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Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:13 pm Post subject: thyroid funcion and statins
I am seeing a holisitic MD and he has diagnosed me hypothyroid. My temperature is about 36.4C or 97.5F. I started out taking 30mg. of dessicated thyroid and now taking 240mg. When I first started taking the thyroid I felt more energetic and have lost 30 lbs. over 5 months. My problems from statins is neuropathy and myopathy. I quit statins (10mg. Crestor) almost 2 years ago. I still cannot exercise without suffering pain and fatigue. The pain in my feet is constant and has gotten worse since I stopped the statins. It may be my imagination but my foot pain seems to have increased since I increased my thyroid to 240mg. Even at that dosage I cannot get my temperature above 97.5F. Is there a limit as to how much thyroid one can safely consume?
Some good questions asked. I don't know the answers. I have three more books on order on hypothroidism though. Maybe some of them will be enlightening. Bummer to hear about cinbad's high dosage with remaining fatigue and still having a low temperature. Reminds me of what I was thinking earlier this week: We can never know if a treatment is working optimally as we no longer know what optimal is for us with possible / likely permanent damage in the mix.
Going slow on starting hypo treatment may be a good idea. The book I just finished suggested 60 mg.as good starting dosage. My doc put me on 30 mg. I think that makes sense. Our bodies have adapted to having too low amounts, and therefore our cellular receptors for the hormone are likely to be "over expressed." A sudden flooding of throid hormones in the cells may be counterproductive. That is my theory with HRT in general. My doc thinks I am right on that.
Some of the effects of treatment can happen quickly, others take some weeks (such as for manufacturing proteins for mitochondrial growth (i.e. size and number). Probably best for the effects to go together. So I think slow increases are better even if you are reasonably sure you will be at a higher dosage months down the road. Just a thought.
Hey Brooks, from another thread where high dosages or Vitamin D were mentioned (g.g., 50,000 IUs once per week), keep in mind that may have been necessary for her particular situation which may have involved impaired absorption.
If memory serves me right, my dr at the time (early 1990's) started me on statins and Synthroid about the same time. Of course, I never questioned anything. I took Synthroid for years until my healthcare provider said there was now a generic and encouraged me to switch ($$$). By that time I was seeing a different dr and he said no to the generic Synthroid and started me on Levoxyl. I have taken Levoxyl for probably four years now. I am off all statins.
Curiously, I now wonder if the statins and thyroid medications started about the same time have brought me all this misery????
Joined: 13 Dec 2006 Posts: 1136 Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:50 pm Post subject:
I would think the Statins are solely responsible for your problems. The thyroid meds, if they boost your low T2 & T3, are beneficial, not harmful; in fact, I would bet the Statins would have done a REAL number on you if you were hypothyroid and un-medicated while taking statins. Read the link CINBAD provided (above) to get a better idea of how untreated hypothyroidism can be harmful with symptoms akin to statin side effects.
Excellent find. That appears to be a real good site.
I ordered two copies of her book, but here rather than from the site where they were actually a few dollars cheaper by book price and also due to Amazon's free shipping, plus I did not have to sign up for the Google ordering thing:
Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:24 pm Post subject: Re: thyroid funcion and statins
Cinbad - I too was bad and kept getting worse, until it was found that I had progressed to Mitochondrial Myopathy, and was prescribed Lyrica and started NADH, both of which made a huge difference in how I felt. I'm no expert, but it sounds like the pain in your feet could be Neuropathy, and you should see a Neurologist.
Don't get discouraged if the first one you see doesn't get it. Keep looking. I had to go through a few doctors, before I found one that I liked.
when i was on zocor I had all the symptoms of a out of whack thyroid..but all tests came back negative...Now, 8 years later they find I had a very low vit d level...which I understand the thyroid needs to work right..I have no doubt that the statins contributed to all of this ...
I have periferal neurapathy from statins...started out with sore, tingly feet...numbness..shooter pains in my toes...it has now spread to my face. Right on the insert that comes with statins it states...may cause periferal neurapathy...
I don't understand what statins caused in scientific terms but I know that statins led me down the road to having many symptoms of other diseases. I am over the thyroid symptoms now after 8 years.and high doese of vit d..afraid the pn and weak muscles still persist for me after 8 years without them.
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 Posts: 33 Location: Knoxville, TN
Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:12 pm Post subject:
I unfortunately have a lot of recent experience with hypothyroidism courtesy of our common enemy - statins. Please see the other thread on hypothyroidism started by Brooks for my background. Many people go undiagnosed because the lab reference ranges are way too broad. An excellent link discussing this is:
Mary Shomon has a lot good articles on the thyroid and I can also recommend the website already mentioned "Stop the thyroid madness." Another good link explaining how to read lab results is:
If your hypothyroidism is autoimmune as mine is (I have thyroid antibodies) the lab results are even less reliable. The three my doctor looks at are TSH, Free T and Free T4. Synthroid is a synthetic T4 and your body is supposed to take and convert it to T3. Some people do well on it, however others like me do not convert it and need to add a T3 supplement as well. I could have added Cytomel, a synthetic T3 but chose to switch to Armour which contains both. I have done well on Armour and I take 120mg daily divided into two doses because T3 has a short half life and I found that I was crashing midday.
I must caution you especially if you have heart conditions as I do that you must make thyroid medication increases very slowly. Too much especially too fast can increase your heart rate and cause palpitations. If this is happening then you are taking enough medication to cause you to go into a hyperthyroid status.
I apologize for such a long post, but thought I may be able to help someone through my experience.
Thanks again, Ronni. I am just getting an opportunity to read your first hyperlink in your last post. Excellent info. It is very consistent with what I have been thinking about "the range." Good to have some confirmation. (Also interesting to read that several of the medical "authority groups" have taken a proactive realistic stance, where the problem appears to remain with doctors.) I have many hypothyroid books now; I've finished a few and am part way through most of the rest. I do not, however, have any by Mary Shomon yet. I will soon though. I have lready "diagnoised" several people around here (i.e., set them on the right path for discovery) and my mother is a sure thing when see her over Christmas -- I will have thermometer in hand (and will leave with one of their real ones -- a mercury-based one from my childhood!, which as you know are more accurate and no longer made).
I will be going back through all my medical records (when I get a chance to find all of them) to see if I can tell when I may have been hypo based on her info. And Ray's revelation (with his hyperlink) in another thread that untreated hypo is contraindicated for statin therapy due to increased complications is certainly interesting. This in addition to the fact that treating the hypo would lower cholesterol which is the porported reasoning for the statins! Doctors need to know a hell of a ot less about statins and a lot more about real treatments for real problems.
I am slowly upping my dosage of Armour (which I agree is THE ONLY way to go for most or all people, based on my reading). I too split dosages and am sure your rationale makes sense. Keep in ming that a preferred means of ingestion (according to some patient experts) is letting the pill disolve in your mouth rather than swallowing (for several reasons).
bucko and DEB, I hope you are following this thread. DEB, I read that hypo treatment is good for MS. For the same reason it might be good for ALS. I hope things are going OK with you.
I will be reporting on how my situation goes. I hope others including Harley (who may give treatment a try) and Brooks (and his experiment with increasing his dosage) will too.
Hey, Brian. I am on page 437 of "The Shock Doctrine." Good recommendation. I may have a few for you later on.
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 Posts: 33 Location: Knoxville, TN
Posted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:06 pm Post subject:
You are absolutely right. The best way to take Armour Thyroid is sublingually. That is the reason I have my doctor prescribe 4 - 30 mg. tablets per day. The smaller ones dissolve faster and you don't have to worry about waiting an hour to eat or take other meds.
I thought the following is kind of interesting. The excerpts are followed by the URLs where the full text can be found. In short, body temperatures not only change thoroughout the day (which we already knew), there is not a good agreement on what correct temperatures should be, or how they are best measured.
Here's the text:
"In 1861, Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich claimed
to measure the temperatures of one million people,
and reported the average to be 37 °C. In the United
States, normal human body temperature is commonly
quoted as 98.6 °F, which is an inappropriately exact
conversion of Wunderlich's 19th century announce-
ment that the human body temperature is 37 °C. In
Russia, the commonly quoted value is 36.6 °C
(97.9 °F), based on an armpit reading."
And also this from another URL:
"Normal human body temperature is a concept that
depends upon the place in the body at which the
measurement is made. The value of 36.8 °C ±0.7 °C,
or 98.2 °F ±1.3 °F is the common oral measurement."
Here is what Broda O. Barnes, MD says in this 1976 book "Hypothyroidism: the Unsuspected Illness":
"...it is worthwhile takig a thermometer to bed with you.
Shake it down well and place it on the night stand.
Immediately upon wakening in the morning, place the
thermometer snugly in the armpit for ten minutes by
the clock. A reading below the normal range of 97.8
to 98.2 strongly suggests low thyroid function. If the
reading is above the normal range, one must be
suspicious of some infection or an overactive thyroid
"The basal temperature is not a perfect test for thyroid
function. There are conditions other than hypothyroidism
that may produce a low reading -- for example,
starvation, pituitary gland deficiency, or adrenal gland
He did not like oral temperatures for several reasons including the possibility of having a sinus infection which would raise the reading, and also, he says such infections are not uncommon with hypothyroidism.
Somewhat ironically, I just took my oral temperature and was pleased to see it at 98.6 for the first time in months (except for right after taking a thyroid pill or two sublingually in recent days). At first it was good news until I remembered that I was thinking a little earlier that I might be coming down with the the flu or a cold (very rare for me). I guess I will know in the morning.
My doctor's suggestion that he looks for 98.6 was probably his way of saying "normal" and making the assumption that I figured, like everyone else, that that is the correct temperature. He could explain further later on about the truth of the situation. That's my best guess for now.
However, another confusing issue is taking the temperature readings in the morning. According to this chart (see URL to follow), highest readings do not occur in the morning, but the afternoon. Maybe we are not after the daily high reading, but rather only the morning reading? So, I am left without answers on the whole deal for now.
I will be better off when I get hold of a mercury thermometer like Barnes used (on "many thousands of people") and do the under arm measurements just has he did so I can use his range. I would not trust my digital thermometer for that as it responds in 10 seconds and the heat transfer from a dry surface (under arm) compared to a wet one (mouth) would not likely cut it.
Craig, I am about half-way through the Schwarzbein book. So far mixed reviews particularly regarding her thoughts on diagnoising and treating hypothyroidism and her huge emphasis on serotonin -- both of which are "establishment medicine" ideas. She was trained in endocrinology and appears to paroting the party line on these issues, in my opinion. I like a lot of what she says on other matters though.
AstraZeneca the pharma responsible for the creation of Crestor published an advisory in March2005 through Health Canada of the possible risks of taking Crestor. One of the things they added for doctors to be aware of was patients who were hypothyroid. My doctor apparently didn't get that update as I am hypothyroid and was never tested until I found a holistic Dr. I am finding that getting your thyroid to function properly is no easy task but I am learning quickly. Start with a low dose 60mg. or 1 grain. Don't stay with this dose longer than 2 weeks. Increase doses by 30mg every couple of weeks. If you get to more than 200mg and your temperature has not stabilized (morning temp of 36.6 C ) you may have sluggish adrenals and need to take hydrocortisone. I am taking 20mg of Cortef in the morning and am now taking 210mg of dessicated thyroid. My morning temp is still fluctuating but now is never lower than 36.3. I am starting to take my thyroid in three doses daily, 120mg morning, 60mg at noon and 30mg about 6pm all taken sublingually. Even though I do not have my thyroid running perfectly I have noticed a great improvement in my energy levels. I work out with a stationary bike and weights 3 or 4 times a week and my recovery time is improving. My weight is still down although I did gain 12lbs. over Christmas but have already lost 5 of that. I think that discovering that I was hypothyroid is the best thing that has happened to me and I hope that all the people on Spacedoc.net get tested. Hoping for all the best to everyone in the New Year.
Thanks for the update cinbad. Everything you write seems right on the money to me. I suspect I will be at or near your medication levels soon.
I was up to 180 mg of Armour Thyroid after 54 days and checked with my Dr at that time since morning temperatures had not been rising very significantly (but some). He said to cut back to 120 and give it at least two weeks and then get testing done. It has been 20 days and I will do testing tomorrow. He needs that baseline in order to proceed.
My energy levels are very low today and have been getting lower for the last couple of weeks (as T4 levels drop probably), so I am pretty sure that I am not getting enough thyroid right now, and probably being on a higher dosage for a few days prior to this lower dosage makes the situation worse. Not in a real big hurry as long as it ultimately works out. So far, everything is making sense to me.
Ringing in the ears is back off and on as I adjust to the thyroid. I had not even noticed that it had been gone for many months until recently when it returned. As I adjust to a higher level, it backs off. Interesting.
I suspect that I may need adrenal support too, but going this slower route to make sure that is the case may make sense at this point. I have since read that your own current dosage may be more common for long-term treatment (compared to a smaller dosage of +/-60 mg I had earlier indicated in this thread, such as what Brooks had been taking).
An annoyance is that since I now have a mercury thermometer, I see that my original digital readings were too low by about 0.45 to 0.5 degrees. I since bought two more digitals -- one with a 30 second reading and one with a 60 second reading. Both are showing about the same as the mercury thermometer so I assume I have that issue under control now. The 60 second one is slightly better and it is the one I now use when I do not have time for the mercury one -- I check several times a day to start getting a feel for what is "normal" for me at various times of the day and at various thyroid medicine levels. I got them at Walmart and they were about three dollars each. "ReliOn" is the brand name, and I would recommend the 60 second one. The older digital I had was bad about giving a lower reading right after being used so I think that may have been a battery issue. It was two or three years old, like the others I had that I was comparing it to.
One of the books cited several "do it yourself" methods for determining a need for adrenal support (perhaps regardless of hypothyroid issues, while they certainly are related) such as scratching your leg with a simi-dull edge, watching the line made change in color from white to normal and timing the return to normal. I failed that test which is said to be pretty diagnostic, while I have no idea of the biological mechanisms involved, yet. There is also the eye iris test which I have not gotten around to trying yet and also the blood pressure test -- taking a reading while lying down and then immediately doing another one while standing up to look for an increase in pressure. No increase or a drop is diagnostic for hypo adrenal. I have just recently located my automatic blood pressure monitor and will get around to doing that test later today or next week. I will also now start tracking my pulse rate which is also diagnostic (as the monitor does that reading too.)
Thanks for the confirmation on the statin/hypothyroid issue/concern.
BTW, for anyone following this thread who has the time for some Internet research, I would sure be interested in finding out if there actually have been any lawsuits against doctors by patients for NOT lowering their cholesterol levels enough (such as when they have a "heart event" and think lower numbers would have spared them from it). I thought about hiring the paralegal of a lawyer friend of mine to do the research but probably will never do it. I have read that this is a threat held over the heads of doctors by Pharma, but have no idea if there is any truth to the claim. I would like to know.
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