Thyroid dysfunction is an epidemic affecting up to 20 percent of American women. It of course affects men and children as well.
The thyroid in the ancient healing systems of the world is referred to as the ‘mother of all emotion’. The thyroid is highly vulnerable to stress, poor diet, tap water, bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chemical toxins, radiation (Fukushima) and more.
The primary dysfunctions are hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and hyperthyroidism (high thyroid function), and the autoimmune diseases Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease. Adrenal fatigue can also lead to functional hypothyroidism.
Functional Hypothyroidism is the most common and is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all because blood tests are generally within normal limits.
The Thyroid gland
The thyroid gland is located in the throat, lying alongside of the larynx. It is shaped like a bow-tie. The thyroid gland uses iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to produce the hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine. Both of these hormones function to regulate cellular metabolism. Metabolism refers to all of the processes that make energy available to cells.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland has been weakened by poor nutrition, environmental toxicity, poor lifestyle choices, stress, and too much medical ‘help’. A victim of hypothyroidism has a body that can no longer adequately produce vital hormones. The establishment considers it to be yet another “autoimmune disease”; unilaterally rejecting all legitimate causative factors. It’s important to note that the immune system only attacks things which it detects as being toxic.
The thyroid gland is suppressed by our constant intake of soy; an ingredient in the great majority of processed foods, and even in most of the so-called healthy alternatives. Additionally, fluoride is extremely damaging to the thyroid. Until the 1970’s, doctors prescribed fluoride to patients with hyperthyroidism (an over-active thyroid), in order to cripple it. It was shown to be effective at 2 mg. per day. People in the present are estimated to be consuming 2-10 mg. per day from tap water, non-stick cookware, toothpaste, pharmaceuticals, infant formula, processed cereals, and sodas. Hypothyroidism is also recognized to be caused by certain medications, such as lithium.
People who have hypothyroidism are much more likely to have heart problems, because the hormones that are produced by a healthy thyroid help to strengthen heart contractions and regulate heart rhythm.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Mood Swings
- Cold sensitivity
- Weight gain
- Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair, skin, or fingernails
- Hair loss
- Goiter – enlargement of the thyroid
Medical treatment is the prescription of synthetic hormones (Synthroid), and patients must continue taking them for the rest of their lives. This is because these artificial hormones cause a body to stop producing its own thyroid hormones permanently; similar to what is experienced with diabetics taking synthetic insulin. In both cases, the result is perpetual customers who will forever after be reliant on ‘the system’, because the medications actually destroy the organ that they supposedly help. Be forewarned that with orthodox therapies, there is no cure, and there may be no turning back.
Natural hormone products are available by prescription and are preferred. Once your thyroid is functioning normally, you will be able to ween off the natural hormonal medications.
Food can suppress the thyroid. This includes broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cassava, cauliflower, flaxseeds, kale, kelp, lima beans, millet, mustard greens, peanuts, peaches, pine nuts, plums, prunes, soy and soy products such as soy sauce, spinach, strawberries, sweet potato, turnips, energy bars and chocolate that contain soybean oil (soy lecithin). Many processed foods contain soy in its various forms should be avoided.
The over-production of thyroid hormone leads to hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
- Rapid heart rate
- Increase in blood pressure
- Increase in metabolism resulting in weight-loss
- Oily skin
- Increase in body temperature
- Excess sweating
- May eat large amounts of food and lose weight
In hyperthyroidism, where milder forms of nutritional therapies such as thyroid balancing herbs, para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), or magnesium have not been very effective, bromine has been shown to be effective in human and animals, provided the correct amount is used, Bromine inhibits both T4 thyroxine and T3 triiodothyronine hormones, and in some cases only a short course of bromine is needed to return (hyper) thyroid functions back to normal. High doses of bromine may be linked to cancer and should be avoided.
Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid. It should be viewed as an auto-immune disease that attacks the thyroid and not a thyroid disease.
Triggering the immune system are the heavy metal and chemical toxins, pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, poor nutrition and bad water, and more.
The resulting inflammation from Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). It primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.
The holistic approach is to ‘fix’ the diet, and detoxify any and all of the immune system triggers present. This will result in the reduction of auto-immune reactions, eliminate inflammation in the thyroid, with the effect of normal thyroid function.
You might not notice signs or symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease at first, or you may notice a swelling at the front of your throat (goiter). Hashimoto’s disease typically progresses slowly over years and causes chronic thyroid damage, leading to a drop in thyroid hormone levels in your blood. The signs and symptoms are mainly those of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Hair loss
- Pale, dry skin
- A puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- Unexplained weight gain — occurring infrequently and rarely exceeding 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips
- Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet
- Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
Graves’ disease is an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Although a number of disorders may result in hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is a common cause.
It is characterized by bulging eyes commonly known as ‘Betty Davis Eyes’.
Because thyroid hormones affect a number of different body systems, signs and symptoms associated with Graves’ disease can be wide ranging and significantly influence your overall well-being. Although Graves’ disease may affect anyone, it’s more common among women and before the age of 40.
The primary treatment goals are to inhibit the overproduction of thyroid hormones and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Common signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease include:
- Anxiety and irritability
- A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
- Heat sensitivity and an increase in perspiration or warm, moist skin
- Weight loss, despite normal eating habits
- Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
- Change in menstrual cycles
- Erectile dysfunction or reduced libido
- Frequent bowel movements
- Bulging eyes (Betty Davis Eyes)
- Thick, red skin usually on the shins or tops of the feet
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- Goiter – an enlargement of the thyroid
The treatment goals are the same as for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Eliminate the triggers that cause the overproduction of thyroid hormone and return the thyroid to normal functioning.
Adrenal fatigue as an underlying cause of hypothyroidism
When the adrenal glands are depleted and stressed, as a self- preservation mechanism, they send a signal via the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine to suppress the thyroid’s assembly of T3 (active) hormone. The thyroid responds by sending forth a reversed T3 molecule (rT3) to block the body’s hormone receptors and lower the basal metabolic rate.
This is frequently mis-diagnosed as hypothyroidism. Adrenal fatigue can be diagnosed with a 2 position blood pressure test in conjunction with kinesiology.
An herbal protocol for adrenal fatigue in conjunction with herbal thyroid support in the treatment option we use.
A word about thyroid function and tests
The most common thyroid condition is functional hypothyroidism. It is not a disease. In this case, the body makes enough thyroid hormone but it does not work as expected. Therefore most of these patients have normal or near normal bloodwork. They are told that their thyroid is fine, despite displaying many of the hypofunction symptoms. They are frequently prescribed medications for depression as it is of course “in their head”.
Endocrinologist, Broda Barnes, M.D. created the Barnes Thyroid test to diagnose function hypothyroidism. It is a temperature test taken first thing in the morning f or 5 consecutive mornings.
The blood tests we recommend are TSH (Thyroid stimulating Hormone), free T3, free T4, reverse T3 (rT3), Thyroid peroxidase antibody (Hashimoto’s and Grave’s), Thyroglobulin antibody (Hashimoto’s or cancer) and Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody (Grave’s).
Unless all of these are performed the diagnostic picture is murky at best.
Unfortunately TSH is the one test generally ordered and is completely non-diagnostic by itself.
The Holistic Approach
Helping those with thyroid disease or dysfunction requires a long-term commitment for a period of at least a year. Creating this problem took years of self-poisoning, so fixing it is neither quick, nor easy. Hypothyroidism medications are addictive, and the body becomes reliant on them, which is why the mainstream establishment maintains that people must take them forever. Those who have been taking hypothyroidism medications for years must slowly wean themselves from the drugs. Abruptly stopping these medications will result in extreme fatigue and additional thyroid problems. The weening process must be done under the supervision of your medical provider.
General Treatment Recommendations
- A personalized plan – restore normal digestion and elimination, replenish the microbiome, detox metals, chemicals, viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens if needed, build the function of the thyroid and adrenals
- Eliminate and discard – all non-stick cookware
- Eliminate Soy – Soy suppresses thyroid functions, imbalances hormones, and it has been shown to cause goiters (an enlargement of the thyroid gland) by disrupting iodine usage
- Adhere to an Alkaline Diet – This is extremely helpful when curing any chronic disease.
- Balance Estrogen Levels (Women) – Excess estrogen slows down the thyroid gland. This means eliminating birth control medications, increasing the fiber in the diet, and avoiding all non-organic meats. Growth hormones in meats lead to imbalanced hormones. Reduce dairy intake, because milk often contains lots of estrogen. Use Organic milk and raw milk
- Exercise – Find a physical activity that is fun, and do it often. We believe that exercise could half the cure time in some cases, and curing is not possible without it.
- Hemp Fiber – This is a broad-spectrum supplement and a mild laxative.
- Eliminate gluten – American and Canadian grains are inflammatory
- Avoid all sources of fluoride – As already mentioned, fluoride suppresses the thyroid, and is likely to be the leading cause of hypothyroidism. Drink spring water, avoid soft drinks, use fluoride-free toothpaste, use a shower filter, and throw away non-stick cookware. Both coffee and tea naturally contain fluoride, so use iodine to compensate if these drinks are indispensable.
- Eat a natural diet – To help the body to heal itself, remove burdens on its immune system. This means that all processed foods, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, white flour, white sugar, table salt, hydrogenated oils, aluminum, high fructose corn syrup, and etcetera should be eliminated from the diet. Organic food is the ideal. Do not trust marketing that reads “All Natural”, because this phrase is intentionally unregulated, so that anyone may use it for anything. Read labels carefully.
- Pears and Apples – The ancient Chinese discovered that pears have a powerful tendency to balance hormones; especially in women. Pears help most when mixed with or juiced with apples.
- Coconut Oil: Buy organic, cold-pressed, coconut oil from a health food store. Take around 1 tablespoon of it daily. You can also cook with it. Coconut oil speeds the metabolism, encourages production of the thyroid hormone, and kills candida yeast.
- Avoid Canola Oil: Canola oil interferes with the production of thyroid hormones, amongst its many other dangers. Treat canola oil like the abominable, genetically engineered, and poison that it is
You may take the self-test Thyroid questionnaire found on our website under On-line forms. Remember this is merely a screening tool and not diagnostic.
If you are concerned that you may have a thyroid disorder, Please contact a health professional. We can help. Call today 818-788-8242