Low Thyroid: The Big Picture

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Hidden Cause #3 Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Today I reveal  “Hidden Cause Number 3 Why You Still Have Thyroid Symptoms”, even though your labs look normal…and even though you’re taking thyroid hormones.

The third hidden cause of Low Thyroid Symptoms is high levels of cytokines.

Cytokines are messengers that your immune system uses as part of the inflammation process.

Women that have inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel conditions, asthma…or autoimmune conditions like Lupus or RA…usally have high levels of cytokines.

High cytokine levels depress and squash the circuit in your brain that helps you make thyroid  hormones.

Cytokines may not squash this circuit so much that your TSH is low according to  “normal reference range.” But remember, the lab ranges that are used to measure TSH and T4, are too WIDE. Too forgiving.

In my office, I use a “functional” range.  It’s a narrow range.  The power of the functional range is that every day I discover  “hidden” thyroid dysfunction using this “functional” narrow range.

“How do you know if I have elevated cytokines?”

Well, these cytokines have names like interleukin 2, interleukin 4, tumor necrosis factor alpha.  You can easily test for these.  These are blood tests.  In fact, these are some of the same  tests that I do for my Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and RA  patients to find out about exactly how their immune system has become unbalanced.

I do the same deep analysis for the women who have thyroid hormone problems….the women that come in suffering with thyroid symptoms but “mysteriously” their labs are “normal.”

Thousands of women are wandering through life lost, feeling awful, without hope because their thyroid problem is mis-diagnosed and mis-managed.

They feel horrible…they have fatigue, depression, they can’t lose weight. It’s cruel, but they gain weight very rapidly. Ttheir hair is brittle, their nails are brittle, a lot of them are depressed.

But the doctors are telling them, “Well, I just don’t see a reason why you still feel bad.  Maybe I’ll up your prescription–or maybe I just need to give you an anti-depressant.” 

Giving antidepressants to these women is  WRONG.

There are over 24 different ways that your thyroid hormones can go wrong. (24!) And the third way, is when cytokines  get high enough to  put their foot down on that normal circuit that helps you make thyroid hormones.

The next question that must be is… “What’s causing the inflammation?” At the Center for Low Thyroid Solutions I answer this question using a comprehensive analysis.

I use sophisticated lab tests to investigate:

  • Food sensitivities/ intolerance (I use the most sensitive test available)
  • Gastrointestinal infections (totally hidden 80% of the time)
  • Parasites
  • Viral infections
  • Vitamin D deficiency (some women have a genetic problem called a Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphism)

What I’m telling you is that you can’t just accept the fact that your doctor says,

“Your labs are normal; you’re taking thyroid hormones; you still feel bad?; I guess maybe you’re just depressed. Try this antidepressant drug.”

Don’t buy that load of junk!  Do not settle for a life where you feel horrible.

You have to find the right doctor that knows how to assess comprehensively… and knows about these different factors I just told you about (There all in the scientific literature.).

Here’s the giant roadblock in your way….,a scary large number of doctors don’t read.  Even the so-called “number one” endocrinologist in your city– many of them don’t read.

What I do is not their approach.  They do not take a functional approach.  They’re looking just at the lab ranges and if the lab numbers are okay, you’re okay.

Ridiculous isn’t it? These doctors have forgotten how to think.

Today I’ve shared with you how cytokine elevations can cause low thyroid symptoms.  You can test for these with simple but specialized blood tests.

Do NOT settle. You don’t have to suffer.

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© 2010 Dr. David Clark

Thyroid Hormones and Women-Misunderstood and Mismanaged

Let me explain why someone taking thyroid medication and hormones STILL has thyroid symptoms….even if their labs are ‘normal.”

It’s why hormone problems in women have got to be the most misunderstood and mismanaged health problems that a woman could ever face.

I’ll tell you what brought this on. ..

I help women and men in my practice with thyroid problems. If you ask the first five people that you meet or that you know, probably one of them is going to be diagnosed with low thyroid.

Now there’s where the confusion starts.  The standard of care medically speaking for anyone with low thyroid is you give them thyroid hormones.  That’s pretty much it across the board no matter why they’re low thyroid.

But that’s the key to whole puzzle right? Why?

Not every person is low thyroid for the same reason.

Here’s the big shocker—

In America the number one cause for low thyroid is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

This means that the number one cause for low thyroid n America is an autoimmune attack.

Meaning—your immune system has turned on you and is targeting your thyroid…and is killing it…. and that’s what’s causing you to be low thyroid.

And taking thyroid hormones will NOT do anything for this attack. You will continue to lose more and more of your thyroid.

But the standard of care for that is giving you thyroid hormones.  I think you probably understand now that this not a thyroid hormone problem.  That’s not the battle.  The battle is an immune system battle; an autoimmune battle.

Here’s some examples of other autoimmune conditions:  MS, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, you’ve heard of these things.

Well, what I’m telling you (and I hope this is sinking in) is the number one cause of low thyroid in America is an autoimmune process just like those where the immune system is attacking the body.  Giving thyroid hormones isn’t going to do anything for that.  It isn’t going to do squat for that problem.

What the doctor is going to do is they’ll monitor your TSH–thyroid stimulating hormone –level.  They’re going to try to make it stay within a certain numerical range,—but that’s going to fluctuate all over the place and it’s not really getting to the problem. In fact, it’s worthless.

The problem is your immune system. So just the other day, I have a patient that comes in; actually one that I’ve known for a little while.  She comes in and she’s been through the ringer over the last year.  A lot of stuff has gone wrong with her.  She’s had to have a D&C.  She’s had all kinds of hormone problems outside of the thyroid.

We’re sitting down and we’re talking and she said she has low thyroid.

I said, “Do you know the number one cause for that is an autoimmune condition.’

She says, ‘Hashimoto’s?’

I said, ‘Yes, how do you know?’

She said, ‘Well I was just diagnosed with that.’

I said, ‘Really?…Thank God.  Now we already know what the problem is.  You have an autoimmune condition.’

Now I’ve got to work on squashing that because unfortunately when you have this autoimmune thing kick off and attack your thyroid, you can’t stop it.  Meaning you can’t cure it.

It is a genetic condition.  Genes have turned on that are making this thing happen and unfortunately you can’t stop it completely. But if you don’t slow it down…if you don’t try to squash it and balance out and calm down the immune system …it has a very nasty habit of going on and attacking other organs—which is exactly what had happened to this lady.

The immune system will not only attack the thyroid, but it will start attacking the cells in the lining of your stomach that help you be able to absorb B-12 and you’ll end up with a pernicious anemia.

Then it’ll move on and attack your pancreas and make you start to have diabetes symptoms, insulin problems…just like this lady.

Then the immune system will even go on and it’ll start to target and attack your brain, a part of your brain called your cerebellum. You’ll end up with vertigo and dizziness and balance problems, like this lady.

This has all happened in the last five years for her.  She was flabbergasted.  It made perfect sense to her that this was an immune system problem.

“Why am I not being treated for that?” she asked.

I said, ‘It’s real simple.  They don’t know how.  They don’t know what to do.”

Working with someone that has Hashimoto’s is real simple…

You’ve got to find out how their immune system has shifted and if you’ve read any of my other posts and videos you know that the immune system’s got two divisions.  It’s got a TH-1 and a TH-2 division.

We have to find out which one of those has become abnormally dominant and why.

Is it because of an antigen? –something that the immune system has been trying to kill for so long that it’s increased its immune attack on this antigen and then it flipped the scales and now we have an autoimmune condition.  Antigens include food proteins, like gluten and casein, viruses, bacteria, even chemicals and metals.

Or…has the immune system become imbalanced because of disregulation.  Hormonal surges can do this.  Stress can do this.  Blood sugar problems.  Inflammation can do this.

That’s how you manage and figure out with a Hashimoto’s patient how you’re going to help them because giving them thyroid hormones is not going to do anything for that problem.

Thyroid hormones are not going to halt that horrible progression I told you about from thyroid to pancreas to brain. It’s not going to stop that.

So if you know someone that’s suffering with Hashimoto’s, someone with low thyroid.  They’re taking thyroid medication.  They don’t feel any better….

You know what?  It’s time to find someone who can investigate this further.

This has been bugging me for a long time and this lady coming in just kind of set me over the edge and I just finally said,  I’ve got to tell people about this because this is important.  There’s millions of you out there right now that have this problem and you don’t know it.  Millions of you.

It’s why you still have thyroid symptoms even though you’re taking medication–you have an autoimmune conditon (whether diagnosed correctly or not).

Just remember:  low thyroid, almost always autoimmune.

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© 2009 Dr. David Clark