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Thyroid Medication Not Working? 10 Reasons Why Your Thyroid Medication Stopped Working

Does it feel like your thyroid medication just stopped working for you? This is a common problem we hear from our patients and there are many reasons why this happens. Today’s article will review why this happens and how you can overcome this obstacle. Many patients find that it’s also possible to naturally correct your thyroid problem long term, if these steps are put into action.

10 Reasons Your Thyroid Medications Stopped Working.

Every morning, I get anywhere from 20-30 new emails from people who have being diagnosed with thyroid disease, most of them have been on thyroid medications for months and years and they still don’t feel better, they still suffer with all the symptoms of low thyroid, despite taking thyroid hormone replacement.

Before I get into this video, I know on the surface that it makes sense that if we could just raise those low thyroid levels to that normal range, that would fix all your problems, everything would fall into place, the weight will just melt off your body, the brain fog, anxiety and depression would vanish and you would jump out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed!

Thyroid Medication Not Working? 10 Reasons Why Your Thyroid Medication is Not working and You Still Feel Lousy

Unfortunately, If you took a survey of all the doctors who treat patients with thyroid hormones and asked them how many of your patients feel great, now that their thyroid hormone levels are within normal range- you would find an incredible low number of patients who would report feeling good despite having normal thyroid levels- Most still suffer with unresolved thyroid symptoms

So, let me peel back some of the reasons this happens, and give you some of the most important areas of your health that you should start focusing in on. If you Do these things, I promise you will start feeling better.

Also, If after watching this video, you want more information on any of these topics- I will include many links to articles and videos for each area and you can go back and explore any of these areas you are more interested in. So, Let’s jump into this.

Reason #1 Vitamin deficiency.

Most patients with Thyroid disease find themselves with many vitamin deficiencies not only vitamin D or B12. While I highly doubt that a deficiency in any one singular vitamin is causing your thyroid to stop working, multiple vitamin deficiencies and mineral deficiencies increase your odds. Some of the most deficiencies seen in thyroid disease include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Iodine, and your B- complex vitamins (B2, B3, B6, Folate, B12).

Selenium and zinc help convert T4 into T3- Iron, Zinc, Vitamin D, and your B vitamins (B2,3,6,12) all help in making Thyroid hormones

Vitamin A is needed for improving cellular sensitivity

Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. Vitamin Deficiencies seen in Thyroid Disease and Weight gain
  2. Vitamin B12 and Hashimotos Disease
  3. How Vitamin D affects the Thyroid
  4. Iron Deficiency and Thyroid Disease
  5. Selenium Deficiency and Thyroid Disease-One of the missing Links

Reason #2 Sensitivity to Binders, Fillers, Heavy Metals, Gluten, Dairy, Corn Found In Your Thyroid Medication.

Don’t be so surprised! Living in your morning thyroid pill is a host of ingredients beyond thyroid hormones. Reactions to these binders, fillers and heavy metals is not uncommon and these can be one of the very problems you are trying to correct by taking thyroid hormone medication.

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease often goes hand-in-hand with thyroid disease and Hashimotos thyroiditis.

Cytomel, which is a T3 Thyroid preparation made by Pfizer, uses a starch which is used to bind the medication together- The starches often used includes wheat (gluten) and Corn. Does that sound like it might be a problem for you?

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Levothyroxine is a T4 Thyroid replacement, it also contains gluten, Dairy, corn, Sugar and all kinds of Dyes

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Now you might be thinking… wait a minute…….Aluminum in my Thyroid medication…. How can that be good for my thyroid? Isn’t that bad for the brain? You would be correct. Heres a study showing effects of aluminum on the brain.

Or you might be thinking artificial colors in my Thyroid medication? red #40, blue #1 and yellow #10- how can that be good for me? Or perhaps you were just tested for food allergies and you tested positive for things like wheat, dairy and corn and you tested positive for these.

Now, I want you to imagine if you unknowingly have problems with any of these binders, fillers, artificial colors, heavy metals, sugars, etc ….what if you started taking Thyroid medications and didn’t know you had an allergy or sensitivity.

Worst case scenario, you could flare up your immune system causing more damage to your thyroid gland and at the very least develop some new symptoms that you may not have had before things like headaches, fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, congestion, breathing problems and other symptoms.

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If any of this resonates, I suggest you cross reference your medications by checking out RX which lists many different medications and ingredients.  Do that here. 

Reason #3  Gut Health- Its All About The Gut

Have ever thought that about your digestion and gut health and how it might be linked to poor thyroid function? Let me explain a few important things when it comes to digestion, gut health and thyroid function….

If you can’t break down your foods because you have poor gallbladder function, poor pancreatic function or you don’t have sufficient amounts of Hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach (again all common problems in people with thyroid disease and Hashimotos) then you are not going to optimally extract your nutrients from the foods you eat.

Image result for dr hagmeyer 10 gut problems seen in thyroid disease

Nutrient deficiencies, (depending on the nutrient you are deficient in) can lead to poor T4 to T3 conversion, poor thyroid hormone production, and lastly poor Thyroid cellular function. This is problem #1

The 2nd problem we ofte see in our patients with Thyroid disease, is gut infections. This might be a yeast overgrowth, it might be a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or it might be infection like Pylori.

Many of these infections are caused by long standing problems with insufficient production of proteolytic digestive enzymes or the Hydrochloric acid (HCL) I mentioned just a moment ago.

Before I move onto the next area, I want to say one more thing here related to digestion and thyroid disease and this is really important if you take a T4 Thyroid replacement like Synthroid, or Levothyroxine.

When you take Synthroid or Levothyroxine you are taking a T4 only hormone preparation. What this means is that your gut, still needs to take this T4 and convert it into T3 thyroid hormones. One of the most common patterns I see in my thyroid patients is Low T3 levels and one of the main reasons for this low T3 is poor digestion or infection. Thyroid Under-conversion- otherwise known as Low T3.

Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. 10 most common GI Problems seen in patients with Thyroid Disease
  2. The Gut- one of the missing puzzle pieces for Better Thyroid Function
  3. The Connection Between H.Pylori and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Reason #4  Untreated or Undiagnosed Adrenal Dysfunction due to Stress.

Chronic Stress is no stranger to those who suffer with thyroid disease. But it’s the stress hormones like cortisol and DHEA that have a tremendous impact on thyroid function. Too much cortisol, too little cortisol or too little DHEA pose huge problems for proper thyroid function.

If you have weakened adrenals, due to chronic stress, fluctuating blood sugar levels, or inflammation, you’ll need to support your adrenals.

Remember your adrenals are your FIGHT/FLIGHT glands- any amount of stress on them can have far ranging effects on the body, including digestion.

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Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. Thyroid-Adrenal Connection- Why you Need Your Adrenals Checked
  2. What to eat when you have Adrenal Fatigue
  3. How Low Cortisol affects your Blood Sugar
  4. DHEA and Adrenal Function- Common Mistakes made when taking over the counter DHEA

Reason #5 You Have a Toxic, Overworked and Stressed Out Liver.

Don’t underestimate the power of your liver when it comes to Thyroid function. It’s one of the most important organs you have. Your liver is involved in over 300 different functions. Liver filters blood from the digestive system, its involved in Cholesterol production, it produces bile that helps eliminate toxins from the body, it processes hormones, it cleans and purifies the blood, it produces all kinds of enzymes and the list goes on and on. It’s also the place where 60% of that T4 thyroid hormone is converted into active T3 Thyroid hormones.

Many medications people take along side of their thyroid medication, puts additional stress and strain on the liver.

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Medications like Aspirin, Tylenol, antidepressants, antibiotics, birth control pills, synthetic estrogens like those seen in patches and HRT all tax an overwork your liver- now the icing on the cake is the Standard American Diet… NO wonder we are seeing an increase in thyroid disease and Hashimotos.

One of the things I say over an over with perspective patients is that successful treatment of thyroid disease requires a BIG picture approach. You have to think outside the box!

If it was just your Thyroid, you should be able to take thyroid medication and call it a day. All your problems would be gone.

But my bet is that if you are still watching this video, then you have already started to figure out, there is much more going on than just making thyroid levels look good on paper.

If you are serious about healing your Thyroid gland, you have to understand that you need to heal the Whole body not just the Thyroid.

Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. Boost Your Thyroid Function by 60%- The importance of the Liver- Part I
  2. Boost Your Thyroid Function by 60%- The Importance of the Liver- Part II
  3. 6 Signs you have a Toxic Liver
  4. Elevated Liver Enzymes? It Might be Gluten
  5. The importance of Liver and Gallbladder Function in Hormone Balance
  6. Thyroid and Toxicity- The Role of the Liver
  7. The Pills Dirty Little secret and How It Affects Thyroid Function

Reason #6 High Reverse T3 levels.

The Thyroid gland makes T4, it makes T3 and it makes small amounts of something called Reverse T3. Under periods of chronic stress such as low-calorie diets, malnutrition, excessive cortisol production, severe illness, your body will take T4 and convert it into Reverse T3.

Here’s the problem, Reverse T3 is not the same as T3. High levels of Reverse T3 bind to the thyroid receptors that are meant for T3. The end result is low thyroid hormone levels.

If you have a doctor who ran a comprehensive Thyroid panel and you have your Reverse T3 and total T3 levels then you can calculate your T3/Reverse T3 ratio.

If you visit my website, you can plug in your values and you can find out what this ratio is as well as learn more how High levels of Reverse T3 cause Thyroid problems

Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. 5 Reasons you have High Reverse T3
  2. Why Reverse T3 causes Low Thyroid Function
  3. Why T3/Reverse T3 ratio is important and How To Calculate your T3/Reverse T3 ratio
  4. Stress and The role it has on Reverse T3 levels
  5. How High Reverse T3 Causes Thyroid Problems
  6. How High Reverse T3 will Cause Thyroid Symptoms
  7. Restore Your Thyroid By Lowering Your Reverse T3
  8. T3 Reverse T3 Ratio- How To Calculate It.
  9. High Reverse T3 Levels- 5 Causes Behind Your High RT3 Levels
  10. The Causes Behind Poor Thyroid Conversion. Dr Richard Hagmeyer
  11. 10 Steps To Supporting Your Thyroid Naturally| Dr. Hagmeyer
  12. Why Thyroid Testing Is Misleading

Reason #7 Poor T4-T3 Thyroid Conversion.

Poor thyroid hormone conversion is a common culprit with many causesEarlier, I mentioned that the thyroid gland makes T4, it makes T3 and it makes a small amount of Reverse T3. T4 is inactive thyroid hormone- it doesn’t do very much, and this is the reason it needs to be converted into T3. T3 is approximately 4x more potent than T4.

There are many reasons in which your body does not covert T4 into T3. If You have low total T3 levels or low Free T3 levels on bloodwork, I recommend that you read some of the articles I have written on the causes of Low T3 and low Free T3.

If you are a person who can’t covert T4 into T3, your doctor will either increase your T4 levels or they will add in another thyroid hormone that contains T3. Usually, it is something Like Cytomel. But guess what, taking additional T3 thyroid hormones, still does not address the root cause of why you are not properly converting T4 into T3.

Additional Articles Worth Reviewing

  1. Selenium is another important vitamin in that it helps activate the enzymes needed to convert T4 into T3.
  2. Iron is required to activate Thyroid peroxidase Enzyme- This is the enzyme that is needed to make Thyroid hormone
  3. Copper and Vitamin C are other is important vitamin needed to make T3 and reduce oxidative stress within the thyroid gland.
  4. Causes behind Poor Thyroid Conversion
  5. Other Thyroid Patterns that cause Low Thyroid Symptoms

Reason #8 You Have A Blood Sugar Problem.

Don’t Overlook the importance of Healthy Blood Sugar. Healthy Thyroid Function is absolutely dependent on healthy blood sugar levels. Blood Sugar problem are rampant among Americans, but they pose a special problem to those of you suffering with Hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis. It’s important to understand that whether you have high or low blood sugar, you probably have some degree of insulin resistance. Insulin is a fat storing hormone that takes sugar in the blood and shuttles it into the cells. Insulin resistance occurs when the insulin receptors on the cell fail to respond and consequently your blood sugar stays elevated. Elevated Insulin levels are at the root of many disease processes such as Heart disease, PCOS, Fibroids, Hormonal imbalances, Leptin Resistance, and of course Cancer.

Elevated blood sugar as in the case of Insulin resistance or Diabetes is a contributing factor to thyroid conversion problems. If you have fasting blood sugar levels over 100 and elevated triglycerides there’s a good chance you are the 1 in 3 Americans with insulin resistance and doesn’t know it.

Additional Articles Worth Reviewing

  1. Healthy blood sugar ranges for people who have Thyroid disease
  2. Blood sugar Thyroid Connection- Why Blood sugar is so important if you have thyroid disease
  3. 12 tips to balance your Blood sugar When you have Thyroid Disease

Reason #9- You Have Hashimotos Disease- An Autoimmune Disease

Hashimoto’s disease is the No. 1 cause of thyroid disease, and it frequently goes undiagnosed. A standard thyroid panel does not test for this so unless your Doctor has ordered a more comprehensive Thyroid it often goes undiagnosed.

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The way Hashimotos is diagnosed is either by ultrasound or by having antibodies tested. There are two antibodies that need testing. One is called TPO ab (thyroid peroxidase) and the other is antithyroglobulin antibodies or TGB antibodies.

Unfortunately, in about 15-20% of the population, these antibodies can still be negative despite having Hashimotos disease. If antibodies are negative and you have problems swallowing or you notice a nodule or lump in your neck, I recommend getting an ultrasound.

There are several reasons to be concerned about nodules and I discuss them in a video titled when you need to be concerned about Thyroid nodules

Additional Links Worth Reviewing.

  1. Know your Auto Immune Thyroid Triggers
  2. 7 Overlooked Autoimmune Thyroid Triggers
  3. Thyroid removal? When to be concerned about Thyroid Nodules
  4. Get These Two Tests For properly diagnosis Hashimotos
  5. The most common cause of Thyroid Nodules- Its not what you think
  6. Autoimmune Testing done by

Reason #10 Thyroid Receptor Sensitivity.

When your body is suffering from inflammation, it can “blunt” the sensitivity of receptors on cell membranes that transfer thyroid hormone for the cells to use. It can also reduce the number of those receptors overall- this is called thyroid receptor downregulation.

When the receptors’ sensitivity is blunted and downregulated, you often have all the symptoms of low thyroid but surprisingly some people have a normal TSH level.

A common culprit for this downregulation or blunted receptor sensitivity in addition to systemic inflammation is a vitamin A deficiency, or a Zinc Deficiency.

Additional Articles Worth Reviewing

  1. The Vicious Cycle of Inflammation and Your Thyroid Part I
  2. The Vicious Cycle of Inflammation and Your Thyroid Part II

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Final thoughts and Take Aways From Today’s Video

#1 Thyroid replacement is not a magic bullet, it won’t fix any of the problems I talked about today and this idea that Thyroid replacement is a magic pill has to stop.

#2 Remember, just like the other systems in your body, your thyroid doesn’t work in a vacuum. All the systems of the body work together- your digestion, liver, gut microbiome, your sex hormones, your adrenal glands, and your diet all influence thyroid function and therefore if you are serious about your health, you have to pay attention to the health of all of those systems if we want Vibrant- long standing health.

#3 I hope that after watching todays video or reading the transcript of this video, that you will walk away with a better understanding and the hope there is so much more that you can to to improve your health. Thyroid medication is not a cure! And for the vast majority of people out there, Thyroid medication is only a crutch. If you need to take thyroid medication, either because you had your thyroid removed, or because you have had an autoimmune disease like Hashimotos and it has permanently damaged your thyroid- the things I talked about today are still very relevant and will have a profound impact on your health. If your doctor understand these things I talked about and you approach your thyroid condition methodically, I guarantee you will see drastic changes in your life.

#4 Lastly, if you need help and you are looking to address the Big picture that I talked about today, reach out to my practice. At I have a team of health care professionals that will teach you how to strengthen and support your body so that you can avoid, decrease and sometimes even wean off unnecessary medications.

#5 visit my website and take the Thyroid Quiz. This quiz will provide invaluable information regarding your Thyroid. If you like you can also opt in for my thyroid newsletter which will help you further understand how to improve Thyroid function. If you are looking for help you can always complete my health questionnaire. Once completed someone from my office will email you several recommendations on what we recommend as a starting point for you to become a new patient.


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