This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Interesting theory why people react badly to thyroid.

In my own experimentation,  (4 separate occasions) cynoplus induces major insomnia and anxiety, as well as a overwhelming sadness.  Pregnenolone or magnesium didn't abate these symptoms.

On the other end, cynomel makes me sleep like a baby, relaxes every muscle in my body, lowers my blood pressure, and gives me a better memory.  While taking about 20 mcg per day and through the night, it was the only time my wake up temp was 98.2 instead of the usual 96.8.  

In all of Barnes and Peats work, the paradox of bad symptoms while taking thyroid seems to be left in the dark (when hypothyroid symptoms are present).  Peat doesn't believe in adrenal fatigue and doesn't say much about panic or anxiety while barnes said less than 1 % couldn't tolerate thyroid and gave them 5mg of cortisone to supply the adrenals with enough hormone to deal with it.

Interesting theory:
asked Mar 23, 2015 by Zach Shane
I also can't sleep with even tiny doses of dessicated thyroid. I have some cynomel in the freezer from a few years back. I'm going to try that again and see if I get the insomnia symptoms. Thanks!
I had overwhelming sadness and anxiety while on NDT. I wrote Ray asking about my diet and included blood work and he mentioned that with my low cholesterol level (147), thyroid would actually cause stress hormones. I had previously told my doctor that I thought the NDT was causing me terrible sadness and that I was concerned it was due to my low cholesterol levels. She said no and to keep supplementing so I'm glad Ray spotted this when I wrote him.

I read in a couple of his articles where he says cholesterol levels should be at least 200 when taking thyroid supplementation and anything below 160 can be adrenal failure. When I did 80/10/10, my cholesterol level was at 115. That one still stumps me because I would of thought all that fruit sugar would of raised my cholesterol. Anyhow, I just thought I'd mention low cholesterol being one possibility for stress responses to thyroid supplementation.
Thyroid is definitely a bit of a juggle, especially at first.  On NDT, the first times I tried it I would feel amazing, later though I would have trouble sleeping and would have to eat a lot of salt and ice cream to help.  Also earlier on anything that would give me a jump would give me a full on adrenalin surge or more sensitivity to the adrenalin.
To reduce any ill effect, I had to start at a low dose and ease my way up.
General low moods were the reason I started on thyroid, I can't quite recall if thyroid itself made me feel sadness though it might of at points.
@mmartian- I noticed the sleep got better for me while I was about 2 weeks in, and I slowly ramped up.  No more than 1 or 2 mcg at a time and usually with food.

@Jennifer-  Very interesting about cholesterol.  What did you do to get cholesterol up if fruit and sugar didn't do it?  How much do you take now and do you feel better?

@foodexplorer- I had the same thing! While I was taking t4 and t3 it was almost unbearable as I would feel surges of adrenaline flood my body for the smallest reasons.  It would also take like 5 minutes to recover!  Did ramping up extra slow help that? How slow did you go?  I am beginning to think the two week period is not enough to make the physiological changes necessary and the two months that Dr. Barnes suggests to be more telling of improvements before ramping up.  Personally, I noticed that I was blaming thyroid for a lot of symptoms and feelings that I guess I already had, just wasn't aware of.  I learned this after quitting all supps for 4 months and I still had them.  Either way, for those that compensate with high stress hormones, it's miserable!  I wish someone wrote a book about pushing past it and feeling great.  Perhaps I will if I make it through!
@Zach Shane So, are you just taking small nibbles of a cynomel tablet to get the 1–2 mcg? How many micrograms total did you start off at? What are you up to now?
This is interesting.  When I went on 80/10/10 I recall my cholesterol was above 200 and my doctor warned me that I need to be mindful of it.  But I'm sure it's not black and white and there are many other variables at play.
Yeah, it's a bit complicated. Ray told me gut inflammation can lower cholesterol and I've dealt with a bacterial infection/inflamed gut since doing 80/10/10. I was taking in over 3000 cals of whole fruit and 2 pounds of leafy greens per day in an attempt to get my weight up, but I wasted away to 70 lbs. So I was getting close to 200 grams of fiber daily and really messed up my gut.

The only time I've gotten my cholesterol up to 200 was when I refed for a year and a half on 6000+ cals daily. I got my weight up to 145 lbs, where it reached a plateau and once my appetite fell back to 2500-3000 cals a day, my weight gradually fell back down to 110 lbs and my cholesterol to 147 so I'm still trying to raise my levels. I'm taking Minocycline for the infection and I've cut out all starch and fiber and my gut is already feeling so much better. Right now I'm consuming mostly milk with honey, fruit juice, eggs and ice cream. I'm getting my levels retested in a few weeks so I hope this is working. I stopped taking NDT this past February and within a week, I felt like my old self again.
Wow. Yes, I am pretty sure I have gut inflammation as well, starting around when I started putting gelatin in orange juice.  At first I thought it was just my appetite becoming ferocious, but soon after I realized it was either gastritis or an ulcer!  Also, when I go very long without eating the daily carrot, i start to get loud churning in my stomach and intestines.  So loud that they wake me up.  T3, coffee, alcohol, gelatin, chocolate, and tomatoes cause flare ups that can last a few days.  T3 was strange to me, but I believe it is because thyroid increases the gastric juices.  

When you say that felt like your old self, did you mean in a good way?  As in, much better than while taking thyroid?
Gelatin causes me issues too. It goes right through me. I looked into this and found a quote from Ray where he says if the gelatin isn't dissolved well and/or digested well, it can feed bacteria. Not sure if that's the issue for you. One thing I noticed with taking the Minocycline, the burning and churning in my gut was gone by day two. The raw carrot acts like an antibiotic and this makes me wonder if your issue stems from bacteria and that's why it stops the churning for you?

I also get flare ups with coffee, chocolate, and tomatoes. I think the coffee and tomatoes are due to the acid and the chocolate I know is due to the starch. Starch gives me horrible reflux. I think with me, the acidic food aggravates my already irritated intestines and the fiber and starch feed the bacteria. I took the Genova GI Effects comprehensive stool test this past December and that's how the infection was finally found.

Yeah, after dropping the NDT, I felt like my old self in a good way. Just really happy and wanting to get back out doing some of my favorite activities like snowshoeing. I've been keeping a log at the Ray Peat forum since November and looking back over it, I noticed how many times I mentioned crying. It got so bad I was starting to isolate myself from people because I couldn't control the crying and didn't want anyone to see me like that. I couldn't understand why I was in such a funk, till I saw my cholesterol levels.
@ mmartian-  What I have noticed, is that if I stop taking any thyroid (t3) and restart, my initial reaction is always the worst.  Within a few minutes I will be very anxious.  I nibble off 1-2 mcg at a time.  One time per day, then maybe 2, 3, 4 etc.  I always take with food for the first few days but by day 2 my stress response to the thyroid is nearly gone completely.  I can take 3 or 4 mcg even without freaking out.  Using body temp and heart rate can help tell if your overshooting it.  For me, at night is most important.  With dinner than another few mcg right before bed.  My heart rate picks up, I breath heavier, and then the next thing I know I am waking up 5 hours later!  Best feeling for someone who hasn't slept the whole night through since high school.
At least you figured out what t3/t4 does.  I never did.
Oh yeah, weight loss.
I agree with cholesterol theory. I remember when I first started taking Cynoplus (my cholesterol was pretty high) I felt so warm,relaxed and horny, it was great;) but after a while when the cholesterol was "spent" it was so hard to feel the same again.  trying to up the cholesterol by taking more sugar piles up kilograms fast and all the extra sugar seems to burden the liver.

2 Answers

Yea this definitely needs some clearing up.  I think Danny Roddy suggests that you should increase vitamin a and fructose if your not responding well to these things.  I seem to respond best when cortisol is highest.  I usually wake up with a racing heart beat and I take it with breakfast and it works like a charm.  However I have to be very careful with the second dose because my cortisol levels dip and then I don't get a great response or I take it to close to the first dose and its too much Magnesium helps a bit.

I think pregnenolone can be used in place of hydrocortisone.  But you have to be careful, it can have a U-shaped effect.
answered Mar 23, 2015 by Ray Peat is a God
edited Mar 23, 2015 by Ray Peat is a God
What do you mean by U shaped effect?  Agree on dosing.  At night is when I feel the best taking it, and probably also when my cortisol is highest unfortunately.
Like pregnenolone can be very good to a certain extent and then it actually becomes detrimental if you take too much.  There is a sweet spot for the dosing.

I need to add some T4 in.  I think that is the key to my adrenaline issues.

I also think that if you can "get the ball rolling" with T3, you can quickly take stress off the adrenals.  And as a result, the adrenals have an opportunity to rest, so you should be able to rely less and less on hydrocortisone/pregenolone.  Just a theory.
I've had to d/c the vitamin A.  That stopped working.  Now I wake up at night and my head feels odd.

I drank tons of juice while on Cynoplus/Cynomel and got diarhhea.  But that makes no sense since there's almost no way I could have gone hyper.  I got tired of the racing heart rate upon waking thing.

Someone needs to write something on how to dose this.
How much calories/sugar were you taking in darth mall? I think that's the problem when you increase thyroid... can easily turn into stress symptoms. The adrenaline problem went away for me when I made sure to eat more (and more often), plus lots more sugar.
Anyone had the opposite problem, no response from supplementing thyroid? No measurable change in tangible symptoms such as mood, temperature etc. That's what I got a couple years ago when I experimented with thyroid following the usual Peat protocol of small doses and using quality desiccated or synthetic supps. So I'm surprised when people report problems such a being too reactive or some strong bad effect.
answered Apr 3, 2015 by boxjack
Which thyroid supp?
I tried the usual quality thyroid supplements recommended here (Mexico and Thailand).
Did you ever try T3 by itself?
Interesting... did you take it with or without food? Maybe you don't need it... Or do you have low temperatures without it?

When I first started and didn't know what I was doing I took 1/2 a Cytomel at a time and got no reaction. Now I feel it from 1/6 a pill. I wonder if you take too much it just completely inactivates it.
Yes I tried all that. Thyroid didn't seem more useful than a cup of water.
I wish I didn't need to take thyroid :(