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People's Pharmacy

Natural remedy for low thyroid

May 10, 2010|Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon | The People's Pharmacy

For 70 years, I was sensitive to cold and suffered pretty constantly with fatigue, dry skin, constipation, hair loss, vertigo and brain fog. My family doctor put me on Synthroid, with no results. Finally, I found a naturopathic doctor who prescribed desiccated thyroid (Armour). Almost immediately, all of these symptoms went away, and I am one happy man!

Your symptoms are classic for low thyroid function. There is a lot of controversy about natural versus synthetic thyroid hormone. Many physicians don't think that dried thyroid gland is as reliable as brands like Synthroid, Levothroid, Levoxyl and Unithroid. Nevertheless, we continue to hear from patients like you who find that natural desiccated thyroid works better to alleviate symptoms.

People who prefer Armour thyroid have been frustrated during the past year or so by a shortage of this product. Forest Laboratories, which makes Armour, now is announcing that the most commonly prescribed doses (one grain and one-half grain) are once again available.

I spent three years crippled by a Vitamin D deficiency. I was in constant pain. I had loss of balance, resulting in falls. I had neurological and cognitive deficits.

Vitamin D-2 did not work for me, but within six weeks of starting a vitamin D-3 supplement, my pain started to let up, and my balance is improving. My mind is sharp again. I hope you will tell your readers to insist on vitamin D-3 if they are diagnosed with a deficiency.

Your experience is extreme, but low vitamin D levels are linked to an increased risk of falling as well as to muscle pain and weakness. Researchers are debating whether vitamin D-2 or D-3 is better for treating deficiency. Vitamin D has been getting increased attention because so many people are low in this crucial hormone. Inadequate levels contribute to arthritis, asthma, dementia, depression, diabetes and hypertension.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.

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