6

votes

Stopping the Synthroid!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 30, 2011 at 4:37 AM

My first post here. Male, 45, 180lbs, 5'11, paleo for 6 mo.

7 years ago, I was 40lbs overweight and diagnosed on a routine VA checkup as hypothyroid with a TSH of 35. I had no symptoms, no hashimoto's, no radiation/surgery/or other causes. VA said, 'it happens a lot'.

I was put on Synthroid and dosage adjusted for 2 years until my TSH was around 3. Over the next several years, I continued gaining weight, was put on high BP meds, high trig meds, had gout monthly, and was borderline diabetic with fasting glucose around 120. Diagnosed with NA Fatty liver Disease, too. And, started using a CPAP for sleep apnea.

3 years ago, I seriously started dieting low fat, high carb CW diet based on advice from VA. I managed to lose, but yo-yo'd and felt like crap.

In Oct 2010, I went full bore Primal Blueprint. So far have lost 50 lbs, gained lots of muscle, got off BP and Trig meds, no gout since Nov 2010. CPAP is on lowest setting, but still use it because I snore like a train if I don't. The only medicine I'm taking is Synthroid .15mcg. My TSH was .55 last month and all other labs nearly optimal. No sign of NAFLD.

Two weeks ago, I started breaking my Synthroid tablets in half, thinking I will get tested in a few months and see what happens. The VA says I will have to take Synthroid the rest of my life as the thyroid never heals.

What do you paleo hacks think of this?

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on April 17, 2013
at 09:29 AM

The other bullet is probably iodine. Check my post on this page.

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on April 17, 2013
at 09:26 AM

Hi Lazza, you can put a 5% lugol's drop (6,25 mg iodine) in 625 ml of water and mix it well every time before you take it. A tablespoon contains 150 mcg then, so 4 spoons is 600 mcg.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on April 12, 2013
at 07:45 PM

Yes to all that, and I am doing iodine too (12.5 mg on weekdays). Detox is pretty yucky but the benefits are very real. However I think your post has an inaccuracy. I believe the minimum dose from Lugol's 2% is 2 mg, which is one vertical drop. And so I cannot see how your friend can take what is one third of a drop unless something fancy is being done. Perhaps you me 6 mg (= 1 drop Lugol's 5%)?

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 28, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Me too, I've been so confused lately on how hypothyroid people eat. What is a good carb load, can you IM, what are the best foods for adrenal and thyroid function? It seems like I keep seeing conflicting advice and don't know where to look.

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc

(95)

on April 21, 2012
at 02:07 AM

I'm also subclinical hypothyroid and taking armour. I'm curious if you can provide some info on this, Meret: "some discussion that a higher-carb paleo diet is helpful for hypothyroid." I'd love to read more about this. Thanks!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 08, 2012
at 08:00 AM

Higher carb 150 grams a day is standard protocol for adrenal resets; adrenals and thyroid function are intimately aligned. And interestingly along with the hypothalamus. No wonder akman I think with the pineal gland sensing less sunlight, there are cOnsequences to sunlight changes in the winter. Thyroid stays in the " system " for 6-8 weeks. I think one has to have pretty robust and stellar functioning adrenal glands to perk the thyroid back to baseline optimal status...

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 06, 2012
at 11:24 PM

there's been some discussion that a higher-carb paleo diet is helpful for hypothyroid. is that something you'd consider?

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I have been taking 10,000IU D3 daily since last summer. Vit D level has been great, around 70. My sleep started not being so great about the same time as TSH started rising around Christmas.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Thanks for your update. Have you read Broda Barnes or Datis Kharazzian, thyroid experts? It is necessary to support both th adrenal glands and thyroid concomitantly to reverse damage. Like electronic stuff, these run in parallel. Did your vitamin D levels tank also this winter? You might want to consider the value of Nature-throid, in replacement of Armour which I think contains GMO corn, gluten or allergenic fillers.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Diet has been pretty strict paleo, normally under 50g carbs, carb-up a little on weekends with rice/sweet potatoes. I live in Alaska, and my TSH seemed to tank along with the daylight. I couldn't wait it out though. My feet were getting seriously cold in warm socks. My plan is to get started on Armour, or equiv, and titrate into summer testing all the while.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:37 PM

thank you for this update. did you change anything in your diet? did you have a higher than normal stress level? it's odd that your numbers would normalize at first...

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 05, 2012
at 05:05 PM

wow! i love it! i went off my synthroid 2 weeks ago and am hoping for a similar "recovery"!

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:44 PM

I think if you are not given a reason for being hypothyroid (Hashimotos, radiation damage, surgery) then there is hope. In my case, all that was ever tested was TSH--I now know this is a huge mistake!

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on November 13, 2011
at 02:09 PM

thats amazing! I too come of my meds just after you.. i had been on a 1/2 a pill every other day for a few months then in august completely stopped. Now my numbers are wonderful. my doctor is shocked and so impressed. I feel great too! Exciting news for us both, it is nice we dont need a pill anymore to feel we can 'live'

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on November 13, 2011
at 02:07 PM

Hello - I have been in to get my results.. I have come off my pills, cut out all grains/gluten and have very limited sugar (mainly honey) intake. 3 months in and my numbers are great. my doctor is so shocked by how well my numbers are. this is great news!

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:31 PM

great to hear!! I am starting to feel my heart race when I take my meds. So I started breaking my pill in half. Not as much racing anymore. I think I need to be farther into the paleo lifestyle, and then ill hope to come of them completely!

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:29 PM

great to hear! I am with you .. i cannot accept that I have to reply on a little pill the rest of my life everyday. Look forward to the blood work! congrats on fixing many other things too! Paleo is great!

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Awesome! I just wonder what the long-term effect is on a person when taking Sythroid needlessly, it can't be optimum.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I'll be going in Sept 5th for bloodwork. Last week I quit the Synthroid altogether, want to have a medicine-free body for the test. I feel great, no hypothyroid symptoms. I just can't accept that i'll have to be on Synthroid forever. I reversed so many metabolic syndrome problems (high bp, high trigs, gout, fatty liver) by eating paleo it would be funny if it weren't so sad! I will post next month w/results--you too please..

Efd6b1b4c4e84ad001b58de08d1d0e8f

(30)

on June 30, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Akman, Congrats on your amazing health progress! What was the highest dosage of synthroid you were ever prescribed?

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18 Answers

4
417ac0e162dc468b8ca61a574e5cd3c0

on June 30, 2011
at 05:34 AM

"What do you paleo hacks think of this?"

I think you are on the right track. Your story sounds amazing. Celebrate your victories and progress at every moment. With respect to thyroid, based on the info given, yes it is not only possible but likely that you have a potentially-functional thyroid "lying in wait", ready for the appropriate environment so they can gradually get back to work. But take it slow and steady and realize that progress may not always be in a linear/straight trajectory. "Low and slow." Good luck!

3
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 30, 2011
at 05:57 AM

You might want to check out the latest podcast from Chris Kresser since he spends some time talking about thyroid issues.

http://thehealthyskeptic.org/the-healthy-skeptic-podcast-episode-12

3
696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

on June 30, 2011
at 05:40 AM

I can't weigh in from medical or personal experience, but my mother has had some pretty severe thyroid issues. One book that helped her define and reduce her issues was Dr Datis Kharrazian's "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?".

If you haven't checked it out yet, it's an excellent resource and one of the only thyroid books that I would consider in line with Primal/Paleo. He covers the multiple mechanisms for depressed thyroid function including gluten driven autoimmunity, physical stress induced low thyroid function, etc and outlines protocols for dealing with each scenario.

Since I don't know the cause of your low thyroid function (and am not a doctor) I can't say if your case could be reversible, but after reviewing the various mechanisms presented by Kharrazian, I'd say it's a potential and definitely worth a try- it wouldn't be the first time that conventional wisdom/doctor's assumptions were wrong.

2
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 06, 2012
at 05:19 PM

UPDATE 2/6/12 - My TSH levels have risen to unacceptable level over the last 4-5 months. It is now 4.5 and T3 and T4 both at bottom end of ref range. My feet are cold all the time and weight loss has stalled correspondingly.

I have a doctor appt tomorrow and will try to get a prescription for Natural Dessicated Thyroid and not Synthroid.

Seems strange it took so long for my thyroid function to bottom out. Could the Synthroid have stayed in my system for so long?

When this all started, The Quilt gave me some advice : "You can try to get off thyroid meds, but if you experience stalls look for another bullet". Guess he was right!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Thanks for your update. Have you read Broda Barnes or Datis Kharazzian, thyroid experts? It is necessary to support both th adrenal glands and thyroid concomitantly to reverse damage. Like electronic stuff, these run in parallel. Did your vitamin D levels tank also this winter? You might want to consider the value of Nature-throid, in replacement of Armour which I think contains GMO corn, gluten or allergenic fillers.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Diet has been pretty strict paleo, normally under 50g carbs, carb-up a little on weekends with rice/sweet potatoes. I live in Alaska, and my TSH seemed to tank along with the daylight. I couldn't wait it out though. My feet were getting seriously cold in warm socks. My plan is to get started on Armour, or equiv, and titrate into summer testing all the while.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 06, 2012
at 11:24 PM

there's been some discussion that a higher-carb paleo diet is helpful for hypothyroid. is that something you'd consider?

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 06, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I have been taking 10,000IU D3 daily since last summer. Vit D level has been great, around 70. My sleep started not being so great about the same time as TSH started rising around Christmas.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on February 08, 2012
at 08:00 AM

Higher carb 150 grams a day is standard protocol for adrenal resets; adrenals and thyroid function are intimately aligned. And interestingly along with the hypothalamus. No wonder akman I think with the pineal gland sensing less sunlight, there are cOnsequences to sunlight changes in the winter. Thyroid stays in the " system " for 6-8 weeks. I think one has to have pretty robust and stellar functioning adrenal glands to perk the thyroid back to baseline optimal status...

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 06, 2012
at 06:37 PM

thank you for this update. did you change anything in your diet? did you have a higher than normal stress level? it's odd that your numbers would normalize at first...

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc

(95)

on April 21, 2012
at 02:07 AM

I'm also subclinical hypothyroid and taking armour. I'm curious if you can provide some info on this, Meret: "some discussion that a higher-carb paleo diet is helpful for hypothyroid." I'd love to read more about this. Thanks!

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on April 28, 2012
at 04:12 PM

Me too, I've been so confused lately on how hypothyroid people eat. What is a good carb load, can you IM, what are the best foods for adrenal and thyroid function? It seems like I keep seeing conflicting advice and don't know where to look.

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on April 17, 2013
at 09:29 AM

The other bullet is probably iodine. Check my post on this page.

2
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 12, 2011
at 04:23 PM

I was told I was Hypoythyroid after blood work about 2 years ago and was taking Armor Thyroid once I was on Paleo for about a month the taking the Armor starting giving me anxiety so I just stopped taking it.

Long story short I'm no longer hypothyroid. The thyroid is the "canary in the coal mine," it's usually the first thing to go when there is an issue.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Awesome! I just wonder what the long-term effect is on a person when taking Sythroid needlessly, it can't be optimum.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:31 PM

great to hear!! I am starting to feel my heart race when I take my meds. So I started breaking my pill in half. Not as much racing anymore. I think I need to be farther into the paleo lifestyle, and then ill hope to come of them completely!

1
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on September 16, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Just a follow up on the original post since someone revived this question: I completely stopped taking Synthroid on Aug 5th. I was tested for TSH on Sep 5th, and the results were perfectly normal. My TSH was 2.3, normal range is approx 1-5. I am so happy, but kind of mad I was taking a synthetic hormone for 6 years when I really just needed a good clean paleo diet.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on November 13, 2011
at 02:09 PM

thats amazing! I too come of my meds just after you.. i had been on a 1/2 a pill every other day for a few months then in august completely stopped. Now my numbers are wonderful. my doctor is shocked and so impressed. I feel great too! Exciting news for us both, it is nice we dont need a pill anymore to feel we can 'live'

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:44 PM

I think if you are not given a reason for being hypothyroid (Hashimotos, radiation damage, surgery) then there is hope. In my case, all that was ever tested was TSH--I now know this is a huge mistake!

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on February 05, 2012
at 05:05 PM

wow! i love it! i went off my synthroid 2 weeks ago and am hoping for a similar "recovery"!

1
3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 12, 2011
at 03:10 PM

I too have started breaking my pills in half. I thought about taking a full pill very other day but worry i will completely forget. When I took the every other day route - i felt the worst after I took the pill and great on days i didn't.. but it might be in my head..

How do you feel? I really want to get off of the pills too as I do not have access to bio-identical ones (pig/bovine). Have you had your numbers tested again to see if there was any difference.

I am going to keep with my 1/2 pill until my new test in a month and see..

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:29 PM

great to hear! I am with you .. i cannot accept that I have to reply on a little pill the rest of my life everyday. Look forward to the blood work! congrats on fixing many other things too! Paleo is great!

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on August 13, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I'll be going in Sept 5th for bloodwork. Last week I quit the Synthroid altogether, want to have a medicine-free body for the test. I feel great, no hypothyroid symptoms. I just can't accept that i'll have to be on Synthroid forever. I reversed so many metabolic syndrome problems (high bp, high trigs, gout, fatty liver) by eating paleo it would be funny if it weren't so sad! I will post next month w/results--you too please..

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on November 13, 2011
at 02:07 PM

Hello - I have been in to get my results.. I have come off my pills, cut out all grains/gluten and have very limited sugar (mainly honey) intake. 3 months in and my numbers are great. my doctor is so shocked by how well my numbers are. this is great news!

0
4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on April 12, 2013
at 02:47 PM

Synthroid is T4 only. That can suppress thyroid function in certain situations. A better strategy often is to take a combination of T4 and T3. Google Ray Peat or thyroid sites for more about this.

0
5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on April 12, 2013
at 01:25 PM

Check iodine. Dr. Brownstein has a book on it. It is like vitamin D: everyone in the medical community is scared from it because some bad research has been done and you need a lot more than the RDA. Iodine is not toxic in the presence of enough selenium. There is an tremendous amount of information and experience in the yahoo iodine group and in the iodine protocol.

Dr. Brownstein (although a bit weird doc.) claims that he treated over 6000 patients with high dose iodine and people are better of. 1/3 of hypothyroid patients can stop taking medicine, 1/3 can lower dose and 1/3 isn't affected at all. A friend of my dropped 0,037 mcg daily dose already after a week on 600 mcg iodine from lugol's. That's only a beginners dose, compared to the 50 mg (yes mg) or even 300 mg's that some people need and they feel better. (start from even lower though!) As a skeptic to iodine I started the protocol because I suspected a hypothyroid after eating iodine deficient paleo for 8 months. I found out that all experiences described in the iodine protocol from the yahoo group are actually accurate and replicated in my body. Shit is legit, it will help you to remove the fluoride and bromide from your body which sit in your thyroid and preventing it to make t4. I am not saying you will recover fully but I think it is promising enough to give it a try.

This is my personal list of things that are important in health paleo vitamin D magnesium iodine

Check also these sites: http://poisonfluoride.com/pfpc/html/symptoms.html http://www.treeoflife.nu/DRCOUSENS/DRCOUSENSBLOG/tabid/364/PostID/169/language/en-US/Default.aspx

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on April 12, 2013
at 07:45 PM

Yes to all that, and I am doing iodine too (12.5 mg on weekdays). Detox is pretty yucky but the benefits are very real. However I think your post has an inaccuracy. I believe the minimum dose from Lugol's 2% is 2 mg, which is one vertical drop. And so I cannot see how your friend can take what is one third of a drop unless something fancy is being done. Perhaps you me 6 mg (= 1 drop Lugol's 5%)?

5b8cf203186c3cb7810f5046e0532be8

(166)

on April 17, 2013
at 09:26 AM

Hi Lazza, you can put a 5% lugol's drop (6,25 mg iodine) in 625 ml of water and mix it well every time before you take it. A tablespoon contains 150 mcg then, so 4 spoons is 600 mcg.

0
Ab8d1ff29ff5987770e2250887ce05c5

on December 04, 2012
at 09:50 PM

I have been Paleo-Primal for some time now and am having symptoms of Synthroid overdose. I had blood work done this morning. I have been taking a dose of 112 mcg a day for over 15 years. I tried cutting my pill in half this morning but the symptoms returned this afternoon - I missed 2 days of medication and started to feel really good. The best site I have found for Primal BLueprint is www.MarksDailyApple.com the book is by Mark Sisson and he has free e-books, too - all really good information. I am glad to hear that other people have experienced similar events after becoming primal. Marie

0
62d6da100cb44c68a597f64e06797efb

on September 16, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Where did you see/hear that nature thyroid has gluten and corn fillers?

0
9a1230c584192cdb8045afe9d860f884

on September 15, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Can someone please tell me what the Paleo diet is? Thank you

0
9a1230c584192cdb8045afe9d860f884

on September 15, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Hi! Ten years ago, my docctor did bloodwork and told me I was hypothyroidism, she then put me on 50mcg of synthroid. Later, she raised the synthroid to 75 mcg, and then to 88 mcg. I then went to an indocrinologists and he raised the synthroid to 1oo mcg. My thyroid doctor moved out of town and so I had to see a nurse practioner, and in febuary she checked my thyroiod levels and they were low and she didn't tell me or even adjust my synthroid. Then when I had my yearly in July, with my gynocologist, she checked the thyroid levels and my TSH was 0.22. The nurse practioner then changed my synthroid meds to 75 mcg. Now the blood has been checked again and the TSH was 14.09. My heart is beating too fast...and she asked me if I want to see a heart doctor. I really don't feel I need a heart doctor! I need someone who knows how to properly adjust my thyroid medication! With the TSH reading 14.09, what do you feel the proper dose of synthroid sould be? Thank you.

0
662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

on April 28, 2012
at 04:29 PM

First of all, congratulates on getting off your thyroid meds! I was wondering what do you eat, do you ever IF, do you take supplements, do you recommend anyone in particular to read up on that doesn't get too technical? I would love to feel normal again. I have hardly any energy it seems, very unmotivated too.
Thanks

0
89b90fc946a2d10e595f1de062f0188f

on September 16, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I had my thyroid removed. I feel fine on synthroid and the cytomel. it seems much harder to lose weight on this program(4 hour body) or any since then. all suggestions welcome.

0
43d33eea1cbc69af32352b1753a40458

on June 30, 2011
at 11:27 PM

Synthroid targets T4 and does not account for T3. It is also synthetic, which is a whole other issue. I take Armour Dessicated (Porcine) Thyroid along with some Raw Thyroid and Raw Adrenal supplements made from animal parts. The combination is working well. I hope to eventually wean off of the Armour. Maybe you can request Armour from your doc or find a doc that will prescribe it. I think the body has the ability to heal, but only with the proper tools.

0
8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on June 30, 2011
at 12:16 PM

I'm on 75 mcg my level is and has been for the past year at a 1. I have been debating the same thing. My doc said I have to stay on it but I feel great now. Not sure yet what I'm going to do and since my track record of eating clean hasn't been great I will probably stay on it.

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:49 AM

I think it is cool! Congratulations!!!

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