YANMD, but.. does it have to be Thyroxine, forever?
February 2, 2013 5:39 AM Subscribe
I have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I've been tested for this annually over the last five years ( standard health MOT tests, its not something I've been anticipating although my maternal granny has hypothyroidism since her 60s) In January it emerged that my TSH tests are borderline
abnormal and the antibodies test actually gave a strong positive . My GP explained that this indicates it may not be a big problem right now, but that it is something I will inevitably have to deal with sooner or later.
Frankly the thought of having to take medication every day is really depressing me and I'm reluctant to start it now if I can put it off till later in life. May not seem like a big deal to some folk to have to take one pill every day but for me to be dependent on any type of medication is such a grim thought. I plan to go overseas at the end of this year to Asia and last thing I want is to have to be worrying about a daily medication.
posted by kudra23 to health & fitness (35 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
My symptoms of an under active thyroid are not all that obvious at the moment. 33 years old female with low cholesterol, non smoker, vegetable lover(though eat free range/organic meat in small amounts as well), general healthy living type person. Alcohol is my worst vice but only indulge once or twice a week. I don't have the overly dry skin associated with hypothyroidism and I'm not overweight, although if I do put on a few pounds, it's easy enough for me to shift them by cutting out booze, eating less and moving more.
I do seem to pick up colds and bugs frequently (plagued by sore throats) and I don't have bags of natural energy, despite being a reasonably active person. I walk for 40 minutes most days and have a job that can be at times physically demanding. However, when I'm not working I don't feel like doing all that much. I would say I have a fair bit of brain fog as well, often struggling to recall words I know, temporarily forgetting names of people I know, poor memory, that sort of thing.. I'd obviously like that to go away and I would also love to have more energy and a stronger immune system , so wondering if this could all be related to my thyroid problem.
I don't want to rush into anything though as I have read (yes on the internet... and I know not to take Dr Google as FACT) that if you start taking thyroxine synthetically that it actually inhibits your natural production of thyroxine which means you eventually become dependent on the pills. i.e , if I start taking it now, whether I really need it or not, and then stop taking the pills later for any reason I will feel even worse.
Since the test results and on the advice of a nutritionist friend, I have cut soya out of my diet after using it very heavily for five years. I also immediately had my mirena coil removed which is an IUD that has a progesterone release. I had it put in last June and it was giving me constant pain, so was planning on getting it out anyway but I've read that both soya and the hormones from the mirena coil can have an effect on thyroid levels.
I'm wondering if I should give my body time to reset itself then retest instead of immediately hitting it with daily bombs of synthetic thyroxine? I don't want to create a thyroxine dependency if my recent positive reading was perhaps tipped over the edge by these two external variables.
My GP is not really forthcoming with explanations, he's just telling me I should take the synthetic pills and be done with it, that there will be zero side effects and that my soya consumption/coil is nothing to do with it. He's completely dismissive of natural dessicated thyroid supplement options. Don't want to sound ignorant but I get the impression that he's actually not all that knowledgeable on the topic, and that he would like me just to accept the prescription and get out of his hair. Next! So ok, I will be seeking a second opinion from another GP but not optimistic they will offer many other options. Unfortunately I don't think I can really afford to see an endocrinologist.
So in conclusion, I would like to hear from anyone that
1) Has been diagnosed with an under active thyroid, the symptoms experienced before treatment if any and the benefits and the side effects of treatment taken? Has it been wonderfully life enhancing?
2) Love to hear from anyone that has taken thyroxine for any period of time and then stopped taking it and how that affected them.
3) Equally interested to hear from anyone that may have experienced correlation of hypothyroid diagnosis with a soya habit/ mirena coil.
4)Anyone attempted to address their thyroid issues naturally with diet rather than medication?
5) I'm extremely curious about anyone who decided to take Armour (or any other natural dessicated thyroid supplement) instead of thyroxine. Maybe you quit thyroxine and went on to something like Armour? Or vice versa? How did that go? I read that Armour supports the T4 levels in a way that synthetic thyroxine doesn't. I'd really love to hear from anyone that has tried/takes Armour.. and can you order it online for delivery to the UK?
Sorry this has been a bit long and all over the place, so thanks to anyone has taken the time to read and process! I understand that different things work for different people but I'm concerned that I'm not getting the full picture from my GP and want to gather as much info on the topic as possible before making any decisions. If you have any experience on this matter at all, your input will be greatly appreciated. I'm in Edinburgh , Scotland if anybody local knows of anybody around here worth checking out, I'm all ears. Thanks again :)