Treating hypothyroidism

I’ve suspected for several years that we might be dealing with subclinical hypothyroidism. A few symptoms, blood work and family history have led me to think this needs to be addressed.

Since we are working with a functional MD that approaches children’s health from a different viewpoint, we have been addressing many things in the past 6-8 months. After discussing my son’s symptoms, his labs etc she agreed that we should try some dessicated thyroid medication.

His TSH has generally been running at 2.5 or higher since the first time anyone bothered to test it, so probably age 9.

This has never improved with adrenal support in his case which is reflective of what I see in our family. (I and my other adult child are also hypothyroid) Mercury is not the only cause for thyroid problems so in some of us despite chelation we may still need this treated.

I have an entire chapter in my book about thyroid function because it’s something I find tends to be overlooked and it’s really common these days.

Some of his symptoms that indicate his thyroid hormones are too low:

  • dandruff that isn’t responding to typical means of treatment
  • fatigue, hard to get going in the morning but can’t sleep at night
  • occasional belching, indigestion regardless of the food
  • anxiety even on adrenal support
  • gaining weight faster that what is considered expected for their age
  • brittle nails
  • brain fog
  • short-term memory issues
  • elevated TSH above 1.5 (his is 2.56)
  • free T3 that is not in the upper third of the range (*do check that the lab is using ranges for your child’s age because often they don’t. My tip-off was the range used for my son was the same one they used on my labs. A teen should have higher FT3 than someone my age. I like LabCorps Pediatric reference ranges)
  • thyroid antibodies: he has elevated TgAb (anti-thyroglobulin antibodies)  which means autoimmune hypothyroid.

Key things I’ve learned with my own thyroid issue and this is child #2 with thyroid issues.

  • When one is autoimmune hypothyroid, often the labs will be less reliable versus how you actually feel and it should be treated with thyroid medication.
  • Just because the hormone is circulating in your blood doesn’t always means it’s getting into your cells where you need it either. Especially if your immune system is destroying it or the thyroid cells. I’ve often wondered how much of the thyroid levels measured in blood are the result of destroyed cells releasing it.
  • If it quacks like a duck..it’s usually a duck so if you have the majority of symptoms, you really need to investigate this.

We have been addressing iron and vitamin D for 8 months now and his thyroid labs have not actually improved.  He’s also been on the antivirals and immune support for two and half months without any noticeable improvements. I realize Rome was not built in a day but that doesn’t mean you should have to feel lousy until and unless your deficiencies and immune issues are resolved.

So we began 1/4 grain and he reported being nauseous with a headache all day. I recognize that as adrenal fatigue. I cut his dose to 1/8 grain for a few days while I waited for the increase in adrenal cortex glandular to do its thing. Then we were able to give the 1/4 grain without any issues.

He is sleeping better. Time will tell what else improves…

Low Dose Naltrexone

We began at 1 mg of low dose naltrexone at bedtime as per the doctor’s instructions in March. Generally the starting dose is higher but she wants to eliminate/reduce any side effects if possible. From what I read there are usually few side effects and they usually subside in the first week.

The primary symptoms usually reported are sleep disturbances which can be insomnia or vivid dreams.

His first night at 1 mg, he did report bad dreams and he wasn’t too happy about it. The next night I only gave half of a milligram instead. That seemed to eliminate the bad dreams but he is having trouble getting to sleep. He either up late or waking up in the middle of the night.

After 2 weeks I increased the dose to 1 mg as per the doctor. So nightmares are back and he’s not happy at all about that. Who would be? I talked to the doctor again to clarify how long and if that will go away. She suggested we move dosing to daytime which would entirely eliminated the issue.

That did eliminate the issue thankfully. Today we moved up to 1.5 mg. Our target dose is 3.5mg. In three months blood work will be done to see if the viral issue is gone.

We are also using immune supporting herbs and antiviral herbs daily.

I am adding lysine now that I found one that dissolves in juice easily.  Ironically on all these antivirals and there is no yeast overgrowth so that’s a win I owe to chelation.

I was going to also add in olive leaf but I cannot gag down the olive leaf tincture I bought…so that’s not going to work. We have not started niacinamide yet but it’s on my radar because of its usefulness in autoimmunity but I do have him on selenium daily.

I will post when I have more conclusive results from doing the antiviral/immune regulation treatment. I suspect I won’t know more until summer when we see his blood work. To date, sensory is unchanged but hopefully this will help his immune system and thyroid function.

Viruses? Still?

Viruses? Still?

We went for our follow-up visit with our holistic doc. We first saw her in the fall of 2016 and after some supplementation it was time to repeat some blood work and see where to go next.

I was fairly surprised at the blood results really. Some of his deficiencies are improving which is great. Vitamin D is up to 60, so we can cut the dose back to 5,000 IU per day. Iron still needs some work but it’s a lot better.

Of course his DHEA and pregnenolone are still low since he isn’t taking those, but they have gone up from the previous test. His morning cortisol is also excellent thanks to adrenal cortex glandular.

We have reduced his insulin and glucose but they need to come down further. So we will keep going with the chromium with meals and protein in his diet.

We need to add in sea salt to his water.

The real kicker here was his labs from November showed low neutrophils and high lymphocytes. The doctor thought maybe he was getting over a virus which I thought was odd because he hadn’t been sick. Well his new labs show even lower neutrophils* and higher lymphocytes and he hasn’t been sick. Couple that in with thyroid antibodies and the doctor suspects there is an underlying viral problem causing autoimmunity.

When I saw his new labs I had a flashback because I knew I had seen this before. I went over his old labs and sure enough in 2010 things were normal but in 2011, we saw neutropenia and high lymphocytes. (absolute neuts went from 3.9-1.5 which is why we stopped using DMSA)

After those abnormal 2011 labs I did an antiviral protocol for him. Which is why I’m surprised to see a viral problem.

It seems that might not matter because you can get a virus at any time and if you’re immune system isn’t strong enough to clear it….well, it’s going to stick around for a while. It is also possible he was exposed to a different virus recently. In either case, he’s had this lab profile longer than is normal for a passing cold or virus. It also lines up with the slightly elevated TSH I’ve been seeing the past few years.

So my new marching orders are to add:

I’m also considering Lysine for suspected Epstein Barr since it’s most associated with causing thyroid antibodies.

I am further considering niacinamide which is great for autoimmunity. I may end up  repeating our previous antiviral protocol with olive leaf and Virastop. (now called Enzyme Defense). I’m not sure.

The doctor has recommend Low Dose Naltrexone at 1mg at bedtime for 3 months. Then she wants to re-test him.  LDN makes has a great track record with correcting autoimmunity. (I might be next then…hmm?)

The key here is going to getting more supplements into him.


*low absolute neutrophils is covered in Fight Autism and Win Second Edition. The incidence of neutropenia on blood work is contradictory for the use of DMSA for chelation.