Hypothyroidism May Be The Cause of Your Problems
By Susan Mosley, LAc, Dipl. C.H.
1 out of 10 females over the age of 65 have thyroid dysfunction!
Do you have any of these symptoms?
fatigue, muscle cramps, muscle pain, slow pulse, low blood pressure, overweight with inability to lose weight even with diet and exercise, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, insomnia, poor memory or ‘brain fog’, easy bruising, food intolerances, dizziness, vertigo, headaches, puffy face and eyes, depression, irregular or painful periods, brittle nails, thinning hair, frequent colds or infections, infertility, increased cholesterol levels or liver enzymes, or anemia.
If so, you may have undiagnosed thyroid disease.
Often the above symptoms may be present while the usual blood tests (TSH, T4) are normal. Some physicians will treat you, especially if low body temperature is found. Often, the problem is at the cellular level, when the active version of thyroid hormone, or T3, is deficient or not utilized properly. In this case the usual treatments won’t help. Be aware that most doctors are unfamiliar with this problem and can either ignore your complaints or send you on a merry go round of specialists.
One simple test is to check your temperature in the armpit for several mornings before getting out of bed. A temperature below 97.8 degrees can indicate a hypothyroid state. Supplementation with T3 helps raise body temperature and alleviate many symptoms. Use of desiccated pig thyroid gland has also been helpful. Other doctors use a T3/T4 combo called Thyrolar.
Typical hypothyroidism can be caused either by auto-immune problems, as in Hashimoto’s disease, or from decreased pituitary secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone. Many drugs like Amiodarone, lithium, steroids, Dilantin, and Tegretol also suppress thyroid function.
Standard treatments likeSynthroid are converted in the body to T3, the biologically active hormone. If you are already on these drugs, be sure to wait at least 2-3 hours between taking them and iron supplements, aluminum hydroxide antacids, Carafate (sucralfate), calcium supplements or calcium fortified orange juice, or soy milk, since they can reduce absorption of the drug. Be aware that long term use of Synthroid can cause bone loss. Drugs such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft and cholesterol lowering medications also decrease the effectiveness of thyroid replacement. Be consistent when taking your thyroid replacement. If you take it with meals, always take it with meals.
What can I do to assist my recovery?
- SOY is NOT good for everyone! Soy products cause decreased thyroid function, enlargement of the thyroid, increased fatigue, and weight gain. 3-4 oz. of soy per day is considered a safe amount.
- Physical and emotional stress
- Processed and refined foods (including white flour and sugar), fats, salt, and cold or raw foods.
- Stop smoking! Thiocyanate in cigarette smoke is an anti-thyroid agent.
- Avoid fluoride in toothpaste and chlorine in drinking water. They block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland. Fluoride was used by doctors in the 30’s to treat hyperthyroid patients! Green and black teas also have high fluoride levels and should be avoided.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as Celebrex, Vioxx, aspirin, Advil, and Aleve, and sulfa drugs can suppress TSH production.
- Avoid supplements which can stress the adrenals and thyroid, like ma huang, guarana and caffeine.
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, mustard greens, kale, spinach,
- Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, rutabagas, horseradish, radish, peaches, pears, millet, and white mustard can decrease thyroid function. These foods are less problematic if cooked thoroughly.
- Avoid sleeping under an electric blanket, forcing the body to increase its
- metabolism to maintain a normal temperature.
- Too many iodine herbs like kelp, bladderwrack, or bugleweed actually worsen thyroid function.
- Some dentists recommend removal of mercury fillings, as the mercury can seep into the body.
- Exercise moderately 12-15 minutes, 2-4 times a day, especially about 30 minutes after meals when your energy level starts to drop.
- Eat small, frequent meals, which are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, up to 6 times a day.
- Include molasses, egg yolks, parsley, apricots, dates, prunes, fish, chicken, cinnamon, raw milk and cheeses in your diet.
- Alternate hot and cold compresses to the neck, 5 minutes hot, then 30 seconds cold, repeat up to 5 times each. Do this every morning and evening for one week, then in the mornings only for the next month.
- Instead of caffeine, try yerba mate to boost energy.
Unfortunately, there is no natural herbal replacement for thyroid hormone.
Include a well balanced multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily.
- Vitamin A is not converted well from beta carotene in patients with hypothyroidism. An additional 4000-5000 IU daily is needed. Animal sources (livers) are recommended.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) influences metabolism, energy, and thyroid function.
- Optimum daily intake is 25-200 mg. Signs of Vitamin B deficiency includes: eye fatigue, light sensitivity, tearing or itchy eyes, depression, irritability, moodiness, flaky skin, and cracks in the corners of the mouth.
- Zinc, iron, copper, and selenium are vital for converting T4 to T3.
- Vitamin C, up to 2,000 mg/day is recommended. Higher doses have been shown to actually decrease thyroid function.
- Some herbalists recommend the Arurvedic glandular tonic triphala or black cohosh.
For more information call:
Susan Mosley, LAC, Dipl. C.H.
Four Seasons Wellness
6245 Vance Road, Suite B
Chattanooga TN 37421
This article was posted by Susan Mosley