Second Opinion on 2nd MD

I ran a few errands this morning and rushed home super hungry for LUNCH!I used all this stuff plus cashews (cannot stop eating them – are they addictive to anyone else?). asian salad ingredients

I wanted something sweet for dessert, but don’t have anything good in the house. I thought this would be genius, but I just keep eating PB&J to help quiet my sweet tooth. Unfortunately, my sweet tooth is very smart and realized this is a trick. It’s still not quiet. sweet tooth(someecards.)

In September I had a blood test. The results came out positive that I have blood. Whew, I was worried.

The blood test also read that I was low on my T3 hormone. I didn’t know what that meant and spoke with my doctor about it. Basically, your thyroid gland makes T3 and T4 and releases it through out your body to control your metabolism.This sight gives a good explanation – How the thyroid works

So, my doc prescribed something to me but I wanted a second opinion. Then, I recently had the chance to try 2nd MD! On this sight you can set up a phone call or video chat with a specialist in your area of concern for a fee. The appointments are charged based on time (ex. $200 for 20 minutes). It is pricey, but similar to what you would spend getting a second opinion without insurance most places. image

I scanned my test results and saved them to my file so when I had the call with the doctor yesterday he knew exactly what my T3 numbers were. Overall the experience was very helpful and I’m really glad I got the opinion of someone who specializes in thyroid issues in addition to my own doctor (who I trust very much).

I still haven’t decided what (if any) action I’m going to take on this medical issue – taking medication, natural methods or surgery. Yeah, even surgery – just not the kind you think! I think I heard breast enlargement surgery is a good cure for all that ails ya.

Thyroid Resources:

American Thyroid Association

How the thyroid works

Doctor’s site referencing low T3 and depression

In partnership with Clever Girls, I was given a free appt on 2nd.MD in exchange for this post. I have not been compensated by my thyroid for lowballing me T3. All opinions written by me on RER are my own.


  1. says

    I’ve had my thyroid tested on a regular basis, especially because I’ve suffered from depression in the past. Mine is always on the low side, but my insurance company’s healthy ranges are really broad so mine is never low enough to warrant medication.
    I’ve been told to watch my weight (like I don’t religiously already) and come in if any signs of depression return. Then they’ll consider alternative forms of remedy. It can get frustrating.

  2. says

    Just the fact that a person has to pay $200 for a 20 minute conversation with a doctor for a second opinion that insurance won’t cover makes me want to throw up. :(

    Good for you for getting armed with all the data/advice that you can find. Good luck on making the right decision for you and your health!

  3. says

    You’re disclaimer at the bottom of this is HILARIOUS!!!

    I hope you get it figured out safely, I dealt with that mess a few months ago but thankfully everything is back to normal now.

  4. says

    2 years ago I was diagnosed with a low thyroid. Sometimes it can make or break me. If I skip my medicine by accident, I can feel the difference. Every so often it needs to be readjusted. I started on all natural medicine that came from bovine and avian thyroids. Then armour came back on the market, which is still all natural, it just does not have to be compounded at an old fashion pharmacy. I have stayed away from Synthroid, the synthetic, because your doctor cannot control the different amounts of T3 and T4 (according to my doctor anyway). I have also read quite a bit that staying away from certain foods, especially gluten can make a big difference. Good Luck!

  5. Katy A says

    I have hypothyroidism caused by the auto immune disease Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I have been taking medicine for over 5 yrs. Although sometimes I don’t feel like it’s working, most days I feel good. My symptoms were (and sometimes still have) extreme fatigue, always cold, hair loss and muscle/joint pain (feels like a growing pain behind my knee that goes to my groin and sometimes down to my foot). I notice that you eat a lot of soy and if you are taking medicine I have read that soy affects your meds. Interestingly I found these 2 causes of thyroid disease :
    Overconsumption of isoflavone-intensive soy products, such as soy protein, capsules, and powders.
    Overconsumption of uncooked “goitrogenic” foods, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cauliflower, African cassava, millet, babassu, cabbage and kale.
    I think you should take medicine because having an under active thyroid can put you at risk for heart disease and high blood pressure (among other problems). If you do surgery (which most doctors won’t do. I have nodules that are non cancerous but have to get checked once a yr and my doc won’t remove my thyroid), you will have to take medicine.
    Good luck with yours! I know mine took a couple yrs to regulate. :-)

      • Katy A says

        Yeah I’m not sure if you should eliminate soy or just when you should eat it. They med is very picky about things like when you take your med you have to wait an hr to eat (or wait to take it 4 hrs after you eat) and vitamins have to be taken 4 hrs after you take your med. So maybe soy would be the same (wait 4 hrs before you eat it). I just don’t take the chance and try to avoid soy, but sometimes you can’t with like soy sauce! I try to buy the protein powder w/o soy. Once website I like and think is informative is

        • Katy A says

          If you do go on thyroid meds and you get the generic; it is part of the RX Program at Walmart. 30 day supply for $4 or 90 day supply for $10 (this is for people w/ and w/o insurance.

  6. Ella says

    I’m just a nursing student so take my opinion with a grain of salt but going on the medication would be beneficial. Not to be weird but you seem to post about struggling with weight loss every now and then and having a slow thyroid could totally contribute to this. Plus goiters are nasty, you don’t want one of those..

  7. says

    i was diagnosed with hypothyroid about 6 months ago and have been taking synthetic thyroid hormone ever since. I’m amazingly less depressed and am able to lose weight. I can definitely tell if I forget to take it one day, and I can also tell by the way I feel that my levels aren’t right again.
    There are some things that a homeopathic thing won’t fix… I don’t think thyroid is something to mess around with!

  8. says

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (hypo) about a year and a half ago. I currently take Synthroid as well as Cytomel. I’ve seen two primary care physicians and a specialist and been through a variety of different levels and figuring out of the meds. I’ve read a lot about the soy as well, but my specialist said it wasn’t really that big of a deal. I mean, I wouldn’t go drink a gallon of soy milk, but I drink it in my coffee. I’m by no means an expert, but after the first 9 months or so, my med doses finally seemed a little more right, and I can tell you that I never realized just how tired and awful I felt, until I felt better. If you ever want a non expert plain old human to discuss with, I’d be happy to :)

      • says

        Cytomel basically replicates the T3. It’s what my original dr started me on, but then added the Synthroid when my Cytomel wouldn’t last all day. Now I take the Cytomel twice a day and the Synthroid once. Oy! My specialist won’t let me take the generic brand. He says the differences can be too big, which is kind of lame because name brand is pricey!

    • Katy A says

      I guess the soy affects people differently. I used to drink these protein shakes (premade) twice a day and was feeling awful even though I was on Levothroid. One day I was researching the thyroid and I came across that soy can affect the strength of your med and as soon as I stopped (it took a couple weeks) drinking them I felt better.

        • Katy A says

          I hear you! I know sometimes I don’t wait the full hr after I take it to eat! I don’t cut all soy out (I eat soy sauce, lol) but I buy almond milk and coconut milk instead. Maybe don’t eat soy until 4 hrs after you take your meds (like with vitamins). But I will have to research Cytomel.

  9. Katy A says

    Oh I will have to look into the Cytomel. I asked for the generic (b/c I’m cheap) and bonus is thyroid meds are on the 90 days / $10 program at Walmart (that is for people with and w/o insurance).

  10. says


    I have been taking synthroid for years now. About a year and a half ago, I added cytomel (largely because I read Jillian Michaels’ “Master Your Metabolism”, worshipped her, and she said it made a difference for her). My family doctor was easy enough to convince about prescribing it and I felt a little bit better with it (though I still to this day get cold, hold on to weight, and feel blah and I attribute it to my levels always being a little wonky when I get em tested).

    I recently went to a specialist who said that taking cytomel is essentially pointless. HE told me to stop and upped my dosage of syntrhoid instead. It’s hard to know who to trust!

    The thyroid is so tricky…hmmph! Good luck.

  11. Kaitlin says

    Have they tested your nutrient levels? I had a similar problem: low T3 and borderline T4 but normal TSH. Since TSH is the number they go by to diagnose hypothyroid, having low T3 doesn’t warrant a diagnosis. My doctor told me that in the vast majority of cases with low T3 but normal TSH, there is an iodine or selenium deficiency–in my case, it was iodine, so I’m supplementing iodine for a few months and then we’ll retest the thyroid hormones.

  12. Nicole says

    I had my thyroid removed almost 1 year ago – that was after struggling with hyper-thyroid, hypo-thyroid, nodules (growths/tumors) on the gland…I started taking the hormone when I went from hyper to hypo and was fine – it was the nodules that were the final straw for just taking the whole thing out. It took a few months to finally regulate the meds/levels – I had a rough couple of months of exhaustion, hair loss, freezing cold all of the time and I went up a few lbs. I was so vigilant with my Drs and pushed for monthly blood tests, upping the Rx level, etc. (I’ve also read that soy is a no-go for people with thyroid issues.) I’m happy to say that I’m back to normal – levels, lbs, etc, etc. Good luck – the thyroid is really one of those things you have to stay on top of – it’s like the body’s engine!

    • Katy A says

      Wow you have gone through a lot! Kinda sounds like me but mine has stayed hypo; hasn’t wavered… I wish my doctor would take mine out! I have 4 nodules that they did biopsies on (none are cancerous) and have to get sonograms yearly on. I think it would be better for me and my wallet to just remove! … I too have read about the soy!

      • Nicole says

        That was my Dr’s point – it would be better to get everything removed than having to monitor forever and worry about the potential for changes in the nodules.

  13. says

    I had a thyroid problem after my son was born. I felt really weird all the time. I was put on medication for a short time and then it was just fine. I’m guessing it was just something that happened with my pregnancy.

  14. JC says

    I have not heard of this but am surprised it is ethical or safe for a doctor to do this without examining you. I did a phone session with a holistic doctor one time but I had already been through a lot of testing and had confirmed dx. Did this doctor review actual medical records or just based on what you stated?
    Sorry if I am skeptical. I have a lot of health problems so go for many in person opinions and specialists. It is very hard to find a good doctor.
    Wishing you well but you have to be careful.
    By the way your blog,approach to life/diet/body is really great. It is realistic, accepting and honest.

    • says

      Yeah, the doc was very clear that he was not diagnosing me or treating me. He was just giving an opinion because there are strict rules about this. But, he did have my blood test results for this specific issue.

  15. amy says

    hi monica, i’m not a doctor but i have hosimoto’s hypothryroidism and have been on synthroid for 25 years (yes, i just outed myself as NOT young)! if your TSH is okay, then i wouldn’t rush into taking cytomel (or a T3 replacement). you have to be very careful on cytomel and dose properly (usually twice a day). i have been told that low T3 is caused by stress and many hospital patients have low T3 levels while hospitalized and then it goes back to normal once they are better. Have any doctors mentioned your running? i know you are a dedicated and MOST IMPRESSIVE runner, but running most days of the week is stressful to your body. i agree with others that you could try reducting your soy intake for a while to see if that helps. good luck to you….if you have to have a health issue, this is a minor one to have, so be thankful for that! peace, amy

  16. Amy says

    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Feb, and later Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and I take Synthroid. Even though I swing from being hypo/hyper. I also wanted to get a second opinion and learn more about what was going on with my body bc I knew something was way off. The Synthroid helped for a few months, but the symptoms eventually came back. The endocrinologist I went to gave me his run of the mill speech about how there is no proven treatment for Hashimoto’s and that I will be on Synthroid for the rest of my life etc. But I knew there had to be something more. I wanted to know why there was NO way to treat the Hashimoto’s itself that was causing the hypothryoidism, treat the root of the problem. Why would you treat only my thyroid and ignore the autoimmune disease? I’m reading Dr Datis Kharrazian’s book “Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Test Are Normal”. And I am blown away. I wish I could set up an appt with one of the Dr’s that uses his methods like, tommorow! But my husband and I are stationed in Turkey. And I’m pregnant, so I will have to wait for now. But I am going to go ahead and get tested for celiac disease/gluten intolerance which the book goes into depth about it’s relationship with thyroid disease. But anyway I thought I would share this book on here because it has really opened my eyes on how I want to go about my treatment when I get to a place where I can. Good luck to you and I love your blog : )

  17. says

    I was diagnosed with grave’s disease about 12 years ago. I had a hyperactive thyroid, a goiter (noticeable to a medical person but not a normal person) and bulgy eyes. Normally its treated with a drug that supressess your thyroid hormone .. but I developed a bizarre allergic reaction to the drug and had hives for a year. FUN. anyways, the next option is to surgically remove the thyroid (and have a big scar across your throat!) or ‘kill’ it with radioactive iodine. I went the iodine route. So now I have zero thyroid function and take synthroid with is a synthetic hormone. I’ve been on synthroid for 12 years with no issues. I’ve suffered with weight issues in the beginning when my levels were up and down and up and down as they tried to correct me, but for the past 10 years I’ve been fine. I see my endocrinologist every 6 months, he checks my levels, adjusts the dose if need be, and I’m on my happy way! I think thyroid issues are pretty common maybe, usually hypo. They talk about it all the time in womens magazines it seems. The drug is also one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. Anyways, good luck! I dont mind taking the pill each morning (for the rest of my life). It doesn’t seem like a biggie to me at this point. Hope you find a treatment that works for you!

  18. says

    Interesting…my family has a history of hypothyroidism and so I’ve always had my bloodwork done to test my levels (also for anemia and other stuff). I wish more women knew about this kind of health resource, and would be more proactive in getting checked out!

    • says

      My doc checked my thyroid before, but I think checking the TSH and T3 are a little bit of a different test/box to check. My T4 was always normal in previous tests, but I kept pushing and we found this.

      • Erin says

        My bf’s trail mix had the same problem so I just started buying my own bags (yes, plural) of cashews. Have you tried cashew butter? I had to stop buying this freshly ground cashew butter from the farmer’s market in LA because it was bankrupting me. Amazing.

  19. says

    I’ve had a lot of medical things happen over the past few years and feel much better after talking to my doctor- I’m not sure how I’d feel talking to a computer?! I know it’s a doctor but he/ she couldn’t really examine you the same way, ya know?

    • says

      Yeah, they do emphasize that it’s supposed to be a second opinion and not a complete exam type of situation. I love my doc, so I wouldn’t replace her with something like this.

  20. says

    Both my T3 and my T4 are super low and I’m actually going to see my doctor this morning to see if it has moved up any since taking medications for both. So far, not so much. Hope you can get yours figured out, because it can really mess with your system.

  21. says

    I was diagnosed w/Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid a few years ago which is when I started actively taking levothyroxine. Several years before that, my thyroid was tested and showed that my T4 was so low it was off the charts (if you consider 0.3-3.0 to be within the normal range, I was at 11.0). My doc at the time put me on Synthroid but I wasn’t convinced that it was really my thyroid. Simultaneous to this happening and what really prompted my initial visit was what looked to be a tick bite rash. I was preemptively placed on antibiotics to clear any potential Lyme disease infection. I have read that there’s some loose relationship whereby Lyme can affect your thyroid and I still do believe that the rash led to some imbalances in my body. While I don’t have Lyme, I think I may have been treated promptly enough to stave it off.

    Needless to say, my thyroid gets checked regularly and my meds are readjusted as needed. I can tell when things are off like some folks have commented about (I’m more sluggish, notice more hair in the drain – yuck) but I can absolutely tell you 110% that the meds have changed everything for me. And, they are really just replacing what your body cannot produce so for me, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

  22. Jessica J. says

    For what it is worth, I had blood work done and my thyroid was normal for a couple years. Then one year my T3 (I think) was low but T4 was normal. Dr checked my TSH and it was normal (borderline). My Dr referred me to an endocrinologist because I’d also had rapid weightloss that year. The endocrinologist said I had an enlarged thyroid/goiter. He recommended a thyroid ultrasound which came back as “normally abnormal” which meant I didn’t have a perfect thyroid but he saw nothing of immediate concern. I also had no obvious symptoms that appeared over the year where I went from normal to abnormal bloodwork other than the weight change (which could also be attributed to me quitting birth control around that time). I’ve since had bloodwork and my levels are back to normal. I’ve also gained back the weight I lost and now have other non-thyroid health issues.

    All of this to say, I didn’t take any medication. I felt okay so we took a wait-and-see approach and I’m glad that I did. Depending on your health history it may be something to consider.

    On a separate note, I’ve recently been diagnosed with infertility related to endometriosis. Rather than jumping on the fertility/hormone medication bandwagon (which is also very $$) I’m first trying an Endo Diet. I’ve been AMAZED at how much I’ve learned recently about the effect that food can have on hormones in the body. Something I never considered before.
    Good luck!

    PS. I think (slightly) bigger boobs sound fun. Maybe that’ll treat my Endo. How can we get insurance to pay for that?? 😉

  23. Brittany @ LessBritt MoreLife says

    There are a few thyroid blood levels that they can check for thyroid function! I’m gonna get a few different pamphlets at work for you! Can’t wait to talk about this more :) nerd alert!

  24. says

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of Second Opinion on 2nd MD | Run Eat Repeat . Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

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