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First, I'm so sorry you're not feeling as well as you deserve to.

Since you're still having symptoms despite being treated, (and this is very common, by the way, you are among millions of people in a similar situation) you need to look at whether you are "undertreated," or could perhaps benefit from discussing the other thyroid medicines available with your doctor.

My doctor believes that a TSH of around 1 - 2 is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. There is now research out, however, that says that values above TSH of 2 may represent abnormal levels. See the British Medical Journal.

I know I feel terrible at 4-5, and at .2, but pretty good at 1 - 2.

(NOTE: this TSH is usually kept even lower than 1-2 for thyroid cancer survivors to help prevent recurrence.)

I am also one of the people who does better on a T4/T3 drug than on pure synthetic T4 only (like Synthroid.) I take Thyrolar, and it has worked far better for me than Synthroid. Others have had success adding T3, such as in the form of Cytomel, to their Synthroid. Finally, yet others have had success with Armour, the natural thyroid hormone replacement.

There is just out February 11, 1999 in the New England Journal of Medicine a research report that says that many patients feel better on a combination of T4 and T3, not T4 alone. The T4 level in Armour and Thyrolar might be too high, according to this study, and instead of the 80 t4/20 T3 ratio of Armour/Thyrolar, it should be more like 90/10. It's groundbreaking findings that have major implications for people who don't feel well on their current thyroid therapies!!! I have an article summarizing the findings that can help you understand this important development for thyroid patients.

For info on TSH values, and various thyroid drugs, and dealing with your doctors regarding these issues, I suggest you read the following articles at my site for more ideas.

HELP! My TSH Is "Normal" But I Think I'm Hypothyroid
A look at your next steps -- including defining the "normal" range with your doc, antibody testing, TRH testing, and drugs beyond T4 therapy -- and where to find a doctor to help.

Six Questions You Ought to Ask Your Doctor...And How to Interpret the Answers
When hypothyroidism sets in after RAI or thyroidectomy, or you're diagnosed as hypothyroid due to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, there are six critical questions you really should ask your doctor. This article goes over those questions, and helps you interpret your doctor's answers!

Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism -- Answers to Some Common Questions
Questions a newly diagnosed person with hypothyroidism might -- and DID -- ask, along with answers, including information on how long it takes to feel better after starting treatment, long-term health risks, whether or not you'll get a goiter, fatigue and weight gain and how to combat them, and more.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms Checklist
A checklist of risk factors and symptoms you can take to your doctor to help get a diagnosis, or make the argument that your hypothyroid symptoms are not resolved by your current treatment

Don't underestimate the value of support. You can meet and exchange info, experiences and support with me and other thyroid patients at my bulletin boards.

Finally, I report on the latest developments in thyroid disease and treatment options in the Thyroid Disease email news report that I edit, called "Sticking Out Our Necks." Click here for more information, and how to subscribe.

Live well --

Mary

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