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Schisandra and Hashimoto's

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Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  lonewolf on Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:20 pm

To anyone that can help,

I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and am currently borderline hyperthyroid. I am also dysautonomic (self-diagnosis based on tons of research) and am looking for adaptogens that will correct the function of my HPA axis. The best way to describe my symptoms is that my body is stuck in the fight or flight state 24/7. In order to manage this I must exercise, meditate, and take a daily nap. The daily nap is crucial for me to function. I have used adaptogens in the past, specifically Adaptaphase 1 by Vitamin Research Products. It contains Siberian Ginseng, Schisandra, Hawthorne, Echinopanax Elatum, and Manchurian Thorn Tree. My previous experiences with it were great. It improved my feeling of being highly stressed. The last time I used it however, I lost the ability to nap after work, which is crucial. Whether it was one of the adaptogens, my thyroid, or food sensitivities, provoking anxiety and not allowing me to nap after work is highly debatable. I figure the best way to find out is to take adaptogens one at a time, and start with the inhibitory ones first.

I tried Ashwagandha. It helped initially, but later caused thyrotoxicosis, and really set my health back quite a bit. My thyroid is sensitive, but it caused a huge rise in my free T3 levels, that I was forced to take very high doses of Methimazole (anti-thyroid medication) to counter the effects until I figured out what was causing the problem. I urge you to NOT recommend Ashwagandha for anyone who is hyperthyroid or thyroid sensitive. It can literally destroy your nervous system due to the thyrotoxicosis. For further reference check the following website www.raysahelian.com, regarding Ashwagandha and thyrotoxicosis. You can also do a general search and will find the same information.

Schisandra is the next adaptogen I would like to try. What concerns me is if it has any effect on the thyroid and if it is stimulating. There is highly conflicting information on the internet. I was taking Cymbalta for about 2 years to help manage the anxiety I experience. It helped, but was not enough. My doctor then had me switch over to Prozac to see if it would be any better. The Prozac was a miserable experience, and I had to discontinue. Since Prozac has a long half life, I am currently not taking any SSRIs or SNRIs. I feel the adaptogens are the way to go, because they will treat the cause, whereas medications tend to treat the symptoms and are not fully effective.

I know there is no definitive answer to this, but do you feel that Schisandra could affect thyroid hormone production, or stimulate one's immune system to attack the thyroid in those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis? Would Schisandra prevent someone from taking a nap after being awake anywhere from 6-12 hours, assuming it is taken first thing in the morning? I appreciate your opinion and deem it as such, an opinion nothing else.

Thank you

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  hoppipolla on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:05 pm

Hmm, I think if it were me I would first consider if anything can calm that autoimmune response. Do you think there's no chance it's a food sensitivity or something? I don't know if I have hashimoto's or just hypothyroid or whatever but, I think if I had any autoimmune problem I would try to see if anything could be setting my immune system off first, as it's probably best to just remove the trigger, if possible.

My knowledge of autoimmune conditions is limited at the moment though so bear with me on that Smile

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  CausticSymmetry on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:08 pm

lonewolf - To make a long story short, I would recommend you get Dr. David Brownstein's latest book on treating thyroid with iodine.

Of course, most doctors (over 95% of them), will panic if you mention the word iodine with a diagnosis of Hashimoto's. However, Dr. Brownstein will have a good way to recover from it.

Wouldn't mess with any drugs, SSRI's are thyroid suppressive, although it sounds as though you've had a enough of those. Cymbalta is another disaster but for other reasons.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  lonewolf on Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:33 am

Hoppipolla - it was an alternative doctor that gave me raw thyroid glandular after coming out positive that I was hyperthyroid that caused my immune system to attack my thyroid and cause Hashimoto's. That was the stupidest treatment, and I just blindly did what he said, because it was natural. I'm not so stupid anymore. I'm also not so trusting of any doctors anymore and have taken it upon myself to learn and correct what's wrong. I'm not so concerned about the Hashimoto's as my thyroid is more or less manageable, with medication at times. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

CS - in trying to keep my story short, I left out a lot. I did not read Dr. Brownstein's book, but read enough excerpts from it and went ahead with the protocol with another alternative doctor. I did the iodine loading test from FFP labs and although I was mildly deficient in iodine, I began taking iodine at 50mg a day for almost 6 months. After having the Hashimoto's antibodies come out positive, my thyroid was in the normal range (at least for others) for years. Only after the iodine did it finally go clinically hyper. Of course there is no way to prove that it was the iodine, but I feel that it was. Not a big deal, because that allowed me to have a nuclear scan done, and see that my thyroid was inflamed and irritated and leaking out thyroid hormone. I was put on prednisone for 10 days and started on Methimazole (anti-thyroid med). It helped significantly. It seemed that the standard values for thyroid function did not apply to me and I can be hyper with my thyroid in the upper end of the normal range. I could actually feel when my thyroid was hyper and even hypo if I over medicated. I had to cut the lowest dose pill into quarters to adjust the dose to where I felt the best. That's how sensitive I am, or at least was.

After the Ashwagandha incident, I have lost the ability to feel how my thyroid is functioning. I feel mildly hypo, but my blood test show possible hyper. TSH is normal, but towards the lower end, and free T3 is a bit above normal. In the past this would clearly make me feel hyper, but for whatever reason, now it doesn't. I'm suspecting adrenal burn out, so I'm doing a 24 hour urine collection to test my cortisol levels. But maybe this whole time I have just been manipulating what I perceived to be a sensitive thyroid to compensate for my dysautonomia.

The Cymbalta only helped. No negative side effects, and gave me symptomatic relief of anxiety. But since I really have not improved as of late, my doctor was curious to see how Prozac would affect me. Not good. Well tolerated by most, but not me, even in very low doses. At this point, since I'm almost drug free (only a baby dose of a beta-blocker for palpitations and a Valium here and there) I would like to go back to the adaptogens to assess their effects. They have medicinal like properties, and really make me feel like I am targeting what is wrong.

So I ask you again, do you feel that Schisandra can stimulate one's immune system to create a problem for someone with an autoimmune disease. Just curious as to what your opinion is as you seem to be very knowledgeable. Most likely I will try it in small doses and see what it does. I am being extra cautious this time around after my experience with Ashwagandha, and two alternative doctors recommended that I take it. I dont know if you are in the USA, but I wish the alternative and conventional medicine "rackets" would get together and properly test the natural products available. This should be done thoroughly to check for interactions with medications, etc. This could really help a lot of people. Unfortunately it seems like both sides are against each other, making a lot of money, and those who are ill are the ones who suffer.

I have been through the whole round of conventional and alternative medicine, so I have learned quite a bit. I feel that alternative medicine is about 80% ineffective, as it is just good for the sensitive type or those who listen to the warning signals the body is sending, unlike me. Those who are much sicker will need conventional medicine. An example is that Cymbalta was by far more effective than 5-HTP, and any benzodiazepine is far more effective than L-theanine. BUT it is that 20% that alternative medicince has that can be just as effective, or better described, CORRECTIVE, for many health issues. That 20% can work wonders. B-vitamin, magnesium, herbs, etc. are great examples. As soon as I feel better, I will try to post here and at other forums to offer some advice based on my knowledge and experiences.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  CausticSymmetry on Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:33 am

lonewolf - I think you need to see an integrative physician. An integrative physician is trained in both conventional and alternative medicine.

Since I've worked in integrative medicine myself, my opinion is that conventional medicine is worse than alternative medicine. At the same token, there are plenty of alternative practioners who are not particulary helpful. However, I still side with alternative because there's a lot less chance of death.

Integrative medicine offers the best of both worlds, but like any other profession, there are good, bad and great doctors to be found, it just takes a bit of searching.

With Hashimoto's, my experience is that 90% do better on armour thyroid than the synthetic T4. And since everyone is different, there is the 10% who feel better on the synthetic.

Dr. David Brownstein uses a minimum of 50 mg of iodine and goes much further.

The problem I have with allopathic treatments is that they ignore the underlying problem, typically deplete some nutrients, dysrupt important physiology using concerning the pathology to the condition and often will cause certain problems the longer they are taken.

The take away here is that no one is the same, everyone is different and what works for one person concerning these drugs is entirely different from another.

I've seen cymbalta and benzodiazepines ruine peoples lives, not to mention prednisone (when it's taken for longer than short term).

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  CausticSymmetry on Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:50 am

lonewolf - If you take Schizandra, it is possible to acquire the type of symptoms you're wondering about such as excess stimulation of the thyroid, and you will know this if you experience symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, palpitations, etc.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  lonewolf on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:01 am

Dear CS,

Thanks again for your response. The last doctor I saw, although I labelled her as alternative, was truly integrative or complementary. She did always used medication as a last resort. I felt she was a good doctor, but too expensive like all integrative doctors, and is not covered by my insurance. She really didn't know what to do with me, and I don't think any other doctor can definitely provide a simple treatment. i have tried many things, I know what works, and I know what doesn't FOR ME.

As for right now, I do not need more thyroid hormone. If anything I need a bit less. Also my thyroid is stable. Again, I still believe the iodine provoked clinical hyperthyroidism in me, and the integrative doctor who I saw, also clearly warned me about the iodine provoking hyperthyroidism, as it did in two of her other patients.

I agree with your statements regarding allopathic medicine, however my endocrinologist is very open minded, and had no issues with me trying the iodine. Everyone is different, but in my case Cymbalta and benzos have saved me, whereas the Ashwagandha may have set me too far back, that I may not be able to recover. I hope that's not the case. Millions of people take Prozac and feel better. That is the first drug I have reacted negatively to, and will never touch it again. I'm also very apprehensive about taking anything right now, due to my experiences with Ashwagandha and Prozac. I do know that I have taken Schisandra before in a blend many times and it helped, but my physiology can be different now, so it could be a mistake.

I guess I'm looking for someone to say go ahead and try it, so I will feel more confident. Either way I think I am going to try it, and see what it does. I am still reasearching and will post up my results if I start it, or if I don't my reasons for not trying it.

How about Bacopa???

Thanks again. You do a great service here that does not go unappreciated.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  lonewolf on Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:35 am

Dear CS,

A couple more things. Is Schisandra GENERALLY known for immune and/or thyroid stimulation?

You mentioned that you worked in integrative medicine. Are you an MD, ND (Naturopathic Doctor), or CCN (Certified Clinical Nutritionist). I only ask is that I tend to weigh the opinion of an MD with knowledge of herbs and supplements over the others, because in MY experience the MDs tend to know more.

Thanks.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  CausticSymmetry on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:49 am

lonewolf - Bacopa would be useful for you I think, because of the T4 help without the increase risk of T3.

Having observed many thyroid protocols over the years, I find that Dr. David Brownstein seems to be the only one getting success with tough Hashimoto's cases.

When TSH raises due to iodine, the reason is different than what most doctors believe. The symptoms of iodine supplementation that mimic signs of hyperthyroid are usually bromide toxicity symptoms, which can be alleviated with salt loading, vitamin C and other support, then resume iodine a little later.

Lab testing should be postponed at least 6-months to avoid the appearance of alarming test data.

Check out the following videos.

http://www.nutri-linkltd.co.uk/articulate/brownstein/part2/player.html

http://www.nutri-linkltd.co.uk/articulate/brownstein/part3/player.html

http://www.nutri-linkltd.co.uk/articulate/brownstein/part4/player.html


Here is a good statement from Dr. Guy Abraham about iodine and AIT.

Facts about Iodine and autoimmune thyroiditis, Guy Abraham, MD

COPYRIGHT 2008 Original Internist, Inc.

Since the 2006 publication by Tang, et al (1), reporting a positive association between iodization of salt in China and autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), I have received a lot of calls and e-mails questioning the use of iodine in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. Iodophobes were elated with this publication, which vindicated their iodophobic viewpoint. However, a year later in 2007, the same authors, using the same data (2) retracted their original statement and concluded that: "Chronic iodine excess does not apparently increase the risk of autoimmune thyroiditis."

I will present some facts about iodine and autoimmune thyroiditis.

In 1912, pathologist H. Hashimoto published in a German medical journal, (3) his histological findings in four thyroid glands removed at surgery: numerous lymphoid follicles; extensive connective tissue formation; diffuse round cell infiltration; and significant changes of the acinar epithelium. He called this pathology of the thyroid "struma lymphomatosa", but it became popular under the name "Hashimoto thyroiditis". At the time of Hashimoto's publication, autoimmune thyroiditis was not observed in the US population until the iodization of salt. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is now classified as goitrous AIT because the gland is enlarged, in distinction to atrophic AIT where atrophy and fibrosis are predominant. Both conditions are chronic, progressing over time to hypothyroidism in a significant percentage of patients. (4)

In several communities worldwide, an increased incidence of AIT was reported following implementation of iodization of sodium chloride. (5) In areas of the US where This relationship has been studied, mainly in the Great Lakes Region, a similar trend was reported. In 1966 and 1968, Weaver, et at al, (6), (7) from Ann Arbor, Michigan reported: "The salient histopathological feature of the thyroid glands, removed at operation in a five-year period before iodine prophylaxis (1915-1920), was the paucity of lymphocytes in their parenchyma and, more importantly, the absence of thyroiditis of any form ... It should be emphasized that the thyroid glands prior to the use of iodized salt were devoid of lymphocytes, and nodular colloid goiters with dense lymphocytic infiltrates were found after the introduction of iodized salt in 1924."

Furszyfer, et al (Cool, from the Mayo Clinic, studied the average annual incidence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis among women of Olmsted County, Minnesota, during three consecutive periods covering 33 years of observation, from 1935 to 1967. They found the incidence to be higher in women 40 years and older versus women 39 years and younger. However, in both groups, there was a progressive increase in the incidence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis over time. During the three periods evaluated--1935-1944; 1945-1954; 1955-1967 - the average annual incidence of Hashimoto's per 100,000 population were 2.1, 17.9, and 54.1 for women 39 years and less. For women 40 years and older, the average annual incidence over the same three periods were 16.4, 27.4, and 94.1.

It is important to point out that the Mayo Clinic study started 10-15 years after implementation of iodization of salt in the area. Therefore, even during the first decade of observation, the prevalence of AIT was already significant. Again, it must be emphasized that prior to the implementation of iodized salt as observed by Weaver, et al (6), (7), this pathology of the thyroid gland was not reported in the US, even though Lugol solution and potassium Iodide were used extensively in medical practice at that time in daily amounts two orders of magnitude greater than the average intake of iodide from table salt . (4). This suggests that inadequate iodide intake aggravated by goitrogens, not excess iodide, was the cause of this condition. To be discussed later, AIT cannot be induced by inorganic iodide in laboratory animals unless combined with goitrogens, therefore inducing iodine deficiency.

The pathophysiology of AIT is poorly understood. Experimentally induced autoimmune thyroiditis in laboratory animals by acutely administered iodide required the use of antithyroid drugs, essentially goitrogens, to produce these effects (9-12) These goitrogens induced thyroid hyperplasia and iodide deficiency. Antioxidants either reduced or prevented the acute iodide-induced thyroiditis in chicks (13) and mice. (14) Bagchi, et al, (13) and Many, et al,(14) proposed that the thyroid injury induced by the combined use of iodide and goitrogens occurs through the generation of reactive oxygen species.

We have previously proposed a mechanism for the oxi-with antithyroid drugs: (2) Inadequate iodide supply to the thyroid gland, aggravated by goitrogens, activates the thyroid peroxydase (TPO) system through elevated TSH. low levels of iodinated lipids, and high cytosolic free calcium, resulting in excess production of [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] The excess [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] production is evidenced by the fact that antioxidants used in Bagchi's experiments did not interfere with the oxidation and organification of iodide and therefore neutralized only the excess oxidant. (11) This [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] production is above normal due to a deficient feedback system, caused by high cytosolic calcium due to magnesium deficiency and low levels of iodinated lipids which requires for their synthesis iodide levels two orders of magnitude greater than the RDA for iodine. (4) Once the low iodide supply is depleted. TPO in the presence of [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] and organic substrate reverts to its peroxydase function, which is the primary function of haloperoxy-dases, causing oxidative damage to molecules nearest to the site of action: TPO and the substrate thyroglobulin (Tg). Oxidized TPO and Tg elicit an autoimmune reaction with production of antibodies against these altered proteins with subsequent damage to the apical membrane of the thyroid cells, resulting in the lymphocytic infiltration and in the clinical manifestations of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Eventually, the oxidative damage to the TPO results in deficient [H.sub.2][O.sub.2] production. Hypothyroidism occurs in AIT when oxidation and organification of iodide in the thyroid gland become deficient enough to affect synthesis of thyroid hormones.

In vitro studies with purified fractions of calf thyroid glands by De Groot, et al, (15) gave compelling evidence that iodide at [10.sup.-5] molar confers protection to TPO against oxidative damage. To achieve peripheral levels of [10.sup.-5] molar iodide, a human adult needs a daily amount of 50-100 mg. DeGroot's findings can be summarized as follows:

* TPO is inactivated by [H.sub.2][O.sub.2]

* KI at [10.sup.-5] molar protects TPO from oxidative damage.

* Potassium bromide and potassium fluoride do not share this protective effect of KI.

* The protective effect of KI is not due to the covalent binding of iodine to TPO but due to the presence of KI itself in the incubation media.

The concentrations of iodine measured in the thyroid of patients with AIT are the lowest observed. Further, AIT patients with hypothyroidism have significantly lower iodine levels in the thyroid gland than AIT patients with normal thyroid function. For the US population, Okerlund (16) reported a mean value of around 10 mg iodine/thyroid, with a range of 4-19 mg. In 56 patients suffering from autoimmune thyroiditis, but with normal thyroid function, a mean value of 4.8 mg/thyroid was reported. In 13 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism, the mean value was 2.3 mg/thyroid.

Based on the above facts, it is obvious that iodine deficiency, not excess, is the cause of AIT.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  lonewolf on Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:08 am

CS - I am familiar with all of that information. But it does not apply to me. I was given raw thyroid glandular extract to treat hyperthyroidism. This caused my immune system to attack my thyroid, and resulted in Hashimoto's. I have lab tests to prove it. The naturopath that I was seeing stated that this sometimes happens when you correct a thyroid condition. I didn't realize he was trying to cover his ass due to the mistake he made.

One's TSH will not rise when consuming iodine. If anything it will go down. Low TSH indicates hyperthyroidism as the pituitary gland is sending less of a signal to the thyroid to produce thyroxine (T4). After months of consuming iodine, my TSH did go down and resulted in clinical hyperthyroidism. I was also tested for bromide toxicity and clearly was not bromide toxic. I never stated that an excess of iodine can cause AIT. It is however written in medical textbooks, that an excess of iodine can cause hyperthyroidism. I have blood tests that may prove it. Even those who propose iodine supplemention for whatever reason make reference to the notion that excess iodine may cause hyperthyroidism, and to be cautious about it.

I am not a fan of Dr. Brownstein, as he stated somewhere that iodine deficiency is the cause for many illnesses. I do not believe this to be the case in developed countries. Also, he makes statements without any studies or proof to back up what he is saying.

My main goal for now is not to treat the Hashimoto's but to correct my HPA axis function (dysautonomia) by using adaptogens. Since my thyroid function is stable for now, I just want it to to remain that way. I do not want to become more hyper.

If Bacopa raises T4, what is going to prevent the conversion to T3??? I highly doubt its a 5'-deiodinase inhibitor as well. What do you mean by the T4 help? T4 is an inactive thyroid hormone. It is not required by the body as many people without thyroids just take Armour, and their endocrine function is normal.

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Re: Schisandra and Hashimoto's

Post  CausticSymmetry on Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:29 am

lonewolf - I agree that HTPA balance is what you're looking for.

Because Dr. Brownstein is part of the iodine project, testing over 5,000 patients before and after iodine, I think it trumps the studies, because there's a real lack of studies on high iodine dosing.

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