Ask The Expert
August 01, 2012
Iím sorry to hear about your current health insurance situation. I assume that you were taking Synthroid (Levo-thyroxine) because you have an underactive thyroid. Doctors call this hypothyroidism. Itís a common condition, especially in women.
Without thyroid replacement, you will likely have less energy. Other symptoms of untreated hypothyroidism include:
Doctors use a blood test called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to determine the correct Levo-thyroxine dose. If a person has stopped taking Levo-thyroxine or other thyroid medicine, I usually restart her on a slightly lower dose than what she was previously taking. Then, I would then have her get another TSH blood test in six to eight weeks.
Even though you donít have insurance now, your last doctor may be comfortable renewing your prescription for thyroid medicine. He or she would be more likely to renew it if you have had a TSH test done within the past year. If it has been more than one year, your doctor may be willing to prescribe the medication, perhaps at a lower dose, if you promise to do a blood test in 2 months.
Synthroid is the trade name for L-thyroxine. The good news is that there are some excellent generic versions of this drug. And the cost is quite reasonable.
There arenít any foods, herbs, or legal supplements that can substitute for prescription thyroid medicine.