Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Hypothyroid

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by David Jackson, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    Hey hey,

    A few questions about hypothyroidism here:

    Most recent bloodwork shows my TSH highish, and my T3 and T4 on the lower side of acceptable:

    TSH:7.1 mIU/L ( 0.4-4 )
    T3 (Free):3.7 pmol/L ( 2.5-6 )
    Free T4:12.3 pmol/L ( 10-24 )

    This is the first bloodtest I've had in ages, due to being housebound for a few years, so I don't have anything relevant to compare this with. My doctor says we will just monitor this every six weeks, as much of the time this is just the body's natural rhythms. She said that if my TSH goes over 12, then some meds - Thyroxine, I think it was - may help.

    Anyway, I'm about to start learning a bit more about hypothyroidism, but before I get into it, I thought I might just ask on this forum... suppose I am a bit hypothyroid:

    What could be the underlying reason, and how to fix it?
    Any herbs/supplements/foods/etc that might help?
    Any suggested readings?

    Thanks in advance, your comments would be much appreciated.
     
  2. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I think some people will tell you to take iodine, but that is something I think you should avoid.

    My endocrinologist warned me against taking supplemental iodine. For me, it caused a transient elevated TSH, with a normal T4, classified as subclinical hypothyroidism when that pattern occurs. I haven't taken any since. It is not a benign supplement, and I wouldn't tinker with it for those reasons.
    Consequences of excess iodine
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976240/

    Moving on to how to describe your condition:

    Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is defined as a serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level above the upper limit of normal despite normal levels of serum free thyroxine.

    When I had SCH, three months later my endocrinologist repeated the TSH and free T4; my TSH came back down to a normal range. I didn't have to be treated.

    Subclinical Hypothyroidism: An Update for Primary Care Physicians
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664572/

    Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Deciding When to Treat
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0215/p776.html

    I think your doctor has given you good advice.
     
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  3. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    @CFS_for_19_years - thanks for that interesting post.

    I had just started taking Iodine again just before this blood test, actually.

    A few years ago, Naturopaths were doing these Iodine tests on me, and I was always coming up extremely low. They said I would never recover until I fixed the Iodine problem. However, no matter how much I took, my levels never improved on their tests. Eventually, I got frustrated and stopped going to the expensive Naturopaths after their treatments failed to deliver, and other things were helping me a great deal at a fraction of the price (that would be subtle energy healing stuff). So for quite a while - over a year - I was not taking any Iodine at all. I just picked it up again before that blood test. But maybe I should have left it.

    Well, thanks for the info. I am probably more confused than before, though :)
     
  4. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I think my endocrinologist had a good reason to tell me to NOT take any iodine. My elevated TSH fell back to normal AFTER I STOPPED taking iodine. I won't touch it again. My free T4 and T3 were fine both times.

    I can understand your confusion, but I would recommend you stop taking any iodine now. It is not a benign substance. Quoting from this:
    Consequences of excess iodine
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3976240/

     
  5. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Hello there @David Jackson
    I wish there had been the internet when I became hypothyroid some 20 years ago. I think maybe I was put on thyroxine too quickly and then there was no going back. If I had the info I have now, then I would have tried a few other things first just to test if my TSH went down.

    However from what I know, the fact that your FT4 is also low in range as well as the TSH being raised, is an indicator that you may be hypothyroid. Usually Drs do wait a few months though and retest to see which direction things are going in before they prescribe - mine actually did do this, but did not wait for the TSH to reach 12 (that seems very high to me to prescribe especially in the US where I thought they usually prescribed on a lower TSH).

    I would agree that taking iodine can be problematic from what I have read regarding the thyroid. I understand that if you take it then selenium needs to be adequate too, which it may not be in your case, and even then you have to be sure not to take too much selenium! It's a minefield.

    There are other things you need to consider also regarding vitamins/minerals to ensure that the thyroid is functioning well. This is from a UK thyroid charity site but may be helpful for you
    http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatment/vitamins.html
    Actually I don't see iron on that list, and I know iron has to be optimal for things to work properly. As a man, (I assume?) your iron levels are more likely to be OK, but best to get them checked out.

    Another area that people often discuss is that of gluten, as some people believe it's best to avoid gluten if you have a thyroid issue. That belief is not necessarily mainstream, but worth looking at. I like Chris Kresser's info on the thyroid (there are a lot of articles you can read) - here is a link to his one on the gluten issue https://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection/
     
  6. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    @CFS_for_19_years - when you stopped taking the Iodine, did you notice a change in how you felt? Or was it just a change in the test results?

    @mermaid - thanks for your reply. Did you notice an energy improvement or symptom improvement when you went on the thyroxine?
     
  7. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Hello @David Jackson Yes, there was a huge improvement for a few years. At the time I was working full time, and was in good health otherwise (this was 20 years ago).

    Unfortunately for me, (assuming you are a man, this won't apply!), it all went downhill after about 5 years, as I went through the menopause, and slowly developed the symptoms of ME/CFS over a number of years. Eventually after 17 years of exploring various things, I moved onto Liothyronine instead, and my energy is better now, but that is after putting other things into place as well.
     
  8. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Since you recently took iodine, it sounds like you should wait and retest and see if it still shows the same or goes back to normal.

    Do you have other symptoms of hypothyroidism like dry hair and skin, hair thinning, hair loss on the outer third of the eyebrows, weight gain, depression, etc.?

    A great resource is stopthethyroidmadness.com

    If you do have hypothyroidism, consider mercury toxicity as a root cause. I had autoimmune thyroiditis for 12 years and was on Armour Thyroid. A year and a half after getting my last mercury filling out, my thyroid recovered. I'm off the med and my complete thyroid panel is normal.
     
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  9. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    @caledonia Wow that is really impressive! I often wondered if anyone could recover from underactive thryoid after many years. I had my mercury fillings out (12 in all) a few years ago but am still stuck on medication unfortunately (20 years now).
     
  10. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I think I was lucky to have it recover at that point. My candida also cleared at the same time.

    Usually people need to do chelation and get out more mercury to have those clear. I'm currently doing the Andrew Cutler Frequent Dose Chelation protocol. Just finished round #9. So far, I can see a clear area growing on my fungus toenails. I've had those for many years too.

    If you decided to chelate, my suggestion would be to do only this protocol. The reason is if you don't take chelators within their half life, you can get worse. Learned this from hard experience. I have to dose every two hours.

    See my signature link for info on the Cutler protocol.
     
  11. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    I did a lot of research before I started taking Iodine regularly. Almost everything I read pointed out the need for additional selenium to avoid hypothyroid reactions in susceptible people. Additional cofactors include magnesium, vitamin-c, b vitamins, and sea salt.

    This is from Stephanie Buist ND:
     
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  12. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    I think I developed ioaterogenic hypothyroidism when I had several scans that had iodine contrast die. Several months later I came down with CFS and when they tested my thyroid my TSH was borderline high at 3.8 and I had a small goiter. My antibodies were negative. I was put on a trial of synthroid which didn't help my CFS symptoms but now I'm dependent on it. If your TSH and T4 don't come back into line soon, you could try some T4 and see how you feel. Esp if you have th cardinal symptoms of hypothyroid. It might be hard to tell though because the symptoms overlap with CFS.
     
  13. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I didn't feel any different while on or off iodine. It was just a change in test results.
     
  14. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    Thank you to all the above contributors. You've given me some good places to start.

    @caledonia - never have had any mercury fillings. And not really any symptoms of hypothyroidism... just not very much energy, and some kind of weird hypoglycemic thing; basically, needing to eat every three hours, or I'll kill someone (JK).
     
  15. caledonia

    caledonia

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    You don't have to have a history of mercury fillings to have mercury. This must be the #1 myth I see on this site.

    The low energy and hypoglycemia sound like adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can also affect the thyroid. Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism can be caused by mercury.

    Adrenal fatigue can be also caused by overtraining, long term undue stress, excessive caffeine use, etc.

    The Stop the Thyroid Madness website I gave a link to also has a good page on adrenals and how to test for adrenal fatigue. There are some free at home self tests and then you can also do a 24 hour cortisol saliva test.
     
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  16. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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    @caledonia - how can you tell if you have mercury toxicity?
     
  17. Jan

    Jan Senior Member

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    Oh dear, I think maybe I should stop trying new supplements when I don't have the energy to do the relevant research. I've had underactive thyroid for several years and started taking iodine earlier this year hoping it would help. My last blood results showed TSH 0.03 miu/L so they reduced my thyroxine.

    I eventually read somewhere that I should be taking selenium as well which I have since been taking. I've just had another blood test (awaiting results), I do feel that I've become underactive again. I really don't know what to do now, I think I should stop the iodine and then have another test. Any idea how long I should wait to be re-tested?
     
  18. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Go to my signature link. Towards the bottom of the page is a section for Andrew Cutler Frequent Dose Chelation. There is info there about how to test for mercury, links to Cutler groups where you can ask questions, etc.
     
  19. David Jackson

    David Jackson Senior Member

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