Sept. 25, 2020
by Jim Roach, MD, www.themidwaycenter.com, www.drroach.net
Important points for new hypothyroid patients
1) Avoid foods that interfere with thyroid function including processed soy (probably by blocking iodine) and uncooked crucifers (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower).
2) It is essential to eliminate toxins (mercury other heavy metals, chemicals).
Infrared sauna (saunaray.com) is the most effective way. Kelp with selenium, NAC, & HM Chelate ( heavy metal chelation) help
3) Gluten, milk products, & animal meat can be thyrotoxic
4) Intestinal healing is vital.
5) Iodine in the appropriate dose and fixing adrenal stress are essential.
6) L-Carnitine is often deficient, yet blocks thyroid receptors; limit (or avoid) the dose
7) Breast cancer risk is 14-fold higher in thyroid disorders in women
8) Stress lowered thyroid by stopping conversion of T4 to T3 & making inactive reverse T3 instead.
9) Diabetes associated with low free T3 relative to T4.
10) Thyroid function can be checked by basal body temperature. Shake down the thermometer before bed, put it under the arm for 10 minutes before getting out of bed for 6 consecutive days (but not during menses).
NUTRIENTS PROMOTING T4 TO T3: B Complex Plus, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Selenium, Therbiotic ( probiotic), Zinc, Ashwagandha, Mullein, 5-Methylfolate. Also vitamin A, iodine, iron, and chromium support thyroid health.
Drugs that worsen thyroid function: Beta blockers, oral contraceptives or estrogen, lithium, anticonvulsants, cortisone, chemotherapy
IMPROVING CELL SENSITIVITY TO THYROID: Vitamin A, Exercise, Zinc
NUTRIENTS WORSENING REVERSE T3: stress/abnormal cortisol, trauma, inflammation, toxins,, infections, liver/kidney dysfunction, certain Rx meds, high dose levothyroxine/Synthroid, estrogen dominance, thyroiditis, heavy metal toxicity, selenium, zinc, or iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, nutritional starvation; when high, avoid levothyroxine, take a pure T3 thyroid for awhile.
To lower reverse T3: selenium, zinc, milk thistle or glutathione support, adrenal support
COMPARING THYROID FATIGUE FROM ADRENAL FATIGUE: Thyroid fatigue can feel better after exercise, adrenal fatigue feels worse
OPTIMIZE IODINE AND THYROID HORMONE DURING PREGNANCY. Risks of deficiency: poor fetal neurological development, miscarriage, early birth, low birth weight
TYROSINE-RICH FOODS: Spinach, eggs, avocado, bananas and pumpkin seeds, duck, kidney beans, Fava beans, spirulina, seafood, seaweed, peanuts, almonds, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
1. Autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the primary cause of hypothyroidism; 12% of the population has it. Grains (gluten) may be the primary cause; stop ALL grains and lectins (nuts, seeds). Mercury is a partially reversible cause of thyroid damage. Avoid soy - can cause a goiter and thyroiditis. Selenium deficiency may lead to thyroiditis. Vitamin D, & DHEA or testosterone support normal immune response. An organic whole-food plant-based diet and intestinal support with probiotics, fish oil, glutamine, quercetin may help. Avoid artificial sweetener aspartame ( sweet and low/ diet soda), especially w Graves disease. Due to higher risk of clotting with Hashimoto’s and Graves, natural blood thinners e.g. fish oil are wise.
2. Excess estrogen contributes to hypothyroidism by lowering available thyroid and inducing thyroiditis. Reduce estrogen through nutritional interventions, exercise, weight loss, avoiding toxins, maintaining intestinal health, Vitex, progesterone
3. Poor nutrition or protein, lithium, and amiodarone can cause hypothyroidism.
Fluoride (tap water, toothpaste, mouthwash), bromide (baked goods e.g. bagel, sodas e.g. Mountain Dew, brominated vegetable oil, ‘new car’ smell) & chlorine (drinking water, pools, hot tubs, & shower - get filters) are important to avoid;
vitamin B12 helps rid halogen pollutants; iodine helps counter.
Chemotherapy damages the thyroid, creating or worsening thyroid function.
Flame retardants including in beds impede the thyroid.
Green tea lowers T3 and T4.
Foods that reduce thyroid function include soy, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Lima beans, peanuts, millet, peaches, & pears.
Antihistamines & sulfa drugs lower thyroid levels.
Avoid Dilantin and Tegretol within 4 hours of thyroid medicine.
Iodine deficiency can cause fibrocystic breasts, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia. Supplement with selenium when taking iodine.
Hypothyroidism can be due to
1. Deficiencies of nutrients involved in making T4 – iodine, selenium, copper, tyrosine, vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, C, & E
2. Deficiency of nutrients involved in converting T4 to T3 – zinc, copper, & selenium.
4. Other causes: heredity, age, mercury, lead, cadmium, homocysteine, environmental chemicals, non-stick cookware, radioactive thyroid treatment.
Chronic disease increases T3 in the brain resulting in normal TSH, but T3 is lower in the body and over time reverse T3 increases i.e. the body is thyroid depleted but has a normal TSH.
5.Inflammation reduces the number of thyroid receptors on cells.
6. Drugs that cause iodine deficiency: fluoxetine (Prozac), statin cholesterol medicine
7. Drugs that damage the thyroid due to fluoride content: Lipitor, Lescol, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prilosec, Prevacid, Dexamethasone, Diflucan (fluconazole), flunisolide (Nasarel), Flurazepam, Fluvoxamine, Midazolam (Versed), fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox)
Drugs that may impair the thyroid due to chlorine: Amlodipine, acid blockers, chlorpheniramine (antihistamine), clopidogrel (Plavix), Glucovance, lamotrigine (Lamictal), loratadine (Claritin), olanzapine (Zyprexa), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Splenda, sertraline (Zoloft), Statin cholesterol medicine, venlafaxine, vancomycin
7. Conditions blocking thyroid transport into the cell:
aging, anxiety, bipolar, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, dieting, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol or triglycerides, insulin resistance, infections, inflammation, Lyme, migraines, obesity, and stress.
Slight reductions in cell energy reduce transport. Feeling cold can be due to mitochondrial damage from Lyme, or damage from quinolone antibiotic. Thyroid nodules are caused by artificial sweetener called ACE-K or “acesulfame.” “Hot” nodules – over-producing thyroid hormone “Cold” nodules – often relieved by giving iodine
INITIAL APPROACHES TO MILD HYPOTHYROIDISM
Hormones are likely out-of-balance - address these
1. Chronic infections (e.g. sinusitis, intestinal yeast infection) need to be treated.
2. Support for a full night’s sleep may be beneficial. As stress reduces T4 conversion to T3, adaptogens facilitates conversion.
3. Improve thyroid function w/ iodine from fish, sea vegetables, seasalt, & potatoes, zinc from organic, free-range meat, seafood, pumpkin (& other) seed, nuts, copper from eggs, legumes, nuts, & raisins, & tyrosine from soy & fish ( avoid soy).
4. For mild cases alternating heat to the thyroid for 3 minutes with cold for 30 seconds for 3 cycles daily ending in cold improves thyroid circulation. check with your physician if this is ok to do.
5. Ten minutes of looking toward (not at) the sun in early morning stimulates the pineal and ultimately the thyroid gland. Because of the strong impact of stress, mind-body approaches can be effective. Biofeedback is especially good at relieving stress. Poke is supportive of thyroid function and when nodules are present.
THYROID TREATMENT Treating hypothyroidism with thyroid medicine but without iodine may double breast cancer risk.
Armour thyroid, NatureThroid, or WP Thyroid are preferred except in the elderly since they are natural and contain T4 and T3. Some are allergic to these natural thyroids. WP Thyroid by RLC Labs is the most hypoallergenic one – contains only inulin from chicory root and MCT from coconut.
These and T3 thyroid (e.g. Cytomel) are generally taken best two or three times a day
for those prone to forgetting doses, once a day may be preferable in combination with levothyroxine. Cytomel should be avoided in major gluten sensitivity.
Tirosint is a hypoallergenic T4 that may be better absorbed.
Levothyroxine e.g. Synthroid has been associated with fever, sweating, nausea, heart failure, menstrual problems, hair loss, headache, tremors, & insomnia; they interact with anticoagulants, betablockers, and estrogens.
Nearly all synthetic thyroid contains cornstarch, lactose and gluten. If switching from one product to another, Armour thyroid 60mg is equal to T4 thyroid 100mcg.
Take Tirosint or levothyroxine at bedtime to optimize benefit.
Adequate T4 thyroid is needed to convert vitamin B2 to FAD (important for mitochondria)
Don’t take minerals or dairy within 4 hours; don’t take coffee or tea within 2 hours Thyroid must be taken consistently – each AM 30-60 minutes before breakfast & T3/T4 medicines later eg mid-afternoon.
Food reduces absorption. Thyroid needs are higher in winter, lower in the summer.
Thyroid doses can be increased every 3-7 days. Symptom improvement can take 1-4 months.
Thyroid is lowered by estrogen; testosterone raises levels; as exercise is important in improving thyroid.
Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline) increase thyroid. Zoloft (sertraline) can reduce effects. A high-fiber diet can alter thyroid levels.
Requirement for high doses of thyroid medicine may indicate H. pylori infection. Thyroid at high end of normal range:2.5x sudden cardiac death & 4x risk of sudden cardiac death over 10 years. Circulation 9-2016 MONITORING Monitor levels every 6-13 weeks until stabilized, then every 6-12 months. Patients on T3 medicine (Armour, Cytomel): don’t take on test days. TOPICAL SUPPORT FOR THYROID NODULES OR CYSTS 1) Topical poke oil + frankincense oil (available through us)