Thyroid UK
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Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Suggestions

Hi everyone,

I went to see my GP last Friday with my Blue Horizon results (in Bio). She agrees autoimmune thyroid disease but said my TSH wasn't hugely above range (along the "nothing to worry about" lines) and my T4 is "fine" so she won't medicate straight away as I'm "too young" (ahem...31!) and being medicated would mean for life and could lead to heart problems???

Therefore, she wants to try to improve my Ferritin levels and Vitamin D and then re-test me in mid-May. She prescribed 2 x Ferrous Fumarate 210mg per day to be taken with orange juice and suggested taking 100% RDA Vitamin D. Realising that is a pretty low amount of Vit D, I declined the offer of a prescription saying I had my own.

So, for the last week I've been taking the FF 210mg twice a day and have been taking 2,000IU Vitamin D3. Having looked around on this forum, I realise there are probably other things I should be taking or better dosage, so I'm looking for some advice. Here are my vitamin/mineral levels (Thyroid ones in Bio if anyone wants a nosy)...

Ferritin = 12.9 (13 - 150 ug/L)

Magnesium = 0.86 (0.66 - 1.07 mmol/L)

Vitamin D (25 OH) = 34 (Deficient <25 nmol/L, Insufficient 25 – 50, Consider reducing dose >175)

Vitamin B12 = 303 (Def <145 pmol/L, Insuf 145 – 250, reducing dose >569)

Serum Folate = 18.40 (8.83 - 60.8 nmol/L)

My Ferritin was also tested in 2008 = 40 (10-275ng/mL) and 2006 = 55 (15-300ng/mL) so I would guess this is below optimum and has been for over 10 years? Does anyone have an idea of what level I should be aiming for? I think I read somewhere maybe 70? Also, no blood count has been run since 2014 but I did advise the doctor my Hemoglobin is usually fine for giving blood (usually about 140 (115-165) which is what it was 3 months ago) so is it possible my iron levels are actually ok and therefore taking these FF tablets might not be ideal? Do you think I'll actually see an increase in my Ferritin levels on these? I'm a bit confused. Should I be taking anything else along with the FF tablets?

Vitamin D - I've been taking 2,000IU per day but have read about the BetterYou DLux 3000 spray that people have recommended so I'm thinking of getting that. Any thoughts on what level of IU would be best given I am at the lower end of insufficient? I'm also seeing that I should be taking K2-MK7 (any recommendations?) and taking both with my fattiest meal of the day.

Magnesium - my levels look ok but I've been reading that I should be taking some as it helps D3 to work? Any thoughts? Also Selenium? I haven't had that tested but would it cause any problems supplementing.

B12 - this is within range but I would like to take some more as I'm mainly vegetarian. I have some 100ug B12 as Cyanocobalamin already at home, are these any use and how much should I be taking?

Folate - although not below range, this still looks a bit low. Should I also be taking something for that?

Obviously, I'm aware I need to go gluten-free now so I'll be working on that too. Does anyone have any good resources for gluten-free vegetarian or vegan recipes?

I'm looking to buy most of these supplements online over the weekend so any suggestions for the best ones would be most helpful (PM me if not allowed on forum).

Lastly, by taking all these supplements in the next couple of months, do you think my TSH will drop and therefore mean I will never be medicated? I'm a bit on the fence about whether a complete change of lifestyle and diet will mean I feel much better and don't need medicated for a while or whether I should suffer a bit longer and just get on the meds. If I could live symptom free without medication then I'd be more than happy to do so, I guess the question is, is this possible with Hashimoto's?

Thanks in advance,

Toria

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Toria_Star,

If you have positive thyroid antibodies and TSH over range there's no need for your GP to delay prescribing Levothyroxine. With autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) thyroid levels will get worse not better. Read Dr. Toft's comments saying it is pragmatic to commence Levothyroxine in the presence of positive antibodies rather than wait for levels and symptoms to get worse in in thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_... Email dionne.fulcher@thyroiduk.org if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's). There is no cure for Hashimoto's which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine treatment is for the low thyroid levels it causes. Many people have found that 100% gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and eventually antibodies.

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

2,000iu D3 is insuffient dose to raise vitD from 34. My sister's GP prescribed 2 x 20,000iu per week when her vitD was 40. I recommend 10,000iu daily x 4 weeks then reduce to 5,000iu daily and retest after 3 months. Vit D is replete >75 and optimal 100-150. Softgel capsules with D3 in olive oil are probably the best but if gelatine is a no-no look for a liquid D3 without lanolin or a D3 spray. SeasideSusie recommends K2-MK7 and magnesium.

B12 303 is low. I suggest 1,000mcg methylcobalamin and once B12 is top of range you can reduce dose to 3 or 4 times per week to maintain level as B12 is found in meat, fish and dairy, not plant foods.

Folate is low in range considering you must eat a lot of plant foods. Taking a B Complex vitamin should boost folate.

Ferritin is optimal halfway through range so 75 - 100. I usually advise members to take each iron tablet with 1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation.

It should be fine to take 100-200mcg selenium without testing.

I do suggest you add each supplement at 1-2 week intervals so that if you do have an adverse reaction you'll know which supplement caused the problem and won't have to stop everything and start over.

If you buy on Amazon please use the Thyroid UK affiliate link healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

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Thanks Clutter,

Yeah I understand that I really should have been medicated but having seen comments on here and having been trying to get diagnosed for years, I know how rubbish doctors can be with it so I wasn't surprised at her response. I have read the Toft article, so will be taking that with me and pushing for Levo next time.

Thanks for the advice on the Vit D. I knew that the dose probably needed increasing but that's given me a better indication of the level I should be looking for. I wish I had your sister's GP...mine was going to prescribe 800IU daily.

Also, thank you for the rest of the vit and min recommendations. Now I can go and have a search for what I need (using the affiliate code!) and I'll do as you say and introduce them in stages.

What a wonderful forum this is! It is so nice to be able to get advice so quickly from those with previous personal experience.

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she won't medicate straight away as I'm "too young" (ahem...31!) and being medicated would mean for life and could lead to heart problems???

Oh what utter tosh! What would she say to my step-grandaughter who became Hypo and started Levo at age 14, and other children who become Hypo even earlier, and babies who are Hypo. Oh, and I became Hypo at around age 25 although it did take my then donkey of a doctor 2 years to actually diagnose me and start prescribing Levo, robbed me of 2 years of my baby's life. And heart problems can happen due to undermedication or non-medication of someone who has Hypothyroidism. God, they talk some tripe!

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I know, I have such a strong family history of it and even mentioned about my aunt having an operation on her thyroid aged 25. She just seemed surprised but it didn't change her outcome. I also convinced my friend to go when she was 21 and get checked a due to her symptoms which also resulted in her discovering she had goiter and having an operation. How can it be that the medical profession obviously teaches so little about a gland that affects almost every cell in the body. Very frustrating!

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Suggest you get started on vitamins as outlined and go strictly gluten free diet

Most also find a GP that has something other than air between their ears, she's talking rubbish

Are people "too young" to get type one Diabetes, or Psoriasis or any other autoimmune disease

Unless caught extremely early and being extremely lucky only a minute number of Hashimoto's patients can stop its progress just with diet and supplements

Hashimoto's affects the gut and leads to low stomach acid and then low vitamin levels

Low vitamin levels affect Thyroid hormone working

Poor gut function can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

But don't be surprised that GP or endo never mention gut, gluten or low vitamins. Hashimoto's is very poorly understood

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

Ideally ask GP for coeliac blood test first (see another GP?)

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

scdlifestyle.com/2014/08/th...

drknews.com/changing-your-d...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

Persistent low vitamins with supplements suggests coeliac disease or gluten intolerance

gluten.org/resources/health...

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Hello,

I have had coeliac testing before (I think). Had TTG Antibodies tested 3 timed with the last result in 2014 being 0.5 (range 0.00 - 7.00) but could that have changed in the last 3 years? I'm happy (well, maybe happy isn't the right word) to go gluten free anyway. I understand that it's really important for my health now so I will deal with it. It's just going to take some adjusting to and some experimenting!

I like your explanation of how the Hashi's affects the gut and vice versa.

I'll have a good read through the links and see what other useful information I can pick up. Thanks!

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Yes if you have had negative coeliac test, then yes just go strictly gluten free

Majority of us with Hashimoto's are non coeliac gluten intolerant, rather than coeliac

Watch out for cross contamination, like shared cutting board, or shared jam, butter etc

If toasting gluten free bread, then really need separate toaster (or use grill)

Eating at friends or family can be tricky but eating out is getting easier all the time

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Hi

What I'm finding out in my own research is that for every person who says 'start medication right away, you can't beat this', there will be someone else who says 'I tried X, Y or Z and it worked'. For them. For every nutritionist or person with a thyroid issue who recommends going low carb, there will be another who recommends a higher level of carbs. Likewise with high-fat v low fat, high protein v low protein, dairy v non dairy etc. The one thing most do seem agreed on is giving up gluten.

Here are just a few links to info that has influenced me to experiment with diet and vitamin/mineral supplementation:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedheal...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

Natural Remedies for Hashimoto's Disease - Dr. Axe

There are countless more online in both directions (starting meds right away v holding off). My advice would be to do your own research, utilising both the knowledge and experience of those on this forum and also beyond it because there are so many different opinions and experiences. We all tend to select and reinforce the information that makes most sense to us or that seems to promise our desired outcomes. But every individual body is different and what works for one does not necessarily work for the next person, otherwise there would be a standard recognised protocol that works for a majority. So, I would say, do your own research and, based on that, consider the risks and benefits of the various approaches, then follow your own instincts on what is right for you. A huge factor is how you are feeling physically and mentally. Some people clearly feel so unwell and worn down that they just want/need to start medication immediately. For many people the medication works well, for many it doesn't and they continue to struggle. Those with few symptoms at diagnosis of hypothyroidism perhaps have the luxury of trying alternative approaches first, although many will choose to start medication immediately. It's an individual choice, as it should be since no-one but ourselves knows how we are feeling. Those preferring to try a natural approach rather than diving immediately into lifelong medication will sense themselves whether it is helping or if they need to try something else or if they should, at some stage, use conventional medication. Many people who succeeding in putting their autoimmune disease into remission, including Isabella Wentz, persisted in trying different approaches and diets until they found something that worked for their bodies. Some will succeed, some (perhaps many) won't, but for those who want to try a natural approach first, if it doesn't work, at least they know they tried.

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