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Old 07-31-2010, 09:05 AM   #1
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Just starting Naturethroid

Hi everyone. I am new to this forum. I am 48 years old and have suffered with chronic fatigue since a flu-like mono at age of 20. I had a very large neck (yes... thyroid) in my 20's with normal labs. Even Mayo clinic would not treat me despite profound fatigue, memory problems, low heart rate, constipation, etc.. Eventually my local MD gave me a small dose of synthroid 20+ years ago and it helped a little... I felt a little clearer, mentally, and my neck shrunk to normal size. It's a long story, but I eventually stopped the Synthroid after a couple of years because I still had the CFS and was noting some irregular heart beats (mild).... so I thought it was not indicated. Since that time I have learned (through much research) that it was probably dehydration and low magnesium (common with CFS and the way many of us eat) that caused the occasional skipped beats. But...... that was a long time ago.
I've done special diets, Iodine, and some other very good nutritional supplements (am still on most of them) including vitamin D3 (levels low) in the past 2 years. I had saliva testing (most recently May 2010) and my progesterone level is high-normal (but normal range for supplementation), my estrogen level was low (less than 1) and I wasn't on any estrogen until some arrived yesterday as I am starting bioident. estrogen cream to balance my prog/estrogen ratio. I saw a holistic NP who saw my elevated thyroid peroxidase level (I think it was 139) and the lump at base of my neck. She is starting me on Naturethroid (I am corn sensitive) 1/2 grain (30mg) a day in addition to the estrogen which I will be taking every day and progesterone cream on 21 days of the month (start day 8). I have had profound insomnia for over 2 years. I did have some serious stress prior to this. We think that my insomnia is related to hormone imbalance (estrogen can really help with sleep) and/or Hashimoto's type hypothyroidism. I was concerned about starting estrogen with hypothryoid symptoms (we checked a blood level and I am awaiting the result.... but the "gold standard" for these hormone levels is actually the saliva.... I just wanted to see how the blood level turned out). I am on supplements to build my adrenals and I do feel they have improved from this past May when all readings were low normal. My question for the group is: How soon can you begin to feel benefits when starting on thyroid hormone? I'm really looking for some help with the insomnia, mild depression, daytime fatigue, and the heavy feeling in my legs which I believe is fluid but not real visible. I am 5'6" and weight approx. 138# so a significant amt of fluid should be visible... but legs just feel "tight" at times. Sorry for such a long post and thank you in advance for any input regarding how soon you can begin to see improvement.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:11 AM   #2
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I forgot to add that I've read some books by holistic MD Dr. David Brownstein and he has said that a case of chronic fatigue following an infectious illness is often thryoid....... "look to the thyroid". Boy..... do I wish I could have seen him about 25 years ago! Many years of unnecessary suffering I believe. My holistic provider (a wellness consultant) thinks that all of this time with hypo is what has affected my adrenals... especially following the multiple stressors a few years back.
I am an RN and quit my job of 23 years last Dec. 2009 to get my health restored. I am so eager to start feeling better and have only just found this holistic NP who knows what is going on and can write a Rx to help me restore these hormone imbalances (incl. thyroid).
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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According to over 22,000 women...who are replaced with hormones, salivary is NOT the 'Gold Standard' for them. Including myself. Salivary ended in me being WAY over replaced (bloat, omg...yep...about 10 lbs up all the time, red faced and huffing/puffing...lol).

Iodine is not indicated in treatment of Hashimoto's (high peroxidase levels) and it can 'bring it on' in way of antibody attack. It's known that mono (and a few other virus') bring on hypothyroidism, just like being post meno, peri meno, pregnant, etc. can 'trigger' TPO antibodies.

I went for years with no treatment cuz of doctors only doing TSH (and iodine, sigh). I'm hoping you can continue to 'get' Naturethroid where you are. I can't. Nor can I get any Westhroid. And we already KNOW the 'reformuated' Armour isn't what it should be at all. I'm presently expecting my Rx. of Thyroid from Canada (ERFA).

Brownstein is ok. Have you seen Thyroid Mistreatment, Hypothyroidism Scandals, and Thyroid Treatment Problems | Stop The Thyroid Madness site for up to date information?

Pam
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: Iodine and Hashimotos

I just checked in my Iodine book (Iodine-why you need it, why you can't live without it) by Dr. Brownstein. He talks about his initial study on iodine status of 24 patients with Hashimotos and Graves disease. 92% had iodine deficiency. "nearly every one of these patients had dramatic improvements in their symptoms with the use of a combination of iodine/iodide to replace the body's deficit... rarely do I see a negative side effect from the replacement of a natural form of iodine, and side effects are easily rectified with adjusting the dosage" he states. He also states that his "experience has clearly shown that the appropriate use of iodine in treating thyroid disorders, from hypo to graves to Hashimotos disease, is not only safe, but effective and inexpensive". He does also mention that approx. 1/3 of patients being treated for hypothyroidism will need to lower their dose of thyroid hormone when an iodine-deficient disorder is corrected.
So I guess opinions really vary on this topic. I've watched some DVDs of his presentations and he has treated thousands of patients who have been very ill with various illnesses (not just thyroid) and he seems to help a lot of people recover when conventional medicine did not help them. I tend to believe in what he has to say, but of course each person is an individual who will respond differently to Rx and natural treatments.
Thanks for your quick reply to my post.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
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I forgot to ask you, Pam, what hormones were you taking that caused the bloat and wt. gain?
Thanks.
Mary
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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sex hormones. most as pam said fine that saliva levels arent the gold standard.. saliva is how ever the best for cortisol levels.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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My hormone levels are high on saliva testing (which is 4 to 5 times a day) and much more accurate on blood testing. But the "platinum standard" (had to make it higher than gold...ha ha) is the 24 hour urine test that tests each of the 3 estrogens and other hormones that aren't tested by saliva or blood. I've had it done 2 times and am going for my 3rd the end of August.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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Mimers,

I didn't know you can test sex hormones thru 24-hour urine. Is it really the most accurate way? I was just going to have a sex-hormone evaluation via blood, but now I am intrigued with this. Can they also due testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA this way?
Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
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do you have separate collections through the 24 hr one. you can do that for cortisol as well im told but MUST be separate collections, not one.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:10 PM   #10
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As a RN you know that any incoming estrogen (including soy) will bind the conversion of T4 to T3. When they test ME via saliva, I am over replaced. (I only have about 244 emails from women on BHRT saved...I haven't been saving them the entire 21 years of advocacy) and there is way more than studies on 24 women with Hashi's who could not take iodine because it exacerbates the antibody reaction.

I was replaced BHRT for over ten years, now weaned off (yep, I'm old...) and it was great. I had a really savvy doctor who had been a pioneer in testosterone replacement for many years...then with women and BHRT/Thyroid. He was an endo who didn't do any diabetes. just thyroid, and sex hormones. Up until I found this doctor, I hadn't had any success with any doctor in the thyroid replacement. And had been Hashi's for over 20 years. My family background is that of my Mother dying from Hashimoto's Encephalopathy and over 20 females both sides of family with Hashimoto's. And other autoiimmune, one which was studied at the NIH (boring....) with my family involved.

I think Ridha Arem in his book has a better explanation on this.

Pam

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Old 07-31-2010, 02:19 PM   #11
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Yes, I was concerned about starting the estrogen because of the thyroid issue. That is why I am still eager to see what that estrogen blood level turns out to be. My testosterone and DHEA are normal. The progesterone was high normal for "supplementation" range. My holistic provider (she is not a naturopath but yet I find her to be a wealth of information as what she says always seems to jive with the YEARS of research I've been doing....quite a journey)...she put me on the progesterone to help me sleep at night... but not working. Nothing has really worked. So.... I wonder if it is all thyroid or if it could also be some imbalance in the progesterone/estrogen ratio which I've read is very important. It could be one or both. I've had years of CFS and fd intolerances (surely related) and I believe it was low thyroid (hashi) all those years, but how I feel now is different. I feel more flat and depressed and I've never had the sleep issues until the last 2+ years. Since I'm now perimenopausal.... I guess it could be just worse hypothyroid or maybe the mix of hypothyroid and progest/estrogen imbalance. I'm tired of feeling horrible every day so I hate to only start one of the treatments (Naturethroid) if I actually need both to get me to feeling better.......even just sleeping better at night. I tend to wonder if the chronic insomnia caused this moderate depression. The only Rx med I take is Ambien (don't like taking it and want to wean off as soon as I can). Ambien only helps me sleep for 3-4 hrs at a time.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:36 PM   #12
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To Mimers,
What hormone therapy are you currently taking and do you feel it has really helped you (with what symptoms)? I am a little intimidated to start the estrogen etc., but feel that I really do need it.
Thanks.
Mary

Last edited by Ilovedogs!; 07-31-2010 at 02:37 PM.. Reason: Wrong quote
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:39 PM   #13
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Oops. See previous.

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Old 07-31-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Re: 24 hour urine collection for hormones. It's all the urine you "expel" in a 24 hour period....timed to the minute. If you make a "mistake", you have to start all over because it's to include ALL that you produce in 24 hours.

It it is not for cortisol, but only for hormones. You are to take your regular dose of hormones/medications during the 24 hour time period so that the result will show what you have in your body during that time period which will show the results for what you are taking.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:05 PM   #15
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Hi Mary,

I'm 62 and about 12 years post menopausal. I started having menopausal symptoms when I was 31! I know...pretty sad, but I"m not alone! I had hot flashes horribly and refused to take synthetic hormones (horse urine) so I just plain suffered until they came out with "bio-identical hormones". I was very happy to take those. I have been on them forever it seems.... I have done the pills, sublingual drops, transdermal creams, and I've read I think every book about bio-identical hormones and what is the best way to administer them, test for them etc. I have read all the studies the medical people and pharmaceutical people want you to be afraid of....the nurses study, etc. And I have read the "truth" about those tests and results. There's lots of info out there. Dr. Jonathan Wrights new book (2010...very new) goes into it all. He's one of the pioneers of bio-identical hormones. He thinks he is THE pioneer.

There are specialists all over the world that think they are right. Some say gel, others pills, others sublingual, others cream. Nobody agrees other than it MUST BE bio-identical and compounded to get correct results, keep you from getting cancer, and be healthy and happy.

I had about 12 years of hot flashes. The only thing that got rid of them was called bi-est (2 estrogens). There are 3 estrogens that the body makes naturally. Many docs only Rx one of them...a potent one called estradiol. Some uses tri-est which has all 3. But the 3rd one is the one that is known to be the cancer causing one (estrone), so many docs will do bi-est (estradiol and estriol) and eliminate the 3rd one.

If you take estrogen, you MUST take progesterone (compounded) with it to keep from having cancers. Yes, even if you've had a hysterectomy and your ob/gyn says it's not necessary. That's an old and proven MYTH!

I take bi-est, progesterone as far as my hormone regime, and I take them both right before I get into bed. I have low DHEA and low testosterone, but when even taking the tiniest dose of either of those, I have problems with my adrenals and/or my levels skyrocket. I'm still trying the DHEA off and on to see if my adrenals will support it (under doctors directions).

I tried a couple times to wean off all hormones and it was rather a disaster. And, if you read any of the newest books out on anti-aging, they will tell you that a critical piece of the anti-aging regime is to replace the hormones that your body no longer produces. I know, for me, I do much better ON them, than off. I doubt I will bother attempting to wean off again with all the newest research out there.

I'm one of those freak cases where I could not survive without the estrogen to get rid of the hot flashes. Normal average for them is 2 years. I was over a dozen and unable to get off them. I'm taking a very very small amount. I'm taking a lot of progesterone for a post menopausal woman.

Pam was able to wean off all hormones and is doing really well that way. We are all different!!!! We have to do lots of research and make our own decisions and follow ups with testing and how we are feeling.

For me...it's a no brainer. I'm on them for life!
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:08 PM   #16
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Thank you for the information. I appreciate learning from others. My wellness consultant wanted the N.P. to order me the biest because of all of my "sensitivities... and the safer estrogens", but the N.P. ordered the triest as that is what she "usually orders". I'm going to work on that in the future with her. I do fear the estrogen with my current symptoms and the big lump I have at the base of my neck. I don't want my thyroid to get worse. But the Naturethroid is new, too, and I'm hoping to get some results there. I hope to find out that estrogen level on Monday... and see if it is low like the saliva level was.
Mimers, are you on thyroid Rx?

Thanks again.
Mary
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:32 PM   #17
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Mimers,
Can the 24-hour urine test test all the sex hormones at once, or do you have to do separate ones?
thanks!
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:57 PM   #18
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Hi Santa Fe,

The 24 hour urine test does all of the sex hormones from the 24 hour test. So...not to worry...you only have to "pee" for 24 hours!! ha ha (sorry, couldn't resist!)
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:09 AM   #19
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in case I didn't expound, my 'weaning' took well over a year...and my doc had it all compounded according to '% of wean' for that month

Urine testing did NOT work well for me either (but we knew why...it's meds I take daily )

Pam
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimers
if you read any of the newest books out on anti-aging, they will tell you that a critical piece of the anti-aging regime is to replace the hormones that your body no longer produces.
That is my train of thought as well..

Do you still get a cycle taking all the/se hormones.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:07 AM   #21
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Hi Ilovedogs, I'm in Michigan too. I am glad you found someone that is working with you, sounds like you're impressed with her...can you give her name? So many people looking for someone who 'understands' all this stuff.

I recently found a great dr that gets it and that I'm happy with too.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:08 AM   #22
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That is my train of thought as well..

Do you still get a cycle taking all the/se hormones.
Ilene....you gave me a good chuckle this morning. I'm 62 and 12 years post menopausal. No cycles for me, thank goodness!!! :-)

(Note....I also do not "cycle" the taking of my hormones...I take them daily...but I can do that at my ripe old age!)
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:10 AM   #23
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glad i could entertain.

I realize where you are in age but didnt know if that would cause a cycle even tho you are 'past' it.

so enough hormones to help but not enough for cycles.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #24
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A lot of women who aren't post meno aren't having actual 'cycles' either...they are actually sloughing uterine lining but not ovulating/having a cycle. Depends on how the incoimng BHRT is 'used'.

I hear some docs are giving a HUGE amount of progesterone a few days a month to 'slough' uterine lining, but if you have no uterus, you can still use an amount to 'make your body and thyroid happy'.

And I've got to kind of really wonder when a 60some year old is given a 'schedule to cycle' hormones. ?? I think it's come a long way though...not so many docs are suggesting progeSTINS and conjugated HRT...and they are 'heads up' about the newest BRAND name Rx's for BHRT on the market (which insurances are more willing to pay for instead of 'compounds'...14 years ago patches came in two 'strengths' now they come in graduations of 8 different strengths of estradiol (not conjugated estrogens). So, yippee for us!

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Old 08-01-2010, 09:24 AM   #25
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Ilene....

Yes, I take enough hormones to help me feel good and have good levels, but not enough to make me "young" again with monthly cycles. Such a deal!!! The bi-est helps my skin tremendously (went off estrogen for about 2 months I looked like I had aged about 15 years...even hubby noticed!!! And I take about 50% of what is a "normal low dose"!!!) Also I was diagnosed with osteopenia 15 years ago and the hormones are keeping my bones from getting worse. I do not take ANY calcium, and haven't for years. I eat very little dairy. So, I think it's all the bi-est that is helping the bones (and weight lifting, magnesium, Vitamin D and other goodies).

The progesterone helps me to sleep and helps my adrenals that way. I take about 400% more than the "average dose" for post-menopausal. So...as you can see...there are "guidelines", but we all have different needs.

I'm glad Pam does better without hormones, but like anything else...we are all so very different and have to find out what works best for our own bodies. Hormones are my little friends!!! :-)
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:35 AM   #26
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BUT..you have to figure in those steroids I take...steroids act as hormonal agents, and are the reason I cannot tolerate any estrogen. It just raises my cortisol even MORE and makes me miserable. I do know that when I could wean off the steroids...I had to pick up the pace again with a little estragel.

Otherwise, if I so much as use a little estragel..I bloat up like CRAZY!! And I do use a little progeserone cream about every other night...if I do it every night, I get the depression, too sleepy during the day...etc.

We're all individuals, but I know a LOT of women (know more who do used BHRT than don't in age group of 50 to 70) who are using BHRT and with great success. And look at all the smart cookies here...young ones, older ones...teaching each other...and it just goes on and on...it's wonderful. We're like the knowledge keepers here...all sharing. LOVELY to see young'uns learning so much and giving back...and no one HAS to do what one person says...it's all based on individuality and learning. No wonder this board is so popular.

Pam
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #27
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Pam, you are a dream...has anyone told you that recently??? I love the way you phrase things and pull all info together. I had forgotten about your steroids and how they convert. No wonder you weaned off!!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I had no information on hormones from my mother or older sister. Both had hysterectomies and their docs said nothing was needed. Boy, don't we know better these days?! My 2 younger sisters refuse to take anything that is not organic...one is a nurse and after years of hot flashes (she's 57) is finally on BHRT...the other one...nope! So, nobody to ever discuss this with.

As Pam said...the young women on this board are getting an education none of us have ever been lucky enough to get...about hormones, weight plans, thyroid, and even the "new" RT3 issues that seem to be cropping up at an unreal number lately.

Thank you all for sharing and helping each other. It *is* a fabulous forum. Thanks Pam!!!! You made it what it is! :-)
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:02 PM   #28
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I've been working with a Wellness Consultant in Marquette, Michigan... but the Nurse Practitioner who saw me a week ago was in Woodruff, Wisconsin. I travelled about 1.5 hours to see her. Her name is Janet Bowen at "Openings to Health" clinic. No. is 715-358-7727. She reviewed my latest saliva test from May 2010. That's where the estrogen level was less than 1 but my progesterone level was 2614 (norm. for supp. was 500-3000). But she saw my elevated TPO and I told her about the lump in my throat and you can see it in the base of my neck.... plus she did a complete history on me. I have fatigue, insomnia, food allergies, resting heart rate about 52/min.... and terrible PMS and menstrual cramps. So she ordered the Triest every day and the progesterone is recommended from day 8 to cycle, but I wonder if I should only be doing day 14 to cycle. I was off of progesterone for quite a while prior to this May due to very high cortisol levels which we thought were because I used the progesterone cream (for bad PMS) for nearly a decade (doesn't that sound like low thyroid?) and I didn't measure it accurately. I was ignorant to the fact that it was such a powerful hormone because it was over the counter. I learned the hard way. Anyways.... my last cortisol levels were all "low normal" this past May which was much better than Feb 2009 when my total cortisol burden was more than 3 times the normal range (total daily.... and at least 3 times higher at each of the 4 sample times).
Janet suggested the Armour thyroid (honestly.... it was her idea as I was preoccupied with low estrogen being my major problem, although I've tried to get Armour for myself in the past). I wasn't feeling the greatest the day I saw her so I am glad that she was on the ball with that. My holistic wellness consultant from Marquette recommended I ask Janet for the Naturethroid as I did test corn sensitive... so she changed it to that.
I had Rx mailed to me from Women's International Pharm. in Madison, WI. I thought that any provider could fax a Rx to them for anyone across the nation so I am stumped why some of you cannot get the Naturethroid. The total cost for the thryoid and estrogen was $38. That's cheap compared to what I've been spending.... it has been a nightmare with the out of pocket cost of holistic care, supplements, saliva tests etc. and I've not been working since December. I cannot work until I feel better. Sorry I left such a long reply again! Can't help myself as I feel so crappy EVERY day!
So..... I appreciate any encouragement I can get from this group about thyroid and or hormones and if anyone has gotten relief from symptoms similar to mine (mostly the insomnia, fatigue, and crappy menstrual cycles which I'm in the middle of right now!).
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:30 PM   #29
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We've been hearing (or I have been anyway) for the past few months that the compound coming from there is 'weak'. A very good friend just switched up from having her Rx. compounded there to ERFA from Canada.

Just think...I had it compounded...and took half my dosage...and my FT3 was um..NOTHING..under range..five hours after I took my split. If there's a lot of cellulose in the compound..then it doesn't matter how much it costs to me...I've been paying about 44 dollars for three months' worth and now it's not working.

I also sent four caps of compound to a lab in Nevada to test, and they reported that there was 2mg. T3 in what was supposed to be two grains, compounded. I'm pretty much done with that. That's why we can't get the 'original, un compounded Naturethroid'. I had been doing well on my compound for about six months, and now my compounding pharmacist can't get the same material to work with. Just like the 'new' Armour...it's been 'deadened' with cellulose. So, my last two months have been about terrible and I couldn't 'figure it out' until the last couple of weeks. Tests don't lie.

Waiting for my ERFA

Pam

Last edited by nonstickpam107; 08-01-2010 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:39 AM   #30
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YIKES Pam, if I'm understanding what you're saying, folks are having problems with Naturethroid now too??
Remember I went hyPER at 3 grains of Naturethroid b/c of tanked adrenals....but those pills looked different. The ones I'm getting now are scored in the middle and the other ones weren't.
Geesh, I don't want to have problems with this stuff once I'm able to start increasing it again after being on HC for a while.
Or did I misunderstand you?
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