Warning about thyroid supplements

Thyroid troubles that are common among women may result in purchasing unsafe over the counter herbs that contain more than you bargained for – cow hormones.

OTC Thyroid ‘Boosters’ May Harm.

Patients who take over-the-counter supplements that promise to enhance thyroid function may get more than they bargained for, endocrinologists warn.

The supplements could contain unlabeled ingredients, including the active thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which could make patients hyperthyroid, increasing the risk of side effects such as high heart rate, sweating, and anxiety, according to Stephanie Lee, MD, PhD, director of the thyroid health center at Boston Medical Center.

“Over-the-counter thyroid supplements are not supposed to contain any thyroid hormone,” Lee told MedPage Today. “But there’s no truth-in-labeling in these supplements.”

9 of the 10 supplements they tested had detectable levels of thyroid hormone that would result in an overdose of the thyroid hormone.

People who are experiencing symptoms of low thyroid – fatigue, weight gain, etc. – should see their physician for a blood test to assess the condition. Low thyroid means that you are on replacement meds your whole life because it does not resolve itself. This means periodic blood tests to make sure you maintain the right dosage for optimum health. The meds are available in generic form and are NOT expensive. So, why play games by using OTC unregulated, potential harmful stuff? Don’t.

This is just another example in a long line of reasons why you should NOT USE dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements should be labeled with “?”

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  2 comments for “Warning about thyroid supplements

  1. Kitty Lapin Agile
    December 20, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Thank you. I have my blood checked every 3 months, for the thyroid medication I am on for Hashimoto. Sadly the woo sites for thyroid problems are many. Currently the newest is to use “natural” thyroid supplements, no the “Synthetic” ones doctors use. Very sad even to see on FB ads for these supplements that are a danger.

  2. One Eyed Jack
    December 21, 2013 at 5:39 AM

    The treatment for hypothyroidism prior to synthetic T4 (levothyroxine) was a “natural” supplement, dessicated pig thyroid. With the advancement of laboratory testing that allowed reliable measurement of T4 and T3, it was determined that many patients receiving dessicated pig thyroid were developing unhealthy high concentrations of T3. Dessicated thyroid contains a mixture of T4 and T3. Since T4 is readily converted to T3 outside of the thyroid, patients on “natural” supplement can find themselves with too much T3 in their system or inconsistent highs and lows. Medicating with synthetic T4 allows more consistent management of hypothyroidism.

    Of course, none of this holds water with the “natural” crowd. Anything “natural” must be better, right?

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