My Personal Experiences

What a Difference Getting the Right Thyroid Medication Makes

My twenty plus symptoms of hypothyroidism have finally resolved, all because I dared to take my health back in to my own hands. 

Rachel in Workout Clothes

What a Difference Getting the Right Thyroid Medication Makes

Losing over twenty symptoms of my thyroid condition, by simply changing thyroid medication, when doctors told me it wouldn’t work, sure has proved them wrong.

When their inadequacies in diagnosing and managing my thyroid condition correctly left me in pieces, I went ahead and took my health back in to my own hands.

They told me I was imagining all of my symptoms. They told me it was all just in my head. They told me I needed to see a nutritionist because I was gaining weight due to a bad diet and not exercising enough. They called me an attention seeker.

Rachel sat on a pier in Venice. The Invisible Hypothyroidism

All of these symptoms and weight gain couldn’t possibly be from my underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), when the thyroid gland controls your metabolism and is in charge of every function and every cell in your body, right?

But they didn’t know my body as well as I did, and I knew their ‘gold-standard’ medicine and TSH-only testing wasn’t working for me. I was actually getting worse as time went on.

A 2018 study even demonstrated that Levothyroxine was actually associated with a lower quality of life in those with Hypothyroidism. Yet it’s the only medication routinely prescribed here in the UK and as a result, many people have to go private for another type of medication or even buy their own thyroid medication, to get their lives back. Like I did. [1]

I researched. I reached out to thousands of other thyroid patients and I tried things. I changed medication and I made my recovery of over twenty thyroid symptoms disappearing. Of a restored mental and physical state.

Yes, I now lead a pretty normal life and my thyroid rarely has any affect on anything, because I made it so. I changed from Levothyroxine to Natural Desiccated Thyroid – a thyroid medication which can be prescribed but so often isn’t. 

Before and After NDT Thyroid

No one should be kept ill for something which can be effectively treated and managed. We all deserve good thyroid treatment and a good quality of life. Keeping people so devastatingly unwell is a scandal.

A paper titled Time for a reassessment of the treatment of hypothyroidism has concluded

It appears that we are witnessing a consequential historic shift in the treatment of thyroid disease, driven by over-reliance on a single laboratory parameter TSH. The focus on biochemistry rather than patient symptom relief should be re-assessed. A joint consideration together with a more personalized approach may be required to address the recent surge in patient complaint rates.” [2]

Armour Thyroid Medication

Note: I started out self-sourcing NDT medication but now thankfully have it prescribed. When I self-sourced, I did so with my GP’s approval and guidance so as to use it safely. Please be aware of the risks associated with self-sourcing any medication.

Read more about how I changed thyroid medication and got my life back in my book. 

Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate Book Cover

The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, builds on this article in detail. Reclaim your thyroid healthy life.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

Have you changed thyroid medication and seen a difference? Let me know in the comments. 




About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".


  • Sarah
    June 8, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    I was diagnosed with hashimoto hypothyroidism 3 years ago . Tried. Levothyroxine which had to stop gave me horrible cramps that brought me to my knees. The doctor changed it to Unithyroid and felt good no issues. Until recently all my symptoms have been slowly coming back .From hair falling, muscle aches, joint pain, inflammation, stomach issues . I have blood work in two weeks. The doctor said it might be time for medication change. I am kinda nervous, but hopeful that maybe changing my medication my symptoms will go away.

  • Jamie
    October 6, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Going from Levo to Armour made a HUGE difference. Horrible quality of life on Levo. After a few days on Armour I felt like a different person and noticed a lot of improvements with minimal side effects.

  • Jax
    June 13, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Duly noted. Been considering it for about 18 months and I don’t intend to rush into it. Will have more blood tests soon so that could be a deciding factor. Appreciate your vigilance and concern 🙂

    • Rachel Hill
      June 13, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Best wishes going forward Jax. I know NDT gave me my life back. I’m currently exploring a private prescription for it but I’m not sure yet if it’s within my means. So I could be self sourcing for quite a while longer. So many things to think about as a thyroid patient.

  • Jax
    June 13, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Honestly considering self-sourcing alternative treatments. Saw the Dr this week as I’ve felt worse since they increased my Levothyroxine last September. Had a genetic profile done indicating I might have a conversion deficiency (amonst other things *sigh*) and the doc baulked at the mere mention of an endocrinologist referral, so I daren’t mention T3 or NDT. In the end I think it will come down to finances, and will have to start investigating potential sources :/
    Your blogs help remind me that it’s not impossible though 🙂 Thanks

    • Rachel Hill
      June 13, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Hi Jax – sorry to hear that. I know how frustrating it can be. I do have to reiterate the risks and dangers of self-sourcing/self-medicating though as it wouldn’t be responsible of me otherwise.

  • Heather
    March 9, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    I now keep my thyroid levels optimal and take t3 and ndt but still constantly have weight gains over night if 2-3 lbs – any suggestions on improving that as well? It’s a vicious cycle of dieting all the time! Any suggestions on vitamins or minerals to take daily as well. I have had Hashimoto and hypothyroidism for 27 years and come a long ways but my weight and swelling is my biggest problem I need to correct! How do we get our MD to test other tests besides the TSH?

  • Melanie Hotham
    May 12, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m an Aussie girl 28, a mum of 2, and I have not been myself health wise for some time and my body and intuition keep telling me something is wrong but drs keep dismissing it. I have all the symptoms of hypothyroisim and when I found out about it online only recently i was thrilled to learn there was actually a connection between everything i was feeling, as well as visibly seeing and some way to make sense of it. I’m petite and people who have known me a long time know that I have a very balanced diet and with 2 kids am quite active. I have also done bootcamps, isagenix, you name it and have not yet lost weight 3 years on. In the last month my symptoms became worse. My first thought with the random hot flushes and bouts of exhaustion was oh shit i’m not pregnant again am I, which after multiple negative tests I can definitely say with confidence is not the case. My healthy weight range for my height and figure is usually no more than 50kg. While to some people who do not know my body and see me regularly like my medical centre or strangers I may not seem too much bigger -but for me and my mother who notices because she knows me (and how I usually bounce back when I fluctuate from stress for example) 20-30 kg heavier is a huge deal! especially when I am thought to have pcos and have had 2 kids and no periods in between or after . I have always had issues with my cycles often being one day lightly and then non existent if at all and even as a teen went up to 8 months without any! never experienced period cramps or pains or anything because I rarely ever got any. At the peak of my weight gain I find my mind very foggy. Everything feels a blur, and while my dr insists the weight on my face and neck is just body fat I know better. I can feel it. touching it it does not fel like fat gains. I have had that and know the difference. This feels puffy like fluid build up/swelling almost if you like. It makes my face look horrible majority of the time. I get lots of weird body aches and also strange heart flutters when I have the random hot flushes and I always am sensitive to the cold. My nails are always peeling and breaking , and I have bad migraines all the time which I initially put down to hayfever or possible sinus issues without ever thinking any of this could be connected until google told me about thyroid health and I was able to finally connect the dots by reading more and more of stories like yours and hearing so much sound like what I am experiencing. I wake up with a lot of congestion and always feel like I have something in my throat that needs clearing too. I don’t drink or smoke or anything so there’s nothing else I can think of. How do I get my drs to listen to me and how can I ask the right questions to get treated properly? I have forms to do blood tests and an ultrasound but still no specialist refferal. email me please so I can show you a before it took over image of me prior health issues worsening and one of me now that i am always eating small calorie control portions of vegan food so I can hear your thoughts and see if it’s in my head or not.


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