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Old 02-20-2006, 06:07 AM   #1
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Cool Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?


Hi I'm Sue, married 11 years and 40-something (does A x 4 -2 = 46 mean anything to ya?) All my life, I've been heavy to some degree. And even though bloodwork never showed it, I wonder if my thyroid wasn't underactive (hyp0?) for a long, l-o-n-g time. My mom has taken thyroid meds for 50+ years

Due to enlargement, half my thyroid was removed Oct 05. Surgery went well, no cancer as needle biopsy suggested. The remaining side has small goiters, therefore slightly enlarged. After realizing that I was still dealing with:
1) hair the got FILTHY in 1.5-2 days
2) extra body odor
3) easily HOT in mild weather (already on PremPr0)

I finally got on Thyroid meds in early Feb 06, Levothyroxine 50 mg. The first week, my side effects were INSOMNIA to the 9th degree. Now 2.5 weeks into Levothy, I'm experiencing MOO0O0Diness beyond pale. So the Levothy (generic for Synthroid) is totally COUNTERACTing my Zoloft & then some!
Has anyone else had this not-so-lovely moodiness ? ? ?
How can my Dr help my thyroid & still effectively treat anxiety/depression?
Or will this side effect (m-o-o-d-y) subside in TIME? ? ? (I'm a stress eater, so don't know if my already thick waistline can tolerate it)

Are there any alternitive treatments that you have found helpful to treat your thyroid???
I've read a bit on the wonders of Coconut Oil,,, And how natural drugs (from pigs?) may be preferable to synthetic ones.
Has anyone tried Coconut Oil??? What did it do for you? I'll try just about anything at this point

i go in for bloodwork RE-check in early March. My poor hubby is quite anxious that I ask these questions, (& hopefully get some feedback), as I've been a wee bit CRrRrankieEeEE since insomnia is no longer the side effect from Levothyroxine. (was NO angel when was the prob! - drinking sports drinks cuz Dr thought potassium was low also - found a low cal one too,,,)

Is there a difference, side effect wize, between SYNTHROID and the generic Levothyroxine ? ?

For those of you w/ hypothyroid
(underactive) & slightly enlarged glands, what different medications do YOU take & are happy with? ?

Thanks in advance. Any experience(s) GREATLY appreciated
~Sue

 
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Kind of wanted some feedback , ,

 
Old 02-20-2006, 11:50 PM   #3
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Well, I'm still up watching 24 as I DVR'd it. Anyway, I am very new to this thyroid game. Most of the posters here are much more knowledgable than I. This board has been so informative and educational for me as you'll find out also. My feedback:

1. body odor - no clue. Never heard/read of that but do a search here on this board. The link is right above. I'm going to do it myself out of curiousity.

2. moodiness - you've only been on your thyroid med for a very short time and I know it takes at least 4 months to get somewhat regulated. I've read here that the first year on Synthroid or whatever is hard as getting the dosage right is difficult. Give it more time. And do not take the thyroid medication and the Zoloft at the same time. Take them at least 4 hours apart AND with full glasses of water.

3. Do you have Hashimoto's Disease by any chance?

4. I am on Zoloft as well as Synthroid. I have been on Synthroid for 3 months and Zoloft for 5 weeks and really I noticed I'm starting to feel better both physically and emotionally. I have thyroid cancer as well as Hashimoto's.

5. coconut oil - I have also read that it's good for thyroid. Am going over to Whole Foods tomorrow to buy some. I did see it there a month ago but didn't buy it. It's thick like Crisco. It's not at all like "oil".

6. natural thyroid med - that would be what's called Armour. Made from pig. Some tout it but the problem with it is that the Armour batches are not uniform. Why? Because every pig is different and some batches of the natural Armour are stronger or weaker than others. With the synthetic thyroid medicine there is uniformity of course. Some here of course take Armour. There just is no reason in my opinion to not take the Synthroid or whatever. It's hard enough to get regulated with Synthroid etc but to take non-uniform batches of Armour seems just silly and counterproductive. If you've been reading how natural thyroid med is better than synthetic....I assume you've been reading Mary Shoman.

7. your mom - thyroid disease runs in families as I'm sure you've read. As you'll realize from reading on this board though your TSH may be within the "normal" range, you still may and probably do have an underactive thyroid and have for a long time.

As I said, I am new to this game but I read this board every day but I also have been reading books and researching thyroid disease since my nodule was discovered the end of August. I do hope some of this was helpful. But I do know that the poster "midwest" here is very knowledgable and a lot of posters here ask her questions. With apologies to the many other very smart and knowledgable posters here.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 03:10 AM   #4
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Talking Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Thanks mollyann ~ I was asleep early last night, so here I am at 1 am awake again. I just took ALL my other meds, so that I can take synthroid by ITSELF when I get up for real. We'll see if that helps. I've been happy w/ Zoloft for year+ until I started Synthroid.

Thursday will be my 3 week mark w/ synthroid. The b/o prob (feeling like I should put more deoderant on) is already subsided. And I remember my odor glands going NUTS soon after surgery. So what I was dealing w/ HAS TO be related, probably not something people LIKE to talk about though!

will research Hashimoto's & ask my Dr about it in a 2 weeks.

I bought & took some Coconut Oil yesterday. Even though I'd eaten, it had a wierd effect on my stomach & I believe gave me diarrhea, so take it carefully. (my intestines are VERY sensitive last couple months, so that may just be me - seeing a Gastro Dr in March too) I read somewhere someone using it like butter on toast, I'll try that.

My Mom has been on thyroid meds for ALL of her adult life. She says every 10 years Drs would want to try something new, but that Amour was the only thing that worked for her. I'll be sure to tell my Dr. (synthroid may have been Dr's choice b/c remaining 1/2 of thyroid is slightly enlarged too)

My hubby is a cancer survivor. Good thoughts & serenity & *hugs* to you

 
Old 02-21-2006, 06:44 AM   #5
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Mollyann is mistaken about Armour's consistency. It's actually more consistent batch to batch than any of the synthetics. Synthetics are regularly recalled for subpotency, but Armour never has been. I take it... am doing quite well. She is 100% right, though, that it takes time to get everything adjusted right. You have to be a patient patient. As long as the mood swings are caused by your hypoT, they will resolve after it gets better.

There was a large thread about coconut oil a couple years ago. Use the Advanced Search to find it and some others like it. You'll find that for the majority, there are no miracles associated with it.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 03:45 PM   #6
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hey midwest?

I am now very curious about the consistency of Armour vs. synthetic. I do know that there were recalls of Synthroid 15+ years ago however I have read the issue had been addressed. In "Googling" the subject, I find the first several articles supporting the inconsistency of Synthroid at a Mary Shoman site. Mary Shoman is a proponent of Armour and natural/wholistic medicine. That's fine, of course, but I personally find her opinion to have an agenda. And yes, I shop primarily at Whole Foods (buy organic) and frequent No Name Nutrition and do take supplements.
Back to the recall of the synthetics - when was the last time Synthroid was recalled? And do you have recent medical (AMA) documentation of your statement that Armour is much more stable/consistent than Synthroid - at this point in time. Yes, I have read/researched and I do know that Armour is the most stable and consistent of the natural/wholistic thyroid meds. The point about the inconsistency Armour and other natural thyroid meds, is as I'm sure you know, the fact that it comes from pig. Thyroid hormone levels in swine would of course vary from hog to hog. I am curious whya synthetic pharmacutical thyroid med would be inconsistent. It shouldn't ever be inconsistent nor lose potency. Gosh, I should run the big pharms, huh? Yes, I joking and being (sarcastic!!)

Of course, I know that natural is normally better (not always however) than any synthetic. I also realize that the physiologic similarities between human and pig are great. As they are in primates.

I am simply asking for not opinion but studied results that the AMA, JAMA can document.

Thanks midwest. I do hope I was respectful and not argumentative in this post. I really am curious and seek information. As Bon Jovi says - "Have a good day!!" Oh guess he does this with that...

 
Old 02-21-2006, 04:03 PM   #7
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

"natural" is not necessarily better in this case, Synthroid is T4 anot any different from the T4 in Armour. It DOES seem to be true that a minority of patients feel better on Armour - it is unclear if that is simply due to the T3 in Armour (which contains a 4:1 ratio T4:T3) or some other undefined substances in pig thyroid.

As for consistency - although endos often use the old saw that Armour doses are not as reliable, there actually isn't anything to back that up. If you look at the Armour website, they have to standardize their extracts to a certain standard, just like Synthroid. And yes, certain batches of Synthroid have been recalled because they did not meet the potency standards they were supposed to meet. There's really no reason to suspect Synthroid is any more or less standardized than Armour. I think this is probably evidence of a very successful marketing campaign in the 1970's to convince doctors that Synthroid was "better" and "more modern" than Armour, but Armour was used successfully for decades prior to the release of Syhthroid.

The main argument against Armour is that the ratio of T4:T3 is too low (too much T3) compared to what we think is normal for humans (10:1 T4:T3) and that therefore some people might react badly to too much T3. Those who argue for it claim that dividing the dose into twice a day will help resolve any symptoms from taking it. The truth probably is that some people don't tolerate that much T3 (those who efficiently convert T4 to T3 and don't have an abnormal need for it) and some people NEED the extra T3 (either because they don't convert T4 to T3 well or they have some kind of mild cellular resistance to T3).

What does seem clear is that while many people do fine on T4 alone, some definitely do not, and they sometimes do better on Armour or some combination of Synthroid and T3 (Cytomel).

Ellie

 
Old 02-21-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Thank you, Ellie for that imput. I do hope I was respectiful of midwest in my post to her.

QUESTION! What is the TTO??? Mine was (is?) 42.9 and I understand that is very high as normal is 0.0-2 so was exactly does such an elevated TTO mean? I know it's something about antibodies. Does this possibly mean my Hashimoto's is really advanced? I've had such symtpoms. But with the TSH before of only 2.50, I feel, once again, like a hysterical hypochondriac.

 
Old 02-22-2006, 04:33 AM   #9
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Cool Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

thank you for all the feedback. My primecare Dr has been helping me w/ meds. Just found out that approval to see my Endo is coming ANY day now . I will go to him with all the blood results & see what HE thinks we should do. And I'll make sure to mention that my MOM can only take Amour

At lunch yesterday, I was talking about my struggles. 3 of 5 people there TAKE Synthroid, so it was wonderful to get feedback from them!

 
Old 02-22-2006, 07:49 AM   #10
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

For Mollyann... No, I'm not offended at your challenge. It forced me to do some research to back up what I know. But first, note this ... I did not accuse only Synthroid of subpotency specifically; all levothyroxines (with the probably exception of Unithroid) have been guilty at one time or another.

I found an excellent paper titled The levothyroxine spectrum: Bioequivalence and cost considerations, by
Albert I. Wertheimer, PhD, MBA & Thomas M. Santella, BS. You can find a long excerpt of it if you know where to search.

In it, the authors discuss the FDA's decision in 1997 to require all levothyroxine products to apply for new drug status, due to their troubled pasts of potency and bioavailability problems and the concerns of the medical community and patients.
Synthroid was especially guilty of fighting the FDA on the matter, because of their policies of "overage" - adding extra hormone to batches of product to compensate for loss of potency during storage; and for stability and potency problems from batch to batch that they failed to find reasons for.
Overage results in delivery of excess hormone to patients who receive the freshest product. With a disease that requires such precise dosage as hypoT does, you can see how unacceptable this practice is.
Batch-to-batch stability failures resulted in the recall of 21 lots of Synthroid in 8/89, 26 lots in 2/91, and 15 lots in 6/91, and the manufacturer destroyed 46 lots from 1990 thru 1992.

It isn't just Synthroid though. Most brands and generics are equally guilty. Subpotency, more than any other single factor, has been the reason for levoT recalls. The FDA, upon reclassifying levothyroxine as a "new drug," recognized the continuing number of recalls as evidence of the need to review all levothyroxine drug products. For example, between 1990 and 1997, there were 10 recalls of levothyroxine, equating to 150 lots and 100 million tablets.
I don't recall the date specifically, but I can remember one recall - or perhaps two - of Levoxyl in the 3 years just since I've been a member here.
You can find substantiation of all recalls at the FDA website, if I remember right.

As I said before, Armour has never been recalled, but I think once had a batch destroyed - which is different. ("Destroyed" means it never reached the market because checks and safeguards worked.) And it is today manufactured according to the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) standards to assure batch-to-batch potency and uniformity. You can find that information in their website's FAQs.

I'm not knocking levoTs just because I take Armour, either. LevoT works for many people, but the patients for whom it doesn't work shouldn't be forced to live with it without being given the option of Armour or Cytomel. My dream is that someday there will be enough credible scientific studies done to prove the T4/T3 protocol is often needed that we won't be shuffled off with our scripts for T4 and told there's nothing more to be done for us.

Interesting that you think Mary has an "agenda".

 
Old 02-22-2006, 01:12 PM   #11
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Sudufu- I know for sure that coconut milk will cause diarrhea, but don't know about the oil. I assume it is similar. Your post indicates that you had digestive problems after taking the oil so that may be the problem.

Mollyann- I agree totally with you about "agendas". I have found a whole host of agendas in all aspects of thyroid disorder and disease, on both sides of the debate of synthetic vs. natural. It seems that BOTH sides feel a need to prove each other wrong. Unfortunately, I find the need to be "right" often overshadows the need to be kind to one another, and engage in an open-minded dialogue of treatment options. Recently I had even a poster laugh at me (yes, the post openly stated tee-hee, tee-hee) when I posted an opinion, and then went on to ridicule me with sarcasm that an open & positive attitude only belongs in religion. The post was quickly deleted as off topic, but I was able to read it in it's entirity prior to its deletition. These "agenda" experiences are good though, as they can give a whole new perspective to the attitudes and views of the people with a wealth of knowledge.

I am hypo. and like both of you am learning as I go how to best obtain treatment for myself. I suppose the bottom line, as most have discovered, is to ignore the agendas as our treatment is a very individual thing. Synthetic works well for many, but not all; and natural works well for many, but not all. Those with an agenda-on both sides of the debate-have usually researched thier views thoroughally; we can learn from that research and apply the information to our individual cases in treatment discussions with our medical professionals. Good luck to both of you in your search to feel better.

 
Old 02-25-2006, 04:51 AM   #12
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

this is an excellent thread and should be kept going.

Imo there should never be a division about synthetic or natural thyroid medication. There should just be options about which medication suits an individual.
from what I have learned here, which incidentally is alot more than my GP ever learned in med school is... we may have the same condition but each and everyone of us has unique symptoms, therefore our treatment should be tailor made for us regardless of what the FDA etc say is the best.
In regard to the coconut oil question, I would say be careful of anything that gives you loose stools as it may mean you are not absorbing your meds and nutrients properly leading to further health problems.
good health to everyone

 
Old 02-26-2006, 09:40 AM   #13
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

Well said Daisy! However I must add that I find this issue of treatment choices to be throughout health care in general, and not unique to just thyroid patients. I see a chiropractor occasionally, and a massage therapist sometimes. Both of them cannot stand conventional doctors and insist on natural methods only. Many doctors think alternative methods are a waste of money and a scam. I believe that both methods have value! I am so tired of ALL of them critisizing each other, and pointing fingers at one another (this one's stupid, that one's an idiot, the MD's are in it only for the money...blah, blah, blah). Wouldn't it be wonderful if they got together, put the egos and "know-it-allness" aside, to use thier combined knowledge to improve medical care and further information for everyone. I don't think that's going to happen though-- at least not in this life time!

Last edited by Red Maple; 02-26-2006 at 09:50 AM. Reason: clarity

 
Old 02-26-2006, 03:17 PM   #14
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Re: Levothroxine side effects / Coconut Oil ?

in the Uk we get a choice of erm!!! levothyroxine or levothyroxine lol
Even keeping to the same brand is difficult here.
We dont get much choice with healthcare professionals either, there is no automatic refferal to an endo. usually its managed by a GP.
I can only dream of the day when we get a choice of natural or synthetic T4

 
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