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Adverse Maca reaction - related to thyroid disorder???

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Old 04-01-2007, 08:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Grass Valley, CA, USA
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kima1962 HB User
Adverse Maca reaction - related to thyroid disorder???

I have recently tried maca and have had adverse effects from this supplement. I still haven't been able to understand why, although I plan I seeing my primary care physician soon to get at the root of this issue. I wanted to try maca for perimenopause symptoms. I thought I was perimenopausal (I'm 44) because of things like: fatigue/brainfog/depression/irritability/menstral lapses/etc... .but after searching as many sites as possible on the web, I'm thinking my reaction is because of either an autoimmune disorder or adrenal fatigue, or hypothyroidism (?). I also probably have chronic fatique, Epstein-Barr and fibromyalgia, as I present with most of the symptons related to these conditions (Geez, I am sounding more and more pathetic!). Anyway, here is my experience with the maca:
I took my first 2 pills of 500 mg each on the afternoon day one. That evening I noticed my lymph glands were tender, but didn't think too much about it. On day two, I took 2 500 mg in A.M., and 2 500 mg at noon. By that evening, my lymph nodes were extremely sore and swollen. I began doing web research, and found VERY FEW sites that mentions the potential adverse effects of maca...every site seems to say there are none! I immediately stopped taking the maca, and after about 24 hours the tenderness went away. I am still searching for the answer as to why I had this contraindication. I would also like to somehow make others aware that this is not necessarily a supplement without adverse effects...there should be a warning somewhere, and information as to what to do if someone were to have the negative results that I had.
Has anyone else had the same reaction (swollen glands in their neck) after taking maca? And if so, what was discovered as to the reason so I can request a test for the same thing rather than go through more testing than I may need. Note: In what may be related (?), I had a few fainting spells about a year ago, with no answer as to why (even had to go to ER the first time, as I hit my head pretty hard when I passed out), also for over a year now I have had intense cravings for kosher salt and eat it on an almost daily basis. Additionaly, I have had anemia in the last eight months, and went through ALL KINDS of hospital tests with no conclusion as to the cause (my "specialist" thought I was bleeding internally because of the high volume of blood loss, and concluded that I must have healed on my own when my iron levels spontaneously went back up).
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you have had the swollen lymph nodes in relation to the maca, (or any high iodine/glucosinolate type supplement), and what the root cause was. My doctor appointment (this time around!) is in a few weeks and I'd like to be as prepared as possible so the right testing can be ordered.


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Old 04-01-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: Adverse Maca reaction - related to thyroid disorder???

I have no experience with maca, but I have had an otherwise abnormal reaction to flaxseed. The likely cause was a faulty thyroid. You may think that that's unrelated to your question, but when your thyroid isn't working right, anything can happen.

A few months before I discovered my low thyroid trouble, I began eating 2 tablespoons of flaxseed daily to lower borderline high cholesterol and for general health benefits. Within one month, I was suffering extreme confusion and other detrimental neurological effects, irritability, personality changes, etc. My thinking was far too disordered to connect these things with the flax. Luckily, I ran out of seed after a month and was too ill to even think of going shopping to buy more. Within 3 days of not eating it, I began to recover. Within a few weeks, my thyroid problem was diagnosed, and I learned about goitrogens and low thyroid function.

My theory is that the goitrogenic effect of the flax caused my already weak thyroid to fail completely, causing the disabling symptoms. No matter what "herbal" supplements you take, any of them can affect your thyroid function, no matter if the literature says they can cause goiter or not.

Exactly like you, I had thought that my brain fog and concentration issues were due to menopause. It turned out they weren't. They all cleared up after my thyroid levels became optimal. I would pursue that angle, if I were you, because you can't change menopause... but you darned well can improve your thyroid levels. If that's the real cause of your symptoms, they will improve.

Be aware that your MD might be as ignorant as my original PCP was. He only tested my thyroid at my firm insistence; when TSH turned up suspect, he refused to recognize it. I had to take it into my own hands to find an MD more knowledgeable about thyroid disorders to get treatment. Never take "your're normal" as the final verdict, and always get your own hard copy of lab results and learn to interpret them. Thyroid sufferers are among the most ill-served and abused of all patients.

Old 04-01-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Grass Valley, CA, USA
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kima1962 HB User
Re: Adverse Maca reaction - related to thyroid disorder???

Thank you, it's good to know I'm not crazy or imagining any of this!

Old 04-01-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 91
meisha HB User
Re: Adverse Maca reaction - related to thyroid disorder???

Are there any other herbal supplements that someone with a possible thyroid condition should avoid? I was taking Beta-Mannin for several months for abnormal paps and like to drink herbal teas occasionally. I just want to be careful to not scew any test results since I am still trying to get a diagnosis. Also, I take lexapro (SSRI) and Trazodone to sleep.

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