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Low Thyroid (Hypothyroid) Mistake #4 – Thinking You’ve Had the Correct Tests

Dr. David Clark, DC Durham, NC explains why most women have not had the correct tests to get to the bottom of their low thyroid symptoms.

Thinking that you’ve had the correct tests to determine what’s causing your low thyroid is Mistake #4.

I guess I should back up for a second.

Many of you probably haven’t had any tests to determine the real cause of your low thyroid symptoms.  What usually happens is you start suffering with low thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, depression or constipation or hair loss (or a combination of those things).

And you endure them for a few months thinking maybe they’ll just go away…

After some weeks pass, you go see a doctor who runs a bare bones blood chemistry panel and says,

“Hey, look at that.  Your TSH is high.  Your T4 is maybe a little low, might be normal….You’re “low thyroid.”  You need to take thyroid hormones.”

This makes logical sense to you because you’re not a doctor–you’re not trained in thyroid hormones.  So you take the replacement hormones as directed.

You feel better for a few days or weeks. You’re having a “Hormone Honeymoon.” That honeymoon might last a week or a couple months…but then the honeymoon is over and those low thyroid symptoms start to creep back.

The depression, feeling cold all over, fatigue that feels like a ton of bricks…these symptoms come back to haunt you again. You start to think “maybe there’s something wrong with mementally

When you go back to the doctor to get help, he says,

“Well hey, your TSH is normal.  I don’t know what could be causing this.  Maybe you’re just depressed.”


The real problem is that you haven’t had the correct tests.

Remember, the number one cause of low thyroid in America is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s hypothyroid. I’ve found that most doctors, even if you have low thyroid symptoms, they never run the test to find out if you have that autoimmune condition.

This would mean that your immune system has mistakenly turned on you and is killing your thyroid gland and causing your low thyroid symptoms.

What I ‘ve found with the patients I’ve seen is most doctors aren’t even running the test for that condition.

What tests should they run for you? These two simple tests:

  1. TPO Antibodies
  2. TBG Antibodies

These are not exotic, weird or “alternative.”

If you have elevated antibodies it means that you’ve got Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – an autoimmune disease that MUST be dealt with if you’re ever going to feel normal.

Many doctors aren’t even running these tests.  So please don’t be fooled into thinking that you’ve had the correct tests.

NOTE: About 20% of women who do get these antibodies tests done have false negative results.  They’re what we call seronegative Hashimoto’s patients.  It means that even though the blood test shows negative, your symptoms clearly indicate that you really do have Hashimoto’s.

But how did you get this way in the first place?

There are several tests that must be done to answer that question. These additonal tests provide the answers that will help the depression, the hair loss and help you take a trip back in time, feeling good like you used to years ago.

There are many triggers for  Hashimoto’s (and I’ve got some posts on that that you can read):

  • Food sensitivities (huge)
  • Viral infections
  • Parasitic infections (many women have one and dont’ know it)
  • blood sugar problems (high and low)
  • Vitamin D deficiencies
  • Pregnancy, Perimenopause
  • Heavy metals like mercury, nickel

These factors determine-in part- whether or not you turn on that gene that starts the attack on your thyroid.

But more than just starting Hashimoto’s, these same X factors PROMOTE the continued attack…like a spectator egging on a fight.

And it’s vitally importan– it’s crucial–it’s a matter of life and death to find out if those things going on in you right now. Because if you have a hidden GI infection…if you have a food sensitivity….if you have a viral infection,…f you have a vitamin D deficiency, then it’s promoting your autoimmune attack on your thyroid gland.

Remember— most doctors aren’t even testing to see if you have Hashimoto’s.

And if one does, you may be “seronegative”–you really do have Hashimoto’s even though the labs are negative.

It’s a mistake to assume you’ve had the necessary tests to get to the bottom of YOUR low thyroid symptoms.

Out of all the women that have come to me for help, not a single one has had all the correct tests.

But, they have had all the “medically necessary” tests—what a terrible joke.

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© 2011 David Clark. All Rights Reserved.


Hidden Cause #6 Why You STILL Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Dr. David Clark, DC Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC reveals yet another reason why you are still suffering hypothyroid symptoms.

Hidden cause #6 why you still have low thyroid symptoms, even though your lab numbers are “normal”, and even though you’re taking thyroid medication, is

High Levels of Thyroxine Binding Globulin (TBG)

When thyroid hormones are secreted from your thyroid gland, they have to be bound to a little carrier, a little protein.  Think of it like a taxi cab.

This taxi cab, you know the thyroid hormones, the T4 and the T3, they jump inside the cab and they get transported to the liver where they’re converted.

And then they jump back in the cab and they’re transported to the rest of the body.  So they must have this little carrier to go anywhere.

An elevation in thyroxine binding globulin (TBG) means there’s a whole bunch of taxi cabs.

In fact, there’s so many cabs (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 all get sucked up like a big sponge by all these thyroid binding globulins.

Here’s the crummy part about all this….

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 this problem is completely missed. You’ll be given thyroid hormones but you probably won’t get better.

Now you might have a little bit of a hormone honeymoon where you feel better for a couple of weeks, but eventually you’ll go right back to having depression, weight gain, hair loss, feeling cold, no motivation, brain fog.  You’ll suffer those low thyroid symptoms again.

What causes elevated TBG?  Estrogens are particulary good at elevating TBG.  Now estrogens come in a lot of different forms, right?  Estrogens can be hidden in face creams.  Estrogens are in birth control pills.  Estrogens can be elevated in a woman who’s not detoxifying her estrogens normally (liver issue).

So you see already we’ve kind of gone down the rabbit hole a little bit in tracking down the source of the elevated TBGs causing low thyroid symptoms.

If your doctor is not considering binding globulin as a possible problem, then he/she’s missing part of the reason why you could still be having thyroid symptoms.

If your TBGs are too high—Even though TSH is normal and T4 looks normal and total T3 looks normal—if your doctor will check your T3 uptake, or T3U, he/she will see tt that the T3U actually low.

(there is an inverse relationship between T3 uptake and binding globulins-one high and the other low).

Remember there’s also a lab reference range for T3U. The lab’s range is typically too forgiving. So, YOUR numbers might be within the lab’s range and look “normal”–but really your numbers are abnormal if you used a narrower range, a functional range.

Estrogens hanging out in the body elevate binding globulins, which suck up all the free T4 and T3.Therefore, not enough of the FREE T3 gets out of the taxi to attach to the T3 receptors….

…and you have low thyroid symptoms, but your labs look normal and you’re still taking medication.

Birth control pills contain estrogens.  Some face creams and cosmetics contain undisclosed estrogens (not naming brands) .  These estrogens can also elevate if you are not detoxifying estrogens normally.  Let’s talk about that briefly…

Hormones are detoxified through the liver.  So, if you have poor liver function, poor detoxification function, this is one of the reasons why you could still have a thyroid problem. It’s not a thyroid gland problem; it’s a liver problem really in this case.

Take this a step further…..what would cause someone to have poor detoxification in their liver?  The biggest factor is  blood sugar regulation.  Glucuronidation is one of the liver processes you use to detoxify hormones.  The “gluco” means glucose.  If you don’t have normal, steady glucose to supply your liver, then you can’t detoxify appropriately.

And see what happens?  You can’t just look at thyroid hormone symptoms things from the surface.  You’ve got to dig down deep and understand the physiology in order to really help someone who hasn’t been helped yet.

So what types of blood sugar problems are we talking about?  Low blood sugar and high blood sugar. High blood sugar means there’s nothing getting into the cells.  Usually that’s from insulin resistance and that can be caused by cortisol.  The other variety of a blood sugar problem is low blood sugar or reactive hypyglycemia.  These are the people that get shaky and lightheaded and irritable between meals.  Now these people don’t have any blood in their cells because they just don’t eat anything or something is shutting down their cortisol.

I don’t want to get too far off into that, but the point is…

A Thyroxine Binding Globulin problem is one reason that you could have low thyroid symptoms but have normal lab numbers, even though you’re taking medication.

I hope that you’re seeing a doctor that understands that TBGs have to be on the radar.

And if you find binding globulins that are elevated, why are they elevated?

So that’s where the detective work kicks in.  You’ve got to put on your thinking cap and start doing the appropriate testing and finding out is it a liver problem, is it birth control pills?

What’s actually happening here?  And it’s only when you start to turn over every one of these rocks, and do a comprehensive workup on someone from a functional perspective that you can help someone that’s been suffering forever with low thyroid symptoms because what they might actually have is Elevated Thyroxine Binding Globulin problem.

And taking replacment thyroid hormones aren’t going to help.

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© 2011 Dr. David Clark, DC DACNB FACFN DCCN


Low Thyroid (Hypothyroid) Mistake #3 – Immune System Boosters

Dr. David Clark, DC -Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC-helps women suffering with low thyroid symptoms avoid the huge mistake of taking tyrosine supplements.

Low thyroid mistake number three is–taking broad spectrum immune system support.

Now you need to pay close attention.  Here’s what you have to understand about this risky and potentially catastrophic mistake….

Botanicals, herbs, plants—they all effect your immune system. Some plants make your immune system go one way, some things will stimulate your immune system to go another.

So I’ll explain it like this. There are two sides to your immune system—TH1 (that stands for T Helper 1) and TH2  (T Helper 2.)

Well each of these is stimulated by different plants.  Some things stimulate T Helper 1; some things stimulate T Helper 2.

Here’s why this matters and why we’re talking about low thyroid.  The reason it matters in low thyroid is the number one cause of low thyroid in America is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. In this condition called Hashimoto’s, there’s an imbalance between T Helper 1 and T Helper 2– it’s skewed one way or the other (TH1 is dominant, or TH2 is dominant).

If you take an herb or supplement that makes your immune system more unbalanced, you’ll feel worse.  You’ll make your autoimmune attack worse.

How could you avoid this problem?

Don’t take herbs or supplements that are supposed to boost your immune system.There’s plenty of things out there.  You can look on the Internet, or go to a health food store (where the employee simply looks in a nutritional “cookbook”) and you’ll find a ton of herbs and supplements that claim to “be for low thyroid.”

Or they are supposed to “balance the immune system.” That’s bogus.

Don’t take these herbs and supplements if you have not had the proper testing to find out if you’re TH-1 is high or TH-2 is high.

When you take these supplements without the proper testing  you are playing Russian roulette with a bullet in all six barrels.

Those aren’t good odds.

You may know someone or see someone in a forum or a message board someplace that says hey, I took this thing, it was an immune system product and I felt so much better.  Well all that means is she got lucky.  She took something that maybe, temporarily shifted her back towards a balance.

But if you take it….or another Hashimoto’s sufferer takes it….or another low thyroid patient takes it…

The results could be disastrous and I mean dis-astrous. You could trigger an attack on a NEW tissue, like cartilage, or myelin in the brain, or the cerebellum.

So instead of just having low thyroid symptoms, you could take one of these immune system products and now you end up with a condition that looks like Multiple Sclerosis.  Or worse, you would never even know this was happening until the damage was severe and advanced. You could take one of these immune system support formulas that skews your immune system and it could actually cause an attack on a heart valve, it could cause an attack on the lining of your stomach and you wouldn’t even know it but it would be happening beneath the surface.  ( I hope I’m driving this home to you.)

Taking broad spectrum immune support without the proper evaluation is a massive mistake.

I see this mistake in 9 out of 10 women that come into my office with low thyroid symptoms.Many of them have Hashimoto’s and they’re taking (or have taken) some of these immune system products…. or they’re taking some botanicals and the story is always the same.

These formulas never helped at all….or, the supplements “helped” for a day or two and then stopped…or the supplements made them worse.  And without fail, with almost every single one of these women, when you take them off all those things, even if I did nothing else and just took them off those things, they start to stabilize and feel better.

We’ve talked about iodine, we’ve talked about tyrosine and now we’re talking about broad immune system support.  You’ve got to get the right testing to find out what the heck you even need.

If you’re taking immune system support herbs or supplements without the proper testing, you are counting the days while you wait for a NEW horrible symptom to show up.

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© 2010 Dr. David Clark, DC DACNB DCCN FACFN FABVR


Hypothyroid (Low Thyroid) Mistake #1 – Iodine

Dr. David Clark,DC -Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC-blows the lid off the biggest mistake women with low thyroid can make….taking iodine.

The Biggest Mistake A Woman With Low Thyroid Can Make is Taking Iodine.

Make sure you understand what I’m saying…

Iodine should not be used in someone who’s suffering with low thyroid symptoms.

I know that flies right in the face of a few very prominent “thyroid experts,” but here’s what you don’t know about iodine.

You’ve probably been told that iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis. And it is, but here is the problem…taking supplemental iodine is dangerous and here’s why.

Over the last 20 years, in various  places around the world with iodine depleted soil, well-meaning groups have gone in and tried to cure the goiters. A goiter develops when you get a swelling of the thyroid gland because you’re iodine deficient.

See, that’s where it starts.  This thinking that well, if you’re iodine deficient, give people iodine to get rid of their goiter—that must be good for someone who has low thyroid.– Hang with me for a second.

What has happened in every single case where they’ve given people iodine in Turkey, Sri Lanka, China… they have simultaneously cured their goiters and given them an autoimmune disease.

How’d you like to be one of those people?  You can clap yourself on the back.  Hey, we cured your goiter but we also gave you Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis.

What that means is iodine is a trigger. It’s a trigger for Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid.

Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid is the number one cause of low thyroid in America–not iodine deficiency.

This whole issue of iodine exposes a nasty similarity between traditional medicine and “alternative” medicine.

Traditional medicine is looking at TSH and T4 and T3 and they didn’t really care about iodine.  They’re not even going to give you iodine because whatever the real cause of your low thyroid symptoms might be..the only thing you’re going to get from them is replacement thyroid hormones. No matter what. It’s pretty much the only tool they have to offer. (And you know the old saying…”If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nails.”)

They don’t care if  the cause of your symptoms is

  • Hashimoto’s…
  • T4 to T3 overconversion problem…
  • Under conversion problem…
  • Thyroid binding globulin problem

—doesn’t matter.  You’re getting thyroid hormones from the traditional medical doctor. This is why so many women STILL feel terrible.

So traditional medicine has nice little box. You’ve heard of thinking “outside the box?” Well Traditional medicine has their nice little dusty box, been sittingt here for 30, 40 years and that’s how they do it. (humph!)

Over here we have the not so alternative-alternative medicine approach.  And what they do is they also have their sad, outdated box way of thinking. Inside their box is the idea that everyone with low thyroid needs iodine supplementation, or tyrosine, or broad immune system support ,or they need to take thyroid glandulars.

Here’s what the not-so-alternative medicine doesn’t know…conventional medicine, they do some testing. Not-so-alternative medicine does almost no testing at all.  They’re still doing things like the Barnes underarm thyroid test and that is an ancient, prehistoric, non-useful way of evaluating the thyroid.

There are also people in this camp that are doing the iodine absorption test as if that had any real relationship to your need for iodine (it doesn’t).

The craziest thing is that these not-so-alternative practitioners ignore the fact that iodine is a trigger for Hashimoto’s.  If you wanna give yourself Hashimoto’s, keep taking the iodine that one of the not-so-alternative medicine doctors gave you. They mean well,  by the way. I’m not trying to slam them.

But that well meaning “alternative” doctor doesn’t understand the fact that what we’re really dealing with, almost 90 percent of the time, is not low iodine.The problem is an autoimmune problem.

And you can look through my other posts on Hashimoto’s; it’s a very complex issue. But iHashimoto’s can be managed and you can feel great again.


If you think you’ve got low thyroid….please don’t go to the health food store and open the book “Prescription for nutritional healing” or ask the minimum wage employee what to do, because you’re going to get recommended  iodine (or you’re gonna get tyrosine, I’ll talk about tyrosine later. )

Iodine is a trigger.  One of the studies I quoted calls it an  “explosive mix.”

That’s what I want you to remember.  If you’re taking iodine—and you’ve got low thyroid symptoms—and you haven’t had the correct tests done—you don’t even know if you’re autoimmune or not–taking Iodine is like swallowing  a burning stick of dynamite with a long fuse on it.

It could trigger a massive autoimmune process that can’t be stopped.(but could be slowed down)

See, having low thyroid symptoms because of an “underactive” thyroid gland is one thing, although not as common as you might think.

Having an autoimmune disease is a whole ‘nother ball game and if you keep taking iodine, you are playing Russian roulette with six loaded barrels.  You’re swallowing dynamite.

I don’t know how many analogies I can mix here but you need to stop.

That’s the biggest thyroid mistake I see.  A person with low thyroid symptoms taking iodine.

Iodine is a trigger for autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

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© 2010 Dr. David Clark


Hidden Cause #5 Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Dr. David Clark, DC-Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC-talks about how cortisol can cause low thyroid symptoms even if you are taking thyroid hormones or your lab numbers are “normal.”

High levels of cortisol is hidden cause number five why you still have thyroid symptoms even though you’re taking thyroid hormone or even though your lab numbers are normal.

Cortisol is a hormone made by your adrenal glands.  Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys. They make a lot of hormones for you…aldosterone, cortisol and androgens. You could say your adrenal glands are crucial for your good health.

Cortisol is the main thing that regulates your blood sugar–not insulin. When cortisol is released by your adrenal glands, it is accompanied by cytokines.  Cytokines are messengers used by your immune system in inflammation.  In that scenario, the cytokines are suppressing the ability of your pituitary and your hypothalamus to make TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone.

So follow me as I explain cortisol and low thyroid symtpoms….

Your adrenal glands make cortisol in response to stress.  There are different kinds of stress.  Anything that promotes inflammation or that causes inflammation, will make your adrenal glands pump out more cortisol.

As that cortisol is released, those cytokines are going to come out as well—that is what’s going to suppress your pituitary and give you low thyroid symptoms.

The most common causes of elevated cortisol are:

  • Blood sugar regulation problems (high or low blood sugar, insulin spikes and valleys)
  • hidden gut infections or infections you haven’t been able to eliminate
  • chronic stress.

Well, let me say a couple words about each one of those.

When you have a “blood sugar problem”, it means that your blood sugar is not regular.

Your blood sugar is going up and down….

When your blood sugar goes up and down, your cortisol levels are going to go up and down…

…and the cytokines are going to go up and down….

…and then we have this whole pituitary getting squashed…

…and you not making enough thyroid hormones and you’re starting to have symptoms such as:

…depression, hair loss, fatigue, feeling cold all over, can’t get enough sleep, can’t lose weight.

But there’s two varieties of that blood sugar problem.  You don’t have to be diabetic to have this.  You can have hypoglycemia (reactive hypoglycemia), which means your sugar drops between meals…or you don’t eat when you need to and…when you do eat the next time, you get these big surges of insulin, big surges of cortisol.

It doesn’t matter to your body whether you have low blood sugar or high blood sugar; in both cases the blood sugar is not regular.

So, for example, if you get shaky, light headed or irritable in between meals and you have a thyroid problem…this could be one of the reasons why because that blood sugar going up and down, that fluctuation causes this fluctuation in cytokines and inflammation.

The second thing that can cause excessive cortisol is infection.  It’s not necessarily like getting strep throat.  We’re talking about, many times, hidden G.I. infections that you have no idea you have because you may not have any G.I. symptoms that cause high cortisol…and then low thyroid symptoms.

There’s a test that you can do that is a DNA PCR test of stool.This test is definitive as to whether you’ve got a parasite, a fungus or a yeast or some sort of pathogen living in your gut that’s driving – and that’s the word I use – driving your adrenal glands to keep pumping up cortisol—which makes increased levels of cytokines, which suppresses your pituitary. (follow the path?)

Psychological stress is the third thing that can cause these adrenal glands to keep pumping out cortisol.  Many low thyroid sufferers are stressed by many different parts of their life. They feel bad.  It’s the classic stress response.  So, for those people – and this is part of what we do for my treatment program – we have to teach them how to deal with their stress.

I’m not talking necessarily about being a therapist.  I’m talking about teaching you a very powerful but simple way of helping your body not have a stress response but have a relaxing response.  If whoever’s taking care of you right now, if you’re under care, if they’re not addressing this stress component, you’re being underserved.  I believe you’re being underserved.

If your stress levels are still high, your adrenal glands are still going to pump hard.  Cortisol levels are going to increase to excess.  Cytokine levels are going to increase, and it’s going to squash your pituitary.

High cortisol will sabotage your honest attempt to combat your low thyroid symptoms.

That’s hidden cause number five—cortisol suppressing your pituitary and hypothalamus.

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©2010 Dr. David Clark ,DC


Hidden Cause #4 Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Dr. David Clark, DC-Center for Low Thyroid Solutions in Durham, NC-reveals the fourth reason why thousands of women still suffer with low thyroid symptoms.

I’m going to tell you about hidden cause number four, why you still have low thyroid symptoms.  It is related to a hormone called prolactin.  Unlike the other three hidden causes that we’ve talked about, this one is more or less screened for by your medical endocrinologist.

Here’s a  short explanation of how Prolactin causes low thyroid symptoms.

Prolactin is a hormone made by your pituitary gland.  High levels of prolactin suppress thyroid stimulating hormone  (TSH), the marker your doctor has been measuring.

Prolactin is tightly balanced by progesterone and dopamine.

When you have a dopamine deficiency or a progesterone deficiency, your prolactin will rise up and will squash their pituitary’s production of thyroid stimulating hormone. If you’re lucky, that imbalance will show up on your labs,, as a TSH that is low but not quite out of the lab reference range.  That’s why this particular problems gets missed as a cause of your continued low thyroid symptoms.

What I’ve just explained is a functional model of how prolactin excess can suppress your pituitary and make you have thyroid symptoms (even though your TSH didn’t fall outside of the lab range.)

Remember, I use a functional range; it’s a narrower range than the lab’s “normal” ranges; it’s an opinion and it picks up things like this prolactin-dopamine-thyroid problem.

…So that was a functional model of how prolactin can cause thyroid suppression and low thyroid symptoms.

One of the ways that you might know if you were having a prolactin excess is  discharge from the breasts in both men and women

Also, Prolactin will suppress luteinizing hormone (LH).  So, in women, prolactin excess causes infertility…in men, excess prolactin depresses testosterone so they have low libido.

You can understand this prolactin-progesterone-dopamine situation would confuse medical and alternative doctors because people who have low thyroid function often have these exact same symptoms of infertility and low libido.

…Now the pathological medical model take on Prolactin…

High prolactin usually is caused by a tumor called a prolactinoma.  Many of these tumors can be surgically removed.

Hopefully, whoever you’ve seen before for your low thyroid symptoms, has evaluated you for this tumor.

If you don’t have the tumor, it’s still possible that you’ve got this functionally elevated prolactin because you may have dopamine deficiency or progesterone deficiency.

The dopamine deficiency could manifest as you having ADHD type symptoms along with low thyroid symptoms. You may have difficulty concentrating, difficulty paying attention, being impulsive, hyperactive.  If you’ve got those symptoms, plus you’ve got these low thyroid symptoms, you may have a prolactin excess that needs to be balanced out by working on dopamine.

Same thing with progesterone; you may have a progesterone deficiency that’s allowing the scale to tip high for prolactin and shuts down your pituitary, which means you have low thyroid hormone activity.

But remember, and the point I want you to understand is, if you go to your medical doctor and you ask them about this, they’re probably going to know about the tumor thing…buth they’re going to know very little about the dopamine and the progesterone aspect of it.

That’s because they’re not using a functional model like I use.  The functional approach is how we’re able to find a lot of women that are missed….Because there’s a lot of women reading this right now that have been through the wringer…or they haven’t really been helped at all just because they’ve been getting prescribed thyroid hormones–which will NOT help this situation.

That’s hidden cause number four; it’s an excessive level of prolactin that’s caused either by a tumor – again, I hope you don’t have one of those – and can also be caused by deficient dopamine and deficient progesterone.

And I can test for all those things–do some detective work – and find out exactly why you have low thyroid symptoms.  For example…

If you’ve got a dopamine deficiency, then why do you have that?  Maybe it’s because you’re iron anemic.

If you’re progesterone deficient, what does that really mean?

There’s still investigation that has to be done.

If your doctor is not going to take a comprehensive look at your low thyroid symptoms, you’re going to suffer for a long time.

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© 2010 Dr. David Clark, DC

Hidden Cause #1 Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Hidden Cause of Low Thyroid SymptomsToday I’m  starting a new series called,

“Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms When Your Labs Are Normal”

There are millions of women walking around right now that have low thyroid symptoms.The number one cause of low thyroid in America is an autoimmune attack called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis— but I’m not going to talk about that.   I’m going to reveal one of the other 23 reasons why you still suffer with low thyroid symptoms.

The first hidden cause of your thyroid symptoms is Central Nervous System Serotonin Deficiency.

“What? Serotonin has something to do with thyroid function?”

Yes, it does, and it’s complex but I’m going to  reveal the major players.

There’s a place in your brain called the hypothalamus.  In the hypothalamus is a region called the  periventricular nucleus (PVN.)

This brain area is critical for your suffering with thyroid symptoms (even though your thyroid labs look normal and you’re taking thyroid hormones.)

Levels of Serotonin in your Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) influence the PVN.

Low levels of Serotonin make you have low-thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

I’m not going to get into the pathways more than that.  I’m telling you about the Serotonin-PVN-TSH-Connection because I would be shocked if any of your “thyroid” doctors know one iota about this important circuit and how it could help end your suffering.

See, taking thyroid hormones for this problem– this serotonin problem– is not going to help your low thyroid symptoms.

Your labs will look “normal” and pretty soon your doctor is going to drop the “D” word on you…depressed.

He/she will say…”Maybe you need to just go ahead and take an anti-depressant.” NO! The extra-confusing  thing is when you take the anti-depressant, you might actually feel better —but not because you were depressed. You might feel better because some anti-depressants will temporarily increase the activity of Serotonin in the brain! But taking the anti-depressants will fail to make you symptoms go away.

The biggest influence on Serotonin is your blood sugar.

Blood sugar regulation is the one thing that determines how well you will make serotonin in your brain.

So that means you need to have regular, steady glucose, not up and down glucose. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemai) is bad for your thyroid. High blood sugar is bad for your thyroid..

Unstable blood sugar levels cause unstable Serotonin levels that can cause LOW Thyroid Stimulating Hormone…

…And you end up with thyroid symptoms like these:

  • Tired, sluggish
  • Can’t lose weight even with exercise
  • Feel cold—hands, feet, or all over
  • Require excessive amounts of sleep to function properly
  • Increase in weight gain even with low-calorie diet
  • Gain weight easily
  • Difficult, infrequent bowel movement
  • Depression, lack of motivation
  • Morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses
  • Outer third of eyebrow thins
  • Thinning of hair on scalp, face or genitals or hair loss
  • Dryness of skin and/or scalp
  • Mental sluggishness
  • Nervousness and emotional
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats

You can have any or all of these symptom, even though your lab numbers are “normal.”

This Serotonin-Thyroid connection is real science. This is evidence based medicine.

Sidebar: “Evidenced-based medicine”, by the way, is really prejudiced-based medicine because if your evidence isn’t drug-based evidence then the establishment doesn’t believe you.  Well, they can believe the Serotonin Connection because it comes straight out of scientific research.

So that’s hidden cause #1….and one reason why you can still be having thyroid symptoms even though your labs look normal.

I hop you use this important information and can get plucked out of the jungle of thyroid hormone disorders, because my goodness, they are mismanaged and misunderstood.

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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

Hidden Cause #2 Why You Still Have Low Thyroid Symptoms

Today I’m going to reveal hidden cause number two, why you still have thyroid symptoms.

This series is designed to do is to help open your eyes so that you can understand why you still are suffering with symptoms like fatigue and hair loss, low libido, feeling cold….understand why you still have those symptoms even though you’re taking thyroid hormones…. or even though your thyroid numbers look normal.

And hidden cause number two why you’re still suffering is because of a neurotransmitter called Dopamine.

Now I’m going to keep this science really simple…..

Your pituitary, which is a very small gland in your brain, makes thyroid stimulating hormone – TSH.

I’m sure you probably heard of that because that’s probably the only thing your doctor is monitoring, right?

Monitoring TSH is the only thing the status quo medical model does when it comes to thyroid hormone problems.

Pretty much no matter what the doctor thinks your problem might be (and they really only think it’s about one of two things) you get prescribed thyroid hormones.

The doctor doesn’t actually manage your thyroid problem… the doctor manages your TSH.(!)

So, if your TSH gets too high, well they increase your medication.  If your TSH gets too low, they decrease your medication. (so easy I could teach a 5 year old to do it).

The doctor looks at your TSH levels as the Be-All End-All… that couldn’t be more wrong.

The  thing about thyroid hormone problems that confuses most doctors and endocrinologists is there are  about 24 different ways that your thyroid hormones can go wrong – 24.

And most of your doctors are only testing TSH and total T4 and that’s about it.  That’s going to detect only 1, maybe 2 of the 24 different patterns.

The one I’m revealing to you today is Dopamine.

Your hypothalamus in your brain tells the pituitary to make TSH.

The Dopamine problem and its connection with thyroid works like this...there has to be sufficient Dopamine in your hypothalamus to generate the signal to pituitary to make TSH.

If there’s not enough Dopamine activity in your brain, then your pituitary doesn’t know how to make TSH.

Now, The TSH number on your labs will be within the normal lab range, but outside what I call the functional range.

The functional range is different than the lab’s range, because the lab range is pretty much garbage as a reflection of optimal function. It’s so wide that only the very high and very low get flagged.

…So with this Dopamine problem your TSH looks normal but you have thyroid symptoms—cold, fatigued, depressed, can’t lose weight, hair loss.  You may even be taking thyroid hormones.

“How Do I Know if You Have the Dopamine Problem?”

The clue to the Dopamine problem is  that you have, along with the fatigue and libido problems and the depression and the constipation and the can’t lose weight—along with those thyroid symptoms you have Dopamine symptoms.

The classic symptoms of insufficient Dopamine are:

  • feelings of worthlessness
  • anger and aggression when under stress
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • difficulty paying attention
  • distracted from task
  • inability to finish tasks
  • self-destructive thoughts


  1. If you’re suffering with those Dopamine symptoms
  2. AND you’re suffering with those thyroid symptoms
  3. BUT your TSH looks normal
  4. AND you’re taking thyroid hormone…

Then there’s a really good chance that Dopamine is why you still have a thyroid problem.

This Dopamine problem can be helped with special diet modification, lifestyle changes and specific supplementation.

Blood sugar control is probably the biggest thing to look at because Dopamine synthesis is  linked with blood sugar fluctuations.

ALERT: I don’t want you to fall victim to  the idea that you can test central nervous system neurotransmitter levels with urine testing.  That’s not valid at all.

I use an extensive questionnaire that helps me pinpoint specifically if you do actually have those Dopamine problems.

If you do, then I have to start digging into WHY do you have those Dopamine problems–this takes some detective work.  That’s what a good doctor will do.

If you’re suffering with thyroid hormone symptoms AND those Dopamine symptoms, dopamin can be the reason why you are still suffering, even though your labs look normal.

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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

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