Since the doctor I was seeing left the practice (I guess she left the practice… her name is still on the door and on the website), I needed to have some blood tests done and so I made an appointment with the partner, a man. I don't have a preference for a man or woman doctor, I've had bad experiences with both.
I wanted to have some tests run: MTHFR genetic mutation, I wanted to see if my reverse T3 went up or down. Dr. Kruse indicates doing the leptin reset can help to fix the thyroid and recommends staying under 25 grams carbohydrates on the first eight weeks of the leptin reset if you are 30 pounds overweight – I had been told going this low on carbs would make my reverse T3 higher so I wanted to see if it went up or down. I wanted to see where my Vitamin D levels were at. I wanted to see about my aldosterone and renin, and my sodium and potassium levels, and my iron levels.
I've been putting off starting on Cytomel (T3) which according to some sources is the only way to drive down reverse T3 levels and clear my receptors. The high reverse T3 levels can be the reason for my hypothyroid symptoms. All of the tests I mentioned need to be in a certain place in order to begin the T3 protocol.
I'm just a little freaked out about going on T3, but I thought I would feel better after doing the leptin reset. I DO feel better, but maybe I can't feel better until I do something about my high reverse T3 by doing the T3 only protocol.
At any rate, I was quite apprehensive about the visit because I had spoken with him on the phone while my previous doctor was on vacation and this guy doesn't think my thyroid is involved at all because 1) I don't have cold hands and feet and 2) my hair isn't falling out. He thinks it's only my adrenals. Actually when he saw and felt the swelling on the left side of my thyroid on my throat at the end of our visit he acquiesced that my thyroid could be involved.
Let me address both of those two hypothyroid symptoms that he listed. I listened to a podcast a few months ago with a doctor in Arizona who specializes in thyroid conditions. He says since our climate is warm we don't tend to have the cold hands/cold feet symptom. If my house is really cold like it has been this winter, my hands and feet are freezing cold. But not generally. I have more recently learned that usually when one's hair is falling out and they are hypothyroid it is because iron levels are low. My iron levels are where they should be, and I believe this is why my hair isn't falling out in spite of having hypothyroid symptoms. These aren't the only two symptoms a person can have for thyroid problems. Click here to review a list of hypothyroid symptoms addressed with proper thyroid treatment at Stop the Thyroid Madness.
Mostly I decided to make the appointment because he agreed to order all the tests I asked for without really questioning my intent for the tests. I figured it would be cheaper to pay him $75 than to pay for the tests out of pocket. All I really wanted to do was to make sure I'm good to go with the T3, even though I am still on the fence about using it. AND, he may not have let me have my test results without an appointment. Doctors often hold our lab reports hostage until we see them in person.
At the appointment he pointed out some things on my lab results, and said he had not questioned why I wanted the tests done, but he said now he was going to question me. Okay, that's fair. So I answered his questions, and that was cool, everything was fine.
So I have the MTHFR genetic mutation C677T, two copies. I'm not really sure what this means, but my friend Patty answered my question in the comments at her blog post here. Dr. A was telling me how I need a certain kind of Vitamin B and how 50% of the population has this genetic mutation and so he figures why not just give everyone who walks in the door the “right” kind of Vitamin B? That sounded like it made good sense and I felt like I could trust that he knew what he was talking about.
We talked about the reverse T3 ratio, but he didn't seem to know anything about it. I calculated the ratio at Stop the Thyroid Madness on my phone and my ratio is now 11. It was previously 13.3 in October and 12.5 in November. So the farther from 20 you get, the worse you feel, as far as I understand it.
Dr. A assumed I was on T3 already, since his partner had given me a prescription, but I explained to him that 6.25mcg once a day for thirty days wasn't going to do anything to drive down the reverse T3 so I hadn't even bothered to start. He was curious as to why the prescription was for 6.25mcg because he said the normal dosage was 5mcg. I explained to him that it's MUCH MORE economical to take a 25mcg tablet and cut it into fourths so that makes the dose 6.25mcg. He understood and that was fine.
He said he would prescribe the T3 but he was still certain it's not my thyroid but my adrenals. He asked me to tell him my symptoms for why I think it's my thyroid and he said not having energy was only adrenals. Not having enough stamina is adrenals. Okay, I tried to explain to him that it could be both, and I believe I've had thyroid problems for about twenty years.
This was all a comfortable conversation, and he said he would like for me to try a regimen of Vitamin B and Siberian Ginseng. He told me he won't ever say he knows everything, and he would never push me to do anything, and he would be willing to do the T3 but he wanted to know if I would give it a month trying his way. So I told him I've been waiting this long, what's another month?
He told me he's had a lot of clients lately that are doing great on this regimen and he mentioned Vitamin B shots, and that he would teach me how to do the shots. But then he stopped mid sentence and said I could only do the B12 shots since they are the only one that is active. He said I would need to take the pills since I have the MTHFR mutation.
It all sounded great. He said to check back in three weeks and let him know how I'm doing.
I went ahead and bought the Siberian Ginseng which cost $42, the B12 nuggets were $24.90 and the two bottles of B Vitamins were $37.00.
I told my husband, who drove me to the visit and stayed out in the car waiting for me, that I think I like this guy a lot better than his partner and it sounded like he was really up on this stuff.
I talked to one of my friends who knows about this stuff and she said maybe my doctor was onto something, and she agreed with me, I've waited this long, what's another month? Also, I asked him about the swelling on the left side of my throat where my thyroid is located and he has me scheduled for an ultrasound to see what the swelling is about.
I actually was looking forward to getting up the next morning, thinking FINALLY FINALLY, I've got the right B Vitamins and it makes all kinds of sense if I have this genetic mutation and my body doesn't process regular B Vitamins that I am going to be tired and not have any energy. In the comments at my post about MTHFR and Down Syndrome, Sterling Hill wrote this. I was so glad to have the right B vitamins, no more methyl jams!
It is great you have found the root cause. And yes to avoiding foods fortified with synthetic b vitamins. They can cause a methyl jam and you need your active b’s to help in the production of glutathione. Glutathione removes toxins and metals from the body. People with MTHFR have trouble maintaining adequate glutathione levels due to their active b deficiency. It is wise to try to produce your own glutathione with nutrition and the proper supplementation. I have found that taking oral glutathione can actually put us in a methyl trap. Some people with this enzyme deficiency do have to have IV glutathione. It is good to know your mutations and if you are homozygous, heterozygous or compound heterozygous. I have a website I have just started. MTHFRsupport.com. In the next few months, I will be adding a list of md’s, nd’s and nutritionists that know about MTHFR and how to treat it. I also have a facebook page called mthfr support. I do have links on my website to many lectures on the subject of methylation and MTHFR. And Dr. Ben Lynch at MTHFR.net is great. He is still learning and helping many people who couldn’t find help locally.
I got up on Friday morning, looked over the directions which said to take 6 tablets 3x daily for two weeks. I thought I had the directions right, but that seemed like a lot – 18 pills in one day? When the bottle says 3 pills a day? I decided to take six and then when the office opened up I called to confirm and that was correct. 18 a day. I dutifully took 6 more tablets at noon. I'm a little excited, wondering if this is going to work and when am I going to start feeling more energy. I'm wondering maybe the reason why I've had bursts of energy over the years is somehow I got the right B Vitamins that day, somehow, you know maybe through the food I ate or something.
I thought it was extremely interesting that my urine never turned bright yellow. I'm thinking this must mean that my body is using all the B Vitamins instead of peeing them out! That must be what's happening! This is what I get for thinking. Haha.
Later on that day, my friend Patty visited my blog and checked on the B vitamins and discovered that they actually contained the wrong form of folate. Like, THE WORST wrong form to take!! It just so happens that this product includes the right B vitamins EXCEPT except for the folate, and that is in the wrong form.
Boy, did I ever get annoyed and aggravated. This makes the third time that I've walked out of that office with products that I can't use.
I asked on the Adrenals group that I'm on if I could take the Siberian Ginseng and they explained that it won't do anything since my adrenals are suppressed right now, there is nothing to treat. Agh. Another $42 wasted.
The first time I went into the office the doctor sold me DHEA in 25 mg tablets, which I learned after I got home that DHEA lowers cortisol and 25mg is a big dose for a large man. Nice. Thanks. Money wasted. She also sold me a tincture to help me sleep with a bunch of herbs which after researching I learned lower and raise cortisol all at the same time, so I couldn't use that product. More money wasted. The 2nd visit she sold me bottle of Thorne Research Thyrocsin. Okay, this contains iodine and since I have thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto's Disease I shouldn't be taking iodine because it could cause a flare up of the antibodies. Also, this product contains Ashwaganda which is an adrenal adaptogen which will force my adrenals to work harder, and is an herb used for healthy adrenals that are just a little tired. Mine are suppressed so Ashwaganda won't help me. Unfortunately, the doctor's office has a no refund no returns policy. I am just so annoyed about wasting my money.
The visit last week cost me $259.00. Money that I don't have, so I had to put it on a credit card. I guess I should just be thankful that I have a credit card to put it on. $150 of that was the doctor visit. Remember the $75 I thought I would be spending to get my labs? I assumed we would have a half an hour visit. Instead it was a one hour visit. I don't know how that happened. I mean, I know I was in there an hour talking, but from now on I will turn on the timer on my cell phone.
I am sure he is unaware that the vitamins he gave me are the wrong kind. I have asked a question at Dr. Ben Lynch's forums so that I can share the answer with Dr. A to let him know that this product contains the wrong form of folate.
I suspect this is why his Vitamin B regime doesn't work for everyone. That would probably be the “50%” of the population walking through the door with MTHFR!
Before Patty alerted me to the fact that I had the wrong medication in hand, I was feeling pretty optimistic about this doctor. But this is so very disappointing. I should be refunded for this product, because he should know that it is the wrong folate. I am definitely going to write a letter – not an email – but a real letter and mail it, along with some information on why all the experts agree that a person with MTHFR needs to be taking methyl folate, not calcium folinate. Especially since I have two copies. This makes it even more critically necessary for me to take the right kind. I hope they will refund my money for this product at least.
I have also decided that I am going to let him know that I will no longer be buying any products from his office. I would like to support the office by buying product there, but if I cannot use the product, then I may as well just make a donation. That would make me feel better than to feel like I'm being ripped off. I mean, it's my own fault for buying the product before checking out it.
Also, by the way, my reverse T3 went from 33.1 to 30.5. So it did not go up.
I stopped taking the Vitamin B that Dr. A sold me. I am now going to order the correct B vitamins from Amazon, maybe do like Patty says and just start slow with one at a time. My ferritin levels are very high, indicating inflammation so I am also going to be ordering krill oil, which is supposed to help. Also, I am probably going to order silymarin which is supposed to help with liver detox, which can lower reverse T3 levels. Here is some information from Stop the Thyroid Madness about the use of silymarin to lower reverse T3 levels:
CAN LIVER CLEANSES/SUPPORTS HELP IMPROVE YOUR RT3 RATIO??
Because of low iron or adrenal dysfunction, many thyroid patients have found themselves with high levels of Reverse T3…or more common, a poor RT3 ratio. And too much RT3 can mean the thyroid hormone T3 won’t adequately work in your cells, and you can feel miserable. The solution for most has been to switch to T3-only, but that can have a host of difficulties. It’s not easy to dose with T3 alone.
Recently, though, patients are discovering an alternative way to lower one’s excess RT3: the use of a good liver cleanse/support product, and most especially those with the herb called Milk Thistle. It’s an herb which, for hundreds of years, has been used as a liver tonic. In supplements, it’s the milk thistle seeds which are used because they contain silymarin–the powerful part of the herb which does the trick. And doses in the 400 mg’s of milk thistle extract supplements seem to be doing the trick, say patients who are reporting on it, taking it twice a day at 200 and 200 minimum. Some studies state you can go higher, if needed.