So this week kicks off the start of The Thyroid Sessions which is an incredible collection of interviews by Sean Croxton from http://www.undergroundwellness.com with leading experts. And trust me this information is not to be missed if you are someone who has been ill with anything fatigue or thyroid/adrenal related. This is the information you need and which you will never get from your doctor.
May 6th 2014: Dr Isabella Wentz – 7 supplements to heal the Thyroid
Dr Isabella is the author of Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause. She was prompted to publish the book after she was diagnosed with Hasimotos Disease (autoimmune hypothyroidism condition) herself. Her diagnosis took many years and eventually Dr Isabella set out to research ways to further help her own condition.
She describes how before any treatment she was constantly fatigued and sleeping 12 hours a night. She was cold and suffered from anxiety and hair loss. By this point (of diagnosis) she had already been a pharmacist for 3 years and was in a good position to fully delve into the understanding of autoimmunity.
As she says “Hasimotos didn’t develop out of nowhere. I was very healthy before.”
The Doctors told her that nothing could be done other than accepting she just needed to get on hormone medication. However after detailed research and application she was able to slow the progression of the illness and eventually was actually able to put it in remission.
Isabella has grave concerns over just how many people out there are suffering and thinking they are crazy. Misdiagnosed and under-treated and not getting the care they deserve.
1. Why Hypothyroidism can sometimes feel like HYPERthyroidism:
In early stages of Hasimotos you can suffer from symptoms of both hyper and hypothyroid. This is because when the immune system attacks the gland, packets of hormone are released into the bloodstream causing transient hyperthyroidism. Eventually the continued destruction will move into classic hypothyroidism. Isabella herself fluctuated between both set of symptoms at the beginning, like most sufferers do. She describes it as like “being on a roller coaster” each day.
2. Top Issues/Root Causes which need addressing:
– Adrenal Insufficiency
– Food Sensitivities
– Nutrient deficiencies
– Gut issues
– Impaired ability to get rid of toxins.
The combination of the above factors almost becomes a vicious cycle and patients get stuck. There is a need to address all the issues to get on top of the condition. Hasimotos is an immune disease and the immune system must therefore be balanced as the priority.
3. Dr Isabella talks more about Nutrient Deficiencies:
Selenium is a common deficiency which plays a critical role in thyroid health. It helps to nutralise free radicals which occur as a result of thyroid hormone production and stop them causing damage to the thyroid gland. Crucially selenium also helps with t4 (inactive form of thyroid hormone) to t3 (the active form of thyroid hormone) conversion.
Vitamin D which acts as an immune modulator (balancing the immune system) is also very important and can often be deficient.- Isabella advises testing as its hard to get enough even from sunlight when you have an autoimmune condition. She advises taking an additional D3 supplement under the guidance of testing/doctors.
Another common deficiency she sees often is B12 which can lead to severe fatigue and digestion trouble. Isabella explains how poor digestion is very often at the root cause of Hasimotos so there are likely to be b12 issues. You can see how there is a circle of imbalances occurring which all affect one another. A series of events which in effect create a perfect storm.
She also sees deficiencies in Digestive Enzymes alongside Low Stomach Acid. Often it is Infections which are causing these deficiencies which then leads to an impaired abilty to digest food. This cycle then leads to further food sensitivities…… Again you can see the fine balance between all the factors and how they interplay and connect on many levels.
Iron deficiency is also often seen.
4. Dr Isabella stresses the importance of Healthy Adrenals:
The adrenals control the production of stress hormones.They are closely linked with the thyroid gland and therefore adrenals problems can cause thyroid problems in numerous potential ways. Firstly, there could be conversion issues again causing less of the active T3 to be present.
Poorly functioning adrenals also produce more reverse t3 which actually puts the brakes on the body. She discusses how many people starting out on thyroid meds do well for a couple of weeks, only to crash. This is often due to adrenals problems. There is a complicated feedback mechanism between the thyroid and the adrenal glands and they will work to try to balance one each other. By taking more thyroid hormone a person will often weaken their adrenals further.
Dr Isabella estimate that most Hasimoto’s sufferers have adrenal insufficiency. It is important to do a saliva test as blood testing will not pick it up .Once you address the adrenals patients often find that they can reduce their thyroid medication as the conversion process begin to kicks in.
Things like Gut issues and Inflammation from food sensitivities will also contribute to adrenal fatigue.
5. A Healthy Gut is crucial to the Thyroid:
It can be very hard to even find gut infections as parasites or bacteria often dont show up in tests. But successful treatment of infections can cause thyroid anitbodies to go into remission and patients often feel much better.
6. The 3 Factors which need to be present for Hasimotos to occur:
3 Leaky Gut
Therefore taking just 1 of these out of the equation can be the answer. Fixing a leaky gut (intestinal permeability) can put autoimmune thyroid into remission. Finding a gluten sensitivity (and acting accordingly) can make a dramatic impact. Many people can even get off thyroid medication by eliminating gluten from their diet. Additionally there may be more food triggers present so you need to experiment with an elimination diet in order to figure out all your food sensitivities.
7. Dr Isabella’s 7 Supplements to subdue Hypothyroidism:
1. LDN – This is an off label medication which works to reduce anti-bodies and halt further attack on the thyroid gland. It is an immune modulator and many good results have been seen.
2. Probiotics – Dr Isabella highly recommends a good quality and large dose of Probiotics to aid the good gut flora as an imbalance of good/bad bacteria can also contribute towards leaky gut.
3. Selenium – Can reduce tissue damage, aid hormone conversion and reduce symptoms and antibodies. A daily dose of 200mg is her recommendation.
4. Betaine with Pepsin – To treat low stomach acid which helps the break down and digestion of protein. If we don’t digest protein it leads to further food allergies and more problems for the immune system. We must remember that poor digestion is at the root cause of every immune condition. This supplement (taken with meals) was a big moment for Dr Isabella and she found this shifted her fatigue dramatically.
5. Digestve enzymes
6. Moducare – This also balances and modulates the immune system. It helps the adrenals too.
7. Anatabloc – This is actually from tobacco as bizarrely smoking can be protective of Hasimotos. Someone quiting smoking may find their Hasimotos actually flares up. This supplement takes the specific compound found in tobacco and reduces inflammation in body. It also modulates the immune system.
Look for root cause as the core and understand how so many factors are intertwined.
So, did you learn anything new? Let me know if you have had success with reducing antibodies or medication? Personally I am definitely still a work in progress but I have implemented much of this already. For me I would say diet has made the biggest impact which I will expand upon another time. But despite still not feeling great my antibodies have dropped from 3000 to 48 due to my diet! This gives me hope and I will continue to work out my own complex case 🙂
Leave me a comment. xx