Understanding Thyroid Disorders

Understanding Thyroid
A Natural Approach
Personalized Medicine
 People are different and that’s why in our
clinic we treat the person and not the
 This is a major distinction between the
approach of conventional, allopathic
medicine versus what I do, which is called
Functional Medicine.
 The thyroid gland is a
soft smooth fleshy gland
which sits below the
larynx (voice box).
 Secretes
T4: Prohormone
T3: Active
Calcitonin: regulates
How does the Thyroid Work?
What does your Thyroid Do?
Regulates Metabolism & Regulates Temperature
Thyroid hormones stimulate diverse
metabolic activities in most tissues, leading
to an increase in basal metabolic rate and,
therefore, controls body temperature
Actions of Thyroid
Carbohydrate metabolism:
Thyroid hormones stimulate almost
all aspects of carbohydrate
metabolism, including enhancement
of insulin-dependent entry of
blood sugar into cells and increased
syntheses and breakdown
to generate free glucose.
Actions of Thyroid
Lipid metabolism
Plasma concentrations of
cholesterol and
triglycerides are inversely
correlated with
thyroid hormone levels –
one diagnostic
indication of
hypothyroidism is
blood cholesterol
Actions of Thyroid
The growth promoting
effect of thyroid hormones
is Intimately intertwined
with that of growth
Hormones of the Thyroid Gland
 The thyroid gland produces the hormone called
Thyroxine (T4) – this contains 4 molecules of iodine
 T4 is converted into the much more active form of
thyroid hormone called Triiodothyronine (T3) – this
contains 3 molecules of iodine
 T4 is converted into T3 in the liver, muscle, kidney
and to a lesser degree in all other body tissues
 Over 30 million women
and 15 million men suffer
from thyroid disorders.
 Thyroid problems affect as
many as 60 million
Americans -- the majority
are women in middle age
and beyond. The majority
 Why are we suffering from
such an epidemic of
hormonal problems?
Common Thyroid Disorders
 Hypothyroidism (underactive)
 Hyperthyroidism (overactive)
 Thyroiditis (inflammation of thyroid tissue)
 Goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland)
 Thyroid nodules (lumps within the thyroid)
 Thyroid cancer (malignant growth in the thyroid)
 Underactive = inadequate thyroid hormone
 Causes include:
 Auto-immune disease (Hashimoto's thyroiditis)
 Poor nutrition
 Environmental toxins – pesticides, petrochemicals,
fluoride, bromide, heavy metals
 Radiation
 Hereditary factors
 Stress
 Aging
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
 Weight gain
 Low body temperature
 Constipation
 Hair loss
 Dry flaky skin
 Fluid retention
 Slow reflexes
 Fatigue
 Muscle weakness
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
 Rapid aging
 Slowness of thought
 Depression
 Increased sensitivity to the
Loss of interest in sex
Puffiness around the eyes
Heavy or irregular
menstrual periods
Severe Hypothyroidism
is a sign of severe
 Over production of
thyroid hormone
 Causes include:
Stress & lack of rest
 Autoimmune disease
 Hot nodule
 Over dose of thyroid
 Amiodarone (heart
 Iodine toxicity (rare)
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
 Rapid heart beat
 Shortness of breath
 Increased appetite
 Weight loss
 Intolerance of heat
 Irregularity of menstrual
 Irritability
 Anxiety
 Insomnia
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
 Tremor
 Malaise
 Muscle weakness
 Diarrhea
 Infertility
 Exophthalmos – eye
disease – not always
Goiter = Enlarged thyroid
Causes include:
•Iodine deficiency
•Selenium deficiency
•Auto-immune inflammation
•Nodules within the thyroid
•Tumours – benign &
•Physiological – During
pregnancy & puberty
Goiters can compress the
trachea or esophagus causing
difficulty breathing or
Thyroid Nodules (lumps)
 Single nodules
 Multiple nodules
 Hot nodules
 Cold nodules (nonfunctioning)
 Often no symptoms
 Traditional medical model uses
only TSH to assess thyroid.
 The medical model that relies
upon medications to replace T4 or
T3 hormone was developed in the
New Research
The good news is that there
has been a lot of research
in the last 10 years that
uncovers the mechanisms
that cause thyroid
symptoms even when your
TSH is normal.
Poor Converters
 Nutrient Deficiencies
- Chromium
- Copper
- Iodine
- Iron
- Selenium
- Zinc
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Beta Blockers
- Birth Control Pills
- Estrogen
- Iodinated Contrast Agents
- Lithium
- Phenytoin
- Steroids
- Theophylline
Causes of Poor Conversion
 Diet
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Soy
- Aging
- Alcohol
- Lipoic Acid
- Diabetes
- Fluoride
- Lead
- Mercury
- Obesity
- Pesticides
- Radiation
- Stress
- Surgery
Complete Thyroid Testing
 Thyroid Stimulating
Hormone (TSH)
Free T3
Free T4
Reverse T3
Thyroid antibody levels
Thyroid antibodies are like
They travel through the blood
& find the thyroid gland and attack
its cells
Other Thyroid Tests
 Urinary Challenge iodine
Basal body temperature
Ultrasound of thyroid
Nuclear scan of thyroid
Needle biopsy of nodule
Assessing Body Temperature
 Men should take their basal body temperature for
four consecutive days
 Women should take their basal body temperature
for first 10 days of your menstrual cycle; this
avoids confusion with the normal spike in body
temperature which occurs after healthy ovulation
Basal Body Temperature
 If your temperature is below 36.0º C or 96.8º F, your
thyroid gland function is less than desirable; this
should be confirmed with a blood test
Gluten Sensitivity
 If you have hypothyroidism you should NOT be eating
 Over 90% of people with hypothyroidism is the US have
Hashimoto’s Thyroid and almost everyone with
Hashimoto’s is gluten sensitive.
 Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
Subsequently, gluten can be found in many everyday
foods like cereal, bread, bagels, and muffins.
 Gluten can also be found in less suspecting foods like soy
sauce, pickles, canned baked beans, licorice, hot dogs,
salad dressing, boxed soups, pudding, and beer.
 70 – 80% of the iodine in your body is stored in your
thyroid gland
Required for healthy thyroid tissue
Required for production of thyroid hormones
Required for healthy breast tissue
Reduces thyroid & breast cancer
Iodine deficiency is common worldwide
Japanese Studies
Food rich in nutrients needed for thyroid hormone
manufacture and conversion
 Iodine: Sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, hijiki, nori,
arame, wakame, kombu), clams, shrimp, haddock,
oysters, salmon, sardines, eggs
Fresh oysters
Ginger root
Lamb chops
Split peas
Brazil nuts
Vitamin E
Wheat germ oil
seeds, almonds
Peanut oil
Olive oil
Wheat germ
 Liver, red chili peppers, greens (collard,
Vitamin A
turnip, kale, Swiss chard, beet greens)
apricots, winter squash, cantaloupe, papaya,
nectarines, peaches, cod liver oil.
 Plants containing carotenoids, which have
precursor for Vitamin A; alpha-carotene and
beta-carotene). Yellow and orange vegetables
contain significant quantities of carotenoids.
Green vegetables also contain carotenoids.
 Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Brewer’s
B Vitamins
yeast, organ meats, almonds, wheat
germ, wild rice, mushrooms, egg
 Vitamin B3: (niacin): Brewer’s
yeast, rice bran, wheat bran, peanuts
with skin, liver, light meat of turkey
and chicken
 Vitamin B6: (pyridoxine): Brewer’s
yeast, sunflowers seeds, wheat germ,
tuna, liver, soybeans, walnuts,
salmon, trout, lentils, lima beans,
navy beans, garbanzos, pinto beans,
brown rice, bananas
Vitamin C
Red chili peppers
Red sweet peppers,
Greens (collard,
turnip, mustard,
Papaya (organic)
Citrus fruits
(oranges, lemons,
Brazil nuts.
One Brazil nuts
200mcg/day is the
Excess selenium can
interfere with
enzyme systems and
can be toxic in
amounts greater
than 900mcg/day
 The amino acid tyrosine combines
with iodine to make the hormone
thyroxine (T4).
 These foods include meat, fish,
turkey and chicken breast, low
fat milk and yogurt, almonds,
avocado, bananas, lima beans,
pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
 While not a food, it is
important to get a daily
dose of safe sun.
 Light stimulates the
pineal gland, which in
turn positively affects the
thyroid as well as all the
other endocrine glands.
Exercise stimulates the
thyroid gland secretion,
increases tissue sensitivity
to thyroid hormone, and is
well known in its stress
relieving effects.
Foods to Avoid
Certain foods are detrimental for
hypothyroidism because they can inhibit the
production of thyroid hormones.
 Soy products.
 Isoflavones are
hormone-like substances
found in soy products.
 High consumption of soy
products have been
found to suppress
thyroid function in some
people and can even
cause or worsen
Cruciferous Vegetables
 Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels
sprouts, cabbage, mustard,
rutabagas, kohlrabi, and
 Isothiocyanates are the
category of substances in
cruciferous vegetables that
have been associated with
decreased thyroid function..
Cooking these vegetables does
make the isothiocyanates less
 Only restrict this group if you
have been actually diagnosed
with hypothyroidism or have
strong symptoms.
 Low progesterone goes
hand in hand with low
thyroid, so avoid foods
that promote estrogen
 This includes any animal
product that has not
been produced
organically (chicken,
eggs, dairy, beef, lamb,
pork, etc.). All of these
foods are available
 Exposure to toxic levels of heavy metal can interfere
with thyroid function. Lead and mercury can invade
the thyroid gland and disrupt the production of
thyroid hormones. Consider testing heavy metals in
your system.
 In agricultural areas, the likelihood of pesticide
contamination in the water is higher.
 Tap water may be contaminated with minute
amounts of insecticides, weed killers, and artificial
 Pesticides have been shown to interfere with thyroid
function and to increase cancer risk.
 Use distilled water or a high quality reverse osmosis
filtration system.
 Hormones and antibiotic residues in meat and dairy
products, food-borne bacteria, chemicals in cleaning
products, food additives, cosmetics, and the
metabolic by-products of unfriendly gut bacteria can
denature thyroid hormones and impair the activity of
the liver and kidneys.
 Eat only organic animal products and consider
taking a probiotic (beneficial bacteria) to keep
pathogenic bacteria in the gut in check.
Other Treatment for Thyroid Problems
 If on synthetic T4 medicines and not feeling better
 Try switching to dessicated Thyroid (Armour)
 Bowel and liver detox plan
 Gluten free diet if thyroid antibodies present
 A reduction of dairy products may be required if
thyroid nodules contain a mucus secretion called
Suggested Approaches for Autoimmune Thyroid
- Use enough thyroid hormones to keep TSH between 0
and 1
- Selenium 200-800 mcg daily
- Gluten-free diet for at least 60 days
- Rectify any iodine deficiency
- Remove aspartame, trans fats, and processed whole
foods from diet
- Magnesium
- Treat any underlying infections
- Correct any hormone imbalances, especially DHEA
insufficiency and adrenal dysfunction
- Restore proper gut function
- Avoid thyroid glandulars
If you have or suspect you have a thyroid problem
Assess your stress
Stress management techniques
Check Adrenal Status via Adrenal Stress Test
Get Tested
 Complete Thyroid Profile
 Iodine Testing
 Gluten Sensitivity test
 Toxicity Testing
 Nutritional Testing:
 Amino Acids: Tyrosine
 Fatty Acids: Omega 3’s
 Vitamins: D, A, B Vitamins
 Minerals: Selenium, Zinc
www. DCOptimalHealth.net
(920) 743-4221

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