New Supplement Regimen

The roll of diet and nutrition are both extremely important in the quest to manage Hashimoto's disease. Most medical students spend about 23.9 hours total on nutrition during the course of their college career, and most of those hours are obtained outside of a dedicated nutrition course. So, the odds are against patients with chronic diseases, unless they seek help from a certified a nutritionist, dietitian, or conduct research on their own. Going gluten free is the first step in addressing autoimmune diseases. We also must ensure that we are obtaining a sufficient supply of vitamins and minerals. 

I haven't been taking many supplements lately because I've been juicing a few times every week. Apparently, juicing alone has not been enough to increase my vitamin levels and it shows in my blood work. It's possible that I'm not absorbing many of the nutrients, likely due to my chronic digestive problems. I've also had notoriously low vitamin D, which is very common in people with thyroid problems. I've been taking 5000 mg. of vitamin D for a few months. I just had it retested and it was 34 ng/ml, which was low-normal on the general lab range, but it needs to be at least 55 ng/ml, which is the minimum on the functional range (I explain more in this Post ). My magnesium was low even on standard lab ranges, and I've been taking 250 mg. per day for about a month. As a result of my lower than expected vitamin levels, and the recent increase in my Anti-TPO antibodies, I've decided to focus on addressing my actual immune system's decision to go haywire, as well as my stubborn digestive problems. The later likely arises from my random bouts with a sluggish gallbladder that I refuse to give up on because despite popular belief, we actually do need our gallbladders. I don't have any stones either. 

So, I just received a shipment of goodies (oh how I wish they were shoes) from Vitacost, and I'm armed and ready to see what kind of a difference I can make on my own. 

This all started with a book. I'm currently in the process of reading Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal, by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, who is known as an expert on Hashimoto's, other autoimmune diseases, and neurological disorders. So far, this doc has had my undivided attention. Dr. Kharrazian treats his patients not only from a functional perspective, but he looks at Hashimoto's as a disease of the immune system, rather than a thyroid disease. He believes that most cases of thyroid disease can be reversed and claims that many of his patients have gone on to have healthy thyroids without desiccated thyroid or synthetic thyroid replacement. He is quite forthcoming in the book because he provides an extensive outline as to how he manages the disease in his patients. He treats the root of the problem. He offers thorough details about everything from thyroid hormones, to T-helper cells, to how insulin and gluten work inside the body of a person with Hashimoto's. The only complaint that I have thus far, is that many of his treatment options and recommendations, such as non-traditional testing can be rather costly (though important)  and not covered by insurance, yet he still provided a feasibly affordable plan for treating and basically reversing the immune system response by identifying what part of the system has gone awry. The doc basically laid out a how-to kick Hashimoto's rear end in a step-by-step process.
In chapter three of the book, Dr. Kharrazian discusses how the immune system is in in control of the Hashimoto's crazy train. He explains the two types of scenarios that occur during the autoimmune attack. My goal is to give you the high-level overview of his approach to hamper the immune system, using compounded supplements. I definitely recommend this book to all thyroid patients, especially if their goal is to save their thyroid and get off the medication, though not all people will be able to stop taking thyroid replacement.

The immune system comprises of two unique sides that fight diseases and foreigners. Think of one being the right side and one being the left side of a see-saw. When one side goes up, the other goes down. One part is the T-helper one (TH-1) side and the other is the T-helper two (TH-2). One medical theory about how autoimmune conditions occur is that one side of the immune system becomes dominant over the other side, which is caused by a few different situations in the body. Dr. Kharrazian focuses on stimulating the side that is not the one that running the show, which will dampen the side that is overactive. He does this with various compounds, such as Echinacea to dull the TH-1 side, and Green Tea Extract to dull the TH-2 side. Here's the kicker; the only way to precisely find out which side is dominant is to conduct a blood test that can be expensive and only a few companies offer it (here's one-TH-1 TH2 Test ). The thing about this theory that makes me 90% confident that I'm TH-1 dominant is that Dr. Kharrazian noted in his book that an estimated 90% of his patients are TH-1 dominant. 

I've decided to start taking some the supplements that are supposed to dampen the TH-1 dominance.  I am obviously quite aware that my frugal attempt is not the same as paying a doctor the thousands of dollars that the doctor's entire system may cost, but I ordered high-quality supplements from a very reputable store, that guarantees the potency of their products. I spent about $100 on the supplements. If I'm actually TH-2 dominant, I'll know within due time because taking the compounds that stimulate the wrong one will exacerbate my symptoms. Caffeine is also on the list that hampers the TH-1 dominance, so I've been drinking more coffee and black tea. Of course, caffeine can cause jitters and other typical symptoms. If the supplements worsen my symptoms, it's possible that I'm TH-2 dominant. Here's what I have to look forward to ingesting daily. These will make up my supplement cocktail for the next few months-

These are the supplements that I'll be taking that are based on Dr. Kharrazian's recommendation for TH-1 dominance (the goal is to stimulate the TH-2 side). Please note that he did not provide the exact dosages in his book, likely because it varies among patients:

To Stimulate the TH-1:
White Willow Bark-800 mg. 
Resveratrol Green Tea & Grape Extract. He listed both Resveratrol and Geen Tea Extract, and I found one supplement that contain both items. 
Pycnogenol/Pine Bark Extract- 100 mg.

The additional compounds that he recommends are Caffeine and Lycopene. I will be consuming caffeine daily. Lycopene can be found in tomatoes, so I choose not to take the supplement 

Additional supplements that I have just started taking:
Emulsified Vitamin D with Vitamin K2- I am trying the emulsified version because I suspect that my digestive problems were causing poor absorption of the pill form. It is crucial that we also get enough Vitamin K2 and it is required for proper synthesis of Vitamin D.

Liquid Multi-Vitamin- I am also taking a multi-vitamin via liquid form because of my poor absorption and due to my problems in digesting fats.

Chelated Magnesium, 250 mg.- My magnesium level recently tested in the low range, despite that fact that I had been consuming 250 mg. daily via supplementation.  I've also been getting an adequate supply in my diet. Chelated Magnesium is supposedly easier to digest, thus improving absorption rates.

Milk Thistle, 600 mg.- You may already know that studies have shown that Milk Thistle is a liver and gallbladder aid. I will be taking 3600 mg. daily. The suggested amount listed on the bottle is three pills, twice daily.

Fiber Supplement: I try to consume enough fiber through my diet, however I currently take a supplement. Some experts suggest ingesting fiber supplements in the morning. 

Probiotics: I now consume a minute amount of dairy because I may be allergic to the lecithin in it.  I currently take a non-dairy chewable tablet three times per day.

Omega-3-120 mg. Omega is an essential fatty acid and plays an important role in reducing inflammation. 

Digestive Aids:
Due to my sluggish gallbladder, I have been taking 500 mg. of Ox Bile after each mean, as well as Betaine HCI (hydrochloric acid), and digestive enzymes. Based on my research, people without gallbladders should take digestive aids and Ox Bile for the rest of their lives. Low hydrochloric acid is common in thyroid patients. Symptoms of low stomach acid are similar to that of too much of it. If you were to drink apple cider vinegar mixed with water and you felt better, it's a good sign that you'd benefit from taking a Betaine HCI supplement. 

Many doctors and thyroid experts recommend taking both Zinc and Selenium. In fact, I've read a few blogs that are centered on healing Hashimoto's with a supplement regimen, which includes both. I currently own bottles of each supplement, however it is easy to overdose on both because they are metals, and I definitely noticed a metal taste in my mouth after I began taking both products.  It is actually best to obtain selenium through the diet. Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. As recommended by a recent conversation that I had with a thyroid expert, I started eating one Brazil nut per day. Other sources of selenium, include eggs, sunflower seeds, tuna, salmon, shellfish, poultry, etc. Sources of zinc also include some nuts and seeds, oysters, beef (I recommend grass fed), etc. 

One can determine which vitamins and minerals they should take simply by having those levels check via blood tests.  If you are considering adopting a supplement plan, I recommend purchasing them from a reputable supplier, such as Vitacost because they carry more brands that ensure potency of their products. 

I'm just hoping to see a decrease in my antibodies. Wish me luck. 

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools."
-Spanish Proverb


  1. Hi Elsiha, as I see it, you have been taking a lot of nutritional supplements, so do you find those suppelments really helpful? I think you must switch eating nutritional foods rather than taking any supplements according to what I've read at a zinc deficiency from Dr. Mercola. What can you say about this one?

  2. Great info thanks ;)

  3. I just went from hypo to hyper...I had no idea that was possible.. I guess I was doc didn't seem all that sure. I asked he about gluten also..she said, only if I had celiac...I've read different a few times..could you say why exactly you chose gluten free..I'm feeling terrible right now is all I know. I was diagnosed 10 months ago. Had 2 really great feeling months! And now, hyper. Misery..could be worse I guess. Theresa

  4. Hi - i was diagnosed with both hashimoto's and celiac. my TSH was 18.9 in Jan 2013 and my antibodies 13,000 (yes, thousand!)...i am on a strict gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free and grain-free diet. i am feeling much better. i also take supplements (selenium, vit e, zinc, magnesium, vit b complex). i have decided to try to heal myself naturally as opposed to taking drugs! my lab test showed 6.6% decrease in the TSH level for 20 days on this regimen.

    research leaky gut and candida because these 2 have a direct impact on the antibodies in our system. based on my research since jan 2013, the gut is the source of a lot of autoimmune diseases and once we "fix" the "leaky gut", the antibodies should decrease and hopefully we can reverse hashimotos!

    i also own dr. kharazian's book. In addition, please look at the books below. they were extremely helpful to me in understanding the disease and how to approach it! I am a 30 year old female living in nyc and found out about my conditions this january.

    Sandra Cabot: Your Thyroid Problems Solved

    Dr. Nikolas R. Hedberg: The Thyroid Alternative: renew your thyroid naturally

    Sandra Cabot: Infertility: the hidden causes

    Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet by Elaine Gloria Gottschall

  5. ps - if you follow the paleo diet, follow the autoimmune protocol (no grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, nightshades, no gluten).

    also - def look into cleaning your body from candida and other fungi.

    hope this info is helpful to you.

    Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

    Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook, Revised 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Prevention, Treatment & Diet [Paperback]

  6. Hi! Glad to read your posts and wish you the best. I have been fighting this for years and have made quite a bit of progress. I haven't yet done the challenge that Dr. Kharrazian has written about but I can do it now. It's the next step for me.

    @Elizabeth, the research does show a distinct link between gluten sensitivity, gut problems, and thyroid disease. gluten sensitivity is not celiac disease but a distinct type of allergic reaction with long term damage to the gut lining.
    Best wishes.SMG

  7. Hi All, thanks for the posts--very helpful. I have been seeing an endocrinologist and a naturopath. Yes, it can be very expensive. One point that may be helpful to offset the costs is if you have a Health Savings Account option through your work, or HSA. You can allocate dollars to be put in the account each pay period tax free. They then send you a card and you can use it for such expenses as a naturopath/testing. It works for me because I don't see the money going out and it doesn't "hurt" so much when I have a bill with the naturopath. Just a thought, hope it helps.

  8. I just finished reading "Adrenal Fatigue-The 21st Century Stress Syndrome" by James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD. It has helped me structure a supplement program for my adrenals since I am also dealing with Hashi's. He gives LOTS of vital information. I am very familiar with Dr. Kharrazian's recommendation and found out that I am actually Th-2 dominant, despite most hashi's patients being Th-1 dominant. Removing Th-2 dominant herbs/supplements/beverages has made a big difference for me! Thanks for sharing your story, it rings so true with me.

  9. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience and knowledge.