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    Old 03-22-2007, 01:41 PM   #1
    Leela_C
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    "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Hi all. I have a bit of a dilemma. I have thought for a while now that there has been something wrong with my thyroid. A year or so ago I thought I was hyper (fast heart rate, weight loss), but now I think I'm hypo (slow heart rate, weight gain, hoarse voice, dry skin). I have also been lightheaded for 4 years and no one can tell me why. I have nodules that were found 4 years ago, but aren't cancerous. I also have a family history. My aunt had thyroid cancer and hers taken out, and my mom is hypoT.

    I have recently started seeing an MD who takes more of a holistic approach. She is real into anti-aging and bio-identical hormones. She immediately put me on natural progesterone because of my PCOS. She has been trying different supplements with me to try to get me to feel better. Nothing is working. On my first visit she said my thyroid labs (TSH and T4) were still in "normal" ranges, but not where she likes to see them. She said my thyroid is definitely slowing down, but she didn't want to treat it yet. (I meant to get a copy of the labs yesterday so I could post on here, but I forgot to. I will get them when I go back in 2 weeks.) Well yesterday she told me she thinks she needs to treat my thyroid. She is trying me on a "holistic remedy" for two weeks and if that doesn't help, she will start me on bio-identical thyroid hormone. She said she will start with a real low dose and work up every two weeks if needed. As I was leaving, however, she said "now, when you start the real thyroid meds, if you feel ANY chest pain, you need to go to the emergency room immediately". Well, that scared me to death. I suffer from anxiety, so I'm sure I will have chest pain if I start taking the thyroid meds. I'm one of those that reads about a side effect and then gets it! She said this homeopathic remedy shouldn't do anything to me, so I'm not as scared to take that. So now I don't know if I want to try the real stuff in two weeks???? Opinions?

    Also, I posted the other day about my physical with my regular PCP and how she won't do the free Ts and the antibody tests. She did, however, send me for an ultrasound because she said my thyroid is extremely enlarged. I have had a thyroid us before, and I don't remember them having to cover as much of my neck as they did today, so it must be enlarged. She was all the way down by my collarbone! Maybe that is normal, but I don't remember my last ultrasound being that way. It also hurt slightly and made me want to gag when she was pressing on the middle of my throat. I go back to my PCP April 6th to get the results of the ultrasound.

    I have felt so miserable for so long, I just want some answers. But I also don't want to take any meds that might kill me. I don't know what to do! Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

     
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    Old 03-22-2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    I'm not sure why she thinks the thyroid meds would give you chest pain. That may be a side effect, not even sure, but I don't think its very common. You can actaully do your heart more harm if your thyroid is out of whack and you DON'T take meds.

    As far as the other stuff she gave you I'd be very careful especially if it has any kelp or seaweed type product in it. If you have antibodies (and it sounds like you might) then you have an autoimmune thyroid disorder and seaweed type products can actually make the condition worse not better. If you have the stuff, look on the label and tell us whats in it.

    I personally wouldn't take it. What's the point anyway if she is putting you on "real" thyroid meds?

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 04:41 AM   #3
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Thanks for the post dea45! I will have to see what is in the holistic remedy she gave me. I haven't started taking it yet, and I don't know if I will. But for whatever reason, she did want me to try it before giving me the "real" thyroid meds.

    Thanks for also letting me know about the seaweed and kelp. I have suspected for a while that I do have antibodies, even though my docs REFUSE to test for them. I take another supplement called "Food of Life" because I don't eat vegetables. I think it may have seaweed in it. I will definitely have to check.

    As far as the chest pain, I don't know why she said that. Maybe she doesn't really know if my thyroid is out of whack since my TSH is "in range" and thinks that if we speed it up it might cause heart problems. My heart rate during the day stays around 60 (however, it can go up to 90-100 while I'm getting ready in the mornings...very strange, I know) so I doubt it will speed it up that much. She just really scared me with that statement. She said she will start me on 19 micrograms of whatever this bio-identical thyroid hormone is. She doesn't like the synthetics. I am going to research as much as I can in the next two weeks. I just want to feel better so badly I will try just about anything!!!!

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    I have a goiter and a pretty large nodule in my thyroid (2.8cm). I went through all the tests and it's benign, just big. My endo wanted to put me on Synthroid, saying there's a 50/50 shot that it might shrink the nodule. Or it might not. I feel ok (slight anxiety and brain fog - but that could also be due to my working a f/t job and having 3 little kids), my levels are good, and I just didn't want to mess with medication. So I opted to not take it.

    I saw my naturopath and asked her what she thought. She has me taking 2-3 drops of fucus in a large glass of water every day. I didn't notice any change untiil about a month after starting it. My brain fog has gone away and I have more energy. I'm also taking a couple other homeopathic things (for different reasons than thyroid issues), so maybe they're working in conjunction with each other.

    But I feel good again.

    I'd say to give the homeopathic remedy a shot. I use homeopathic stuff almost exclusively now. I've found that for me, they work better than anything the doctor has given me.

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    I'd give it a shot IF it didn't have seaweed type stuff or iodine in it because IF you have antibodies you don't want to make things worse. Read the label carefully...if it has one.

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 02:42 PM   #6
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Many holistic MD's are just the thing for thyroid disorders, but IMO she has not yet done the best tests for thyroid problems. You need at least an FT3, FT4, and a TSH. Again, IMO, most people feel best when there is a good balance of the FT3, and FT4. When she says "normal" what does she mean? Does that mean in the "normal range", or what is normal for you? A good example is a "normal" range of women's shoes, that's a size 5 1/2 - 10. However if you wear a size 6 1/2 you would be uncomfortable if you were fit in a size 8. Yet a size 8 is still a "normal" size shoe. Thyroid treatment is usually filled with trial and error, various dosages of meds., and sometimes even various types of medications until you find the right "fit" for you individually. "Normal' can mean many things, your doctor's job is to help you find the best "normal" for you.

    It is unlikely that you will have severe chest pains, while you are trying to determine the proper dosage of medications. It does happen but very rarely, especially if your start on a low dosage and increase gradually until you find the right level. If you are concerned about what treatment your doctor is suggesting, insist that she explain more fully until you are comfortable with what she is planning to do. If you are still uncomfortable, or hesitant, get a 2nd opinion with another doctor until you are sure of what treatment you will be taking, the side effects and what to expect in terms of benefits or symptoms you need to watch for. Your public library is probably a wealth of information and knowledge for you to understand further about thyroid disorders. One of the best books out there is "Thyroids for Dummies". The more informed you are the better you will be able to make decisions about your thyroid health.

    Best of luck to you!

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Maple View Post
    A good example is a "normal" range of women's shoes, that's a size 5 1/2 - 10. However if you wear a size 6 1/2 you would be uncomfortable if you were fit in a size 8. Yet a size 8 is still a "normal" size shoe.

    Great example here Red , love it.
    I just hate it when a dr uses the term normal when referring to the thyroid.

     
    Old 03-26-2007, 09:20 AM   #8
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    I have a message into my doctor's office to get the lab results. I will post them when I get them. However, she only tested TSH and T4. Neither that doctor (the holistic one) or my PCP will test free Ts and antibodies. I have an enlarged thyroid, symptoms and a family history and they still won't test! I had another post about that last week. It really makes me mad!

    The "holistic remedy" is called Thyroidea compositum and it is made by Heel. I'll post the ingredients below if anyone is interested, but I have no clue what this stuff is. I can't even find anything about it online. Apparently it is made in Germany. I took one this morning, but I don't know if I'm going to take anymore. For whatever reason she wanted me to try this first. My regular PCP doesn't think my thyroid needs to be treated at all, so I have two different docs that think two different things. Like I said, I will post my levels when they call me back. The people on this board seem to know more than any of my doctors do anyway!!!!

    Thyroidea compositum - Heel.
    Each 300mg tablet contains as active ingredients: Sarcolacticum acidium 3X, Viscum album 3X, Colchicum autumnale 4X, Conium maculatum 4X, Galium aparine 4X, Fucus vesiculosus 6X, Sedum acre 6X, Sempervivum tectorum 6X, ATP 8X, Fumaricum acidum 8X, a - Ketoglutaricum acidum 8X, Malicum acidum 8X, Natrum oxalaceticum 8X, Pineal gland suis 8X, Pulsatilla 8X, Spingia tosta 8C, Thyreoidea suis 8X, Calcarea fluorica 10X, Funiculus umbilicalis suis 10X, Hepar suis 10X, Medulla ossis suis 10X, Splen suis 10X, Sulphur 10X, Thymus suis 10X, Cortisone aceticum 28X 3mg each in a lactose base. Inactive ingredients: Lactose, Magnesium stearate. (1X=1:10 dilution, 2X=1:100, 3X=1:1000, etc.)

     
    Old 03-26-2007, 10:23 AM   #9
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    My doctor is homeopathic and has a medical degree as well. I've used a few homeopathic remedies and have found they generally work, but work rather slowly. That said, my doctor never bothered to give me a remedy for my Hashimoto's; instead he went straight to Armour. I don't know his feelings on this for sure, but I think if I'd ask him, he would say that an already failing gland can't be spurred much into action... that a weak one might, but not one half dead from Hashi's.

    The remedy you describe seems to be a combination of homeopathic meds in varying dilutions. I don't recognize any of them to be iodine, but don't feel totally comfortable saying for sure. One thing I do feel comfortable saying is that it's a very gentle medicine that probably won't make you any worse, and given enough time, it could make you better... although, if you have Hashi's [as a strong family history would suggest], it probably won't work forever. Those antibodies are going to shrivel up that gland eventually.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 03-26-2007, 02:53 PM   #10
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    OK, I finally got a call back and here are my numbers:

    TSH 1.55 (0.40-5.50)
    T3 3.18 (2.30-4.20)

    Those numbers seem OK to me. So now I don't see why she wants to treat me. What do you "experts" think? When the labs first came back, all she said was that my thyroid was "slowing". My main symptom is the low heart rate and she doesn't know what is causing it. In case I haven't mentioned it, I have had thorough testing by a cardiologist and last year my rate was real fast, now it is real slow, and he keeps telling me nothing is wrong. Yeah, right. My other symptoms are hoarse voice, dry skin, fatigue and of course, the extremely enlarged thyroid.

    My regular PCP ran TSH and T4 last week at my physical and sent me for an ultrasound. She thinks my thyroid is fine and refuses to run the frees and the antibodies. I go on April 6th to get the results of those tests.

    So after seeing those numbers above, I'm wondering if I do need thyroid treatment? I just don't understand how I can feel so horrible and have good numbers. I give up!!!!

     
    Old 03-27-2007, 06:14 AM   #11
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leela_C View Post
    OK, I finally got a call back and here are my numbers:

    TSH 1.55 (0.40-5.50)
    T3 3.18 (2.30-4.20)

    So after seeing those numbers above, I'm wondering if I do need thyroid treatment? I just don't understand how I can feel so horrible and have good numbers. I give up!!!!

    You can have "good" numbers and still feel horrible if you have antibodies present.

    Your numbers though not real bad tell a little. The T3 is actually below mid range. This could indicate you are not getting enough hormone. The TSH though within range at 1.55 is inching close to 2. Anything above 2 with symptoms is suspect for a thyroid problem. The lab ranges are old, the new ones stop I believe at 3 (Midwest is that correct??) Labs just don't bother to update their ranges.
    I suspect you have antibodies since you have an enlarged thyroid, symptoms and fairly "normal" looking labs, though the two they did don't tell a lot.
    Be sure to post the results from the pcp when you get those.

     
    Old 03-27-2007, 10:34 AM   #12
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    The homeopathic remedy that my naturopath gave me is not a cure for my nodule, but she said it's to support my thyroid, help keep it healthy and working. It's possible that that's what yours is for too, to support it and keep it healthy.

    She described it to me like this: When we have a cold, we take extra vitamin C. The vitamin C doesn't cure the cold, it just supports our body and helps it fight it.

    The same can be said about the remedy she gave you, is my guess. It's not going to cure your problem, but help your thyroid work properly.

     
    Old 03-27-2007, 12:39 PM   #13
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Dea, the shoe size example is great isn't it! I'd love to claim it as my own, but actually, I stole it from midwest. It is such a great example of how "normal" can mean different things to different people. Thyroid disorders are just so darn individual to each of us, that finding just the right treatment can be challenging. I wish it was like strep throat or something, pop a few antibiotics for a few days and poof--we're fine again!

     
    Old 03-27-2007, 03:58 PM   #14
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red Maple View Post
    I wish it was like strep throat or something, pop a few antibiotics for a few days and poof--we're fine again!
    You said it there. Wouldn't that be nice? Poof, its gone, how nice that would be.
    Its true how individual it is and so sad how little some drs know about it.

     
    Old 04-12-2007, 12:55 PM   #15
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    Re: "Holistic" MD wants to treat

    Hi! I am new to this board and have had Graves' for the past 7 years and also have TED. I recently have decided to try homeopathic/alternative medicine to treat my thyroid disorder. I do not believe that radioactive iodine is an appropriate treatment for me,which is what my endo has been pushing me to have done.

    I have been seeing a practioner trained in homeopathic/chinese medicine. He also practices acupuncture,acupressure and massage. He is also licensed to practice chiropractic.

    I have recently started taking homeopathic medications, specifically galium-heel and coenzyme compositum. He is wanting me to start taking thyroidea compositum, which is why I have replied to this posting. I have decided to try this course of treatment and see how it works for me. I would like to encourage leela-c to follow what she feels is best for herself but also be informed about her treatment and research all she can. I will start another posting and discuss my situation further. I plan to post how my treatment is progressing so others may decide if they may benefit from this course of treatment.

    Best wishes to you leela-c as I know this can be a very frustrating, confusing and exhausting disorder to live with. I hope that if you choose to try this treatment, we can share our thoughts, experiences and provide support for each other.

    Respectfully,
    Still searchin

     
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