Thyroid UK
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Mixed messages from naturopath II

All good wishes for the New Year!

In a recent post:

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

I mentioned my confusion over information being given by my naturopath regarding FT4/FT3 levels and supplementation with ThyroGold. [I have never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but with ME since 1989.]

I have since received a letter from him, stating:

'I believe I may have confused you over comparisons of ThyroGold and Nutri Thyroid. The thyroid (bovine) contents are as follows: ThyroGold - 150mgs; Nutri Thyroid - 140mgs. You can take the remaining ThyroGold you still have [NB I didn't even start them] and return to the Nutri Thyroid.'

This raises further issues:

1. If he thinks my FT4 levels are fine (i.e. 14.9 pmol/L [11.5-19.6]) then why is he advocating thyroid support at all?

2. He originally stated to me that ThyroGold was stronger in its glandular content than Nutri Thyroid, then later reversed this statement, only to return to his original assessment in his letter. This doesn't fill me with confidence.

3. He is still ignoring the fact that ThyroGold contains active T4 and T3 (or is unaware?).

4. In the responses to my original post on the forum I was advised to try the ThyroGold as my FT3 levels are on the floor (3.86 pmol/L [3.74-6.11]). NB the naturopath is dismissing this result as he says FT3 is a meaningless test.

So:

1. If I was to take ThyroGold as advocated by forum members due to the low FT3, how much should I be taking?

2. If FT4 levels are fine, then why are the FT3 levels so low? Could this be due to a conversion problem?

3. I've just discovered from DNA testing that I am, quote, 'likely to have a reduced ability to transport vitamin B12 into my blood cells'. This is despite high levels of B12 current in the blood (914 ng/L [191 - 663ng/L] before supplementation, 1323 ng/L after).

Could this have any bearing on the thyroid results? There is no indication as to why there is a problem getting B12 into the cells (the same DNA results have shown I'm unlikely to have coeliac disease).

Very grateful for this forum and for all the advice I've been given since joining. I welcome further comments/support. Thank you.

20 Replies
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Hmmm to be honest am not impressed with your natropath. You are quite right he/she should be looking at the amount of active ingredients in each tablet of both thyroid meds not on the weight of the tablet. So your right he can't compare the two by looking at them in that way.

Frankly I would consult elsewhere.......lol....

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Thanks waveylines, you have confirmed my suspicions though you may be surprised to learn of the naturopath in question as he seems to have a good reputation and features on the forum quite regularly.

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I would get all of my bloods tested privately and post the results on here. In my opinion the Doctors, Endos etc, etc, have never helped me. I am only well now because of the brilliant information on this site. I have followed the people on here and stuck to their advice and have stopped wasting my money on private doctors, Endos, etc. The only money I spend is on my blood tests and medication which is a very small amount compared to feeling extremely ill.

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Hi Bunnyjean, if you look at my profile I have provided all the test results (both NHS and private), which should be up to date (need to check). In the original post (copied above) I gave all the TSH readings over a number of years which shows how crazily all over the place they have been. I intend to take Clutter's advice and start on ThyroidGold as soon as I return from holiday next week. Many thanks for your advice.

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I think that it's a good idea for you, take care.

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'If FT4 levels are fine, then why are the FT3 levels so low? Could this be due to a conversion problem'

Yes, exactly, you are a poor converter. I really don't think your naturopath knows very much about thyroid. They are not known for their knowledge of thyroid!

I think you would do best to follow diogenes' advice from the previous post, and get some form of NDT. How much? Follow the rules : start low (1/4 grain) and increase slowly (1/4 grain every two weeks) until you feel well.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about Thyrogold - a bit out of my price range! - but I do know it does contain hormone. And, as for your naturopath's ideas about the FT3 test... well, he's just toeing the party line. That's what they teach in med schools, because if doctors knew anything about T3, we might actually get well! lol I should dump him, if I were you. Costing you a lot of money for not much return. :)

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Thank you Greygoose. There seems to be divided opinion re: conversion issues. I have wondered if I should have the D1O2 gene test to get some validity though it seems that GPs/endos refuse to accept the results. Re: the naturopath, he has actually written books about mild hypothyroidism (not that I've read it) and CFS, which is why I decided to see him.

As you say, it is costing a lot of money, not just for consultations but for all the supplements advocated (which, I have to say, have helped to some extent so there <is> something positive. He has also carried out in-depth tests that have helped get to the bottom of some of the symptoms).

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Well, frankly, just writing a book doesn't prove anything. Anyone could do that with a smattering of knowledge, but it doesn't have to be correct. Although I understand your reasoning. Perhaps it might have been a good idea to read the book first?

I don't suppose your GP will have an inkling about the DIO2 test. Or conversion, come to that. I think that would just be more money down the drain - unless it's just for your own understanding.

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Knowing what I now know, I think reading his book would have sent me even further down the wrong road. Will PM you.

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ok :)

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ann_g_k,

There seem to be two fundamental reasons that naturopaths (and, for that matter, other practitioners) end up confusing their patients:

First, they had a slip of the tongue, or generally are poor communicators;

Second, they are confused.

Neither exactly engenders confidence.

At least when people here comment, others can dive in and point out mistakes, or different viewpoints. References can be posted. Uncertainties cleared up.

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You are quite right, helvella. HOwever, I chose this particular naturopath due to his (apparently evident) expertise, the fact that he has written books about thyroid disorders and CFS and because of the info on his website. You may (or may not) be surprised as to who he is as his name crops up regularly on the forum. Happy to PM with details....

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Ann_g_k,

If your Naturopath thinks FT3 is a meaningless test I would dump him. Low T3 is what causes hypothyroid symptoms. He's winging it with respect to ThyroGold and NutriThyroid and clearly doesn't understand what they contain and how they differ.

There is some active hormone in NutriThyroid but impossible to say how much or how consistent it is from batch to batch. Some members have seen FT4 and FT3 rise after taking it so 1 or 2 NutriThyroid tablets may be helpful. Impossible to say whether your FT3 is low because of poor conversion while FT4 is not even halfway through range.

150mg ThyroGold is roughly equivalent to 87.5mcg Levothyroxine which I think may be too high a dose for you but you could try splitting the capsule contents and take half.

B12 levels and transport won't affect thyroid levels. 'likely to have a reduced ability to transport vitamin B12 into my blood cells' doesn't actually mean you do, or will, have a problem transporting B12 into cells. healthunlocked.com/pasoc are the experts on B12 and may be able to discuss B12 transport with you.

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Thank you very much Clutter. The naturopath was actually wanting me to take 300mg! Heaven knows what would have happened had I gone ahead. I've been unhappy with his advice for some time so you (and others) have confirmed my qualms.

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Quick question: could you explain your comment: ' Impossible to say whether your FT3 is low because of poor conversion while FT4 is not even halfway through range'? I'm not sure I understand the logic. Many thanks.

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Ann_g_k,

Your FT4 is low-ish so your FT3 will be low. Poor conversion is determined by low TSH, high in range FT4 and low FT3.

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Ah I understand now. Thank you Clutter. The TSH was 1.310 mIU/L (0.27-4.2). This is the lowest it's ever been (see original post for all the TSH results over a long period of time).

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Find a naturopath with more of a clue. This one sounds like the average NHS GP. It would be cheaper to buy real NDT from Thailand than Thyrogold, since you are self-medicating anyway. If on anything containing T3 (which Nutri thyroid - can you even still buy it? - doesn't), you'd expect free T4 mid range (around 15.5) and free T3 in the top quarter of the range (around 5.5).

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Hi Angel-of-the-North, I haven't started supplementing with ThyroGold as I was hesitant, so the results are purely down to my own thyroid hormone production. I have three (unopened) bottles of ThyroGold so I'll make a start on this first, on half a tablet as advised by Clutter, and revise once I've finished them.

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I followed Clutter's advice and now feel great It only took a matter on months and was completely free!! I have no thyroid, either.

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