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Many symptoms of hypothyroidism may mimic PMS or PMDD. Articles and helpful information. This forum is open to the public.
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TOPIC: The Thyroid 101

The Thyroid 101 06 Jun 2008 23:08 #730

  • Debra
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I listened to Dr. Shames' lecture this afternoon  on the World Bio-Identical Hormone website and I must say it's one of the very best I've ever heard on thyroid function and causes of low functioning and hyperthyroid. If you live in the San Francisco area I would suggest you look into seeing him if you have any problems with your thyroid.

Lecture Notes:

Richard Shames
The Thyroid, What It Does, Test Values, How To Fix It
Richard Shames, M.D.  http://www.feelingfff.com/  
Followed by: 
Kamal Henan, M.D.  Medical Consultant to Interplexus, Inc. Discussing Thyrodyne    http://www.interplexus.com/ 

The Thyroid
Is a gland at the base of the neck
Is called the Master Gland because it controls every process in the body If your thyroid works too slow or too fast, you may notice:
fatigue, depression, overweight, bowel changes, anxiety, dry or oily hair, skin and fingernail problems, hair loss, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low libido, erectile dysfunction, bad PMS, difficult menopause, infertility, recurrent miscarriage and digestive abnormalities

An under-active thyroid causes the liver to be under-active, so it  doesn't metabolize your cholesterol too well which results in high blood cholesterol.  Treating the thyroid can fix your cholesterol without the statins etc

An over-active thyroid is at one end of the spectrum of thyroid inflammation due to an autoimmune reaction with an under-active thyroid being at the other end.

An autoimmune reaction is where the immune system thinks that part of a person is actually foreign and it sets up reactions to destroy it.  Not good, if what it is trying to destroy is us.  Most thyroid problems are autoimmune in nature.  Many times we can measure the antibodies that the thyroid makes to destroy the thyroid but sometimes they are not noted on the testing.

The Thyroid Epidemic is causing the other epidemics:
Obesity, diabetes, infertility, erectile dysfunction, ect

The cause of the thyroid epidemic:  Synthetic Chemical Exposure which triggers the autoimmune reaction

If you have a family history of autoimmune illness, you should consider strongly and test in depth for thyroid problems if you are not feeling in balance.  Autoimmune illnesses are: diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma and thyroid illness.

To Protect Your Thyroid---try to live chemically free.
Consider getting an air filter, a water filter, organic food, no bleach or chlorine cleansers.  Cling wrap puts plasticides in your food especially into fatty foods like meat and cheese, when it's heated.  Drinking water from a plastic bottle left in a hot car may not be the best thing to do.

The FLOURIDE in toothpaste and mouthwash is a hormone disrupter.  Flouride is a grim industrial poison.  Doctors used to give fluoride to their patients who had an over-active thyroid to lower its function.  What about people with normal thyroid function who use fluoride?  That's right, it can cause our normal thyroid to be under-functioning.  Flouride dental treatments are not in your best interest.

Realize that there are 80,000 nasty chemicals in our environment which can be toxic to our thyroids.  Think twice before spraying your house with insecticide.  Use natural methods instead, peanut butter and boric acid.

Radiation may play a part in abnormal thyroid function, but it isn't as big as chemical exposures.

STRESS
Life's stresses cause the adrenal to weaken and the thyroid who works in concert with the adrenals also goes down for the count.

Unmasking Of Adrenal Insufficiency:
If somebody has a very low functioning adrenal gland, then getting treatment for the thyroid may make them feel even worse.  Solution: check your adrenals, if they are weak, consider getting them treated first.

Iodine deficiency is not that significant anymore.  Taking too much iodine can trigger an autoimmune reaction.  People with autoimmune thyroid illness go out of their way to avoid iodine in vitamins and salt.  Gradual replacement of iodine under the strict supervision of a doctor may be a good idea but do not take iodine as a preventative.

A good thyroid testing panel includes:
Free T3, Free T4 TSH, Thyroid Antibodies

Free hormones are the hormones that are working in the tissues.
T3 is the active thyroid hormone.
T4 is the inactive, transport, storage form of thyroid hormone

If your test results show a T4 result in the upper range of normal and the T3 is in the lower range of normal, you may not be converting enough T4 into T3 to feel good, even though all of your test results are considered "normal.: Therefore, even with normal test results, you will need to be treated with thyroid hormone to feel better.

Autoimmune thyroid disease may do quite well with thyroid glandular pills.  Glandulars are pills made from the glands of animals.  Certain animals have the same hormones as people, so if we are deficient and swallow pills of their glands, we can use their hormones easily in our bodies.  Some of them are actual prescription medications like Armour thyroid, Westhyroid and Naturethyroid.  Some glandulars can be taken OTC.  One should not self-medicate but even for the OTC preparations should be under a doctor's supervision. 

How long should a person take thyroid medications?
It depends on how bad the thyroid antibodies are and how much damage has been done to thyroid by them.  Under a doctor's supervision, a person could try to wean down and off of the medicine but should be aware that if in the future symptoms return, that they will to be suspicious that it is the thyroid again.

Ranges of Normal TSH findings:
Conventional Medicine (0.5-5.5)  Many people were missed because of the broad range
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in 2001 changed it to: (0.3 to 3.0) which allows more people to be diagnosed and treated
Us Bio-Identical Doctors would like your TSH below 2.  I have even heard below 1.  That means a TSH greater then 2  (or as Dr. Shames said, 2.2) in our books, means your thyroid is under-active and could use some help.

When a person takes adequate thyroid medication and finally feels good again, frequently their TSH drops to near zero (low).  Other doctors look at that "number" and get upset that the person is on "too much" thyroid medicine, despite them feeling great.  We, on the other hand are satisfied as long as the T3 and T4 are normal and the person does not have any symptoms of too much medicine.  In other words, to us the person is more important than the numbers.

Women have much more thyroid problems then men probably because of their hormone imbalances.  Estrogen is an anti-thyroid hormone and we usually have too much of it.  Progesterone, is a pro-thyroid hormone and we usually don't have enough of it.  So mix in some hormone fluctuations concerning pregnancy and peri-menopause and Voila, the set up for autoimmune thyroid problems in women.

An under-active thyroid makes menopausal symptoms even worse.

Hyperthyroid (an over-active thyroid) Treatment
Take advantage of natural supplements (anti-oxidants) that at high doses can suppress thyroid function.  These supplements taken at normal doses do not suppress the thyroid. 
Soy isoflavone
  100-200mg per day
Alpha lipoic acid
800mg per day
Quercetin
4,000-5,000mg per day
L Carnitine
4,000-5,000mg per day

The Thyroid 101 06 Jun 2008 23:42 #731

  • Debra
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Thought this was a good one
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