Has anyone had any success treating their hypothyroid with ashwagandha root or taken Gaia Thyroid support or any other supplement that helped their thyroid produce it's own thyroid hormone? I am borderline, TSH between 3-5 and I have tried generic synthroid, (gave me severe joint pain all over my body) armour (elevated blood pressure) and then brand synthroid (joint pain in fingers only, increase in ADD symptoms) and even though the brand synthroid 25mcg improved my energy for awhile, that effect is decreasing and I have gained weight in my stomach area which I noticed within 3 weeks of taking it. Weight gain was one of the reasons I got on it, and now I have talked to and read info from woman that none of them can lose weight once on synthroid. I went down this road for the purpose of losing weight and regaining energy. I've been on it for 16 weeks and I am afraid I have messed up my body more than if I had never even tried to treat it!! Am I too late? If I get off now, will I gain even more weight, become even more hypo?
Please post your thyroid related test results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report. Joint pain and weight gain can be associated with a number of things, but let's look at your thyroid levels first.
Ashwaghanda is not typically used for thyroid function. It's normally, used for adrenal support. I've read that it's supposed to help with weight loss, but no luck here; save your money, unless you have adrenal issues, which I did. There is nothing you can buy OTC that will increase thyroid function.
It's not unusual when starting a thyroid medication, for symptoms to get worse, before they get better. If you are starting to have symptoms, again, it's very possible that you simply need an increase in your synthroid dosage.
As requested above, please post you thyroid test results and reference ranges.
Excerpts from "10 best herbs for women" from Sensible Alternative Hormone Clinic..
" 6) Withania (Withania somnifera)
Best for: Thyroid
Known also as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, or winter cherry, this herb has a 3000 year old history of use in the Ayurvedic tradition. It has generally been regarded as a tonic herb, and clinical studies support its use for anti-aging, cognitive disorders and Parkinson's disease. It improves white blood cell count during chemotherapy, and helps the body repair after stress.
Of more particular interest to women, Withania looks promising as an herb to support thyroid function. At least 10% of women have a diagnosed problem with thyroid, and many more suffer from subclinical symptoms, such as fatigue, fluid retention and weight gain.
How does Withania help? Withania does not actually contain thyroid hormone. Instead, it works by supporting the body's own thyroid hormone production. In one clinical trial, mice given Withania extract produced significantly more T4 hormone compared with control. Researchers believe that the benefit may not be a direct stimulatory effect, but rather, may be the result of Withania's effect on cellular metabolism. The herb is a strong antioxidant, and by protecting thyroid tissue itself, the herb allows the thyroid to function more optimally. Withania is also an immune modulator, which means that it can reduce the autoimmune inflammation that is the most common cause of under active thyroid. The autoimmunity is also improved by Withania's mild sedative effect.
There is another reason why Withania is a good choice for underactive thyroid. It normalises the amount of stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. This is important, because too little or too much stress hormone can have a very detrimental effect on thyroid function. Many women make the mistake of taking thyroid medication without treating an underlying deficiency of the adrenal glands. This will result in a need for a greater doses of thyroid hormone, and a greater possibility of side effects including heart palpitations and anxiety.
Use this herb for thyroid if you have autoimmune thyroid disease, or if you are noticeably fatigued, and sensitive to stress.
How to take: Withania can be taken as a fluid extract or a tablet. Because the herb is so gentle, a relatively large dose must be used to see an effect on thyroid function. Consult your Naturopath. Withania is safe to be taken together with conventional thyroid medication.
Tip: Although autoimmunity is the most common reason for thyroid underactivity, iodine deficiency must also be addressed. Australian soil simply does not contain as much iodine as the thyroid needs. If you do not eat fish or seaweed every day, you should use an iodised sea salt, or take kelp.
Precautions: Withania has no known side effect, however because it is mildly sedative, it can interact with barbiturate drugs."
8) Coleus (Coleus forskohlii)
Best for: for weight loss
Coleus is generating excitement for its promise as a weight loss treatment. In one study in India, women lost an average of 4% of total body weight, while lean body mass was preserved.
Coleus is a desirable weight loss herb because it has minimal side effects. Conventional weight loss herbs such as Ephedra work by increasing adrenalin, and this causes problems such as anxiety and high blood pressure. Coleus is different. It stimulates something called cyclic AMP, which is a chemical that communicates between adrenalin in the blood stream and the actual machinery of metabolism, which is located inside the cell. Cyclic AMP essentially amplifies the message of anabolic hormones to fat and muscle cells, without causing any measurable change in the hormones themselves.
Coleus has other benefits for weight loss. It directly activates a fat-burning enzyme (hormone sensitive lipase), which releases fatty acids from storage. It also stimulates thyroid hormone and may improve insulin sensitivity.
Use this herb if you have sluggish metabolism. Because it increases stomach acid and increases bowel activity, Coleus was traditionally eaten as a pickle to accompany a meal,
How to take: A Coleus extract containing 50mg of the active ingredient forskolin should produce a result within six weeks. Use together with a diet of fresh food and regular exercise.
Tip: Because Coleus works on the cell's inner machinery, it combines well with other supplements that fuel the mitochondria. In particular, it can be combined with carnitine, an amino acid, and coenzyme Q10, an important nutrient for the cell's metabolism.
Precautions: Coleus lowers blood pressure, so it should not be used by anyone at risk for low blood pressure, or before surgery. The other concern is increased stomach acid. This can be a positive effect for someone with sluggish digestion and bloating, but those who suffer from gastric reflux should steer clear."
I stand corrected; however, I'd like to point out that any type of thyroid support would work, only, if the thyroid is still capable of producing hormones. For those whose thyroid has burned out, via Hashimoto or RAI (or surgically removed) and no longer produces hormones, no amount of supplementation will help it.
Additional iodine is most often contraindicated with Hashimoto's and can actually cause adverse effects.
Yep, I read it all. Things often don't look so long until it gets posted in one place -- I realize that when I get "long winded" sometimes.........lol
I've done a bit of studying on Ayurvedic medicine and have come across ashwagandha a lot, but have never seen it related to thyroid function. I've mostly seen it in relation to adrenal support and for weight loss - I can vouch that it doesn't help with weight loss.
I've only seen coleus referred to a couple of times, and again, not in relation to weight loss. Interesting. More research is in order.
Okay well the article has 10 herbs so zzzzz :) i kinda skim things at this time of the morning (it's almost 3am..insomnia doing a good job again). I knew about thyroid and ashwanganda from..somewhere. :) I didn't know about the adrenals however. Interesting. Can't say i noted much difference with the ashwanganda in my vitamin supplement but there doesn't seem to be much in there. How much do you need i wonder? Hmmm
Long term Hashimoto, many years of antibodies destructing the gland, can in some cases render the thyroid gland useless. When that happens, the body is totally dependent on daily thyroid hormone replacement.
So yes, some peoples thyroid can get "burned out" for lack of technical terminology. And if you can fend off the inevitable, through herbal support, and whole body health, all the better.
Early on in some cases, although rare, Hashimoto can be reversed to some extent through better overall health, adrenal support, or ridding the body of infection. However it is common for high antibody counts to remain (TgAb, and or TPO) even if symptoms improve.
Thanks for these comments everyone! I just was diagnosed with low thyroid function (TSH 6.38 and Free T4 1.2). My doctor prescribed me levothyroxine but before getting on some medication I want to see what I can do to actually stimulate my body's natural healing mechanisms. I think I'll try Gaia's thyroid support. Also planning on seeing an endocrinologist and a DO or Naturopath. Anyone in the Bay Area, CA with recommendations??
I'm also looking into melatonin and anything else that could help. Thanks!
I just started taking the Gaia Thyroid Support after a very long time on Synthroid. I can sleep better and deeper. My night anxiety has stopped. My horrific "fibromyalgia type pain" has stopped. My joint pain has stopped. I feel grounded, and no longer like a flighty kite. So far I have moments of deep fatigue, but I just started the support. I honor my body, rest, and then go on. My western doctor pooh poohed all those symptoms being related to synthroid and just wanted to add more pharmecuticles to my intake. UGH. I am feeling positive about this new journey. Adding meditation, vegan diet.
Hi! Did you stop your Synthroid cold turkey before starting Gaia thyroid support? Wean off gradually? Keep taking smaller dose? I'm so wanting the results you have & appreciate any wisdom you can share.
Just started taking Gaia Thyroid Support about a week ago. I can say it has already done wonders for me. I have not been diagnosed with low thyroid, but I was feeling sluggish, with weight gain (difficulty losing weight), moodiness, achy joints, depression, etc... Now I feel like a new person. I sleep better. I have much more energy. My constant aches and pains have dramatically improved. It may have been my adrenals because I am under a lot of stress with caring for my 89 yr old mother full time. However I will continue using it as long as these positive results continue.
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