is it safe to take l-carnitine with carbimazole

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Hi there, hoping someone out there can give me some clarification on wether it is safe for me to take l-carnitine with carbimazole? from what i can gather on similar forums its ok and maybe i will need to play about with the doseage for a while.

Ive was diagnosed with graves over 2 years now and have been on carbimazole the entire time. Although for being grosely hyper-thyroid I seem to struggle losing weight (even though i work out 4-5 times a week) and eat very healthy. I have a huge lack of energy which seems to be leading to early signs of depression and become very uncomfortable in my own skin/very adgitated and moody. (thankfully i have an amazing partner who puts up with my ups and downs)

anyway any help would be really appreciated, is it safe to take the two at the same time? will it help to lose body fat? and will it give me more energy and lift/regulate my moods.

thanks for your time, Tim

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  • Posted

    Hi Tim1326

    I was diagnosed with Graves in 2007 and when taking 10 mg of Methimazole (same as Carbimazole in UK) my Free T3 and Free T4 came down into the normal range but my TSH remained at less than 0.001 for two years.  Then I came across a medical research paper by an Italian endocrinologist that stated their research showed that hyperthyroid patients benefit from taking Regular L-Carnitine 3,000 to 4,000 mg per day.  I tried this (and yes I did take it with Methimazole) and my TSH rose for the first time from less than 0.001 to 0.12.  Still not in range but at least it was going up in the right direction.  I got tested for my carnitine levels before i took it.  I found out I was also deficient in Vitamin D and Magnesium and supplement with that also as well as Omega 3 and curcumin for inflammation.  I did start to feel better and my doc was able to lower my dosage of Methimazole.  My main concern however, was that my TSH was not in the normal range so I experimented with Acetyl-L-Carnitine and my TSH just shot right up to 0.70 initially and went even as high as 2.7 (which required another dosage adjustment by my doc) my Frees lowered right to the bottom of the range.  The Regular L-Carnitine is not as sensitive as the Acetyl and will not do this but will replace the carnitine (an amino acid) which is lost from the muscles of hyperthyroid patients.  As well, most hyper patients lose a lot of vitamins and minerals from their bodies when running hyper so getting these tested and replacing any deficiencies makes sense.  The Acetyl L Carnitine however, requires a lot of knowledge in how to use it, extreme caution in dosage and frequent blood moniitoring to adjust dosages of it and/or Carbimazole in order to stay in range.  I got more palpitations when my Free values were at the bottom of the range (thought not out of range) and eventually stopped taking Acetyl.  Currently i am on 2.5 mg of Methimazole  every other day and on off days I take 500 mg of the Regular L-Carnitine as well as the other supplements.  About weight loss, for me only a low carb, high protein diet works as I have insulin resistance.  So in answer to your question, I found for me that Regular L-Carnitine was quite safe to take and I had no ill effects from taking it with Methimazole, however, that's not true of Acetyl-L-Carnitine which is more sensitive because it crosses the blood-brain barrier.  After I posted my story on Boards and people rushed out to take Acetyl, they did not have the knowledge to use it properly and rapidly became very hypo but again that should not happen with the Regular L-Carnitine.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for the reply! I had actually purchased acetyl-l-carnitine from the local health shop. Considering your advice though i will speak with my gp before i begin to experiement with it. Im just really looking for something that will give me back my energy and help to lose body fat withough aggrivating my graves. When i move back to the uk i may look in to getting my thyroid or part of it removed to try and get back to feeling myself again.

      Thanks for your advice, it was really helpful. Any other tips would be great relating to graves because im not very knowledgable on it. im only 25 and heard its quite rare for a male of my age to have it. Its a sh*t thing to have and havnt felt myself in years.

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    • Posted

      Your doctor will not know about the Carnitines.  Eventhough there was published research on Regular L-Carnitine, most have not picked up on it and some docs because of this fact will tell their patients it won't do anything.  One lady who had Hashimoto's and was bouncing all over the place with her results asked her doc about it and he dismissed it as being helpful.  When she was desperate, she tried it and now she has her life back.  That was Regular L-Carnitine.  I am always cautious though about the Acetyl-L-Carnitine becauise it requires frequent monitoring and adjustments and most people do not know how to do that.  Also, if your muscles are sore, you would benefit more from taking the Regular L-Carnitine as it has more carnitine in it.  I did use both at the start.  Always get copies of your labs and keep your own file on them.  I would question others who have gone the other routes about their results because those choices are irreversible.  If you don't like the effects of your choice, you cannot go back like you can with taking a med.

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    • Posted

      HI Linda.

      Regular L Car really does do wonders.  I didn't mess with Acetyl, too afraid for the swing between hypo and hyper.  I have been doing 500mg reuglar L every day.  in June TSH was at 1.67 and didn't go back to lab until yesterday.  I felt my body kind of overdosing again.  Lab came back at 2.24 and free t4 at 1.  my overdosing symptoms are scaly skin, muscle spasm near heart or cramping with sudden moves, nice straight shiny hair, not losing weight even with workout.  My question for you is you're on 2.5mg every other day what is your current TSH?  Im asking because doc left to be a dean in Japan and now Im kinda screwed at the moment.  I asked her plans about my meds."Once your TSH is in high normal range or frankly higher than normal reference range, then recommend decreasing your methimazole dose to 2.5mg (1/2 pill) every other day. " Im not sure if 2.25 is high normal range she's talking about... Im still trying to get another doctor but it will take weeks until i get one will all these back and forth with the hospital front desk...

      thanks in advance for the reply

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    • Posted

      While 2.24 is not excessively out of range and I have gone up to 2.7, when I do my doc or I make an adjustment.  Currently my TSH is at 1.1.  I prefer it to be in the ones rather than the twos.  So I don't know what dosage you are on but 2.5 mg (1/2 a pill) either daily or every other day is good to start with.  What are your Free T3 and T4?

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    • Posted

      I am currently on 5mg every other day since my TSH within range of 1-1.67.  Now I'm at 2.24 TSH    Free T4 is 1.0 so I guessed I'll start 2.5mg every other day should be ok and just go to lab when after 1month to check it again.  I wasn't sure what my dr meant about if i get into higher normal range.  what is a normal range if 0.40 - 4.00 uIU/mL?  

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    • Posted

      Yes that is a normal range.  But when mine goes to the mid-2's, I prefer to get it down to the 1's.  Just feel more comfortable there.

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