Thyroid - Big Time Trouble
Karen writes, "I take Armour thyroid, growth hormone, calcium, a multivitamin, glutamine, ginseng, Cymbalta, Lisinopril, tyrosine and many other supplements to try to get my energy back since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2003. Before my diagnosis I worked out 2 or 3 times a week while working and was in the best shape of my life. I had to retire because I could no longer handle the stress of my job. I have been unable to get my motivation back to exercise and of course I have gained weight. Are there any minerals or supplements I should try to get my motivation back? I loved working out, but had to stop because of the pain and fatigue. I also take Neurontin and Hydrocodone for the pain.
Yikes, Karen! And again I say, YIKES!
First, my friend, the late Dr. John C. Lowe (more information if you search using his name), proved that fibromyalgia comes from a whacked thyroid. Until the thyroid gets happy-which takes some doing-things don't get better.
Let's take a look at some possible problems. You take Lisinopril, to lower high blood pressure I presume, but you also take calcium-which raises blood pressure.
You take Cymbalta, a fluoride-based antidepressant. Fluoride depresses thyroid function and makes life difficult for all parts of the endocrine system. And all for nothing, because, as your doctor should know, antidepressants don't work. Worse, Cymbalta can cause thoughts of suicide.
And you take glutamine, which is wonderful stuff-unless it comes from soy, which most glutamine does. Soy thumps thyroid function, strips minerals from your body, dumps a load of bogus estrogen where it doesn't belong and generally creates mayhem.
Tyrosine may also come from soy. This is an example of why I give direct links to the vitamins and minerals I recommend (in Pep for the Pooped and Moving to Health) rather than expect you to spend all the years I did in figuring things out. It's a jungle out there.
Weight loss is actually about diet, not exercise. And it's sure not about counting calories. Yeah, I know that's not what everybody says, but them's the facts. I'm guessing you eat the low-fat diet so beloved by the poobahs, but low-fat means low thyroid, low energy, weight gain and, finally, disease.
Loss of motivation
Loss of motivation-or "initiation" as doctors call it-is typical of hypothyroid patients. You may not take enough Armour to get the job done. The thyroid blood tests pretty much guarantee that you don't. Back in the day, when doctors treated hypothyroidism by symptoms instead of tests, the average Armour dose was between 4 and 5 grains-240 to 300mg-and people did better.
Neurontin is something else again. The FDA approved Neurontin in 1994 for control of seizures and nerve pain from shingles. Fibromyalgia is an off-label use that doesn't benefit most patients. And now medicine's questioning the validity of the studies used to get approval.
Animal trials showed Neurontin increases the incidence of adrenal and pancreatic cancers. Now there's talk it causes thyroid cancers, this time in people. Plus, it can cause vision problems and also stomp all over your kidneys.
Everything considered, Neurontin sure sounds like a loser. But if you just drop it and run, withdrawal symptoms rise up and snatch at you. Work your way off it, which can take weeks, if not months. It would be good to have a doctor's help, but the doctor who prescribed it might not be the one to ask. (It's about the doc losing face.)
Then there's the hydrocodone. First off, it contains acetaminophen (as in Tylenol) or aspirin, both of which put the liver in a world of hurt. And since the endocrine system needs a healthy liver to do its thing, this is not good.
Hydrocodone creates addiction and causes such side-effects as dizziness, itching, lightheadedness, nausea, sweating, drowsiness, constipation, vomiting and euphoria. (Suppose it's possible to experience euphoria whilst bowing before the porcelain throne puking your lungs out?)
Testosterone levels drop like a stone when hydrocodone shows up. And women experience big time menstrual irregularities. And the hypothalamus and pituitary take a hit.
Well, when any endocrine gland gets in trouble, all the others jump in to help, so hydrocodone makes a mess of the endocrine system-including, of course, the thyroid. All in addition to the liver problems caused by the acetaminophen
Again, you can't quit cold-turkey, but please consider weaning yourself from this disaster. As I mentioned with Neurontin, you'll want to get help.
So, what to do?
First, you need to unwind yourself from Cymbalta, Lisinopril, Neurontin and Hydrocodone. It probably scares you to death to even contemplate doing this, but those meds are a big part of your problem. Get off calcium supplements, too; a good diet provides the calcium you need.
Second, give your body the support it needs to be healthy-both in diet and supplements. This is what I talk about.
I used to have fibromyalgia. I got rid of it with an increase in my Armour, along with my discovery of vitamins and minerals. It took time and effort, but I haven't had so much as a twinge in years.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She's a patient who's been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health" about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don't, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.