Hi everyone!! Last week I found the most amazing photo of myself at age 29… before treatment for hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue!! This before photo is so hard to look at but I think it helps show my journey. About six years ago I threw away almost all my pre-treatment photos because they were so upsetting. Before treatment I was overweight, and this photo wasn’t the worst of it! I was so tired I didn’t have energy to care about work, exercise, home, doing my hair, makeup, or nails. All those fun things being a girl were just too exhausting. Watch my video to hear the whole story! Miss Lizzy!
Before and After Hypothyroidism Treatment
Do you ever wonder what patients look like before and after hypothyroidism treatment? Here are historic photos of patients who were treated for hypothyroidism with natural desiccated thyroid medicine (NDT). 1 In the before photos, notice the typical hypothyroid symptoms including puffy face and eyes, swollen neck area, dull complexion, dullness in the eyes, hooded eyelids, thinning eyebrows, under eye bags. In addition, notice the dry, dull and thinning hair which is common with hypothyroidism.
14 Year Old Girl, Before and After Hypothyroidism Treatment
This historical before photo shows a 14-year-old girl with hypothyroid. Her symptoms appear to be puffiness around the eyes, thickened lips, depressed root of the nose (saddle nose), as well as straight, dry, coarse hair. The second photo was taken after only 6 months of treatment with natural desiccated thyroid. Notice the improvements in her appearance and hypothyroid symptoms after treatment with natural desiccated thyroid:
- Elevated bridge of the nose
- Brighter eyes
- Normal looking lips
- Glossy, curly hair
- In addition, her constipation had resolved and her appetite improved
Adult Woman, Before and After Treatment
This photo shows before and after hypothyroidism treatment of an adult woman. She has the characteristic puffiness that often accompanies hypothyroidism, as well as dull looking complexion, dry looking her, under eye bags. Notice the improvements in her appearance and hypothyroid symptoms after treatment with natural desiccated thyroid:
- The bags under her eyes have diminished
- Her hair texture has markedly improved, becoming shiny
- The swelling around her neck and face have reduced
- Her skin appears more vibrant and youthful
Adult Male, Before and After Treatment
This historical photo shows an adult man before and after hypothyroidism treatment. He is described to have the obese form of hypothyroidism. In the before photo he has the characteristic symptoms of hypothyroidism including swollen neck and face. In the before photo his eyelids appear hooded and closed. His hair appear thinning and dry. In addition his eyes appear to have a dull, foggy look, which patients describe as brain fog. Notice the improvements in his appearance and hypothyroid symptoms after treatment with natural desiccated thyroid:
- The neck and face swelling have greatly diminished
- His hair texture appears more full and healthier
- His skin appears more firm and youthful
Adult Male, Before and After Treatment
Finally, the last historical photo of an adult man before and after hypothyroidism treatment. He appears to have the puffiness (myxedema) which is characteristic of hypothyroidism. Notice the improvements in his appearance and hypothyroid symptoms after treatment with natural desiccated thyroid:
- The swelling around his neck, jowls and face have greatly reduced
- Even the swelling on the back of his neck appears greatly improved
- The swelling in his cheek area appears greatly reduced
- His skin seems more youthful, especially around his eyes and forehead
- His hair appears to be growing in thicker and fuller
Clearly these photos of before and after hypothyroidism treatment show how patients can experience significant improvements when they are on the right medicine. In this case, the medicine was natural desiccated thyroid. However each person is different, therefore treatment may vary.
- http://www.jcrows.com ↩
Latest Update on My Medicine for Hypothyroid and Adrenal Fatigue
Hi my friends,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my medicine, and it’s been an interesting year! So I wanted to share what I’ve learned. First, I want to say wow – it’s all a big experiment! And that’s tough sometimes because I want the answer right now. But the only way to learn is try, test, observe and somehow be patient along the way. So my dear friends, keep at it and you will find answers too. Here is my medicine and general update…
Update on Thyroid Medicine
For a year I have been on the Thyroid compound prescription I special order from Collier’s Pharmacy (details below) in Arkansas. I continue to love it. On the new compound medicine, I take 180mgs day which seems like the right dose for me. On Naturthroid, when I raised above 130mgs I had super freaky hyper and hypo symtpoms. Yet on the compound I can take 180mg beautifully. Weird, isn’t it? So I am super happy to report feeling great now though on the compound. We affectionality call it “The Miss Lizzy Compound” — you can ask for it by name at Colliers. Neat.
Update on Hydrocortisone
The other super big change…I weaned off Hydrocortisone! This was a huge step. I started Hydrocortisone three years ago to help with low cortisol and adrenal fatigue. And Hydrocortisone definitely helped me. But I was always a little worried that the Hydrocortisone was causing some weight gain, and perhaps had something to do with hair loss, though I wasn’t totally sure. This summer I decided it was time to try weaning off Hydrocortisone. Here is what I did:
- On STTM Janie felt she had avoided adrenal fatigue because of the high doses of Vitamin C she took daily. So I increased my Vitamin C to 2k mgs a day along with 1k mg Bioflavonoid (per Dr. Wilson’s suggestion). And btw — chewable vitamins really make it much more fun!
- I started the process of decreasing my Hydrocortisone by 2.5mgs a week.
- If I was stressed during the process, I would hold the dose, and then continue when I felt ready. The idea was to take care of my body and not cause shock.
- If had I felt any adrenal fatigue symptoms, I would have stayed on the Hydrocortisone but luckily it seems my adrenals are really well healed now! YAY!!!
It took about 3 months to fully wean off the Hydrocortisone (long time, I know!). And I happy to report, I feel great. It was definitely worth it for me to be on the Hydrocortisone but it was time to try without. It’s been two full months, and so far I seem to be keeping my weight down with greater easily. Over the coming months I will be observing weight gain/loss and hair volume/regrowth to see if the Hydrocortisone might have be related. And of course I will share what I learn!
Here is the info for Collier’s. The pharmacist Rodney at Colliers is SO awesome. He gave us his direct phone extension for ordering the compound (479) 935-4336. Ask for “The Miss Lizzy Compound” and he will hook you up. (A doctor’s prescription is of course needed and he can explain what to do.)
Losing Hope with Naturthroid, Venturing into Compounds and Canada
It’s been ages since my last post. While I’ve been a totally bad blogger, to my credit I’ve collected lots of good info to share. The big news: I’ve been experimenting with desiccated thyroid medicine! After the Armour reformulation fiasco two years ago, and then the Naturthroid reformulation about six months ago I’ve gone renegade and decided I needed to find stable medicine.
I took the advice of many of the great ladies on the Stop the Thyroid Madness and the Yahoo Thyroid Group and decided to try having my medicine made by a compound pharmacy. Why go with a compound? Well, it’s all in the filler. When Armour and Naturthroid reformulated, people claim the new cellulose filler was the root of all evil. I don’t really understand why but I definitely found my thyroid symptoms got worse after both reformulations. Whatever the drug companies did, it was Bad (and not in a Michael Jackson way). The lesson learned: no more cellulose for me.
A Journey into Compound Pharmacies
Thyroid medicine is my life line, it has to work, and I have to know it’s reliable. So that’s when I decided to venture out on my own into the mysterious world of compound pharmacies. For those of you who don’t know, compound pharmacies are super cool. Basically, they will custom make your medicine using the filler you want. Kind of like “Build-a-Bear” of the medicine world.
A visitor here on the site, Kama (Hi Kama!), recommended a great compound pharmacy called Colliers Drug in Arkansas. I got on the phone with Rodney at Colliers and he was fantastic (and has a super cute southernish accent!). See contact info below. I explained that I wanted a thyroid medicine that could dissolve under my tongue (rather than capsule form which has to be swallowed). Rodney offered to make my medicine in a form called a “Troche” (or lozenge). They even sweetened it to cover the awful desiccated thyroid smell. Also I explained I wanted Vitamin C or Acidophilus as a filler (suggested by STTM) instead of cellulose, which Rodney was totally happy to accommodate. It’s a great little pill. I’m very proud.
Anyway, back to the important details. It’s been a month on the compound thyroid medicine and, so far, my hypothyroid symptoms seem to be improving. Most importantly to all us ladies, I am finally losing the 6-7 lbs I freakishly gained for no reason after the Naturthroid reformulation. Yay! Now you would think that I would feel better right away on the compound but it took about three weeks before my body decided to like the new medicine. So a big thumbs up for the effectiveness of Colliers thyroid compound!
That’s all the good stuff. Now, the downside… the compound is waaaaaay more expensive than the Naturthroid prescription. It costs $50 for a one month supply with partial insurance coverage, zoinks! I know *sigh*. It’s a lot of money.
It’s unlikely I can afford to stay on the compound, but at least I know where to get reliable medicine. Instead I’ve decided to try another medicine called Erfa, out of Canada, which was highly recommended by the Yahoo Thyroid group. The ladies say Erfa is “like the old Armour” and it costs about $50 for a three month supply. Now, its worth noting that switching medicine too quickly can really upset my body. My plan is to stay on the compound for another month just to make sure it works well. And then try Erfa by adding it into the daily medicine mix slowly.
Once I have more info on Erfa I will share what I’ve learned. Meanwhile, if you want to try my compound give Colliers a call and ask for Rodney.
Rodney at Colliers is SO awesome. He gave us his direct phone extension for ordering the compound (479) 935-4336. Ask for the “Miss Lizzy Compound” and he will hook you up. (A doctor’s prescription is of course needed.)
The Depression Hypothyroid Connection
One of the many unfortunate symptoms of Hypothyroidism is Depression, but its easy to think they are unrelated conditions and treat them separately with separate medicine. In some cases they are unrelated, but on Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) there is a long list of inspiring stories of depression that went away when people started using natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid to treat Hypothyroidism. I am one of these success stories.
I didn’t have full-blown, year-round depression, so I never thought I was one of those people who needed anti depressants. What I did experience was a low-level sadness that felt almost like the muscles in my face were heavy, making the act of smiling unthinkable. It wasn’t a long-lasting depression or hurtful to those around me. Just a general weight-of-the-world, dragging feeling.
The unusual part is I felt this “Hypothyroid depression” most noticeably during the months of March, April and May, which always seemed odd to me. One would think the dark part of winter would be the worst time for depression. Not in the spring when the days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and everyone is happy. I should have felt great, but instead I felt miserable. Every year starting at age 13, I dreaded the doldrums of spring.
When I started researching Hypothyroidism, I learned something really interesting about depression. According to nutritionist and Leptin expert, Byron J. Richards, when daytime high temperatures vary 25 – 40 degrees over a period of a few days, the thyroid system really struggles to keep up. This means fall and spring seasons are hard on the thyroid and can cause a mental funk or depression. So that was it, incredible! Finally an answer that made sense.
This type of depression is so subtle, its easy to pass it off as related to other things in life, or not even call it Depression. While other Hypothyroid sufferers experience depression that is much more intense. The good news is depression has gone away for so many of us after Hypothyroid treatment with natural desiccated thyroid medicine. After getting my thyroid medicine to the right dose I am happy to report I can finally enjoy a spring.
Getting Started with Natural Desiccated Thyroid Medicine
When starting natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid or Erfa, the big questions are “How much should I take?” and “How quickly should I increase my daily dose?”. While I am just a patient and can’t give medical advice, I can share my experience, and what others have tried.
Getting to the right dose for us personally is really important. You might think being on too much natural desiccated thyroid medicine is the only problem. But being on too low a dose can also be problem for some people.
Personally, I was fearful of being on too high a dose, so I held back on increasing my thyroid medicine, and waited long stretches in between increases. The result was a much longer time recovery time. While I advocate being cautious, I was overly cautious. I could have reached my optimal dose within 2 months, but instead took two years! So here is some information about how others safely, but quickly, reached their optimal dose:
According to Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM), a safe starting dose is around one grain (or pill) a day which is 60 mg (for those with poor adrenals, starting lower is suggested). The STTM site says hold the starting dose for a week or two at the most to allow the body to adjust. Then start raising about 1/2 grain (or pill) every few weeks according to doctors guidance.
On the STTM they learned if they didn’t raise from a starting dose within two weeks, the hypothyroid symptoms started to return with a vengeance. So staying on too low a dose was a problem for them.
If hypothyroid symptoms still persist after reaching 2-3 grains (pills) a day, rather than raising more they found it best to hold their dose for at least 4 – 6 weeks to allow the body time to adjust. Raising higher at this stage could cause a patient to dose too high, resulting possibly in hyper symptoms like a fast heart rate, jitters and sensitivity.
STTM says most of us end up needing between 3 – 5 grains (pills) to reach our optimal dose. For people its higher and for others its lower. There isn’t a one size fits all. Personally, at one stage I raised as high as 3 1/4 pills thinking I need a higher dose, but I had a bad hyperthyroid reaction which included extreme noise, site, sound and sensitivity, as well as, irritability and edginess. So I eased back to find 2.5 pills was my optimal dose. You and your doctor have to explore and try things according to your individual needs, and the removal of hypothyroid symptoms.
Remember, too low a dose can be equally problematic to being on too high a dose. So think like Goldilocks and find the spot that’s “just right.”
Read more information about dosage on Stop the Thyroid Madness
Getting to Yes, with Your Doctor
Whether you are just getting diagnosed as Hypothyroid and want to try a natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid, or you’ve been diagnosed and want to switch from a T4-Only medicine like Synthroid or Levoxyl there are ways to talk with your doctor. Start with then end in mind; the goal is getting to “Yes”.
I have found the easiest way in getting to yes is to approach everything like an experiment. This takes the pressure off everyone, and gives me a chance to learn with the guidance of my doctor. Here is what say:
Hi Doc, Let’s try this experiment and see what happens! If we feel it doesn’t work I am totally open to trying something else.
Finding the right treatment has been a journey for me. I needed to be able to test and try new things. So this approach created an open dialogue with my doctor which allowed us both to learn. Success!
Please note: any experiment is at my or your own risk. So be careful, educated and ultimately follow the advice of a doctor you trust.
Simple Tips for Starting or Switching Thyroid Medicine
Getting treatment for Hypothyroidism can seem overwhelming and intimidating, so today’s post is about KISS. Keep it simple sweetheart!
Getting to Yes with Your Doctor
Whether you are just getting diagnosed Hypothyroid, or switching from a T4 medicine like, simply tell your doctor that you want to try natural desiccated thyroid meds as an experiment! That you have heard good things about this type of medicine and want to try it first. But if it doesn’t work you are totally open to trying something else. The goal is getting your doctor to say “yes,” so lowering the pressure makes it easier for them to agree.
Switching Meds May Be an Easy Phone Call
If you are taking a synthetic T4 med like Synthroid switching to a natural desiccated medicine like Naturthroid may be easier than you think. So save yourself a trip to the doctor. Instead call up your doctor today and ask them to call in a new prescription to your pharmacy. Do it with a smile in your voice. Ask them to advise on “How much should I take?” rather than “Should I or shouldn’t I switch?”.
If the Labs Say You Aren’t Hypothyroid
If you doctor says “according to the labs you are not hypothyroid”, show them your body temp chart and symptoms checklist and explain that you have most of the symptoms (assuming this is true) and would like to try treatment as an experiment. This takes the pressure off big time. And if it doesn’t work you are totally open to trying something else. If the doctor still resists just smile, say thanks anyway, and get out of there as fast as you can. Then email me and we will find you someone better.
Even though the journey will be challenging at times, think of yourself as a Georgia Peach. Sweet on the outside with a solid core. You know what’s best for you, and you are taking care of yourself!