I have received quite a few questions about my comments on homeopathic thyroid medicine for menopause and peri-menopause. Here is a little more information.
Let’s talk a little bit about homeopathy first. The homeopathic approach goes back to the work of Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann was a doctor in the 1800’s that became disillusioned with the use of toxic substances to treat disease. At the time he practiced it was common to use high doses of Arsenic and Mercury to treat illness.
He gave up medicine and went to work translating medical texts. He spoke several languages and his work translating lead him to have a renewed interest in practicing medicine. On returning to practice he began experimenting with decreasing amounts of medicine and found that they would have an effect until the became so diluted they would no longer work. On milestone in his research is described below.
The decisive turn in Hahnemann’s life came in 1790 while he was translating a book called Materia medica by the Scotsman William Cullen, one of the leading physicians of the era. In his book Cullen ascribed the usefulness of the Peruvian bark (Cinchona) in treating malaria to its bitter and astringent properties. Hahnemann wrote a bold footnote in his translation, disputing Cullen’s explanation. Hahnemann asserted that the efficacy of the Peruvian bark must be for other factors, since there existed other substances and mixtures of substances decidedly more bitter and more astringent than Peruvian bark that were not effective in treating malaria. This induced him to undertake an experiment (in homoeopathy known as proving) with Peruvian bark on himself. He described his taking repeated doses of Peruvian bark himself until his body responded to its toxic dose with fever, chills and other symptoms similar to malaria. Hahnemann concluded that the reason the substance was beneficial was because it caused symptoms similar to those of the disease it was treating. So he hit on the idea that pharmaceutical substances might be able to eliminate a disease when there in a position to create similar symptoms in a healthy person.
Hahnemann also discovered that a medicine could be made stronger even as it was being diluted. Going between diluting and shaking is the process that a homeopathic medicine goes through in it’s preparation.
Hahnemann believed that you could make the medicine extremely dilute if you put the medicine through a process if diluting and rapid shaking. One of the guesses we have about why this works is that the vibration of the molecules in the medicine get transferred to the water molecules. This seems fantastic and 20 years later I am still working at getting my head around it. Of course, homeopathy is not the first field where homeopathy and common sense collide.
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. Richard Feynman, in The Character of Physical Law (1965)
A lot of the struggles we have with homeopathy is that we see it work in practice, but it is difficult to explain. Really, it is impossible to explain because we don’t know exactly how it works. However, in practice it doesn’t matter if we can explain it, it works very well. What we do know is that the homeopathic medicines that we use are extremely dilute and therefore very safe and without side effects when used properly.
Feynmann knew the danger of trying to decide what was and wasn’t possible based on common sense or our everyday experience. He believed that experiment was the key to deciding what was effective. “The sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment”. Richard Feynmann (Considered the greatest American scientist of the 20th century).
So we have two central concepts that define homeopathy. Use a substance that can create similar symptoms in a very dilute form so that we stimulate the balancing function of the body and restore balance. So that brings us to the use of homeopathic thyroid to treat problems.
Let’s look at the symptoms of excess thyroid in the body. These usually include palpitations, hot flashes, anxiety and heightened estrogen activity and digestive disturbances. These are common symptoms for women with peri-menopause or menopause.
To work with these problems it is common to try Thyroid in a homeopathic potency. The homeopathic medicine is know as Thyroidinum 6X. This is over the counter because homeopathic medicines at this strength are considered very gentle. I usually recommend 3 tablets 3 times per day. Homeopathy is the kind of medicine you can use on yourself to see if it works.
For those of you that have asked this remedy is available through my website at www.SteveNenninger.com. Go to the stores tab, and click on the Metagenics store. After you set up an account with them you will see my recommended formula “Hypothyroid Remedy”.