How long does it take for Acetyl-L-Carnitine to raise TSH?

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I have Graves, and my family/general practice doctor won't give me the clearance to have knee surgery until my TSH has risen. Last week, it was .008. I believe that my FT values are normal, but my doctor insists that my TSH be higher before allowing me to have surgery. I have read that ALCAR can raise TSH and I began taking it on Wednesday, just a few days ago (500 mg in the morning, 500 mg at night). My question is, does anyone know how long it will take for the ALCAR to raise my TSH? Should I have another blood test done next Wednesday, after taking the ALCAR for one week? In general, how long does it take for ALCAR to raise the TSH?

Thanks....

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  • Posted

    I started off with taking regular L-Carnitine.3,000 mg after I read the research paper by Dr. Salvatore Benvenga.  My TSH rose from less than 0.001 to 0.05.  I only got measured every 6 weeks which was all my doctor would let me do.  So then I added 1,000 mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine and it rose to 0.78 at the next blood draw.  Then I couldn't get it for a year but after the year found it again and my TSH rose that time from 0.12 to 1.5 within 6 weeks.  Don't know if this is helpful to you but I hope so.  It did this when I took it along with my Methimazole (Carbimazole in England).  At one point, my doc gave mt 5 mg of methimazole every other day and I took 1,000 mg on the days I was on Methimazole and 2,000 mg of Acetyl on the days I was off Methimazole and my TSH dropped from 1.5 to 0.80.  So I think it works quite quickly if it is going to work and it has with myself and other posters to the Boards.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info. Someone on another message board for Graves patients recommended ALCAR to me, and then I did a Google search on ALCAR and TSH, and that's how I found this message board. I'm a bit confused about something you said at the end of your post, where you mentioned that your TSH dropped from 1.5 to 0.8. What caused your TSH to drop by such a significant factor, especially since you were still taking such a significant dose of ALCAR? Is it because your Carbimazole was reduced to every-other-day dosing?

      I live in the US and take methimazole, but I actually weaned down to only ~0.6 mg/day several months ago. Do you think this is a high-enough dosage to take with the ALCAR to see any sort of increase in my TSH? Or would I need to increase my methimazole dosage significantly?

      One other quick question -- how do you usually taking the ALCAR? Since I started taking it last Wednesday, I've been taking 500 mg in the morning and 500 mg at night, but I'm wondering if taking all 1000 mg in one dose might be a better idea.....

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    • Posted

      Yes my TSH dropped because every other day I was not taking the Methimazole as well.  I currently am on 2.5 mg of Methimazole.  The lowest dose I have taken Methimazole with Acetyl-L-carnitine was 5 mg.  I always took my methimazole and my acetyl-L-carnitine together once a day so I took the 1,000 mg once a day together with the methimazole and then decreased it to 500 mg as my TSH rose.  Even decreased it to 225 mg once but those capsules are difficult to find.  I used other brands of Acetyl-L-carnitine, not ALCAR but I don't think it makes much difference which brand you use.  The Acetyl-L-Carnitine will not only increase your TSH but will lower your FT3 and FT4 as well.  Mine went down to the bottom of the normal range and my TSH hit 2.7, so I discontinued the Acetyl then.  Also at those figures, I was getting palpitations and systolic hypertension, another reason why I stopped it then.  But if you are hyper, it is a great aid.  I have no idea how it will work with that low a dose of methimazole that you are taking.  I would think you would have to take 2.5 mg of methimazole at least in order for it to affect your labs.
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    • Posted

      Hmmm, so ALCAR only affects TSH if it is taken in conjunction with methimazole? I didn't know that -- i figured it worked on its own to raise TSH.

      The thing is, I'm simply trying to raise my TSH so that my doctors will give me the clearance to have surgery, because I think (based on how I feel, my HR, and current weight) that my FTs are within their healthy ranges. 

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    • Posted

      Perhaps it will affect TSH if it is taken at a very high dosage but I have not had experience with that.  I certainly did not need a lot of methimazole and if only docs would catch on to this, newly diagnosied hyperthryoid patients could get by on much lower doses of methimazole if they combined it with the acetyl.  Though it affected my FT3 and FT4, those values dropped form the middle of the range down to the bottom of the range, however, the TSH rose much higher from the less than the bottom to the middle to upper range for TSH which is almost double of that of FT3 and FT4 so affecting the TSH that much will certainly have some affect on the other two values but I think the effect on the TSH was greater.  I was asked what I thought the Acetyl was doing and I think it gets the methimazole into the cell nucleus.  I also think it communicates directly with the pituitary/hypothalamus glands but again I am not a doc.
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