Overtreating an underactive thyroid

Aug 6, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (23)

The thyroid gland creates and produces hormones that play a role in many systems throughout the body. When your thyroid makes too much or too little of these important hormones, it’s called a thyroid disease.

And thyroid disease is common.

"We know that about 10% of people have some degree of thyroid dysfunction," says Dr. Juan Brito Campana, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist.

There are several different types of thyroid disease, including hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid; hypothyroidism or under active thyroid; and Hashimoto’s disease, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disease. Treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone that restores adequate hormone levels.

Levothyroxine is one of the most common prescription drugs in the U.S., but a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers suggests it is significantly overused in people with mild hypothyroidism or no apparent thyroid dysfunction. These results were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Brito Campana discusses diagnosis and treatment for thyroid disease, and what the research on the overuse of levothyroxine means for patients.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript

For more information, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Connect with others talking about thyroid conditions, and supporting one another in the Diabetes/Endocrine System support group.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

@linh

I have often found full fledged seasoned Pharmacists a helpful avenue for trouble shooting medication setbacks. Two eyes are better than one as the saying goes. They will expertly double check for any medication incompatibilities, as I’m sure you’ll recall. If you haven’t run your thyroid medication side effects by your pharmacist recently, they might have a piece or two to your puzzle.

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I am working with the pharmacy, my Doctor who is a DO, not MD. I have low thyroid. We are working on using kelp, just started. Blood test in 4 to 6 weeks.
FDA needs to find out why the thyroid medication is causing the side effects. Found 3 more people having same side effects.
Glad Mayo Clinic working on the issue.

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Are you taking thyroid medication or Xarelto blood thinner. Both caused me to have side effects.

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Are you taking thyroid medication or Xarelto blood thinner. Both caused me to have side effects. Increase blood sugar levels. Took myself off Xarelto and blood sugar levels went back to normal. Went to new MD, I didn't have any blood clots. 3 years later same side effects with thyroid medication.

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@farmer0233

I am working with the pharmacy, my Doctor who is a DO, not MD. I have low thyroid. We are working on using kelp, just started. Blood test in 4 to 6 weeks.
FDA needs to find out why the thyroid medication is causing the side effects. Found 3 more people having same side effects.
Glad Mayo Clinic working on the issue.

Jump to this post

I’m curious what thyroid medication you were on because mine, currently Synthroid (dropped Tirosint) haven’t been working great. This is in my opinion which is not shared by my doctors in California who seem to be treating the computer screen lab results. The computer is going quite well by the way I’m told. Wish I could say the same. Did you have any vaccinations during your side effects?

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@linh

I’m curious what thyroid medication you were on because mine, currently Synthroid (dropped Tirosint) haven’t been working great. This is in my opinion which is not shared by my doctors in California who seem to be treating the computer screen lab results. The computer is going quite well by the way I’m told. Wish I could say the same. Did you have any vaccinations during your side effects?

Jump to this post

Levothyroxine by Sandoz, .75.
LANNETT .88, Abbvie .25
Between October and July, 7 different prescriptions.
.88 was the vg worse side effects.
Blurred and double vision
Memory loss, confusion, rash, sleep deprivation, cramps in legs and feet, mostly at nigh, dizzy, balance off, diarrhea, no appetite, sore in nose, increase blood sugar to pre diabetes, 130, my blood pressure 175-90
I have been off thyroid for about 6 weeks, tried iodine and it increased my Tish. 4 th day of Kelp.
These thyroid medication have the same side effects as the Xarelto blood thinner.
Until I took the Xarelto blood thinner about 3 years ago, it caused al the side effects and after I got off the BT, MD advises me that I wouldn't be able to take blood thinner again, I would have to have filter on heart. That's another issue with me not taking any vaccine or test tubes.
Before this mess. My Blood pressure was always 125/65.
My blood sugar 98. Sometimes low if I didn't get glass of orange juice or something to bring up. Had ccx to eat snacks between meals. Always had something in vehicle if shopping.
I did find out that the Xarelto and thyroid medication made in pills and package in USA owned Chinese company.
Maybe they are mixing the drugs.
I am doing great, getting back to normal. Have to be careful, not going out much because I don't need the virus. I will keep you posted.

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@linh

I have often found full fledged seasoned Pharmacists a helpful avenue for trouble shooting medication setbacks. Two eyes are better than one as the saying goes. They will expertly double check for any medication incompatibilities, as I’m sure you’ll recall. If you haven’t run your thyroid medication side effects by your pharmacist recently, they might have a piece or two to your puzzle.

Jump to this post

My pharmacy is helping. They can't diagnose. My , DO has me on 150 mg of kelp. Found at Sprouts and Clark's. When I get new blood test I will see how much this brings down the TSH.

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@farmer0233

My pharmacy is helping. They can't diagnose. My , DO has me on 150 mg of kelp. Found at Sprouts and Clark's. When I get new blood test I will see how much this brings down the TSH.

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Did your iodine level test low? I use to watch D-Life a cable diabetic show with my companion who had diabetes. Their take home message was always “Test don’t guess.” I’ve adopted that approach to my health whenever I can.

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@gottab

I have hypothyroidism. Have been using natural for about five years. Have learned that most drs. prefer their patients to use synthroid and have always wondered why. Can you enlighten why? Thanks.

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What is the nature vitamins you are taking? I just started on kelp 150 MG.
Thank you

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@linh

Did your iodine level test low? I use to watch D-Life a cable diabetic show with my companion who had diabetes. Their take home message was always “Test don’t guess.” I’ve adopted that approach to my health whenever I can.

Jump to this post

The only test that's out of balance is the high TSH, 58, T3, T4 are low. I will have him check iodine next test. I was taking iodine. The pharmacy agrees with DO on kelp instead of iodine. I will keep you posted. Every time the thyroid specialist increased the dosage I had worse side effects. I posted the side effects. Thank you
PRAYERS

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@farmer0233

What is the nature vitamins you are taking? I just started on kelp 150 MG.
Thank you

Jump to this post

@farmer0233 – I am not taking vitamins for my hypothyroidism; it is a script from my primary care doctor and is called NP Thyroid. Good luck with taking kelp. Hope it works for you.

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@gottab

Thank you for this information. Certainly will check it out.

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I wanted to tell you this…….I purchased some lash scrub wipes, foaming eye wash, shampoo and conditioner also that are for mites and the shampoo and conditioner mentions itching. I was losing a lot of lashes. My head has stopped itching, my lashes have stopped falling out. Thank God. I hope it lasts.

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