Hi, I'm a 46 yo male who two months ago self-diagnosed myself as hypothyroid and looking for advice and comments from anyone who has similar issues and has recovered.
My symptoms in order of appearance:
* Insomnia: I usually don't sleep longer than 4 hour blocks, and often less. I usually have to sleep in three segments to get my 8 hours. This started 7 years ago (the waking-up-too-soon kind, multiple times in a night. I didn't know the cause could be thyroid so it was no)
* No Appetite: had this at least 6 years
* Low Energy: my physical energy for sports has been uneven for years. I have my high energy days and low energy days that I can sense when I'm climbing hills on the bike or trying to run after a soccer ball.
* Weight gain: At the time the insomnia started I had ulcerative colitis and had been on a mostly raw vegan diet to control the condition (which I think also greatly contributed to iodine insufficiency). After I cured the UC in late 2009 (thank you CureZone!) I left my normal 145lb UC weight
* Inability to Lose Weight: Coming from UC, I was happy about the weight gain until I it went too far. Then I realized I could not lose weight even with one meal a day
* Thinning Hair: the front sides of my hairline suddenly started receding for the first time a year ago. I had gone on a new diet of lots of protein to support weight lifting and I think this strained my system and thyroid.
* Fibromyalgia: Since this summer, I slowly started to develop a stiff back and then a stiff neck, and then I noticed my left forearm would feel sore when I gripped my handlebars and then last of all my left ankle would feel sore too starting two months ago.
* Enlarged Thyroid: Back in September a Nuclear Medicine Technologist saw a photo of me on Facebook and thought he perceived "some thyroid enlargement." I thought he was nuts at first but when I started researching thyroid and felt my thyroid I confirmed he was right. I began taking Selenium and other co-supps in the hope that if I had Hashimotos Hypo I could reverse that off supps alone like I read here happens in 40% of cases.
* Thinning Outer Eyebrows: just noticed this
* Lab Results Oct 20th (after being on Selenium and the other co-supps recommended here for several weeks):
Free T3: 5.5 pg/ml (reference range: 1.8 - 4.1)
Free T4: 0.9 ng/dl (reference range: 0.8 - 1.8)
Anti-TPO: 8 UI/ml (reference range: 0 - 35)
TgAB : 9 UI/ml (reference range: 0 - 40)
TSH : I didn't do this test yet as STTM didn't seem to place much value on it and I was paying for out of pocket.
With the results above, I felt confirmed I didn't have Hashimotos and began to slowly increase my Lugol's from a few drops up to the 16 drops (100mg) I am on now for a week. I did this pretty quickly as I experienced none of the detox symptoms I had read about. (I fast a lot, exercise and eat pretty well).
Improvements since supplementing Iodine:
* My energy has evened out, no more low energy days. I have so much energy all the time I feel like jumping for joy!
* My skin is feeling very smooth and soft (like I've only felt after water fasting for a week)
* I sometimes feel slight appetite in the morning, something I have not felt in years (except after fasting for days)
* I sometimes sleep longer than 4 hours like 5, so I may be sleeping slightly better. But I still never sleep through the night.
But I'm not seeing any improvement on my fibro, weight loss, etc.
1. Should I just keep doing what I'm doing and be patient since this has been going on seven years and will take years to reverse? (Love to hear testimonials on this)
2. Do I need to get to "iodine sufficiency" before the big improvements come?
3. If I should get on some thyroid medication like STTM recommends (like Armour) to knock out my symptoms faster and slowly get off it using the Iodine/supps as I've read some people have done.
4. Do you think I'm missing any other supplements?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Avimelech...It usually takes about 3-4 months supplementing Lugols Iodine at 50 mgs/day for the achievement of whole body iodine sufficiency. So I would perhaps be patient about it.
If you are on the Lugols Iodine protocol, then you should be taking the FULL protocol which necessarily includes other vitamins and minerals in set critical amounts which includes Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamins B2 & B3(ATP Cofactors), Vitamin C and Zinc. See this document:
The other worrying thing about your symptoms is the lack of appetite and the insomnia.
The insomnia might be due to other factors. If you want to have better sleep, I would do two things.
Start taking Magesium citrate -- 250 mgs twice a day at meals.
Take vitamin B50 complex once every day at breakfast and take higher dose niacin with your evening meal every day. I usually take 500 mgs niacin per day, sometimes more if my day is going to be stressful. Niacin will relax you and give you energy as well. Because niacin also causes the flush(and everyone is different) I would perhaps advise that you should start first by taking 100 mgs a day at your evening meal and work up. This protocol should also help improve your appetite as well.
I would avoid using the niacinamide form -- it just doesn't seem to relax you or work as well as the niacin form.
The whole body benefits for iodine just go on and on. Here is a doc that I wrote after I did some particularly heavy research on iodine several years ago:
When I had candida I started to take higher dosages of LI. I clearly remember its immediate effects were that my brain fog disappeared and my thinking became sharp again, I suddenly had much more energy and all the heavy mucus in my chest and nose suddenly disappeared -- because iodine is also a mucolytic and heavy protective towards the lungs. That was over 8 years ago. Since then I've been taking 5% LI at 6 to 8 drops a day for health maintenance and I haven't caught a cold or flu or anything in 8 years. Iodine is simply a nutrient that our body cannot do without such that if you don't have the right levels of whole body iodine in your body then you are simplyy not healthy.Simple as that.
Avimelech....The thyroid is certainly important to the body. But at any point in time, a healthy thyroid will store 50mgs iodine whereas the rest of the body stores or contains 1500 mgs iodine. So its blindingly obvious to me that the rest of the body needs iodine just as much as the thyroid does.
Here is a doc I wrote some years ago on the whole body benefits of iodine in the body -- and the list in the doc is by no means definitive or complete;
So as a consequence of supplementing iodine, your health should rapidly normalize and improve.
It might also be an idea for you to see an iodine-literate and thyroid-literate doctor. So here is a list of competent iodine/thyroid literate doctors in the USA.
It's always better having someone who is thyroid competent at your side monitoring your progress who can advise you directly. You might also be helped with bio-identical or natural thyroid hormones. You should avoid all synthetic thyroid hormones from the regular doctors -- they will do you no good at all and generally tend to make things worse.
To help you pinpoint your thyroid problem you should really do the correct lab work. Curing thyroid problems isn't really as simple as just taking iodine. You will need to supplement the right minerals and vitamins to enable the supplemented iodine in your body to be correctly absorbed, transported, stored and used properly in the body. That's why you should find a thyroid -literate, iodine-literate doctor in your own area to help you if you can.