View Full Version : Mrs. D...Natural dessicated thyroid vs synthroids
03-01-2012, 06:22 PM
So Mrs. D, or anyone at all who has information about this, what do you think of using natural dessicated thyroid medication as opposed to synthroids? Is it more 'all-encompassing' than synthroids? This is what I am reading from different views on the internet. This is all new to me so trying to glean as much info as possible.
It's late for me tonight.
I'll get back to you tomorrow. This is a huge subject.
This subject is very complex...and there are two camps for
About.com has the best thyroid discussions on the net. There are several posts on that site in fact.
I am hypo, and have thought about dessicated, but since my symptoms are gone for the most part, and my TSH remains below 2.0, I don't seek other treatments.
Autoimmune illness can be triggered by gluten intolerance. So I'd try gluten free for a while and see if you feel better.
Also vaccines are problematic in some people with tendencies for autoimmune disease.
Many people do well on levothyroxine treatments.
And also Hashimoto's patients tend to have changing needs, and changing test results. Those with the most aggressive
Hashimoto's have the most trouble.
This year, using more supplements, I've had NO cold intolerance at all.
I think the bottom line is the T3 content. T3 is made in normal thyroids and to a much lesser extent than T4. T3 has a very short half life in the body and stimulates tissue immediately...whereas T4 has to be activated.
The dessicated forms come from pigs, and T3 content is going to be different from each pig, because stress and other factors,
determine how much is actually produced.
I know from myself, that illness (infection) and sudden weather changes, do affect me but only briefly. This I think is the heart of the T3 issue.
Zinc and selenium are cofactors in the tissues to convert T4 effectively. So being low in either is not good.
I don't have Hashimoto's, I've been tested 3 times for it.
I did have a right sided goiter, and that receded on the hormone therapy. My left lobe is not working properly-- had a radio uptake scan showing that.
No one knows why my gland is not working properly, but I think it may be due to previous infections, or the abuse I endured as a child.
I still do not have any nodules either.
03-02-2012, 08:03 AM
:) I knew you'd show up, thank you. And thank you for the link. I've been all over the place reading different things.
The one thing that caught my attention is I've seen quite a few people talking about how treating with meds for the T4 isn't as effective and a is a hit and miss as far as affecting the T3. (?) That the natural dessicated med does a better job of addressing all issues.
And I have no idea what I'm talking about, LOL, so I'll just go read some more.
What has surprised me with this diagnosis is how it explains several things that have happened to me in just the past 6 months that I have definitely noted and wondered about. One thing that has been very pronounced is being cold...like the cold starts in my core and works its way out to the rest of my body. If that makes sense. But, I've always complained about the severe fatigue which I've blamed the fibro for. But again, this past 6 months to a year, it has been very pronounced.
Anyway, thanks Mrs. D, I feel better knowing you are here on the job, so to speak. :D I feel like I did when diagnosed with the fibro....whuuut???? Thyroid???? :p
Remember with most Hashimoto's there is still some thyroid function. When that occurs, you can still make some T3 yourself from the gland.
It is when people have the whole thyroid removed, that T3 becomes a bigger issue IMO.
03-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Ohhhhhhh, thank you! Good to know!
03-04-2012, 06:58 AM
Isn't Mrs D. a treasure!! :grouphug:
03-05-2012, 05:46 PM
Yeppers, she certainly is and always has been!!!
Mrs. D, Dr. apparently did more testing and when I saw him today he said he doesn't see any indication of Hashi's. He put me on Levothyroxine Sodium 100 MCG. I go back in 3 months to do another test to see how it's going.
03-05-2012, 06:09 PM
Oh and interesting. We talked about the meds I take and what time of day. Afterwards, he told me to take the synthroid at night.
When I stopped at the pharmacy to pick it up, they did a consult with me since it's a new medication on my record. The pharmacist said to take it in the morning. When I told her what Dr. said, she loooooooked at me and said, "What? I've never heard of that."
If you take it at night....it has to be on an empty stomach...
HOURS after eating.
Almost all thyroid should be in the morning on an empty stomach,
and no food or calcium containing liquids for a hour!
Any food present and the thyroid will not be absorbed.
It is very strange to start someone on 100mcg a day.
Typically it is 25mcg for 2-3 months, then 50mcg for 2 months then retest. Is your doctor OLD...not up to date?
03-05-2012, 07:34 PM
Oh great! No, he isn't old at all. Middle age.
Ugh, so does that mean no milk with coffee in the morning I take it?
03-05-2012, 09:57 PM
I've done a little checking here and there and find that there are people who take it at bedtime. One of those places was at the following link (in addition to a few forums I visited and read some of the patient posts). http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroiddrugstreatments/a/bedtime.htm
Thanks for that link.
What IS important, is the presence of FOOD in the GI tract.
This acts as an absorbant, and decreases thyroid absorption.
My GI tract is not slower at night! It is NEVER slow ...LOL
Do what you decide...but keep calcium, iron and magnesium away from that dosing time as well as having an empty stomach.
At least 6 hr after eating. (food with fat in it will stay in the stomach longer--and evening meals tend to be more fatty in content).
Starting off at 100mcg is not typical. If you get side effects, sweating, or heart palpitations, call your doctor.
03-06-2012, 08:30 AM
Yes! I see problems with both times. I do not like meds that have to be taken hours before or after meals. My problem with the nighttime dose is that I'm usually a late eater. So that would make a major change for me. Or in the morning. Well, I wonder if I could find a non-dairy creamer that doesn't have the calcium, etc., in it. I am not a black coffee drinker, lol.
I haven't even looked at side effects which is something I always do before taking meds. I told Dr. that if it caused weight gain, forget it! I lost 30 lbs after getting off the darned Paxil a few years ago and don't want to go down that road again.
Thanks Mrs. D as always for your valuable input! :hug:
Well, Doody, if you are like some of us, you get up to go to the bathroom at night? :o
If you get up at 4am to do that, well, take the thyroid then.
You'll find some rhythm that suits you. I take lots of stuff at night, most of my meds. So night time is out for me.
But I might start taking the levothyroxine at a bathroom visit myself. My TSHs run between 1.5 and 2.0 normally on 75mcg dose.
03-06-2012, 11:24 AM
LOL Mrs. D, yes, I normally do potty in the middle of the night. I've made a habit, though, of never looking at my clock at night. I used to do that all the time in years past and found just knowing the time sometimes kept me awake.
So, guess I'll have to start watching the clock when I wake up, oh goody again.
Maybe I should drink a whole glass of water before bed and hope it makes me wake up at the same time every night, LOLOL!
Again, my main problem with taking at bedtime, which is what he instructed me to do with no hesitation...which by the way, he was adamant about starting at 100 mcg!.... is that, I basically snack all evening. I know! Bad thing! :o
03-06-2012, 11:28 AM
Oh and my TSH always seems to be okay. Last test was 2.01. It's the T4 that plummeted in my last 2 blood tests at physicals. First one was .89, next physical 0.25.
Oh, and I take my trazadone and fluoxetine at night about an hour before I go to bed.
I'm going to shoot for the night time and hope that I get up at around the same time...since it seems so important to take at the same time each day.
You can vary by hours.... T4 (levothyroxine) has a long half life in the body....190 hours.
T4 is stored in tissues and on special proteins in the blood that carry it around...once you have been on it...you will have a huge hedge for time changes. T3 on the other hand has a short half life of a few hours (less than 5).
Some people with normal TSH and low T4 values, may benefit from Iodine supplements. I don't feel comfortable with the new ultra high doses of Idoral some doctors give. But you could take a kelp extract that has 150mcg in each tablet...take 2 of those to increase your iodine intake. That might help too.
03-06-2012, 05:19 PM
Thanks Mrs. D! Sounds good to me. Should be interesting to see if there is any rhythm to my kidney madness in the middle of the night. ;)
I find my night time bathroom visits have 2 major triggers.
1) good blood pressure control minimizes night-time bathroom needs (for urine that is)
2) more carbs, poor blood sugar control = more night time visits also. Larger breakfast and lunch and smaller dinners make for less night time urine runs.
Of course drinking large fluid intakes after 6pm is also a factor.
Taking B-complex or other vitamins at night will get you up too.
I really can't stay up much past 8-9pm anymore. Very stimulating days I might be up til 10pm but that is rare now.
In summer with longer days, I stay up later. In winter I go to bed early. Being OLD is soooo much fun! (not) :p
03-07-2012, 02:53 PM
This is just for information, it not intended to be aggressive (just FYI-ness)
I’m going to comment here on a few things:
“The dessicated forms come from pigs, and T3 content is going to be different from each pig, because stress and other factors, determine how much is actually produced.”
This statement is false, Natural Dessicated Thyroid (NDT) hormone replacement medication has almost an exact amount of T3 per tablet.
Also not false but maybe misleading:
“Remember with most Hashimoto's there is still some thyroid function. When that occurs, you can still make some T3 yourself from the gland.”
When you take any kind of thyroid replacement medication your own thyroid should not produce anymore T4, this process is called “deregulation”, the thyroid will continue to make T4 only if you are NOT taking enough medication.
False statement with regards to NDT:
“Almost all thyroid should be in the morning on an empty stomach,
and no food or calcium containing liquids for a hour!”
NDT can be chewed and taken before eating. And as long as you maintain the same schedule, for instance I always take my medication in the morning with the same breakfast, then your levels are going to be checked with consistency.
I would only take one quarter of your daily dose at night otherwise you will have side effects (just my personal experience only).
agree, I would not take calcium, iron and magnesium at or near the time you take thyroid medication.
All Hashimoto’s patients should NOT take synthyroid because it contains gluten and Hashi’s peeps should not have gluten in any form.
I currently take 240mg, a good starting dose is 60mg increased every two weeks by 30mg up to a dose of 120mg, then retest, then continue to increase that dose every two weeks by 30mg until your Free T3 is above 3 and your Free T4 is above 1.
TSH levels ON thyroid medication should always be less than 1.0 (period). If not you are and will experience symptoms of hypothyroidism.
As far as iodine supplements, only those without Hashi’s should even try iodine and only with a specific protocol that includes taking required vitamins before starting iodine treatment.
All this information is brought to you from things I have learned from 1,000’s of people over the years and my personal ability to understand technical scientific data. You can find most of the information on a website called “Stop the Thyroid Maddness.com”.
Let me know if there’s any questions.
This subject is so complex.... I just had a formal CE on it in fact.
Unless a person is on high dose replacement hormone....there will be residual activity from the thyroid gland.
The feedback loop will depress the thyroid depending on DOSE.
Patients with glands completely removed will not be making T3.
However patients like me who only need 75mcg a day, will be making some endogenous hormone above the 75mcg coverage.
Because the dessicated products contain T3, the half life for this active form is very short, so timing is more specific.
For LEVOthyroxine like Synthroid and others, timing is less critical because the T4 has a 1/2 life of DAYS. Hence once you are on it for a while, you can even skip a day here and there if you run out, or lose them etc, without incident. If you are one or two hours early or late taking, that is insignificant since there is T4 hanging around for DAYS...as a backup.
In the case of Doody's question, her post #8 says, her tests do not show indication of Hashimoto's. So in HER situation, having low T4, in the face of "normal" TSH may indicate a lack of iodine in the body to make the T4. Iodine is conserved by the body to some extent and if something is wrong there and it is LOST and cannot be recycled to make more hormone, it needs to be supplemented.
There is a large range of patients with hypo symptoms who are clinically hypo or subclinically hypo, all the way to those with removed glands. Treatments vary therefore for the various situations.
One factor to always consider is that too much thyroid hormone given, will be adjusted by the body's feedback loop to slow production in the gland. This is dose dependent. In my case my doses were adjusted to reduce a goiter. Once that was done, my hypo symptoms abated. But as doses increase more and more gland stops producing both T4 and T3. Once that becomes total, then taking a T3 product becomes more important.
In the elderly medical suggestions are to keep doses within certain limits, because thyroid hormone over time accelerates bone loss. It enables osteoclasts which tear down bone. So doctors will balance things to avoid excessive bone loss.
The doses of T4 synthetic like Synthroid are in micrograms.
The doses of dessicated are in milligrams. They are not easily interchangeable. for example 100mcg of Synthroid is not equal to 100mg of dessicated as a rule.
03-14-2012, 01:02 AM
As one who has been HypoT for over 25 years, and w/Hashi's for the last 8, I can assure you that I've been on the synthroid all that time successfully.
The Hashi's issue is an auto-immune one that followed two other AI issues, so no connection to the synthroid-dose just changed. Get tested for Free T3&T4 every 6 months and adjusted accordingly.
An interesting site to learn about the THYROID and other glands is the following: http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/about-endocrine-system
I find it fascinating that other glands at times pick up the slack of thyroid and other gland malfunctions. These teeny glands can make our life happy or totally miserable depending on how well they work and work together.
Good luck and keep us up to date please! - j
03-14-2012, 06:12 PM
Thank you so much everyone. I so appreciate this since I am so in the dark.
I just know that I've been having a really tough time and wish that this medication was an overnight cure, but apparently it's not. The depression, fatigue, tiredness, chills are overwhelming. And I'm not sure if the synthroid has anything to do with this but boy have I been 'itchy'. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Especially in the evening at bedtime. And I feel very 'spacey'. Don't know how else to describe it.
I'm concerned now that he started me on too high of a dose, but he was really adamant about starting at 100 mcg. And he knows how I am with at least antidepressants. He has always started me on low doses of medication...at least since he figured out how I was with the ADs. So I was somewhat surprised when I said....So, doc, I assume we are starting me on a lower dose. NOPE. And he was pretty darned firm about taking the levothyroxine instead of the Armour. Something several of my friends totally disagree with.
So I don't know what to do but keep doing what he told me to do and hope this crap gets better sooner than later.
Oh, and on my own I decided to take it upon getting up in the morning. Not sure if that is the right thing to do. Taking it at bedtime...well, my sleep hasn't been this interrupted in a long time. And jittery!!!! Feels like that awful restless leg syndrome.
I so appreciate all of your ideas and suggestions, I really really do. Who better to learn from than people who are experiencing the same things in life.
sigh...I just feel so off and have been feeling that way for the better part of the last year. The chills are really something! Drive me nuts. \
Thank you dear ladies. :hug:
Chills are not typical. They will happen if you are low in blood sugar. Thyroid accelerates metabolism and may cause low blood sugars if you are prone to that.
Eating smaller meals, more frequently, less sugar and carbs, and small snacks of quality protein etc, may help this.
I really think starting at 100mcg is not typical.
03-15-2012, 09:02 AM
Thanks Mrs. D. They were really bad last night. I felt as if my body was continually contracted with chills.
I'm going to call the doc here shortly. :hug:
Best to call the doctor. You may have something else going on.
There is a connection between the adrenals and thyroid:
You might have to see a specialist in the end, for this.
Good luck...it has to be scary for you!
03-15-2012, 11:08 AM
Best to call the doctor. You may have something else going on.
There is a connection between the adrenals and thyroid:
You might have to see a specialist in the end, for this.
Good luck...it has to be scary for you!
Thank you. Sigh. His nurse called back and said to quit taking it for a week. Then start at the same dose once every other day for a week. Then go back to every day and see what happens. :confused:
That sounds a bit more reasonable!
03-15-2012, 12:10 PM
Oh good, thanks. :) It will be interesting to see if this clamp down of these chills eases up. Though...chills have been around now for at least 6 months. Doesn't make sense to me that the medicine is supposed to be making it better.
Oh well, we'll see! I actually hurt some today because the overwhelming chills last night were so bad! :p
I get chills like that...shaking chills, when I am having GI spasms and pain. They can be so bad I can't walk.
Do you have any fever or sweating?
03-17-2012, 07:23 PM
Oh...well, yes to the GI spasms which I've had since my 20s when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. And yes to the sweats. .
Interestingly enough, the next day after I quit taking the synthroid I have had no more chills. I haven't noticed any chills. Which was part of my problem in the past 6 months. Just awful chills. Which is one of the symptoms with hypothyroid. What I can't figure out is why they got so much worse on the medicine. I guess my thyroid trying to adjust to the med? Not sure!
Guess we'll find out when I start taking it again in a the next week. Remember, he told me to go off for a week, then 1 a day every other day for a week, and then back to full throttle.
I'm so bad, I'm thinking of starting at half that dose and working back up to 100 mcg. I'm not sure, but I am thinking about it.
I've also been pretty sick since, oh...September. Bronchitis 3 times since then. Actually has felt as though it's been one continual illness that just let up in between those times.
I started taking my grandson to kindergarten and picking him up every day last fall. Can't tell you the number of kids I experienced coughing and hacking through the winter~! Every time he has gotten a 'cold', so have I, but mine goes into bronchitis.
What happens is that the external thyroid given, affects the feedback loop from the pituitary. If the external dose is too high it shuts off the thyroid suddenly. This shuts off the small amount of T3 your thyroid makes too. It is rather a BOOM physiologically.
Endos typically start people off (especially older patients) at 25mcg for a month or two. Then raise slowly. I was at 50mcg when an ice storm hit here and we lost our power for 4 days!
I went into a "crisis" because of this (COLD), and hubby called the endo and he raised me to 75mcg. That seemed to work, and at that dose is where I am today. I had a goiter on the right side of the gland and that slowly returned to normal.
When cold weather hits each fall I have an adjustment time of about 2 weeks. But it is not like the crisis was, that is for sure.
The only residual hypo problem I have is cold intolerance when it is sudden...my legs seem to get very stiff and stairs are difficult outside.
You need to get your Vit D tested. I've had no colds or flu or bronchitis since I started raising my levels. I get the beginning of a flu--the aching part but no congestion or further symptoms.
I'll share this story with you... A cousin of my husband's from upNorth was a nurse, and her hubby a internal medicine doctor.
She was a smoker, and developed throat cancer. She went to Johns Hopkins for a radical chemo radiation, and when that remission happened her thyroid was damaged. Her doctor put her on 100mcg of Synthroid and she and her husband came upNorth (where it is isolated and difficult with no electricity or phones, etc), and she had a terrible reaction to the Synthroid.
They packed up and left after a few days, and when I saw her she was a mess. (lots of heart palpitations etc) That is when she told me, and I explained to her what was going on. At least that calmed her down a bit.
So starting up on thyroid should be a gradual process so your body can adjust to it. This is why I was surprised at your 100mcg dose. Really that is not the way to do it.
But both of them were medical people, and didn't have a CLUE!
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