My experience with Natural Treatments for Hypothyroidism
I am a (otherwise) healthy 27-year old female. About 2 years ago I was tested for hypothyroidism due to irregular menstrual cycle, fatigue, a little depression, weight gain (from 140 to 172lbs in 2 years - height 5'8 ). My Primary doctor at the time, saw my TSH level at 6.70 and did not think much of it. She said, no further tests were needed because I did not have a goiter. Although my menstrual cycle continued to be irregular, I thought it would 'self-regulate'. Silly me!
About 5 months ago, I decided to seek help from a naturalist doctor (ND) to see if I could have my thyroid problems checked and hopefully solved. She immediately ordered some tests and my TSH had gone from 6.7 to 8.8 and my thyroid anti-bodies were at >1000. Needless to say, she was very hopeful and said that with a few naturally compounded medication I would feel better in no time. She started me on Thyroid PX from WDS Laboratories. At the time, she also ordered some additional tests from private laboratories. I took the Thyroid PX along with a bunch of other natural supplements she prescribed religiously. Even though the cost of seeing her was high, she gave me a lot of hopes saying we would get to the root of the problem and eventually solve the issue, instead of simply treating it.
For the past 5 months I continued to see her once a month. Every time I left her office, I needed a big brown bag to carry all of the medication (natural) she recommended. This ranged from Blood Sugar Support, to Adrenal Support, to Niacin, Vitex, Probiotics to name a few. There were weeks that I was taking about 24 capsules a day.
About a month ago, I noticed a growth on my neck. When I went to see her, I knew she was concerned because she ordered additional tests right away. Mind you, she had not ordered another TSH test done in about 4 months even though I was taking all this medication supposedly to make me feel better.
To my surprise, when the results from the TSH came back, it had spiked-up from 8.8 to 146.6!! That is not a typo, it was really 146.6! She freaked-out and said that I needed to see a specialists immediately. She went as far as making the appointment for me with an endocrinologist. Even though I lead a very healthy lifestyle, I am a vegetarian, I try to consume only organic produce and hardly buy anything frozen or industrialized, I had to take the conventional route as my Naturalistic Doctor said there was not much she could do for me. I am now puzzled as whether this was caused by the medication she gave me, or if it was as she put it "just a coincidence" since my body was probably "programmed" to have this "thyroid storm" at this particular time.
After my immediate consultation with my Endocrologist, he was simply appalled with the way I had been treated and was also shocked to see how my TSH levels went up to much, in only 3 months. He also felt that many other tests she had ordered through an independent laboratory tests to which I had to pay out of pocket because my insurance would not cover were completely bogus with no scientific back-up to it. Also, he found it completely unethical for her to have inventory of the medication she was giving me right at her office. Per my Endo, this is a violations of their ethic code. Also, he said that a "thyroid storm" is something that happens to individuals with Grave's Diseases and not Hashimoto's. All of this suggests to me, that although I am sure she did not mean any harm, she certainly was in no position to treat or "cure" anyone with a thyroid dysfunction even though she clearly stated during our first free consultation, that women's hormonal imbalances were her area of expertise.
I started taking Sythroid 75mcg today for the first time, and to much of my disappointed will probably have to take it for the rest of my life. This is a very different scenario than what I was expecting. My ND made me believe that there is a cure and that I could easily and rapidly live with only 'supplemental' thyroid medication.
Please be very carefully when deciding to go with a ND since much if not all of what they do, is not scientific based. After an inflamed thyroid (4x) the actual size, and a TSH of 146.6, I am a (thankfully) living proof that when things go wrong, they will send you straight to a conventional Doctor because they lack the knowledge to fix such problems.
I usually research a new physician before I schedule an appointment with them... that also includes holistic practitioners. Like the majority of CFS patients, I've learned that western medicine had very little to offer me. In my experiences with "alternative" medicine, I've always had positive experiences and found relief from various treatments. I was undiagnosed for many years and spent a lot of money and time being bounced around from physician to physician. If I see an alternative medicine practitioner, I always keep my primary care physician and/or specialist posted as to what I'm taking and how I'm doing.
I actually tried the natural route for a year myself because I didn't want to take meds. I got much worse...and paid the price for it. I have since learned that the thyroid is definately one organ and its diseases that you cannot treat naturally. You have to take a prescribed medication. I took synthroid for 2 yrs and now take armour due to conversion problem. I had a naturopath who tried to tell me his herbs would do what armour and synthroid would do....didn't happen. This naturopath helped me with lymes disease very successfully though. There are things that can be helped naturally and some that cannot. The thyroid is unfortunately one of those that you cannot play around with.
I am now going to an acupuncturist and naturopath to help me with my immune system. I want to see if we can calm down my hashimotos.
Be prepared to increase your dosage, you will probably need to a few times. Yes you probably will have to take these meds for the rest of your life....like us. :) :)
Thank you for the warm welcome! It feels like a blessing to have found this community. Through your other postings, I learned you are a thyroid cancer survivor if I am not mistaken. My thyroid is 4x the size it should be, but my new (conventional) Doctor touch it and said that although it is hard, and swollen, it does not look like there is a single major nodule, but rather multiple nodules. Because of this, he is not worried about cancer and feels that for now, it should not be necessary to do an ultrasound. I am a little concerned, since my ND prescribed a isotopic scan. Any ideas as to how I should proceed? Thank you for any and all advice you can give me.
Thank you for your kind words. Did you have success with a ND in treating a thyroid issue? I am still am a believer... I just should have done a combination of both treatments instead of relying solely on my ND. I just really liked the idea of find a "cure" instead of having to be medicated.
I was diagnosed hyper by a random blood test in May. I got bounced from one Dr. to another. Each one said the same thing, "Yep, you're hyper. Go to an endo." But I couldn't get past the receptionist at the endo.
During the 3 month wait for my appt., I decided to try accupuncture. It is covered by my insurance for pain control. So he codes all visits as pain control. Fine with me. However the herbs are not covered and they were pricey. He suggested that I take them for 30 days, then see if my blood work changed. Nope, my TSH went from <.01 to .005.
But I enjoy the sessions. It is more relaxing than a spa.
Hi, I can sympathise with you on your adventure. My sister-in-law decided though rather than a ND that she would 'cure' her thryoid problem herself. Her general practioner was furious at her, and ordered her to take thyroxine immediately, she still refused and ended up like you, but a bit worse. She, being a vegetarian truly believed the doctors knew nothing of how naturally the body needed to be healed. Bah humbug! I am medically inclined, and a previous vegetarian, and I tried telling her that it was not the way to go taking a million pills and herbs a day.
Eventually she felt so lousy her thyroid just upped and died...and she had to have it surgically removed...now of course she HAS to take the little pill every day for life!
I have had mine out too, but for a different reason, I NOW see a ND to help me get through my poor battered and bruised body which has been fighting for over 15 years. There certainly is a place for ND's but honestly I wish they could see the bigger picture and not believe EVERYTHING from Diabetes to Goiters are curable by diet and herbs. I think if the G.P's and the ND's worked together we would all feel alot better in the long run.
With your antibodies being so high you ought to see them come down soon on the Synthroid, but it could take a while. You have an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto's and that is why your TSH went up through the roof. Untreated it kills off the thyroid and you too would have to have it out. But, hopefully the Synthroid has come along in time and you can live healthily.
I hope all goes well for you and your poor old thyroid settles down real soon.
What do any of you think of taking L-Tyrosine I went into Google as I believe I have a Thyroid condition, I had the usual tests about 18mionths ago and they were negative but I have most of the symptoms, I got the L-Tyrosine today and have taken one capsule, I was wondering if anyone else has tried it .I am going to try do this my way, not with the help of a Natural Doctor, or any Doctor,and on the internet it said that diet etc will help aswell. I have been misdiagnosed several times and dont want to go that route again, I have Hives also.and that is a battle in itself.
"Did you have success with a ND in treating a thyroid issue"
Hi ! I saw a Naturopathic physician for CFS. At the time, I was undiagnosed and looking back at my experiences now, I believe my Naturopathic physician knew what was wrong with me. (he ordered the right tests, etc.) He successfully treated my headaches, my adrenals and allergy problems. Western Medicine was unable to accomplish this... other than sometimes steriods would work for my allergies. Other times, the steriods made me feel worse.
I've had good experiences with homeopathy, acupuncture (especially for pain & asthma problems), massage therapy (who wouldn't?) and some supplements & herbs.
I think people know a days are tired of going to regular doctors and getting scripts for all there problems so they try to go 100% natural and sometimes that could be bad too.
I think using the combonation of medicine available today and some natural ways can be helpful to patients. But it has to be a blend of practice medicine - not one ruling over another.
It sounds as through your ND really had no real understanding on what thyroid disease is at all. Especially with your antibody counts and to think she could treat it all natually was not right for her to take on alone.
I could go on and on about some of the problems that I've encountered with western medicine and that would include being misdiagnosed and basically... dismissed. There are many people with autoimmune diseases and especially CFS and fibro patients who have been accused by health practitioners of faking their illness. Recently there was a woman who posted in the lupus forum who had such a horrifying experience.
I agree with Stella. I like to combine western medicine with complementary medicine and that seems to work well for me.
Complementary medicine has been a blessing for me... especially for years of being undiagnosed and suffering daily. I now know why Mitt Romney's wife, who has MS, chose alternative medicine to treat her disease over western medicine. This is a woman with billions of dollars and many resources. Singer/actress Cher, who has CFS, is probably also getting alternative medicine in Germany. I know Germany makes many of the homeopathic remedies that have been helpful to me.
Great discussion... I enjoy talking about treatments that work and hearing about other peoples experiences as well (with both western medicine and alternative medicine).
I also had a bad experience with Thyroid PX and landed up in the hospital with heart problems because of what it had done to my thyroid. The worst of it was that I don't believe I ever had a thyroid problem. The naturopath prescribed the Thyroid PX due to fatigue and putting iodine on my skin. I had never had an abnormal blood test for thyroid until after I began taking that stuff. I repeatedly asked my naturopath if she was sure the supplement was safe and she always assured me it was. I finally quit taking it for good when my period stopped and if I hadn't things would have been much worse. After six months of medication to regulate my heart the high iodine contents in the Thyroid PX finally wore off and my thyroid went back to normal. I read another article about a lady who died from the stuff. According to the article on the net, the doctor who created Thyroid PX was sued and had his license taken away. I believe he sells the supplement offshore now so the U.S has no way of stopping him. I reported this to the Canadian health officials to have the supplement banned but have never heard back as to whether its still available. You are lucky to be alive. Take care!
I am about to start taking thyroid PX. I have been seeing a ND who has diagnosed me as having adrenal fatigue which is now much better however I still have really low body temperature averaging 36.0. Plus I have put on sooo much weight and can't seem to loose it. I have tryed some natural products but the temperature hasn't increase. I'm wondering if others have any comments on thyroid px. I have normal blood tests but know there is something not right - it feels as though my metabolism has stopped
Hi Danielle477, I agree with everything said in this thread. The more data you have the better decisions you can make. I do not rely on my ND 100% and I do not rely only on blood tests.
I had the opposite problem in that I was always hot and sweating when everyone else was fine, or even cold. I did a lot of reading and some of what I read suggested that copper deficiency may lead to increased sweating and getting heated quickly and that Iron deficiency can cause the opposite. Now there are many many variables that go into the equation, so don't take that statement as a simple fact because every one is different, but that being said I could suggest that you get your hair analyzed to see what your mineral levels are so you can find out what ratios might be off. In many cases you can not get this data just form Blood labs, for many minerals and toxins you need to get this data form Tissue or Hair.
For me, This was the watershed moment, because until this point i was just taking supplements and changing my diet etc but I really had no scientific proof that what I was doing was correct, or maybe even harmful. The more tools you have in your tool kit the better. In my case I was very low in Magnesium, Manganese and yes Copper. Everyone is different, that is why it is so critical that everyone get all the data they can so they know how much of what to take or not take etc. There are several accredited labs that you can contact on line and send your hair sample for analysis. I chose one that gave me a 22 page color report that to me was fascinating, because they were able to tell me that I had thyroid disease and that i was overweight etc. just from my metabolic panel and the results of this hair analysis. That was the extra tool I need in order for my ND and family doctor to better help me achieve whole body health. It only cost $139 US for the analysis which is nothing compared to the 6 doctors i saw over 7 years that did nothing to HEAL me.
My story is in my blog.
I would be interested to see how you do with the thyroid PX.
Someone sent me info about your situation and what you are doing. I too have multi goiters w.hot nodules, hyper. I have been to Endo's util I am sick! I feel like they keep putting me off. I am very interested in your posts about having a hair analysis, taking Thyadine, etc. Where can I get the analysis done and when I get the results, who do I go to for the supplements I need? Will the analysis tell me exactly what I need to take every day? Also, can you tell me where I can buy the Thyadine? Sorry for so many questions, but I am really looking for a more natural approach to my situation. Thank you in advance for any information you can give me to help me get my life back!
I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 6 years ago and since then I have been on thyroxine tablets. As so many of you, I also thought I'd try a ND. She made a test with a dodgy quantum analyzer, which actually picked up my thyroid problem, (and many other stuff.) This ND then told me that I should NOT be on meds for the rest of my life and I should by her natural (very expensive) supplements. But fortunately I was skeptical and has my suspicion about her natural treatments, and when I started asked specific question like how would I know when I wouldn't need the thyroxine, and if I don't take it could it cause any damage. She couldn't give me a straight answer of course, so I didn't buy any natural stuff and kept on taking my prescribed meds.
For quite some time now I have been doing researches on the internet on this, and so far I couldn't find one single person who'd say that he/she was cured naturally.
I'm really glad I found this forum, it pretty much proves that ND's are just trying to rip you off and thyroid is not something which can be fixed naturally.
I put up a website about this very dodgy natural ******** clinic, (not selling anything, just writing my experience)
Doctor's and N.D. are good or bad depending on their ability to understand the issue with the thyroid.
I am so tired of people putting doctors on pedestals and assuming n.d. aren't evidence based science based professionals.
Geez, just because someone has screwed up doesn't means that one is better over the other, in the end you need to also understand the language, not give into the words of so called doctors. They are there as a guideline and the thyroid is something that has many sides to it, therefore one needs to get to the bottom of it...it takes a consistent experience with the results not to presume that endo. are good at it either. They think they can't do anything to treat hypo thyroid until one's tsh test shows over 5.5...and really that isn't the only test one should consider. Dr. Brownstein does a great job at helping one come to terms of the many varied ideas of thyroid issues. Do not put all your eggs in one basket, but really see what the hell anyone is telling you, because people aren't one size fits all, but mainstream treats people as if we were.
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