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Old 01-24-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Has anyone had experience with taking these herbs for Hypothyroidism?
• Ashwagandha
• Fucus vesiculosis -Also called Bladderwrack or kelp.
• Avena sativa -This is derived from the wild oat plant.
• Coleus forskohlii - Ayurvedic (Indian) remedy

I have been on meds for hypothyroidism since 2005 and am looking for the cause and solution on multiple levels. I've been wondering about Herbs for some time since they seem, to me, to be the closest thing to a 'natural' remedy and hopefully they would be well accepted by the body.

Percyfaith

 
Old 01-25-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Quote:
I have been on meds for hypothyroidism since 2005 and am looking for the cause and solution on multiple levels.
The "cause" in industrial nations is most frequently the autoimmune destruction of thyroid gland tissue by auto-antibodies. There is no cure for that, herbal or otherwise. The only solution to the shortage of thyroid hormone due to a destroyed gland is replacement of that hormone via a pharmaceutical-grade synthetic or natural thyroid product.

I can't comment personally on the herbs you've asked about. But if you've been taking replacement for over 3 years and have yet to find total relief of your hypoT symptoms, you should assume that you aren't being optimally treated for it. That's vastly more common than you might ever believe. Make sure your free T4 and free T3 are within the upper third of their lab ranges. If your MD tests only your TSH to determine your best dose and doesn't know the importance of FT4/3 levels, that's the likely reason you're still looking for total relief.

Even optimally treated hypoT patients can benefit from complementary alternative treatments, though. Check out the book Living Well With Hypothyroidism for a list of alternatives that have been helpful for some.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

I've not heard of those herbs, but have to agree with Midwest regarding herbs and thyroid treatment. If you have been experimenting with herbs since 2005 to no avail, i do believe it's time to get some actual thyroid treatment from either synthetic or natural pharmaceutical drugs.

I do believe in herbs and have visited a naturopath who has helped me regulate my menstrual cycle via herbs, but i had to resort to an actual doctor for my Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I've had abnormal hair shedding which is associated with my thyroid so that is another reason why i didn't want to wait years for herbs to maybe/not do something which drugs could do much sooner, especially as there are some "natural" thyroid drugs available which i believe come from pigs hormones.

 
Old 01-31-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

I believe the "natural thyroid" product Audrey-B is referring to is Armour Thyroid, and it is a thyroid replacement therapy available only by Rx. It is made from pigs, from pig's thyroid hormones. Most doctors use this information to discourage you from wanting it, if you ask them and the levels of T3 and T4 in pigs is slightly different than ours but close. However, Armour thyroid is what was used for nearly 100 years until the makers of synthroid funded and published the research that provides "overwhelming" support for synthroid. (Imagine that a company funding and publishing research to support their product over another....)

You should also realize that for many, many years pig insulin was the standard for treating diabetic patients. And if you ever need a lung transplant it will most likely come from a pig - it's where the doctors have had the most success in lung transplant. And the estrogen you may be taking may have come from horse urine. So, choose carefully where you get squirmish and know "they" use information according to their finances.

I'm taking synthroid and have Hashimoto's toxichosis. I am blessed to have found a good endo that let's me add vitamins and herbs. The vitamins didn't phase her, but with the herbs she asks for a reason and I give the research I've done along with the symptoms I'm having that are supposed to be improved by that particular herb....and I stick to more proven herbs. There's a couple of things I've done first and told her later but I was very sure of my research and I still discussed it with her and gave her my info. I'm also adding things so they coincide with my blood work - in other words I'll wait till I have the next blood work before adding anything more. This also gives me time to make my research complete.

My suggestion is that if you want to explore alternative treatments find a doctor that is supportive of that idea. One that will do the blood work and can give guidance on what you're doing. Even if they have to do a little homework themselves. (I don't like arrogant doctors! We are ALL still learning.)

By the way, my vitamins - A, C, E combo for immune and eyes; B Complex for energy, stamina, and vitamin absorption; a low D for vitamin/mineral absorption; Biotin -for my hair; Selinium for heart rhythm and immune antibody reduction (I hope); Calcium and Magnesium in 2/1 proportion for muscle cramps and general muscle health.

I only am taking two herbs right now - Evening Primrose Oil for hormone balance and migraines - although it can make a possitive contribution for Cholesterol control, but I don't have that issue. And I recently added Maca for hormone balance and my hair. There are a couple of others I'm looking at but haven't complete my home work to a comfortable level to add them here. They are not any that you mentioned.

I take them with my evening meal for best absorption this also avoids conflict with my Synthroid in the morning.

Don't just take my word for something - do your own home work on anything anyone tells you. You need to know - The best person to speak for you and your health is you!

 
Old 02-01-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

PandaBear777 ---What were those more proven herbs you have you taken?
I have considered Maca and have just begun a product called BioSil to try and help my hair loss. I am aiming for 1/1 proportion of Calcium and Magnesium. I take Evening Primrose Oil with a Woman’s Omega Oil product.
Here are a few of the things I am working on:

What I am doing to help heal my Hypothyroidism:

In general eating a healthy low to moderate carb diet, whole grains, organic, with more raw and natural and less processed foods, getting more exercise, getting more sleep and taking in consistent learning and stress reduction from Bible Doctrine Studies.

• Taking Armour Thyroid 45 mg was on 30 mg of Armour with Synthroid .050mg June to October of 08. I take my meds very early morning and wait at least 1 hour before I eat breakfast. I work to keep supplements 4 hours away from the meds. 4 hours before and 4 hours after.
• Taking Thyroid Helper from Wellness Resources
• I was also taking Himalaya Pure Herbs brand of Ashwagandha for a while but I’ve not reorder that since I think that might have been a factor in my going Hyper recently --Thyroid Helper has Ashwagandha in it as well.
• Avoiding certain foods Cruciferous Veggies (unless cooked), walnuts, peanuts & soy - specifically TSP (textured soy protein) and tofu. Fermented Soy seems to be OK.
• Considering my iodine intake (Would like to have Iodine level checked)
current Recommended Dietary Allowance* for iodine is 150 mcg/g
Would want to get thyroid hormone levels optimal (Frees in the upper part of the range) before attempting to add iodine.
• Considering I might have Food Allergies or a Gluten intolerance
• Using Better oils Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive, (limited butter)
• Increasing Vit D (Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte) and getting more natural sunlight. Also good for mood and Joints. I had tested a little low on D.
• Looking for ways to avoid Fluoride - (In Toothpaste, drinking water etc.)
Whole house filter wanted and Reverse Osmosis equipment
Changing to Organic White and herbal teas in limited amounts ( I had been drinking a lot of teas especially green that I thought was healthy for me.)

Considering taking these Herbs :
• Ashwagandha
• Fucus vesiculosis -Also called Bladderwrack or kelp.
• Avena sativa -This is derived from the wild oat plant.
• Coleus forskohlii - Ayurvedic (Indian) remedy
• Researching Wilson’s Syndrome:
I think my Past intense cravings for sweets was caused by Hypothyroidism and I am curious about Wilson’s Syndrome.
• Use a Health care professional who uses Armour; routinely check the Free values instead of just TSH and someone who realizes thyroid and adrenals often need to be addressed together.
It's good to remember that good doctoring is said to be
85% patient history,
10% clinical presentation
and 5% labs.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-01-2009 at 08:28 PM. Reason: product names are allowed - websites are not - please read the posting rules

 
Old 02-01-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Midwest1

Don't have Hashimoto's--
I will look to tweak T4 and free T3. Living Well With Hypothyroidism and have read a lot of Mary Shomon’s advise.
I like a lot of what she has to say.

Appreciate what you and PandaBear777 have shared

 
Old 02-01-2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Sorry to re repeating a bit --- new to the posting here.
I hope my hypothyroidism is transient and related to peri menopause. I don’t have Hashimoto’s and test for antibodies came back negative. I will deal with Hypothyroidism but will continue to look for a cure. My faith tilts me toward faith and the impossible. I am very inquisitive and very curious and I like to research so while I am not medically academically astute, I love medicine and alternative treatments and I am intrigued by good health.
I am currently on Armour Thyroid and have been on Armour Thyroid with Synthroid (Brand name only) and am now considering a compounded alternative that is plant based and time released. Will pursue that new medication with an Integrative Medicine Doctor I am seeing and hope my more conventional endocrinologist doesn’t faint.
Lately I am into some books by Raymond Francis about Weight and Health. I am finding his work profound. Think I will post more on this after I’ve finished my research. I have not been this excited in years. It seems to be bearing witness to a bunch of my research.
Will let you know more about those herbs after I have tried them. I will also report about my project with the compounding pharmacy.

 
Old 02-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #8
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

I respect your enthusiasm for what you consider to be "natural" treatments, so I will not attempt to change your mind about them. But I have some things for you to consider.

The 45 mg dose you've been taking since October is substantially less than the 50 mcgs Synthroid + 30 mgs Armour you had been taking. The sum of the hormones in the combination treatment was roughly equivalent to 87 mcgs of T4-only. The sum of the hormones in 45 mgs of Armour is roughly equivalent to just 55 mcgs of T4-only. You've taken a big hit on your dose, yet are looking to alternative means in an attempt to get a sick gland to make more hormones. You can beat a dead horse real hard, but it isn't likely to move.

If you were an insulin-dependent diabetic, would you try to replace that vital hormone with herbs? Thyroid hormone is the same deal. When there isn't enough of it, and the gland can't make more, you must replace it supplementally. You are hypothyroid because your gland isn't making enough T4/T3 for your body's needs. Armour thyroid contains those same hormones. No herb contains T4/T3.

The dose of Armour you're taking is miniscule. A full replacement dose for a woman is around 120-150 mcgs. If your TSH isn't now near 0, and if your free Ts aren't well within the upper half of their ranges, you need more Armour. No herb contains T4/T3.

There is no "plant-based" alternative that would supply T4/T3 like pig hormone does. Plants don't contain T4/T3... No herb contains T4/T3.

It strongly appears that you simply need more Armour - although I can't say that with complete certainty unless I could see your free T4/T3 results. If it would be possible to eliminate your problems by just taking a higher dose, why would you go to all that expense and lifestyle change without first trying a higher dose?

BTW... You still could have Hashimoto's, even if your antibody tests were negative. Up to 20% of Hashi's sufferers don't test postive in the lab, but a thyroid biopsy would show the cellular changes that define the disease.

Hope you welcome the food for thought.

 
Old 02-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Yes, Thank you! -that's good information- will answer more later.

 
Old 02-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #10
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

I forget now who mentioned sugar cravings, but that can be from an estrogen excess.

The triiodothyronine i take for my T3 could very well be armour. Different countries use different names. I'm not sure what mine is made from, but do know it's not plant based, but is natural, so very likely does come from pig. My prescription digestive enzymes are also made from pigs pancreas. I'm not squeamish at all. If it's going to help me i'll take it gladly.

Percyfaith7 - it's good to see you are on med's for your thyroid, but i'd tend to agree with what midwest suggested, especially as you are already on armour. Getting your doctor to up the dosage of your armour couldn't hurt and then re evaluate how you feel.
herbs, diet, exercise etc is great, but there are things which they simply can't fix. My own doctor believes in 'natural' and 'herbs' too and he'd rather give me natural if it can do the same job as a pharmaceutical medicine, but unfortunately when it comes to the thyroid it can't be done with plant based herbs as plants dont contain the hormones we need or not in the strength we need.

It's not just that you are dealing with the thyroid alone. If your thyroid has been out for a while or is destructing very fast, a heap of other things are likely out of skew, especially your other hormones like estrogen/progesterone/testosterone. The sooner your thyroid gets the help it needs the sooner a lot of these other areas can hopefully self correct.

It's great that you are doing a lot of research as a lot of people simply go by what their doctor says and take it as gospel. it's good to find out new things and see what other people have to say on the matter.

Best of luck

 
Old 02-02-2009, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

PS: just came back to say that the T3 med i'm on, triiodothyronine, is pure T3 and has nothing else in it. I take my thyroxine seperately in tablet form, while my T3 med is in powdered form enclose in a capsule. I thought, like someone mentioned, that maybe it was armour afterall, but it's not.

Too many meds, too many names

 
Old 02-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #12
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Thanks for bring up those ideas. I have so much to learn.
Spring of ’08 I was on 45 mg of Armour Thyroid felt great and had a TSH result of .10 (had been between 1 and 2 for a number of years) early summer I went to hyper symptoms (rapid weight loss and heart palpitation) my TSH was .04 then and I dropped to 30 mg of Armour and my TSH went up to 9.48 and I went on Armour 30 with the 50 mcg of Synthroid and it came back down to 5.43 and then to 1.64 but I began having heart palpitations again and my hair began to fall out and I opted to go back on 45 mg of Armour. I think I feel better on straight Armour. Progesterone (Prometrium) and Vitamin D and Green Tea, sugar and coffee intake also seem to be factors with how I feel and how I think my thyroid is functioning but this is like a complex jigsaw puzzle and I sometimes I can’t seem to know where to begin to match up the pieces. Mix the thyroid with S.A. D. and peri- menopause and I can’t tell what is affecting what. I also measure low body temp with a basil thermometer and have hot and cold sensitivity. I have some brief hot flashes beginning –Had 1 or 2 Periods all of last year, one with prolonged but light bleeding. I have some nagging theories about climate, swimming pool use, melatonion and my progressive tinted eyeglasses also affecting my thyroid.
I digress, thank you for mentioning about the variance of the strength of the 50 mcg of Synthroid vs 15 mg of Armour. I think 60 Mg of Armour might be too much- guess I am concerned about going hyper again. Perhaps I can seek to take that step up of Armour or go back to Armour and Synthroid. I had wanted to add the alternative herbs before adding more drugs. There is something that the compounding pharmacy is suggesting to me as an alternative to Armour. All I remember is the pharmacy consultant said it was a plant based and time released Thyroid replacement. I do not favor any prescription drugs. I don’t think they are safe. And I radically need a lifestyle change. I want to heal from the inside by nutrition, exercise, supplements, detoxing from toxins and spirituality and not just treat symptoms with drugs that I do not have confidence in. Yes, the drugs are needful and necessary until I find a better way. I am thankful for the help they are providing me, but I do not want to be on Thyroid drugs for the rest of my life. I believe that they add harmful unnatural stress on the body.

I will be getting my labs redone soon and will see where I am now and then decide what direction to head.
Thank you for what you shared.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #13
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Now I'm in a hurry and can't go into a lengthy reply.... But I can't go to bed until I address this.
Quote:
I do not want to be on Thyroid drugs for the rest of my life. I believe that they add harmful unnatural stress on the body.
You are mistaken about what Armour and other thyroid preparations are. They are not "drugs" that alter the way the body is supposed to work like statins, allergy meds, toenail fungus cures, antidepressants, etc. do. They are exact duplicates of the same hormones your own gland would make if it could. Your body is meant to have them and can't get along without them.

I am of the very same mind... I will not take the pharmaceutical poisons that are "pushed" in doctors' offices the same way heroine is "pushed" on the streets. But thyroid drugs are far more "natural" than the herbs you favor. Your body isn't meant to have those 4 herbs you originally asked about, or any others, for that matter. But it IS meant to have thyroid hormone.

If your doctor is/was testing only your TSH, it's the wrong way to treat hypoT. He/she MUST watch your free T4/T3 hormone levels in order to achieve the right dose. I think that's where your treatment has gone wrong.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #14
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Thank You for what you shared - all of these thoughts are helping me- I just am endlessly curious about how I became deficient and how to heal.
I believe in being faith based and seeking truth.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not yet seen.
I pray we all receive help for all of our physical challenges.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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Re: Herbs for Hypothyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
Your body isn't meant to have those 4 herbs you originally asked about, or any others, for that matter. But it IS meant to have thyroid hormone.

If your doctor is/was testing only your TSH, it's the wrong way to treat hypoT. He/she MUST watch your free T4/T3 hormone levels in order to achieve the right dose. I think that's where your treatment has gone wrong.
What if those herbs would nourish my own thyroid to function on it's own?

I do have more T4/T3 results, Total, Free, Reverse, Uptake,T7 Free Thyroxine Index etc. but I don't have ideals, ranges or understanding of what they all mean. One other problem is that I have been tested at two different labs. I think their terminology and ranges and standards for things differ so that does not help me understand.
I will come back with current results soon.
Thank you for your response.

 
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