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Can anyone help this woman out by answering her question about Hashimoto's?

By Expert HERWriter November 16, 2008 - 10:47pm
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The other day I received this post in my ASK Michelle section, and although I already replied to her, I wanted to post her question here as well to see if anyone else can help her. Below you'll see her post first and then my reply. Thanks so much for any help you can give her! I just know some of your wonderful people will have some additional ideas for her!

"I have Hashimoto's, and am in menopause. I have been to many doctors, tried all different thyroid medication and still have difficulty losing weight. I am in menopause and have depression. I am not usually a depressed person, so it is hard to cope with thyroid and menopause- which symptoms are which. I live in Tucson and would like to know what doctor you would recommend."

This is what I wrote back to her:

I'm sorry you're not feeling well. It's amazing how many women come to the site with thyroid disease and are less then pleased with their doctor and their treatment. And to top it all off... They are going through menopause.

You are not alone. You are so right when you said in your question to me. Its hard to know what is what. Is it hormones or thyroid? It may very well be a combination of both.

Depression can be caused from a thyroid imbalance as well as a Hormone imbalance.

Have you heard of Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet? She's the doctor that helped me. She's a boutique doctor, which means you have to pay up front and then bill your insurance and hope they pay for some of the costs. She's in Tucson.

Dr. Vliet is very good at what she does. But it depends on whether or not you can afford to be treated by her.

I can put my feelers out to see what other doctors we can find for you. I'm going to post your question on the site. The moderators can help aggregate other resources for you as well.

If you give me your address, I will send you Dr. Vliets book....Screaming to be Heard. Its very informative and you'll learn a lot about what's going on with you. That book is my bible.

I was very depressed....just like you. I had such a hard time but I got through it. You will too.

Let's see what others have to say, when I post this to EmpowHer.

There is so much more to tell you. And other resources I need to share with you. Let me get you some more information tomorrow when I'm fresh. I worked all day today and most of tonight.

Hang in there. We're going to find you some help.

You are not alone. I was where you are. You will get better.

In health,


Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for sharing this link dlstump. There is some great information on the site.

March 7, 2010 - 11:31am

Here is a really good article on Leptin Resistance and Thyroid problems http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kent-holtorf/long-term-weight-loss---m_b_192933.html

March 7, 2010 - 10:13am


I was diagnosised with Hashimoto's just one year ago, I think I have had this since my mid 20's when I first gained weight for seemingly no reason at all. I went to about 4 quack Endo's who told me that I had nothing wrong with me and I should exercise more and eat less. I gave up trying for many years until I met a friend how had a thyroid condition and we both started searching the internet. I then realized that even though my lab for TSH, T3 and T4 were in what they call the normal range, I had all the simptoms, weight 1 year ago 267, tired and sleeping all the time, depression, enlarge lymphnoid in one of my breasts, Hypoglosimic, high bad cholest, low good cholest, enlarged red blood cells, skin absesses that would come and go but never go away, I felt as if I was going to die soon. My friend found a website called ratemd.com and we looked up Endo's, we wanted to find a 5 star rated Endo who prescribed Armour because of our research on the internet. This was a year ago, today I am 214 and I have not exercised or dieted, just watched what I ate as I always did before I was diagnosed. I am currently on 180mg of Armour a day, my doctor sees me every month since I started with him, In the beginning he gave me Adepix, which is a diet pill, to kick start my metabilism because I was so far gone on my weight and how I felt. He also gave me a water pill and I still take these today, but only when I feel swollen or retaining water. Along with Hashimotos, I found out I was Leptin Resistant. (must search Leptin Resistance, very interesting with trying to loose weight with Hashi's) I just joined a gym because I finally feel good enough to start exercising. My lab work as of 1 month ago. I am no longer Hypoglosimic, my cholest is back in check, Red blood cells are normal, energy is through the roof, not depressed, still Leptin Resistant but my levels are way better, and the best part of all I feel like a Million Bucks. :) Don't give up on yourself, give up on the doctor first. A good Endo is hard to find and try Armour or equivlent Natural Thyroid. I wouldn't suggest taking any vitamins unless you have had bloodwork done that tells you that you need them. This could be harmful to you if you are taking something you don't need. Have your Endo test you for Leptin Resistance, Adrenals, everything. Make sure your doctor gives you copies of your labs. My first lab work results was 5 pages long. If your doctor isn't seening you once a month, but instead telling to come back every 6 months or a 1year, dump him. Don't even waist your time with him, he doesn't know what he is doing. My doctor is 82 years old...lol I call him the love doctor because his Name is Abelove and because he loved me enough to help me loose and he is still helping me. I see him every 3 months as of my last appointment and continue to have blood work done every 3 months. My thyroid is finally leveling out and my meds have stayed the same for a while now. Hope this helps you and please email me if you have any questions. I will be glad to help you. Oh and by the way, I'm still loosing, got to love that. :)

March 7, 2010 - 6:05am
(reply to dlstump)

This is great news to hear that your treatments are working for your thyroid, and we really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and what has worked.

March 7, 2010 - 9:04am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I can relate to your issue and have found some things that really work with my Hashimoto's. In addition to Synthroid, I avoid as much as possible, Soy. Additional Suppliments that you may consider taking are Vitamin D, Selenium (I believe this is a must with anyone with Hashimoto's), B12 and Omega 3 with DHA. These suppliments help with fuzzy thinking, Night Sweats as well as insomnia. My Hashimoto's waxes and wanes, and usually I feel best right before my period. I make sure that I take an additional Iron suppliment every other day, which helps with fatique as well. Hope this helps.

November 16, 2009 - 6:57am

I have read probably what I considered to be the best book ever written on Thyroid health. I think I recommended it on previous posting. The Thyroid Solution is a book written by Ridha Arem, MD and it is a revolutionary mind-body program that helps any reader understand and/or recognize symptoms of thyroid problems, especially among women. He talks extensively about Hashimoto disease, its causes, its relationship to depression, hormonal imbalances/changes (i.e menopause) and nutrition. I highly recommend it!

November 17, 2008 - 10:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Reader

I am glad to see how much information Michelle and Diane have given you.

All I can really add is that arming yourself with as much information as possible will be your best defense when talking to doctors about your diagnoses. Hashimoto's disease and depression often go hand in hand which makes everything even more difficult. Mix it all in with menopause and life can be very challenging. But nothing you can't overcome and we can help you.

Do you feel that the doctors you have seen are less than open to discussing other options? Are you really being listened to?

Have you tried alternative (non-traditional) treatments?

Another book for your consideration is The Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem, MD, who is a well renowned endocrinologist in Texas. His book has been very well reviewed.

Wishing you the best.

November 17, 2008 - 2:30pm

Hey there,

Isn't it amazing to know you're not alone?

While we wait for information from the thyroid expert, let's see what we can find for you with resources on the web. You certainly know some of this already, but it may help to be able to read it here.

Hashimoto's Disease is an autoimmune disorder where your immune system is attacking your thyroid gland. It's also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid gland is underactive.

You were probably feeling very fatigued before your diagnosis, and were diagnosed with a blood test? Can you give us more detail on the medicines you have tried and the doctors' thoughts about why they haven't worked?

Some of the side effects of untreated Hashimoto's are goiter (where your thyroid gland becomes enlarged), an increased risk of heart disease, depression and decreasing libido.

Here's what the Mayo Clinic page says about treating Hashimoto's with thyroid hormone replacement:

"If Hashimoto's disease causes thyroid hormone deficiency, you may need replacement therapy with thyroid hormone. This usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid). Synthetic levothyroxine is identical to thyroxine, the natural version of this hormone made by your thyroid gland. The oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, returning your body to its normal functioning.

"Soon after starting treatment, you'll notice that you're feeling less fatigued. The medication also gradually lowers cholesterol levels elevated by the disease and may reverse any weight gain. Treatment with levothyroxine is usually lifelong, but because the dosage you need may change, your doctor is likely to check your TSH level every six to 12 months."


Clearly, this has not been your experience; did the medicines have any effect for you at all? Did your doctor work long enough with you on adjusting dosages, do you think?

You might be interested in contacting Richard and Karilee Shames. He is a doctor who has been in practice for nearly 25 years; she is a nurse and is herself hypothyroid. They practice holistic medicine with a focus on thyroid and autoimmune conditions, and talk here about the thyroid/menopause connection (there's a phone number at the end of the article, and Dr. Shames does phone consultations; he might be aware of specialists in your area):


Here's a forum on menopause and the thyroid. You can read anyone's post without registering by just clicking on it:


That forum is part of www.thyroid-info.com, which is daily updated with the latest in thyroid news, books and FAQ's. There is also a list of doctors on the site that have been recommended by patients in the different states:


There are two in Arizona listed here, with comments from their patients. Neither is in Tucson, but the trip to Apache Junction or Anthem might be worthwhile for you:


I will continue to look for good information for you that focuses on thyroid, menopause and depression. Please send any other details you think are pertinent to your story. Take care in the meantime, and hang in there.

November 17, 2008 - 10:04am

Michelle, I'm sure your words of encouragement have already helped this woman. We will also forward this to one of our thyroid experts to hear what he has to say. He is very well known and I'm sure can provide her with further ideas on how to feel better.

November 17, 2008 - 6:54am
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