1 Miscarriage at 12 weeks after decreasing Natural Thyroid Hormone & Progesterone

by Chris

I became hypothyroid after my first son was born. I started using natural dessicated thyroid replacement which worked well, although didn't help me lose any weight. I have also been using bio-identical progesterone cream for about 13years (a bit on and off at times) for PCOS and it has been amazingly helpful and controlled PCOS very well.

I got pregnant with my son first try regardless of the long standing PCOS and I think the progesterone treatment had something to do with that.

When my son was 3.5yrs I started trying to get pregnant again, it took me a year to fall pregnant this time, I think this was thyroid related. My doctor said he wanted to monitor my thyroid carefully when I actually did become pregnant. Which I didn't realise at the time meant monitoring my TSH levels only. Well on natural dessicated thyroid (NTH) my TSH is always suppressed (therefore looks abnormal) while my FT4 & FT3 are in the right place. But as I have learned recently I should not worry at all about the suppressed TSH as long as my FT4 and FT3 are in the right range.. preferably highish end of normal.

So I carried the pregnancy to 12weeks...and for some stupid reason I was using my progesterone cream erratically when I should have been diligent with it at least till 4mths. AND at the same time my doctor was drastically reducing my NTH because of the suppressed TSH labs. He was not paying any attention to the normal levels of FT4 & FT3. So about 1 week after the final big decrease in NTH. I had a very dramatic and complete miscarriage. I had been feeling very hypothyroid by this time too. And had queried it with my doctor asking if I could increase my dose of NTH and asked why was it always being reduced??

Well too late, lost the baby before I realised what was happening. And I really do think it had a lot to do with dramatically dropping thyroid medication..but ALSO probably lack of adequate progesterone. It was a bit of a perfect situation for a miscarriage. As I now realise.

After this happened I vowed to take it into my own hands to know what to do regarding progesterone and thyroid while pregnant. First off lost I 38lbs rather quickly on a bit of a radical diet but it was the only thing that I could lose weight on with the hypothyroid problem I had so I was pleased I could even manage to achieve any weight loss at all as I had had no success previously with very strict diet and exercise for over a year.

Now at a better weight, I also started something called the iodine protocol..you'll find that on the yahoo discussion groups, Iodine group...I just did the maintenance dose (12.5mg iodine and companion nutrients) as I knew I wanted to get pregnant asap (I'm 41yrs so, no time to lose).

Well I had lost the weight, gone on iodine protocol, re-stabilised my thyroid dose upward to where I felt good and started using bio identical progesterone cream daily and consistently. Although only 50mg dose in the second half of my cycle, so not a big dose. I got pregnant immediately,it really took me by surprise! being that it had taken me a year the last time with the one I lost.

I have worried constantly about losing this one which is just impossible not to do once you've had a miscarriage. But this time I monitored my thyroid labs myself. I requested my doc forward my labs to me each month and I have ignored the suppressed tsh but looked for my FT4 to be about middle upper of the range and the FT3 to be upper end of the range. For the most part I have achieved this, it has required some increases but certainly not any decreases other than minor 10mg adjustments ...nothing like the crazy drops in NTH of the miscarried pregnancy. I have been very diligent with the progesterone using it everyday. I am now 20weeks pregnant and feeling more confident as each week goes by. Of course I will only feel truly successful once I hold that baby in my arms but I am half way there.

It took a lot of reading and research and a lot of not listening to the mainstream medical profession. Also I adjusted my diet to the Weston A Price Foundation way of eating which has been wonderful too. All these things seem to have come together and are helping me to get to my goal.

I get my progesterone cream from an Australian bio identical pharmaceutical company called Lawley pharmaceuticals. They provide a very consistent and reliable product that I would recommend highly. I used various brands before discovering them but find they are better than a compounding pharmacist who's dose can be a bit unreliable.

Comments for 1 Miscarriage at 12 weeks after decreasing Natural Thyroid Hormone & Progesterone

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Nov 30, 2011
1 Miscarriage at 12 weeks after decreasing Natural Thyroid Hormone & Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Chris I take it you must live in Australia, as you get the progesterone from an Australian company. Please have a vitamin D test done, Australia has to my mind a dangerous policy of covering up when in the sun. No vitamin D will be made without sunlight. Even in sunny parts of Australia vitamin D levels are low, see here and here. For more info on testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. And the minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

Dec 01, 2011
1 Miscarriage at 12 weeks after decreasing Natural Thyroid Hormone & Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Chris I find it interesting you became hypothyroid after your child was born. It makes me wonder if in fact it was a vitamin D deficiency, and not a thyroid one per se. A lack of vitamin D affects the thyroid adversely, see here, here and here. It's also vital for a successful pregnancy, and the growth of the foetus, see here, here, here, here and here. These are excellent videos to watch too, see here and here. Plus a lack is involved in miscarriages, see here, here and here. A lack of progesterone is of course another possible reason for the miscarriages. We do have a page on Pregnancy you could look through for more info. I do hope you're using enough, the minimum normally given for recurrent miscarriages is 200mg/day. Continued below. Take care Wray

Dec 10, 2011
Vitamin D
by: Chris

I do agree Vitamin D is important. However in my case I had just spent the summer in the sun NOT using much sunblock at all because I knew how important it was to get vitamin D. Unfortunately they won't test for vitamin D here without "good reason" so it is not very easy to get a vitamin D test. This is for New Zealand not Australia.

I could have become D deficient after my son for the first few years before I knew about the importance of vitamin D, which could have triggered the onset of the thyroid issue. But when I finally got pregnant with the one I lost I really should have had enough at that point as I had been in the sun every day. The thing that was most obvious to me about the miscarriage was that it fell completely in line with my thyroid meds decreasing and on my thyroid labs I could see that the FT3 had become too low...Unfortunately I only understood the meaning of those labs in retrospect. Had I realised at the time I would have not listened to the doctor and would have kept my dose up.

But yes I can see how you might suspect vitamin D deficiency as most people here and in Australia cover up so much it is ridiculous. I have a friend who's children are perpetually slathered in sunblock and full body swim suits and hats when they swim outside. You can't see any skin except little faces peeking from under their hats. I try to sit in the sun every few days and I take fermented cod liver oil too, eat butter, raw milk and liver. So hopefully that is enough. I have upped my dose of progesterone as you suggested from 50mg to 100mg. I didn't realise till I found this website that my dose was too low. I have advised all my friends taking it to do the same and to read your website :) Thank you for that! I'm still pregnant 22weeks and can feel a wriggly baby inside :D

Dec 11, 2011
Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Chris How sad they won't test for vitamin D, it's the most frequently performed assay in the States. NZ lies very far south, which means the suns rays make little to no vitamin D in winter, the angle is too oblique. You might be interested in this paper, the study was done in Auckland on elderly people, see here. They used a massive loading dose of 500,000iu's, but to my mind it didn't even bring the level to where it should be. Although the researchers thought it good enough! And this done in Wellington on pregnant women, see here. If you do want one done, or any friend, I can only suggest getting a kit from the Vitamin D Council or Birmingham Hospital. BH's adequate level is far too low, based on the NHS recommendations, it won't even stop rickets. The thyroid does play a significant role in pregnancy, so as you point out, the miscarriage fits perfectly. I really worry about people like your friend, she's only causing untold harm in her children. Skin cancer is the most benign of all cancers too, and it only comes about with burning the skin. Ironically people think melanoma is caused by UVB rays, it's not. UVA rays cause it, and most sunscreens don't screen these out. In fact melanoma patients have low vitamin D levels, and it's found more in people who spend time indoors than out. UVA rays penetrate glass, UVB do not. I'm glad you take advantage of the sun! Best if it's in a bathing suit for 20mins every day between 10am to 2pm. Continued below. Take care Wray

Dec 11, 2011
Vitamin D Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Chris I caution against cod liver oil, it contains far too much vitamin A which inhibits the uptake of vitamin D, liver also contains large amounts of vitamin A, no vitamin D, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Even our skin care contains vitamin A, particularly sunscreens, see here and here. I'm pleased you've up the amount of progesterone, let me know how you fare on this. And bless you for telling your friends about the site. Delighted you can feel a wriggly baby inside! Take care Wray

Dec 12, 2011
vitamin D & vitamin A
by: Chris

Hi Wray thanks for your info about the sun, I kind of knew that NZ was bad for vitamin D from sun exposure due to the latitude we're at. But it was nice to see all the details clarified as I didn't know all of them. I haven't yet read all your article links, and I will. But as I understand it Vit A and D do compete with each other and you meant to take them in the correct ratio's together.

Most cod liver oil has actually had it's natural vitamin A & D removed and replaced with synthetic versions, which of course make it not so good. However I am using the Green Pastures brand "Blue Ice" think it is called. And this is the only (as far as I am aware) brand on the market made from fermented cod liver and has not had it's vit A & D replaced with synthetic forms. Natural Vitamin is not highly toxic like the synthetic form. The tests they did showing vitamin A was toxic to the foetus were done with synthetic vitamin A. Also the Green pastures product has the correct ratio of A to D in it. I can't remember the exact links but I got some of this info from the Western A Price website.
Personally I feel a lot of WAPF research makes sense to me. I have read the original book by W A Price. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and to me there was a lot of logic in it. However, you really have to check every source of food or supplement these days as so often it is not really what they says they are....like most cod liver oils which are really just full of synthetic vitamins. Even so I don't take loads of it I just take a teaspoon about 3-4 times a week. I do also supplement very moderately with vitamin D. But I am weary of overdoing any pills while pregnant so I try to get alot through my healthy diet.

I will keep you posted about my increased dose of progesterone. I also intend to take some extra doses just after pregnancy too, just to avoid any PND:)

Dec 12, 2011
vitamin D & vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi Chris I do hope you get to read the papers on vitamin A, as it's quite unequivocal that it's teratogenic if taken in doses above 10,000iu's per day. Whether it's natural or synthetic. I do know Weston A. Price's stand on cod liver oil, but their view is not held by people who have studied it. Dr Cannell has actually taken issue with them on this point. He explains in great detail the cod liver oil of old had a higher vitamin D content, hence it's benefit. If you're happy with the cod liver oil you're taking, then continue, but please go easy on the liver. WAPF is excellent on topics such as soy, I often give out their web site if the subject arises. And their view on wholefoods is one of the best. Do let me know how you get on, and in case I didn't give you the link, Dr Dalton is very good on PND and progesterone, see here. Take care Wray

Dec 15, 2011
vitamin A (also ? progesterone increase)
by: Chris

It is interesting you say that. I have never overdone the cod liver oil. Certainly not taken the recommended doses by WAPF (partly due to the cost of doing so) But I have always thought it best to err on the side of caution regardless of what they have said. So I wouldn't have consumed 10,000iu's a day.
I will read your link for sure. I don't really overdo the liver either for the same reason. I just make pate out of it and have bit on crackers.

While I am here, I wanted also to ask...since I have increased my progesterone to 100mg per day I have been getting very emotional, teary and going from depressed to ok again. I felt more stable before. However remember I am pregnant, now 5.5mths and there are other things in my life which could account for feeling emotional as things are not stable at the moment. But it seems to have come on particularly strong since the increase in progesterone. Do you have an thoughts on this? Thanks :)

Dec 16, 2011
vitamin A (also ? progesterone increase)
by: Wray

Hi Chris I'm relieved you're erring on the side of caution! And liver pate is not going to affect things either. The increase in progesterone probably accounts for the emotions you're feeling. Not forgetting your own progesterone is increasing substantially now. You might like to see this website here, as it gives an idea of how much it increases. Take care Wray

Dec 16, 2011
Vitamin A Toxicity
by: Chris

Hi Wray

I read your links on vitamin A toxicity.

Below is a link to the WAPF site that actually answers the specific study you note (Teratogenicity of high vitamin A intake)

If you scroll down to where the heading says "Vitamin A Knavery" they give their dispute with the study. What do you think of their comments?

http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/vitamin-a-saga

I decided to read both sides of the story again as it has been a while since I did, to decide how I felt about it again. Granted you make a good point that the Vitamin D may not be in sufficient ratio to vit A in most of cod liver oils these days. I believe the Green Pastures fermented one I use does have correct ratio's of....

Serving Size 1ml Amount

Vitamin A 3500 IU 70
Vitamin D 600 IU 150

Does this appear correct to you? I would be very interested in your opinion.

Thanks


Dec 18, 2011
Vitamin A Toxicity
by: Wray

Hi Chris I've read through the page, and do note their arguments. There's no doubt blindness in children is a major problem in many parts of the world. And that supplementing with vitamin A does prevent it. I find this statement a bit obtuse "From the work of Weston Price, we can assume that the amount in primitive diets was about 50,000 IU per day". What constitutes a 'primitive' diet. That which is eaten by the majority of the world's poor, in which case they wouldn't go blind. Or hunter-gatherer societies, extinct and extant. Considering a wild bird liver is very much smaller than a domestic fowl, and the amount of liver in a wild animal smaller too than the cattle we keep, I can't see how any primitive diet would supply 50,000iu's vitamin A per day. Plus the fact that over 100g of liver per day would need to be eaten to achieve this, and that milk, butter, cream and eggs are not available to most. Be that as it may, it's the deficient state of vitamin D in most peoples that is of concern. And the fact that the two vitamins compete with each other, plus vitamin A antagonises vitamin D. The other paper I gave you, Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 2008, 117(11):864-870 was published 13 years later, and goes into great detail. I somehow feel the authors of the paper above would not agree 3500:600 is a good ratio, it should be the reverse. I can only quote from studies, but the evidence is sufficient for me to caution against vitamin A and to take only vitamin D, and in far larger amounts than currently recommended. Take care Wray


Dec 19, 2011
Vitamin A
by: Chris

When referring to the primitive diet, they don't mean the primitive diet of 3rd worlders or poor today they mean the primitive or traditional diets of all the various primitive peoples that Weston Price studied during the 1930's and 40's that had not come in contact with westernised processed foods. As is discussed in detail in his book 'Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" which you can find online for free.

I found this link

http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html

I can see that it is not immediately apparent what they mean by primitive diet when you are not familiar with WAP, an easy misunderstanding and they should be clearer in their writing.

Anyway, in all of those people's they found they had very nutritious diets containing large quantities of Vitamin A (and I imagine vitamin D actually, among many other nutrients). Some groups included plentiful amounts of, milk, cream, cheese and eggs as per in the Swiss and others included the eyes or livers of various animals.

Primitive cultures recognised the importance of the organ meats over muscle meat for their health giving properties and prized these parts of the animal.

I agree the statement made in the article is obtuse and they apparently "assume" that these cultures were getting about 50,000iu's per day which is by no means scientific. I also suspect that food sources these days are no where near as rich, complete & balanced in nutrients as the ones they had access to back then due to modern production, environment etc.

But I guess it is important to note that vitamin A from an animal food source balanced appropriately with Vitamin D is also very important to health.

Now, it's just a question of exactly what those ratios are meant to be and exactly which kinds of natural foods or at very least supplements might provide them. I suspect the traditional "primitive" diets of old contained a lot more vitamin D than the foods we have available to us today(& got a lot more sun). Possibly this is what the WAPF information needs to be balanced with.

WAPF does also say a lot about the importance of vitamin D. It just seems difficult to pin anyone down on exactly what ratios of the vitamins are the right ones or the opinions differ.

But by your reckoning and that of the link you provided it is that the ratio should be more like this?
Vitamin D 3500 IU
Vitamin A 600 IU

Thanks for an enlightening discussion.


Dec 20, 2011
Vitamin A
by: Wray

Hi Chris I realise the 'primitive' diet, as studied by Weston Price, was basically an un-processed diet, ie as our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate. His observational work was a step in the right direction, unfortunately we haven't come far since the 1930's, nutrition is still a marginal subject in medicine. So I still stand by my argument, they would not have had much in the way of liver, they ate the whole animal/fish, the liver being but a very small part. And as for the cream, butter or eggs, the Swiss yes, but they had access to dairy cattle. I think the best proponent of the unprocessed diet is Dr Cordain who runs the Paleo Diet website. He supports his argument with studies done on extinct and existing 'primitive' societies. See our page on Nutrition for the link to the site. These are some interesting papers too, see here,here, here, here, here and here. Even un-processed diets contain little vitamin D, our principal source being the sun, of which we get little now. See here for info on the co-factors for vitamin D. It currently lists vitamin A as one of them, but the info on it is still pending. But yes to your ratio, I really feel it does need to be reversed. Vitamin D is vital for the brain development of the foetus, taking too much vitamin A would mean little gets through, as the A inhibits it's transport. Take care Wray

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