I have a whole concoction of vitamins and minerals here, are they safe???

I went onto the thyroid UK site for a bit of research and came across the vitamin and mineral bit where I read this:

"Both Stephen Langer in his book Solved: 'The Riddle of Illness' and Dr Ridha Arem in his book 'The Thyroid Solution', tell us that people with thyroid problems should make sure they get enough vitamins, either by eating plenty of the foods containing these vitamins or by supplements"

Soo...based on Dr Arem's recommendations I ordered Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, Vit A and B12. I already take iron and Vit D as prescribed by doctor.

My question is, should I just take these or would it be best to get all these levels tested before I do so? (thats assuming I can get tested for all of these???) Im lining them all up on the counter and they look a bit scary. Will I be doing any harm by taking all of these? Im due a TSH, vit D and iron blood test shortly, should I wait until after this in case it is affected?

I always seem to be asking questions! xx

46 Replies

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  • Oh tell me about it, when I don't feel well I'm on here for hours bombarding everyone with questions. :-)

    My only thought is that you need to be careful with vit a as it can accumulate. My doc said to take a good multivitamin, b, d, omegas and iron.

  • Thanks Punctured - Ill limit the Vit A. I have had trouble driving at night and find the car lights coming at me particularly bright so did wonder whether I was lacking Vit A.

  • I think this is a hypo symptom. Are you optimally medicated? Lots of visual stuff can improve with better thyroid treatment - colour perception and night vision included.

  • Thats interesting, didnt realise this. I'm due a test to see where my TSH levels are and with an endo who is suggesting a little T3 may be in order so you are probably right. I think I should lay off any vit & mins until I am optimal in my medication, then see what to do. Shame Ive just spent a fortune on these tablets!! Should have asked on here first!

  • Maybe vit a is just the right thing to take. Have a look here: healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

    My night vision is no longer what it used to be either so now I'm wondering if I could use a little vit a in my life. I will check labels of current supplements to see if I'm already getting some.

  • Again, very interesting! I think I might start taking some Vit A every other day x

  • I definitely found that oncoming headlamps were less pleasant when my thyroid hormone levels were at their lowest. And I am now fine!

    I would also be careful about selenium. I know people bang on about taking 200 mcg (or even 400 mcg) a day. I hold to the view that, at least on a longer term basis, no more than 100 mcg is appropriate. (Consumption as a food substance such as Brazil nuts might be less critical - I am not sure.)

    Rod

  • Hi I defintely think you should wait until you have the results of your blood tests as if you start supplementing now you won't get a true picture of your current levels. Once you have the results you will be able to see if you are low or deficient in any vitamins or minerals and be better informed.

  • Think you are right Sue, thank you x

  • Questions are good :-)

    I lined up all my pills this morning and took a photo! Very impressive ;-)

    Vit c and b12 will excrete if not needed anyway, so you could take those. Your doc may not agree to test them all anyway, although it is good to have before and after figures to show progress.

  • Hi yes I too have numerous bottles and sprays plus restless legs medication and now I have an infection in my gum and have been prescribed 2 types of antibiotics. It's certainly a challenge working out when to take them all - some before food some after....

  • Ugh, gum infection sounds nasty! :-(

  • Thanks for this info, Ill continue with the C & B12 I think x

  • You could have had epsom salt baths for the magnesium, which is a much kinder, natural way of getting magnesium into your system.

    care2.com/greenliving/healt...

    and also bought some brazil nuts (5 a day) for the Selenium or tried other selenium enriched foods:

    Probably, if you've read about food sources of selenium, you've read about Brazil nuts as a strong source of the mineral. Depending on where they are grown, this is likely to be true—one ounce of Brazil nuts may contain as much as 10 times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) recommendation for selenium intake. Other exceptionally selenium-rich foods include oysters, clams, liver, and kidney. Each of these foods is likely to contain double to triple the RDA in a serving.

    Be careful with vitamins and minerals as you may be storing up more trouble than they are worth - I would never ever supplement anything until I have a definite result that I was deficient in it and if I were I would then try and find a dietary answer and not a supplement pill answer.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie

    I have bought some magnesium flakes to put in the bath so will do this. I'm going to think twice about all these vits & minerals now! I did hesitate when I saw them all lined up hence the question!! x

  • Listen to what your logical mind is telling you and go out and buy some Brazil nuts for a start.

    Then search google for foods that are enriched with the other things you think you need but try and get tested before you overload your system with them.

    I never forget what my endo said on the first day I met him - the conversation went like this:

    Him - "So what vitamins are you taking"

    Me: "None"

    Him - "What none at all"

    Me - "No, I have only supplemented the vitd 50,000iu given to me by my GP"

    Him - "do you know how nice that it to hear. I can't tell you the times a thyroid patients has sat if front of me and reeled of an endless amount of vitamins that they are taking - vitamins they don't even know if they need - at least with you I know any blood results I get will be a true picture of what is going on"

    Me: "Well maybe your other thyroid patients are so desperate to feel well again that they will do anything they think might help" (felt I needed to get that point across).

    Moggie x

  • I guess my logical mind is questioning whether I should take them but simply because the thyroid uk website suggests it would be a good idea, I'm scared when I see all these tablets and I'm getting difference of opinions after asking the question.

    As you know, I am so so much better so part of me thinks just carry on for a bit and see how I progress but the other part says I could feel even better if I gave my body a bit of help with supplements. I'm actually 50/50 on this one!!

  • I think Spareribs has it about right, and has said similar to me, get what extra you need from food and not supplements - if you go on the supplement band wagon you'll be forever spending money and putting all sort of fillers in your body, as every supplement also has lots of nasty fillers in them as well.

    You have not been on vitd or iron long enough for them to have raised your levels to optimum so you still have the benefit of feeling so much better when these two things are put right.

    I think somewhere in every thyroid persons journey they try the "supplement route" and soon realise what an expensive unnecessary road this is. A good friend of mine, who has been hypothyroid for over 30 years, was taking untold supplements daily. She was forever ordering high quality stuff from America until one day she realised what a mess she was in. She stopped all supplements and soon started to feel loads better.

    As spareribs said - if you are feeling o.k. why rock the boat and start pushing untold supplements down your throat just because you have read somewhere that this is needed. I bet you could go on google and find an article that says exactly the opposite if you tried.

    Why don't you try the logical route. Exchange what supplements you can for natural ingredient - like Brazil nuts and epsom salts (that's two out of the way) and then take one of your other supplement you bought (and I really do mean one) for three months to see if it helps. If you feel no different then stop, leave it a few weeks and then try another for three months - that way you will see if your body is actually benefiting from it or if you are taking it unnecessarily. Just don't forget in all this that your vitd and iron will be increasing all the time so you will be feeling lots better anyway. Or do the sensible thing and wait until your iron and vitd are at optimal levels and then, if you still feel the need, try them one by one as suggested to see if you can feel a difference.

    Lots of this site are heavily into supplements, I answered a question yesterday where the lady was taking so many that she was having trouble fitting in her thyroid meds without it being compromised by all she was taking, as you also have to remember that whatever you take needs to be kept 4 hours away from thyroid meds.

    So I have just re-read your list and we can discount two from them which just leaves B12, Zinc and vitA.

    Have you not had your B12 tested and if not why don't you ask your GP to test it. Being low in B12 is not as simple as just supplementing as, if folates are also low, this could indicate pernicious Anaemia and taking B12 would just mask this problem - you would need an active B12 test to rule this out. Hampster1 is very good on this subject, and I am not, but get tested first and see where your levels are.

    Let me do some research today on the vitA and zinc and I will come back to you.

    Moggie x

  • Thanks Moggie - I have replied to Spareribs in quite a bit of detail so wont repeat myself. Perhaps an obvious question but if you try and make sure you get all the vits from food, would you eat something that contains essential vit & mins every day? Would you eat brazil nuts every day?

  • But Moggie I feel sooo much better supplementing and would not be able to function without doing so, it would of course be a different matter if I was able to get a diagnosis. I was dragging myself around with all sorts of aches and pains.

    I believe that deficiencies in vitamins and minerals are caused by a low thyroid and that deficiencies can lead to diseases and problems later on, so hope I'm keeping these at bay, or at least mitigating them.

  • Sorry to hear your awful story but yours is a totally different case to this posters as she has already admitted that she has 85% of her health back, but like most thyroid patients is still looking to improve just that little bit more, and who can blame her.

    Yes supplement if your GP has diagnosed deficiency or you have test results to show your levels are low, you would be foolish not to - I myself am on vitd for life and have also been on iron for nearly a year now but both have been diagnosed as deficient. What I am against is people reading an article that says its o.k. to take ?????? so they then go out and buy it and start taking it without really knowing what the consequences may be 5 years down the line. A lot of these dietary supplements can be taken quite easily through foods - take Selenium for example, why would anyone take a pill - which itself has all sort of fillers in them - when they could eat brazil nuts instead, of course it would be different if you had a nut allergy.

    I would always take supplements with caution and only then if I could not find a good food source but everyone is different and you can only share your personal experiences with them, which is what I was doing with this poster.

    Moggie x

  • Yes, sorry I jumped on the band waggon without fully understanding the posters situation x

  • You can jump all you want flatfeet, it's what makes for an interesting discussion and gives people who are reading this a rounded view of supplementing and the should you, shouldn't you dilemma.

    Moggie x

  • I think Moggie, the mere fact that I am questioning whether I should take supplements says that I am worried about any possible consequences down the line so perhaps I am answering my own question without realising it!! This has definitely turned out to be an interesting and informative post. It's been good to read everyone's views however, I'm still not sure which road to take although I'm steering towards eating the correct foods to cover certain vitamins as you say.

    Do you know if you can be tested for every vitamin & mineral I have stated?

  • I have found a site but I think you might fall over at the prices.

    Selenium - £129.00

    Vit A - £221.00

    Zinc - £99.00

    Magnesium - £99.00

    You do get a discount for multi orders (and you would want to at those prices)..

    medichecks.com/index.cfm?s=...

    Moggie x

  • Hi again Debsy, I don't think you should wait until you are on optimal meds before taking supplements just wait until you have had your blood tests results. You may well need to take vitamins etc and some if these are required to make your thyroid medication work effectively. Your goal is to get well as soon as possible and if you are deficient then you need to take them. Hope that makes sense! X

  • Hi Sue

    That makes lots of sense, thank you! I'm not sure if I'm deficient though in some of them so that's why I'm unsure of whether to take them. I just read that supplementing is a good idea! Now I'm not so sure!

  • You cannot really do any harm taking the supplements according to dailiy dose

    Hypothyroid robs the body of so many vitamins and minerals and a kind of leaky gut sityation that develops mean you need to supplement on and off most of the time IMHE

  • Oh gosh! I'm so confused! The reason I ordered everything in the first place was exactly because of what you have written! Through research, I came to the understanding that vitamin & mineral levels need to be at the top end for your meds to work properly. Plus, the information I came across on the actual thyroid UK site suggested you supplement as hypothyroid robs your body of vital vitamins & minerals (just as you say). I was left undiagnosed fir quite a while and ended up with a TSH of 68 so feel my body has been through the mill a bit. I am however feeling so much better and am almost as well as I can be (I believe) but want yo ensure I'm at my optimal, hence wanting to supplement. However, when I look at all the tablets laid out in front of me, I'm scared of what I'm putting in my body and will I do more harm than good??!!

  • If you are feeling better, why take supplements?

    Yes the pesky Thyroid needs them for optimal metabolism - alcohol/coffee & all sorts rob nutrients too (why would they fortify bread, cereal, drinks if our diet is as good as it used to be?)

    If you feel the need - just get tested first for the main culprits before considering supplementing - irons ferritin, folate, B12 & Vit D - you still can sort most from diet :-

    • irons/B12 from meat, liver & onions. (first signs - tingling hands/feet)

    • VitD is Sunshine - or fish, cod liver oil tabs (agree watch the Vit A - also in liver - I've not seen anyone overdosed 'tho) (signs - tender shins/breastbone, carpal tunnel SAD)

    complimentary extras :-

    • magnesium (Epsom salt bath - oral overdose presents as dire rear 'dose of salts')

    • K2 (Brie) helps calcium control with VitD & Mg

    • Selenium (Brazil nuts) T4 to T3 conversion

    • some supplement iodine - but this can be tricky if autoimmune & it's in Thyroid meds anyway.

    lots in seafood.

    but it's all optional - I've only considered the nutrient game since poorly & no treatment, above is just my current understanding & shouldn't be taken as gospel! Jane :D

  • I was on a fresh food diet (according to Chinese med principles), we have had a weekly organic veg box for years and I cook every day but lots of my levels were on the floor. In my experience, even on an excellent diet, for some people diet will just not do it. I wish I knew why I didn't do well despite eating very good quality fresh food.

    An additional complication is if you're exhausted and just getting by you may not be able to eat what you should. My fresh diet aside, there have been periods in my life where I was so ill I was subsisting on peanut butter sandwiches. My low levels would not have come as a surprise after that diet. :-)

    Having said that, all the supplements in the world didn't help me feel well when my thyroid was not under control. A little t3 helped me more than a tonne of multivits, b, Spatone etc. The only thing which ever responded was pain on the back of my left hand, which was terrible but got better after taking a multi and d.

  • Mmmm, again very interesting. I am 85% well at the moment, I struggle to walk when getting out of bed (Vit D deficiency could cause this), I sigh a lot and I still get a racing heart (iron deficiency) and I struggle to lose weight. I still have tired days but the main thing is I am well enough now to pretty much live a normal life. Im not very good in stressful situations and do get anxiety some days. I have been following the GI principles and did omit gluten although I dont feel that did much except make me less bloated, so we do follow a very healthy diet now. I say I am 85% well but to be honest, not sure I would know what 100% well was as it seems so long ago that I was this! My endo has suggested trying a little T3 if my next lot of blood results are within range because of these symptoms I continue to get so maybe I should wait until this stage and then see how I feel.

  • My husband used to eat 6 oranges a day plus home made totally wholegrain bread but when he was tested he had Scurvy and beri beri such is the devastation hypothyroid causes

  • OMG!! Thats awful. Its an evil condition x

  • Very good question!!! I do feel better and it could be stupid to rock the boat! I just keep researching hypothyroid and the times I come across *vitamin and mineral* information and how hypothyroid sufferers would benefit from supplementation makes me think I could feel even better if I took them! However, now after posing this question, I feel I have jumped on the vitamin & mineral bandwagon when actually I should continue to listen to my body and as you and other have mentioned, find the vitamins through healthy food.

    I am being pescribed VIT D as I have been tested and reported deficient. (am due another test soon)

    I am low in iron and also take prescribed iron tablets.

    I have been tested for B12 last year and I was middle in the range. Thought that by taking some of this it would get me up to the top! I have been getting tingling fingers too.

    LOVE Brie, didnt realise it helped the calcium control (am being tested for calcium soon too)

    I have been having a few issues with my eye sight, struggling at night, dont like the bright headlights from cars shining at me, it hurts! Plus my vision is worsening although, I have had my eyes tested and the results aroe the same so bit confused. Therefore I decided that Vit A could help me.

    And if Im being honest, have read that magnesium, selenium and zinc helps the conversion of T4 to T3 and its the T3 that helps you to lose weight. Now which overweight hypothyroid sufferer doesnt want that???

    This is what I have copied from the Thyroid UK website hence why I thought I would supplement:

    Magnesium

    Magnesium is required for the conversion of T4 into T3 so this mineral should be supplemented.

    Dr. Magovern tells us that some people lose Magnesium at a great rate through urination. Also it seems that a diet high in refined food and caffeine will encourage magnesium loss.

    Selenium

    This is a crucial component of the enzyme that converts T4 to T3 in the body. Without it, T3 cannot be produced in the right amounts, and organs will function as if they were hypothyroid even though blood test levels are normal.

    Zinc

    Research has shown that both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism result in zinc deficiency. It also plays a role in the functioning of the immune system. Low zinc levels have been found in obese people. Zinc is needed to convert T4 into T3, so this mineral is a must.

    Sorry about the long post!!

  • I honestly think you are missing a trick in as much as, after all your research, you have not mentioned a gluten free diet.

    Gluten is thought to cause hashimotos as its the gut going wrong first, caused by gluten, where the antibodies start which then attack the thyroid amongst other things.

    The reason you are low in so many vitamins is that your gut is in a mess and it cannot absorb the things you need through your food and its the antibodies, caused by gluten, that is causing this.

    Do some research of gluten intolerance and thyroid illness.

    Moggie x

  • Ok will do. I did try it for a bit and cant say I saw a difference from eliminating gluten. I did in terms of bloating but not in terms of health. I was speaking to the endo about this recently and she suggested I try GI instead. But I will do some more research.... x

  • Try these for starters.

    mindbodygreen.com/0-7482/10...

    thinkcoeliac.co.uk/expert-o...

    I know you haven't got coeliac but the symptoms are the same and there a few video's among the second link that are about being hypo and what gluten does.

    Moggie x

  • Thanks Moggie, Ill have a look at these tonight. You are a very useful woman!! x

  • If they were doing harm they would also be harming my husband ......well they are not

    before his hashimotos was diagnosed he went to Bio Lab in London and they found he was so deficient in absolutely every vitamin and mineral going ...he was put on Lamberts Health Plus and levels restored

    however shortly after he was taken off them his levels dropped again so even his GP told him to take them long term

  • Did he feel his levels had dropped and did he notice the difference when he started taking Lamberts?

    Also wondering, do you both have thyroid conditions? Must be tough if you do, then again, at least you would both understand one another :-)

  • He felt no effect for taking Lamberts but then he was not on thyroxine at the time the major deficiencies were found

    NO I am not Hypothyroid if i was nothing would ever have got done at all in the last 30 years of his suffering

    However our younger daughter and one of her daughters both have Hashimotos and neither can tolerate Thyroxine or T3

    Our other daughter is fine but her daughter who was Coeliac from birth now has Hashimotos but strangely is OK on Thyroxine

  • Gosh, you have a lot to contend with. You sound like a fantastic wife/mother xx

  • Thankfully i have energy to spare so have always been able to cope but it gets to my husband that his thyroid disease meant he could not do majority of things most men think nothing of

    Thankfully since being on Armour he is so much better and more able to do things

  • Bless him, glad armour is sorting him out. Fortunately like your husband I have a very supportive partner in my husband. I get down some days as when I met him I ran around like a whippet but now I just cant and have to rely on him quite heavily some days. He wasnt very housetrained as I did absolutely everything but now he has had to do things like ironing if I just dont have the energy, poor chap, lol!! Its probably the best thing to come out of this in that my hubbie now realises how hard it is to look after a house and he definitely now pulls his weight!

  • I would like to think it was as simple as gluten causes Hashimotos but i done think it is

    After all my other grandaughter has been coeliac from birth and always on the most strictest of gluten free diets but was 9 yrs old before Hashimotos reared its head

    My husband went gluten free for months but it made no difference

    so has my younger daughter and grandaughter

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