Aging Thyroid Patients: 7 Issues To Consider

sttm-graphic-for-blog-thyroid-patients-getting-olderAs our bodies are aging as thyroid patients, so can the optimal function we once had. Here are 7 areas which can go south, and what to do about them. 

NOTE that when the words “aging” or “getting older” are mentioned, there’s no way to actually say “this or that age”, unless mentioned below. Some of these issues can start at even younger ages, but older than you were before!

1) DIGESTIVE ENZYME FUNCTION CAN GO DOWNHILL — what to do about it

Most of our lives, we get benefit from naturally-made digestive enzymes which help digest/break down that food we eat in order to absorb important nutrition for the running of our bodies.

For example, eating can tap our pancreas to release “pancreatin” which contains several different enzymes (amylase, lipase and protease)1. These enzymes can break down the protein, carbs/starches and fats you eat. i.e. specific enzymes work on specific foods. Amylase targets those carbs/starches like fruits, potatoes, sweet products, etc). Lipase targets those fatty foods like cream, oils, nuts and fat on meats, etc). Protease targets the protein foods such as eggs, cheese, meats and even nuts.

There’s also another important enzyme not released by the pancreas, but made via bacteria, called Cellulase. Cellulase breaks down fiber and cellulose. There are more enzymes, but you get the drift.

But as the body ages, the body’s ability to trigger (due to less stomach acid) and produce all these digestive enzymes may decline, thus, you start to see lowering of important nutrients, as well as less energy. And in some, it can happen sooner than others!

Check out “digestive enzymes” on a site like Amazon or others and read the reviews on various brands. I find this to be an excellent way to find a good product. 

2) STOMACH ACID LEVELS CAN FALL — what to do about it

I, Janie, especially saw this in my mother-in-law as she aged. Her worsening acid reflux was a sure sign. And this becomes even worse if we are still on T4-only meds, which in itself causes a fall in stomach acid at any age. Then you add the aging cause of lowered stomach acid on top of a poor thyroid treatment and you’ve got a disaster.

Why is stomach acid so important? It plays a role with enzymes in breaking down your food and supplements for digestion, plus the absorption of nutrients. And breaking down the food better empties the stomach better, which means less stomach problems.

What to do? Adding 2-3 teaspoons of either Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice into every drink with meals brings the acid back into the stomach, say thyroid patients, which improves absorption of nutrients from better digestion.

3) THE ABILITY TO CONVERT THE THYROID STORAGE HORMONE T4 to THE ACTIVE T3 CAN DECLINE — what to do about it

There are a variety of issues which can affect conversion of the storage hormone T4 to the active hormone T3, and aging appears to be one of them. i.e. there’s an enzyme called 5′-deiodinase, and it’s responsible for the breakdown of T4 to T3. And even research underscores that it can become less effective as one ages.2

The solution appears to be to move to having direct T3 in one’s treatment, whether adding synthetic T3  to your treatment or using Natural Desiccated Thyroid–the latter which contains all five thyroid hormones. Healthy levels of T3 appear to fall towards the top of the range

4) GENE MUTATIONS MAY REAR THEIR UGLY HEADS — what to do about it

Gene mutations can be activated at any age. But with aging, there may be more mutations expressing themselves more acutely than before.

That’s where using 23andme.com to get one’s genetics (then uploading the raw data to a site like livewello.com to see what’s going on) may open up ideas as to what just might start expressing itself. It’s a guessing game, of course. But if we see things that imply a gene mutation is now active, there is all sorts of information we can look up to see what we might do about it, as well as forums. Many doctors are becoming more informed about genetic mutations, as well, and can help. 

5) B12 CAN FALL (or go too high) — what to do about it

B12, which is one of eight B vitamins, is such an important nutrient! It contributes to

  • brain and memory health
  • better mood
  • optimal functioning of your nervous system
  • the formation of red blood cells
  • overall good health

Conversely, if B12 falls low, or if the MTHFR with the COMT mutation causes you not to break it down well for use (making it above the range), you might notice issues like

  • memory problems
  • depression
  • paranoia
  • numbness sensations in your little fingers, hands, legs or feet
  • overall weakness or fatigue
  • even a swollen tongue and more.

Studies3,4,5 show that B12 can start to fall after age 60 due to decreased absorption, and you might not even realize it until symptoms take over.  What to do about it? Many doctors recommend supplementation.

On the label, B12 is called cobalamin and there are four types:

1) Cyano- version, though cheap, is the least recommended as it’s the least absorbable.

2) Methyl- version is more highly recommended since it’s already broken down for use. But if you have both MTHFR and COMP mutations, B12 can build high in your blood and not break down for use…so if this happens…

3) Hydroxy- version is then recommended if you have these mutations. It’s easily broken down to the active B12 and safe for more people, say studies.  

4) Adenosyl- version of B12 is also recommended, as it’s stored in the mitochondria and helps break down carbs and proteins for energy. 

6) THE ABILITY TO RECOVER FROM STRESS MAY DECLINE — what to do about it

Studies show that as we age, we tend to have higher levels of cortisol in response to stress, plus lower levels of DHEA–the latter which have been falling substantially with every decade. And those higher levels of cortisol can have a negative impact on our brain6 and immune function, just as low DHEA can decrease one’s immune function.

What to do about it?  For one, experts recommend taking certain adrenal-supportive supplements when we are under a lot of stress. Herbs which help counter stress include:

  • rhodiola
  • ashwagandha
  • schizandra
  • astragalus
  • gingko
  • holy basil
  • korean ginseng
  • licorice root

We all have to make sure we don’t have any known allergies or sensitivities to to any of the above. Also, many preparations will include many of the above, and can also have adrenal glandular with the herbs. Any good health food store on internet websites can have these adrenal supportive supplements. DHEA supplementation is also recommended with aging–your doctor can help you with the amount.

Sometimes, we may not treat the stress in time, and we end up with low cortisol. For the latter, herbs won’t be enough. This is where we order the 24 hour adrenal saliva test to see how we stand.  If cortisol is low, we take adrenal cortex, or a prescription of Hydrocortisone from our doctors for more serious low cortisol. It’s all explained what patients have learned in Chapters 5 and 6 of the revised STTM book, also called STTM I. You would need to work with your doctor on this information.

Also recommended when under stress is taking comfortable walks, eating as healthy as you can, napping, and sleeping as long as we can during the nighttime.

7) LEVELS of CoQ10 CAN FALL — what to do about it

CoQ10, know as Co-enzyme Q10 or ubiquinone, is a substance similar to a vitamin and known to be a powerful natural antioxidant. Besides having a major positive effect on heart health and your mitochondria’s ability to produce energy, Life Extension7 states that CoQ10 also has “protective effects in the brain and nervous system, in asthma and chronic lung disease, in diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, on ocular health, and even on the aging immune system.”

Studies even show a correlation between the right amount of CoQ10 and lowered risk of dementia as you age.8

And with the aging of your body, your ability to break down ubiquinone to the active ubiquinol may be decreased, as well as your ability to absorb CoQ10 from food. Also note that statins, which many older folks are put on due to rising cholesterol, can lower CoQ10!

The solution? Cutting edge doctors recommend supplementation. And the majority seem to agree that taking “ubiquinol”, the active form, is a better choice than “ubiquinone”. Recommended doses range from 100 mg to 600 mg depending on who you read. Work with your doctor on this.

From Janie: the above is not an exhaustive list of what can go downhill with aging, but gives you a great start!

JanieSignature SEIZE THE WISDOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Being on Natural Desiccated Thyroid and an optimal dose can halt rising cholesterol, rising blood pressure, bone problems and other aging issues, many patients have reported.

** HAVE YOU LIKED THE Stop the Thyroid Madness FACEBOOK PAGE?? And similar to the STTM website and books, is strongly based on reported patient experiences and the wisdom gained from them. STTM is the MOTHERSHIP of those reported experiences. 

** Check out the Laughing Grape Publishing page for both STTM books. 

FOOTNOTES
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancreatin
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2917513
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10448529
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15103481
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC490077/
  6. https://www.degruyter.com/dg/viewarticle/j$002frevneuro.1999.10.2$002frevneuro.1999.10.2.117$002frevneuro.1999.10.2.117.xml
  7. http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/1/coq10-the-longevity-factor/page-01
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25463064
It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook17
Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest19Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on LinkedIn1Share on Tumblr0Share on VKPrint this pageEmail this to someone

87 Responses to “Aging Thyroid Patients: 7 Issues To Consider”

  1. Susan Purvis

    Thank you Janie. As always this information in its entirety is not available anywhere else, in my view. My partner understands chemistry and the complexities of some of the information you provide so I will ask him to check this out. We drink natural cacao drinks with many herbal supplements that he makes. I have questioned myself though for a while, whether my absorption is changing because I eat healthily enough although the weight gain is something I never seemed to be able to lose. I am so active all day at school but as soon as I am home I crash. However if I was not doing this particular job I would be so much better. I felt really well during the summer but I need the three days at the weekend to recharge for the next week. I take one Thyroid S tablet in the morning and one around teatime. I went over to Thyroid S from the start of July 2016 and overall the benefits are evident to me. Inevitably I am now moving into the category ‘Aging Thyroid Patients’ and I am still working four days a week as a teacher which I find extremely demanding. This term is more of a challenge as it starts in August and goes through to December. I will need to change my work/life balance at the end of this academic year. It just isn’t sustainable for me long term and even women colleagues, some less than half my age, are saying how tired they are all the time though I haven’t made it common knowledge of my condition and I am not aware if anyone else has a similar issue. I also doubt they are all fortunate to have the additional herbal supplements that I have thanks to my partner. I need to do the cortisol test next. Thank you for your ongoing information to us all Janie and I wish you continued optimum health.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Susan, so glad you are getting benefit from STTM. By the way, are you sure that 2 grains is optimal for you? Study this page: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101

      Reply
    • Alexis

      Hi Susan. Please tell me more about the natural cacao drinks you enjoy. I am also a teacher. Just started NDT. Taking thiroid which is made by the same company that makes thyroid-s. I feel the same way about teaching and am wondering if being so exhausted at the end of the day is worth it. Is your school just 4 days per week? I am planning on continuing to increase my dosage until I feel much better. Fingers crossed.

      Reply
  2. Linda Roberts

    I been having some of these signs for 2 years

    Reply
  3. jeanie siela

    I really need help, I’m depressed all the time
    I want to sleep all the time. My doctor has me on thyroid meds,but I dont feel any different. I think I need another doctor.
    .

    Reply
  4. Mike in Lagomera

    Hi !
    I am nearing 70 years of age, male, and reasonable healthy, with an underactive Thyroid allegedly.
    Have taking Levothyroxine for approx. 10 years now , which seems to have coincided with lack of sleep also. I get on average 5-6 hours a night waking at around 3.0 full of energy, needing a power nap about 2.30 pm until crashing at 9.0 pm.
    Anyone experienced this dilemma? or can suggest options.Many thanks Mike

    Reply
  5. Suze

    Janie: today my endocrinologist said that a certain doctor invented the free T3 and free T4 tests. It happened to be the doctor who treated my Graves disease and prescribed the RAI in 1991. It never crossed my mind that these were new tests or that a doctor I knew invented them, but he said that is why they never did free T3 tests in the 90s: the test didn’t exist. Really? I looked it up to confirm that. I came across a paper by a doctor who says there have been many tests invented and all of them are flawed. I can find nothing at all that says which of the tests is used in labs today. Or are more than one of them used by different labs? Do you have any absolute information about which tests are used? Which one was picked as the most accurate? This paper doesn’t even give the names of the doctors who invented these many different tests. I don’t know if it’s ok to give a link but it’s by Dr. John Midgley at a Thyroid UK conference in 2014. Now I am totally confused about the efficacy of these tests. My endo said when he sees a super high free T3 and low free T4 he is not concerned because that is considered normal when using animal thyroid which is stronger in T3. He believes only the TSH tells the story. Please comment on this! By the way he wanted me to go back to Erfa, 120, as he felt I did better on it than the synthetic T4 and T3. So, fingers crossed, I’m getting a new batch. Not that it’s all that new – it expires in 2017 which is just around the corner.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Suze, understand that the very reason STTM exists is because doctors like your Endo were completely clueless and thus keeping us sick. For one, we saw repeatedly that the TSH test can be “normal” for years and years while we are very hypothyroid and we get worse and worse. Second, what he said about the frees is completely wrong and years and years of our experiences prove it. Sure, I know you want to believe in what a medical school trained Endo says to you. We all did and wanted to. But we realized over…and over…and over…how poorly trained they are, and how very wrong their opinions are. So it’s up to you. STTM is totally based on years of reported patient experiences worldwide and the wisdom we’ve gained from all those reports. It’s solid, Suze.

      Reply
  6. Brenda

    I’ve been on Synthroid for about 30 years. Also on Paxil for depression. These last 3 years I feel like I’m going down hill. Depression is worst, my hair is falling out really bad, acid reflux is really bad, tingling in my fingers is worse, tingling also in my toes. Skin is very dry. Tired all the time. I do not sleep well. I can never get a good answer from my doctor. I’m ready to just stop the Synthroid on my own. Is this not a good thing to do?

    Reply
  7. Karen

    Janie, thank you for everything you are doing for patients. I have your books and joined the Yahoo group, where I have received helpful information.

    I am working with a new doctor and have not yet begun to feel better on an increased dosage of NDT. I know I have a long way to go to find balance as we consider all the possible contributing factors. I have been functioning very poorly for six months. In some ways much worse than years past. I am in my early sixties now and I think aging has taken an additional toll.

    I have tremendous anger when I think back on 3 decades of inappropriate and under treatment by medical doctors. They all ignored my severe symptoms and relied almost exclusively on TSH labs. I was referred to infectious disease specialist, psychiatrist, rheumatologist, cardiologist, endocrinologists, dermatologist, neurologists. No progress was made, so I think the multiple symptoms were simply autoimmune hypothyroidism that was treated exclusively with T4 medication. Thanks to your books, websites, etc., I have some hope now for physical healing, but I wonder if I will ever be free from the anger. Many have the same story and discovered at some point that their suffering could have been eliminated if the medical professionals had cared enough to do their own research and listen to patterns of patient complaints. How can I let go of the years I have lost and the pain I have experienced? I am really struggling with this issue and it is probably affecting my recovery.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Karen. Glad the groups are helping. 🙂 And remember that your iron and cortisol levels have to be optimal to soar on NDT. Yes, it certainly is angering all the years (and money) we wasted because of the TSH and because of Synthroid or Levo. But yes, have hope because the information on STTM is solid! (PS: sorry this didn’t go up sooner. Sometimes WordPress doesn’t inform me and I have no idea why!)

      Reply
  8. mandy simms

    Agree with aging causing problems with getting optimal on NDT. Have been treated for 12 months now by intergrative Dr. Was well for abput 8 months then went down hill on 4 grains and discovered I had high RT3. So had to get rid of that by going on T3 only for a month. Then I found I had estrigen dominance, and low progesterone and still low cortisol. . Hence why I couldnt get optimal. As im menopausal this is what occurred! Im liasing through two different Drs in my treatment as Intergrative Dr cant prescribe progesterone to me. Went to GP to see if she would prescribe so I coukd my hypo under control. She said “they, ie GPS dont treat that!”. Basically because its menopause they would do NOTHING!. And she was the practices female womens health Dr. As an aside she threw a card at me for a intergrative Dr who deals in all hormones!. She said some of her ladies say they had helped them.!!!. Saw this guy and he said looking at my blood results I needed progerone straight away. Rolled his eyes at the GP. At the same time as this was all going on I had severe tendonitis in my ankle and calf and coukd hardly walk. Went to GP, got xray and coetisone injection then went to physio who saud,”thats caused by thyroid and menopause. See wimen your age with this all the time. So five months of extreme pain plus my hair is so thin. At present I have gotten back up to 2 grains and taking prog trouches. B12,B6 and folinic acid for MTRFR gene. Started to lose a bit of weight. Yay!. Why do these GPs think you dont need hormones to function.

    Reply
  9. jc connor

    Which 23andme test for the raw data please? I see two – Ancestry $99 & Health/Ancestry $199. Thank you for your advocacy and sharing!

    Reply
  10. Suzanne

    My insurance will no longer cover my Armour Thyroid because of my age being over 65. My doc says he can’r even write a prescription for the Armour because my Medicare Advantage Plan won’t let him.. I only have enough Armour for today. He wants to write a new prescription for levothroxine. I’m scared about not having any T3. What should I do? Help please

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Yup, they stupidly think that if you are over 65, NDT could harm you….yet there are many out there over 65 who soar on it, and report harm from being forced to live for conversion alone, which Levo will force you to do. What people are doing is paying full price, but not of Armour, but one like NP Thyroid.

      Reply
      • Robert

        Janie,
        Your work is appreciated.

        Recently I received a 29 June 2016 article in “UpToDate” entitled “Subclinical hypothyroidism in nonpregnant adults” by Douglas S. Ross, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Therein he states “we prefer to avoid treatment of patients over age 80 years.”

        The report is apparently intended to be advice to physicians. Were you aware that this advice regarding those over age 80 years is being given to physicians?

        Reply
        • Janie Bowthorpe

          There is direction to even avoid giving NDT to patients over 60-something. Yet we know of many thyroid patients over 60 who report doing so much better on NDT. It’s crazy.

          Reply
    • Mary

      Suzanne, what you do is work around them. Make sure you get a copy of your blood tests, and find a Dr who will write a prescription… they’re out there. For $20 a year, I join a Walgreens discount program. My 3.5 grains of Naturethroid is about $15 a month. Cheaper when you buy 3 months at a time. Don’t let them ruin your life. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Suze

      I just saw this post. This is what happened to me – when I went to get my new prescription of Erfa, the clerk at the pharmacy said it was not covered anymore. It’s not because I’m 65, I got refills many times since turning 65 two years ago. It’s the “type” of thyroid. I’m sorry but I never saw this in the news. I left a message with my endo twice (they never answer the phone there) that it was not covered so I had to either use up the old Erfa or go back to synthetic. He never called me back nor had his steno call me back. I’m about ready to beg my old endo to take me back as a patient because of the gall and inconsistent, uncaring attitude of this new one. When I worked as a receptionist for a doctor ten years ago if a patient called with any question whatsoever I would find the answer and call them back or make sure the dr. called them back. It’s inexcusable not to return a call about a prescription. In anger I went back to synthroid and cytomel. The results are OK and it is still covered.

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Hi Suze. Yes, it’s incredibly stupid what is going on if one is over 60 and sometimes over 65. There are many patients over that age who report doing far better on NDT than T4-only. Age is a huge reason why we don’t convert T4 to T3 in the first place. And Suze, you don’t have to go to synthetics. It’s far more expensive than NDT to do so, even if one pays full price of NDT. 🙂

        Reply
  11. Kathyrn

    Janie, has the Erfa medication returned to its former efficacy? I will be starting on it and have read many of the comments about how the formula etc was changed and am wondering if I should start on this or consider another form of ndt. Thank you

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      People are overall quieter about it, implying the problematic batches went away? Yet we still have some folks reporting problems with it. Some will say one batch was great; the next one not.

      Reply
  12. Karen

    On your site, Janie, for the first time. Amazing the info.

    My GP is switching me from Armour to Nature-throid. Because of cost. How do others fare with it?

    Because my rt3 is high and ft3 low, I’m asking the GP to put me on Wilson’s Temperature protocol for sustained dose t3 to clear out the rt3 and lower t4. However, I have symptoms of adrenal fatigue–probably cortisol is low in the morning; high in evening. Might the t3 regimen help the adrenals or will it be useless to use the wt3 protocol without first treating them?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Karen. One thing you need to know…a lot of hypothyroid patients have stated over the years about feeling worse if they followed the protocol of Wilson’s with high doses, then lowering, etc. Instead, those in your shoes simply use T3 to lower RT3 without the full strategies that the protocol is about.

      As far as low cortisol, T3 hasn’t corrected that, because with low cortisol, the T3 starts pooling high in the blood. Instead, they give themselves cortisol. See if this helps: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-wisdom

      Reply
  13. Karen

    By “simply use t3” do you mean self medicate with only t3?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      No, it wasn’t saying directly to self-treat. It meant patients would get it from their doctors, too, if they are able to. But some do self-treat and we understand in light of how poor the knowledge many doctors have.

      Reply
  14. Karen

    After taking my temps as per Dr. Rind, it appears I have Adrenal issues. (unstable daily averages)
    I can not get an apt. with my Doc for over three weeks, so I’m going to try to figure this out on my own.
    If you were me, Janie, Would you take both Adrenal Glandular and IsoCort or is that redundant? Would you discontinue NDT while building adrenals?
    My TSH has run at .0004 for years with NDT treatment My Docs have never thought that an issue of concern. Do you think it is?
    Thanks for any help you can give. I’m overwhelmed, but getting more informed.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Karen. What I represent is reported patient experiences over the years. And this is what we’ve learned:

      1) It’s important to do saliva testing to see exactly what is going on when. Treatment is based on those four results.
      2) No, we don’t take adrenal glandular, as it contains adrenaline with the cortisol..and too many patients with low cortisol also make too much adrenaline already.
      3) Isocort isn’t made anymore. It’s about Adrenal Cortex or HC–the latter for seriously low saliva results. But again, depends on what saliva testing shows. It can be ordered from here if you don’t already have a lab facility: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork
      4) No, patients don’t discontinue NDT. They lower it if labs prove there is either pooling or rising RT3. Some add in small amounts of T3 after lowering.
      5) You need to read this: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/tsh-why-its-useless

      For further info, here’s a page where the link to the FTPO Adrenals group is: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/talk-to-others

      Reply
  15. Karen

    Just ordered the saliva test kit. Hope it comes soon. I don’t have any of the iron symptoms but 80% of the adrenal signs on Rind’s Metabolic Symptom Matrix. So I don’t think I need to test iron.
    I started a Temp chart 5 days ago. On Days 1 & 2 I averaged 97.74 On Day 3 my avg. dropped to 97.27. Day 4 I woke in the midst of a severe energy crash with diarrhea. But as the day went on by afternoon temps had climbed back to 97.43. Fascinating that my temps were falling before the energy crash was evident.
    Has it been patient experience that addressing Adrenal insufficiency raises the temperature to 98.6? Because that is my goal and I would rather accomplish it without the Wilson t3 protocol.

    Thanks for your answers. I’ll make a donation….

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Giving ourselves back the cortisol we are lacking enables thyroid hormones to get to the cells better…and once we are optimal on NDT or T3, which takes us out of our hypothyroid state, then our temp gets to where it should be. 🙂 FYI: you might want to reconsider the four iron labs. We may not have symptoms yet inadequate levels of iron.

      Reply
  16. Learner

    B12 is very important, glad you’ve covered it, and the different types. However, steering people away from methylcobalamin because of one MTHFR SNP is wrong. There are a lot of other SNPs and enzymes involved as well as status of related nutrients and general health and level of toxicity which can make a difference. I have a few SNPs, including a couple of MTHFR ones, and need large amounts of methylcobalamin, as well as smaller amounts of adenocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin to function. It’s highly individual.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi. I think there is a misunderstanding here. Avoiding methyl B12 is not about ‘having a single MTHFR snp’. They seem to be avoiding it when they are pretty sure that their methyl supplementation contributed to the high B12, i.e. their MTHFR snp along with the COMT snp (added more clearly above) can cause the B12 to go too high with Methyl B12. Then methyl is not suggested there. So the individuality seems to be about which mutations are expressing, and whether they might need to avoid methyl and favor other kinds for awhile, as many seem to be doing. (Have updated this at least three times. lol)

      Reply
      • Learner

        It’s actually a lot more complex than just B12 and how it interacts with a couple of SNPs. One must have the necessary cofactors for all the steps in the folate and methionine pathways, like B1, B2, B6, folate, magnesium, molybdenum, etc. as well as other environmental factors like heavy metal toxicity, etc. Overly simplistic one size fits all recipes for B12 can cause problems. Just as with thyroid function, appropriate testing can individualize treatment.

        Reply
        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Sharon, hang tight–this is a general post. It’s why it’s recommended to do genetics and more. lol. The information still stands as a start.

          Reply
  17. Val

    Hello! Sttm used to have a support group where you could talk to mediators. I just had one question if anyone was having trouble with WP Thyroid after they started adding more inulin (chicory root) to their formula? I have fast digestion cramps Insomnia irritably constant hunger and other symptoms. I seemed to be doing ok until they added more chicory root in July RLC labs told me. thanks, Val

    Reply
  18. Brenda

    I was diagnosed with hypo in 2005. I took 50mcg synthroid for 10 years. I quit taking it last year and at first I felt great. I started getting really bad hypo symptoms and dr put me on 25mcg. I weighed 115 pounds at the time. When I went back for my followup, my tsh was just a little over normal. The dr put me on 50 mcg. It makes my heart beat really fast, I wake up at 3:00 in the morning. I called them because when I was taking 25 mcg, I felt good. They told me to take 25 mcg one day and the 50 mcg every other day. I’m scared of the 50 mcg. It also made me lose 5 more pounds. I hate this problem,. The dr acted like Armour wasn’t the best choice. I want my life back. When I took the 50 mcg, it gave me weird allergies.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Brenda, your doctor isn’t caught up with our knowledge. For one, too many have found Synthroid to be the worst thyroid med to be on: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work Reading the latter will lead you to another page about NDT (though people are using other brands besides Armour lately), which contrary to his opinion, has been a far better treatment if using correctly.

      Reply
      • Brenda

        Thank you for getting back to me. I haven’t taken synthroid for 2 days and feel great, but I know it won’t last. Do health food stores sell anything similar to Armour?

        Reply
        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Well, yes and no. So many of the “thyroid” products in health food stores are just herbs/vitamins, or are herbs/vitamins and bovine thyroid tissue. And as you are raising to find your optimal dose, up goes all those extra herbs and vitamins. Not ideal. Google ThyroGold. Better.

          Reply
  19. Joan Hobeck

    I have taken Nature Throid for several years, however, my Dr. feels that I need to be taking 195 mg of it to help get my levels where they need to be. Prior to taking the Nature Throid, I was sufferring with hair loss, extreme. I had natural curly very very thick hair now it is poker straight and thin…I have spent a small fortune in shampoos, conditioners, professional and over the counter, only to have the strands of my hair in my fingers when shampooing. I am very distraught over this and then I read that 195 mg of nature throid can cause hair loss. My Dr. seems to think that my high testosterone level and and my thyroid levels was contributing factor to the hair loss.I am taking Biotin, Hair Skin Nails supplement and at this point I have hit a brick wall. I experienced hair loss several years ago, but my Dr. there felt that I was iodine deficient. I started taking I-throid this past week….can anyone offer and advise or ‘hope’ for my hair to finally cease falling out. I cry a lot as I had incredible hair and now Its a struggle to get it to do anything. Thank you

    Reply
  20. ERIKA

    Hello Janie it’s been a while since I have spoken to you.

    So last time I spoke to you I discussed that I was having weird symptoms on the Synthroid meds.
    I spoke to my endo doctor and she will not even let me talk as soon as I mention it she shuts me down.
    she told me it is not accurate and she only supports the American Thyroid Association. I told her about your book
    she wanted to know nothing about it. I was stable for the last 2 years on Synthroid but this year I’ve experienced severe pain in my right
    eye. I went to so many eye doctors and they all said everything was fine with my vision. This has lasted since August until now. I’m also having difficulty sometimes swallowing
    I feel a very tight tension going down my neck and I pulling sensation on the right side of my neck and I feel like my nerves compress on the side of my head. My MD said its anxiety. I have never in my life suffered from such thing. I refuse to take the meds but there are days that the pain it’s so uncomfortable. I’m tired of doing blood work and trying to find what it is. When I know is being caused by the synthroid medication. I have had a good amount of those side effects from insomnia to weight gain, muscle pain and others as well. I just want to cry because I don’t know what to do anymore. I live in Queens NY and I can’t find a doctor that would be willing to help me transition from synthroid to Armour. I am a Pilot my whole life my dream has been to fly in the Airline one day but if I have anxiety my career is over. I can fly having thyroid issues as long as I’m stable. It hurts to think that this is the end of my career if I can’t get this fixed.

    Please help me?

    Regards,
    Erika Barcenes

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Erika. Sorry about all those issues you are having. If you feel that this is being caused by the Synthroid (which has caused problems for millions of us in different ways), here are options: 1) Start calling around to all pharmacies and ask which doctor is prescribing NDT. It’s a sure fire way to find one for many of us, but you may have to call several. If one says they can’t give out that info (which is silly), keep calling until you find one who will. 2) Google Thyrogold – a lot of people are on it successfully. 3) LEARN how to start on and dose any NDT, and what needs to be good for it to work well: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101

      Reply
  21. ERIKA

    Thanks Janie,

    Im going to go see another Endo Tomorrow thing is. I don’t even know how to start telling him that I don’t want to be on Synthroid anymore?

    Reply
  22. Erika

    Hi janie,

    So i spoke to my endo. And he told me that he wouldn’t recommend it because many people suffer being on NDT. Than being on synthroid. He said synthroid is close how humans make hormone rather NDT is not close at all because its animal. He said im very stable. He wouldnt recommend coming off of synthroid. Im experiencing weird headaches like tension. I never have suffered from headaches. I am scheduled to see a doct on tuesday that was posted in the list in the yahoo chat for 2016 of doc’s recommended. Lets see what she says.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Erika, what that Endo said is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. People do not “suffer” on NDT. Their lives change and that is clear by 14 years of reported patient experiences. If there are issues, it’s related to raising NDT in the presence of inadequate iron or cortisol levels–both which are very correctible: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me

      And as far as being “animal”, did you know that the medical field uses numerous pig products in the treatment of many issues, like heart valves, to name a few?? That’s because it’s safe and compatible. Also, over 40 pharmaceuticals and medicines are derived from pig co-products. http://www.sustainableswineresources.com/medical-groups.php

      I hope thyroid patients will run, run, run from Endos like this who make such stupid statements about NDT.

      Reply
      • Erika

        Yes i agree thats why i cant wait till Monday to see this new doc. And see what she has to say. She is not an endo.

        Reply
    • Jo C

      Hi Erica! I just read an article by an MD that stated that a pig is the only animal that has a thyroid gland that is identical to humans. It produces exactly what a human thyroid does! Just fyi.

      Reply
      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Well, kinda. The human ratio of T4/T3 is 93/7, and the pig ratio is 80/20. That means there’s a lot more T3 in pig thyroid than in human. BUT….it has never caused us problems!! It works and changes lives when someone finds their optimal dose! So I’m glad you brought this up. 🙂 Chapter 2 in the revised STTM book has a lot of information on NDT.

        Reply
  23. Darla

    I was encouraged after reading your book, that NDT might lift my depression. I tried Armour about two years ago and broke out in an itchy rash and sweated buckets with any physical activity. This was after I had read about the formula changing. I then got a prescription to try Westhroid, reading that it had the fewest additives. I had the same reaction – itchy rash over torso and sweating. The message was my body trying to get rid of it, I guess. I was so disappointed. It’s frustrating that they ever changed the Armour formula when so many people were having good results. But I don’t read about these allergic reactions on your site. Am I the only one? Do you have suggestions for any newer products that have good results? Thank you for all you do to get information out. I gave my doctors copies of both of your books.

    Reply
  24. Phil Morey

    Hi Janie, I have hypothyroidism. My TSH is 9.95,T3 total 110, Free t4 1.0, TPO 12. Three weeks ago I stopped taking brocoli, peanuts & peanut butter & did the patch test. My iodine disappeared in 4 hours & two weeks later 12 hours. I now take one egg & one cup of yogart per day for iodine. I am guessing that the brocoli blocked the iodine from getting into my system. I am a 77 years old male. Can I get my TSH back to normal without medicine? My TSH in the last 18 months was 10.30, 7.74, 5.89 & 9.95. My doctor thinks under ten medicine is not required. My other blood test are normal. My scalp itches a little & I am tired at times.Other than that I am in good health.My hair is thicker than it was before three weeks ago. What else can I do?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      You won’t get enuf iodine in food to correct this. Patients use either lugols, the liquid kind and from jcrows, or Iodoral, the pill kind. It’s about starting low and slowly building. Do a search here for “companion nutrients” and read that blog post first.

      Reply
  25. Sandra

    Hi Janie
    Sorry to reply on your blog post but wanted to see if you new of Dr Alan Christianson. I receive his health info in my inbox and recent one is on thyroid health. He states if your thyroid is healthy, to not use iodine and I’m not sure what to think of that. I am thyroidless and take it 6.5mg a day and give my husband who is not thyroidless 6.5 mg a day and wonder if I am doing him wrong now? He seems to have only benefited from it as he doesn’t complain of the cold now and sleeps less.
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday.

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      All I can say is that our vast experiences (which too many medical professionals ignore and prefer “opinion” instead) report many benefits with their iodine use, which for women, includes the complete removal of fibrocystic breast disease…for one….

      Reply
  26. Alice

    I am somewhat excited that researchers have invented a chimeric antibody receptor to grab auto-antibodies and present them for destruction as presented at the Science Daily site! Of course there is testing to still be done but hopefully that will not take too long. Auto-antibodies expressing IL-17 F and A are involved in Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis.

    Reply
  27. Susie

    Hi Janie

    i LOVE your website! I’m on Armour and doing good but my husband who is 67, i suspect is hypothyroid.

    His TSH is 2.49 uIU/mL (normal range 0.45 – 5.10 uIU/mL), i suspect that is high enough to NOT feel good? Mine is .02 on Armour!
    Also his temps are always like 97.2 or something like that. We DO NOT have a doctor willing to do NDT and freaks out about TSH numbers so i am thinking about trying Thyro-Gold until we can find a naturopath.

    Am i correct in thinking he indeed is hypo?

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Susie. We don’t know if he’s hypo, but we do know that those who wanted to try something like Thyrogold just to see if it produces better results have been fine.

      Reply
  28. Laura

    Hi Janie, I just ordered your book. I’m new to all this thyroid stuff. I have two small nodes -benign. Mild Hyperthyroidism. I have been trying to manage my symptoms naturally with supplements and diet. My biggest/main symptom is heart palps and irregular heartbeats. Making me crazy. I’m currently not on any meds. Do you think i could benefit from natural desiccated thyroid? Thank you. Laura

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Laura. By “mild hyperthyroidism”, do you mean “mild Graves disease”? Because NDT is for hypothyroidism, not hyper. If you did mean HYPOthyroidism, yes, NDT, which gives you all five thyroid hormones, does help if those heart issues are caused by being hypothyroid. And by the way, you may not be “mildly hypo”. Doctors tend to say that by looking at the TSH, which can take years to go up to reveal one’s hypo. It’s more about the free T3 and free T4, not the TSH. And this page will help you interpret your lab results; http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab-values

      Reply
  29. Marie

    Thank you Janie for your website. Very helpfull.

    I wanted email you but couldn’t find where… i would like to share my new experience with WP thyroid. I am a naturopath and live in Switzerland. After 15 years of Levothyrox i ordered WP thyroid from College Pharmacy in USA. I started progressively… decreasing Levothyrox and increasing WP thyroid. I felt better until my last trip in a tropical country where the grains glued all together… I started to feel hypo again so i wrote to the Pharmacy wich assured me that humidity could transform the grains to zero efficency !!!

    So be carefull if you travel. Fortunately i took only the grains for my trip, i even had put a protection against humidity in the bottle… For next trip i tought to put each grain in an empty capsule.

    I have found on your website the information about the pharmacy in Germany maybe their conditioning is better.

    Thank you

    Reply
  30. Lagretta

    First off, there’s a wealth of information here. So many, many, thanks to all of you. Secondly, I also share this information with my partner and it helps for him to understand the many changes I go through. I was hoping that there would be some way to treat my thyroid that didnt require daily doses or regimens. I’ve since lost hope in this area and am now trying to find the right treatment. I have adverse reactions to medications, so I am seeking a natural approach. Has anyone tried guggul or known anyone with experience with this herb for regulating hypo?

    Reply
  31. Carol Healy

    Hi Janie, Love you website and I have learned and tried so much but nothing seems to work. I seem to be unable to take any type of thyroid medication (Tried Synthroid, Armour, & NP). When I get my labs looking good my tendons hurt so bad I can barely walk. I get carpel tunnel and/or TMJ with headaches also. I can only take about 30 mcg of NDT (Armour is what I’m on now) without connective tissue flare ups. I can get through my work day ok on that dosage but am very tired after that and really don’t feel like doing anything. It is really a struggle and I can’t find anything similar to this. I have been battling this for 8 years (I had a total thyroidectomy 3 years ago). Have you heard of anything similar? (TSH 85.6, T-4 .35, T-3 2.39).

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Carol. I’m thinking your answer may be here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me i.e. you are severely hypo because 30 mg is a paltry dose. It’s only half a starting dose, and we raise by 1/2 grain eveey two weeks or so from the starting dose in search of our optimal dose, slowing down in the 2 grain area to do labs. My optimal dose is 3 1/2 grains, for example, but some are optimal on less than me, and others are optimal on more than me.

      But if you’ve raised above that and gotten worse with every raise, #2 in the article could be your answer. i.e. raises can be revealing you’ve got inadequate iron and/or an adrenal issue.

      Reply
  32. Dianne L.

    It amazes me that supposedly trained professionals are so ignorant about Thyroid problems, but what is worse is that so many of them wish to remain that way.

    My journey started in 1991 when I was finally diagnosed with “low thyroid function” and Levothyroxine was prescribed. I didn’t notice any improvement after the dose was adjusted. Finally, after testing by my then psychiatrist, he told my PMD to switch me to NDT. The improvement was immediate. The conclusion was that my T3 had been the big problem all along, because a history of depression that began in 1981 ended abruptly. My thyroid treatment is now managed by my cardiologist because how it is treated affects the progression of CHF. The only change since starting natural thyroid treatment was in switching brands this past May and finding even more improvement — while leaving the dosing alone. Hmmm… Could I feel better? I suppose so, but the improvement over the past seven months makes me hopeful that more improvement is yet to come.

    Reply
  33. Karen G

    Hi Everyone. On Armour thyroid 2 grains but feeling cold so took an extra grain today. Also take Dhea 10mg time release and took an extra one at 5 pm and now I am feeling better. Take Adrenal Complex. Vit D3. Alive Multivitamin B12 1000mg. Emergen C vitamin drink. Cinnamon Bilberry to lower blood sugar. Feels like Armour is not as strong as original formula. Also take Zinc and Selenium. Had thyroidectomy in 2000 for Pap Cancer. Also am older now 69. Any advice

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi Karen. Not advice as we’re not doctors, but here’s good information for consideration: Though it sounds like you were still hypothyroid, we have found repeatedly that going up by a grain is too much. i.e. there is a possibility that a grain increase has risk, as it could make one over their optimal amount, which can cause rising RT3, the inactive hormone. Instead, we go up by only 1/2 grain, just in case, then smaller amounts in the 3 grain area for tweaking if needed. Granted, there are folks who are optimal in the 3-5 grain area, but there are some who are optimal somewhere in the 2 grain area, such as 2 1/2 or 2 3/4. Study this page: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/natural-thyroid-101

      Reply
  34. Jo C

    I have so appreciated all of the information that you have given us on your website and in your books! Thank you for all the time that you take for all of us!!! I have read the books, and all the information here. I know that I must be pretty dense, because I have such a hard time making sense of it! I found a dr. that is partially knowledgeable about all of this, but he contradicts a lot of what you say. He raises NDT too slowly and he wanted to start me on it without testing my adrenals first… which I knew were really off… so I waited. I have had the tests and they show that I am hypo. My adrenals look terrible with my morning number completely at the bottom and the noon and 4 pm tests very low as well. The night time one is high for the test (bottom quarter)… but he says it is low. I’m scared to start taking the HC and would like to try the Adrenal Cortex first, but I don’t know how much to take! Do I start low and work up as my temps rise? Or is there a set amount that is recommended? I’m also afraid to start on the NDT because I don’t want to HAVE to take something for the rest of my life! Is it possible to get my thyroid going without the NDT or other meds? Is it possible to do it naturally? My dr. wouldn’t do a complete blood panel for some reason, but he tested a few. My iron is good and my D3 is good too. I’m supplementing B12, C, Zinc and selenium now. Mostly, I want to know how to use the Adrenal cortex. Please help!

    Reply
    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Jo C, let me say that there’s NOTHING to be afraid of with HC. In the early years, when we were realizing how many needed it because of super low saliva results, we knew we had to get as informed a possible. We read everything, and we asked questions where we could. We learned from Dr. Rind exactly how to find our right physiologic dose. And people literally experimented, too. So Chapter 6 in the revised STTM book explains exactly how patients learned to use it SAFELY.

      The reason you see scary comments on the net, or from the mouths of others who read that info on the net and repeat it, is because there was a time that doctors prescribed WAYYYY too much, called pharmacological doses. And those high doses caused all sorts of problems. So when comments are made about how “dangerous” HC is, the root is from those years. Thyroid patients do NOT do anything like that, and have learned how to be safe in their use (as Chp. 6 details). Also, a lot of people don’t read, and use it wrongly, then proclaim “It’s dangerous”. Nope. It’s because they weren’t using it correctly.

      So it’s up to you. And yes, you can try ACE (Adrenal Cortex) and see if you can make it work, though when people are quite low, HC works better. But if you do try it, patients often use Thorne’s Adrenal Cortex (NOT Cortrex) in the 50 mg tabs, and take it like this 3 first thing in the morning, 2 four hours later, 1 four hours later, and 1 about 3 hours later. Then READ in Chapter 6 how to do Daily Average Temp taking to find one’s right amount. If people would just READ, STUDY, UNDERLINE, HIGHLIGHT that chapter, they’d find out how to do it like others did safely. (And yes, that Chp is about HC, but it all applies to ACE)

      Honestly, it’s very rare to see anyone “heal” their thyroid, tho some will say they did. A lot of people who say that were probably just secondary hypo from having high cortisol, not the hypo that a lot of people get due to genetic mutations (a lot have that) or the destruction from having Hashi’s left to its own for too long. If Hashi’s is caught soon enough, it turns around the destruction, especially by avoiding gluten etc. That may be called “healing”. But a lot don’t catch it soon enough.

      When you say your iron is good, I hope you understand what you mean. http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab=values

      After you have read all the above, AND start to study Chapter 6 in the revised STTM book (it’s CRUCIAL that YOU become informed), here’s an adrenal group to help:

      Reply
  35. sam

    true health labs took over a month just to get around to shipping the cortisol test kit ordered then turns out they didnt fill out the required test form, they dont answer the phone , will see what other problems arise ! i definitely do not reccomend them !

    Reply
  36. Rosemary Henriksen

    I have been taking Armor for years. I am a female and 77 years old. Dr. David Brownstein perscribed it and he has written many books about natural remedies. Once again my doctor and Priority Health want to switch me to a synthetic. Priority won’t cover Armor thyroid. I know that drug companies can’t patent natural remedies like Armor so the drug salesmen try to convince doctors that it isn’t reliable. Recently when I picked up my prescription, it was much cheaper and it was a generic for Armor. I noticed a weight gain and went back to the regular Armor. Now though I wonder if it was a change in my metabolism as I pretty much have to diet to keep from gaining weight. Is Armor Thyroid the same as it once was or might I have changed. I do feel a bit depressed, although it is winter and we seldom see the sun where I live. I also feel a bit lazy and I have always enjoyed a lot of energy.

    Reply
  37. Rosemary Henriksen

    Another question. Might I take one of the supplements suggested on line when I googled Thyroidgold besides my 60mg. Armour?

    Reply

Leave a Reply