Rhodiola, B-vitamins, Liver health, Depression & 5-HTP, VIt. D & asthma, plus the Road to Recovery!


(Though this page was written in 2011, it has been updated to the present date)

Are you enjoying the change in your weather? I am tremendously.

If you have the revised STTM book, you will note a brand new chapter about supplements and foods. I have also gathered up the following information on supplements that just might interest you!

SinglePumpkinRhodiola, an herb and adaptogen, can be a great way to counter stress and protect your adrenals!

I often speak of certain herbs which thyroid patients should look into if they are under a lot of stress, or their adrenal cortisol saliva test shows slight sluggishness, or even slightly high cortisol, as a result of a variety of stressors. One in particular is Rhodiola Rosea, and I am frankly impressed with it.

Since Rhodiola grows wild in Siberia, Russians have been brewing it as a tea to combat sluggish energy for a long time! And the Chinese have been aware of its great properties for eons as well. As an adaptogen, it’s said to decrease fatigue, stimulate your energy levels, and lower depression, i.e. it can do a great job countering the effects of stress, whether biological or psychological. See this research study.

It’s also known as an anti-oxidant, and studies show it can have anti-tumor properties. Different brands of Rhodiola contain different amounts of its important properties, so read the label. You might want to avoid taking it in the evenings, as it can stimulate too much as you prepare for sleep. I keep Rhodiola on hand to use if I’m going through stress of any kind! P.S. Please note that Rhodiola won’t be enough if your cortisol levels are severely low. You may need hydrocortisone in working with your doctor.

Single PumpkinWhy keeping your B-vitamin levels up can be so important!

Early in my journey to feeling wonderful again with desiccated thyroid, I remember a doctor stating how important it was to keep up with my B’s. Why? Because with an improving metabolism means a greater need for B-vitamins. Additionally, we may not be absorbing nutrients very well due to excess food processing, so keeping up with this is critical, even if you don’t “feel” the results.

What’s the big deal with B vitamins? They help your adrenals deal with stress better, assisting the production of all adrenal hormones. i.e. your adrenals are BIG users of B vitamins. They help breakdown other nutrients, which improves energy. They help in the production of serotonin, thus helping you to avoid depression. They enhance your immune function, and help with your hair, skin and muscles. Wiki states they reduce the risk of getting pancreatic cancer.

I have tried to take liquid B-vitamins before, and despise the taste. So I use a good quality, high dose pill form. Some do better taking each B vitamin individually. Go here to read about vitamin B12 in particular, tho ALL of them are imporant.

Single PumpkinAre you supporting your liver? It’s actually important for thyroid patients.

There have been many good discussions in the FTPO Facebook discussion groups about our livers. Why is that large organ so important? For one, it’s a major detoxer! We need it to function well to help remove that which we do NOT want in our bodies…such as excess RT3. It plays a strong role in digestion through the production of bile, helps breakdown carbs and proteins, produces insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and a bag full of other good activities. You can’t do well without good liver function.

How to support it? I am personally using a liquid product called Liver Life. It contains mushrooms and Milk Thistle seeds—both important for good liver function. Others also choose to do a liver cleanse to remove toxins, lower excess RT3 and improve liver function. I suggest talking to a Naturopath about good products, or do an internet search. Patients in groups can also help.

Single PumpkinSpeaking of depression…look what 5-HTP did for this gal.

Depression is all too common when on the inadequate T4-only meds like Synthroid or levothyroxine. Ridding it is one huge benefit of switching to desiccated thyroid, or correcting poor adrenal function and low iron. But there’s a possible solution until you better treat your thyroid—5-HTP. This chemical is a natural way to raise your serotonin levels, which helps to raise your mood.

One gal had severe depression (which in turn can cause suicidal thoughts in some.) Her Naturopath had an idea—to start taking 800 mg of 5-HTP a day, starting immediately with five pills before bedtime that very night. It worked. She explains “The 5-HTP took me back to the bubbly, happy me that was there before the thyroid problems began – at least emotionally.”

Single PumpkinHave asthma or any lung condition? Then you may want to look at your Vitamin D levels, which are chronically low in thyroid patients.

A female thyroid patient with low levels of Vitamin D got on supplementation with D3 to raise her levels. And to her complete surprise, her asthma went away. She explains: After I realized that my asthma was gone, I googled “Vitamin D and Lungs” and found out that it’s being studied all over the world. Here’s just one quote she picked up: “In a recent article from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers looked at Vitamin D2 and D3 levels in adults with asthma. They also measured obstruction in the lungs in various ways. They reported a significant correlation between Vitamin D levels and lung obstruction. In other words, the lower the Vitamin D level, the more obstruction in the lungs. In addition, decreased or insufficient Vitamin D levels were linked to greater “twitchiness” of the lung, which makes the lungs more sensitive.”

Cartoon thryoid with PatClick on last link below to view the Road to Recovery in your thyroid journey.

When I do phone coaching, there is a common phrase I tell folks: Be prepared that there will be rocks in the road you’ll need to tackle, and it’s normal. So keep on keeping on. And to underscore that reality, thyroid patient Joan Trudo Steckelberg created a great image of this road for me: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/the-road-to-recovery-a-visual-image/ Thank you, Joan!

Important notes: All the information on this website is copyrighted. STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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19 Responses to “Rhodiola, B-vitamins, Liver health, Depression & 5-HTP, VIt. D & asthma, plus the Road to Recovery!”

  1. Susan M Hall

    I just discovered that Bravo Tea makes an “Absolute Rhodiola” tea which I’ve started drinking at least once a day in place of coffee.

  2. Sulliver

    I have taken 5-htp twice, empty and full stomach. Both times I violently vomited and was in bed for the rest of the day fighting nausea. Anyone else have this happen? Thinking I’m allergic?

  3. Kathleen Quinlan

    You mention 5-HPT and Rhodiola, is there a supplement with all of that in them? I hate taking too many of anything. I am on Red Rice Yeast, I am hearing it is not recommended so I am looking for something to lower my Cholesterol naturally and have had Thyroid issues. Fatigued but restless at night. Joints swollen, pain in my legs and arms..

    • JonGrant

      You do realize that red yeast rice contains statins, right? No different than taking a prescription statin drug, with all of the same drawbacks. Take Co Q10 if you take red yeast rice or any other statin drug.

  4. Enig

    Can I take Rhodiola with Cortef?

  5. Jsszgrl

    I have had hyperthyroidism from 01-05 until I had the RAI treatment done. Then I developed hypothyroidism, gained 30 pounds in 3 months, have had several side effects and can’t get this right… My doc told me to try 5htp and I am currently in love with this. I am not wanting to rip the heads off my husband and kids (poor guys)… I am so relaxed come bedtime I can’t remember a more restful sleep… I figure at least this takes off the edge & will help keep me going on my thyroid journey till I can get it right!

    • Valeria

      Jsszgrl – I apologize if I missed the explanation in some of the previous posts, but could you tell me what 5htp is? You said your doctor recommended it. I also have hyperthyroidism so I am very interested in your reply. Thank you

  6. Tricia

    A good multivitamin that includes b vitamins in a veggie cap is Solgar Vitamins Only. You can get them on Amazon.com. I take them and I really like them. 😊

  7. Darla

    I take Twin Labs Stress B complex (the one with no soy). It comes in a gelatin capsule, so I don’t have to smell it. The smell of B vitamin pills literally makes me gag. I have to get it at Mother’s Market since Sprouts decided to phase out that brand – the only good brand for me. Hmmf.

  8. Cindy

    After years of trying different B vitamins that would make me so nauseated I finally found a capsule made by Pure Encapsulations. There is no horrible aftertaste or nausea. The one I use is called B Complex Plus. The dose is one to two capsules a day and most days, I do take two.

  9. Rosie Lehman

    is it safe to take Rhodiola while taking thyroid med? My pharmist thinks its not.

  10. Elise

    Rhodiola has really helped my maintain healthy energy levels and it helps me feel less stressed. I always look for rhodiola rosea that has at least 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside for the best results.

  11. Anne

    Fascinating about the B-vitamins and liver. I am just in my 3rd month of being on Armour and worked my way up to 3 grains as advised in the “letter to the doctor.” Mom and I both found a pharmacy that does the “compounding”, which is supposed to have greater effectiveness. Just wondering if 3 grains is considered average? How do I know if I need more? My PAC loves those TSH tests, even after I gave him the letter. I thought I would lose the extra 20 pounds after getting up to the right amount, but I’ve stayed at 168 (still great compared to the 196 lbs I weighed when I first started on Armour). However, my average weight before all this was 145 and I miss that body! Any advice? (Besides working out and fasting – I already do those.)

  12. Judy

    I just finished reading Lavelle’s book Cracking The Metabolic Code, where my questionaire results also indicated 5HTP, chromium GTF and B-complex among other thing. I started taking the Vitamin Shoppe B-complex ,100 caps. and Lavelle’s book suggested taking 50 to 100 mgs 5HTP, 3 times a day but I have experience occasional sharp pains in my chest, since starting about a week ago. Any suggestions on how to take, should I lower the dose or take less often during the day. I do seem to feel less depressed and S.A.D. since starting.

  13. Glenda

    B vitamins are water soluble. They don’t store in your fat cells and any excess is eliminated in your urine so there is no such thing as b12 stores. Vitamin D is fat soluble so you store anything your body does not use in your fat cells. Shaklee has vitamin B supplement that is time release included in their vitalizer. The tablets are not huge. I love it.

    • JonGrant

      I know this is a very old post, but hopefully by now you have discovered that the body DOES store B12.

  14. Lorie

    Glad to see you blogging again. What brand of b-complex have you found that you like? Most make me want to hurl. I’m taking Carlson’s b-50 gel caps. But they are HUGE and I really should take it twice a day, but mostly it’s just once a day. But when I take them I notice how much better I feel. So you’re right about adding a good b-complex being important. And, a separate sublingual b12 (methyl form). I read that it can take MONTHS for your b12 level stores to stabilize enough to drop back dose. I do know that I felt the effects faster with a methyl form b12 and at a higher dose (like 1,000-5,000mcg) daily.

    (From Janie: I threw my liquid away–it was awful. Currently, I’m just using Solaray’s Mega B-Stress pills, and to my disappointment, discovered I was supposed to be taking 3 a day, not the one I have been taking! But they are small enough. I also take Biotin in large doses. Good for a lot of things. B-vitamins in general are VERY important for your adrenals to stay healthy.)


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