Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #1:
Lab Testing Ranges are EXTREMELY Broad!
Why do you still have thyroid symptoms when your lab tests are normal? Why do you have still have thyroid symptoms when your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is between .35 to 5.0 which is the “normal lab range?”
Most likely, your doctor has only ordered one thyroid test which is TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). If you are lucky, maybe they have ordered a couple more. From your doctor’s perspective if your TSH level is within that very wide lab range of .35 to 5.0, you’re normal and there’s nothing wrong with you! BUT, and this is a HUGE BUT, the OPTIMAL LEVEL or “functional level” for TSH is 1.8 to 3.0. So you could still be “normal” in the traditional sense, but abnormal in the functional or optimal range.
It’s only when that range is above 5.0 that most doctors will put you on a thyroid hormone such as Synthroid or the generic, levothyroxine.
BUT, as I mentioned, in a non-integrative doctor’s eyes, if your thyroid TSH is within .35 to 5.0, YOU ARE NORMAL! There is NOTHING wrong with you. “It’s ALL in your head!” “You don’t need medication, because you don’t have a thyroid problem!” Even though you still may have all the thyroid symptoms: extreme fatigue, hair falling out, cold hands and feet, etc., you’re NORMAL! Well…you and I both know that what you are feeling is not “normal” If you were, you would not be suffering from symptoms! You could be within the “normal” TSH range of .35 to 5.0 but still be outside the optimal range of 1.8 to 3.0. Your TSH level could be at 4.2, and that’s why you’re having the problem, it’s outside the “optimal” or “functional” range. The same is true for any other of the thyroid blood test such as Total Thyroxine (TT4), Free Thyroxine Index (FTI), Free Thyroxine (FT4), Free Triiodothyroxine (FT3) and the three or four other tests that need to be run on your thyroid to get to the EXACT cause of your problem.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #2:
Auto Immune Thyroid or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the #1 Cause of Hypothyroid in the U.S.!
The #1 cause of low thyroid or hypothyroid in the United States is something called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroid. It’s an autoimmune condition and it means that your immune system is attacking your thyroid.
An autoimmune condition is where your immune system is attacking a part of your body, and in your case, it is most likely attacking your thyroid gland. Remember, your thyroid controls your body’s metabolism. ALL OF IT! Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (aka. Autoimmune thyroid) is the #1 cause of low thyroid in the U.S. Your immune system is attacking your thyroid, and it is killing it. You just don’t have a “thyroid” problem, you have an “immune” problem! Unfortunately, thyroid hormones do nothing for this autoimmune attack. You will continue to lose more and more of your thyroid taking the medications. It is a slow, progressive, downward slide.
So the problem isn’t just your thyroid: it is your immune system and you need to heal your immune system. Thyroid hormones do nothing in this regard.
There’s two parts to your immune system, TH1 and TH2 and they should be in balance, kind of like a teeter-totter effect. One should not be higher than the other. If your immune system goes out of balance because of stress (physical, chemical or emotional), one system (TH1 or TH2) will become dominant and this will cause your immune system to attack your body. There are specific blood tests that can be run to determine if you are autoimmune and if one part of your immune system is dominant.
Now the problem with autoimmune conditions is it just doesn’t attack one area of your body…your thyroid. It can attack other areas of your body. It can attack your pancreas, causing diabetes or it can attack your stomach lining, causing Celiac or it can attack your joints, rheumatoid arthritis. It can attack your entire body. You need to be tested to see if you are having an autoimmune condition, and if that’s what’s causing your thyroid condition.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #3:
TPO and TGB Antibody Testing!
In Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #2, we talked about the fact that the number one cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid, and there has to be a reason why your body is attacking your thyroid, and that’s what we’re going to address in this Treatment Success Secret. There are certain tests that need to be run on the thyroid, not just a TSH or a free T3 or a free T4, but there are specific antibodies called TPO and TGB antibodies. If these antibodies are positive, you have an autoimmune thyroid. My guess is that your doctor has not run these two tests.
Now there are many other tests that need to be run for the thyroid, but these are the two big ones to determine if you have an autoimmune thyroid. And if you’re autoimmune, you have to find out why you are autoimmune. Remember, I said there are two parts to your immune system, TH1 and TH2. They need to work in balance. If one is dominant or working harder than the other, it’s usually because there’s something called an active antigen. And what is an active antigen? It can be a virus, bacteria, parasite, mold or fungi. Or, it can be a food protein, such as gluten (the protein in wheat, barley or rye) or casein (milk protein).
Your immune system could become imbalanced because of dysregulation due to hormonal surges and/or extreme stress. Blood sugar problems and/or chronic inflammation and/or high cortisol levels can all cause your immune system to run amuck.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #4:
How to know if you are autoimmune!
How do you know if you’re autoimmune? How do you know if your immune system is attacking your body? Well…we just talked about the fact that we run tests to see if you have an autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, specifically TPO and TGB antibodies, along with the immune panels, but the reality is…most people know that they’re autoimmune just from the fact that they may already suffer from a current autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Sjorgen’s syndrome, scleroderma, and/or lupus.
Another way that people will know if they’re autoimmune is that their symptoms may wax and wane. Symptoms that wax and wane are a sure sign that you are most likely suffering from an autoimmune condition.
The third way that they will know if a patient’s autoimmune is they will come in with a basket of supplements, I mean a truck-load. I’ve had people bring in so many bottles of supplements it wasn’t funny. In many cases, the supplements that they are taking were actually making them worse!
Number four…their life fell apart after they got sick. That’s how they know they’re autoimmune. They’ve been to 12 or 15 or 20 different doctors and they have a stack of medical records sky high all because it’s an undiagnosed autoimmune condition.
They may develop an autoimmune condition following a pregnancy. Usually, women are TH2 dominant in the third trimester and TH1 dominant postpartum.
And finally, as I’ve mentioned, there’s positive testing via the immune panels and TPO and TGB antibodies. You see, your immune system is designed to protect you. When your immune system runs a muck, it starts attacking different parts of your body, and it’s important to know that once you realize you have an autoimmune condition, you need to get checked, and you need to manage that autoimmune condition.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #5:
Know the Autoimmune Triggers!
One of the most common questions I get is…”How did I develop this autoimmune condition?” Well…it’s pretty much genetics and the environment. It’s a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg? We all know that genetically, you may be at risk for developing certain problems and/or conditions. If your mom had a thyroid condition, your grandmother had a thyroid condition, you could probably have an increased risk for a thyroid condition too. It is NOT predetermined as your DNA is not your destiny. Your environment plays a huge role.
Then there are environmental factors like chemicals. Everything from household cleaners, to mercury fillings, to BPA in plastic water bottles, to the chemical-laden cosmetics and personal care products used daily, to metals like Aluminum and Arsenic that we are exposed to every day.
Rocket fuel is another! You heard that correctly, I said rocket fuel! You may ask…”How am I exposed to rocket fuel?” Studies have shown that 30 to 40 percent of women in America have remnants of rocket fuel in their body. It gets into the ground water and stays there for a very long time.
One of the biggest triggers with an autoimmune thyroid is iodine. When it comes to Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid, iodine is probably THE BIGGEST trigger!
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #6:
The Dangers of IODINE!
The problem with iodine is if you walk into a health food store and you tell the manager (who usually has no medical background and they have no idea of what tests need to be run)… “I have a thyroid condition. How can I help myself?” They’ll probably give you iodine, which is one of the WORST things that you can do!
According to one of the foremost leading thyroid experts and author of the book, Why Do I Still Have My Thyroid Symptoms Even When My Lab Tests Are Normal?, Dr. Datis Kharrazian, taking iodine is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Iodine is a red hot supplement these days and as I’ve mentioned, if you walk into any health food store and tell the manager that you have a thyroid condition, the first thing they’re going to reach for is an iodine supplement. This is the worst thing that you can do so DON’T DO IT! Check your multi-vitamin, does it contain iodine? If so, do not take it! It could make you worse!
Granted iodine is vital to thyroid function. It’s a major co-factor and stimulator for that enzyme, TPO, but for a person with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, for a person with an auto-immune thyroid, for a person where their immune system is attacking their thyroid…supplementing with iodine is literally throwing gasoline on a fire.
Iodine stimulates production of TPO. This, in turn, increases levels of TPO anti-bodies dramatically which is indicating an auto-immune flare-up. Some people develop symptoms of an overactive thyroid while others have no symptoms despite the tests and elevated levels of TPO anti-bodies, this is why you need to run the tests. I always advise anyone with an auto-immune thyroid or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to avoid supplements containing iodine and this includes multi-vitamins.
You would be amazed at how many people walk into my door with severe thyroid conditions and they’re taking a multi-vitamin and they are taking all these other supplements thinking they’re helping themselves and they’re actually hurting themselves because they’re making their condition worse.
They’re over-stimulating or exceeding metabolic capacity of their immune system and it’s causing a “massive fire” that attacks their thyroid. Now I know this seems confusing but the reality is most health food store managers have no idea of the testing that needs to be done to get a thorough work-up completed on a Hashimoto’s thyroid patient.
I’m going to be addressing those tests in future secrets but, trust me, you need a thorough work-up and most patients who are suffering with chronic thyroid problems, who are taking medications and still have symptoms, even though their lab tests are quote-unquote “normal,” need a thorough work-up. They need the tests done.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #7:
The Dangers of TYROSINE!
Tyrosine is another very popular supplement in health food stores for people suffering with thyroid problems and, again, you walk into the health food store and you tell the manager or the person at the front desk that you have a thyroid condition and you need supplements, the first thing they’re going to reach for is iodine and the second supplement that they are going to reach for is tyrosine.
Just like iodine, tyrosine is an integral part of thyroid hormone production but supplementing with it has the potential to suppress thyroid activity. See there’s not a single study out there that shows the ability of tyrosine to increase thyroid hormones, even when they’re low.
The problem is that tyrosine will increase adrenal hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine which will create a “wired feeling,” a high, brain foggy, I’m flying ,feeling, and this is one of the worst problems that you can do for a patient with hypothyroidism or an autoimmune thyroid. It is creating an active stress response by over-stimulating the adrenal glands.
I recommend that all patients who are on thyroid meds get tested thoroughly and DO NOT walk into a health food store and ask the person behind the counter what they should be taking to fix their thyroid problem.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #8:
Prolactin is a hormone that’s made by your pituitary gland. High levels of prolactin suppress TSH or Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone. Prolactin is balanced by progesterone and dopamine, so when people have a dopamine deficiency, or progesterone deficiency, their prolactin will increase, and that will decrease the function of the pituitary’s production of thyroid-stimulating hormone. The imbalance will show up on your labs, perhaps, if you’re lucky, as the TSH is low, but not quite out of the reference range. This is why it’s important to know that there are “optimal or functional” levels.
Prolactin also suppresses luteinizing hormone, LH, in women. Prolactin excess can cause infertility. In men, excess prolactin depresses testosterone so they have low libido. High prolactin can cause tumors which are called prolactinomas. The bottom line is that excess levels of prolactin, that’s caused either by a tumor or some other problem, can suppress your thyroid function.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #9:
I’ve mentioned that the number one cause of thyroid – hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid but the question I get is what if the patient isn’t autoimmune? Since there are a small percentage of patients that are not autoimmune, what else could be causing the problem?
Anemia is the answer! Anemia in and of itself is a deal breaker for nutritional support of any kind including thyroid support since anemia literally starves your body of oxygen.
Oxygen is very important in healing your body. Your brain and nervous system needs two things to survive: fuel and activation. Fuel comes in the form of oxygen and glucose. We’re going talk about glucose in a future “secret” but when you are depriving your body of oxygen you are depriving your red blood cells of oxygen which is the basic function that maintain and regenerate and heal the body, and the body simply cannot operate adequately if there is no oxygen for the red blood cells.
It is vital that the clinician address the anemic patient. Anemia can be due to a variety of reasons and factors including pernicious anemia which is an autoimmune disease or B12 anemia. Some forms of anemia don’t seem to respond to iron supplements because the red blood cells breakdown.
So when this happens supplementing won’t increase iron levels and can, in fact, make the problem much worse. Too much iron in the body is much more toxic than mercury, lead or other heavy metals. As I’ve said and will continue to say, if the patient does not have an autoimmune condition you want look at the four priorities and the four priorities are number one, anemia; number two, blood sugar or glucose; number three, gut function/liver and number four, fatty acid metabolism. ALL of these systems need to be checked.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret Number 8: Glucose. Normal blood glucose levels medically have a broad range of anywhere from 70 to 105. Functional or optimal blood glucose levels are 75-85. Now according to the American Diabetic Association a blood sugar level reading of 106 to 126 is called, “Insulin resistance,” and anything above 127 is diabetes.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #10:
When thyroid hormones are secreted from your thyroid gland, they are bound to a carrier, a protein. This protein is called “thyroid-binding globulin”, or TBG. So TBG is similar to a taxicab, and your thyroid hormones, T4 and T3, get into the cab, and they are transported to the liver, where they’re converted. And then they jump back into the cab and they’re transported to the rest of the body. You have this little carrier going anywhere and everywhere inside your body. The fact is that there are so many of these little taxicabs, or carrier proteins called TBG, that the normal free amount of T4 and T3 that should be floating around isn’t. It’s as if they get all sucked up by this big sponge, by all these little taxicabs, which are thyroid-binding globulins.
Here’s the thing…your TSH will look normal, your total T4 will look normal, your total T3 will look normal. If that’s all the markers your doctor is checking, then the problem is completely missed. This is why you need ALL of the thyroid testing done, just not TSH, T3 and T4. You need TSH, Reverse T3 Uptake, free thyroxine index, and the thyroid antibodies, in addition to the TBG thyroid-binding globulin, Free T3, Free T4, and Total T4. If your TBG is too high, even though your TSH is normal, and T4 looks normal, and total T3 looks normal, your doctor needs to check your T3 Uptake. It will show that, actually, the T3 Uptake is low when the thyroid binding globulin, or TBGs are high.
Remember that the lab reference range of T3 uptake is extremely broad, where the optimal or functional range is much narrower. The hormone Estrogen elevates TBG, also. Birth control pills contain estrogens. Some face creams and cosmetics contain undisclosed estrogens. And these estrogens can elevate in your body, and they’re detoxified through the liver. If you have poor liver function, or inability to detoxify, this is yet another reason you could still have thyroid-type symptoms. It’s not necessarily a thyroid gland problem, but it’s more of a liver problem.
It is important to realize that there are many more causes of your thyroid function! More than just, “My TSH is low.” Again, we want to do all the testing and get to the root cause of what’s happening with the patient. If thyroid-binding globulin, TBG, you could have low thyroid symptoms, but normal lab numbers, even though you’re taking medications.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #11:
Blood Sugar/Blood Glucose
From a medical standpoint, normal blood glucose levels have a broad range of 70 to 105 while functional or optimal blood glucose levels are 75-85. According to the American Diabetic Association, a blood sugar level reading of 106 to 126 is termed, “insulin resistance,” or “pre-diabetes” and anything above a reading of 127 is diabetes.
Granted, those are fasting blood glucose levels and it is important to note because many times I will see patients who have been tested and I’ll ask them if they’ve been fasting and they will tell me, “no.” You need at least a 12-hour fast which means absolutely no food, no drinking of orange juice or coffee or anything! Just water for 12 hours before you get an accurate test of your blood glucose levels.
Supporting hypothyroidism is futile if your blood sugar level is too high or too low. A reading below 70 would be termed hypoglycemia and a reading above 99 would be termed hyperglycemia. This is called dysglycemia and this is a stepping stone to diabetes. Diabetes is becoming so prevalent in the United States that authorities are predicting that it may bankrupt the healthcare system.
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the blood sugar level repeatedly drops too low in response to high carbohydrate foods. Refined sugar is a good example of a high carbohydrate food. It can also be a result of going too long without eating because many Americans are skipping breakfast.
It’s important if your blood sugar is below 70 that you eat every two to three hours. You should have a breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner and a light snack before bedtime. The snack can be vegetables, fruit, nuts, and/or seeds but it SHOULD be something healthy.
Insulin resistance is high blood sugar but it hasn’t reached the point of diabetes. It’s called pre-diabetes and it’s a result of the cells becoming resistance to insulin so that no glucose enters the cell to make energy.
You need glucose in your cells to make energy. It’s a vital, important part of life. Your brain and nervous system need two things to survive: fuel and activation. Fuel is oxygen and glucose. You see glucose travels in the blood stream until it’s turned into triglycerides for fat storage.
This is why it’s important to monitor triglycerides as well as glucose. The process of going into fat storage demands an increased amount of energy causing the person to feel tired after they’re eating. So when a person is eating a high carbohydrate diet filled with white bread, pasta, and refined sugar, they cannot keep their blood sugar level stable.
If a patient feels sleepy or they crave sugar after eating you know they just ate way too many carbohydrates. If you feel sleepy after a low or no carbohydrate meal you are most likely insulin resistant.
It is literally impossible to support hypoglycemia or insulin resistance unless you eat a healthy breakfast with ample high quality protein. You need to eat protein in the morning, not carbohydrates. You need to eat eggs, you need to eat meat such as turkey or chicken sausage. You need to eat protein in order to support your blood sugar levels.
Even if you feel nauseous the first thing in the morning upon waking, eating breakfast is critical and eating a breakfast of high protein will most likely relieve your nausea. Finally, if you have hypoglycemia you should NEVER fast. It will make matters much worse!
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #12:
Brain function is extremely important in treating the thyroid as I’ve mentioned previously in other secrets. The brain controls every bodily function. Your pituitary drives the thyroid gland. It releases TSH. The part of your brain called the hypothalamus drives the pituitary.
Our brain needs two things to survive: fuel and activation.
Fuel is oxygen, which is why we use exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT) in our office, and glucose. We have addressed the glucose end of the equation so let’s address the importance of oxygen. As you age, your ability to utilize oxygen decreases by one percent per year each year after the age of 25.
If you are 50 years old, you’ve lost 25 percent of your ability to utilize oxygen in your body. It’s called oxidative phosphorylation which is a big fancy three-dollar term meaning you’re not using oxygen as well as you did when you were younger. Again, this is why we do use exercise with oxygen therapy or EWOT in our office.
Secondly; serotonin plays a large major factor in thyroid function. There’s a place in your brain called the hypothalamus and there’s something called the periventricular nucleus. I know these are big fancy three-dollar words but it’s critical that you know this if you’re suffering with thyroid symptoms. The hypothalamic periventricular nucleus is acted upon by serotonin in the central nervous system and what it will do is make you have low thyroid stimulating hormone or low TSH.
Taking thyroid hormones for these problems is not going to do ANYTHING for you. It will most likely make your symptoms worse. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying to stop taking your medication. That’s called practicing medicine without a license but be aware of what is happening to your body!
I am saying be aware of what’s happening to your body because once you start asking medical doctors WHY you’re taking these medications they’re going to look at you like you’re crazy, like you have a psychosomatic illness which means…” it’s all in your head” and the only thing you need is an antidepressant.
The biggest influence on serotonin is blood sugar. That’s why we just addressed glucose in Thyroid Treatment Success #11. So it’s as vitally important if you’re hypoglycemic of insulin-resistant, or diabetic that you maintain normal blood sugar levels.
This is why it’s important to eat healthy. Don’t skip meals. Quit eating junk food. Every time you’re eating junk food you are literally eating away at your thyroid and you’re making your problem worse.
By consuming a poor, junk-food filled diet, you will increase your thyroid symptoms such as feeling tired or sluggish, or inability to lose weight or cold hands or feet or insomnia. You will gain weight easily, you have difficult, infrequent bowel movements, you’re depressed, you have lack of motivation, and you have morning headaches that wear off later on in the day. The outer third of your eyebrow is getting thin, you have dryness of the skin or scalp, you have mental sluggishness, you’re nervous, you’re emotional and you have night sweats.
You have all of these symptoms and yet your labs are quote-unquote “normal” in the eyes of your medical doctor. Remember, those labs need to be within the optimal or functional range.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #13:
The evils of GLUTEN!
Gluten is one of the biggest culprits in causing an autoimmune thyroid that I see in my office. Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats. The reason that so many people across the country are gluten-sensitive is that we’ve been eating genetically-engineered wheat since the late 1940’s. Our bodies were not made to eat genetically-engineered wheat. Our bodies were not made to eat chemicals and that’s exactly what we are consuming!
In order for you to be healthy, one of the best things that you can do is to avoid gluten. If you are sensitive to gluten, it will cause your immune system to attack your body whether it’s your thyroid, your joints, and your pancreas, whatever. Remember we talked about an active antigen a while back and an active antigen can be something that causes your immune system to run a muck or attack.
Your T-cells are attacking your body and the cause for your T-cell attack can be a parasite, fungi, yeast, mold, virus, bacteria, and it can also be gluten. It could also be dairy, yeast, soy and/or egg. It could also be yeast. This is not a guessing game, you need to be tested. There has yet to be an autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroid patient walk in my office that is not gluten-sensitive and they could very well be sensitive to dairy, egg, soy and yeast too!
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #14:
You always seem hear in the news that there’s always some new vitamin to consider or new deficiency to consider but when it comes to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroid – it’s very important that patients are taking Vitamin D to help their immune system.
Modern diets are lacking in Vitamin D rich foods. What are Vitamin D rich foods? Liver (To be honest with you, I can’t stand liver.), organ meats, lard, many forms of seafood, butter and egg yolks (remember what I said about eating eggs for breakfast and how important it is in your blood glucose level?).
Sunlight is another important factor and source of Vitamin D. BUT, you should NEVER take vitamin D without having your Vitamin D levels tested, specifically, D-25 OHD and D-1,25 Dihydroxy. Most doctors will only test 25 OHD but it is very important to have both levels tested. This way, you are eliminating the guess work. You could be low in Vitamin D or on the low side of normal, either finding would constitute a different recommended dosage.
Why is Vitamin D so important? Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many, many autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Frankly autoimmune rates have been skyrocketing in the past 20 years which has correlated with decreased levels of Vitamin D in the general population.
Adequate Vitamin D levels helps to keep the immune system balance so it doesn’t swing out of control into an autoimmune disease. When it comes to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the problems with Vitamin D deficiency is made worse by genetics. There are studies that show that more than 90 percent of the people with an autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s have a genetic defect affecting their ability to process Vitamin D.
Therefore many people, especially these people, need higher amounts of Vitamin D to maintain health, even if their blood tests show sufficient Vitamin D.
In many cases, patients will come in to my office and their Vitamin D levels will be on the low side of normal and their MD has told them, “You’re fine, there’s nothing wrong with you,” when actually if you’re on the low side of normal you need to be supplementing with Vitamin D. I recommend that all my patients with any thyroid condition or any autoimmune condition take extra Vitamin D.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #15:
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Healthy hormone production including the production of thyroid hormones depends on Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s). You’ve probably heard about these nutrients; fish oil, flax-seed oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil.
In our diets, EFA’s can be found in cold water fish and in many raw, unprocessed nuts and seeds. EFA’s not only contribute nutrients for hormones but also proper cellular communication, brain function and much more.
The ideal ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats in EFA’s is estimated to be 3 to 1, to 5 to 1. In the average American diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet), the ratio is more like 25 to 1 thanks to diets that are heavily processed with junk food and vegetable oil. You need to take a well-rounded, fish oil based high potency EFA supplement if you intend to be healthy.
If you’re insulin-resistant, it causes a condition in which the body cannot properly metabolize the EFA’s and flax, evening primrose or black currant seed oils. This is why fish oil is the predominant recommendation. Essential fatty acid deficiencies are so common in the United States it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the U.S. population failed to get enough essential fatty acids each day thanks to our Standard American Diet (SAD).
It’s because our diet is so filled with junk; high fat, high salt, high sugar or high refined sugar. I had a patient come in one time, she was drinking 12 cans of diet Mountain Dew a day and I told her if she wanted to become my patient she’d need to stop drinking the diet Mountain Dew immediately. She did and went through withdrawal symptoms for a week.
If you’re serious about getting healthy, if you’re serious about correcting your thyroid problem you need to change your diet, you need to eat healthy, you need to eliminate junk food, you need to be taking essential fatty acids, especially fish oil based essential fatty acids, especially high quality essential fatty acids.
How do you know if you have high quality essential fatty acids? Well, just not price but if you cut one of your fish oil tablets and you put it in the freezer and it freezes that’s not good. Oil should not freeze.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #16:
PCOS—Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
There have been studies that show that PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can trigger Hashimoto’s Disease. PCOS is a common female hormone disorder. It affects the 5-10 percent of menstruating women. And it is one of the most common causes of infertility. PCOS systems include the inability to lose weight, hair lost, fatigue after meals, hormone imbalances, and sugar cravings. Do these symptoms sound familiar? They sound like a thyroid patient, don’t they?
Blood chemistry tests, PCOS can be identified by insulin resistance. Again, insulin resistance is a blood glucose level from 100-126. This is a fasting blood glucose level. It’s also indicated with elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, especially IF THE TRIGLYCERIDES ARE HIGHER THAN THE CHOLESTEROL LEVELS.
Now, insulin resistance, which is a condition in which the body cells become resistance to insulin due to a high carbohydrate diet, leads to excess testosterone production, and this leads to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. As testosterone levels rise, the cells become further resistance to insulin, and it’s a slow downward spiral. This in turn promotes testosterone elevations, which creates a slow downward spiral.
Insulin resistance also promotes success of inflammation and immune system problems, which predispose the person to an autoimmune disease. You factor in all of this with Hashimoto’s, and, now, can you see why it’s important to address Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, when addressing thyroid conditions?
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #17:
The Adrenal Glands!
You adrenal glands make a hormone called “cortisol”. They sit atop your kidneys and they are your stress glands. They make a lot of hormones for your body. Cortisol, in addition to cortisol, like, androgens, aldosterone. Your adrenal glands are vital for optimal health. When your adrenal glands are not working, it causes high levels of cortisol in your system, and this is why you still have thyroid symptoms, even when your other lab tests may be normal. Cortisol is one of the main factors that regulates your blood sugar level, not insulin. Everybody thinks it’s insulin, but it’s actually cortisol. When cortisol is released by your adrenal glands, it’s accompanied by cytokines.
Cytokines suppress the ability of your pituitary gland, and your hypothalamus, to make TCH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. So your adrenal glands make cortisol in response to a stress, whether it’s physical, chemical, or emotional stress. And cortisol also promotes inflammation, which makes your adrenal glands pump out more cortisol. As cortisol is released, the cytokines come out with it, and suppress your pituitary. Now there are common causes of elevated cortisol, one of them being chronic stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, or hidden gut infections, like, parasites. You’d be surprised how many people have parasitic infections. Blood sugar levels; blood sugar regulation, high or low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, diabetes, can cause elevated levels of cortisol.
You need to make sure that your blood sugar level is stable. And you need to understand when you have these problems, when your blood sugar level is going up or down, your cortisol levels are going up and down, which means your cytokines are going up and down, which means your pituitary isn’t working properly, and you’re not making enough THS, or thyroid hormones. So you start having thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, cold hands and feet, insomnia, inability to lose weight, and depression.
Don’t forget, there are many types – or three types of blood sugar problems, not just diabetes, but also hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and insulin resistance. Hypoglycemia is anyone with a blood sugar level of 85 or lower. Insulin resistance is a fasting blood sugar of 100-126. Diabetes is a fasting blood sugar level of 127 or higher.
So be aware, if your stress levels are high, your adrenal glands are still going to pump hard, and cortisol levels are going to increase. Cytokine levels are going to increase, and it will cause your pituitary not to function properly, and it will cause decreased amounts of thyroid-stimulating hormone. High cortisol will sabotage your attempt to combat your thyroid problem.
I need to add to that last one, number 14, on the adrenals. If you’re suffering with adrenal fatigue, you need to avoid refined sugar, alcohol, and caffeine because these are high stressors to your immune system. And don’t think you can get away with eating aspartame or MSG because these are the worse things you could do for your adrenal glands.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #18:
Cytokines are the messengers that your immune system uses as part of the inflammatory process. When a patient has an inflammatory condition like arthritis or IBS, asthma an autoimmune condition like Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, there are usually high levels of cytokines.
When cytokines are high, they suppress the circuit in your brain that helps you make thyroid hormones. It suppresses your pituitary, which suppresses the pituitary’s ability to make TSH. And, remember, I said the functional range for THS is 1.8-3.0. Anything outside of that is a severe thyroid condition. So there are certain types of cytokines.
And, remember, I said there are two parts to your immune system, TH-1 and TH-2. If you have high interleukin–2, or TNF-alpha, then you are probably TH-1 dominant. If you have high interleukin-4, or interleukin-10, you’re probably TH-2 dominant. If you’re dominant with those cytokines, you are probably creating more problems for your thyroid condition.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #19:
Gut function is extremely important, especially something called “leaky guy syndrome”. You may or may not have heard of it. Leaky Gut Syndrome is where the lining of your intestines have become more permeable, so it allows things like food particles and large molecules to permeate your system and create havoc with your immune system. It’s also important in gut function to be tested for parasites. Many people suffer from parasites and don’t know it.
Many people who suffer with thyroid problems also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. They have problems with constipation or diarrhea, or both. Repairing your gut begins at the plate. You have to eat a healthy diet. You have to avoid junk food. Chronic inflammation is caused by a poor diet. When you have increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut, you will also have chronic inflammation because a healthy GI tract is a tightly woven mesh of tissue that does not allow the absorption of bacteria, harmful foods, or undigested particles in the bloodstream. When you’re suffering from leaky gut syndrome, this is exactly what’s happening.
Once in the blood stream, these particles are recognized as foreign invaders or antigen, in which the immune system attacks. And, unfortunately, for many people, especially those with insulin resistance, this response happens almost every time they eat resulting in chronic inflammation or IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. This sets the stage for development of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s or some other autoimmune problem.
So the first step in repairing the gut is to remove the foods that are creating a chronic immune response; gluten, soy, milk, egg, yeast. And then it’s important to heal your body. And you can heal your body with a 4R colon program, which means removing or eliminating problems: gluten, milk, soy, yeast, or parasites – inoculating, using probiotic. You’re replacing specific enzymes, and you’re repairing, and utilizing specific neurological compounds. This is why it’s important to have healthy gut function in regards to treating your thyroid.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #20:
Don’t fall into the false belief that…”Everything has been done!”
Believing that all of the labs have been done are normal is WRONG! I can’t tell you how many times a patient walks in my office and tells me that their medical doctor told me that all their labs are normal. Yes, they may be normal in regards to lab values, but not in regards to optimal or functional values. Remember how I said the lab value for TSH is .35-5.0? And the optimal level or functional level is 1.8-3.0? This is a huge trap that many patients fall into and they have to avoid. They believe that all of the correct tests have been done, and that all of those tests are normal, just like their medical doctor said they were.
The truth is there is no functional testing that has been done. You need specific lab tests. You need a complete metabolic panel. You need a lipid panel. You need a complete thyroid panel that includes seven or eight thyroid tests. And you need a CBC with auto-differential. You need sensitivity testing done. Sensitivity testing to see if you’re sensitive to gluten, milk, soy, egg, or yeast. You need the immune panels done. Remember, I said there’s two parts to your immune system, TH-1 and TH-2? You want to find out which one is working. So you’re testing those cytokines that we talked about, interleukin-2, TNF-alpha, interleukin-4 and interleukin-10. You’re testing the CD-4-CD-8 ratio. I know that sounds like a big term, but the CD-4-CD-8 ratio is normally between 1.2-2.4. If it’s above 2.4 – 2.5 or above, you have an active antigen. There’s something that’s causing your immune system to run amuck. There’s something that’s causing your T-cells to attack your body.
If it’s below 1.2, you have a problem with dysregulation, an anemic condition, a blood sugar problem, a gut function problem, a liver function problem. So it’s important that all the tests are run. Don’t get into the false belief that everything possible has been done, then you’ve lost the point, and you will stop searching for answers and information that will help you.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #21:
Do Not Allow Your Health Condition to be Labeled and Placed in a Nice, Neat Box!
Do not accept “hypothyroid” or “Grave’s Disease” as a label for all of your symptoms. There’s no simple explanation for why you have a thyroid problem. That’s why ALL of the testing needs to be done. When you were first diagnosed with a thyroid problem, you might have been happy to finally have somebody or some doctor call it, or name it, or put it in a box.
It’s scary to have symptoms that nobody knows what’s wrong with the person. It leaves your mind to worry. But don’t accept the label for all your symptoms. Remember, ALL of the tests need to be done. If you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid condition or hypothyroid, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, realize that there are things that can be done to help you! There are answers out there. The key is you need to be tested thoroughly. You need to be tested, correctly treated and retested. THAT is the only way you will achieve health!
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #22:
Don’t Use Medications as a Crutch!
Are you relying solely on medication to treat your symptoms? Ask yourself if you really think all of the medications that you’re taking are actually making your body functional or healthy. Is it really fixing your symptoms? Think about this: If you gave the medication that you’re taking to a healthy person, would they remain healthy or would they become sick? They would become sick! ALL medications have side effects
All you’re you doing with medications is covering up symptoms. You’re also creating unwanted side effects, which may in the long run make you worse. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen in their eighties that started off with one or two medications in their thirties, ended up with four or five medications in their fifties, and now in their eighties, they’re taking thirteen to fifteen medications.
Don’t think that you need a medication to be healthy. And don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying to stop taking your medications this minute. But…as we test you and we’re treating you and we’re retesting you, you’re bound to improve, and, eventually, you can go back to your medical doctor, and you can ask him to take you off of these medications or decrease the dosage.
We want to work at getting to the cause of your problem. We want to reverse your symptoms. We want to get the root cause and get the problem taken care of at the very beginning.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #23:
Control Your Health Destiny!
No one is responsible for your health! YOU are responsible for your health! Take your healthcare into your own hands! We’re trained to believe that doctors know best. And what the doctor says is the best thing for me. It’s true, doctors are doctors; they treat people, they want to help people, but the reality is just writing a script and throwing a medication at a person isn’t actually treating the patient and isn’t in the best interest of the patient. Proper testing must be done.
With something as complex as a hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Grave’s disease, you have to literally grab the bull by the horns and take charge. It’s your life. It’s your body. What are you going to do for the next 30-40 years? Are you going to accept the status quo and continue to push from doctor to doctor only to find out that they have no answer for you? It’s up to you. Nobody is going to care about you more than you. You need to take action. You need to get the testing done. You need a thorough work up. Nothing else is going to help you with your thyroid condition more than the proper testing and treatment.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #24:
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Take action! Do not think it’s going to get better on its own. See, many people think that once they’re taking medication, their problem isn’t going to get any worse. There’s nothing to worry about. And this isn’t true. The reality is you’re either getting better, or you’re getting worse, you’re not saying the same.
So if you sit and wait around for it to just go away on its own, or you sit and think that you can’t do anything and that’ll you be just fine, you’re falling into a deep, dark well. Avoid this type of thinking at all costs. Remember to get tested, treated, and retested functionally or optimally. Remember that there are lab values that are extremely broad and wide. And you want lab values that are much narrower, those optimal or functional levels. Once you get properly tested and treated, then, and only then, your symptoms will go away.
Thyroid Treatment Success Secret #25:
Treat the WHOLE person!
Find a doctor who treats you as a whole person, and utilizes complete functional neurological and metabolic protocols. You see, a functional problem can’t be treated like an acute situation. Medical doctors are great treating acute health conditions: a broken bone, a heart attack, a stroke. But when it comes to chronic conditions, functional conditions, they are lost in a lost world.
You need a doctor that takes a step back and looks at the big picture and does thorough testing. You need to take control of your own health. Now that I’ve given you all of this knowledge, and explained to you that we are the office that can provide you with the functional testing and treatment, neurologically and metabolically, we invite you to call our office. We are known worldwide for our work with thyroid conditions. We are designed to avoid all these treatment traps and help patients reverse their hyperthyroidism, Grave’s disease, or Hashimoto’s.
We accept a limited number of patients into our program each month because we are so thorough, that we must ensure that each patient gets the proper attention that they require. I hope that you have enjoyed these thyroid treatment success secrets. And I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Don’t suffer another minute! Call our office and make your appointment with Dr. Gruttadauria. (631) 673-1001.