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Old 03-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
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Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, B12, and D3

It's been recommended to me by many people that I should be taking potassium, magnesium, and calcium as it is to supplement this WOE... but I also have thyroid problems (hypo) and I know it was also recommended that people with hypothyroidism take B12 and D3 as well.

My question is... does anyone know what dosages would be helpful/safe?

So far I've gotten the potassium and the magnesium. I'm unsure if my calcium could really need that much supplementation given that I eat cheese and other dairy pretty regularly, but I suppose extra couldn't hurt. The B12 and D3 I haven't even touched yet because I wanted to see what other people had to say about them.

I guess from what I was reading my current thyroid medicine (which I'm trying to get OFF of in favor of NDT) is leeching my body of potassium and calcium though... if that's true, I had no idea but it could account for how lousy I've felt while taking it!

Right now I'm taking 1 of the potassium pills daily as recommended on the bottle which is 99mg. Magnesium I just picked up today and was going to try starting out on 250mg once a day. I haven't had constipation issues lately like a lot of people on LC that are taking it, I'm actually getting the opposite issue lately almost I'm wondering if 250mg would then be enough to get benefit out of or not.

Calcium I'm unsure of how much I should take... probably the recommended daily dose on the bottle? I'm not taking a multi at all, so I'm not getting any calcium outside of my diet currently.

What exactly do vitamins B12 and D3 do for us? I know B12 is supposed to help with energy levels, which is great... I was thinking of taking a B-complex daily but I was unsure what dosage would be good there too.

Also, my dad used to take a B-complex vitamin back in the day and he told me that B vitamins make people really hungry... has anyone else experienced this too, or was he just imagining things? I'd really hate to have gotten my hunger under control only to turn into some kind of kitchen ravaging monster upon supplementing myself
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:04 PM   #2
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Just my $.02 but I think to supplement wisely you need to know the what, why and how of your own body.

You have to balance Nature with Science. We all need B-12, D3 and Magnesium to survive and thrive.

Many who suffer from Hypothyroid are low in B-12, D3 and Ferritin. But not all. My levels of ferritin are very high. You can do yourself more harm than good by D3 supplementation without knowing your ranges. It is best to get your D3 from safe sun exposure but some of use just don’t convert it properly and have to supplement. Same with B-12. My body does not absorb it from food properly. To randomly throw B’s in pill form into my body would not do any good and would be a waste of money. I did shots for years and then switched to Sublingual Methylcobalamin.

I’m not big on pills, yet, I take my share of supplements.

I prefer to get my Magnesium through my skin, but that is just my preference. If our soils were not so depleted of Magnesium I might not feel the need.

Calcium and dairy are not the be all cure for bone health that we were once led to believe. There is a balance of minerals, Calcium, Vitamin D and vitamin K that all work together for bone health. You can get much of what you need by switching to a good Himalayan Salt and eating sulfur rich vegetables like kale. Save your beet greens. They make great salads.

I would love to get everything I need from foods and save the strain on my liver from taking my 14 pills a day. Nature has provided me with many foods that I can do that with but the Science and research of aging medicine has also provided me with enough information to supplement wisely. I am unwilling to eat the good wild fish and grass fed liver in order to get what I need from them. So, I take the Krill Oil. I get my share of toxic overload from processed foods and the environment so I choose to take a probiotic and antioxidant.

I’m grateful that I live in a day and age that we do have the research on aging minds and bodies and the knowledge of decreasing CO10 as we age. Ditto for Hormones. We don’t realize how much hormones affect our health until we are out of balance. The Thyroid is the “conductor” of sorts and keeps all hormones in tune with each other. Insulin is a major hormone and it being out of balance plays a huge role. The sex hormones seem to be a YMMV but for me getting them balanced has been huge.

As in most responses that you read here we are all unique in what our bodies need. We all have different degrees of Insulin Resistance. I think where your ancestors came from has something to do with it. I’m mostly Irish so maybe that is why my body seems to like potatoes?

I have read statements on this site and others stating that we do not need anything other than meat and fat to be healthy. That all our vitamin and mineral needs will be met without fruits and vegetables. I think this is a broad statement and depends upon the individual and the quality of their meats and fats. The Inuit Tribe is often cited as an example of very healthy people who had very little in the way of carbs in their diet. The fact is this tribe ate a wild meat that is not available to most Americans. There were nutrients in things like raw Seal Brains, Whale Skin and Caribou Liver that we are not getting in our farm raised proteins. The Inuit’s also had larger livers in order to process their fats.

You look very healthy, beautiful and young in your avatar picture. You are wise to start questioning this stuff at an early age. I’m not sure where you are with your Thyroid meds. Hopefully, you have found a good Dr. that can help you with all the correct blood work and continued monitoring so that you can get any deficiencies corrected. Joining this site and finding the right Dr. to help me determine what this aging body needs has been one of the smartest things I have done for my health.

Back to one of your questions, before I went off on my tirade. Yes, B-12 makes me hungry. I don’t eat my first meal of the day until 11 AM so I take it about 10 minutes before.

Last edited by Erin57; 03-25-2013 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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I would never supplement without first being aware of my body's needs.

For example, when I was extremely fatigued, my doctor checked my B12 level--and it's extemely HIGH. My fatigue turned out to be from some other deficiency, but it would have been foolish (and dangerous) for me to just go ahead and take more B12.

But when he tested my Vit D3, I was very low, and supplementing D3 has made me feel so much better. I would not have known how much to take if I didn't know what I needed. I've been supplementing D3 for several years, and my doctor periodically checks to insure that I am maintaining a good level.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
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Well, I think the thing with me right now is I'm currently in the process of waiting to actually FIND someone who'll take my thyroid concerns seriously. Right now I'm on synthroid (Levothyroxine) and from what I understand it's leeching calcium and potassium out of my body... I also know magnesium may be affected as well, and all three of those supplements were recommended to me on this forum anyhow as being good for people on LC diets, especially women.

I have a long wait ahead of me as far as getting to see someone goes. I'm out of town right now visiting family, and my doctor passed me off to a specialist who (weeks later) still has never gotten in touch with me to make an appointment there... even after I called and left a message and had my doctor resend the referral. So I have no idea how long it'll be before I see someone for more blood work, or if she'll even give me NDT which is ultimately what I want, or if she'll run ALL the tests I'm asking for.

That being said... I know you can do your body more harm than good by supplementing when you don't need it. I'm currently trying to go low dose on everything I'm taking for the most part because I DON'T know my levels. That being said though, when I was a kid my mom used to give me women's multivitamins and extra calcium and vitamin C every day... never once was I tested, and I didn't seem to be affected negatively by them (except, I'd assume, by the iodine in the multi which isn't good for thyroid patients).

I ordered myself some of my old multis again, just to get a good multivitamin in... I hear all the time on here that it's important to take one, and I know those are rather balanced as far as supplement dosage goes, so I thought that would be best to cover some of the bases. I bought GNC's Woman's Ultra Mega without iron or iodine, and those have B complex in them as well already as well as extra D3 which I know thyroid patients are often deficient in. I'll be starting those when they come in the mail, and I think that should be a safe dose of those supplements in the meantime while I'm waiting. I'm also taking one potassium caplet a day, and 250mg of magnesium, and I have the sublingual B12's that I started playing around with today. Just one of the B12's, just to see if I notice any difference at all.

I figure if I notice a negative reaction to anything, I'll quit it immediately and wait to see a doctor about it... I'm just tired of sitting on my butt feeling like crap I guess. If I can help myself out a little and get even a little boost of what Levothyroxine took from me back, that'd be great!

I don't THINK anything on here looks too potentially dangerous though, but someone else can chime in I guess if they really think I'm putting myself at risk I guess... I figured if I kept my dosages low enough in the meantime, I might be able to get a tiny boost out of it if I really am slightly deficient in something, and if I'm not it probably wouldn't be enough to really push me in a negative direction.

I feel pretty strongly about the potassium at least after figuring out my body is leeching it from me thanks to that medicine! I don't eat potassium rich foods very often, so I doubt it'd hurt me to take that extra 99mg
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:32 AM   #5
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You wrote:

"Right now I'm on synthroid (Levothyroxine) and from what I understand it's leeching calcium and potassium out of my body... "

Why do you think this? I have been taking a form of synthroid (Levoxyl) since my diagnosis (more than 10 years). Despite eating very low carb, my potassium and calcium levels are always fine according to my labs--I am checked every 4 months.

If synthroid actually did 'leech' elements from the body, don't you think doctors would know this and prescribe supplements? Please don't believe everything you read on the Internet.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
If synthroid actually did 'leech' elements from the body, don't you think doctors would know this and prescribe supplements?
Honestly? No I don't Doctors in my experience generally know next to nothing about nutrition. Maybe you're one of the few who actually do well on Synthroid but I certainly am not... it's been killing me slowly the past couple months I've been taking it, so it's obviously doing SOMETHING not so nice to my body. I'm waiting to find someone to actually run the correct labs and prescribe me NDT instead of this garbage I'm stuck with now, but to answer your question... no I don't believe my doctor would have even been aware that it could have been doing that to my body if it were true. He's a GP and knows very little of thyroid problems or nutrition in general. When I presented him with my list of concerns and requests for labs to be run, he immediately admitted he had no idea about any of it and would have to pass me off to a specialist.

In people who are negatively impacted by Synthroid, a lot of different things could be occurring in the body. My research on the subject extends beyond reading things on the internet... it is also supplemented by stories from MANY others unlike you who did NOT do well on the medicine like myself, who finally managed to get the right treatment. I also bought a book dedicated to the topic that's been of great assistance to me.

While I don't think research is ever an adequate replacement for getting blood tests run, as I said before... that's not a realistic option for me right now. I don't eat foods rich in potassium especially as it is so I sincerely doubt my levels are so high that supplementing with an additional 99mg is going to harm me. That's less than if I'd decided to eat some bananas today.

It's great and everything that you're doing well on Synthroid, but I'm speaking about those who don't... obviously not everyone would have this leeching issue, and not everyone would have the same deficiencies. There's obviously something very bad going on with my body chemistry in relation to how this medicine is being processed, so until I can get off of it and onto something that won't slowly sap the life out of me I've got to try and do what I can do to take care of myself.

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Old 03-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Did you consult a doctor about your problems with synthroid? I ask only because there are many 'brands' of synthetic T4, and they all use different 'fillers' to convey the hormone. It is not uncommon to be unable to tolerate a particular brand, and a doctor should prescribe an alternative when that happens.

I was initially prescribed Levoxyl (a brand of Synthroid), and I have had no problems with it. Some months ago, my (now former) pharmacist convinced me to fill the prescription with Levothyroxine, which is supposed to be 'identical' but is more profitable for the pharmacist (I later learned). I definitely felt somewhat 'off' with the Levothyroxine, so I spoke to my endo who told me to get back on the Levoxyl immediately. He explained that there are no 'identical' drugs, as they are all formulated slightly differently, and in taking hormones, those differences very often affect people in various ways.

IMO, having a chronic disease (Hashimoto's) that I'm going to have to deal with the rest of my life requires that I develop a good relationship with an excellent doctor to partner with me in my treatment. I do research and read books, but I learn most from discussions with my doctor.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #8
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Yes, I consulted with my doctor and told him I wanted to begin treatment with NDT instead because of how terrible synthroid is making me feel. I also requested he run the correct labs for me, as all he's been sticking to is TSH which we all know is wrong. His response was to refer me to an endo who, after three weeks of waiting now, has never gotten back to me to even schedule an appointment. I called and left messages, and no dice. They're currently trying to sort that out while I'm still out of town, but it's not looking good on that front... and that's if that endo will even prescribe me what I need.

My doctor is well aware of the issues I'm having on synthroid. His advice to me? I have to stay on it until I can see someone else who can advise me where to go from there. Most people really don't do well on synthroid from what I've found... you seem to be lucky, which is great for you. But I'm not willing to experiment with further synthetics after the experience I've had, and the experience so many others like me have had with them. I'm sticking to my guns on trying to get NDT along with the correct blood work run so I can actually get well. I suspect my adrenal glands are completely out of whack as well at this point, so it'll be a long road full of supplements. My problem is actually GETTING there right now.

I also suspect I have Hashimoto's though I won't know until the tests are run. However thyroid problems run in my family, and I'm almost positive it contributed to my mother's death. I have a bad relationship with many synthetic drugs, so I'm honestly not surprised with my reaction to synthroid given that it's so common for people to do poorly on it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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I don't know where you got the idea that few people do well on Synthroid because it is the most commonly prescribed thyroid medication so many people must tolerate it well. Almost everyone I know who is hypothyroid takes it, and I have friends who have been on it for many years with no issues. I don't take Synthroid, but the other brand Levoxyl. However, I've known people to have various reactions to all the thyroid meds, and it's a matter of finding the right one. As I mentioned, Levothyroxine is supposed to be exactly like Levoxyl, but I reacted negatively to it.

One comment about Hashimoto's--based on my experience. The blood tests are often falsely negative because as I understand it, unless your immune system is attacking the thyroid at the time of the blood draw, very often the antibody level won't be high enough for a diagnosis.

I was hypothyroid for 5 years when one of my nodules grew large enough to merit a biopsy. It was (thankfully) benign, but in the process, the pathologist diagnosed Hashimoto's from the tissue he'd extracted from my thyroid. My endo told me that he'd long suspected Hashi's, but my antibody level was never high enough for a diagnosis via lab work, so he was glad to see his suspicions confirmed via the biopsy.

My point is that even if your blood test comes back negative for Hashi's, you can't be sure you don't have it.
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