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Don’t Stop Taking Your Thyroid Medication

Even though I frequently talk about how people with thyroid conditions shouldn’t self-treat their condition, I still occasionally receive some emails and comments from people who don’t take my advice.  For example, if you visit my facebook page that focuses on Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (You can sign up by Clicking Here [1]) and scroll down, you’ll see a comment from someone who stopped taking their thyroid hormone and began eating well, then started experiencing severe symptoms, and so she decided to take thyroid hormone again.
First of all, let me make it clear that I would never advise someone to stop taking their thyroid medication.  Even though I think that everyone should give natural thyroid treatment methods a try, those that choose to do this need to do this wisely.  And while I talk about how thyroid medication does nothing more than manage the symptoms, this doesn’t mean I’m suggesting that people should abruptly stop taking their medication and begin eating well, take nutritional supplements, etc.

Every now and then in an article or blog post I write, I give my personal story about when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease how I refrained from taking anti-thyroid drugs.  However, even though I chose not to take any prescription drugs, it’s a completely different story for people who are already taking thyroid medication, as it’s unwise to abruptly stop taking your meds on your own.  I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned that just eating well and taking nutritional supplements alone won’t restore someone’s health back to normal. 

What To Do If You Want To Stop Taking Your Thyroid Medication

So what should you do if I’ve inspired you to give natural thyroid treatment methods a try, and if you want to discontinue taking your thyroid medication?  Ideally you should run this by your endocrinologist or general medical practitioner, although I realize that most medical doctors won’t be supportive of you taking this approach.  If I was already taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for hypothyroidism, or anti-thyroid drugs for a hyperthyroid condition, what I would probably do is begin the natural thyroid treatment protocol, and then slowly wean off the medication.

Once again, this isn’t a suggestion as to what you should do, as from a legal standpoint I can’t inform anyone reading this to either abruptly stop taking their thyroid medication, or to wean off of their meds slowly.  So this is a decision that you will need to make on your own, assuming your medical doctor isn’t supportive of your decision, which most likely will be the case. 

What’s So Bad About Self-Treating A Thyroid Condition?

Some people don’t think it’s too big of a deal to self-treat their thyroid disorder, which is why they decide to take this approach.  And to be completely honest, the odds of something really bad happening if you were to attempt to self-treat your condition is extremely slim.  This is especially true with a hypothyroid condition, as usually when someone stops taking their thyroid medication in an attempt to self-treat their condition they will begin to experience mild symptoms that will eventually become more severe, and then when they realize the treatments aren’t working, they simply will begin taking the medication again.  Of course this doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks, which is why it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a competent natural endocrine doctor rather than self-treat your condition.

For someone who has hyperthyroidism, these people definitely need to be more careful about abruptly stopping their anti-thyroid drugs and/or beta blockers, as this condition is typically more high-risk than hypothyroidism.  I know this might sound hypocritical from someone who decided not to take prescription drugs for an autoimmune hyperthyroid condition, and without question I was aware that there was some risks when I made this choice. 

Although I did have a high pulse rate and palpitations, I personally didn’t feel as if they were too extreme to deal with for a short period of time while beginning a natural treatment protocol.  But that still doesn’t mean I wasn’t taking a risk, although I also wasn’t just randomly taking supplements herbs, etc.  And once again, if I was in someone elses’ shoes and already taking anti-thyroid drugs I probably would have approached this differently.

In summary, play it safe and don’t self-treat your thyroid condition, regardless of whether you have hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or an autoimmune thyroid disorder.  While chances are you wouldn’t experience any serious side effects, there is always a chance you will, and you never know how your body will react.  And you definitely shouldn’t just stop taking your thyroid medication on your own and begin eating well and/or take nutritional supplements, as I can almost guarantee you that this won’t bring you optimal results, and can potentially do you harm.