You’ll find it in a number of foods including dairy, eggs, nuts and legumes. If your hair’s thinning it can turn things around and it can help make your nails, well, as hard as nails.
It may even help with the tingling, burning sensation in the feet called peripheral neuropathy that some folks who have diabetes experience.
I’m talking about biotin or vitamin B7.
Biotin is terrific for your skin and hair and supports metabolism, digestion and nerves. And combined with chromium there’s even some growing evidence it might even help improve blood sugar.
In other words, there’s a lot to love about this vitamin. So it’s really no wonder that it’s become incredibly popular as a supplement. But there’s a hidden dark lining to this silver cloud.
Biotin can botch your thyroid test
The machines that are used to do thyroid testing use biotin as part of the test. Which means taking a biotin supplement can lead to highly inaccurate result on a thyroid function test.
The thyroid stimulating hormone test, or TSH, is the test most often used to measure thyroid function. A biotin supplement can cause those TSH levels to read either too high or too low depending on how the lab processes them.
But either way the result is bad news because it could easily cause you to be incorrectly diagnosed as having hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). A huge problem since treating you for either condition when you don’t have them can be incredibly unsafe, and can harm your thyroid and your health.
A disaster waiting to happen
Many doctors never bother to ask their patients what supplements they’re taking. And unless asked, most folks don’t ever think to volunteer this information on their own. Unfortunately, this mistake is a disaster waiting to happen.
Even worse, far too few doctors are aware of the issue with biotin supplements and thyroid testing, so even if they do know you’re taking one they may not realize it’s a problem. Which means it may be up to you to inform them.
But you don’t have to give up on biotin, it’s still the superstar supplement it always was. In fact, since biotin is a water soluble vitamin it gets flushed out of your system pretty quickly. Which means if your doc wants to perform a thyroid test you can simply reschedule for a later date and then stop taking the supplement at least three days before the test.
Always inform your doctor of everything you’re taking whether it’s a medication, vitamin or herbal supplement. It could prevent a dangerous interaction, misdiagnosis or damaging treatment.
- Kindness, caring, compassion
- Open-minded about alternative medicine
- Friendly (dare we even say…cool?)
Well, you’ve come to the right place. HealthierTalk is proud to introduce you to Dr. Joshua Levitt… a man who actually checks all the boxes, and more.
Dr. Joshua Levitt is a naturopathic physician who is widely known for his expertise in treating both common and complex medical problems. In practice, Dr. Levitt draws on his broad knowledge of the science of both conventional and natural medicine and the art of combing the two into a “best of both worlds” treatment strategy. He has over 15 years of direct clinical experience using a unique blend of nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, and physical medicine to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. His patients and his readers praise him for the ability to educate, motivate, and inspire them with stories and advice that helps them help themselves. In addition to his work as an author, Dr. Levitt owns and runs a private practice in Connecticut, where he is also a clinical preceptor for the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Levitt’s unique perspective was informed by an education that includes a degree in physiology from UCLA, a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the prestigious Bastyr University, formal residency training in integrative medicine in Seattle, and experience with thousands of patients.
Dr. Levitt is also the author and creator of several popular books, and many articles and videos, which all demonstrate his passion and commitment to bringing information and products to you that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals. You can see more from Dr. Levitt at UpWellness.com.
Latest posts by Dr. Joshua Levitt (see all)
- The supplement mistake that could harm your thyroid - July 28, 2016
- From pain to deformity 3 reasons to toss the high heels - June 16, 2016
- Does ear candling really work to remove ear wax? - May 27, 2016