Hypothyroidism

#41
I'm wondering if maybe going off of the synthroid wasn't a big deal for me because I am not all that hypo? I mean, my doc said I wasn't in a zone of much concern to her but enough to where we could try the rx and see if it helped (I had a lot of symptoms at the time). It did help for awhile and she liked where my levels were at but when I said I didn't like the side effects she said I could go without it.

Does this all sound weird, e.taylor? You seem to be a research gal so I figured you might have some insight
 
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#42
e.taylor said:
I'm an armour gal all the way-I hear ya.
Dessicated thyroid is definitely more effective for some individuals! If you feel best taking this drug, then it is the way to go. It was the treatment of choice for hypothyroidism from the turn of the century up until about the late 1960s and some researchers feel that it is the best choice. Armour Thyroid and all other dessicated thyroid preparations contain all forms of the thyroid hormones, including those that are not currently measured (T1 and T2.) Though current research is inconclusive, there is a belief that some individuals may not be able to adequately convert T4 into its active forms at the tissue level and supplementation with these other forms seems to be helpful for them. I do believe that future research will bear this out.
 
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#43
btrflai said:
I'm wondering if maybe going off of the synthroid wasn't a big deal for me because I am not all that hypo? I mean, my doc said I wasn't in a zone of much concern to her but enough to where we could try the rx and see if it helped (I had a lot of symptoms at the time). It did help for awhile and she liked where my levels were at but when I said I didn't like the side effects she said I could go without it.

Does this all sound weird, e.taylor? You seem to be a research gal so I figured you might have some insight
Actually, this is not weird. In my previous post I mentioned that many doctors will not treat a TSH of 4 or 5 (so called subclinical hypothyroidism) but will instead choose to monitor the patient and see where their levels go.

PS - It should always be about how YOU feel! So many physicians get hung up on numbers and forget to treat the patient. My ex family doctor was happy with me at a TSH of 5 even though I was complaining of fatigue all of the time and had gained some weight. As soon as I switched to a new doc, she increased my levothyroxine and I'm feeling better though it looks like the dose will be increased again 'cause my TSH is still 4.
 
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#44
btflai, perhaps the symptoms you were experiencing were more from depression (treatable by the wellbutrin) than thyroid and that is why you did not respond well to synthroid? There is a normal medical range and then there is a range that is normal for YOU. Even if you were borderline high range for TSH doesn't necessarily mean you are hypo.

For someone who is truly hypo there shouldn't be negative side effects of synthroid as long as your dosage is correct. The 'side effects' should be positive.
 
#46
I have yet to get down to Costco or a regular store to get me some vitamins. I've added a lot more exercise to my daily routine and it's helped the teensiest bit.

At my last visit to the Endo, they said I could possibly be Vitamin D deficient. They never mentioned anything about B12, but maybe they haven't been screening for it?? Not sure.

So I will definitely get down to the store this weekend for sure to pick up some B12 and D vitamins. I'll start taking them asap and let you know if I see an improvement.

Even with the change in diet and adding a ton more exercise to my daily routine. I've only managed to drop 5 lbs.
This SUCKS! Before all my thyroid issues, it was always quite easy for me to drop weight. Now I can't seem to drop weight at all.
 
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#47
LORRISSEY said:
I have yet to get down to Costco or a regular store to get me some vitamins. I've added a lot more exercise to my daily routine and it's helped the teensiest bit.

At my last visit to the Endo, they said I could possibly be Vitamin D deficient. They never mentioned anything about B12, but maybe they haven't been screening for it?? Not sure.

So I will definitely get down to the store this weekend for sure to pick up some B12 and D vitamins. I'll start taking them asap and let you know if I see an improvement.

Even with the change in diet and adding a ton more exercise to my daily routine. I've only managed to drop 5 lbs.
This SUCKS! Before all my thyroid issues, it was always quite easy for me to drop weight. Now I can't seem to drop weight at all.
Lorrissey, I'm in the same boat. At one point my TSH was 17!and I felt horrible - tired, depressed and I had gained almost 20lbs. My Dr. accused me of not taking my meds, which was not true - I was taking them daily - the only difference was that she switched me from levothyroxine to synthroid. There are a host of issues with synthroid, which I wont get into unless someone wants to know, but I do think it was the synthroid. I was put back on Levothyroxine at a higher dose and started to do better, though not great.

Most (if not all North Americans) are D vitamin deficient. Every doctor I work with takes 1000 iu (international units) daily. Another supplement you should consider is fish oil capsules. Ongoing clinical trials investigating the role of omega 3-6-9 fatty acids found in fish oil capsules (preferably cold pressed salmon oil) have shown some improvement in the regulation of low moods, ocd, fatigue and autoimmune diseases. If you are supplementing Omega acids, it's better to do it with fish oils vs flaxseed 'cause fish oils are complete (all three acids together) and there is some evidence suggesting better absorption. I take 1000 iu vit D and 3 fish oil caps daily. I feel much better with this combo and I notice a difference when I miss taking my fish oil for a couple of days so I try and take those daily with breakfast.

PS - If you are interested in the role of food in health/wellness and best weight loss practices, I highly recommend a publication called Nutrition Action Health Letter published by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest. This was originally recommended to me by one of the Registered Dieticians at work and it is very informative. This publication examines all of the latest research an debunks myths related to health and wellness - it is not preachy or scientifically highbrow, just looks at research and explains it in plain language. It is really helpful for anyone interested in living a healthy lifestyle.
 
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e.taylor

The Black Orlov
#48
well, a lot of studies are showing (and this has been written up in psych journals) that depression/anxiety often has inflammation at the root of the issue. Omega 3 fatty acids specifically are anti-inflammatory. I generally don't support the 6-9 portion just because those are available in excess in most modern diets. It's 3 that people are really in need of to balance things out. Big fan of high quality CLO or cold pressed salmon oil over here.

Vitamin D deficiency is a big deal and people should be routinely tested. My husband's levels were abysmal. My mother's were great but I advocated further testing and while they appeared high, she wasn't utilizing the supplements.
 
#49
Actually most illnesses (not just psychiatric) involve inflammation as the root cause - aging is related to inflammation. The research I've seen emphasizes taking all three acids together in proportions found in fatty fish (and actually we should be eating fatty fish several times a week rather than supplementing, but most individuals don't for a variety of reasons) so cold pressed salmon oil is probably the way to go particularly if you are a non fish eater.

Also - probably not necessary to have D vit levels checked, even when supplementing with 1000 iu daily, researchers have calculated that there are at least another 10000 D vit receptors open. Vitamins A D E and K are fat soluble (meaning they are stored in fatty tissues) so there is a potential for overdose. Overdose can have potentially deadly consequences. However, unless you have some esoteric metabolic illness you are likely safe to supplement with this amount.
 

e.taylor

The Black Orlov
#50
mmascall said:
Actually most illnesses (not just psychiatric) involve inflammation as the root cause - aging is related to inflammation. The research I've seen emphasizes taking all three acids together in proportions found in fatty fish (and actually we should be eating fatty fish several times a week rather than supplementing, but most individuals don't for a variety of reasons) so cold pressed salmon oil is probably the way to go particularly if you are a non fish eater.
exactly.

But the problem is that farmed meat is REALLY high in omega 6 fatty acids. From the research I've seen it's omega 3 that's emphasized so that there IS a balance.

It will be nice to have people looking at this more so we can get information that everyone agrees on. I think it's like so many things that are meant to be present is a specific ratio, but fall short when put into practice based on subclinical deficiencies, you know?

I know for myself I need far more mag than the RDA (which I know it's meant to be a rec for everyone, but a baseline to prevent deficiencies and pretty outdated at that.) My calcium levels are fine, but I need a good amount of mag to feel good. Theoretically the ratio is 2:1, but it doesn't play out that way for me.
 
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#51
e.taylor said:
mmascall said:
Actually most illnesses (not just psychiatric) involve inflammation as the root cause - aging is related to inflammation. The research I've seen emphasizes taking all three acids together in proportions found in fatty fish (and actually we should be eating fatty fish several times a week rather than supplementing, but most individuals don't for a variety of reasons) so cold pressed salmon oil is probably the way to go particularly if you are a non fish eater.
exactly.

But the problem is that farmed meat is REALLY high in omega 6 fatty acids. From the research I've seen it's omega 3 that's emphasized so that there IS a balance.

It will be nice to have people looking at this more so we can get information that everyone agrees on. I think it's like so many things that are meant to be present is a specific ratio, but fall short when put into practice based on subclinical deficiencies, you know?

I know for myself I need far more mag than the RDA (which I know it's meant to be a rec for everyone, but a baseline to prevent deficiencies and pretty outdated at that.) My calcium levels are fine, but I need a good amount of mag to feel good. Theoretically the ratio is 2:1, but it doesn't play out that way for me.
Yes, totally agree with you that individual needs can vary according to our specific body chemistry and metabolism - we actually see this in the ICU environment every day (people respond differently to life sustaining drugs and can sometimes fall far outside the normal dosing range.)

I really believe in finding a good naturopathic doctor - they are very thorough, test extensively and see the body as an integrated unit (which is how intensive care docs and nurses see it.) If you can find a medical doctor and naturopath that are willing to work together, then you really do have the best of all worlds! I have yet to find a family physician willing to work with a naturopath, but I know they are out there. Unfortunately, naturopaths are not covered under Canada's national health care plan, but what price can you put on good health?

On a side note, my hubby called me today looking for an endocrinologist referral for his colleague. She wants to take Armour Thyroid, but her endo refuses and basically said they would have to part ways. Luckily I know of a couple of endocrinologists willing to treat patients wishing to take dessicated thyroid.
 
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e.taylor

The Black Orlov
#52
Here they do, but that's not the norm. But I'm in a state that licenses ND's. That is a big difference-they can function as PCP's, order labs and even prescribe *some* things. So MD's are happy to work with them. It's more of a level playing field and the schooling in things like biochem that ND's get trumps most MD's. So when ND's can talk circles around them and they have to go back and look stuff up they are willing to take notice.


Not that they're "smarter" or "better, " they just each have their areas of expertise. Integrated practices are fairly common and ND's are covered by insurance-even state insurance. It's a good thing.
 
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#53
Is there a vegan version of fish oil? I was doing borage oil for a little while but stopped and haven't even tried looking for it again.

I don't eat any meat or fish. I eat dairy very rarely. <-- I've been a vegetarian pretty much my entire life.

And I am actually hyperthyroid. I just started taking medication to lower my thyroid level and I started it about 5 months ago. I went from weighing 100lbs to 135lbs with 2 months. It's been NUTS!! I'm now down to 130lbs and I can't seem to shake the weight no matter how healthy/little/amount of exercise I do. I think I'm taking too much thyroid blocking meds. I went from 6pills to 4pills to 2pills to 1pill to now I'm taking 1/2pill. My thyroid levels all look great, but I feel hypo now.

Eating more raw foods and exercising has had a minimal effect on my energy level / fatigue. I've been forcing myself to do things to get them done, but I really am forcing myself to live life. It's not like me at all. like at all at all.

My Endo says that it takes your body a long time to adjust. He said while my levels are right where they should be, my body is still adjusting. This kinda makes sense, but it kinda doesn't to me.

If my levels are just right, shouldn't I be just right now also? Seems weird that I would feel so unmotivated and tired all the time still.
 
#54
Sorry Lorrissey, I don't know enough about borage oil. I do know that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Perhaps E.Taylor has more knowledge.

It is very frustrating not feeling like yourself - I know from personal experience. I really do feel that doctors can sometimes focus too much on "the numbers" and not on how the patient feels. It may be that you feel best with lower TSH numbers (if that is what your MD is following.) Is it possible for you to see a naturopath? E.Taylor is very right when she states that their training vis-a-vis biochemistry is superior to medical doctors, not to mention that their focus is the whole body vs a disease. A good naturopath will work with you and your MD to achieve optimal results for you.
 
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e.taylor

The Black Orlov
#55
there are 3 types of omega 3 fatty acids. EPA, DHA and ALA. The vegetarian source would be ALA, but similarly to things like carotenoids being converted to vitamin A, they aren't super efficiently converted to DHA and EPA. It will depend on your unique biochemistry as well as liver function.

DHA and EPA supplementation seem to be superior to ALA. The best you can do as a vegetarian if direct supplementation is out of the question is rely heavily on food sources. Borage is heavier in Omega 6 fatty acids. Flax has a good amount of ALA, but is problematic because of how quickly it goes rancid. Walnuts can also be a great source.

Again the problem is that some people need a dizzying amount of ALA to create the correct amounts of DHA and EPA. I only say that because it's important to understand that consumption doesn't necessarily dictate use. In other words, just because you ingest it doesn't mean your body is using it.
 
#56
My understanding of the research is that Omega 3 from flax seed is poorly absorbed by the bulk of people. I had another thought - chia seeds. E.Taylor any info on chia seed (or sprouted chia?)
 

e.taylor

The Black Orlov
#57
mmascall said:
My understanding of the research is that Omega 3 from flax seed is poorly absorbed by the bulk of people. I had another thought - chia seeds. E.Taylor any info on chia seed (or sprouted chia?)
nope, you're 100% correct. It's the case for most plant based sources, unfortunately. I love love LOVE chia seeds and that is another good source.
 
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#59
Lorissey, I'm merely browsing this thread, and don't have hypo or hyperthyroidism, but I just saw your question about a vegan alternative to fish oil and thought I throw out Dr. Fuhrman's vegan DHA+EPA, which can be found on this page (scroll down until you see it). He does mention that it may not be sufficient for people with certain conditions, so check the additional link he gives to another EPA source.

/end random comment, lol
 
#60
Thanks, slammerkin! I will definitely check this out.

So I did get some B12 and D this weekend. My dosage was also adjusted to half a pill of the thyroid blocking stuff, and I'm happy to report that I feel great!

I have my energy levels back!! I am quite happy!

Thank you to everyone here for all your suggestions. I feel like such an old person though. I now I have one of those pill boxes and an alarm set on my phone to take my meds/vitamins. When did 30 become the new 50?
 
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