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TOPIC: Thyroid treatment without meds?

 
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October 9, 2012 5:16 AM
I have had Hypothyrodism for over 13 years. The only way I have found that works is the medicine. Once you start taking the medicine in a few weeks all of that stuff gets better...I have a few things that linger but for the most part you will feel much, much better. You will feel like a different person afterwards. If you wanna send me a message with some questions feel free to, as someone who has lived with this for years it can be a kind of scary diagnosis. Do you know what your actual TSH number was?
October 9, 2012 5:17 AM
thyroid hormone is in every single cell of your body. it governs metabolism on a cellular level - which means it is necessary inside of each cell for it to work properly. I also tried iodine, herbs, armour thyroid, and finally succombed to levothyroxine - which turns out to be the only thing that works for me everyday. there are no side effects. it is very important to have blood levels checked to maintain the correct amounts in your system - for obvious reasons.
Bonnie, RN
October 9, 2012 5:19 AM
QUOTE:

I have had Hypothyrodism for over 13 years. The only way I have found that works is the medicine. Once you start taking the medicine in a few weeks all of that stuff gets better...I have a few things that linger but for the most part you will feel much, much better. You will feel like a different person afterwards. If you wanna send me a message with some questions feel free to, as someone who has lived with this for years it can be a kind of scary diagnosis. Do you know what your actual TSH number was?


It was 7.2. Unless there is some other level that I haven't educated myself on yet.
October 9, 2012 5:26 AM
QUOTE:
P.s. check out the Metabolism Miracle book. It has helped me get a handle on diet. Hope this helps.


Thank you! Purchased and loaded onto my Kindle. Will peruse this evening.
October 9, 2012 5:59 AM
QUOTE:

Also, she didn't prescribe me the meds yet. I asked for 4 weeks to do my research and then I go get tested again.


4 weeks is NOT enough time to even begin healing the body to make a difference in your TSH or other Thyroid hormone levels.

My advice (coming from someone that had a TSH of 12.4 ) is to ask for Armour Thyroid (it is ALL natural pig thyroid, so you get all components and not just the T4 hormone like Synthroid, which is also synthetic).

Ask for Armour Thyroid and get back to clean eating. Cut out the gluten containing grains. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, stay away from all soy (soy is in almost ALL packaged foods now days in some form or another).

Get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well. It has taken me almost 4 years to go from 2 grains of Armour Thyroid down to half grain. It is a slow healing process, but one that can be done if the person is willing to put in the work.
October 9, 2012 6:05 AM
Sweetheart, if you find it please let me know. wink I'm looking at hormone replacement (and fighting with doctors over it) for the rest of my life because my body just isn't really making it much anymore.
October 9, 2012 6:06 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Also, she didn't prescribe me the meds yet. I asked for 4 weeks to do my research and then I go get tested again.


4 weeks is NOT enough time to even begin healing the body to make a difference in your TSH or other Thyroid hormone levels.

My advice (coming from someone that had a TSH of 12.4 ) is to ask for Armour Thyroid (it is ALL natural pig thyroid, so you get all components and not just the T4 hormone like Synthroid, which is also synthetic).

Ask for Armour Thyroid and get back to clean eating. Cut out the gluten containing grains. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, stay away from all soy (soy is in almost ALL packaged foods now days in some form or another).

Get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well. It has taken me almost 4 years to go from 2 grains of Armour Thyroid down to half grain. It is a slow healing process, but one that can be done if the person is willing to put in the work.


If you have hell finding Armour, like I do, you can also order ERFA's Thyroid brand from Canada. This has been so convenient.
October 9, 2012 6:09 AM
Mine is underactive. I've been taking Synthroid for it for 8yrs. It has made a great difference!! Mine was found by accident too. Once I was told about it it definitely explained how I had been feeling- tired all the time and gained some weight even though I was watching what I ate and exercising. All this was before I had kids and had never had a weight problem. I'm not sure if you have kids already or will be trying at some point but a thyroid that is not under control can cause issue while you are pregnant (ie miscarriage) and other issues. The dosage had to be changed several times while i was pregnant as your hormones change so much.
  807143
October 9, 2012 6:09 AM
I haven't read all the posts so apologise if someone has mentioned this already. There is a natural thyroid supplement which you can take, I was on it successfully for years. It's Armour Thyroid, so may be worth looking into it. It's quite expensive, which is why I eventually gave up and went onto the synthetic version. Good luck :-)
October 9, 2012 6:09 AM
YES I TAKE THYROID MED EVERYDAY. IT'S JUST ONE PILL A DAY. I HAD A GOITER REMOVED FROM MY THROAT AND THEY REMOVED MY THYROID TO. I UNDERSTAND THE HAIR FALLING OUT, AND I GAINED WEIGHT, STAYED COLD AND ECC.... I'M GLAD I HAD THE SURGERY. YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH IT AND IT MAY GET WORST IF YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER! GOOD LUCK!flowerforyou
  28547582
October 9, 2012 6:09 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I have had Hypothyrodism for over 13 years. The only way I have found that works is the medicine. Once you start taking the medicine in a few weeks all of that stuff gets better...I have a few things that linger but for the most part you will feel much, much better. You will feel like a different person afterwards. If you wanna send me a message with some questions feel free to, as someone who has lived with this for years it can be a kind of scary diagnosis. Do you know what your actual TSH number was?


It was 7.2. Unless there is some other level that I haven't educated myself on yet.


It would be good to know your T3 and T4 (some doctors go only by TSH; others do the whole spectrum. Synthroid/Levoxyl are T4 only, more natural like Armour are both T3 and T4, and Cytomel is a fairly newer/newer studied drug that is only T3). All three levels play a role in

Like someone earlier said--many doctors jump to "here's the drug!" Why? Well, you can't treat thyroid issues with "weight loss/gain, diet, etc." However, I feel many doctors don't try to figure out what the issue is. Has there been an ultrasound done on your thyroid? Perhaps there's nodules or a goiter that's small enough for you not to notice, but is what's actually throwing off your levels (these things can be removed invasively or uninvasively, or controlled by meds).

As for the, "having to take something for the rest of my life"... lots of people have to take various meds for the rest of their life just to the crapshoot of genetics. I had a complete thyroidectomy when I was 13 due to the possibility of cancer (turned out to be benign, but the thyroid was already out by that point...). I will have to take a pill the rest of my life. I've had to take one as long as I can remember. Is it an issue? No. The 1 sec to pop the pill and the half-hour to hour of watching what I eat directly after is so commonplace to me, it's a nonissue.

I know we don't like to be dependent on meds, but at least you HAVE your thyroid! It IS possible for thyroid levels to change through different hormonal periods... so it really is possible you may be able to go off thyroid meds in the future. I don't have that opportunity, and often wonder what I'd do during the zombie apocalypse ;)

You did not cause this. Medicine will help this. It might not even be forever. Your symptoms can only improve (provided your doc doesn't go crazy with dosing). Think positive!
October 9, 2012 6:12 AM
I started taking Synthroid several years ago. According to my blood tests, my "numbers" are where they are supposed to be. However, if I miss taking a pill for any reason, I feel no different. I found this topic very interesting, reading everyone's response. The doctor tells me I am adjusted and within normal range now, but I did not feel any different than I did before I started taking the daily dose. My hair also started thinning bad and is STILL thinned out. In fact, it has gotten worse over the past few years. I did not lose a single pound because of going on this medicine either. It does make me wonder why I am taking it, but I don't want to stop the meds either... just in case!!
  19703741
October 9, 2012 6:16 AM
bump....I need help!!!!!
  8274891
October 9, 2012 6:17 AM
"Most women are dying to get this diagnosis and get on the meds."

I, and others I know, are working with diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction w/o the meds. I have been for two years.
I was diagnosed accidentally as a scan for a head injury showed growths on my thyroid, then I tested as having low thyroid function.
I'm exercising, eating better - as in being aware of my protein intake by using MFP, and I take, nearly every day, a Thyroxin-Free Thyroid Glandular capsule. My pharmacist, who I trust more than the doctors, suggested I do research before picking up the meds prescribed, as once you are on them the thyroid stops needing to work on it's own. It is VERY difficult to get off the MEDS.....and the only person I know who is on them constantly needs the dosage adjusted, as her moods and weight are out of her hands.

Best wishes for being able to take control of this yourself - keep researching.
October 9, 2012 6:18 AM
I've taken synthroid for probably around 20 years now. My thyroid was 4 times as low as it should have been. Best thing I ever did. It was like night and day. It's also hereditary- my dad's been on them longer yet.

I'm not much of a pill taker myself, but if your parts aren't working right, you need to do something about it. Any amount of vitamins you take aren't going to make it start working again. Then you are still taking pills. Why not take the pills that are specifically made for leveling your thyroid.

The way I felt when it was low was not a regular kind of tired. It was like your batteries fell out. Like you're in a daze or can't concentrate too good. The pills adjust what wasn't there and make your levels be where they need to be. You will be checked every so often to make sure they are in the range. Sometimes it may change a little and they will alter the strength. It's no big deal.
October 9, 2012 6:18 AM
QUOTE:

I started taking Synthroid several years ago. According to my blood tests, my "numbers" are where they are supposed to be. However, if I miss taking a pill for any reason, I feel no different. I found this topic very interesting, reading everyone's response. The doctor tells me I am adjusted and within normal range now, but I did not feel any different than I did before I started taking the daily dose. My hair also started thinning bad and is STILL thinned out. In fact, it has gotten worse over the past few years. I did not lose a single pound because of going on this medicine either. It does make me wonder why I am taking it, but I don't want to stop the meds either... just in case!!


Synthroid and levoyxl have longer half-lives, which mean it takes roughly two weeks for a pill to metabolize. Missing a pill once in awhile wouldn't make much difference, or a few weeks down the road you might feel a little more tired but not realize it was from weeks earlier.

If you really feel no different either way, I'd say you're either incredibly fortunate, or became so accustomed to your symptoms and signs that you didn't realize you felt the way you did because of thyroid (like thinning hair/eyebrows--not a very detrimental sign, but still a sign!).

Untreated thyroid or improperly treated thyroid can cause endocrine chaos--it's a hugely vital organ to the body. Case in point: I was severely underdosed because of pretty much medical malpractice. My adrenals began shutting down and resulted in a very lengthy medical recovery. More recently, I was too OVERdosed... resulting in my adrenals pumping far too much cortisol (which can then lead to adrenal fatigue), and yet another lengthy medical recovery.

Your endocrine system is (obviously) all connected; staying on top of thyroid treatment helps keep everything running smoothly.
October 9, 2012 6:20 AM
QUOTE:

"Most women are dying to get this diagnosis and get on the meds."

I, and others I know, are working with diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction w/o the meds. I have been for two years.
I was diagnosed accidentally as a scan for a head injury showed growths on my thyroid, then I tested as having low thyroid function.
I'm exercising, eating better - as in being aware of my protein intake by using MFP, and I take, nearly every day, a Thyroxin-Free Thyroid Glandular capsule. My pharmacist, who I trust more than the doctors, suggested I do research before picking up the meds prescribed, as once you are on them the thyroid stops needing to work on it's own. It is VERY difficult to get off the MEDS.....and the only person I know who is on them constantly needs the dosage adjusted, as her moods and weight are out of her hands.

Best wishes for being able to take control of this yourself - keep researching.


You're on meds. Just because it's a more natural compounded drug doesn't mean you're "working with diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction w/o meds." To imply this is dangerous--you ARE being treated.
October 9, 2012 6:22 AM
I was also recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My level was 0.01 which seems to be much lower than yours. I was having issues post-partum and couldn't shake them(I'm 5 months out now). I was using FAM to chart and noticed that my morning temperatures were hardly ever above 97 degrees which flagged me to talk to my midwife about it. I had been taking encapsulated placenta after having my baby and when I was taking them, I wouldn't have many symptoms. However, if I ran out, I would be depressed and easily overwhelmed (among other things) within 24 hours. So, I knew it wasn't "just depression" but that something else was going on because the placenta is essentially hormones. Anyway, long story short I have just started taking Nature's Sunshine brand "Master Gland" for adrenal and general endocrine support and Thyro-Gold (I'm still waiting on the delivery) for thyroid. My midwife recommended both. That being said, she has more background education in medicine and alternatives than most other midwives I am familiar with, so maybe seeing a holistic doctor or naturopath would help. I'm not sure if regular doctors are familiar with these kinds of treatments. My midwife takes both of these supplements herself and said that she has been taking to for 10 years and nows many other women who have taken it and they claim it's as good as Sythroid. I have not taken the prescription, so I can't compare, but I know other women can. I ordered both items online and I am meeting with my midwife to continue to monitor my levels and figure out how much Thyro-Gold I need to take. Because it replaces the hormones your body isn't making you can still overdose and become thyrotoxic.
I have nothing against medications, but I always like to try a more natural approach first if there is one available. So, hope this helps and good luck getting back to normal. :)
October 9, 2012 6:25 AM
QUOTE:

I was also recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. My level was 0.01 which seems to be much lower than yours. I was having issues post-partum and couldn't shake them(I'm 5 months out now). I was using FAM to chart and noticed that my morning temperatures were hardly ever above 97 degrees which flagged me to talk to my midwife about it. I had been taking encapsulated placenta after having my baby and when I was taking them, I wouldn't have many symptoms. However, if I ran out, I would be depressed and easily overwhelmed (among other things) within 24 hours. So, I knew it wasn't "just depression" but that something else was going on because the placenta is essentially hormones. Anyway, long story short I have just started taking Nature's Sunshine brand "Master Gland" for adrenal and general endocrine support and Thyro-Gold (I'm still waiting on the delivery) for thyroid. My midwife recommended both. That being said, she has more background education in medicine and alternatives than most other midwives I am familiar with, so maybe seeing a holistic doctor or naturopath would help. I'm not sure if regular doctors are familiar with these kinds of treatments. My midwife takes both of these supplements herself and said that she has been taking to for 10 years and nows many other women who have taken it and they claim it's as good as Sythroid. I have not taken the prescription, so I can't compare, but I know other women can. I ordered both items online and I am meeting with my midwife to continue to monitor my levels and figure out how much Thyro-Gold I need to take. Because it replaces the hormones your body isn't making you can still overdose and become thyrotoxic.
I have nothing against medications, but I always like to try a more natural approach first if there is one available. So, hope this helps and good luck getting back to normal. :)


Hold the phones. You have a TSH of 0.01?

Thyroid works "opposite"--the higher the TSH, the more the pituitary needs to produce hormones to pick up the thyroid's slack. A.k.a, hypothyroidism, as the thyroid is underactive. Hence, being over 3 (at 7.2 like the OP is), means her levels are low.

A "low TSH" (under 1-.5, usually) means the thyroid is OVERactive... as in, the pituitary is doing less of its partnership with the thyroid, because the thyroid is producing so much hormones. You having a 0.01 TSH would mean your levels of thyroid hormone are actually HIGH.

As in, a TSH of 0.01 is hyperthyroid. How did you possibly get diagnosed with hypothyroidism with a TSH of that?
October 9, 2012 6:40 AM
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto disease in January of this year after a routine bloodtest, my TSH was 3.3, which is lower, but common for those with Hashimoto (which is essentially all of the symptoms/issues of hypothyroidism but it's an autoimmune disease). I had lost 90 lbs, then gained 50 back and rollercoastered and was very frustrated. Essentially, my doctor explained that because of my thyroid issues my body didn't know when I was hungry/full and that all my efforts were being frustrated by the thyroid condition. She explained that the medication wouldn't be a magic bullet for weight loss but that it would make everything I was doing as far as diet and exercise matter and that the weight would stay off with effort instead of coming back quickly. I started on Synthroid in January and it has made an AMAZING difference. It is a small pill 1x per day and since January I've lost 53 pounds and it has been much less of a struggle than before. I would suggest you give the medication a try--it can take months or longer to get to the correct dosage so it is a patience game but you should feel much better--I stopped being so tired, depressed, and experiencing many of the other symptoms. It took four dosage adjustments but now I am set. I would highly suggest you find a qualified endocrinologist in your area who has experience with treating thyroid disorders. Mine is coupled with treatment for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) so I really wanted someone with experience. Also, as a heads up, four weeks is not long enough to see if the medication is effective, my doctor likes me to go 8 weeks between blood tests but no less than 6 because apparently that is how long it takes to see a difference in the blood work. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to chat. Have a great day!
October 9, 2012 6:41 AM
I don't have an answer for your question but I wanted to add that you shouldn't get your hopes too high about any treatment helping your symptoms. I also discovered I had an underactive thyroid on "accident." Like you said, it made sense after - hair falling out, always cold, tired, etc. I've never been overweight, though, so I guess it never crossed anyone's mind. Anyway, I'm on Levothyroxene and my levels are fine now. I don't feel any different, though. My doctor said I may feel like I "woke up" after starting the meds and could feel 100% better, but she also warned me that I might not feel any different. She was right about that.
October 9, 2012 6:48 AM
All:

This has all been extremely helpful. I really think I had just kind of gotten used to feeling the way I have been. Blaming it on some kind of mid-30s slump. I don't have anything against medication. I know medications can help in some circumstances. I just don't want to put all my eggs in the meds basket. I don't want to be like those people who take cholesterol meds but still eat double cheeseburgers every day. I really do feel convinced at this point that diet and supplements alone are not going to "fix" this. Even those taking a natural approach are taking a natural hormone supplement which I do consider medicinal. I'm still going to give it my 4 weeks and get retested just to make sure it wasn't some kind of crazy fluke, but I'm more and more convinced this has been my issue over the past year.
October 9, 2012 6:51 AM
I have Hashimoto's which causes hypothyroidism. I am on a low dose of Thyroidsine, a hormone replacement. It works to relieve the lethargy, swollen thyroid and a few other symtoms but is definitely not a magic weight loss cure. Like you, my diet was also to blame.
October 9, 2012 7:15 AM
QUOTE:

Oh my levels were 7.2. So, seems to be pretty high from what I'm reading.


High is low, low is high for TSH. I am currently (purposely) very hyper"thyroid". my most recent level in August was .397 - below "optimal". This means my body is not requiring to make the thyroid hormone because I have too much. Again, my doctor is doing this purposely for right now. SLIGHT history for those wondering:
2/3 of thyroid removed for cyst in 2010 and the 2 parathyroid were in the lobe.

Back to DoomFrog: I was feeling the same. I waited and waited and waited to go on the meds hoping that portion of my thyroid and my remaining para thyroids (also oddly inside the lobe which remained - odd because most people's are behind the gland) would begin to function. They did not. I was rapidly gaining weight, blood work was all way out of line, pre-stages of diabetes, more and more other meds... I finally took the synthroid, took the required supplements (para's control abosrption of calcium, mag, all that good stuff) and changed my diet and workout.

4 months later: no prestage diabetes, bloodwork back in check (bad cholesterol still a smidge high but given the changes in my triglycerides and good cholesterol, she was optimistic the bad was going to be the same optimal range soon, and I am hoping to come off my bp meds in Dec.

Moral of the story: I take .88mcg per day. My co-pay is $19.98 per month and the cost will go back down once she brings the levels to normal in a few months. Synthroid is cheap. The problem it poses is it HAS to be taken ALONE and not within 2 hours after eating or 4 hours from other medications. My suggestion for best absorption (I've done my research here both online and personal experience) is to take it with a glass of water before bed. I make sure I don't eat after 7:30 so I can take it by 930/10. This is also beneficial because we shouldn't eat less than two hours before we go to bed anyway yawn

Incidentally, she is keeping it high so taking me off the metformin (diabetes) doesn't stall my progress. She suspedcts to reduce my synthroid in Dec.
  3647041
October 9, 2012 7:24 AM
QUOTE:

I don't have an answer for your question but I wanted to add that you shouldn't get your hopes too high about any treatment helping your symptoms. I also discovered I had an underactive thyroid on "accident." Like you said, it made sense after - hair falling out, always cold, tired, etc. I've never been overweight, though, so I guess it never crossed anyone's mind. Anyway, I'm on Levothyroxene and my levels are fine now. I don't feel any different, though. My doctor said I may feel like I "woke up" after starting the meds and could feel 100% better, but she also warned me that I might not feel any different. She was right about that.


Maybe it isn't the right rx for you... it may be helping the blood levels but isn't correcting the real issue.
Also, I feel amazing. I didn't feel different right away but then when I made my dietary and other changes EVERYTHING changed. The meds were changing my bloodwork and my levels were were they should be but until I decided to make some drastic changes in my own life and routine, the pill was only maksing the real issue... it won't change what you put in your body.
  3647041

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