1

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Overwhelmed by supplement suggestions

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I'm having some health issues at the moment and am suspecting adrenal fatigue or hormone issues related to my thyroid. I am on 50mcg of Synthroid and following a strict autoimmune protocol at the moment to rule out my food intolerances, but I am overwhelmed at what to supplement with.

I've supplemented before but didn't notice any major differences so I haven't kept up with consistent supplementation for more than a few months, due to the fact that it can get expensive.

Do I work one supplement in at a time? And how long do I wait until I either increase my dosage or know that its working? I have never taken something (besides a probiotic) where I have noticed a big difference (my current problems are mainly fatigue and severe brain fog).

Im only on a probiotic 1x/daily and a multivitamin 1x/daily at the moment. Those with suspected adrenal fatigue are encouraged to supplement with Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Magnesium Citrate and licorice root (among others).

Just trying to figure out where to start and how to accurately know what is helping so I can know what works for me.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 09, 2013
at 04:52 PM

thank you Albert, very helpful info!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:17 AM

Also remember adrenal fatigue it's not a fault of the adrenals per se, but a global failure of your brain to signal the adrenals (inhibited PVN Paraventricular Nucleus) so also try to stack up the most potent natural strategies besides supps: sleeping a ton, getting rid of all stress, have plenty of sun light, relax... turn lights off after the sun goes down, relax more, eat great brekfast to spike cortisol during the morning and eat 4h before going to bed to get rid of blood sugar and have restful sleep... all this should help, good luck!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:13 AM

I very much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not grant you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:13 AM

I ver much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not grat you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:12 AM

I ver much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not great you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:35 PM

oh and my suspected adrenal fatigue was due to the fact that the past 3 years I have also worked long hours at a bar, then a stressful freelance job during the day, all while trying to pay the bills living in NYC.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:33 PM

thanks Kevin will do the temp test. And my TSH is actually on the low end (.6) so its strange that I have hypo symptoms (fatigue, brain fog, bloating, low sex drive, irregular menstruation). My symptoms are not as bad on paleo, but after a year on the diet I thought I would have felt a lot better, which is why I know its not only related to food intolerances.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 08, 2013
at 12:15 AM

@Kevin, then I would say.... You need serious help on the diet side -- in the case of genetic malabsorption issues. In the case of bacterial malabsorption issues, you need treatment from a competent doctor. Supplementation may be a small part of the effort over a short time period -- but will not be your answer. In fact, the vast majority of malabsorption syndromes supplements get shot right through the body and do nothing.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 07, 2013
at 11:36 PM

It's not really that simple CD. I have a great diet but some of us have digestive & malabsorption issues. Sometimes the body needs more of certain nutrients than food can possibly provide.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 07, 2013
at 11:34 PM

What is your TSH exactly? Sometimes normal range is still too high. Anything above 3 is most likely hypothyroidism. The 4 point saliva test should tell you a lot. You really haven't mentioned any symptoms but adrenal and hypothyroid symptoms often overlap. Here's a quick test you can do at home. Take your temperature first thing when you wake up and then take it again 3 hours later and once more 3 hours after that. Do this for 3 days and average your temperatures for each day. Minor day to day variations are normal but wild swings are indicative of adrenal issues.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 07, 2013
at 02:06 PM

I remember a time when 13 recommended supplements would not have helped me with feeling "overwhelmed." Things sure have changed.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 07, 2013
at 01:10 PM

I've been feeling this way for 3 years. Currently: I had TGi & Tpo antibodies tests & do not have Hashimotos. My TSH, T4 & T3 are all within range but I was put on synthroid because of my symptoms & 2 nodules on my throid (seen in ultrasound) I've only been on it a week so it may be too soon to see if it is helping. Free testosterone is at the high end of normal & my Vitamin D is good. I am getting a 4 point Saliva test next week, but I think its high at night and low in the AM. I also found out my grandfather had Graves so Im going to ask to be tested for TSI antibodies

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2 Answers

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0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 07, 2013
at 12:19 AM

This is pretty complete: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/recommended-supplements/

Personally I think of supplementation as stuff that will not provide the instant gratification. If you are so deficient in a vitamin or mineral, than you need serious help on the diet side -- you do not need supplements.

Personally I do a good multi (Optimen) and ZMA. I have also supplemented with creatine in the past.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 07, 2013
at 02:06 PM

I remember a time when 13 recommended supplements would not have helped me with feeling "overwhelmed." Things sure have changed.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 08, 2013
at 12:15 AM

@Kevin, then I would say.... You need serious help on the diet side -- in the case of genetic malabsorption issues. In the case of bacterial malabsorption issues, you need treatment from a competent doctor. Supplementation may be a small part of the effort over a short time period -- but will not be your answer. In fact, the vast majority of malabsorption syndromes supplements get shot right through the body and do nothing.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 07, 2013
at 11:36 PM

It's not really that simple CD. I have a great diet but some of us have digestive & malabsorption issues. Sometimes the body needs more of certain nutrients than food can possibly provide.

1
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on July 07, 2013
at 10:43 AM

Do you have recent blood work to know exactly where are you right now? Or are you just based on how are you feeling?

If you do not have the blood work, I'd suggest to have some before starting the supplementation. I mean, some suplementation like a multi-vit or fish oil might not be of concern, but if you're taking Shyntrhoid and suspecting Adrenal Fatigue... this is some more serious stuff. How will you determine if the protocol you choose is working well? Just by feeling? And if you get mixed feelings, then what?

That's why testing before and after can give you more clues and a more solid framework. Maybe you're already doing this, just wanted to suggest it just in case you didn't, I've been supplementing myself for many years with all kind of stuff randomly... and now I realize most things I spendt money on I don't really still know if they served or not. It's not always possible to have frequent testing but if you can, it'll help.

That's important because your personal context matters a lot. For example, taking Synthroid could have a very different impact on your health depending on if you really need it or you might not be the best one to have it (think Hashimoto's auto-immune Hypothiroidism) in fact could make it worse.

If you haven't, I'd test for thyroid antibodies first thing before starting any thyroid medication, same thing with iodine...

As for the probiotics and adaptogens (licorice, etc) they seem to be pretty safe so I'd go with them. But again, if you have better insight about if you really have adrenal issues, an ASI test could help you a lot. Yo want to know first what's your cortisol patterns. Do you have high? Or low? Or depends on the day? Do you have shifted pattern? Depending on this, some adaptogens or supps could work then better for you... for example if you have night high cortisol levels, phosphatidylserine seems to work wonders, but if you have low, that's it's a whole different thing.

Vitamin C, B, Magnesium... seem safe so I guess no problem in adding it to the stack although I might prefer having them from real food, at least for Vit C and B. If not... why in the world are we eating then? Magnesium, It might be worth supplementing though if you don't eat many magnesium rich food...

But I think you got a great idea about trying one at first and see if it helps, if you mix them you lose track of what is helping and what not. But if you want to get rid of your adrenal fatigue fast (and I bet you want, I do also) you might probably will want to throw all the artillery in to maximize your changes, its understandable, you have to choose your way.

Also, don't forget about the liver. Some of your issues could be in fact more liver/gut related than just adrenal. NAC and milk thistle are pretty safe and maybe you might want to consider them... How are your transaminases and LDL doing?

What about sex hormone status? Do you have normal free testosterone levels? And Vitamin D?

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:35 PM

oh and my suspected adrenal fatigue was due to the fact that the past 3 years I have also worked long hours at a bar, then a stressful freelance job during the day, all while trying to pay the bills living in NYC.

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:33 PM

thanks Kevin will do the temp test. And my TSH is actually on the low end (.6) so its strange that I have hypo symptoms (fatigue, brain fog, bloating, low sex drive, irregular menstruation). My symptoms are not as bad on paleo, but after a year on the diet I thought I would have felt a lot better, which is why I know its not only related to food intolerances.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:13 AM

I very much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not grant you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 09, 2013
at 04:52 PM

thank you Albert, very helpful info!

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:12 AM

I ver much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not great you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:13 AM

I ver much agree with Kevin, also keep in mind that getting negative antibodies does not grat you don't have Hashimotos, the immune reaction can be either slowed down by a good diet (grain-free, auto-immune paleo...) or on the other extreme be washed out by constant inflammation. Might be it's just not your case but I'd err on the suspicious side... also test for free T3, for instance I have normal levels for almost everything (TSH, T4, T3, free T4) but NOT for free T3 which is the most important!! and doc would not have tested if I wouldn't ask for it... heck...

Aff97e82eccef9d957abdd7317f72457

(180)

on July 07, 2013
at 01:10 PM

I've been feeling this way for 3 years. Currently: I had TGi & Tpo antibodies tests & do not have Hashimotos. My TSH, T4 & T3 are all within range but I was put on synthroid because of my symptoms & 2 nodules on my throid (seen in ultrasound) I've only been on it a week so it may be too soon to see if it is helping. Free testosterone is at the high end of normal & my Vitamin D is good. I am getting a 4 point Saliva test next week, but I think its high at night and low in the AM. I also found out my grandfather had Graves so Im going to ask to be tested for TSI antibodies

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3

(455)

on July 07, 2013
at 11:34 PM

What is your TSH exactly? Sometimes normal range is still too high. Anything above 3 is most likely hypothyroidism. The 4 point saliva test should tell you a lot. You really haven't mentioned any symptoms but adrenal and hypothyroid symptoms often overlap. Here's a quick test you can do at home. Take your temperature first thing when you wake up and then take it again 3 hours later and once more 3 hours after that. Do this for 3 days and average your temperatures for each day. Minor day to day variations are normal but wild swings are indicative of adrenal issues.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on July 09, 2013
at 07:17 AM

Also remember adrenal fatigue it's not a fault of the adrenals per se, but a global failure of your brain to signal the adrenals (inhibited PVN Paraventricular Nucleus) so also try to stack up the most potent natural strategies besides supps: sleeping a ton, getting rid of all stress, have plenty of sun light, relax... turn lights off after the sun goes down, relax more, eat great brekfast to spike cortisol during the morning and eat 4h before going to bed to get rid of blood sugar and have restful sleep... all this should help, good luck!

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