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Thyroid Disorders Message Board
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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Over the counter thyroid supplements

I was told about OTC thyroid supplements recently. I had no idea such a thing existed, but a little peek on Amazon revealed several brands that have thyroid health capsules. All of them have the same main ingredient: L-Tyrosine, which helps the thyroid work properly.

Has anyone here ever tried any of the various brands of thyroid supplements? My TSH is not astoundingly high, and this is why my doctors refuse to medicate me for hypothyroidism. So I would like to take things into my own hands and try these OTC caps, but I'm not blowing money on them if they don't work at all. Some folks who have reviewed the products claim that they would use these supplements when they had bad reactions to prescription meds like Synthroid and Armour.

I'm also to get my TSH re-tested in June to see if it's gone up. Would taking the OTC pills mess with my TSH levels at all? If I am hypo, I'd like to actually get on meds for it, but I'm wondering if I could take thyroid supplements without it affecting my thyroid test results. I've seen the best reviews of the Solaray caps, probably because they also contain iodine.

Has anyone ever used these before? If so, how did they work for you? Did you notice any difference in your symptoms?

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:39 AM   #2
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Re: Over the counter thyroid supplements

I'm sorry you're struggling to find proper treatment. do you have any recent labresults, if so please feel free to share including the reference ranges.

As for the thyroid supplements, I have no knowledge on those in specific a quick google search did learn me that those contain thyroid hormone so that's probably the reason why they might help.
Anyway I'm not knowledgeable on those supplements but I can give you my opinion on supplements for thyroid in general (I'm not talking on supplementing with iron or other deficiencies we might have but I'm talking about selftreating with supplements for thyroid as such).

If we're hypoT, we need thyroid hormone. It's almost as simple as that, we might take stuff to try to masque things, but in the end it will boil down to that, if one lacks thyroid hormone, one needs to supplement with thyroid hormone. If you read on the board, in order to feel good it's important to have the dosage right. We need to get our levels/our body in a good place with the right amount of thyroid hormone. To achieve that blood results are important. I don't belief one can achieve that by selfmedicating with supplements. It's might prolong the process imo.

if it contains thyroid hormone, then yes it will reflect in your blood results and might give the impression that your not hypoT while in reality you are and so on.

hang in there and hope you get to feel better soon

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
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Re: Over the counter thyroid supplements

The products you're finding on Amazon contain only minerals that a healthy gland can turn into hormone. A gland that's damaged enough to reflect a TSH of 6 can't make hormone, no matter how much OTC "support" you throw at it. If your gland has been damaged by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypoT, it's too far gone to boost its performance. Additionally, Hashi's patients usually find that the large amounts of iodine in those boosters make them feel far worse.

Thyroid "glandulars" are usually made in foreign countries from bovine tissue, which raises the possibility of mad cow disease. I wouldn't take that risk.

There are no genuine thyroid supplements sold in the US that legally contain enough actual thyroid hormone to replace what you're missing. Continue trying whatever you must in order to find treatment from a licensed medical doctor.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: Over the counter thyroid supplements

Thank you both for your replies!

lisa789, though midwest1 mentioned it, my last TSH result came back as 5.80. According to my hospital, that is only 0.80 outside the normal range (for them, 0.3 - 5.0 is normal) and my doctor told me that no specialist will treat me when my thyroid function is only slightly abnormal, so I am to get re-tested in June to see if my TSH has gone up. However, I don't know if it needs to go up a certain amount to convince them that I need medication. I know some folks may even have a TSH lower than mine, but might feel normal with it being below 1 or 2. I have a lot of factors working against me, unfortunately, so I don't have the opportunity to constantly go to see doctors. And I'm concerned that if I don't get things sorted out within a couple visits that I simply will have to not bother with medication whatsoever.

From what I've read of these supplements, many of them contain T3 and/or T4. I have no idea if my own T3 and T4 levels are off because I only had TSH levels tested, so I'm not sure if that would benefit me or harm me.

Most of my symptoms I can deal with. It's the fatigue I hate more than anything. I'm 25 and I'm so exhausted all the time. I hate that I have to take a nap every day like an old woman and I just can't enjoy things like I used to because I don't have any energy. I'm guessing that thyroid supplements could probably be used by people already on prescription thyroid meds to improve their symptoms?

I just feel like I'm fighting a losing battle with doctors and I don't want to be tired forever. Is there anything OTC I could take to at least improve my energy levels? Caffeine and B vitamins do not help.

 
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Re: Over the counter thyroid supplements

Hi dark stranger,

I was in your boat about almost 3 years ago with a TSH of 5 and 'borderline' .then it was 7 so they did an antibodies test and it was positive for hashimotos and I was put on a starter dose and had to fight for an increase and find another doc and so on.

Prior to treatment (though I was originally told menopause at 38yo and treated unsuccessfully for that, surprise surprise) I tried every supplement out there I think. I got marginal results using vit D3 (4000ui but I was very low in this) B complex, vit C, iron, selenium, calcium and magnesium. I also took a probiotic and used green juices. I even had to use Tylenol PM which helped with sleep at night and had a secondary benefit to help with my back pain!

I won't lie to you, it wasn't nearly enough and like you I was taking nana naps and waking up tired. It seems like your doc.s will use your TSH to treat you and they are using outdated lab ranges. If you are in need of prompt and correct treatment it would be worth your while finding a doctor or naturopathic MD (a lot of people get good results from these) who treat thyroid by symptoms and Ft4 /FT3.

Have your cortisol (adrenals) checked now before starting thyroid meds as this has totally hindered my own treatment and is something I wish I had known beforehand! I am still taking nana naps! Though have had improvements with other hypo symptoms.

Get iron, ferritin, B12, vit D3 checked also as people with thyroid issues are often low in these. Hope you can get some decent treatment soon, the fatigue is one of the worst symptoms when you are trying to have a life!

 
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