Thyroid Disorders (Common and autoimmune)
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Common Thyroid Disorders:
Hypothyroidism (Under-active thyroid (including sub-clinical hypothyroidism))
Hyperthyroidism (Over-active thyroid)
Autoimmune Thyroid Disorders:
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (AKA Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis)
Graves' disease (AKA Basedow-Graves disease)
Balancing the thyroid gland and/or thyroid hormones is an important aspect of correcting poor health.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (AKA Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis): is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by a variety of cell and antibody mediated immune processes. Hashimoto's thyroiditis very often results in hypothyroidism with bouts of hyperthyroidism.
Graves' disease (AKA Basedow-Graves disease): is an autoimmune disease most commonly affecting the thyroid gland, causing frequent enlargement (Goiter). The thyroid becomes over active, with related hyperthyroid symptoms such as increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and irritability. It can also affect the eyes, causing bulging eyes (exophthalmos). It affects other systems of the body, including the skin, heart, circulation and nervous system.
Graves' Disease and Hashimoto's disease are autoimmune disorders of the thyroid gland. In these diseases the body produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. These antibodies are known as antithyroid and antimicrosomal antibodies. These antibodies bind to the cells on the thyroid gland, which causes inflammation, and often destruction of the thyroid gland. As the thyroid gland becomes more inflamed, it releases excess thyroid hormone. The excess hormone often causes the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Autoimmune thyroid problems often lead to hyperthyroidism initially and can be followed by hypothyroidism later in the course of the illness from Overcoming Thyroid Disorders by David Brownstein , M.D
Basal Body Temperature
As long ago as 1942, Broda Barnes, M.D., author of Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, looked at the Basal Body temperature as a successful indication of thyroid problems, both over and under-active.
Please refer to the short article here for details of this simple, indicative, test for thyroid problems.
In some cases where the thyroid is functioning very poorly; ovulation will not occur and women of child bearing age may not see a rise in their Basal temperature. It is no surprise then that thyroid problems are often linked to issues with fertility; in cases of an under active thyroid gland, increased levels of the hormones TRH (thyroid-releasing hormone) and TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) will be released prompting the pituitary to release TSH, which in turn stimulates the thyroid to do its job. However, TSH also prompts the pituitary to release more of the hormone prolactin - this can interfere with ovulation by suppressing release of the hormones LH and FSH, which stimulate the ovary. Low levels of thyroid hormone can also interfere with the rate at which your body metabolizes sex hormones, which can cause ovulatory disorders. Excess thyroid hormone can block the effect of estrogen at various points in the body; this can make the endometrium (uterine lining) unstable and cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
Natural Remedies for Thyroid Problems
*Thyroid (dessicated BSE free bovine thyroid gland from healthy grass fed New Zealand cows)Peruvian Maca
Remedies marked * are only recommended for cases of Hypothyroidism and should not be used for any other thyroid condition listed here
Seagreens: for mild cases of thyroid imbalance we would initially recommend a good dose of high quality, iodine rich seaweed; such as the highly recommended, raw enzyme intact, Seagreens.
Iodine and Selenium: These would be the next remedies to try. Iodine is a trace element that is vital to the health of the thyroid gland. It also provides the building blocks for the hormones secreted by the thyroid. It works synergistically with Selenium the important trace mineral for anti-oxidant protection and good immune system to name a few of its functions. Iodine is not just for the Thyroid gland, every cell in the body needs iodine/iodide from proper functioning, in fact whole body sufficiency of iodine is a major protection a against the development of cancer, removes heavy metals and other toxins and eliminates harmful infections from fungi, e.g. Candida Albicans, virus, parasites and anaerobic bacteria. Just by taking a few drops daily in water or juice the body can gradually come to full iodine sufficiency over a period of a few months see the further reading tab on the iodine page linked above for more details.
Iodine and selenium are particularly effective for dealing with over-active thyroid. The majority of over-active thyroid disorders have been linked to an auto-immune reaction and although iodine and selenium supplementation will help in many cases, for difficult cases the addition of other measures may be needed as discussed in the Autoimmune Protocols
In many cases of autoimmune thyroid disorders there is a chronic undetected infection that is underpinning the autoimmune disease. Using Lugolís Iodine not only has direct benefits in stabilising the thyroid, but will also, at sufficient doses eliminate chronic infections that are part of the cause of the unbalanced immune reaction. This is a cost effective method using one of the first nutritional supplements, it is over 100 years old and has a long history of successful use. Providing higher levels of iodine than can be obtained by a handful of Seagreens capsules. Much detailed clinical work, some of which is described in the article has established the benefits of these higher doses, and these include the fact it takes months to restore whole body needs of iodine for optimum benefits.
There has been much misinformation about the effect of iodine on the thyroid gland. This can be traced back to the faulty, fraudulent junk science report by Wolff and Chaikoff in 1948 that stated that small amounts of iodine e.g. over about 200 micrograms daily could be toxic, and since then this faulty information has been seized upon by medical journals and subsequently absorbed by medical authorities and even nutritionists. This misinformation has possibly had one of the single most damaging effects on the health of the world-wide population. Iodine is safe and non-toxic over a tremendous dosage range much more so than the other trace minerals such as zinc and especially selenium. Iodine is a precious safe tool that helps the body overcome many health problems.
The other issue is that toxic halides such as chlorine in drinking water and bromine added to bread displace and block what little iodine we have in our body. These toxic elements are flushed out by the regular use of iodine, gradually moving the thyroid and body towards balance. Iodine also kills pathogenic microbes but does not harm beneficial bacteria. This gives it a tremendous role in health disorders across the board as most chronic health conditions have, as a supporting component, chronic infections.
*Thyroid (dessicated BSE free bovine thyroid gland from healthy grass fed New Zealand cows): For long standing cases of Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) the use of Lugolís Iodine and selenium is recommended, but often these nutrients will take many months or longer to improve thyroid function, especially if the gland has been under functioning for many years. In this case the use of desiccated thyroid (from healthy grass fed cows from New Zealand) can have tremendous benefit and work far more effectively in the majority of cases than the drug Synthoid / Thyroxine or other forms of drug synthesized T4 hormone.
It is not just the fact that the pharmaceutical hormone is not exactly the same as that used by the body to maintain correct metabolic rate, a major factor is that there are 5 hormones thus: T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin that a healthy thyroid secretes and these are all required to maintain the best of energy regulation and also bone health. The most important hormone to maintain sufficient metabolic energy is T3, although this is in lower quantities than T4 secreted from a healthy thyroid, most of the T3 is obtained from T4 conversion. The most often prescribed artificial hormone for thyroid under functioning is T4 (Thyroxine, Synthoid etc.) Many people are poor converters of T4 hormone to T3. That is why many people do not obtain sufficient benefit from taking a T4 only hormone prescription, their symptoms do not improve or only improve marginally. Desiccated thyroid extracts contain all five thyroid hormones, but were abandoned by the medical/pharmaceuticals industry in favour of the more profitable and less effective single hormone derivatives. Taking desiccated thyroid gland can have wonderful effects on a the health of those suffering from Hypothyroidism. Dessicated thyroid can be used as part of a thyroid therapy program for hypothyroidism; do not use for any other thyroid disorder.
Bio Identical Hormones: it is important to note that before taking desiccated thyroid hormone, any adrenal insufficiency should first be supported with bio-identical hormones such as
Pregnenolone is often referred to as the mother adrenal hormone as from it; all the other adrenal hormones are produced. It is also important for general well being and nerve health. A deficiency can result in poor memory, depression and other detrimental symptoms. Researchers have found that pregnenolone levels are often lower in those with hypothyroidism. It has been found that pregnenolone supplementation alongside thyroid hormone supplementation is effective in helping recovery of memory and energy. Best results on overall health are normally obtained by supplementing with appropriate doses of adrenal hormones but only when necessary. Please refer to the 4 articles linked above concerning Bio-identical Hormones. There is sufficient information contained in these articles to enable self selection of the bio-identical hormones to try.
Other nutrients that can be useful to normalise thyroid health.
*Peruvian Maca is a root that grows high in the Andes and has a long history of use as a vitaliser and adaptogen. It has a positive impact on the endocrine system overall; more specifically it can help pituitary function and this can have a knock on effect for the thyroid. Peruvian Maca contains natural substances that stimulate the pituitary and hypothalamus. These master glands of the body in turn trigger the ovaries, adrenals, testes, thyroid, and pancreas to return to healthy functioning, thus producing normal amounts of hormones. This has been repeatedly demonstrated, at least with estrogen and progesterone, through the use of saliva hormone assays. A number of people taking thyroid medication have also found that they can cut down or stop taking thyroid hormone. It can be used as part of a thyroid therapy program for hypothyroidism; do not use for any other thyroid disorder
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