Acetyl Carnitine and Graves

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i have had Graves for just over a year. With the help of an open minded GP I have gotten my T4 and T3 down to within limits and reduced my Carbimazole from 40mg to 15mg my TSH was negligible with high Antibodies. Next  she put me on 10mg Carbimazole, with 2000mg of AC. After 3 months my T4 rose from 15 to 16 (9-19) my T3 rose from 5.7 to 6.1  (3.1-6.0) my TSH was still negligible but my Antibodies came down into range. Why hasnt my TSH dropped? I am now also taking bugleweed as well as Vit A C E and Selenium due to some additional research I found on the benefits for hyperthyroidism  and I am alternating Carbimazole 7.5mg one day 10mg the next. Any suggestions. I actually don't feel too bad. It's just the TSH as you all know is what most Doctors go by when trying to get off ATDs. 

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  • Posted

    Wow!  I am impressed that your GP is knowledgeable about AC.  Your TSH, unlike the T3 and T4 would not drop, it would rise.  I know it is confusing. Usually with Graves the T3 and T4 are high, that is much over the top of the range and your TSH is just the opposite, that is high TSH indicates HYPOthyroidism, low or non-existent TSH indicates HYPERthyroidism.  With the use of AC, a lot of adjustments need to be made and your physician has done that by lowering your Carbimazole dosages as your lab values changed.   I had a different experience.  When I was diagnosed, I was put on 10 mg of Methimazole (same as Carbimazole in your country) and my Free T3 and Free T4 immediately dropped down to the middle of the range and stayed there.  My TSH was less than 0.001 for two years.  I felt okay with my thyroid hormones at mid range but I was concerned my TSH was not rising.  After reading a research article about the benefits of Hyperthyroid patients using Regular L-Carnitine at a dose of 3,000 mg, I tried it and my TSH rose for the first time to 0.12.  Still not in range but at least it was going in the right direction.  My doc reduced my dose of Methimazole to 5 mg and that was too much of a drop and in  2 weeks, I had a return of symptoms so we raised it to 7.5 mg.  I then experimented with different carnitines and added 1,000 mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine to what I was taking and my TSH rose within range to 0.70.  My Free T3 and Free T4 dropped down to the bottom of the range and stayed there but was never out of range.  Then my doc kept adjusting my Methimazole dosage down by 2.5 mg at a time as my TSH continued to rise.  I had to make adjustments in Acetyl-L-Carnitine dose because the docs aren't familiar with it.  It was quite a balancing act because Acetyl can cause your values to fall into hypothyroidism very quickly if adjustments are not made.  I was able to get my antibodies down to non-detectable and kept my TSH within range, albeit with many adjustments and for a long period not having to take Acetyl or Regular L-Carnitine at all.  Now, I still take Methimazole 2.5 mg 3 or 4 days a week, Regular L-Carnitine 500 mg on the off days I don't take meds and if my TSH drops too low, I take 500 mg of Acetyl on the days I take my meds and keep the Regular L-carnitine on the days I am off meds.  I think how these supplements work is that Regular L-Carnitne has a lot of Carnitine in it and a little bit of Acetyl and Acetyl has a lot of Acetyl in it and a little bit of carnitine.  The carnitine works like your meds, to help block the excess thyroid hormones and Acetyl crosses the blood brain barrier and carries any meds you are taking with it across the blood-brain barrier thereby targeting the TSH receptors in the pituitary.  I think it is what helped drop my antibodies as well as increase my TSH.  On your current dosages, your thyroid hormones are still at the high end of the range or just over the range for your T3.  You might want to combine the two Carnitines as I did along with your meds and see what happens.  I would not take the Bugleweed if you choose to do this though.  So glad to  hear how well you have done and that you have a GP who is a bit more knowledgeable than most docs about Acetyl and its benefits in helping to treat this disease.

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    • Posted

      Bugleweed acts like your medication, blocking excessive thyroid hormone.  So does Carnitine.  If you are taking medication and carnitines and then add Bugleweed, you may be taking too many thyroid hormone blocking substances and wind up hypo.
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    • Posted

      Not for me. Even if I get hypo by taking all three (ATD+ALC+bugleweed) or four (..+lemon balm) or five (...+motherwort), reducing ATD only would get T4 T3 back to normal. The point is herbs and supplements give none or little side effects, but ATDs cause a lot negative and painful side effects!
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    • Posted

      I agree that meds, particularly in high dosages can cause negative and painful side effects.  I was fortunate in that I did not have to take that high a dose of meds to lower my FT3 and FT4.  And some people have gotten their thyroid disease under control using only supplements like Bugleweed, Lemon Balm and Motherwort.  However, what I found for me especially with the ALC was that it was very sensitive when combined with meds.  On its own, it does not do a lot I believe as there were times when I took it every other day to lower my results.  For myself, I added my supplements one at a time to see how I felt on them and how they affected my results.  I did not just randomly take everything I read about.  I wouldn't do it any other way.  If she is going to add Regular L-Carnitine, she will want to see how that changes her results.  If she needs more changes, she can add the other but for me, I liked to use them one at a time first before adding any others.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your feedback. Sorry my TSH hasn’t ‘risen’ on the AC which is what I’m hoping for. It has allowed me to drop the ATD levels.  I will try and add the LC and see if it increases my TSH. I agree that adding 1 supplement at a time helps to see what is working best and also if it causes any side effects. Carbimazole has caused my liver function to be affected. Milk thistle has been helping but I want to get off it as soon as I can. I will see how things go. 
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