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Thryoid Help from the Docs and Subject Experts, Please :)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 31, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Hello, PHers. I have suspected for some time that I might be hypothyroid and recent blood work rather confirmed it (TSH, 3rd Generation: 4.55). My physician thought that number was ok, so I went to see an endocrinologist for more information because 4.55 is not ok according to a lot of what I have read. The endo prescribed me a version of Synthroid with instructions to take it ad infinitum. Before I do anything of the sort, I would be so very grateful for thoughts from those of you who understand these matters well.

Context: I am a 30/F, mostly Paleo for a few months now, not overweight but not as trim as I would like to be. I am starting to go VLC because a. I have more energy this way and b. I want to drop 15-20 lbs. I have been taking daily a multi-vitamin, adrenal health pills (see below), cod liver oil, iodine and chlorophyll, the last in the hopes of boosting my energy levels. Also, I only drink decaf coffee and only very moderately do I consume alcohol.

Symptoms (some of these I know aren't thyroid-related, but I'm giving them to you): -Irregular sleep spells characterized by waking after only a few hours and not being able to fall back asleep. In general, I am not one who can sleep past 7AM or 8AM without a sleep aid. -Have gained weight over the last few years and find it very, very hard to lose weight, though I am trying VLC for the first time ever now. -Prone to EXTREME lethargy. -Occasional difficulty concentrating and occasional and very uncharacteristic memory lapses. -Prone to extreme coldness, especially the extremities. It is difficult to subsequently warm up. -Low blood pressure I've improved a lot by eating tons of salt. -Excruciating periods. -Water retention/bloating sometimes (unrelated to menstruation) -Get FAMISHED sometimes and vastly overeat. Hard to lose weight this way. -Hyperglycemic and always thirsty. (Obviously Paleo is perfect for someone who is hyperglycemic and VLC is even better.) -Depression/anxiety

Questions:

1) The endo said most women have Hashimotos and it makes sense to stop taking my iodine/kelp tincture. Agree? 2) He looked at my bottle of adrenal health pills (vitamin Bs and adaptogens) and told me they are ineffectual. Agree? 3) Should I take Synthroid? I haven't given VLC an effort of even 1 full week. Maybe try it for a few months first and see? I'm simply not keen on the idea of taking a medication indefinitely. 4) Avoid goitrogens, right? A no-brainer, I figure. 5) Are there other herbs anyone recommends for my condition? 6) Can thyroid function improve on its own? Is it at all tenable that by going VLC for several months my thyroid will rebound on its own or is that just hopeful thinking?

Oh, and doc babbled on about Armour being outdated. He also didn't make a terribly convincing argument for why I should take the Synthroid. A very trim man of ~80, he told me (and I rather agree), that if I want to lose weight, I need to eat less. End of story. He told me I'll have more energy if I eat less too. Duh. VLC helps me eat less because it leaves me satisfied with stable energy. I am leaning toward giving VLC a real effort for several months and reevaulating.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ANY THOUGHTS AND ADVICE!

Medium avatar

(310)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Anyone have anyone they recommend in NYC? Paleo Naturopat

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Plus one bill.......

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Your doc is outdated.

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thanks, Bill. I'm about to start working with an excellent naturopath soon: www.SuperheroHealthcare.com I tore up the script for Synthroid.

Fe2c4b225ba3ec955e2a514badf7e61e

(10)

on June 17, 2011
at 11:02 PM

If you do have Hashimoto's, though, you definitely should NOT take iodine. To be safe, don't use it until you find out for sure.

F99858355e6b9c8f99d1991f96d33cf1

(50)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:29 PM

And I will add, don't try to lose weight until you recover. That can exacerbate things. When your thyroid returns to normal, your metabolism will recover and the weight will be more likely to come off. Dieting, of any sort, will make the thyroid condition worse (and lead to more weight gain).

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:39 PM

Thank you for the info. I'll take a look at your site.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 05, 2011
at 01:27 AM

You really should read Dr Ks blog http://www.jackkruse.com regarding leptin and how leptin resistance turns off the thyroid gland. Dr K posts as "The Quilt"

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Thanks! I did find a woman. Calling her first thing in the AM. :)

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 31, 2011
at 10:29 PM

Most people with thyroid disfunction, in the US, have hashimoto's.

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:06 PM

Anyone have someone they recommend in NYC? Paleo Naturopath would be ideal, of course.

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Consensus seems to be that I should see someone else as well. Thank you, Gazelle. Glad to hear you are having success. Sue, yes I meant very low carb. :)

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I find it suspect too. I think I'm going to get a second opinion before filling the prescription.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:36 PM

wouldn't it be nice to find a Paleo Naturopath? I've gone to several, and one is into the Blood Type diet, so, being an A+, I am supposed to be a vegetarian......makes me tired just thinking about it

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:35 PM

He said "most women are Hasimotos" I find that statement suspect. Hasimotos is an auto-immune thyroid disease, right? Is he saying that most women have auto-immune disease? Ask for the Hashimotos test before following the advice to drop iodine.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I feel really stupid, is VLC very low carb? Since I've gone Paleo, I feel a lot better, I have been on Synthroid for about 9 years now :>( and just added cytomel to it. That has helped a lot. My synthroid script has gone down from 135 mcg to 88 mcg. Not sure if cutting grains is the answer, but I feel a whole heck of a lot better

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:17 PM

I should add that when I say VLC I mean VLC/high fat. Thanks.

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8 Answers

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0
C221a8c9efba0c80d03b9f84a2b3b3f9

on May 31, 2011
at 10:20 PM

http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/ ..hopefully there a physician in your community

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:29 AM

Thanks! I did find a woman. Calling her first thing in the AM. :)

3
F99858355e6b9c8f99d1991f96d33cf1

on June 17, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Whatever you do, change doctors. Doctors like that KILL people. I know, because one like that almost killed my wife. He prescribed Synthroid when my wife also had adrenal issues, which the insert tells you not to do--it can lead to a thyroid storm. The emergency room doctor was no better--he blamed it on a 24 hour panic attack and sent her home. Most endocrinologists despise Armour and natural supplements, but most of them don't do anything for the condition. All your symptoms seem to be related to adrenal and thyroid conditions which will not fix on their own. Even with a naturopathic or holistic doctor, they will take time. Until you can find a suitable doctor, get yourself some Symplex F off the internet. When we did get my wife into a suitable doctor, he said that might have saved her life. He put her on Armour and a ton of supplements, but they do seem to be working. See stopthethyroidmadness.com for more information. Oh, also, don't do low carb or IF. Adapt your paleo diet to the guidelines for protein and carb ratios as discussed in -The Schwarzbein Principle_ (http://www.amazon.com/Schwarzbein-Principle-Healthy-Feeling-Younger/dp/1558746803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308331224&sr=8-1)--eat more frequently with some starchy carbs and protein at every meal.

F99858355e6b9c8f99d1991f96d33cf1

(50)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:29 PM

And I will add, don't try to lose weight until you recover. That can exacerbate things. When your thyroid returns to normal, your metabolism will recover and the weight will be more likely to come off. Dieting, of any sort, will make the thyroid condition worse (and lead to more weight gain).

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Thanks, Bill. I'm about to start working with an excellent naturopath soon: www.SuperheroHealthcare.com I tore up the script for Synthroid.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on October 01, 2011
at 01:10 AM

Plus one bill.......

2
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on May 31, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I found adrenal supps (B12 and adaptogens) helped my adrenals and my insomnia (the same pattern as yours). I had to avoid caffeine and alcohol too. I'm also hypo, have low blood pressure and am currently taking Armour plus Cytomel. I took "Thyroid Response Estrogen Dominance" from Innate Response for a month and it seems to positively influence my thyroid numbers so I could reduce my dosage. I would be careful about the iodine. Some say it makes thyroid probs worse, and some say LC can make thyroid worse too (seemed to be what triggered my thyroid/adrenal blow out a few years ago). If you're doing VLC to lose weight, you might find it beneficial to do periodic carb "refeeds".

Maybe take the synthroid and see how you feel. If it doesn't help, find a doc who will prescribe Armour. They are out there.

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:05 PM

Consensus seems to be that I should see someone else as well. Thank you, Gazelle. Glad to hear you are having success. Sue, yes I meant very low carb. :)

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I feel really stupid, is VLC very low carb? Since I've gone Paleo, I feel a lot better, I have been on Synthroid for about 9 years now :>( and just added cytomel to it. That has helped a lot. My synthroid script has gone down from 135 mcg to 88 mcg. Not sure if cutting grains is the answer, but I feel a whole heck of a lot better

0
1fe6d276a5c63f93ea8cba5f941a045c

on September 30, 2011
at 05:16 PM

And please, NO (!!!) iodine since it might very well be an auto immune process (hashimotos), and iodine makes it much worse. Trust me, I've been there. You find very valuable information on the page of mary shomon, thyroid advocat. Cheers!

0
3e3b1b75cb414c5c3dbed53e3c42edfa

(220)

on June 07, 2011
at 02:04 AM

It sounds like you might be estrogen dominant, i.e. night waking, water retention, memory lapses. With your hypothyroidism, your body might not be ovulating, signaling a progesterone increase or you may not be clearing the estrogen out of body quickly enough. You could try a little bioidentical progesterone after you ovulate, and that may help get you back in balance.

I am hypothyroid and estrogen dominant, and I take Armour which works very well since it has t1, t2, t3, and t4. Synthroid only has t3. If you have adrenal issues, which it sounds like you might, your body may be building up reverse t3 which can be cleared out with the Armour.

You could try a saliva test to see what your cortisol levels are throughout the day. Some people have too much cortisol and some have too little and you would do different things for either so it's important to get the testing done. That said, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and cod liver oil are great adrenal support and you should keep taking those. The C and CLO actually help your body manufacture cortisol.

I've gotten the most help from a naturopath. Traditional doctors have done nothing for me except surgery.

Look up estrogenic foods and see if you do better avoiding them, I do. Although I weigh more now, I actually feel and look slimmer because I am not retaining water or bloating. How I fit in my clothes and look in the mirror is a better indicator for me than the scale.

Good luck, keep at it and you will figure this out!

0
43415e864447504fb7e659e58abdc309

on June 06, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I'm a Chinese Medicine Practitioner with specialization in functional medicine and I have helped many patients with thyroid and adrenal issues. I've been Paleo for over seven years. You need more in-depth bloodwork done (and perhaps a salivary test of your adrenal hormones over a 24 hour period). (Edit: self-promotion removed. See Jamie's profile for more information.)

Medium avatar

(310)

on June 06, 2011
at 04:39 PM

Thank you for the info. I'll take a look at your site.

0
43415e864447504fb7e659e58abdc309

on June 05, 2011
at 12:55 AM

I have some detailed information on thyroid health and desiccated thyroid on my website here: http://www.superherohealthcare.com/thyroid-and-adrenal-research.html

0
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on May 31, 2011
at 04:56 PM

It sounds to me like you may want to consider changing doctors. In my experience, naturopaths are much more knowledgeable about dealing with thyroid issues than M.D.s. Consider seeking one out who specializes in thyroid and other hormone imbalance issues. Some naturopaths are much more on board with this dietary paradigm as well. I do agree that iodine therapy should be done only under observation of someone with a lot of knowledge and experience in therapeutic use of iodine.

Medium avatar

(310)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Anyone have anyone they recommend in NYC? Paleo Naturopat

Medium avatar

(310)

on May 31, 2011
at 07:06 PM

Anyone have someone they recommend in NYC? Paleo Naturopath would be ideal, of course.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:36 PM

wouldn't it be nice to find a Paleo Naturopath? I've gone to several, and one is into the Blood Type diet, so, being an A+, I am supposed to be a vegetarian......makes me tired just thinking about it

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