Hi, I am hypothyroid, and my endo. wants me on a medication (he constantly pushes for Synthroid). Problem is my health insurance is over in August and I don't know when I'm going to get more insurance. So I don't want to start on meds and then lose my insurance.
Long story short, I was reading in a natural therapy book about hypothyroidism and L-Tyrosine, B-complex, and Kelp were the top 3 recommended supplements to take. Does anyone know anything about these? Should I try them as they are far cheaper than trying to pay for a prescription w/o the help of insurance? Or are they a waste of time?
I am no expert on natural supplements, I have flirted with coconut oil with no discernable improvement.
The b vitamin question is very complex, and extremely important. From what I know, if you have an autoimmune-type thyroid problem, it can sometimes inhibit your ability to absorb b12. That can cause very serious problems (eg dementia), and, because of the complexities involved, without medical advice you could be taking supplements in a form or quantity that make no difference whatsoever. It can take years for a deficiency to show up in blood tests, but the damage is accumulating all the while....
If you are going to go down a natural path, I would say at the very least you would need to do it with a qualified medical practitioner who is also qualified in natureopathy.
Not taking Synthroid (or other thyroid medication) can set you up for future heart problems, amongst other things.
My gut instinct is, if you have an endo who says you need the Synthroid, then for heaven's sake take it. You can always experiment (under some kind of qualified supervision) with other things, but in the meantime being hypo is causing serious potential damage to your body and quality of life.
There are other debates about Synthroid vs Armour vs T3 etc., but my (totally medically unqualified) opinion is that you need to take this recommendation for medication very seriously for the sake of your future health and wellbeing.
Yes, I agree.
If an endo is willing to begin treatment, it must be pretty far advanced, because endos don't give out this medication freely. If your thyroid needs help to that degree, I don't think the substances you named will help in a significant way.
Synthroid has a program for uninsured people maybe you can look into. Even though Synthroid is the most expensive med prescribed for hypoT, it still isn't nearly as expensive as some other Rx drugs you could take, like statins or allergy meds. And there are less expensive brands, too. Three months of 2 grains/day of my Armour would cost me only about $30 if I paid out of pocket. Ten bucks a month to prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia is a bargain in my book.
I've been taking L-Tyrosine and Kelp for two months now and have noticed only mild improvements in my symptoms, although when I stopped them for a week I felt absolutely exhausted... so I think they probably do something.
However, I agree with all the posters above. If you've been offered treatment, take it. Definitely. I'm only self-medicating because my thyroid function isn't that bad and doctors won't prescribe any meds for me.
I've been taking selenium and I don't feel as tired as I was. The constipation and bloating has gone down as well. I'm having surgery in 2 weeks so, it's temporary until the surgery and my docs would not prescribe. I take 100mg a day. You can do some research on the web also to get info, there are raw thyroid, thyroid complex. But as mentioned, you should definitely speak to someone who is familiar with this type of treatment. Also, see if you can get some kind of medical aid (state maybe) that would help with the cost of meds.
First of all, thank you all for the input. I really do appreciate it. As for the supplements, I emailed my endo. the same question I posed to all of you in order to get answers from multiple sources. He said not to waste my time, and said:
"There is a phenomenon called the Wolff-Chiakoff effect, where , if your are prone to hypothyroidism (which you are), taking iodine supplements can make the condition worse. I donít think herbal supplements will help; I would not recommend you waste your money on them"
So I guess I'm not looking into that too much more. He also emailed me my lab results from the last time I had blood taken:
TSH (0.40-4.00) 17.200
T3 (82--179) 127.000
FT4 (0.8-1.9) 0.830
Any comments/suggestions? I'm still pretty clueless about this stuff. Also, where would I look for that special Synthroid deal? Thanks again.
Yep, you're hypothyroid. And your doctor seems like a very good one.... stick with him!
Go to synthroid.com's homepage to find a link to prescription assistance. Also, ask your doctor for samples. That's a good way to find out if that medicine is for you before you pay for any that would be wasted.
My mother in law is a naturalist and has nodules and severe hypo symptoms. She has messed herself up so bad with the kelp. It sent her over the edge with hyper symptoms and she ended up in the ER with heart palps and chest pain. I would NOT take that stuff I would take the real deal. My endo gave me a whole box of synthroid, so they do have free samples they can give you to try.
If you have a mild, sluggish thyroid, maybe some supplement might help, but for true hypo problems ( which you obviously have ) I wouldn't mess with anything but medication.
Best of luck to you and let us know how you make out.
I'm taking all kinds of supplements and herbs, including iodine--for thyroid function and for other things. The bad thing about taking all of these is that you have no idea what really helps you in the end. I do feel better-have more energy, etc. that's for sure--but no clue as to why. Was it the Cytomel or was it the iodine, or was it the dandelion root, licorice root, etc. etc.
Some supplements help some people and some they do nothing for. My hubby has high cholesterol, the Dr. put him on Lipitor. He was on that for awhile, then we decided to try Red Yeast Rice and when he went back for his testing, his numbers were actually worse. So back on the Lipitor again.
But on the other hand--my father takes the Red Yeast Rice and it has done wonders for his numbers.
From what I understand and have read, natural supplements might help, but they take a lot longer. So if you don't wanna wait, do the prescription. At least you know what's going into your body.
inyourdreams, I read with interest what you wrote about red yeast rice. About 3 years ago, my young(early 20's), slim(110 lbs.) neice was tested and had a cholesterol of over 300. She refused to take any of the statin drugs and instead decided on red yeast rice. When she was re-tested in two months, her cholesterol was 190. She's been on it ever since with excellent results.