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Karen Carpenter Autopsy channel 5

Anyone watch this tonight ?

Turns out she was taking Synthroid (Levo thyroxine equivalent) to aid weight loss and it contributed to her death which was cardiac arrest - she did not have a thyroid condition.

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She had anorexia nervosa. People who do this get kidney failure, high blood pressure and the heart eventually fails. So she took Synthroid. She could have taken amphetamines or any of a list of drugs that would hasten her demise. Sheeesh. Lots of young women in those days were taking anorexiants like amphetamines. Then it was cocaine. I don't know what it is these days.

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So true! Anorexia Nervosa interferes with the amount of electrolytes in your body and alters the amount which circulate in the blood stream, then creates a number of domino effects like hypertension and especially cardiac arrhythmias!! Dehydration from perhaps not drinking enough water, but having diuretics like coca cola and coffee or green tea in a large strong quantities.

If you don't feed your body, the mineral contents are pulled from your skeletal system which weakens it and then of course you don't have enough anyway.

Hence arrhythmias, you need minerals and salts to conduct electricity through your heart which out which, irregular heart beats occurs and eventually heart failure because of an enlarged heart trying to cope.

So to cap, it is the anorexia nervosa at its' worst when a person's weight drops well below normal, they lose their inner body fat which supports inner organs, they essentially eat themselves inside first, organs drop and float kinda thing... it's awful.

it isn't just the use of drugs....

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Not only that, but once the source of protein is depleted (skeletal muscle) the body goes for the protein in the heart.

Kidneys require good protein intake in order to function well.

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Karen Carpenter died from a number of factors. She was a full blown anorexic. She took several drugs to help her lose weight. She took up to 30-40 Dulcolax which is a laxative and she

drank Ipecac syrup which contains the drug Emitine which makes you vomit. Emitine was poison to her body because she drank so much Ipecac syrup. She was also taking 10x the dose of Synthroid to speed up a already weak heart. This is very sad what a waste of talent.

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I saw this too. The coroner definatley said that the synthroid was one of the contributing factors to her death. The other was a liquid that she took in excess to make her go to the loo. I was very moved by this documentary finding her death very sad. I was also very surprised by her apparent knowledge (although misled) of the workings of the thyroid within the body. Way back in the 80's I had never even heard of the thyroid or hypothyroidism. She obviously thought that the synthroid would aid her weight loss but was seemingly unaware of the dangers of taking it when not hypothyroid and not medically prescribed. The documentary did not say how she obtained synthroid but as she had battled addictions to drugs for a long time I can only assume that she obtained it the same as any other misused drug. God rest her soul, her music lives on.

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The liquid she was taking was not to make her go to the loo more often...it was ipecac. It's an American product that is used to induce vomiting. We never used it, but I remember my mother keeping it in the fridge (I'm an American working over here). It would be used for if you swallowed something poisonous and needed to vomit it back up.

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Sorry yes, the object being of course to eliminate the food from the body ASAP so as not to gain weight. Very unpleasant and sad.

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The dose of Synthyroid she took would have killed a horse!!! It wasn't the synthyroid per se, it was that she wasn't Hypo and the dose was crazy!! So very sad.

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Yes she was taking Synthroid, but 10 times the normal amount. Foolish even by a well person's standards.

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What did they call a 'normal' dose? Just curious.

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They didn't elucidate, just said 'normal'amount.

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Technically there is no 'normal'. Normal is not needing Synthroid.

We are so not normal around here. :(:(:(

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Yes, I know that. I was just curious as to what 'they' considered to be a 'normal' dose. If you say someone took x times the 'normal' dose, you must 'know' what the 'normal' dose is! lol

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...........it's a TV show.....................Not designed for people who know more than the average 'consumer'.

It is frustrating when actual amounts are not mentioned.

But journalism these days is really sketchy. It's like when Time magazine refered to the infective agent in malaria as being a virus. i cancelled my subscription after that.

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lol Yes, I take your point. Not a show for the likes of us!

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Nothing would be normal in her case!

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No synthyroid would have been a 'normal' dose for her.

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Except that she probably did have a thyroid problem due to her anorexia and would have needed some.

But I wasn't specifically talking about her. I was wondering what the producers of the TV show considered to be a 'normal' dose of thyroid hormone replacement.

Hugs, Grey

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How the hell did she function at all? Let alone make music. So sad. But then, artistic folk - especially musos - often march to the beat of a different drum (pun not avoided). Even today how many female drummers can you reckon up? Did anyone notice if she is a member of the notororious 27 club?

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What's the 27 club?

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Along with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and others: died of unnatural causes (usually drugs) aged 27. Brief, brilliant, flames.

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Not forgetting more recently Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.

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Nooo - they were both quite a lot older than 27.

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And Amy Winehouse - died at 27

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No, Karen Carpenter 32. Yes, Amy Whinehouse was 27.

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Hello Jessiepup I am glad you put this up, you beat me to it. Yes I did watch the programme as someone had taped it for me knowing what such a big karen Carpenter fan I am. I sang many of her songs as I was a professional singer at one time. I was greatly moved with this revelation and thought just how sad and desperate she was. I knew that she had Anorexia Nervosa and saw her deteriorate over the years and deeply felt for her suffering, but this was something that I had never seen. To be taking I think they said 5 times the normal dose of Synthroid that she was with such a petite frame and all the other concoctions too she must have gone through such torment. I just hope and pray that viewing that programme can help others with her condition, I know it is psycological also. I will never forget her or her beautiful voice, they broke the mould when she died and no one will ever take her place.........

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Beautiful voice, she was in the charts the year I married, 1973. So many talented souls lost to the misuse of drugs and associated psychological disorders. There but for the grace of god.

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There is usually a price to be paid for talent. Flame on!

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I'm waiting....

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lol!

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She probably did have a thyroid problem if she had anorexia. Starving yourself has a negative effect on the thyroid gland.

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Agree greygoose, VERY sensible reply!

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Indeed it does - but such a tricky subject - eating (the only thing you can control when things happen you Can't control)

I would like a poll on who's stopped eating for a while - I did as pretty upset at the time...

Also a poll on when Thyroid symptoms appeared (after quitting smoking/replacement for eating)

J :D

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Agreed, it would be interesting.

I stopped eating at the time of my divorce. And I've never eaten much since. (Not because I'm still upset about the divorce. lol I just don't have much appetite anymore.)

But it's 99.9% sure that I've been hypo since a small child. But all the symptoms were ignored. Ho hum.

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Yes, I watched that. My ex-husband was taking sithroid (I'm an American working here) and I remember he would hoard the pills and then take more than he was suppose to. This was way before I became ill, so I didn't have any understanding of what the meds actually did....hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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Just thought it was really sad that she went to such lengths and that some irresponsible person/people gave her all these medications to help her be thin.

I love the carpenters music, such a shame that she felt the only thing she had control over was her body, a good friend of mine has been battling Anorexia for many years and it is has been about deep psychological issues developed during childhood.

Although Karen Carpenter was taking all sorts of medication I think it needs highlighting that any drug being taken should be taken under controlled conditions and we all need to know what we are really taking - supplimemts and all.

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Didn't she also have problems with her very demanding mother-? Constant criticism and negativity from Mum contributed to her psychological problems.

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Yes I saw the film about it. This could well be possible and let us not forget also that her brother was addicted to sleeping pills. I think that they shot to fame so quickly and it must have been so overwhelming. It took just one small critic in a newspaper article stating that Karen was "Chubby" and it set her off down that spiralling road of pain. She was originally hidden behind the drums she did not want to go out front, but because of her beautiful voice people wanted to see who she was. So very sad.......

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Just because she took it doesn't mean it had anything to do with her eventual death!

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It does when the programme was called autopsy and the coroner (who's job it is the tell you this kind of thing) declared it did contribute. It was proved with medical evidence.

I know your trying to help people realise not everything is what it seems, but when you don't have all the facts it makes you lose your credibility.

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It contributed. It was one of many things that did her in. Complicated and terrible all in one package deal.

Does anyone know how long it took between someone calling her 'chubby' and her death?

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A forensic pathologist said she was taking 10 times the normal dose and that it contibuted. Though the autopsy listed emetine cardiotoxicity due to anorexia as the no. 1 cause of death.

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She's not a member of the 27 Club. She was 32.

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Iv`e read about starving causing thyroid problems before, & it makes me wonder if all the strict dieting I did when I was young might have caused my thyroid to become inneficient. I was never obese, but I had endless pressure to be slim when I was a teenager, & i was lucky not to end up anorexic myself. People are so cruel & heartless, they deliberately cause eating disorders by being shallow & pressuring girls into starving themselves.

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A tragic tale. I didn't see it this time around, but I have seen it in the past and have also watched friends go through Anorexia. It is very difficult to help them.

I think it is worth remembering that too much of any drug is a bad thing. I am lucky to feel well a lot of the time, but am wary of too much thyroxine being bad for my heart and bone density too. I think they're not willing to dish out too much out for this reason.

Keep well people - mentally and physically x

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