Has Your Get Up and Go, Got Up and Gone?
Do you suffer with any of these symptoms?
Cold hands/feet, poor circulation, unwanted weight gain, fatigue, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, poor mental clarity, high blood pressure, fluid retention, loss of memory, depression, mood swings, and chronic sinus infections?
If so, you may have low thyroid function.
Your Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck attached to the lower part of the voice box (larynx) and to the upper part of the windpipe (trachea).The main function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine.
These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to cellular energy).
Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.The normal thyroid gland produces about 80 percent T4 and about 20 percent T3; however, T3 possesses about four times the hormone “strength” as T4. This is a very important concept as you’ll see later on in this report.
Normally, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) increases the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland and increases production of the thyroid hormone. Iodine plays an important role in the function of the thyroid gland. It is the chief component of thyroid hormones, and is essential for their production. Iodine is obtained from the water we drink and the food we eat.
If there is little iodine available in our diet, insufficient thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid and the person develops symptoms of low thyroid function.
Why Is Your Thyroid Function Low?
The major problem stems from a lack of iodine in the diet. Iodine is one of the essential components of thyroid hormones. Without sufficient iodine, the production of thyroid hormones is limited.
Iodine consumption has dropped dramatically in this country over the past 20 years. This drop is due in part to the depletion of our soils and in part to less iodized salt being used as an ingredient in our foods.
Why are iodine levels so important?
Low levels of iodine mean your thyroid isn’t functioning properly. The thyroid helps balance hormones, regulate heartbeat, stabilize cholesterol, maintain weight control, encourage muscle growth, keep menstrual cycles regular, provide energy, and even helps you keep a positive mental attitude.
Women are naturally prone to iodine deficiencies. That’s because the thyroid gland in women is twice as large as in men — so under normal circumstances, women need more iodine. However, when women are under stress, the need for iodine can double or triple.
Yet the foods we eat contain less and less dietary iodine. For example, back in 1940, the typical American diet contained about 800 micrograms of iodine. By 1995, that amount plunged to just 135 micrograms. That’s an 83 percent decline.
Two-thirds of the body’s iodine is found in the thyroid gland.
I’ve found that the quickest and most affective way to get the iodine your thyroid needs to operate at optimal levels is to take over-the-counter iodine thyroid-boosting supplements.
In my practice, I use a product known as Thyroid Boost. If the patient is really low or really suffering with low thyroid symptoms and wants to jumpstart their thyroid, I’ll recommend they also take Thyroid Support. These two products make up my Thyroid Jumpstart package.
Some foods, called goitrogens, should be omitted for a while as they hinder iodine utilization. These included kale, cabbage, peanuts, soy flour, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, and turnips.
Now most doctors will tell you that you get all the iodine you need from iodized salt. However, I learned first hand that many of my patients were in fact very low in iodine.
I suggest you use the following home test and see if you, like a lot of my patients, are in fact low in iodine.
How to Self-Test For an Iodine Deficiency
1. Dip a cotton ball into USP Tincture of Iodine. (You can get iodine at the drugstore for under $1.)
2. Paint a two-inch circle of iodine on your soft skin, like the inner part of your thigh or upper arm.
3. If the yellowish/orange stain disappears in less than an hour, it means your body is lacking crucial iodine and has soaked it up. If the stain remains for more than four hours, your iodine levels are fine.
Also remember to check for low body temperature as outlined above. A low body temperature and/or low iodine suggests low thyroid function.
Clues That You May Have Hypothyroid/Low Thyroid
With regard to infancy and childhood, a high birth weight of over 8 lbs. suggests low thyroid. Also, frequent ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, or other infections may be signs of low thyroid function.
Problems may show up in school, including difficulty concentrating, abnormal fatigue – especially having difficulty getting up in the morning – and poor athletic ability all suggest a low thyroid function.
Often, adolescent girls suffer from menstrual irregularity, premenstrual syndrome, and painful periods.
Throughout life, disorders associated with hypothyroidism include headaches, migraines, sinus infections, post-nasal drip, visual disturbances, frequent respiratory infections, difficulty swallowing, heart palpitations, indigestion, gas, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, frequent bladder infections, infertility, reduced libido, and sleep disturbances, with the person sometimes requiring up to 12 or more hours of sleep at times, work all week and then crash all weekend.
Hugs, Not Drugs
Research at the University of North Carolina shows that a brief hug with a loved one reduces the effect of stress, dropping heart rate and blood pressure by half.
Euthyroid Syndrome – Important, Please Read This
Euthyroid is a medical term for patients who have normal thyroid blood tests but have all the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism: fatigue, low metabolism, headaches, etc.
Euthyroid patients often relate that they and sometimes even their doctors suspected a thyroid problem only to have their blood work come back “normal.” A euthyroid patient will have normal blood work, but still suffer from low thyroid. Most physicians won’t recommend thyroid replacement therapy if the blood tests come back “normal.”
Blood Tests for Thyroid Function are Often Inaccurate
Blood tests for thyroid function measure the amount of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), T4, and T3 in the bloodstream.
But thyroid hormones don’t do anything within the bloodstream; the action takes place in the cells themselves. There’s no way to measure how much thyroid hormone is actively in the cell. We can only guess how much thyroid hormone is actually there.
Thyroid Blood Tests are Nothing More Than a Guess!
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has reported, “Laboratory blood tests for thyroid may be inaccurate for many who get tested for hypothyroid disorder.”
Blood tests are a poor and inadequate way to measure true thyroid hormone levels.
More Ways Doctors Miss Low Thyroid Function
T4 needs to convert into T3 (four times stronger than T4) for optimal metabolic function (bodily energy).
Unfortunately, patients often have a problem converting T4 into active T3. A buildup of Reverse T3 actually blocks the conversion of T4 into T3. Reverse T3 is initiated by stress. The more stress, the more Reverse T3 and more likely T4 isn’t converting into the more active T3.
Your blood tests may show normal levels, but since T4 is not being converted to T3 within the cells, fatigue and other symptoms associated with low thyroid function begin to appear. Individuals taking synthetic thyroid hormones like Synthroid (T4 only) may continue to have the symptoms of low thyroid function for years, even in spite of normal blood tests.
Your T4 Prescription Thyroid Drug – Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, etc. – May Be Worthless.
You may continue to go back to your doctor year after year, get your “normal blood tests” and be told by your doctor to keep taking your same dose of prescription thyroid hormone. “Your tests look normal… keep taking your Synthroid (L-Thyroxine, Levoxyl, Levothroid, etc.), and I’ll see you in six months.”
Meanwhile, you’re falling apart and feeling miserable. Or if not miserable, certainly not as energetic as you know you should be. All of the drugs listed above are synthetic (man-made) forms of T4 and may not be able to convert into the more active T3 thyroid hormone.
Important – if your synthetic T4 drug isn’t converting into the more active T3, you’re going to feel less than optimal. Doctors miss this all the time.
And to complicate matters, Millions of Americans Go Undiagnosed Because Most Doctors Continue to Use Older, Now Outdated Guidelines.
Not only are blood tests inaccurate, but the parameters for determining who has a thyroid disorder and who doesn’t, have been changed. And stupid doctors don’t even know this!
In the past, those with a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) above 5.0 were considered hypothyroid (low thyroid). However, many doctors wouldn’t prescribe thyroid hormone therapy until the TSH reached 10 or more.
In 2004, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE) changed the guidelines so that a TSH above 3.04 is now considered positive for hypothyroid.
The majority of labs are still using the old guidelines as well. So if you go to your doctor and he or she takes your blood and it comes back with a TSH of 4.0, they will tell you you’re fine – no problem with your thyroid.
Low Body Temperature is a Major Sign of Hypothyroidism
Dr. Barnes was the first to show that a low basal body temperature was associated with low thyroid. His first study was published in 1942 and appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This study tracked 1,000 college students and showed that monitoring body temperature for thyroid function was a valid, if not superior, approach to other thyroid tests.
Self-Test for Low Thyroid Function
The test for low thyroid function according to Dr. Barnes’ protocol:
First thing in the morning while still in bed, shake down and place a mercury thermometer (digital thermometers are not as accurate) under your arm, and leave there for ten minutes. Record your temperature in a daily log. Women who are still having menstrual cycles should take their temperature after the second and third days of the period. Menopausal women can take their temperature on any day.
A reading at or below 97.8 strongly suggests hypothyroidism. A reading above 98.2 may indicate hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
If using a digital thermometer, wait two hours after waking up and take under the tongue (don’t eat, drink, or brush your teeth 10 minutes before taking temperature).
Most doctors don’t know or choose not to accept the well-documented studies that show a low body temperature is indicative of euthyroid hypothyroidism.
If you’re body temperature is low 97.7 or below you may benefit from taking over the counter thyroid supplements. My patients with low thyroid who use Thyroid 130 typically notice a boost in their energy, moods, mental clarity, etc., with a few weeks. You can learn more about this supplement here