Archive | November, 2011

Natural Thyroid Hormone May Make Your Low Thyroid Symptoms Worse

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Arizona Thyroid Doctor Comments:

I just had a patient come in with low thyroid symptoms and ask if it was possible to feel worse when switching from an synthetic  to natural thyroid hormones.  You may be surprised at the answer I gave her.  I told her yes, of course they can.  She’s a 42-year-old teacher with two children.  She’d been diagnosed years ago was low thyroid condition after having her second child.  She was put on synthetic hormones.

Over the years she had had her dosage changed several times trying to find the sweet spot that would eliminate all of her symptoms.  She was tired and frustrated with the constipation, weight gain, fatigue, and brain fog and hair loss.  Her doctor was able to change the dosages for she would feel better for little while, but then the honeymoon would be over and her symptoms would be back in full force.

So, after several years day that she decided to try to find a different solution to her low hypothyroidism.  She decided that natural hormones would be better for her to take.  When she approached her primary physician with the idea of taking natural thyroid hormone replacement, he was not receptive to the idea.  She decided to go to a natural path and was put on natural thyroid hormone replacement.

She was also put on some adrenal support for her fatigue, vitamins for her hair loss, neurotransmitters for her brain fog,  digestive enzymes, and some melatonin to help her sleep.  Unfortunately for her, her symptoms only got worse.  Unfortunately, the natural path used the same model that most medical doctors use.  He just replaced the medication with vitamins and herbs.  He did not search for the cause of the patient’s low thyroid symptoms.

It turns out she has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It is an autoimmune condition where the body has lost self tolerance and attacks the thyroid gland.  Was it a matter of just switching her thyroid hormone replacement back to the synthetic hormones that enabled her to become symptom-free?  It was one piece of her health puzzle that helped.  She also had some neurological imbalances, sugar issues, gastrointestinal issues, immune system issues, and triggers that needed addressed.

Yes, it is possible to feel worse on natural thyroid hormone replacement. 

If you are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms, make sure you find a doctor that understands we’ve just talked about.

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Natural Thyroid Hormones May Make You Worse

Should you be taking vitamin D if you have Hashimoto’s?

New patients to our office frequently asked if they should be taking vitamin D for their low thyroid symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, hair loss, weight gain, depression, cold hands and feet, anxiety and all the other symptoms that go along with having low thyroid function.  Here are better question to ask:

How do I determine if I need it?

How much should I take?

How do I monitor the vitamin D I am taking to make sure I get enough, and not too much?

Something you should know is that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it acts like a hormone.  That means if you take too much of it, you do not get it out of your system as quickly as you would a water soluble.  Take vitamin C for example, it is water soluble.  If you take too much of it, your body will quickly and efficiently get it out of your system.

We have several patients that come in every week that have had their vitamin D checked in the past by their doctor and were told that there are levels were low and to just start taking some vitamin D.

This is a big mistakeVitamin D levels need to be rechecked to make sure that the dosages right.

Here is an all too common scenario.  The patient gets their vitamin D checked by their thyroid doctor.  The test comes back and shows that they have low vitamin D levels.  The patient is then told to take 50,000 units one time per week, usually on a Monday.  I’ve even had patients that were put on dosages as high as hundred and 150,000 units to be taken one time per week.

Does this make any sense to you?  Is taking one large dose of anything one time per week the best way to increase your levels?   Let’s use an analogy.  Let’s say that instead of your doctor checking  you for vitamin D, you were checked to see if you had a deficiency of apples.  The doctor runs the tests and finds that yes you do have a deficiency of apples.  Would it make sense to eat 50 apples at one time every Monday?

Or do you think it would be easier for your body to absorb the nutritional value of those apples by eating seven apples throughout the day, seven days a week?  Of course the answer is to take smaller dosages more frequently.  The same holds true for vitamin D.

If you have been checked for vitamin D deficiency, you probably only been checked to see what you’re circulating vitamin D levels are and not your stored vitamin D levels.  You want to make sure that you have both the circulating as well as the stored vitamin D levels checked at the same time.  In the past five years, I’ve only had one new patient come in and that has had both her circulating and stored vitamin D levels tested.

I average about one person per week that comes in to our office that will have a low circulating vitamin D level, but there stored levels will be high.  It is common to see this type of pattern in patients that have an autoimmune thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

If you are thinking about taking vitamin D or you are on vitamin D, make sure you find a doctor that knows what we have just talked about.  Find a doctor that will check your circulating and stored levels before you start taking vitamin D and after you’ve been on it for 2 to 3 months to make sure that the dosage is right for you.

Making Sense Of Your Thyroid Lab Values

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Arizona Thyroid Doctor, Helps Make Sense of Your Blood Test Results: