Last year my TSH was 9.5 and is now 2.3 and I haven't taken thyroid medication, just took supplements and vitamins. It wasn't easy. I've learned a lot along the way.
Things I wish I knew last year:
1) Thiamine might be more important during thyroid recovery than any other vitamin. If you research BeriBeri symptoms, you may recognize many thyroid symptoms. As you recover, some things you try may make you HYPER and you'll quickly use up your thiamine stores. Also, a recent study found high dose thiamine to help thyroid patients, and hypothesized we have trouble absorbing thiamine and therefore are deficient.
2) Take more thiamine. You'll get complacent and think you feel fine and don't need it. But you still need it. Take more than you think you need. Thiamine has no upper limit or toxicity.
3) Take every vitamin. Don't just take the ones you've been told you are low in. Those are just the ones they are able to test. Most of the vitamins are not testable. Thyroid problems cause low stomach acid, which causes food not to get broken down, which causes deficiencies in everything.
4) Riboflavin is something no one talks about much, but if you are not taking thyroid hormone, you'll have trouble with this vitamin and so you need to take a lot, and OFTEN. Every few hours. And every time your lips feel dry, or your eyes itch or burn.
5) Take extra vitamin A, in retinyl palmitate form, or the dry version, retinyl acetate. Especially if you have dry eyes, and poor night vision.
6) Go slow with B6, as it can make you hyper. It gets Iodine into the thyroid. It's great. But go slow. And don't be scared of B6 toxicity. Any burning toes you get are more likely to be from thiamine or B12 deficiency, not B6 toxicity. Never take B6 without A LOT of thiamine.
7) Vitamin D is great. Love it. But it's not the whole picture and don't let the hype make you think it's special. Every vitamin is vital. Vitamin D just happens to be easy to test for deficiencies. Vitamin A is just as likely to be low but we do not have a test for this.
8) Take zinc with copper in a 10 to 1 ratio. Take 30 to 50 mg of zinc a day if you have Acne or hair loss. Take 3 to 5 mg of copper.
9) Take iron. Your ferritin is just like mine was. I feel better now that my ferritin is above 40, and some people swear that it's best to have it closer to 100.
10) Eat more protein. The lack of stomach acid over time leads to less protein being absorbed. Eat protein with vitamin C, or lemon juice or something acidic.
11) Take L-carnitine, even though it's expensive. And take Tyrosine.
12) Take a digestive enzyme and an acid helper like Betaine HCI and Pepsin.
1) Don't take Melatonin. If you can't sleep, you may be tempted, but this can lower thyroid output and then stopping can jump thyroid output which just strains your body on both ends. Taking B6 and niacin, zinc and magnesium, and tryptophan will allow you to make your own melatonin in the right amount.
2) Don't go on thyroid hormone and then suddenly stop. Probably obvious.
3) Don't go anywhere without your vitamins. Eventually you can get to that point, but until you know for sure, take them everywhere. I keep mine in one of those big plastic weekday pill boxes, and I have a big purse.
4) Don't drink green tea or black tea. It has a lot of fluoride and will lower your thyroid function.
I'm sure I have forgotten some things, but for the most part, this is what I've done to get myself on track. And as a bonus, I no longer need any allergy meds, and the three breast lumps I've had are completely gone!