This is a very personal an individual decision to make.
It's NOT something that we can recommend for anyone.
But it's a subject that many have had to consider.
Please. DO NOT self medicate your Thyroid Replacment if you do not have a diagnosis.
"Hypothyroid" is not a diagnosis
The diagnosis is what is causing your gland to be unable to function in a healthy manner (supply sufficient thyroid hormones) and leaves your body in a Hypothyroid state!
Thyroid disorders can be debilitating at the least and at the worst can be life threatening. In some cases you will need scans and specialized testing to determine the cause for your thyroid disorder and that simply CAN NOT be done without a doctor and hospital/clinic situation.
If you do have a diagnosis and understand what your condition is and you find that you are without insurance, a job, or money, you may be in a situation where you are unable to afford to see a doctor for proper labs and consult. Or, you are unable to find a doctor that is willing to treat you to good health by treating you to relieve your symptoms or will not consider other forms of thyroid medication or dosing. Many of us, myself included, in that position end up having to make a very difficult decision. Do I go without medication and labs? Do I continue to decline in my health year after year because of a doc that simply does not understand proper thyroid care? Do I continue to deal with a doctor that will not consider the fact that my symptoms get no better, or worse, continue to increase? Do I go without meds completely due to lack of insurance or money to cover the costs? Or do I take care of these things on my own?
First we go looking for assistance. But for many states, Thyroid care is not considered to be of any importance. In my case I wasn't able to get any assistance at all, not on state or county level. Not even through 'First Call For Help'. Thyroid care is just not important to any of them. In one case I was told that all I needed to do was to get pregnant, then they'd cover my care and get me the thyroid medication. Another program told me that unless I was chemically dependant or infected with an STD I could not be helped.
It didn't do much for my depression or poor health to know that I wasn't worth enough to help.
If you find yourself in a position where you are unable to get health care you may have to take matters into your own hands. The first step is to get your blood levels checked. You can now order those on your own, without a doctor (and all the fees related to an office call).
Check out Health Check USA. Find your state and then locate a Lab One clinic near you, they are all over the US. They offer two tests there for thyroid.
General Health Profile + CBC +
Comprehensive Thyroid Profile II
(Super Chemistry Plus Thyroid Panel II)
(Valued up to $590.00)
$100 at most clinics*
Includes Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and Ratios, Triglycerides, Glucose(Diabetes), Kidney, Liver, and Heart Functions, Potassium, Calcium, Uric Acid, Electrolytes, Iron, PLUS a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and Free T3, Free T4, and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
Comprehensive Thyroid Profile II
$75 at most clinics*
Free T3, Free T4, and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
* Prices vary by participating clinic and both tests also require a $12 handling fee that is added on.
You can use the results of the tests (available online in 3 days or in the mail in about 10 days) to determine how your levels are doing and if you need to go further.
For some that means that you must come up with funding to see a good doc to find out exactly what is going on and go from there. You will be able to give the doc the results of your labs for him (her) to see, without the higher cost of having labs done through their clinic, with their mark-up. This will also save you the cost of another office call.
For others, that already have a diagnosis and are monitoring levels to verify their dosage is correct or to check results after an adjustment you have the information that you need and can make adjustments, if necessary.
It's a VERY wise idea, whether you are self-treating or going through a doc to join a thyroid information/support group so that you have access to the latest information on thyroid care as well as the support of others that understand what you are going through. There are also many, many websites that have fountains of information on thyroid disease and care, you can find these through your favorite search engine, or check out some that we've listed.