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Old 01-30-2009, 12:47 AM
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Default Hypothyroidism and alcohol

I've noticed a correlation between people with alcohol problems and hypothyroidism, but never found an explanation. Well, here it is for any of you who care and didn't already know:

The liver is responsible for regulating thyroid function by converting thyroxine (T4) into its more active form, triiodothyronine (T3). Inadequate conversion of T4 into T3 by the liver may lead to hypothyroidism.

(And what damages the liver more than anything?)
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:00 AM
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Hey Beatle -
Do you think, then, that once one quits alcohol that hypothyroidism may eventually become a non-issue?

You know, I need to get a new prescription for my thyroid med. I think I may ask my naturo-doc to retest my T4 and T3 levels to see if not drinking now has made a difference.
Thanks for sharing this!
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:50 AM
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I don't know, but I hope so. I guess quitting will make your body better able to cope with the problem at any rate. I am also hoping being AF will help my thyroid condition, because my TH levels have been yo-yoing (probably because my alcohol consumption keeps yo-yoing?)... and it would also be nice to not have to take the medication for the rest of my life. Definitely get tested (if you have been AF for a while), and let me know.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:47 AM
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I will. Btw, fyi... I think we may have talked about this awhile back - I switched from the synthetic thyroid to Armour about a year ago and I think it works better for me. Have you tried Armour?

(If we did talk about this before, please forgive... you know how our brains are...)
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:43 AM
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I actually had hyperthyroidism - the opposite. What's that about?
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Old 01-30-2009, 01:23 PM
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Thank you as always Beatle for the interesting info. How you doin' these days? I'm curious - with your TSH going up and down, have you had your TPO antibodies tested for the possibility of Hashimotos?

The harm we do to our livers over years of alcohol consumption could very well impact T4 conversion to T3. For someone who is still producing adequate T4 in the Thyroid gland, I'd be interested in seeing if stopping alcohol does indeed help conversion.

I was low on both and I think if you are not producing enough T4 in the first place your thyroid will probably always need help? My understandin of my own situation is that I will be taking Armour forever. (I'm OK with that considering how it has changed my life!)

Vlad I don't know much about Hyper myself but here is one of zillions of links to help get you started... Hyperthyroidism: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes and Treatments of Hyperthyroidism.

DG
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:25 PM
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DG--I think I was told my hypothyroidism is Hashimotos... don't know much about it or what difference it makes.

MOW-- I know a few people who switched to Armour and also said it worked much better. But don't think they have it here where I live, but I'll try to push for it next time I see my doc. Maybe she can write a scrip to get it sent from another country (she did that for 5-HTP for me when I asked for it-- unfortunately, that just gave me nightmares, but that's another story).

Yes we did have a long discussion about all this before, but I had never seen an explanation for the high correlation between thyroid problems and alcohol problems. I figured it maybe had to do with the depression that is a side effect of hypothyroidism-- but it seems I had it backwards as regards cause and effect.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:38 PM
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The reasons some people fare better on natural thyroid medications such as Armour rather than synthetics such as Synthroid can be many. But a very common problem is really the doctor not understanding what to prescribe to solve the problem. Synthroid is often prescribed based on a TSH test ONLY which tells NOTHING about the T3 and T4 levels.

Synthroid is ONLY T4. So if the problem a person has is that they are not producing enough T4, BUT..they are able to convert T4 to T3 just fine, then that prescription can work. However, if a person has trouble converting T4 to T3, all the T4 in the world won't help solve the symptoms.

Armour and the other natural thyroid meds such as Westhroid, Naturthroid, etc. have both T4, AND T3, as well as some other T's - the full range of stuff.

For people who fare better on synthetics, if they don't convert T4 to T3 effectively, they need to be on a synthetic T3 dose of something like Cytomel in addition to the T4 such as Synthroid.

Beatle, my understanding of Hashimotos is that the thyroid gland is actually in the process of "dying." I believe there is something amiss where the body attacks it. Lots of auto immune disorders can accompany this process if left untreated or improperly treated. There may be times when a person with Hashi's shows symptoms of hyper AND hypo thyroid. I don't know much about it since it doesn't apply to me (verified with antibody testing) but if you have it, you should make sure to do lots of research to make sure your treatment is spot on.

Beatle I should know this, but where do you live?

DG
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:40 PM
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soory, DG- I'm doing ok, not really, but AF (for the gazillionth time!) 5 days now. Seeing a therapist and got some new medication for my bipolar, which I'm very hopeful about. Also am seriously concentrating on diet (and supps, as usual). thanks for asking.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:49 PM
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oops, our posts crossed DG. Thanks for all the info.

Yeh, I guess it's definitely Hashimotos I have because a sophisticated scan showed one side of my thyroid was completely dessicated. It seems the T3 part is in order, though, as I always get tested for both T3 and T4.

I live in Scandinavia. (You shouldn't have known it, though, because I've not been real keen to advertise it.)
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