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Old 05-21-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Hi everyone!
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Dec of 06 (same appointment I found out I was pregnant!) and since then have been on various doses of Levothyroxine. Literally every time I go in for my follow-up appt for bloodwork, my dose changes AGAIN. Ohhhhh it is SO frustrating!
And so obviously in the meantime while I'm "waiting" for everything to be regulated and right, I FEEL LIKE CRAAAP. Some days more than others, but in general the symptoms are definitely getting me down lately.
So far the synthetic replacement pills aren't working out so great, or at all?
I am curious if anyone has had experience with a natural approach to treating/supporting hypothyroidism?? I have done some research, and it seems the longer I stay on Levo, the higher the chance I will become dependent on it for life, as my thyroid will slowly stop all its natural function.
So... Anyone taking any natural replacements? Or anyone opting for a Naturopath versus an MD, or maybe both? Anyone have any input on homeopathic help, or supplements??
Some of my symptoms include MOOOOD SWINGS!!, anxiety, weight gain that WONT go away, tired, forgetful, hard to concentrate at times, miserable menstral cycles, profound anemia, hair loss, the list goes on and on..
I WOULD SO APPRECIATE ANY INSIGHT/EXPERIENCES with a natural approach. I just feel that it is time to be more proactive about my health, my hypoT, and perhaps ditch the Dr for a new one, as he is not a fan of listening to me talk about whats going on with my body (and he doesn't believe anxiety and hypoT have ANYTHING to do with one another-all it takes is a google search to figure that one out!!)
Thank you for listening you guys, and if anyone has anything to say on the matter, i am alll ears!!!
Anna

 
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

The only things I've heard of are fish oil, magnesium, and something called selenium. Fish oil can work some miracles. I have a German doc who is really into natural stuff, but even he says that it's hard to do without levothyroxine. Maybe try a different pill than Synthyroid. different things work for different people. I was having a rough few months but have finally found what seems to be my best dosage ever and I'm starting to lose weight and not be so tired, and I feel better too. Thyroid problems do seem to be an everlasting thing, even when you are "ok" you experience problems, but don't give up. It just takes time I guess and longer for some people... just keep trying things and see what works. Unfortunately, the only way to know is to experiment a little!

 
Old 05-21-2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Thanks jinx!
Also can anyone clarify what Armour is? I am under the impression that is is natural as oppossed to sythetic thyroid, is that right? If so do they work differently and is one more affective?

 
Old 05-22-2008, 07:36 AM   #4
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Prescription thyroid hormone isn't a "drug" that you can get "hooked on" for life. It's a bio-identical duplicate of the hormone your thyroid gland is failing to make. Taking it is analogous to a type I diabetic who needs to replace the insulin her body can't make. Hypothyroid people need to replace the thyroid hormone, and yes... that is a lifelong proposition. But it surely isn't a burdensome one, all things being equal. It can't really be done in an over-the-counter way.

If you have the autoimmune disease which causes thyroid failure - the most common cause of hypothyroidism - you're going to need lifelong replacement no matter what.

I take Armour. The active ingredients, T4 and T3, are identical to those made in labs. Many people find it to be better than synthetic hormone; others can take only the synthetics. Neither one is "more" effective; it all depends on what works for the individual. It's a trial and error thing.

Last edited by midwest1; 05-22-2008 at 07:37 AM.

 
Old 05-22-2008, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Hi Annabee,
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Dec of 06 (same appointment I found out I was pregnant!) and since then have been on various doses of Levothyroxine. Literally every time I go in for my follow-up appt for bloodwork, my dose changes AGAIN. Ohhhhh it is SO frustrating!


Have they tested you for Hashimoto's thyroiditis? If not I would request that they run the TPOAb and TGAb antibody identifiers for Hashimoto's.

And so obviously in the meantime while I'm "waiting" for everything to be regulated and right, I FEEL LIKE CRAAAP. Some days more than others, but in general the symptoms are definitely getting me down lately.
This and the fact that Hashimoto's came on about the same time as your pregnancy really makes me think Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

So far the synthetic replacement pills aren't working out so great, or at all?
Get a copy of your labs and ranges. Let us see where you are normal range versus optimal are two totally different things for most MDs. Also if you are not balanced in your levels you may have a conversion issue and need T3 or adrenal support depending on the source of your imbalance. Thyroids are tricky buggers and they tie into one of the most complex systems of your body. IMO Managing a dysfunctional endocrine system requires close monitoring of your levels and your MDs care regime.

I am curious if anyone has had experience with a natural approach to treating/supporting hypothyroidism??

Technically LevoT and synthroid and Armour are all natural hormonal supplementation methods. You are replacing a natural substance the your body needs because it is deficient or unable to keep up with demands. If this hypoT condition has continued 12 months post pregnancy you are most likely hypoT for life. I am suspecting Hashimoto's thyroiditis induced hypoT. You will not be able to make up for a lack of T4/T3 in your system with just mineral and vitamin supplements alone. You can tweak your balance and optimize your blood chemistry.. but if your body has lost the capacity to produce thyroxine and thus T3 and T2 and T1 so forth down the line.. then you must supplement that lost capability with T4 or a T4/T3 combination. Two out of three patients need some T3 supplementation to get balanced. You maybe in that majority and no matter how much T4 they give you.. you will not balance on it.

I have done some research, and it seems the longer I stay on Levo, the higher the chance I will become dependent on it for life, as my thyroid will slowly stop all its natural function. I do not see it as a dependency. You are not addicted to a foreign substance you are dependent on have X amount of T4 and T3 and T2 and T1 in your system for metabolic function. The longer you are on thyroid supplements the more likely it is due to permanent failure of the thyroid gland versus a temporary non-autoimmune viral thyroiditis flare.

So... Anyone taking any natural replacements? Or anyone opting for a Naturopath versus an MD, or maybe both? Anyone have any input on homeopathic help, or supplements??
Some of my symptoms include MOOOOD SWINGS!!, anxiety, weight gain that WONT go away, tired, forgetful, hard to concentrate at times, miserable menstral cycles, profound anemia, hair loss, the list goes on and on..


You sound like your levels are off and with out seeing your blood work i can not give you more specific information. Taking supplements with out a reason can induce toxicity issues. So if you are looking into certian supplements, make sure you need them first.

I am Hashimoto's, Graves, Adrenal insufficient, Hashimoto's encephalopathy, vit D deficient, Low B12..and have been low ferritin. UGH! That just looks nasty. Okay I take the following supplements:
1000 mg Fish oil with DHA and EPA - cholesterol and triglyceride support, immune support
vitamin E for immune support
400 mg Magnesium for the myopathy issues I have (muscle pain and cramps)
super B complex - for migraines, mental function, pernicious anemia, immune support
active multivitamin with iodine and selenium - general blood chemistry balance
Viactive - 4 - vitamin D deficiency and Ca support due to steroidal adrenal supplementation
DHEA Sulfate - For mood swings and such.. turns out those symptoms were adrenal insufficiency.. I no longer need this one

Humm.... what else?? The prescriptions:
Synthroid, Hydrocortisone, Nexium, Dynex, Zrytec, Prednisone as needed, 81 mg aspirin, naproxen sodium as needed, Ponaris nasal oil and saline sinus rinses.. Max Air inhaler as needed, PINDOLOL (almost forgot that one), Elidel, Metrogel, two steriodal creams.. bunch of OTC creams as well..

I went to the specialists and verified my need through blood chemistry and check my blood chemistry every 3 months to make sure that my minerals and such are inbalance and I am not over doing the supplements. My thyroid state I am still trying to regulate on meds. I am looking at getting a TT done and thus I will start the regulation mess all over again. But right now with Graves and Hashimoto's antibodies working at cross purposes I have not been able and doubt I will be able to become regulated with out getting rid of my thyroid.

I WOULD SO APPRECIATE ANY INSIGHT/EXPERIENCES with a natural approach. I just feel that it is time to be more proactive about my health, my hypoT, and perhaps ditch the Dr for a new one, as he is not a fan of listening to me talk about whats going on with my body (and he doesn't believe anxiety and hypoT have ANYTHING to do with one another-all it takes is a google search to figure that one out!!)

I went through five MDums before finding my MDo. My MD is an internal medicine specialist that works with an integrative care practice. So she is trained traditionally but is willing to think outside the proverbial box and treat her patients as individuals.

Thank you for listening you guys, and if anyone has anything to say on the matter, i am alll ears!!! Your welcome. We can help you more if you get a copy of your lab work.. go back all the way to your pregnancy thyroid blood work. I want to see if this MD is testing you and looking at the WHOLE thyroid picture. I am betting you have a TSH watcher or a TSH T4 only watcher. i may be wrong, but if symptoms do not matter, be is definitely not going to treat you optimally. Make sure you post the value and range for that value. Also look into my thyroid care and concerns posts.. especially week 2. It may just give you a leg up on your MD.

MG
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:13 AM   #6
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

I might add that if you are diagnosed as anemic, as you stated, getting that addressed will do wonders for how you are feeling. It won't take care of all your symptoms, but it can cross many off your list.

 
Old 05-22-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Thank you so much for your input! I truly do appreciate it, this disease often feels very lonely so these boards are a great relief!
Midwest, it's really not that I fear getting "hooked," I just wish there was more I could do, that my body could be more efficient and heal and do it's "job" without relying permantly on anything else outside of itself to do so. For me accepting that this is lifelong is just hard, I want to "fix" it, but I guess there really is no fixing it, not in the sense of reversing it I mean.
Sue- I do need to address my anemia!! I have pushed that aside since learning about the hypothyroidism (I was diagnosed as profoundly iron deficient about 2 years before the hypoT). I took iron pills religiously, but AHH they are so rough on the tummy!! I ended up finding some that were gentler than most, but it's been so long I've forgotten the brand.. Anyone have any knowledge on that?
MG, thank you for your thoroughness I have an appt next week, and I will definitely be posting the lab results, and previous ones too! Ohh I'm kind of excited about that! I would LOVE to hear feedback! My dr. never really goes into much detail, just changes the dosage yet again. I will also request the TPOAb and TGAb antibody identifiers as you suggested. Maybe even see what my dr. thinks about Armour?
I was not aware of the possiblity of toxity, (scary stuff) so I will DIFINITELY check with the dr about what kinds of things/ how much to supplement before I fill my bag in the health store haha!!
I found the following in some of my own research, maybe it will help someone else, or maybe it's old news to all but me
EXTRA BOOSTS Mary Shomon, author of Living Well with Hypothyroidism (Collins, 2005), suggests these additional steps:
Take a multivitamin. We suggest Thyro-Max Support by Country Life, which includes B complex for energy metabolism, as well as zinc, selenium, and tyrosine.
Try a mixed fatty acid supplement. A good one is Udo's Oil 3𡑱 Blend by Udo's Choice to treat dry skin, hair, or eyes.
Change your diet.
Cut down on sugar and white flour, and eat lots of vegetables, olive and fish oils, and low-fat protein.
Avoid raw cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower and concentrated soy shakes and supplements can disrupt thyroid function.
Boost your metabolism. Try resistance exercise such as weightlifting or Pilates.
Get adequate sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours.
Also, try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to reduce stress.
Thanks again! If I'm not on here again before hand, then everybody enjoy Memorial Day weekend!!!!
Anna

 
Old 05-22-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Natural Approach-hypoT, anyone?

Look at the second to last page on my week 6 care and concerns post Anna. It goes into detail on the conversion and synthesis of T4 and T3 in our bodies. The facts you dug up are there and why! I was amused you came up with it.. we must have sync'd the brain for a bit.

Have a great holiday. My son brought home a tummy bug to share, so at least the constipation isn't an issue right now.

MG
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