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Thyroid Disorders Community
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317787 tn?1473362051

Supplements for Thyroid Health

Hello, I have a low thyroid, I am taking .25 mcg and .75 Generic Synthroid.
The numbers are good for me. however I was tired, apathetic, lazy.

I decided to try a supplement to help my thyroid work better.  On the 16th I started a Thyroid Support with iodine, made by Zhou Nutrition.
The first thing I noticed was sleeping much better than I have in a while.
I have more energy, I am up and doing things I haven't done in a long time, gardening, ironing, walking more than 500 steps a day. I no longer needs naps. My brain fog seems much improved as well.

I wonder what you think of supplements to augment the thyroid medication?  I will be going to get my Free T3, Free ts and TSH checked soon.  I know I have never been tested for Haishimoto despite the fact it runs i my family.I wonder what to ask for to get that test?  I was also thinking of get my adrenals checked, not sure what that test is either.

4 years ago I went through treatment for HCV, Incivek, interferon and ribavirin.  A few months after finishing my TSH was 17.  That explained a lot of what I was feeling, with the fatigue, confusion, brain fog, including the hair loss.  

I appreciate anything you can share, Dee
13 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Dee... Looking at the ingredients of the supplement you've started taking, I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say it's the vitamin B-12 and other ingredients that's making you feel more energetic with less brain fog and not the iodine...

Iodine would only make you feel better if your thyroid were still producing hormones on its own and considering how long you've been hypo, plus the fact that you've been through the HCV treatment, I'd have to doubt if yours produces anything anymore.

Low vitamin B-12 can produce the most debilitating fatigue imaginable.  Along with that, comes brain fog and a feeling of not caring whether you get up and do anything or rot on the sofa... I have Pernicious Anemia (inability to absorb B-12 through the gut) that was undiagnosed for many years and the fatigue of not having that B-12 was much worse than my hypo fatigue ever thought of being.  

Studies have also shown that selenium also helps with the conversion of Free T4 to the usable Free T3, so that could a factor, as well, though I'm not sure it would have an effect that quickly.  You also take T3, so that might not be a large factor.  

I've read that Ashwaganda and Schiscandra are both supposed to have energizing properties.  

Bladderwrack is supposed to promote thyroid function, but if your thyroid is "dead", nothing is going to help it function.  

Tyrosine is a component of thyroid hormones, but again, if your thyroid no longer produces hormones, it's not going to help. On the other hand, if your thyroid does still produce hormones, the iodine and tyrosine could cause levels to go too high... Tyrosine is also said to help with depression/anxiety, but mores studies are needed to define that.

"Zinc and other trace elements such as copper and selenium are required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, and deficiency of these can result in hypothyroidism. Conversely, thyroid hormones are essential for the absorption of zinc, and hence hypothyroidism can result in acquired zinc deficiency. The hair loss attributed to hypothyroidism may not improve with thyroxine unless zinc supplements are added, as demonstrated in our case."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746228/

I think you said you had hair loss, at one time, as well, that might have been attributed to the HCV treatment, but could also be attributable to nutritional deficiencies.

It's okay that you can't find your thyroid tests if they were done 8 months ago... they wouldn't be valid now anyway.  It would be good it you could get your thyroid tests done now, before you take this supplement for too long, so you can get a baseline.  Just a word to the wise... it's a good idea to keep a notebook or folder with all your labs, so you can keep a tally of what your previous ones were, for comparison.

I keep all of mine in a notebook and mark on each report what dosage of medication(s) I was on when the labs were done and what symptoms I had or whether I felt good.  That way I know what levels of Free T3/Free T4 I feel best/worst at so I know what levels to target.  That really helped me when my endo went out of practice and I had to start with a new one... I was able to make copies of all my labs and take them with me.  Since they already had all my notes on them, I didn't have to try to remember everything so I could  explain it to my new endo.  I have a really hard time because my TSH is always suppressed and most doctors want to drop my dosages right away, but this transition was quite easy once she saw my past records.

Once you get new thyroid tests, if you'll post them here, we can help you interpret them.
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Dee...

Is the 25 mcg a T3 med - possibly, Cytomel or its generic counterpart, Liothyronine?  

Since you're going to get your FT3, FT4 and TSH tested soon, I guess you don't have any recent test results to post?  It would be good if you could post your most current labs, with the reference ranges, as it always helps us if we can see what your actual levels are.  

Fatigue and apathy are symptoms of hypothyroidism, so it's possible that your current dosages really "aren't" good for you, even if your numbers are "in range".  

Typically, iodine isn't recommended if you have Hashimoto's, because it can make any autoimmune reaction worse.  What else is in the thyroid support supplement you're taking?  

Did you have hypothyroidism prior to beginning the treatments for HCV?  It's also well known that the treatments for HCV can cause hypothyroidism, so it would be good to get tested for Hashimoto's so you could determine whether your hypothyroidism is due to Hashimoto's or the HCV treatments.  I've only done a little bit of research and while I know those treatments can affect the thyroid, I'm not sure if they can trigger Hashimoto's, which is autoimmune.

The tests for Hashimoto's are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb).  You need them both, because some of us have one or the other and some have both.  

Is there a reason you thought you might have an adrenal issue?  There are different tests for adrenal function, depending on the problem.  Cortisol is the main thing, but a single cortisol test is not very accurate, since cortisol varies throughout the day.  In a perfect world, it's highest early in the morning, as we're getting ready to start the day, then tapering off as the day goes on and is lowest at night when we're ready for bed.  

A 24 hour saliva test is most accurate.  These are not, usually, ordered by doctors and are not covered by insurance... We can tell you where to order a kit to get the test done, if you like.
317787 tn?1473362051
Hi I am looking for my information, this was from Jan 2015 but I know there was one more recently as my doctor has me get it checked.  I guess I started because I was so desperate to feel better.  I can tell a huge difference in the last couple of days.  I will get info and come back, thanks, Dee

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Thyroid-Disorders/labwork/show/2439796
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
I understand the desperate feeling when you don't feel well.  I went back and refreshed my memory with the thread from Jan 2015.  Your thyroid levels were low then, but you had stopped your T3 med for a few days prior to the blood work, so you didn't have a representative sample.  This time when you do your blood work, continue taking your med as normal, except don't take it the day of your blood work until "after" your blood draw.  Typically, they say it doesn't matter about the T4 med, but I've found that even that skews my labs a little bit and I've started waiting to take it until after my blood draws.

Can you please tell me what all is in your new supplement besides the iodine?  If your thyroid no longer produces hormones, as I suspect, there might be something else in the supplement that's helping more than the iodine...
317787 tn?1473362051
Hi Barb, yes I had low thyroid before the treatments for HCV.
When I finished the last one my TSH was 17.  It did balance out

What I didn't have was this brain fog, this apathetic feeling where I do nothing much of anything for the past 4 years.

Sorry the name of the supplement is thyroid support with iodine, that is just the name of it for some reason

It has B12, Kelp, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, L-Tyrosine, Schisandra Powder, Ashwagandha Root, Bladderwrack Powder, Cayenne Pepper

I have to say I started this on the 16th, the last 5 days I have been feeling good, more active, been doing a little gardening.  Mainly I feel happy and eager to start the day again.

I know I need to go to get my thyroid tested, I can't find the other one I had done, it was about 8 months ago.

You are right, for 4 years I have tried to "get well" my home is a wreck.  I did have back surgery a year ago so that didn't help, actually I have had two back surgeries in 2 and half years.

I really appreciate your answering


317787 tn?1473362051
Thank you Barb, I appreciate all the time it took to help with this.


My initial problem eons ago was that everyone kept saying my thyroid was fine when it wasn't
A doctor took a chance and gave me 5 mg cytomel, I lost a lot of weight then continued on
Thanks again,
I'll let you know, Dee
317787 tn?1473362051
Do you take any vitmains or supplements? It was nice to be able to chcik you as best answer :)
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Dee, while doing some other research, I came across this and thought it might interest you:

"L-tyrosine. The thyroid gland combines tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormone. If you are taking prescription thyroid hormone medication, you should only take L-tyrosine under the direction of your doctor. DO NOT take L-tyrosine if you have high blood pressure or have symptoms of mania. Tyrosine may interact with Levodopa.

DO NOT take an iodine supplement unless directed to by your doctor. Iodine is only effective when hypothyroidism is caused by iodine deficiency, which is rare in the developed world. Too much iodine can actually cause hypothyroidism."
http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000093

Vitamin B-12 can also give you energy and lift brain fog and has no such side effects.

You really should get tested for Hashimoto's before taking the Tyrosine and Iodine products...
*********************************************************************************

Yes, I do take some supplements.  I find I have better luck buying the individual supplements I need vs a multi or something that has things I don't need or am not familiar with.

I have Pernicious Anemia, so I take a weekly B-12 shot, I also have folate deficiency, so I take a body ready folate and benfotiatmine, which is body ready vitamin B-1.  When I had a micro-nutrient test, I was found to be deficient in selenium and zinc, so I take both of those, along with magnesium and calcium for osteopenia.  I'm also deficient in vitamin D so I take that.  

Because I also have digestive issues, which prevents proper absorption of food/nutrients, I take digestive enzymes to help digestion,  I also take probiotics to keep gut flora in balance, because I've had to take a lot of antibiotics.  

Last, but not least, I take Alpha Lipoic Acid to help dull my peripheral neuropathy pain.

My neurologist wants me on a B-complex, but I can't take anything with B-6, because that causes me to have nightmares/very vivid dreams.  I can take the B-complex for about a month at a time until I start having the bad dreams, then I have to stop for a couple months to let the B-6 dissipate.

Do I ever feel like a pill head??  You bet I do and it's no small task trying to fit everything in, because the supplements must be taken away my thyroid medication, as they block its absorption.
317787 tn?1473362051
Hi Barb, since the realization that I have not been taking my thyroid medication on a regular basis, I am trying hard to concentrate on taking it first thing in the morning
I think I was concentrating on supplements, did not concentrate on the right thing.
So taking my meds every other day is probably affecting me.
I am trying to take some comfort in that and hope I will soon feel better.  I had an implant put in my jawbone and that is hurting.  I guess it could be adding to my low feeling.  Thanks again for your help
Dee
I'm guessing it could take me a few weeks to get my thyroid back up, taking the synthroid and cytomel consistently
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Dee... Yes, you're right - not taking your thyroid meds consistently would certainly have a lot to do with the way you feel.  

We all come up with our little tricks to remember to take our meds... I found that having mine in a prominent place, so I'd see them first thing in the morning was very important, until I got into the habit of taking them before I did anything else.  For me, it was by the coffee pot for a while, because I always prepare the pot before I go to bed and the first thing I do when I get up is go turn it on.  I've known of some people who keep their med by the bed with a glass of water and reach for it as soon as they wake up.  

I'm sure it will take a few weeks to get your thyroid level back up.  It takes 4-6 weeks for a dosage change to take full effect and basically, you're doing a dosage change.  

I wish you the best of luck, but that doesn't mean you have to be stranger to our forum...
317787 tn?1473362051
Thank you Barb. I am glad that my husband got me these caps for my meds as it has alerted me to the fact that I am not being consistent.
Today I really feel bad but am telling myself it is because I have not been consistent
Thanks again
Dee
317787 tn?1473362051
Dear Barb, thank you so much for sharing with me.  I appreciate.
Every morning, first thing I am taking thyroid meds.
I hate leaving my pills sitting out but if that is what it takes I will do it.

Now I understand why my husband leaves his out, which drives me crazy, but now I understand lol
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