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Jim Sheldon - Would like your input

Hi Jim -

Just wanted to say thanks again for the Seroctin. It has been a great benefit for me.

I've started this new post for you for my mother. She has recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She is currently on Synthroid. The side affects are having a terrible affect on her and she would like to seek an alternative route. I thought maybe you could assist her with a homeopathic remedy or herbal remedy. Not quit sure what information you would need from her. Could you help us?
  naydies on 2005-06-25
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
Hi, Naydies,

I just happened to check the Forum and saw your post. My wife and I are headed out of town through Wed, 29th. I have just a bit of time to answer your post.

I have worked successfully with patients who have hypothyroidism. The problem is the Synthroid. How long has she been on it? If her duration is less than 6 months, she might be able to wean off the drug. Dr. Ryan Drum has done some great work regarding the thyroid. I've attended many of his lectures in the US and learned a lot about his seaweed therapies and such for low functioning thyroid. You might do a search on the web for his work and possibly his writings. Dr. Drum feels (and I agree) that if the thyroid has taken up the Synthroid longer than 6 months, the thyroid has become lazy and is no longer able to successfully convert T3 and T4, as well as conduct the intricate hormonal connections.

How old is your mother?

Has she taken her basal body temperature average? If so, what was the average temp?

Was the diagnosis made on a blood test or from basal body temp and other mitigating factors?

Synthroid will cause weight gain around the belly and upper thighs. There will also be some bouts of irrational behavior. Sex drive will drop. All in all, not a great drug.

To off-set the effects of the drug and to jumpstart the thyroid (whether you are on the drug or not), get your mother on large doses of extra virgin coconut oil. I prefer the Tropical Traditions brand as they are committed to research, espeically the connection between the thyroid and high doses of coconut oil. Go to their website and read more about the thyroid. www tropicaltraditions dot com.

Here are the DO NOTS:

DO NOT eat cabbage (sauerkraut is fine because it's fermented. It MUST be FRESH sauerkraut, however, from the refrigerator section)

DO NOT EAT SOY. I don't care how much you like the stuff, it's poison and it's REALLY poison to anyone with a thyroid problem. It pulls thyroxin and calcium from the thyroid and fatigues the endocrine system. I've written about my own experiences with soy on some thread here. Can't remember which one.

DO NOT EAT ANYTHING WITH ASPARTAME. This goes for EVERYONE!!! But thyroids that are under or over active are particularly sensitive to this crap.

Re: the extra virgin coconut oil, your mother should be consuming 6 Tablespoons a day. She can spread it on bread, use it like butter on foods, cook with it....take it right off the spoon...just get those 6 T. in her. Make sure she gets out and walks 30 to 45 minutes a day, every day. Get her some 3 to 5 pound weights and have her do gentle weight exercises with them. Continued use of coconut oil reduces fat on the body, increases muscle mass and improves skin texture. I can attest to all these attributes as we use the oil everyday. In fact, I drink a cup of hot water every morning into which 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil has been added. It sounds awful but it tastes great.

Has your mother had an ASI test? (Adrenal Stress Index Test) This can tell more about her cortisol levels and how the adrenal function is going. If her cortisol levels are low in the morning and around noon (common for thyroid patients), she could start on Isocort. Just type in Isocort into the search engine of Google and you'll read all about how it works. Great for the adrenals. And whatever helps the adrenals will help the thyroid.

Finally, if she can get off Synthroid, and she is really having problems, I would suggest ARMOUR THYROID without hesitation. You have to have a prescirption for it but it's not a drug....It's a glandular that has made a world of difference for many of my patients. I think that 100 tablets are under $65.00 so it's not expensive. For this, you will need to visit a qualified endocrine doctor who can monitor the dose and write the prescription. Maybe you can find an ND in your neighborhood (even better) who can write scrips and understands the thyroid.

I gotta run now. Take care. Glad the Seroctin is working well for you.

Jim Sheldon ND last decade
I am Naydies' mother who asked for your help with my diagnosis of hypothryroidism.

To answer your questions:

A blood test (1/19/05) taken during my yearly physical showed my TSH was at 23.35. My internist prescribed Synthroid (.075mg). I questioned the diagnosis (no sympthoms, weight gain and/or family history of thyroid problems) and requested another blood test. This was done on 1/28/05 with a reading of 17.77, Free T4 of .67. He also performed an ultra sound with the results of a small goiter present. After reading the side affects of Synthroid I decided to try a natural remedy for three months before taking this drug. I started taking Nature's Sunshine Thyroid Activator (2 capsules 3 x's per day) and L-Tyrosin (500 mg - 1 capsule 3 x's per day)purchased at our local health food store. I also took my daily multivitamins

On 4/20/05 another blood test showed my Thyroid Auto-Antibody at 35. Also the Thyroid Peoxidase Antibodies were greater than 3000. On 4/27/05 I started taking the Synthroid.

One of the side affects of this drug is nervousness. Since I have familial tremors this was a serious concern to me. (I do not take anything for this.) I avoid other drugs just for this reason. Needless to say since I have started this medicine my tremors have increased. Of course my internist wants to prescribe another drug to counteract this problem!

I am 56 years old, in good health, lift free weights twice a week for one hour and try to walk 30-60 min at least three times a week. I do take Actonel since my bone density test showed the beginning of osteopinia. I stopped my periods at 52 and did not take anything for the side affects which were minimal like nite sweats.

I have not taken my basal body temperature average.
I have not had a ASI test. I do have copies of all my blood tests for the last 15 years.

I have ordered the extra virgin coconut oil and will begin to take that.

I want off this drug! How do I do this since you mentioned I would have to wean myself off the drug. Are there some herbal or homeopathic remedies you can recommend based on the information I have provided?

Appreciate any help you can provide.

vidaj last decade
Hi, Vidaj,

We just returned from our trip. Thanks for posting your information. I'll need to gather my thoughts tonight and then post tomorrow. Glad you got the coconut oil. Someone mistakenly said on the hypothyroid thread here that coconut oil is high is saturated fats and she was worried about that. We must start to learn very quickly that there are good fats and bad fats. Oils such as corn, canola, soybean and sunflower are NOT good oils as they are not assimilated properly in the body. Oils such as palm, rice bran, coconut, olive and sesame are all great, easy to assimilate and contribute to a multitude of healing benefits. I'm working with a lupus patient right now who is thriving since she started copious amounts of coconut oil and rice bran oil. Thinking more clearly, less agitated, symptoms settling down, better looking skin, etc. Essential fatty acids such as the good ones I mentioned are imperative to anyone wishing to live long and resist opportunistic illness. We are being slowly (some would say rapidly) killed by the consumption of trans fats and cheap cooking oils that do nothng but block our body's ability to operate and our brain's ability to think and reason with clarity.

Do you live in the U.S. or Europe? This will determine what I recommend as some things are not as readily available in Europe.

Some questions: Have you been checked for Hashimoto's Thyroditis?

Have you been exposed to any form of radiation in moderate to extreme amounts, either where you live or where you work or used to work? If so, what was it and for how long?

Do you suffer from daytime fatigue, loss of hair, weight gain around the middle, low libido, difficulty concentrating, constipation (that is not easily relieved by an herbal or homeopathic remedy), extreme tiredness in the morning (difficulty waking up) and do you have a thick neck (i.e., is there little or no definition between your jaw and neck?) There are other symptoms of true hypothyroidism. Have you read up on the info on Dr. Ryan Drum and his research on the thyroid using seaweeds?

I will write more tomorrow. However, off the top of my head, after reading your post, I DO think you should look into Armour Thyroid as a suitable alternative to Synthroid. Do some research on the web about it if you can asap.

Gotta get to bed now.

Until tomorrow,

Jim Sheldon ND last decade

i hope you're still around and can answer the questions I posted above.

Okay, here's a basic breakdown of what I would suggest. This is more generalized becasue the obvious limitations of an internet Forum such as this do not allow for the one-on-one treatment that is so much needed here. I DO encourage to seek out an ND who has a homeopathic/nutrition background as well as an endocronology understanding.

I would treat your body nutritionally and herbally with perhaps one or two homepathics.

1. As I said yesterday, please look into ARMOUR THYROID. Dosage should be monitored by a doctor. Right now, I'd look at the lowest dose possible which is 1/4 grain. But 1/2 grain might be in order.

2. My attitude with most patients who present with conflicting symptoms is to put them on a 21 day cleanse. This really helps the system expel what is clogging the channels and often, re-establishes better flow which leads to better realignment of health. I've seen the particular cleanse I'm going to recommend balance a woman's irregular period, reduce allergies, regulate a sluggish bowel....many things. It's put together by a company called Blessed Herbs in the US. It's called the Internal Cleansing Kit. It's around $275. That sounds expensive but this is one of the best cleanses I have ever found. A fellow ND turned me onto it. I'd worked with dozens of body cleanses and they were too difficult to follow, too abrasive, too cathartic and too limiting as to what a person could eat while on the cleanse. The cleanse from Blessed Herbs is SO EASY, a trained monkey could follow it. Well, a monkey who could read. They provide you with a day by day, step by step guide that tells you exactly what to take during the 24 days. It also is layered so you address the bowel first, then parasites, then kidneys and liver and finally lungs and lymph. When you successfully clear these channels, there's no telling what kind of balance you will achieve. I just checked their website and they are running a special until July 1st. You get the Cleanse plus a free additional colon cleansing kit (value about $90.00). It's a good deal.

3. Consider l-tyrosine (500 mg. two times a day, preferably upon rising and mid-afternoon when your stomach is as empty as possible. Take with water. Take this amino acid each time with one tablet of a B6 supplement called P-5-P. This will help potentiate it even more in the thyroid. P-5-P is cheap and can be purchased in most health food stores.

4. Did you know that one of the common side effects of Synthroid is bone loss? And here you have been shown to have bone loss already? And you're on Actonel. I have yet to see how a drug can truly (in the long run) reverse bone loss. There will ALWAYS be harmful liver side effects to any drug as it is chemically geared to be singular in nature, thus not allowing for perfect balance in the body. Side effects to Actonel seem mild (back pain, constipation, gas, diarrhea, etc.) but I'd rather see you work with green tea supplements and the actual tea to strenghen bones. Green tea is proven in studies to naturally strengthen bones. New Chapter puts out a Green and White tea capsule that, when augmented with organic green tea drinking, can provide you with what you're looking for PLUS a host of antioxidants that will address so much more.

5. Siberian Ginseng. Great herb that is really not ginseng (but a kissing cousin) and has been used in Asia to address either hypo or hyper thyroid issues, even after drugs have been administered. Get the extract from a good Chinese source. I buy from Dragon Herbs in L.A. because I know they have clean herbs.

6. Traditionally, Calc. Carb is used to stimulate thyroid output. I have no personal experience using this but if you want to try it, I'd read up on it and then, if you resonate with it, take a 30C dose in the morning and at night and then wait to see if there are any aggravations. I WOULD LIKE ANY OTHER HOMEOPATH OR ALTERNATIVE PRACTITIONER TO JUMP IN HERE IF THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE USING CALC. CARB FOR THYROID FUNCTION.

7. There is another homeopathic product put out by METAGENICS. You may or may not need to get these products through a qualified practitioner (chiropractor, ND, etc.) It is called "Hypothyroid Remedy" (Formerly known as HP-26) The sole ingredient is Thyrodinum 6X. Never used it but I've heard good things about it. Follow the directions on the bottle as it's a 6x potency.

8. Start eating lots of seaweed in your diet. Dulse to salt food, Nori in soups and stews, Hijiki (VERY HIGH IN CALCIUM) in salads, soups or mixed in rice dishes. Once you start putting seaweed in your daily diet, it's second nature.

9. Heritage Products puts out a fantastic product called "Sea-Adine." I've been using it personally for years and recommending it to patients. All you need is 4 drops under your tongue (it tastes great) or in water in the morning. Four drops gives you 225 mcg. of iodine as dulse. This is about 150% your RDA. It's inexpensive and one 2 oz. bottle has 300 servings!!!

10. Bladderwrack is a good seaweed but it's brutal to take (tastes godawful) and it's not easy to regulate its effect. If you happen to find it within another product where there are balancing agents, I'd look into it.

11. Selenium. Crucial for your thyroid health. Brazil Nuts are your best nutritional ally here. Eat 5 large, UNROASTED brazil nuts a day and you'll be getting your top-notch dose of selenium. The good fat in these nuts is another side benefit.

12. Stay away from SOY in all forms. I already mentioned this but it begs repeating.

13. Watch your intake of flaxseeds, pine nuts and walnuts as they are goitrogens.

14. An old "cure" for a goiter is to paint black walnut extract over your thyroid area four to six times a day. I have no personal experience of this but I know plenty of old time herbalists who swear by it.

15. The standardized version of the herb Coleus Forskohlii increases thyroid hormone production, helps digestion, relieves inflammation and regulates the metabolism. It MUST be used carefully, especially if you or anyone reading this is on heart medication (blood pressure medication especially). It tends to regulate blood pressure but can lower it as well. Many hypothyroid patients are already suffering from low blood pressure. I have taken this herb myself in extract form to see what its digestive capabilities are. It seemed to work well in this department but I did not take it long enough to determine any thyroid influence. If you decide to take it, take the capsules from Enzymatic Therapy (one, twice a day). NO MORE THAN THAT. Enzymatic has formulated a brand of Coleus that is standardized to precise levels that were used in European testing. I'm not a huge fan of standardized herbs as they are fractionalized plant medicine. But in this case, with Coleus, it's necessary.

16. A friend of mine swears that by wearing therapeutic orange colored sunglasses for 20 minutes and then switching to five minutes of blue colored sunglasses, one can increase their thyroid output. The sunglasses must be exact in color (i.e., you can't go to the drugstore and get good colored sunglasses.) I get all my color therapy supplies through www kaliszincolor dot com

Hope this helps you. Take care.


Jim Sheldon ND last decade
Dear Jim,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

To answer your questions:

I live in the United States. No I have not been checked for Hashimoto's Thyroditis nor have I been exposed to radiation except for a yearly mammogram. I do not suffer from any of the symphtons you listed, daytime fatigue, etc etc. When first diagnosed I questioned the blood work results since I did not have any symptons. I did find some info on Dr. Drum and his study of seaweed.

Your second post was certainly packed with alot of information. Can you suggest a site to locate a ND? You may be right - a one-on-one treatment may be needed.

For three months I took the L-tyrosin (500 mg 3 x's per day) with B6 plus the Thyroid Activator (one main ingredients was Kelp). My count went for 23 to 33.

Interesting about the Actonel counteracted with Synthroid. But have not had any of the side effects you mention.

Appreciate any further information you can share.

vidaj last decade
Don't know off-hand about NDs. I'd just put the words:

Naturopathic physican (and the name of your state) in the search engine of Google and see what comes up.

Or, better yet, ask around and see if anyone locally can recommend a good ND. All NDs are not alike. Some are far more trained than others. Some of the really good ones have had extensive medical training (they might have started out to be MDs and then decided against it) and they are able to read diagnostics better than some. Then again, there are NDs who may have less training but are constantly learning and trying new techniques and herbs/homeopathics to use in their practice. A great deal of it is the intuitive power of the ND. This is the key, in my opinion, to lock into the patient's needs. Good luck.

Jim Sheldon ND last decade
In re-reading your posts again, I would highly recommend that cleanse from Blessed Herbs I mentioned. Your thyroid test results are in conflict to your presenting symptoms. There is something amiss in the endocrine line (pituitary, thyroid, hypothalmus, adrenal, etc.) Synthroid is not for you. Yet, you need something to support your endocrine system. Glandulars are a good idea but the jury is still out as to whether they can affect the hormone production sufffidently. Dr. Jonathan Wright feels that anyone over the age of 40 should be on glandulars to keep young and support their endocrine system. The best glandular I have used and have given to patients is Thyroplex for Men or for Women. Life Enhancement makes it. It will not fix your problem but it WILL support your glandular system.
Jim Sheldon ND last decade
Dear Jim

I have never taken a herbal cleanse but will order the Blessed Herbs cleanse you recommend. After reading the literature on their home page it certainly is a bit scary. The pictures are not something you want to encounter!

vidaj last decade
My wife and I do the same cleanse every spring just as maintenance for good health. Don't let the photos of what has come out of people scare you. I've never seen anything like that come out of me. Frankly, I'd kind of like to just so I could put it in a bottle and take it to an MD to show him/her what resides in the colon.

Jim Sheldon ND last decade
Hi Jim, just to thank you for the wealth of information in this thread (and elsewhere, I'm sure).
Minsa last decade

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