Thyroid Function & Statins

A forum to discuss personal experiences and share information on statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs.

Thyroid Function & Statins

Postby Biologist » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:55 pm

Over a seven day period, my morning body temperature readings have averaged 96.6 degrees. Too low. It strongly suggests deficient thyroid function. The thyroid has a MAJOR role in energy production. It may be the answer for some people on this forum for their fatigue, and I believe it can be part of statin damage -- or may exist in additional to statin damage.

I will start taking medication for it this week. It is cheap, safe, effective and in pill form. Most doctors know little about hypothyroidism since there is no money in it for Pharma (so they have not been taught much about it) and would likely have missed checking for it -- mine did. Of if they did check you for it, they may have gotten false negative findings. Inferior (but more expensive) testing is often done such that the condition goes undiagnosed. Many tend to dismiss the best means of diagnosing it:

"This simple technique of measuring basal body temperature
as a guide to determining thyroid function and permitting
property treatment when necessary did not appeal to the
medical profession. Apparently some physicians had
reservations about a test which might permit patients to
arrive at their own diagnoses. Perhaps some had reserva-
tions because the test involved no fee."

Check your temperature in the morning. If it is much lower than 98.6, you should do some reading on Hypothyroidism. I am about half-way through "Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness" by Broda O. Barnes, M.D. and Lawrence Galton. I recommend the book as it was recommended to me. It was written in 1976 and is still considered the best by some experts. That is where the above quote comes from.

Here is a passage from my physiology text book:

"Thyroid Hormones Increase the Number & Activity of Mitochondria

When thyroxine or triiodothyronine is given to an animal, the mitochondria
in most cells of the animal's body increase in size as well as number.
Furthermore, the total membrane surface area of the mitochondria increases
almost directly in proportion to the increased metabolic rate of the whole
animal. Therefore, one of the principal functions of thyroxine might be
simply to increase the number and activity of mitochondria, which in turn
increases the rate of formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to energize
cellular function. However, the increase in the number and activity of
mitochondria could be the result of increased activity of the cells as well as
the cause of the increase."

It takes several weeks to notice a difference. I will post on my experience with it later on. This determination is good news for me because the alternative explanations for my continuing fatigue includes heart failure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this easily treatable thyroid problem instead!

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Postby cjbrooksjc » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:13 pm

B: I find this very illuminating. I am hypothroid and had, in the past, tried to find out how many of us are also be low thyroid. I didn't get much of a response, but MANY people are hypo and don't know it. I m sure the combo of hypothroidism and statins is a double whammy. I am gobbling Vit D and may up my Armour Throid meds a bit for a few weeks to see if I notice a diff.

I feel like a blind man bowling for the first time with no one to tell me where the balls are, where the lane is, or how to keep score. I know any change in my meds or supplements may take days, weeks, even months to show any lasting effect (and I don't keep proper records), but I can't stop myself from rushing helter-skelter at each new possibility. Doesn't it seem impossible to you that no educated physician or medical researcher would have taken a Statin, had the side effects, delved into the mystery for personal reasons, and discovered a solution or at least a describable cause/effect scenario by now?

Brooks
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Postby Brian C. » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:35 pm

Well, there's Dr Graveline - but he seems to be supporting statinization, albeit in lower doses for the anti-inflammatory action :shock:

Still serving Pharma in spite of everything he has suffered? :?

*http://www.spacedoc.net/spacedoc_statin_beanstalk

This is a major reason why a certain valued contributor no longer visits here.


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Postby harley2ride » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:06 pm

My body temp dropped over the years (after using a statin), from consistently being 98.6, to not being around 96.4, and never consistent.. It has been as low as 95.2 (yes I was shiverring uncontrollably), to 99 (when I have a pretty good fever).. It sucks to constantly try to do the math, to see just what my temp is.. Yet I have had numerous tests over they years for my thyroid, and it has always been within normal specs.. They keep suspecting it, but then they rule it out.. So far they have not come up with answers... I just hope that it doesn't keep dropping. So far, to date, it has dropped about .7 degrees per year.
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Postby harley2ride » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:08 pm

My body temp dropped over the years (after using a statin), from consistently being 98.6, to not being around 96.4, and never consistent.. It has been as low as 95.2 (yes I was shiverring uncontrollably), to 99 (when I have a pretty good fever).. It sucks to constantly try to do the math, to see just what my temp is.. Yet I have had numerous tests over they years for my thyroid, and it has always been within normal specs.. They keep suspecting it, but then they rule it out.. So far they have not come up with answers... I just hope that it doesn't keep dropping. So far, to date, it has dropped about .7 degrees per year.
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Postby catspjs » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:32 pm

Over the years the dr's have tested my thyroid too..tests normal...now, the kicker...My vitamin d level was very low...since I have been on a supplement I have more energy and feel better in general. Reading about vit d...it helps a lot of things in your body including your thyroid...suppose the low d is the reason for a lot of your symptoms? Have you ever had your Vit d and Vit b 12 tested?...Never once in all my 69 years did a dr include those on my yearly bl work. The rheumatologist I went to did it first thing....makes one wonder...............
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Postby Biologist » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:57 pm

Harley & Brooks & Others,

Here is a partial email exchange with my newer doctor (an enocrinologist-type doctor) after my reporting low energy after excercise (e.g., waking 3.5 miles) -- which is much better than where I was months ago where it was Very Low Energy All The Time (prior to TRT therpy which he provides). I use to have to take several naps per day:

________

Email Text Section From Biologist:

...If you would like to tell the lab what tests to do, it might be a good idea to see where I'm at on various hormone levels. Let me know and I will go by and get blood drawn. I will do saliva testing on the same day so we can compare results. My stamina has been low after exercise, but actually I suspect statin damage problems. I want to make sure hormone levels are right before pursuing the issue though. So if you think thyroid testing would be a good idea, that would be fine to check too. I may see a heart specialist to rule that out and also check into sleep apnea possibilities. (Both are classic statin issues.) I have been suspicious for the last couple of years that I may have some stable mitochondrial-based heart insufficiency from the statins (and Doxycycline combination) and it is time to check into it a bit. D-Ribose, CoQ10, Acety-L-Carnitine and Magnesium seem to make things better and that may be a case of the treatment providing the diagnosis. That is a heart supporting supplement routine that I have used for some time that I read about in Dr. Stephen Sinatra's books on heart health.

__________

Email From Dr. [REDACTED]:

...We use a different pharmacy now, but will mail the new Rx's and orders for labs. The thyroid needs to be checked as well. Also, check your basal body temperature before getting out of bed for 5 mornings in a row and send me the data.
__________

Email from Biologist:

I have been covered up in work the past few weeks. I am now "worked out" as everything is finished as of today. Here are my temperature readings in the mornings where they were taken within about 5 to 10 minutes after getting up (wonder if I should have taken them while still in bed?). I used a digital thermometer which I have found to be accurate by comparison to other digitals that I have. I took about four readings each time and averaged them. The readings were always within a few tens of a degree from each other, or exactly the same each time:

Wednesday 96.8
Thursday 96.9
Friday 96.75
Saturday 97.0
Sunday 96.5
Monday 97.0
Tuesday 96.2

My temperature rarely equals 98.6 even in the day time. 97.5 may be about average.
__________________

Email From Dr. [REDACTED]:

Keep the emails coming. I learn something from each. Regarding your thyroid, you are clinically HYPOTHYROID. If you cannot generate a 98.6 with an early AM reading, you are hypo, in spite of any bloodwork. When I start someone on bioidentical thyroid, we titrate the dose upwards until their AM temp is right at 98.6. I could always send you a script to start out low, and work you way up slowly. Just let me know.

Very inexpensive, no side effects if one starts with a reasonably low dose, and after 3 weeks, do the temp readings to determine if we need to adjust the dose. It does lower the TSH slightly, All bioidentical.

_________

Email from Biologist:

Sounds like a good bet to me. I would say use your best judgement on the dosage, and I am ready to start if you think that is a good idea. If you write the script, I'll come by and get it.

_________

Harley,

My guess is that you are hypothyroid. According to Dr. Barnes (**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broda_O._Barnes), who wrote the book I cite above, it is greatly underdiagnoised and the tests commonly used are unreliable (i.e., false negatives) -- you have to go by symptoms! You sure appear to me to have some of the major ones. The low temperature is close to being definitive. He says over 30% of the population is hypothyroid, and undiagnoised -- today's pharma-trained doctors say something like 1%.

Factoids:

* An elevated cholesterol level is one of the major signs of hypothyroidism. When treated, your numbers go down (and often so does your weight). Does this mean that when your doctor was first reviewing your numbers and then failed to stick a thermometer in your mouth, that he was negligent? It does to me.

* Thyroid medicine (the one that Brooks cites, for instance, which is the one I am using) appears to be out of patent protection (and therefore out of most doctors' formularies). It was developed in the late 1800s!

* Took my second pill today (first one yesterday). Armour Thyroid 30 mg. 90 pills for $13. Incredible.

Hey, Brian, I will put in another plug for "Our Daily Meds" by Melody Petersen. I am about half-way through that one too. Over the top insanity.

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Postby Brian C. » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:00 am

Over the top insanity is what we have have to deal with in increasing areas of our lives.

It just keeps coming.

A veritable tsunami of insanity on the way.


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Postby cjbrooksjc » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:14 am

B: I have seen this stat before (Dr. Mark Hyman?) and discounted it; to my detriment, I think. I will take my temp as suggested and see what the results are. My temp always runs around 97 degrees though. This could be very pertinent to my situation. Statins may, in fact, exacerbate the hypothyroid condition. I'll let you know what develops.

Brooks
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Postby Biologist » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:44 am

Brooks, what is your current dosage?

Apparently, 60 mgs. equals one grain (which is the unit used in the book). Is that your understanding?

I am starting on 30 mgs. but that is likely too little and will need to be adjusted upwards in a few weeks.

What kind of heart trouble have you had? You have not had a heart attack in the past have you?


Thanks.

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Postby cjbrooksjc » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:36 am

B: I take 60 Mg... I don't know about that being a grain. I thought a grain and a gram were interchangeable terms. I've taken Armour for 16 yrs and have been at 60 mg for the past 6 or 8. I just went to have a blood draw for free t3, t4 & tsh. I'll see what those #'s are before I do anything else.

I have not had a cardoi event. My damage (which, according to Langsjoen, is almost totally recovered under COQ10 supplementation) was due (we think) to the Statin Rx over 6 yrs.

Brooks
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Postby Biologist » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:50 pm

Thanks, Brooks.

Two grains (130 mg.) seems about the average dosage for hypo patients based on the book I am about to finish. You should read it (listed above in this thread). Some take over 4 grains. Taking more as time goes on is common.

If one has had a heart attack, the extra heart energy and metabolic increase can cause problems if large dosages are done too quickly. But that should not apply to us. I think we may be on the right track. I hope so.

Remember, he (the author, but also my doctor) is saying typical blood test are often BS for the diagnosis. That is the means by which the cheap, safe, effective treatment has been denied in the past (and currently). In fact, if your blood looks good, regardless of how much the treatment has helped you, look for your doctor to suggest that you might should come off of it ! Very common. Read the book. Pharma LOVES the blood tests and the metabolic rate tests, etc. They have been worth billions in statin prescription sales -- life long treatment annuities, as well as further treatment annuities from the damage caused by the statin treatments.

"We sometimes joke that when you're doing
a clinical trial, there are two possible disasters,"
Alex Hittle, a stock analysts at A.G. Edwards,
explained to a journalist in 2003. "The first
disaster is if you kill people. The second dis-
aster is if you care them."

Indeed, if the companies eliminated disease,
they would eliminate sales..."

Page 143 from "Our Daily Meds" by Melody Petersen, 2008

Factoid: Apparently, a "grain" is +/- 65 mg (actually, 64.79891 mg). A "gram" is 1,000 mg.

Factoid: What endocrine gland controls cholesterol levels -- a fact which has been known to science for perhaps a hundred years?

The thyroid gland. I sure never knew that.

What are the odds of your doctor getting this question right the next time you see him/her and ask him/her about it?

Answer: Low.

Thanks for the update from Dr. L. That sounds very encouraging.

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Postby Biologist » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:53 pm

Unfortunate typo:

"...The second disaster is if you care them."

Sound read: "...CURE them."

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Postby cjbrooksjc » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:45 pm

B: (QUOTE: Factoid: What endocrine gland controls cholesterol levels -- a fact which has been known to science for perhaps a hundred years?

The thyroid gland. I sure never knew that. UNQUOTE)

I NEVER knew that either !! Sure would have been nice to have heard that bit of trivia from the Dr. who Rx'ed the Statins. Of from my endo guy. (#$%#$@%$%) EVERYONE on this forum should do the AM body temp test!

aside: I knew you meant cure, not care; also knew you meant Should, not Sound. :lol:

Best,

Brooks
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Postby Biologist » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:25 pm

Sorry &&%##$ spell checker!

What I need is a &$$%$# proof reader -- or if you will just kindly continue as translator...

:)
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Postby uncle2blade » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:55 pm

Hello everyone. Is there a difference between armor thyroid medication and taking "sinthroid" medication or think they are the same thing? thanks Craig
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Postby Biologist » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:19 pm

Craig,

Synthroid is more commonly prescribed. Wikipedia is a good place to start. I have read up a little bit but don't have any "words of wisdom" on the issue. Are you taking one or the other?
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Postby harley2ride » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:47 pm

After checking all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, and since almost every doctor I have ever seen has tested me for it, based upon my symptoms, I am going to talk to my MDA doc about trying me on some medication for it, for awhile..
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Postby uncle2blade » Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:10 am

Biologist,
Thanks, No my wife takes Synthroid. She is looking for a alternative, to prescription medication.
Do you know anything about functional medicine. I know it has to do with treating our natural hormones without meds. There is a doctor (M.D.) in the Cleveland Area that practices functional medicine. Thought with all the reading you do you might know more.
Thanks, Craig
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Postby cjbrooksjc » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:21 pm

Armour provides both T3 and T4; synthroid does not. What Synhthroid lacks (T3 or T4) escapes me; your Dr. should be able to provide and ans. I began with synthroid but switched to Armour because of the dif. I can't say if it has been a good choice.

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