Dr. David Clark, DC – Center for Low Thyroid Solutions Durham, NC – educates women with low thyroid on the potential dangers of iodine supplements.
Are iodine supplements safe for low thyroid? Listen very closely to what I’m about to tell you.
Iodine is important for thyroid hormone metabolism. You must have iodine to make T4 and T3. T4 (inactive) is converted into T3, the active form of thyroid hormone.
There is one….ONE kind of hypothyroidism in which iodine works very well…
…and that’s called Primary Hypothyroidism. (There are about 24 different ways that thyroid hormone chemistry can go wrong).
In Primary Hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is not excreting and not manufacturing sufficient T4. This is the type of hypothyroidism that responds very well to drugs such as Synthroid®, Levothyroxine®, and Armour®.
But—Primary Hypothyroidism not the most common cause of hypothyroid. The most common cause of hypothyroid in America (and the world), is called Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis.
In Hashimoto’s, your immune system is attacking and trying to kill your thyroid gland. Specifically, your immune system targets:
1. Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) -an enzyme used to make T4 and T3.
2. Thyroglobulin (TGB) -a protein used to make T4 and T3.
Here’s where we talk about two issues with Iodine…
Issue #1 with Iodine:
Iodine stimulates the manufacture of TPO inside the thyroid gland. If you are already attacking TPO (have Hashimoto’s) then increasing levels of TPO is like throwing wood on the fire.
Issue #2 with Iodine:
If you don’t have Hashimoto’s, taking Iodine can cause Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis. Iodine triggers Hashimoto’s. This is without a doubt, there’s no question. There’s a ton of research studies on this topic that prove that iodine is a trigger for Hashimoto’s.
How do they know? In many countries around the world they’ve given people prophylactic iodine, meaning, “Hey, we think our citizens in this area don’t have enough iodine in their blood. Their TSH levels look weird, they have goiters. Let’s give them all iodine and correct that.”
In almost 100% of the cases, when they give iodine, they also cause Hashimoto’s in all of those people.
That is a horrible thing to do to someone because once you have one autoimmune attack, the chances are you’re going get another one. In Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune attack can move very quickly into the parietal cells of the stomach, casing pernicious anemia….into the pancreas causing blood sugar problem…and intp the cerebellum, causing dizziness, vertigo, balance problems.
So please read this next part very closely…
There’s thousands of people on Yahoo! Groups and chat groups saying, “I’ve treated my hypothyroidism with iodine, therefore iodine is good for low thyroid symptoms.”
No, Iodine is not. You must to get tested first to make sure you do not have Hashimoto’s. A very simple test to do. You get what’s called a TPO antibody test and you get a TGB antibody test.
If either one or both of those antibody tests come back positive, DO NOT TAKE IODINE. It’s very simple.
When a person has Hashimoto’s and they take iodine, their symptoms get worse. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read this in a patient’s history.
I get called a murderer and all kinds of whacko things when I talk about iodine, but it’s true.
I’m not telling you that iodine doesn’t work on some people because clearly, it does. It works on those people that have Primary Hypothyroidism, but that’s not the most common kind of Hypothyroidism.
Do yourself a favor and be safe. If you’ve got classic low thyroid symptoms like
Don’t try to supplement yourself, which is the same as medicating yourself. Find someone that understands these things I’m talking about. Find someone who understands a functional perspective, a functional way of looking at hypothyroidism. Hopefully will be a good detective and will find out what is actually causing those low thyroid symptoms (because maybe they’re not even low thyroid symptoms. They might be adrenal gland symptoms or brain symptoms.)
That person is going to have to do some tests. There’s over 24 different ways your thyroid hormones can go wrong and iodine only really helps one of those Yes, probably 20 of those are fairly rare, but the most common is Hashimoto’s.
In the scientific journals Iodine + Hashimoto’s has been called “an explosive mix”.
I’ve seen too many people get into trouble over the last four years trying to self supplement and using iodine. Women come in and I find out they’ve taken iodine and felt awfula and smartly stopped it. Or, worse they’ve never really recovered from it.
This is serious business were talking about here. You can make yourself worse.
Iodine is not safe for low thyroid symptoms until you find out if you’ve got Hashimoto’s or not…and it might not even be safe then because iodine can trigger Hashimoto’s.
© 2012 David Clark.
Dr. David Clark, DC – Center for Low Thyroid Solutions Durham, NC -explains the 3 surprising reasons why your doctor isn’t doing anything for the autoimmune part of Hashimoto’s.
Every day I get asked the question, “Why isn’t my doctor doing anything about the autoimmune part of my low thyroid problem?” There are three reasons why your doctor isn’t doing anything about it…
1. Your doctor may not know that you have autoimmune problem. If they have not tested you for Hashimoto’s, then they don’t know you have an autoimmune thyroid problem.
2. What you have to understand is if that even if your doctors knows for sure that you’ve got Hashimoto’s autoimmune hypothyroidism— the only treatment your doctor has for you replacement thyroid hormones. They don’t have any other tool to offer you.
3. The more sinister reason–your doctor doesn’t really understand Hashimoto’s in the first place. They haven’t read an scientific article about Hashimoto’s in years. They’re out of touch with current science. (The current record for admitted out-of-touchness by my patients former doctors is TEN years.)
I see a lot of people in my practice that have Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. And most of these people have already been taking thyroid hormones for a year or two years or three years, but they still feel bad.
They still have:
The reason why they still have theses low thyroid symptoms?
When you have Hashimoto’s and all you do is give the person replacement thyroid hormones like Synthroid®, Levoxyl® or Armour® — it does very little for what’s actually happening in Hashimoto’s.
In Hashimoto’s your immune system is destroying your thyroid gland. The replacement hormones don’t stop that.
It’s the same as if I were to come home and my house is on fire, but the firefighters give me a key to a hotel room…but NEVER try to put out the fire. What are we going to do to put out the fire? Ignore it. Let it burn and hope everything works out OK?
To me, that’s asinine. I’m shocked that more physicians aren’t trying to do something more.
You can’t tell me that all these doctors don’t know something’s not working when their patients are coming back every six months saying, “I still feel awful.” I mean what are the doctors doing? In their mind, what are they thinking?
Well, I’ll tell you what they might be thinking.
I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the doctors that treat these women suffering with Hashimoto’s think that you go home and eat ice cream & bonbons while sipping a milkshake. And that’s why you’re still gaining weight.
Seriously, I think that’s what some of them think. But I don’t understand why they don’t try to do something about it.
If your the doctor, I just don’t understand how someone can show up to your office and say, “I still feel bad.”
And you say, “Well, time to give you more of the same thing I already gave you that didn’t work.”
That just doesn’t make any sense to me. But that’s what a lot of these doctors are doing; and I think it’s because they don’t understand Hashimoto’s. They don’t understand that it’s an autoimmune condition.
A lot of doctors have stopped reading. When they got their diploma and they got their degree, they stopped reading medical journals. They certainly stopped reading about anything that has to do with natural management or non-drug methods. They’re not reading any of that.
It just saddens me.
I see hundreds of these people – thousands of these people that are taking thyroid medication just like they’re supposed to. Their labs are normal, but they still have low thyroid symptoms while they’re taking that medication. And it’s because the medication not helping their underlying problem.
Many times, when I’m here in my office talking to people, I get really angry at what doctors are telling people….
“That can’t have anything to do with it,”
“Gluten can’t have anything to do with your Hashimoto. There’s nothing you can do for this, you just have to live with it.”
Trash that doctors spit out as a defense mechanism. But they’re really not getting you better in the process.
And that’s why your doctor’s not doing anything about the autoimmune part of your thyroid problem. They either
A. Don’t know you’ve got it, so then you’ve got to get tested for it.
B. Even if you did get tested for it, they’re the hammer and you’re the nail.
They only have one tool and their hammer is thyroid replacement hormones. Most of them don’t have any training in what to do with autoimmunity. They have no idea about what modulates it, what makes it better. And they’re terrified, terrified that they’re ignorance is going to be exposed. Most of these people are just terrified that you’re gonna ask them some question that they don’t know the answer to, which is why they say, “Oh, you can’t do that.” They’re gonna poo-poo things they don’t understand.
If you’ve found a doctor that can tell you, “Look, I don’t know about that, It’s not my field.” That I can accept. It’s the doctors that act like they do know what they’re talking about but really have no basis for their opinion… that infuriates me.
There is help. You have to find a doctor who understands all these things I’m just telling you.
Someone who understands and has been trained on how to functionally deal with this autoimmune problem and get it calmed down and get your immune system under control.
If you don’t get the right help, that autoimmune problem can expand into more tissues, more organs, and cause more problems that are ten times worse than the awful thyroid symptoms you’re suffering right now.
©2012 David Clark.
Dr. David Clark, DC -Center for Low Thyroid Solutions Durham, NC- guides Hashimoto’s sufferers through the debate about synthetic vs. biodidentical thyroid hormones.
Let’s talk for a second about the debate between what is best for Hashimoto’s – synthetic thyroid hormones versus bioidentical thyroid hormones.
The answer is… neither one of them is best.
This is a real red herring of a debate that I see a lot of people that are suffering with Hashimoto’s and low thyroid symptoms get sucked into. They get sucked into this debate over, you know, which is better – synthetic or natural. The answer is there is no better one. It depends on what works for the individual.
In reality, the answer to the question to what hormone you should be on if you have Hashimoto’s is only about 10% of the battle. The other 90% of the battle is what are you going to do to calm down this autoimmune response?
Unfortunately, there is a lot of doctor’s who don’t understand Hashimoto’s. They don’t understand autoimmune. They don’t understand really what triggers it, what perpetuates it.
So instead we get stuck on these useless moot debates about Synthroid versus Armour. Levoxyl versus Nature-Throid, and it doesn’t matter.
Just this past week, I had to give this speech…
I was talkng with a women whose TSH is over 10.0. She was never diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. We ran the tests….she’s got Hashimoto’s, but she just doesn’t want to be on a medication. She doesn’t want to be on a “synthetic medication.” She wants to try one of the “natural things,” but she doesn’t know what to do.
I said “Kim, you know, you’re killing yourself. You’re really punishing yourself for no reason. I mean, if you had a leg that was amputated, if you wanted to walk again, you’d get a prosthetic leg. Right? You wouldn’t just hobble around and crawl on the floor. You’d get a prosthetic leg. They make prosthetic legs to help that exact situation.”
In Hashimoto’s it’s the same situation.
In Hashimoto’s you’re going to lose pieces of your thyroid gland, and you’re never going to get them back. And being worried or having some kind of idealistic problem with being on a medication for that problem means you’re unnecessarily punishing yourself.
You deserve to have some kind of thyroid function. Right? You deserve to be free of low thyroid symptoms like:
If you’ve got Hashimoto’s, there’s a really good chance – I mean a really good chance– you’re going to have to be on some type of thyroid hormone replacement at some point. But what kind of thyroid hormone replacement is going to vary from person to person. Let me explain why.
Some people do great on synthetic thyroid hormones.
However, if you go to the internet and you starting looking in chat rooms, you’re going to see that people say “Synthroid is awful.”
And it may be awful for that person who made the post…but synthetics do great for some people….and for some people bioidenticals are awful. They have a horrible time with bioidentical thyroid hormones. And here’s why…
When you have Hashimoto’s, you have an autoimmune attack on your thyroid gland. You start destroying the inside your thyroid gland. You start destroying the enzyme thyroid peroxidase and/or and you destroy thyroglobulin.
When you have autoimmunity and you’ve already targeted and attacked one tissue, the taboo is broken…your whole body is on the menu now.
The autoimmune attack can now progress beyond TPO and beyond Thryoglobulin…progress to now attacking your own hormones–T4 and T3.
If you’re that person who is now attacking your own T4 and T3, and you start taking Armour or Nature-Throid…and you have a really bad reaction to it…There’s a really good chance that what happened is you just put more wood on the burning fire.
You were already attacking your thyroid hormones, and now you just gave your immune system a whole bunch more fuel to attack.
I hope that makes sense.
That person usually does great on synthetic thyroid hormones.
But some people don’t do well on synthetics, and here’s why.
Synthroid, for example, contains fillers. These fillers can stimulate your immune system to be more out of balance, and you can have a reaction to them. You can feel inflamed, oir have more low thyroid symptoms.
That’s the basic two scenarios that happen—attacking your own hormones, or being wrongly stimulated by the fillers.
The fact is, if you’re watching this, you’re just going to have to find a doctor who’ll work with you, and you’re going to find which one works best for you.
Don’t get sucked into the debate about natural versus synthetic. That is so a waste of your time.
What you really have to do is focus on “what am I going to do to get this autoimmune thing under control?” Because the thyroid hormone replacement is going to do very little to address the autoimmune process.
And your autoimmune attack could keep on progressing and can move into other tissues. This is dangerous. Your immune system can attack your cerebellum, your pancreas….any tissue….and cause a more symptoms that are way worse than what you’re already feeling, and those are bad enough.
So you’ve got to find a doctor who understands that it synthetic or bioidentical doesn’t really matter… just find out which one works for you. This doctor should understand that you could react badly to either kind, and if you do– does NOT ignore it.
More important for your long term heatlh—you’ve got to find a doctor who understands how to get this Hashimoto’s autoimmune tissue attack under control and help balance your immune system.
©2011 David Clark.
Dr. David Clark, DC – Center for Low Thyroid Solutions Durham,NC – shares important new information about how Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis can make you feel bad, even if your TSH, T4, T3 are normal.
I’m going to tell you why Hashimoto’s negatively affects your quality of life even if your TSH and your hormone levels are normal.
First, is Hashimoto’s really a big deal? A lot of doctors say,
“Eh, Hashimoto’s is no big deal. You take the medication. You live with it. There’s nothing you can do.”
That’s not true. They’re saying that it’s no big deal because they only have one thing to offer you…and too bad if it doesn’t help.
If you’re suffering with Hashimoto’s, you know how bad it is….
These are classic low thyroid symptoms.
And Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of low thyroid. (NOT iodine deficiency or tyrosine)
New research out this year proves that when women have TPO antibodies–which, along with anti-thyroglobulin antibodies are what you test for when you’re lookng for Hashimoto’s-—have a decreased quality of life even if their TSH and their hormone levels are normal.
Case in point…. just yesterday I was talking to a new patient and she told me she just found out from her endocrinologist that she has a “raging” case of Hashimoto’s….
But the doctor “can’t do anything” for her because her TSH is normal.
I was floored. It’s like her doctor thinks she’s handcuffed….
I know you’ve got these antibodies, but I can’t do anything for you because of some bogus artificial “rule” that the pateint’s TSH must be higher than X number etc.
The doctor could do something for her, IF the doctor had training in non-drug management.
But I guess in fairness the only thing that her doctor has is to give her hormone replacement. And the doctor’s guideline is that if your hormone levels are normal, even if you’ve got antibodie, then the doctor can’t do anything for the patient.
There’s thousands of women who are suffering with Hashimoto’s…who feel helpless….because no one will help them.
If you’re reading this and you’ve got positive TPO antibodies or positive TGB antibodies, here’s some piece of mind…
….Understand that the research shows that you can have
- dry skin
- hair loss
- vaginal dryness
- feeling cold all the time
- requiring excessive amounts of sleep to function….
..AND your thyroid hormone levels be “normal” (aka “euthyroid.”
This study I mentioned gave approximately 600 women questionnaires, and the researchers found out that…
Women with positive TPO antibodies are having a horrible time with symptoms even though they’re not classically “hypothyroid.”
They also analyzed the kinds symptoms in two groups of these women–those with TPO antibodies less than 121 or TPO antibodies greater than 121. What they found out is these women are suffering in all domains: social roles, their zest for life, their physical ability, their pain.
If you’ve ever been made to feel that you’re crazy, or “just depressed” because you’ve got these TPO/TGB antibodies–but you’re not low thyroid… so the symptoms you’re having can’t be due to Hashimoto’s….
Well, now you can go back to that doctor and say…
“Why don’t you read this study? Why don’t you read something that’s up to date? There is a reason I feel bad.”
What will happen next?
Well, the doctor’s probably not going to be able to give you thyroid hormones because based on your lab work–and using their goofy rule—you don’t need them. So that MD is probably not going to be able to help you.
What you’re going to have to do next is find someone who can look at your thyroid problem and this Hashimoto’s autoimmune tissue reaction, from a functional perspective. A doctor who understands that there are steps to take so you can feel better, and there are things that you should and should not do.
I’m talking about specific diet changes. Specific lifestyle changes. Specialized testing that could be done to get to the bottom of why you’re attacking your thyroid gland.
It becomes complicated.
You should walk away today knowing you’re NOT crazy. There is a reason why you feel bad even though your thyroid hormone tests are “normal.”
Thousands of women have TPO antibodies and/or Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies PLUS low thyroid symptoms…but their TSH isn’t elevated or their T4 isn’t low.
Those women are in a medical wasteland. Feeling frustrated and abandoned.
Now you know you still need to find help…fast.
You’ve got to find someone who understands that Hashimoto’s negatively affects your quality of life in all areas, whether your thyroid hormones are normal or not.
© 2011 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.
I’m going explain why iodine supplementation is still a bad idea if you have low thyroid symptoms.
After a few years of salt iodination, the government assessed the results and were unhappy. They passed a rule to increase the amount of iodine put in the salt–a mandatory increase in iodine.
Well, some sharp researchers though..
“Let’s see if there’s a relationship between iodine and antibody production against the thyroid.”
To put it another way:
Does iodine cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
So let me back up and explain that.
For years, well-established, credible scientific data have shown that when you give people supplemental iodine —and this may be in a frankly iodine deficient area—you cause an autoimmune attack against the thyroid.
TPO antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies are how you determine if there is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.
The researchers from Denmark ran these exact tests in their quest to determine if iodine caused an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.
Here’s the citation so you so you can take a look at it.
Clinical Endocrinology (2011) 75, 120–126
(You would be shocked at the hate mail I get when I talk about iodine and it’s possible negative effects. It’s clear by their comments that they are either not actually reading, or they simply dont’ understand my point.)
This is my point about iodine, low thyroid symptoms and Hashimoto’s…
if you have low thyroid symptoms, you need to find out if you have Hashimoto’s or not. Because if you have Hashimoto’s, taking iodine is like taking toxic waste.
Iodine will make you worse.
Let me tell you a quick real life story about iodine…
Recently I had a patient, Kim. She’s 36 years old and she had been taking iodine for seven years – for seven years—because some well-meaning but totally wrong alternative practitioner told her to take iodine for her low thyroid symptoms.
Quick Review of Low Thyroid Symptoms
Turns out, that in all these years of suffering low thyroid symptoms…and after all these years of seeing doctor after doctor… Kim had never been tested for Hashimoto’s.
For seven years Kim has felt bad. In the last year and a half she’s got worse and worse. Her hair’s been falling out, she’s gaining weight.
And all I did was say, “You know what? Why don’t we just find out for sure if you’ve got Hashimoto’s? Let’s find out if you’ve got these antibodies.”
Sure as heck, she’s got them. It explains why she feels so bad.
Iodine is a huge risk factor for Hashimoto’s.
In Denmark, where larger amounts of iodine have been put in the salt by law, the researchers discoverd a shocking increase in elevated thyroid antibodies in the youngest age group of women – 18 to 45.
Denmark passed a law that’s given a huge part of their population Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Hypothyroidism.
This might sound strange, but…
Hashimoto’s is actually the least of your worries. Why?
Because once you have one tissue under attack from your immune system–pay close attention—your entire body is now on the menu.
You can now attack your cartilage and develop rheumatoid arthritis…
…Or attack myelin and develop multiple sclerosis symptoms.
…Or attack your ovaries and develop infertility and various other polyglandular endocrine symptoms.
This is the new, real information about iodine and Hashimoto’s.
But I will probably still get flooded with hate mail or have people threatening to kill me and calling me a “murderer” because they don’t like what the research shows. This is the truth, folks.
If you’ve got lot thyroid symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain, constipation…
If you’re taking thyroid medication like Synthroid®, Armour®, Naturethroid®, Levoxyl® or Cytomel® — and you STILL feel bad…
Then, you’ve got to find somebody to do these simple, non-exotic tests for TPO antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies.
But here’s the catch…
If the results show you do have those elevate antibodies…you have a Hashimoto’s autoimmune attack on your thyroid….
Taking replacement thyroid hormones is only one tiny piece of the solution.
You need to find someone that understands the autoimmune situation. Someone who can help you get your immune system back into balance and slow down the autoimmune process (this can be done).
So to go back where I was at the beginning….low thyroid and iodine is a bad idea.
Until you know whether you’ve got an autoimmune situation, I suggest you do NOT take iodine.
If someone is telling you to take iodine for low thyroid symptoms (no matter who they are), it’s time they read a recent article with recent information.
© 2011 Dr David Clark, DC
If you’ve just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism by your doctor, here’s what you have to do next.
You have to go back to your doctor and demand that he/she run two tests –
Why should you yell and scream until your doctor orders these two tests?
Because the most common cause of low thyroid in America is a disease called Hashimoto’s. It’s an autoimmune condition that can devastate your entire body –not just your thyroid gland.
Elevated TPO antibodies or elevated TGB antibodies indicate that your immune system is targeting and attacking your thyroid gland. Only ONE of the two antibodies needs to be positive to indicate Hashimoto’s.
Low thyroid symptoms are bad enough:
But, Hashimoto’s can lead to breakdown in the cerebellum, cartilage, nerves, pancreas or stomach.
Most GPs, family practitioners–even endocrinologists–don’t test for Hashimoto’s. The only reason they ever seem to test for it is to shut up an insistent patient.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system targets your thyroid gland and literally eats it up – chews it up. You lose pieces of your thyroid gland and you never get them back.
End results is, you can’t make thyroid hormones and you get low thyroid symptoms like depression, thinning hair, dry skin, constipation, brain fog, infertility, high cholesterol, okay?
If you have just got diagnosed with low thyroid, the next thing your must find out – whether your doctor thinks you should or not – is whether or not you have Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is a whole other ball game.
Sadly, your medical doctor is probably not going be able to help you with the autoimmune process. They really only have one way to work with any thyroid problem: thyroid hormone replacement.
POINT: Almost all Hashimoto’s patients are going to require some replacement at some point because they are losing pieces of their thyroid gland.
Problem is —There’s at least 24 different ways that your thyroid hormones can go wrong. Only one of the 24 responds well to thyroid hormone replacement. That’s why there’s millions of women who still feel lousy even though their lab tests are normal…Even though they’re taking the thyroid medication like they’re supposed to.
They still feel bad because most of them have Hashimoto’s. And the autoimmune part of the problem has been ignored.
I want you to have hope that you can feel better. If you’ve been newly diagnosed hypothyroid, you need take action.
You’ve got to stand up for yourself and demand those tests: TPO Antibodies and TGB Antibodies.
What to do when the TPO antibodies and TGB antibodies test results come back….
If TPO & TGB antibodies are negative, two things:
If TPO & TGB antibodies are positive…
You must find a doctor that understands how to approach Hashimoto’s from a functional perspective…someone who understands that there’s even more testing that has to be done.
See, there are triggers for Hashimoto’s…factors that perpetuate Hashimoto’s–keep the fire burning—and we have to investigate and uncover them.
You have to put together the whole jigsaw puzzle and figure out…
Hashimoto’s low thyroid reality check…
Once you have an autoimmune condition (like Hashimoto’s), chances are good that you will end up with another autoimmune condition.
Here’s what I mean by that…
Normally you’re not supposed to attack and kill yourself, right? That’s called self-tolerance – when you don’t attack yourself.
I mean, we all make a few antibodies to different tissues. An antibody is like a little strobe light that your immune system makes to tag what it thinks is an invader…or a dead cell that needs to be cleared out…or a cancer cell.
Then your T cells come by – and they see the strobe light and they attack it and kill it.
Well all of us make a little bit of antibodies to various organs and tissues…but we’re not supposed to make a lot of them.
Because when you make a lot of antibodies, then your T cells – your SWAT team – targets your tissue and kills it.
Depending on what tissue is being attacked, you suffer different symptoms .
In Hashimoto’s self-tolerance is broken. It’s like a taboo’s been broken. So now your SWAT team – your immune system – can attack anything it wants.
And it will. Your immune system can now attack your…
If you have Hashimoto’s, you need to realize that you have a problem bigger than your thyroid.
You have an autoimmune condition that needs to be slowed down. This has to be managed correctly or you’ll end up with problems beyond (and worse) than just low thyroid symptoms. And I know those are awful enough by themselves.
…having depression AND no energy because you’re B12 deficient/ Pernicious Anemic
…having fatigue AND peripheral neuropathy because you have autoimmune diabetes.
…having hair loss AND car sickness-vertigo-nausea so severe you can’t take a trip to the grocery store
Horrible to think about–even for a second.
This is why the first thing you must do if you’re newly diagnosed hypothyroid is demand your doctor do those tests –or find somebody else to do them.
If those tests come back negative, there’s about 23 other reasons why you could still have low thyroid symptoms. And you need to find a doctor that understands this fact.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, don’t give up hope.
Don’t get scared into blindly taking thyroid hormones without investigating whether you have Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s can and does lead to other autoimmune conditions that can devastate your quality of life.
© 2011 Dr. David Clark, DC. All Rights Reserved.
Let’s talk about the connection between fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. If you don’t know what fibromyalgia is let me first tell you that I think it’s a garbage can diagnosis.
I’m not saying Fibromyalgia is not real… but I am saying the diagnosis is lame.
I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and I discovered a dirty little secret about the way millions of women were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia….
The criteria that were originally established for fibromyalgia over 15 years ago were based on a doctor having actual physical contact with the patient (makes sense, right?) Recent published research did a retrospective review of thousands of women diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The reseachers found that doctors who had been busy diagnosing women with Fibromyalgia were not correctly following the established diagnostic critera.
So what were these doctors doing?
An alarming number of doctors had never physically examined the women they diagnosed with fibromyaglia.
This is ridiculous, considering that muscle tenderness was one of the criteria. That means the doctors should have put their hands on these patients to determine if the patients actually had any tender points.
In reality, in a doctor’s office, Fibromyalgia means you have chronic unexplained pain. (among other things).
Here’s the funny thing –using the established criteria, out of the next 50 people that walk by my office, I could diagnose 25 of them with fibromyalgia. That’s why Fibromyalgia is not much of diagnosis.
Why am I talking about Fibromyalgia and Low Thyroid?
Every month, I’m seeing more women coming into my office that are already diagnosed with fibromyalgia– and they also have diagnosed hypothyroidism (low thyroid) or symptoms of low thyroid.
Now what is the connection between the two? Their symptoms overlap. On the one hand let’s take hypothyroid. What are your common hypothyroid symptoms?
And the common symptoms of Fibromyalgia are…
See the overlap? (Actually, there are a couple of other conditions that can overlap in here as well. A thorough doctor would rule those out).
Here’s the problem…
There’s a popular chain of fibromyalgia and fatigue clinics that–basically–treat every women diagnosed with fibromyalgia as ALSO being hypothyroid. And they give thyroid hormones to almost everyone who walks through the door. (In fact, they have a nifty handout titled “Are All Fibromyalgia Patients Low Thyroid?” that lays out their case for doing this).
Giving thyroid hormones to all women diagnosed with Fibromyalgia is a mistake.
Granted, yes, some of the people that have fibromyalgia symptoms are indeed hypothyroid. Hypothroidism is very common.
But, the number one cause of low thyroid in America is Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition… and giving thyroid hormones is going to help a little bit, but it not’s going to do squat for the autoimmune attack.
Giving thyroid hormones to every woman who has Fibromyalgia symptoms is just like giving them an energy drink….
She’ll feel good for awhile…maybe she’ll think she’s finally found the ‘right’ thing…
But her pain will return, because either
A. She’s not hypothyroid at all.
B. She actually IS hypothyroid, and it’s caused by Hashimoto’s (autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland), but the thyroid hormones just don’t help. See These Posts.
I don’t like this approach because it’s a cookie cutter way of getting a lot of people to come to a fibromyalgia and fatigue clinic….then charge them a bunch of money….then give them all hormones and see how the cookie crumbles. Some will get better, many won’t.
Probably 25 or 20 percent of those women are going to feel better when you give them some thyroid hormones because they’re on hypothyroid side of the coin.
In my opinion, these doctors are not digging deep enough. It takes almost no extra effort on the doctor’s part to figure out what’s going on. But it does take having the correct training to know what to look for.
So the connection between fibromyalgia and hypothyroid is that the symptoms overlap. But the “diagnosis” of fibromyalgia isn’t helpful in the first place. At least with hypothyroid there are some lab tests you can use as evidence.
Does that make sense?
A disturbing number of women with fibromyalgia symptoms actually have some form of an autoimmune attack on one or more of their tissues or organs.
Many people with fibromyalgia actually have poor firing brains in the frontal lobe and the parietal lobe.
I can guarantee you that any mainstream medical doctor that diagnoses you with fibromyalgia is not investigating whether you’ve got autoimmunity (sure, they may run ANA antibodies).
They’re not investigating to see if you’ve got weakness in your frontal lobe of your brain.
They’re just looking at a checklist, and eventually they decide,
“She’s had this pain for five years. She’s seen a neurologist, orthopedist, physical therapist..and no one really knows what’s causing her pain…. So, she’s got fibromyalgia.”
Well that doesn’t help us at all, does it?
If you’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, or you think you have fibromyalgia…I don’t want you to lose hope.
Don’t settle for “Fibromyalgia.” Don’t settle for “Hypothyroid.”
You need to find….
….A doctor that understands that hypothyroidism and Fibromyalgia can overlap, but you don’t automatically need hormones.
….A doctor that understands that “Fibromyalgia” is just a label and knows how to discover why you have these symptoms
….A doctor that understands how to check for Hashimoto’s, and knows what to do if you have it.
…A doctor who’s willing to take the necessary time and leave no stone unturned.
© 2011 Dr. David Clark, DC.. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. David Clark, DC director of the Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC talks with his patient, Susan as she shares her Hashimoto’s success story.
Dr. David Clark: Susan, you’ve been doing how well?
Susan: Much better.
Dr. David Clark: Yeah? So, explain again.
Susan: Much better..My hair’s falling out less, my fingernails are a bit better, and this is, I think, only day 19, and my digestive problems have cleared up by 95 percent.
Dr. David Clark: Cool. And you didn’t really think you had any digestive problems, though, did you?
Susan: And I didn’t think I had any, so now I –
Dr. David Clark: But, you felt 95 percent better, right?
Susan: – now I realize I did have it.
Dr. David Clark: Yeah.
Susan: Did have them. And I got more energy. I have a lot more energy.
Dr. David Clark: So, how do you know that, though? How do you –
Susan: Well, because I work out really hard a few times a week, and my trainer says, “My God, you’re getting stronger,” and I’ve lost seven pounds.
Dr. David Clark: Wow. Wow, that’s –
Susan: Without dieting, I mean, other than this diet…. I mean, and there was nothing I could do – I forgot to tell you that. There’s nothing I could do before to get under 150. No matter how much I ate, how much I didn’t eat, I stayed the same. Giving up diary and the gluten –
Dr. David Clark: Broke the barrier.
Susan: – I broke the barrier. I’m down seven, and I feel like I’ll probably lose a little bit more, but I kind of – I like being a little bit chunky, so I’m probably – I don’t want to get passed –… I don’t want to be too skinny.
Dr. David Clark: You don’t want to be a stick figure. But, you want to feel good is the point, right?
Susan: Yeah, I feel great.
Dr. David Clark: So, where were you losing hair at? Was it, like, hair on your head type thing?
Dr. David Clark: And so, you noticed that you’re losing less?
Dr. David Clark: Like, how much less would you say? Could you quantify it at all, I mean?
Susan: Probably three-quarters less.
Dr. David Clark: Wow. How would – how did you know you were using it? Like, when you were taking a shower?
Susan: I’d find it in the tub –
Dr. David Clark: Wow.
Susan: – or on the pillow or wherever.
Dr. David Clark: On the pillow. Well, that’s fantastic.
Dr. David Clark: That’s cool. Well, great. All right, well, we’re really just getting started, so I – we’ll talk to you –
Susan: I’m ready.
Dr. David Clark: Yeah, we’ll –
Susan: And I’m very committed.
Dr. David Clark: Cool, all right.
© 2011 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. David Clark, DC director of the Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham,NC provides a shocking answer to the question no one seems to ask a woman suffering with low thyroid symptoms…Why Did Your Thyroid Gland Stop Working?
Are you suffering with low thyroid symptoms? Has your doctor ever explained WHY your thyroid gland stop working?
A common MIS-conception about thyroid disorders is that at some point….for some mysterious reason….your thyroid gland just quit working. So now you need thyroid medication.
That’s not a good answer, is it?
I mean, are we programmed so that –at some time in our life–our thyroid glands wear out, give up or shut off? Should you just accept that kind of thinking?
You should not accept it…especially if you’re taking thyroid hormones and your labs are “normal”, but you still have low thyroid symptoms.
If this is you, then your doctor has not determined why your thyroid gland stopped working in the first place. And that’s why the “treatment” isn’t working.
When I train other doctors, my mantra is….
Always Ask “Why?”
I teach my patients the same thought process. Ask yourself “why?”
If you have low thyroid….why did it happen?
The number one cause of low thyroid in America is Hashimoto’s.
That’s an autoimmune problem–your immune system attacks and destroys your thyroid gland. The loss of gland tissue causes low thyroid symptoms.
Even though it is the most common cause of low thyroid, few doctors test for Hashimoto’s (because they have nothing to offer beside thyroid hormones).
there are 22 other reasons why your thyroid hormones could malfunction.
(see my other posts on this topic).
That makes me pause for a second…
We’re all blaming the gland. But the thyroid gland is not the problem in many cases.
Is it the gland’s fault that your immune system is trying to kill it? No.
The thyroid gland does what the pituitary tells it to do— make the T4 and the T3, and then it’s up to other parts of the body to do their job.
There are different players in this low thyroid story, not just the thyroid gland by itself…
The liver must convert T4 to T3.
Your GI bacteria, the good guys that live in there, they’ve got to convert T3 sulfate into active T3.
…There’s a lot of things we could talk about. You can look at my other posts.
So, it’s not just the thyroid gland to blame. I would say 90 percent of the endocrinologists you’ll ever see or family practitioners would say , “Your thyroid gland quit working. Take these hormones.”
If you felt great after taking the medication, you probably would never give it a second thought. But if you’re reading this right now, you probably don’t feel good.
You probably still have some of the low thyroid symptoms you had before taking the medication….
If you’re still suffering these symptoms, then–to me—no one has asked or answered the question, “Why did your thyroid gland stop working?”
Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition, is by far the most common here in America, but you can also have problems with binding proteins, conversion, under-conversion….
The point is you need to find someone that understands the entire thyroid story are and knows how to track down the possible suspects.
If your doctor’s only checking TSH and T4, he’s never going to find those other possibilities I just talked about–never.
He’s never going to find
…a serotonin problem, a dopamine problem
…an under-conversion problem.
…a binding globulin problem.
He’ll miss them all.
And you suffer the consequences.
You are forced wander for years thinking there’s something mentally wrong with you…
This thyroid medication is supposed to work, but I still feel bad.
It’s not your fault.
If you are taking thyroid medication–or you have low thyroid symptoms–somebody needs to ask and answer that question…
What happened? Why did your thyroid stop working?
Only then, when that question is answered (or at least asked), are you going to be on the path to feeling good again.
Dr. David Clark, DC in Durham, NC answers the most important question you can ask if you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis and suffer low thyroid symptoms.
Here’s the most important question you can ask if you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid…
Can Hashimoto’s be reversed?
But…can the symptoms of Hashimoto’s be reversed? YES!
And here’s what I mean:
The fact that you can’t reverse Hashimoto’s the disease is not bad news, as you’ll see. Hashimoto’s really is a genetic condition. Genes get triggered. Once they’re “ON”, you can’t stop them. (hold on)
The 3 P’s of Hashimoto’s
Now, Hashimoto’s usually occurs in women at about three different times of their life–
During those particular times there are certain factor…triggers…I don’t want to go over all of them today…
…but these triggers turns genes on (that you were already carrying) that make your immune system target your thyroid gland and destroy it.
Important point: You can’t turn off those genes no matter what anybody tells you.
You can’t cure Hashimoto’s.
I don’t care what you look at–antibodies, TSH…whatever.
There’s a lot of doctors– some not so alternative doctors, I might add – that are practicing folklore. They look at TSH as some barometer for success.
“Hey, look, this person’s TSH level is normal. We’ve cured their Hashimoto’s! We’ve reversed the disease!.”
No you haven’t.
If you monitored the TSH levels of a Hashimoto’s patient over the course of six months– with no intervention at all—the TSH level will go up and down like the wind…
Month 1 TSH: hypothyroid.
Month 2 TSH: normal.
Month 3 TSH: hyperthyroid
Month 4 TSH: normal
Month 5 TSH: hyperthyroid
Month 6 TSH: hypothyroid
And that’s with NO diet change, iodine, selenium, immune booster etc.
If your doctor checked your TSH in Months 2 and 4, he/she would think they’re a wizard. You’re cured!
But if the doctor checked in months 2, 3, 5 or 6 –not so much a wizard.
So, the people that are telling you that they can reverse Hashimoto’s and their proof is TSH levels—they’re full of it.
Another group of Hashimoto’s experts use antibodies to prove they’ve reversed Hashimoto’s…
“Mrs. Smith, your antibodies are decreasing. You’re almost cured.”
“Mrs. Smith, your antibodies are within normal range now. We’ve cured your Hashimoto’s.”
No, you haven’t.
Just like TSH, TPO Antibodies and TBG antibodies can fluctuate wildly and are not a reliable indicator of progress.
You’re lucky if you were tested and you actually showed elevated antibodies. Scientific research shows that about 15 percent of Hashimoto’s victims are seronegative—they don’t make enough antibodies to be detected. Even though they really do have Hashimoto’s and have got all the symptoms:
Using thyroid antibodies as proof of progress or cure is a waste of time.
What can you use to let you know you’re getting better? Two things:
Reversing the symptoms…the fatigue, the brittle hair, the hair falling out, constipation, and cognitive problem.
You can reverse Hashimoto’s symptoms– without question.
How do you do that?
The first thing that a doctor has to do is understand that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition. You have to look at it from an immune system perspective.
That means you’ve got to look at T-cells and B-cells. You’ve got to look at regulatory T-cells. You have to understand how vitamin D and food sensitivities and how occult infections and how toxicity…
…How all of that matters when working with a person suffering with Hashimoto’s (or a person suffering with low thyroid symptoms but NOT diagnosed Hashimoto’s).
If your doctor isn’t schooled in these matters…..
If your doctor doesn’t understand how to analyze these factors/triggers…
Then your doctor isn’t able to offer you much help in reversing those low thyroid symptoms beyond the standard, run of the mill, inside the box thinking…replacement hormones and medication.
I’m trying to give you a message of hope.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, you can be better. You can feel better.
I don’t want you to get stuck on the idea that “I need to cure myself of the Hashimoto’s to feel better.” That’s not necessary..
What if you could feel 70 percent better or even 80 percent better..but your Hashimoto’s was not cured?…
Would you be ok with that? Of course you would.
You can’t reverse Hashimoto’s the disease, but you can absolutely reverse Hashimoto’s symptoms and feel really good again…If your doctor knows and does the right stuff.
© 2011 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.