed thyroid patients, based on the ATA’s own biased survey with a hidden (but obvious) agenda, titled Patient Requests for Tests and Treatments Impact Physician Management of Hypothyroidism. You can find it in the ATA journal, called Thyroid, Volume: 29 Issue 11.

Who was surveyed?

According to the abstract of the article, the survey was directed towards physicians, whether Endocrinologists or Primary Care doctors, of which 63% responded. It states that “almost half of the physicians reported that patient requests for tests and treatments were somewhat to very likely to being a barrier to appropriate management of thyroid hormone therapy (46%)”. Endocrinologists “were more likely to report patient requests as a barrier”. (Well duh, informed patients would exclaim, as they find most Endo’s to be rigid, arrogant, and narrow-minded.)

“Physician-reported patient requests included requests for preparations other than synthetic thyroxine (52%), adjusting thyroid hormone dose based on symptoms when biochemically euthyroid (52%), maintaining thyrotropin level (TSH) below the reference range (32%), and adjusting dose according to serum T3 level (21%).”

“Physicians who reported receiving patient requests for the former three unconventional practices were more likely to execute them…”

The gist of the article is that thyroid patients who are requesting certain “tests and treatments” from their doctors are erecting “barriers” because of those requests, i.e. barriers against “appropriate management of thyroid hormone therapy.”

i.e. how DARE informed thyroid patients request certain tests and treatments that years of patient experiences reveal has helped!!

How DARE informed thyroid patients learn from years of patient experiences before them and request the same tests and treatment which patients before them used to get well!!

And of course, how dare we go against “appropriate management of thyroid thyroid hormone therapy”–the very therapy which has kept millions in a continued hypothyroid state for decades now. Sorry ATA, we as informed patients are not fooled by your “appropriate” therapy below which we will gleefully stand FIRM against.

  1. Treated with T4-only (which has kept millions of us since the 1960’s with continued hypothyroid symptoms in our own degree and kind)
  2. Being held hostage to the man-made TSH lab test range (which patients noted has caused continuing hypothyroid symptoms)
  3. Your refusal to prescribe the Reverse T3 (RT3) lab test since it’s “unnecessary” (in spite of the fact that rising levels clog our cell receptors which lowers Free T3)
  4. If T3 is added, failing to give enough to treat one’s need for direct T3 (and of course, because T3 lowers the TSH–an abomination!)
  5. Calling us “normal” based on erroneous ink spots on a piece of paper (in spite of clear problems related to what is called “normal”)
  6. Treating clear results of a continued hypothyroid state with more prescription drugs (hypothyroid depression, anxiety, easy weight gain, hair loss, pain, etc)
  7. Discounting the reality of adrenal/cortisol problems from their “appropriate” treatment as bogus.

And then the second birdbrained comment….

After the comical idea that patients should never request certain tests or treatment which would be inappropriate for proper care, the ATA comes up with another batty conclusion:  that if a doctor DARES to “adhere to patient requests”, it may be a “driver for inappropriate care and lead to harm”.


No ATA, if informed patients (who’ve read the patient-to-patient Stop the Thyroid Madness and/or the books) manage to wisely convince a doctor what they sorely need to feel human again, that doctor is being WISE and HELPFUL. i.e. T3 in their treatment, getting the free T3 optimal, ignoring the low TSH when on T3, and understanding that a reaction to T3 is more about a cortisol problem, just as having a high RT3 can be about low iron or inflammation.

Bottom line

The American Thyroid Association is clearly reacting uncomfortably against the informed patient push contrary to their long-held and HARMFUL beliefs and protocols which have NOT worked for patients and have kept us sick for decades.

No ATA, it’s YOU and the medical professionals who follow your pea-brained ideas which has harmed patients. Put your empty opinions and arrogance on the coat rack and LISTEN TO NEARLY TWO DECADES OF PATIENT EXPERIENCES AND WISDOM in getting well again on Stop the Thyroid Madness. WE are the evidence.


The abstract:

From PubMed:

Important note: 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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84 Responses to “Informed thyroid patients are officially a bother, says the American Thyroid Association”

  1. Roxyann

    I had been stable on the Levo 124mcg for more than a decade until a (looking for a politically correct term here) idiot woman? Will that work? Decided to reduce my meds. Also known as withhold. Nearly killed me. Since then she has been completely uncooperative in returning my correct dosage, completely ignoring ALL info regarding the hypothyroid problem. In an effort to continue regaining my health & hopefully maintaining it without a braindamaged “Provider” I am looking into raw thyroid. Maybe I can eventually get rid of these new idiotic ideas & remain healthy. Anyone else have a similar experience? I would like to eventually post an ‘improvement & Praise post’ on here! Once I got the correct labs my tests are ok. Doesn’t make a difference to this female-(I swear she is OCD & mentally ill!) & her counterpart psychopath male. Looking for advice…..

  2. Judy

    I just go my saliva cortisol results back. They’re a bit on the low side Not too low. I’m thinking of supplementing with Adrenal cortex. Has anyone tried Nutri Meds Adrenal cortex supplements I would like to hear of anyone’s experience. Did it work for anyone. Did they feel better. Any input would be appreciated

  3. Sarah Burgess

    Janie, I’m new to this journey. Heading to dr. tomorrow and was reading all over your site. So much info!! I have a question in response to your answers to Terry below about starting two new meds. You mention “They can work. Just get your T’s optimal”. I’m not sure if you are saying to “supplement” the prescriptions with over the counter T meds? Or just saying to watch the two new meds with tests to make sure they’re optimal. How do you know when your optimal? Thanks for any info. I’m trying to get my info straight to be able to make a case to the dr. Sarah

  4. Terry

    Thyroid removed 2002 due to cancer. Eleven years of synthroid just about killed me. Changed doctors and started armor 2007, then erfa, then naturethroid and now np Acella after each went south. I have been optimal on Acella and cytomel added last May 2019. Doing great, now I’ve been following the Acella sad saga. I have dr appt tomorrow and trying to decide the least of the evils. Open to suggestions. Thanks to finding Janie’s book & natural dedicated thyroid has changed my life for the better. What now??

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Look into the equivalent amount of T4 and T3 for whatever was working for you before. For example, one grain equals approximately 38 mcgs of T4 and 9 mcgs of T3. So you can figure your total amount based on what you were on. Remember that even on T4 and T3, you do want to get optimal. So it’s important to test after you move over within a few weeks.

      • Terry

        Thank you so much. Thinking of switching to Tirosint. Is there a conversion chart for switching from Acella to Tirosint? I take two Acella 60 mg and two in evening. I also take cytomel 5 mcg in am and pm. Gonna get lab work done today.

  5. Tom

    I’m having trouble finding a good thyroid doctor in the Massachusetts,
    Rhode island area. Anybody out there who can suggest someone ?
    I’m new to the group and have been on Levox/synthetic for about 20
    Years and want to get to the botyombof my symptoms.
    Thanks so much,

  6. Belle

    Further to the points made in the blog post, the preface to Dr. Henry Lindner’s ebook entitled, The Art and Science of Hormone Restoration (2018), contains a chilling account of his experience as an endocrinologist who has dared to think outside of the box, and the very difficult position that this has put him – and his patients – in, when each has to interact with the traditional medical community. (The relevant portion can be found toward the end of the preface.)

    It’s a Must-Read for all informed thyroid patients.

  7. Ben H

    I too have used T4/T3 for a long time and now none of it works. The best was Naturethroid, now I just recently filled my perscript with Armour and it is awful, feel horrible and flat. So I decided to try something new as I had a thought one day. What if all theses thyroid manufactures were shorting people on T3 and that’s why they felt so good for so long. Now hear me out on this. Many years ago I had taken just T4 and it did not work for what ever reason but I had a thought just take it and see what happens so that what I did and you know what I started to feel better, huh. So after that I decided to add some T3 that the doc said I could try and you know what I started feeling awful again. I think the FDA made all of these companies put the right amount of T3 back in their drugs and now I think is too much. This week has been the best I have felt since the old Naturthroid days of 2017 and prior. I will check my numbers soon and report back on my new findings I hope it works as there is nothing left for me to take of the NDT stuff that works now.

    • Amy Lynn

      @Ben H so what are you on now that has you feeling better, the best you’ve felt since the Naturethroid/2017? Confused by your post, as you said T3/T4 now none of it works, and that there’s nothing left of Ndt’s that work. Thanks!

      • Ben H

        I have been on straight T4 for a few weeks. I know it’s working as I get palpitations with it sometimes. I am now able to convert T4 to T3 as I have changed my lifestyle since the first time that I used it. I also take selenium when I take my T4 which has helped a lot. As my trainer at the gym said, the more you workout with weights the more HGH you will make and I found out that helps T4 conversion also. Just need to get my numbers closer and I am hoping this works as like I said before, everytime I take something with T3 in it I get fatigued but I never had that problem prior to the manufacturers changing all the NDT products out there now. My adrenals and cortisol were all normal.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Ben, years and literally decades of patient experiences and reports show you’re asking for trouble by forcing your body to live for conversion alone. And by the way, having palps does not mean it’s working in the way it needs to work…but fails us.

          Sure, you may feel positive right now. And yes, you may go awhile feeling positive about being on nothing but a storage hormone. But too many experiences show it will backfire on you, sooner or later.

          If you got fatigue from T3, that most likely means you weren’t on enough. Being on T3, which is the most powerful and life-changing thyroid hormone, will definitely suppress our own production of it, even if our production is less than optimal. Thus, we are “suppressing” more than “replacing” if we don’t find an optimal dose of T3.

          Also, your last sentence implies you may now already have an adrenal problem by the use of the words “were all normal”. And sadly, your use of T4 only raises the risk that your adrenals will get worse because of compensating for a poor treatment. We have seen that for years now.

          • Judy

            How much T4 do you take?

          • Janie Bowthorpe

            Just an FYI before he answers: each person’s need for a thyroid hormone can be different based on what it takes to get the free T4 and free T3 optimal. So Ben’s T4 amount should never been seen as a guide for everyone.

  8. Cathy

    I switched from Levothyroxine to Thyrovanz (150 mg) two weeks ago and I’ve already lost 3 kg with no effort or change in diet. I am awake from 7 am until midnight every day and I do not get tired during the day. My doctor kept telling me that my blood tests “look good” despite me telling him that I still had hypothyroid symptoms (aches and pains, hair falling out, chronic fatigue, shortness of breath etc), despite a really healthy diet and good supplementation. At the last visit, he asked me a series of ‘depression’ questions so he could diagnose me with depression and add another drug to my daily intake. As a therapist, I recognised what he was doing and stopped him mid-sentence. I told him that I am “not depressed, just very tired a lot of the time”, and “I do not want to take an anti-depressant drug”. I then ended the session abruptly, walked out and vowed inwardly that I would find a way to cure myself no-matter-what! A few months ago my iron blood test showed I was extremely low, which further explained the symptoms I was experiencing. After being on an organic iron supplement since then (with Vitamin C), I’ve been feeling much better and my hair has stopped falling out. I actually feel more alert and have more energy (and no shortness of breath). I also added Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E and Ashwagandha (adaptogen herb) to my existing daily supplements (B multi, magnesium, Vitamin D, probiotic), and these have all contributed to my better health. I also take Lugol’s Iodine in water an hour after taking my morning Thyrovanz capsule, and an hour before eating breakfast. I have suffered the effects of hypothyroidism for a decade with no joy until recently. I believe that the body knows how to heal itself once it’s given the right environment, nutrients/minerals and whatever other natural ‘resources’ it needs for the job. This is why the body immediately begins to heal itself when we injure ourselves—a small cut on the body will visibly heal within one week! I’ve always believed in my ability to help my body to heal itself, but I ended up going to see a doctor (reluctantly) about six years ago because, despite all my knowledgeable efforts, I was still struggling with chronic fatigue and was finding it hard to get through my work day. However, it was through my tedious and frustrating doctor-patient journey that I learned what I needed to know to get myself healthier. The key is to keep searching and researching, to gain new knowledge that will enable you to try out different things until you get a breakthrough. The right knowledge will help you to change your environment, diet, supplementation and lifestyle—to give your body the opportunity to effectively heal itself. Also, drink natural, pure water (with no fluoride etc), move about as much as you can, breathe more deeply, eat the right foods, take the right supplements and think positively. Knowledge really is power! Lastly, the Stop the Thyroid Madness book was a Godsend, and was instrumental in giving me the knowledge I needed about T4/T3 and how it all really works. I fully recommend this book (and any updated versions) to anyone struggling with thyroid issues.

  9. Alexa

    When I was first recommended to see an Endo, I thought he was going to run ALL KINDS OF BLOODWORK. After about 3 visits, it seemed clear that he wasn’t. I think it was this visit that I told him that I needed help to do my homework from college; I couldn’t punctuate a simple sentence. I showed him the sentence. He said, WOW! I took it upon myself to tell him,
    ME: I want my other hormones checked, they’ve NEVER been checked.
    DR: I think they will come back ALL NORMAL!
    ME: I want to do process of elimination; they’ve never been checked.
    He ordered my estrogen, progesterone and testosterone along with FT3, FT4.
    When they came back I was told Dr. H wasn’t available, you’ll have to see his assistant. I was fine with that, a doctor is a doctor.
    The reason is because I WAS HARDLY PRODUCING ANY HORMONES!! ALL were so LOW.
    After taking one dose of all 3 I couldn’t sleep. The next night, I decided to cut down on the Armour dose.
    Each day forward, I needed to cut down on Armour & Levothyroxine. In a short time, I was no longer taking thyroid medication. I was shocked at having to beg to have my other hormones checked. I thought for sure he would be willing to run the tests and begin to help me improve my health. He was probably disappointed when the tests showed how low all of my hormones were since he didn’t want to see me at my next appointment.

  10. Belle

    Found a published paper, written by an MD, that some docs might be open to reading :”The Swinging Pendulum in Treatment for Hypothyroidism: From (and Toward?) Combination Therapy”: //!po=0.373134

    Extremely frustrated by the status quo. The old WP Thyroid gave me my life back, and it took years of suffering and struggling with doctors to get to finally get that relief. I am now going down the same path “Beaux” has set off on. Wish us luck.

  11. Beaux

    This is why I have embarked on self treatment with OTC bovine NDT, self tests, and self supplements. NO DOCTORS. NO INSURSURANCE. NO PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. I’d rather die or go broke with the freedom and control of my own biology than to give another penny to these broken systems of ignorance, greed, and contempt.

    • Martin

      May I ask what bovine NDT you are now using?
      I am considering Thyrovanz because I seem to react badly to the amino acids they put in many of the other products. How much do you have to up the dosage from the prescription brands?
      I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you can make, Thanks.

      • Joan Price

        I am using AllergyResourseCenter Thyroid Natural Glandular formulated by Dr Nicholas Gonzalez, prescribed by my Functional Medicine MD. (I’m not sure one needs a prescription.) I just started yesterday, so, not sure how it will work out for me.

      • Beaux

        I’m using Thyrovanz – join the Facebook group “Thyrovanz Users.” Search the group for “dosing” from Jamie Horwitz, she has a protocol for switching that could get you started. They’re not fast at approving and addressing individual posts since the group is so large, but most of your initial questions will probably have been addressed so just use the search feature and/or peruse other people’s health posts. They also do a good job of promoting STTM wisdom. Note that I have not (yet) achieved optimal as I’ve only made the switch 4-5 weeks ago so I’m in process, but my DAT’s are higher than they’ve been since I’ve been monitoring them (years).

    • Grace

      Beaux, trying to find where to order my bovine NDT, that is why I arrived at this website today. Where do you order/purchase yours from? I bought Xymogen from a functional M.D. but I cannot afford another consult with him plus I currently live 1100 miles from there.

  12. Catherine

    Bottom line is that our society has fostered a libelous community. Doctors are forced to consider liability first and patient needs second. They will do a procedure that will put you in a lifetime of pain vs treating the patient with a conservative approach as they need to CYA. This cover your ass first approach is what has ruined medical care in our country. Some of the old school doctora still care about us but that is becoming sparse and hard to find as they retire.

    As long as we do not drop dead under their care all is good. Let us die or suffer under an indirectly related conditions that results from substandard or inappropriate care.

    We are forced to navigate through a sea of sharks to get the care that we deserve watching and protecting ourselves at every turn. We can no longer blindly put ourselves in the hands of doctors.

    This is the ruthless truth. Career before patient.

  13. Joanne

    I’ve been on NDT for 14 years, and doing well. During one of the shortages I was no able to get my NDT and I quickly went down hill. It took about 6 months to return to health. Well now I am soon to be enrolling into Medicare. To my horror, I will not be able to get my NDT through my current mail order pharmacy. It is not covered and they will not allow me to purchase since they are an insurance only provider. They pharmacys in my area have had difficulty obtaining NDT for the past year. That is why I needed to use a mail order pharmacy. I’m trying to find out if I can find another mail order pharmacy that will allow me to purchase without a drug plan. Has anyone gone or is having the same difficulty. I’m really frightened that I will not be able to have to quality of life that I have been experiencing.I’m also sure the price out pocket is going to be enormous.

    • Hope

      Well, Joanne, I’ll try to abbreviate. I have literally fought the medical profession for the past several years trying to save my health. And, when I enrolled in Medicare in 2018, things got even more complicated. Long story short, I am on 90mg of Armour and I have to pay for it out of pocket. Around $100 a month. I don’t know if that helps but that’s the reality for me. I might add, I have worked with a wonderful functional medicine practitioner for the past 11 years and she has literally saved my life. I am 66 years old (will be 67 soon) and the Armour is the only prescription medication I take. I had the RAI in 1987 and no one ever said a word to me about what I was going to encounter later. And about 15 years ago, it all started coming unwound. The rude awakening when I turned 65 and enrolled in Medicare was the medical profession and Big Pharma see me as a lab rat and a cash cow.

    • Elizabeth S.

      My pharmacy also is unable to get the Thyroid USP powder that they used for compounded NDT capsules that made me feel great for nearly 10 years. Since last year, I’ve been struggling on various tablet formulations that don’t work as well for me (Armour, Nature-Throid, and WP-Thyroid). I finally thought I found compounded at CareFirst, a mail order pharmacy out of New Jersey. I was really hopeful until my refill capsules were a different color and I started feeling awful. I am now getting by on WP-Thyroid but I am not optimal. I have dark circles under my eyes and I am tired all the time. I feel particularly bad in the morning when it feels like I have zero T3 in my system. If anyone is getting a good quality compounded NDT from a mail order pharmacy, please share! I am getting desperate. I caught a really bad cold for the first time in about 6-7 years. When I was optimal, I never got sick! I am really tired of living in a run-down state.

    • Howard M

      Joanne, there are multiple options for purchasing NDT that isn’t covered by Medicare. You will need a doctor’s Rx. The least expensive is likely to be a chain pharmacy such as Walgreens, CVS, etc. Go to, put in your drug info, and then print out the coupon. Bring it to the pharmacy and have them run it thorough the GoodRx codes instead of your regular Rx insurance codes. Works for me. Another very reliable online pharmacy option is

  14. Donna

    I cannot put into words how much this subject pisses me off….OPEN LETTER TO A THYROID DOCTOR: “Dear Thyroid Doctor “It’s just too bad you consider me, a highly informed thyroid patient, “a bother.” This is exactly why I choose a Functional Medicine Physciain who WANTS to work with me in partnership on my health. You have lost me and many others in the same situation due to your arrogance and short term thinking. We informed patients no longer see you as a medical God and no longer want to blindly follow your advice without doing our own research first. It was a doctor like you that tested only a few of my markers and found me to be “fine/within range” when I indeed had Autoimmune Hashimotos’, adrenal fatigue, a huge goiter and two thyroid nodules. You have lost my confidence in your ability treat me and others like me.” You are fired!

  15. DJ

    So, The American Thyroid Association – I’m guessing their studies are largely funded by the pharmacuetical company that manufactures Levothyroxin/Synthyroid? Or what is the root of the T4 obsession? Where did that begin?

  16. Bailey

    This hits close to home today. After a few years of struggling to treat on my own and arguing with my husband about his desire for an “actual diagnosis”, I went to establish care with a new doctor today. I have been taking NDT over the counter for about 3 years, until 5 weeks ago. I am miserable. Since stopping the NDT I have chronic headaches, depression, gaining weight rapidly, the list goes on. I stopped taking the NDT in hopes of getting “clean” labs and working with a doctor that would help me sort things out *facepalm* I know better. I left today feeling worse than when I walked in and with a prescription for Zoloft, which I have no intention of taking. This doctor told me that the labs I requested were unnecessary because TSH tells us when our thyroid isn’t working properly. That having little to no TSH (as a result of the NDT) was harmful. Never bothered to ask why I thought I was hypo, when the depressed feelings started or accept that it correlated with when I stopped the NDT. They would rather tell me I am depressed and the fact that I have no body hair and am going bald at the age of 34 and have horrible struggles with my cycle among countless other red flags for hypo, is normal.

  17. Amy

    I hadn’t needed a doctor until hypo hit. I have been appalled at what I have experienced. Simply put my education allows me to challenge them and I have found terrible diagnostics, improper dosages, testing … I have been forced to have $$ procedures which I feel were intended to pad their wallets. I am not exaggerating as in one case I filed a formal complaint and the insurer went after them. I had a “mere” chiro find in 15 min what 7 “specialists” missed. I refuse to ever see an endo again, they were the worst. I have family overseas and needed a surgery which my expensive insurance here denied 2x despite 5 surgeons saying I needed it asap. It would have cost me 120k here. I had it done in Germany for 13k and with far better technology. I have no doubt the ATA is recognizing the change in patient education and pushing back. This is big $ but at our expense. To think an educated patient is interfering with proper care, ha! Tell that to some of the docs who hung their head when I figured out my own issues with some help of course. None of them deny my diagnoses today. I do believe the doctors were worried about me but the US health care system dropped the ball and repeatedly. This is a systemic issue and they are not unaware…I had some enlightening conversations more than once. We need to fight to protect our health and pay attention to laws which may be deleterious to us. I am concerned that will be the next move to protect their pockets. I have written to my representatives on the subject but we need a big name or a physician to represent the cause so to speak. As a patient I adamantly enforce my own care and I verify everything before agreeing to it. I do not want to “play doctor” I feel I have too.

  18. C. Mitchell

    I honestly can’t imagine how irresponsible any doc could be, not to give patients any & all tests they or their insurance are willing to pay for. Since all humans (and computers too, actually) are fallible & miss things sometimes? Along with all the benefits of simply giving the patient the full peace of mind they need? How is that not worth the money they’re paying you for your time? Is the test you think they don’t need really any different from a second opinion? Yes, because you’ll have more confirmed information at your disposal for the both of you. Your job will be completed to an even further degree, so you both rest easier. Complaining about performing one’s *full job is approximately as backwards & corrupt as any officer who complains about the extra time it takes to not use violence. If you don’t think you have the time to handle it, fine; just pass the paycheck to a qualified person who does & we’ll all be better off.

  19. Dorothy

    This article is a good example of what happens when medical schools shut-down curiosity and questioning of their students, and encourages medical paternalism. Instead of these researchers & doctor at the University of Michigan surveying what happens when patients assert themselves, perhaps we all would be better served if they spent their time questioning and researching why so many treated thyroid patients continue to have symptoms (and develop better treatment strategies).

    Especially irritating and unacceptable is this comes after a 2016 research study finding hypothyroid symptoms remain despite treatment. Dr Antonio Bianco, past ATA president and a researcher in this study said “Doctors should be telling their patients, ‘I’m going to normalize your TSH, but you’re going to be at a higher risk for gaining weight, experiencing depression and fatigue. It is also more likely that your cholesterol will go up.’ ” This is beyond nonsense and should be malpractice.

    • Susan Siens

      Dr Levy, in his book about Vitamin C and its uses, discusses why doctors are such utter conformists.

  20. Linda Duncan

    My latest Endo visit was a real challenge. It was all I could do NOT to walk out.
    In the visit as usual they check all my weight and BP etc… so all that was very normal (except for my consistent 25 lbs overweight that I have been HOLDING since I started Armour Thyroid in 2015. (Though I have no longer gained weight since starting Armour Thyroid)

    The medical group UTMB in Galveston TX, is also a College branch. Which means that an Intern will do the initial evaluation questions. The questions are about which supplements/vitamins I take and a discussion about the previous labs. For my own records, between the last 6-month visit, I have been paying for my own labs about every 6 weeks. They have shown improvement with my antibodies, iron, cholesterol, T3s and T4s, which have been normal or just a little low. TSH has been below 0.01 since I started Armour. BUT Armour has made me feel more balanced. When I get these results I pay for, I can change my diet to keep healthy, as well as I know how.

    The Endo Drs I have seen, are constantly telling me that I need to lower my dose. But I know that when TSH is 2.+ or more, I don’t feel good and have a hard time participating with family or enjoying anything, I will also have anxiety and gain weight feeling no energy etc.

    I told the intern that I would be keeping my dose and doing the same as I have been since the last visit and would appreciate the Dr ordering the Labs (STTM) recommended. I even had to raise my voice to insist I get these checked for their records. Paying out of my own pocket within the last 6 months, I wanted THEM to use my insurance and have the latest results on record. Also, insurance won’t pay for labs but every 6 months or only every year!! I disagree that waiting that long in-between labs only gets me way off track and sick.

    Anyway, when the REAL Dr came in after the Intern had spoke to her behind closed doors, the Dr backed up the Interns diagnoses and recommendations. I really was angry. Why would I trust someone with very little experience about the symptoms and individual labs that a Hypothyroid disease puts us through. If I tell them that “I’m feeling as good and close to normal but would like a check on labs” then they should want a good count on labs for ME.

    Since their last labs, I had been having trouble with my anemia OR too much iron, and had to beg them to check my blood count. (they wanted me to go see a Hematologist then!!) Frustrated as I felt, then the Dr said to me “you really need to get a PCP for those blood tests” (it appears that this Endo only wants to study TSH and T levels.)

    I disagreeded and told the DR that the thyroid controls blood and Cholesterol, and checking the Antibodies would be a good sign that you’re not going through unnecessary pain and inflammation etc.!! And To keep a count on the Ts 3 & 4 as to check the total balance, is what I NEED.

    She then asked me “Do you know what TSH is?” I thought for a second why she asked it that way… then told her “It’s a hormone”. She then said how do you get it? I told her, your pituitary gland tells your thyroid to produce Thyroxine. I think she was testing me… But then she mentioned If you have too much causing a very low TSH count, then it can cause you a heart attack or Stroke in time. Then she still insisted that I lower my dose of meds.

    I asked the Endo Dr “Do you have hypo?” and she said “No” So then I said, “How would you know how I feel?”
    She then agreed that she wouldn’t but that the Medical guide lines that many Drs must “GO BY “are what She must implement under the “Standards”. Then the Endo left the room and wanted me to get my Thyroid labs done after a month (which is 7 months between testing for her records)

    Well… as I was leaving, I looked straight at the Intern in training, and said, I was not coming back. Her expression appeared as if she had accomplished her “Treatment recommendations, in spite of the fact I wasn’t coming back”
    I really felt alone and helpless about who I could trust to GUIDE me. I know I will “again” be looking for another Dr. and how could I possibly go to a PCP Family Dr who probably doesn’t treat Hypo patients. It’s stressful to deal with people who haven’t lived it. ☹

    • Hope

      I feel your pain and frustration. I have felt so badly for so many years. I am weary of fighting with the medical profession. My thyroid gland was ‘killed off’ 32 years ago with RAI and all the doctors wanted to shove at me was Levothyroxine. It is a journey and you are spot on. If a person hasn’t lived it, they can’t understand. It’s tragic the doctors that are being turned out today. They cannot think. They are taught to prescribe to the symptoms. And if you’re my age (nearly 67) they are muttering under their breath, she’s going to die anyway.

  21. Paige Kelley

    If you’re female, fat, and forty, (or over) guaranteed, the physician will tell you to “exercise and lose weight.” That’s what happened to me when I turned 40 and had unexplained symptoms. I countered with, “I run 3 miles a day and have lost 35 lbs in the past year. Is that enough for you?” Then the neurologist walked over to my purse, picked it up, and said “It’s too heavy. Lighten it up.” He also declared I had too much stress in my life and it could be helped by massage therapy. (which was conveniently offered through his office) I told him that now that my two toddlers napped at the same time, and the other was in school, my life was wonderful. I LOVED having little ones. He ignored me. The next visit, I even had a suggestion for a diagnosis…which he immediately dismissed. “Too rare! Impossible!” Next visit, I showed up with a CT scan ordered by my primary, and its results/reading- which indicated the exact diagnosis (sarcoidosis)he had so arrogantly dismissed. He FINALLY ordered some tests.

    Several years later, I repeatedly told my rheumatologist that I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck. She insisted that I must do aerobic exercise. I said the only thing that helped was working in my garden. “Not aerobic enough” she said. I showed her a picture of the retaining wall I had built. “Well, no wonder you hurt.That’s TOO much!” she said. (Cue eye roll) I ended up getting a second opinion. I was hypothyroid and had a Vitamin D level of 17. My rheumatologist didn’t appreciate the second opinion, and became snarky and unprofessional, as well as very dismissive of the treatment recommendations of the fibromyalgia/fatigue clinic. (Which included bioidentical thyroid) I ended up leaving her. She missed the obvious clues I had been giving her. She could have solved my problem on her own, but apparently I was only a fibromyalgia and sarcoidosis patient to her- and she couldn’t see beyond that. As a doctor, she should have known that people develop other problems that need to be treated, but she had developed tunnel vision.

    It’s been 19 years, and I continue to see only one of the doctors from those years, a wonderful pulmonologist. A good primary went into concierge medicine. The rest are long gone. As a nurse, I have no tolerance for incompetent or dismissive and arrogant physicians.

  22. Mary Renken

    I found a perfect companion survey of hypothyroid patients:

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Bingo. And satisfaction would have been even higher is they knew to raise until optimal, and had good iron and cortisol to be able to raise well.

  23. Catherine

    So they can create a Frankenstein such as myself by removing half of my thyroid due to papillary carcinoma that rarely spreads outside the neck anyway and where the treatments are often more harmful than the cancer and then refuse to take responsibility and treat us? That is what I am reading. Let’s put them in our shoes and see how much they enjoy their quality of life!

    • Susan

      I have had TSH tested and doctors say it’s normal. However I have so many symptoms of thyroid problems but docs are just throwing more and more prescriptions At me to treat symptoms. I asked for a full thyroid panel of blood work but when I got to the lab it was only another TSH. The doctor said unless it was abnormal there was no reason to test anything else.

  24. connie hill

    What is the latest on change in NP thyroid? I have gained ten # in one month all the sudden! What’s an alternate treatment?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      The latest is that it sucks. Run. Alternatives listed on this blog post (and sign up to be notified by email about new blog posts on the bottom of any page on STTM):

      P.S. When you have signed up and get an email notification of the blog post, DO NOT REPLY TO THE EMAIL. Click on the underlined title of the blog post and post directly on the blog post. 🙂

    • Liz

      I too have gained an excessive amount of weight this last month on 240 mg NP thyroid??

    • Montana NAR

      I have also gained 10# on this last bottle of NP Thyroid.

      • Susan Siens

        Wow, you all make me feel lucky. I’m still taking NP Thyroid and I am definitely under-dosed due to concern about further stressing my overstressed adrenal glands. But I haven’t gained any weight! Do any of you take Lugol’s solution or another form of iodine?

      • Rachel Hamlin

        I’m on a call with Acella now on hold trying to talk to their NP specialist. THe first line rep says no change was made when I said that was false she said the only change was in supplier, that the porcine thyroid comes from europe now and she speculated it was how they were raised but claimed that no filler etc had changed. Again using the “cosmetic” change line which I told her was false. In any case when I started crying about how this was going to ruin not only my life but my young kids. SO I got through to DAvid as some have mentioned and he gave me a case number but says it should be fine this new supplier was thoroughly vetted and claims that they’ll send me a mailer to send some pills back.
        In any case – if enough people call and go through starting a case file maybe they’ll start to take us seriously……

        • Susan Siens

          I will do as you suggest, Rachel. What I have noticed about my NP is that it now leaves a paper residue under my tongue which it did not do before. I can also drink a little coffee which I could not do when the medication was working more effectively (got jittery even with just a little bit).

  25. Wes

    I hope this does something to the bad endo doctor community. I am still suffering with hypothyroid issues with being on just T4. I can’t find a doctor, in Central NC (Durham/RTP) to give me the T3 I need.

  26. Z.M.

    Wow, doctors are really proud of destroying lives, huh? They seem to love it when patients are suffering and ill. Guess it makes them more money. I believe in science but have no faith in doctors. STTM helped me when doctors never could. Doctors told me for almost ten years that there was nothing they can do for my symptoms. I followed the STTM protocol and now I’m better! Amazing how dumb doctors are. It seems all they learn in medical school is how to rake in the $$$$$$$.

    I firmly believe that this is also because women are the main sufferers of thyroid illness. Doctors are mainly men. By refusing to treat female patients, they’re able to stop women from advancing. It also means male thyroid patients suffer because they can’t get treatment. Just another example of the medical community listening to their prejudices instead of their patients. (John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight had a great segment on this issue for those who aren’t familiar with it.)

    I’m glad we’re a bother to the ATA and endocrinologists (who are the worst ‘doctors’ I’ve ever met). They don’t believe in science. They only believe in lining their own pockets. Keep up the amazing work, Janie! We’re with you all the way.

    • Catherine

      Agreed. Especially when they are a woman over 40 complaining. They view us as weak and easy to brush over. Even the female doctors! I had a female endocrinologist that was rude and abrupt and took no consideration for how I felt.

      I had half of my thyroid out when 32 yrs old. I am now 46. At the time of removal I predicted that my symptoms would be dismissed as aging and my prediction is apparently correct based on the overwhelming amount of responses on Sttm concerning their doctors treatment of them.

      One day the medical community will look back and see our current standard of treatment as barbaric. Eventually alternative medicine will merge more and more with traditional medicine and everything will change. Unfortunately, we are just victims of our time.

    • Susan Siens

      I agree with everything you say, Z.M. Doctors AND nurse practitioners are grossly ignorant and have no interest in educating themselves beyond the textbooks they read in school and whatever the last drug salesman they saw had to say. I have come to the conclusion that the “medical profession” tends to attract people with serious mental and emotional problems who like having power over people.

  27. K

    Wish to god a class action suit could be brought forth
    And legislation enacted to force them to abide by the hippocratic oath of “do no harm”

    • Susan Siens

      Some form of mass protest, instead of our individual howls, would be most welcome. Frankly it appears that nothing gets through to doctors except a swift kick to the [you fill in the blank].

    • Rayann

      Well the Physician Assistant I was seeing told me very sincerely that he lived by the motto “do no harm” it was very important to him. That’s why, he told me, even though I have just about every hypo symptom there is, he could not give me T3. I said, well I still have all these hypo symptoms and you know they’re hypo symptoms because you said they were so what are we going to do about that? He just shrugged….

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Wow. I have never heard of twisting the Do No Harm as a reason to withhold T3. But it makes sense if they think T3 is harmful..which is incredulous.

        • Susan Siens

          So what do they do with people who make sufficient T3? Lower it so they can get sick as well? My husband is an RN and he completely believes that most doctors WANT people to be sick so they can make money. I have heard two RNs say they think doctors want patients to become diabetic (which I believe as it is fairly easy not to become diabetic if you know the first thing about nutrition). Stuff that up the hole in your face, Dr Phil.

    • Big B

      Good luck with getting any legislator in the US to help unless you give them big money. None of them care about us.

  28. Di

    Australian nurse Sister Elizabeth Kenny went through this, fighting to get past the medical
    community’s group think at the time. Her treatments worked! But they were not in the
    official textbooks, so they would not even listen to her–even though her patients
    were walking in front of their eyes!

  29. Di

    AARGH!! Australian nurse, Sister Elizabeth Kenny, went through this–trying to get through to
    the medical community, and counter their erroneous group think at the time. Her methods actually worked, but they were not
    in the official textbooks, so she was laughed at.

  30. Mary Renken

    Somehow, I picture most of these annoying patients as women over forty. Not all, but most. When the Docs start with, well, you ARE getting older…

    • Jenny

      Mary, I now am one of those women (over, in fact well over) forty – but when the doctor first told me when I asked for help for these symptoms ‘Well, you are getting older…’ I was twenty three. TWENTY THREE!!!!! And decades later am still suffering from these arrogant and stupid men (most of them are men) – and certainly three of those I encountered seem to have had sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies – those three seemed to get some sort of delight from actually LYING (pre internet when it was so much easier for them to get away with it as we couldn’t look anything up). One – the only one who took my temperature,three decades ago, told me that my body temperature of 35 degrees C was normal. Used to Fahrenheit, and being desperately hypo (as I now know, too late) I eventually queried his statement, and he said ‘normal for you’ – it should have been 37C or nearly five degrees Fahrenheit higher. And he got away with it. ‘First do no harm’ – my foot! For two decades until I got the internet I struggled to get through each day with a temp that rose to 35 but each afternoon dropped to 33 (in bed with six hot water bottles, unbearably cold), unable to work – yes, adrenals on top of hypothyroid and also Cell Danger Response, I know now, but my doctors (a different lot of sadists) ignored that.

      Thank God for the internet – we must keep it free and fair!

  31. James West

    At Ann Arbor VA I find the medical students tend to parrot the lies verbatim that they hear so they’re able to give the “right answer.” Nevermind that discerning truth is discouraged almost with blunt force trauma. My primary care physician at Ann Arbor VA openly admits he knows “little” about thyroid care, but asserts that it is” simple as ABC”.
    VA has gone to hell in a handbasket!
    I’m not kidding.
    James West

  32. Russ

    The find-a-good-doctor list seems outdated.
    Can we start a thread about Doctors who are actually working with us?

    If so, I’m near Orange County in Southern California and would appreciate the names and location of any good Doctors within 75 miles of me.
    Thanks in advance!

  33. John Triggs Triggs

    They keep prescribing drugs that have nothing to do with the management of our health. I took LevoThyroxine for 5 years. My GP kept prescribing the same thing but added Blood pressure, Cholesterol and anti depressant medication. When I asked for Whole Thyroid she refused. I changed GP’s and my health improved within 5 days. If I had relied on mainstream medicine I would be dead. John, Auckland New Zealand

  34. Jill

    Janie Bowthorpe, I just love and appreciate you and STTM sooooo much! Reading this made my day. Your writing gives me hope and energy. Also, this time your illustrations made me laugh out loud, as a release to decades of time-wasting, endless struggles with incompetent, moronic endocrinologists and know-it-all Drs. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for this article and for ALL that you do!!!
    STTM People: United, we will never be defeated! ✊🙌


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