Page Synopsis: And what regulates Cortisol? The thyroid. That is why this page is so long (in fact it includes an entire book 'The Great Thyroid Scandal'). So please don't feel that you have to read the whole page (just know it's something important to ask your practitioner to test, evaluate and address

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Relevance:5 Technical Level:5

After gaining a basic understanding of the topic, the page can be skimmed (revisiting later if interested in garnering a detailed grasp of the topic)


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Taken from page: 'Despite normal thyroid readings, two hours after taking thyroxine and tetroxin, eight years of ME/CFS symptoms disappear!'


User Joy: "Fully recovered - no restrictions at all


I want to let the world know that this thyroid test is something worth trying. I’m sure I can’t be the only person to have had ‘normal’ thyroid tests when (my thyroid) was not normal at all. T3 isn’t usually tested in the NHS blood test as it is thought to be unnecessary if the T4 level is normal. However, as T4 has to convert to T3, there can be reasons why it’s not converting."


"I want to let the world know that this thyroid test is something worth trying."


User lib "I spent 2 years wiped out because my T4 was not being changed into T3, the active form . Thanks to a great naturopath doctor who did not trust the TSH test, and treated me for hypothyroidism anyways and I recovered a lot"


User Jenny

"I have had the TSH, T3 and T4 and Frees for years and they still never came up. And the last several years I was definitely experiencing Thyroid symptoms (although I did not know then) and then... one day I believe it was the T3 numbers that blew. The test had been normal 6 months prior. The symptoms I was having was extremely dry skin and hair, my hair growing like nuts, and joint pain in the knees.


I just thought my skin was dry from moving to the SW, my hair crazier than ever because I am almost all grey now and knee joint pain just from the progression of Fibro and ME/CFS so I never mentioned these things to my doctor (except the knee joint pain) and if I had been a normally healthy person who all of the sudden developed dry hair and skin I may have mentioned it to my doctor but being so sick with so many symptoms I only have the wherewithall to go over the plethora of information I know are illness related.


It was so far off that my Primary thought it was a lab error and my Rheumotologist office already wrote the script for me to have the follow up. It was still showing bad numbers. I went on meds and 2 months later the numbers returned to normal.


So for me, the continuous neuro-immune fight and overall body fight I have had with Fibro and ME/CFS for 40 and 35 years may have finally made my thyroid blow. I feel 5-10% better now on medication but I am still greatly disabled. And that is only 5-10% better after my body took a dip in the way I felt the last few years.


Here is the thing. You can have full thyroid panels like I had with normal ranges and your thyroid could still be blowing because the pituitary gland kicks in and makes up for what your thyroid is not doing. It can't do that forever but it can do it for a few years."

We talked about a subtle form of hypothyroidism that is not picked up just by looking at TSH that is an important component in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Dr. Holtorf said that conventional thyroid testing–looking at TSH misses about 80% of cases of hypothyroidism and he likes to look at the Free T3/Reverse T3 ratio and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin and he is developing a new test, Active TSH. He also explained that the new T3/Reverse T3 assays are not as accurate since they crunch everyone together. He also uses a computer to measure achilles tendon reflex and if it is slow it indicates hypothyroidism


Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia with Dr. Kent Holtorf: Rational Wellness Podcast 040

Iodine and Hypothyroidism (marked as following url which isn't current


User Waynesrhythm 'not enough iodine = underactive thyroid = not enough T4 which is needed to convert vitamin B2 (riboflavin) to its active co-enzyme form "FAD" which is needed for proper methylation. So it doesn't matter how much B2 you have, or how good your B12 level is, without sufficient T4 from a proper functioning thyroid, you won't have normal methylation (even if your MTHFR gene is normal'

I've been doing a good deal of research the past few months on iodine, and feel I've learned much--as well as experiencing various health improvements from iodine supplementation. Though I feel I'm still in the beginning stages of my "iodine experimentation", (and at times feeling a bit overwhelmed by what a broad topic it is), I thought I'd share a few notes that I feel are particularly relevant to people with ME/CFS.


Iodine and Apoptosis: Iodine is needed by every cell in the body, but tends to concentrate in areas where there is frequent cell regeneration (apoptosis). This includes nasal passages and mucus cells of the stomach lining, where cell regeneration takes place very 2-3 days. If there is insufficient iodine in the body to perform this critical function, dysfunction occurs. -- Sounds to me like this could have some pretty significant implications for digestion and gut health, and affect some of the dynamics associated with leaky gut syndrome.


Iodine and Autoimmunity: Here's a couple of quotes from the book, "Breast Cancer and Iodine", by David M. Derry, MD, PhD. -- "Iodine can coat incoming allergic proteins to make them non-allergic...". "Iodine binds softly to the double and triple bond of lipids to protect these bonds while they are being transported to synaptic sites in the brain and blood vessels of the body". -- The author believes this is why iodine deficiency likely has major implications for all sorts of auto-immune conditions.


Iodine and Immunity: The above references to high concentrations of iodine in the nasal passages and stomach can have some pretty significant implications for our overall immunity. I read one testimonial online of a man who experienced exasperating, ongoing sinus infections for years, being unable to shake them. When he finally discovered iodine supplementation, his sinus infections cleared up within days. Reminded me of the many references I've seen of pw/ME/CFS struggling with sinus infections.


Also, as inferred by the title of the book I referenced "Breast Cancer and Iodine", the scientific evidence of the connection between iodine deficiency and cancer is by most accounts, extensive and irrefutable, even though it's doubtful most oncologists ever give it a second thought.


Iodine and Thyroid Health: The thyroid gland captures dietary iodine, and synthesizes thyroid hormones from it (T3 and T4), storing it in the body until needed. -- Interestingly, taking thyroid extract can correspondingly increase the amount of iodine needed by the thyroid gland. Even though the thyroid gland will function better, apparently this can happen at the expense of iodine concentrations in other parts of the body. -- A distinction is made between "Tissue Level" and "Blood Circulating Levels" of iodine.


A couple more points: Hal Huggins (holistic dentist for many decades) has extensive experience and knowledge of mercury toxicity and its many detrimental effects. He believes just one of these effects is mercury's ability to bind with T3 and T4, essentially rendering them unusable by the body. This could possibly explain why a good number of people often get thyroid tests that come back normal, but can improve their thyroid function and health significantly by supplementing with iodine.


Also, different parts of the body need different kinds of iodine. The thyroid gland apparently can only use the "iodide" form (potassium iodide being the most common). Breast tissue however can only use elemental iodine. This is why Lugols solution and other iodine supplements like Iodoral usually come in a ratio of 2 parts potassium iodine to 1 part elemental iodine. Note: There are other kinds of iodine out there, like "nascent iodine", atomidine, and I believe a couple of others. I've not learned enough about them as of yet to make any knowledgeable comments about them.


Iodine and Brain Function: "Lack of iodine during pregnancy is the leading cause of intellectual impairment in the world." -- A severe iodine deficiency that causes profound neurological damage and mental retardation is called cretinism. I've seen several references to a child's IQ being compromised by as much as 10-15 IQ points just from relatively mild iodine insufficiency during pregnancy.


The fetus,--and especially the fetal brain--undergo rapid (and critical) phases of apoptosis during pregnancy. The iodine levels in the fetus during this time can actually be as much as 5x greater than that of the mother during this time. Also, iodine is highly concentrated in breast milk, as high levels of iodine are also required for the fast growing infant.


Iodine and Improved Energy: The thyroid gland is critical for normal metabolism and energy production in the body. It's also critical for mitochondrial health, and as I recall, quite a few other areas of physiology having to do with energy production. A sense of increased energy and vitality is one of the most commonly noted aspects I've seen in the many online testimonials I've read. It's been one area that I've definitely noticed for myself. Though my overall functionality has improved only modestly so far, I do feel a much greater sense of "resiliency" in my system, and feel optimistic I'm building a foundation for myself as I go forward.


Iodine and Detoxification (incl. Methylation): Iodine supplementation will almost always result in significant halide detoxification (flourines, chloriness, bromine, etc,). These ubiquitous toxins displace iodine in cell receptor sites, and when they in turn are displaced by adequate iodine intake, it can lead to detoxification symptoms. This why it's recommended that iodine supplementation be approached with a degree of caution, especially for people with detoxification problems. Supplemental Vitamin C, salt, and transdermal magnesium chloride are often recommended to greatly support detoxification of these halides.


This comment I found online describes just some of the aspects of detoxification that occur (or can occur) when beginning iodine supplementation:


"Would we like another good reason to have normal iodine levels? How about for proper methylation! In simple terms methylation is a process in which certain chemicals called 'methyl groups' are added to various constituents of proteins, DNA and other molecules. These are needed to keep them in good working condition. And if 'methyl' sounds familiar, it's part of methylcobalamin which is the active form of B12


Iodine Literate Medical Doctors (ILMDs): There appears to be somewhat of an "iodine revolution" going on these past few years, largely due to the proliferation of knowledge being available and discussed online. This knowledge is stemming from examination of much of the scientific research that's been done, but often misunderstood or downright rejected by mainstream conventional medicine (sound familiar?).


One of the pioneers in this field is Lynne Farrow, who developed breast cancer, researched extensively, and after 8 long years, finally discovered the connection between iodine deficiency and breast cancer. Here's a link to her website: "Breast Cancer Choices". She credits iodine supplementation as being indispensable to her recovery.


She wrote about her experiences in the book, "The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life". I think it's an excellent book, with a comprehensive history on how iodine was tragically shoved out of mainstream medicine, and how things are at long last starting to change with long-standing scientific evidence being correctly interpreted by some intrepid health care practitioners. -- Dr. Brownstein and Dr. Sircus are a couple of other pioneers, and have also written extensively on iodine supplementation.


I'll finish by mentioning that what I've written is only a short, broad outline of the whole topic of iodine, its history, and its many critical functions in the body. I tried to focus in on those areas that I feel are most relevant to pw/ME/CFS, but there are even more than I've listed. I thought I'd wait on posting about what I've learned until I could be more comprehensive. But what I'm learning just seems to be never-ending, so decided it's better to get started than to be too obsessive about being comprehensive. :)


From all the research I've done so far, I've learned that most (if not all) ILMDs believe over 90% of the population is iodine deficient, many of them severely so. Given that iodine is critical for areas of health that so many people with ME/CFS struggle with, I've come to believe that any progress we may be able to make by incorporating various health measures will most likely always be limited unless we address any iodine deficiencies we may be dealing with


User jkennedy 'A long time ago I did the home iodine loading test in which you take a large dose of iodine--in my case, 4 Iodoral--and collect your urine for 24 hours to see how much you retain. I retained only 30%, so my P.A. recommended daily Optimox Iodoral for me.


What I found interesting is that the large dose of Optimox Iodoral gave me a really good night's sleep at a time when my sleep was horrible. I don't know why it had that effect.


I'm glad I did the home test although I really disliked it. You have to collect urine in a gallon jug and refrigerate it. It was pretty gross collecting it and putting it in the fridge. My husband really didn't like seeing it on what he considers the wine shelf'


User Waynesrhythm 'My understanding is that a 30% retention is quite low, as optimal is 90% or greater, which iodine supplementation regimens aspire to. I recently read an article on iodine, which gave a pretty good succinct reference to restoring iodine sufficiency...


"Dr. Michael B. Schachter says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily. Preliminary research indicates that if a person is iodine insufficient, it takes about 3 months to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 50 mg of iodine and a year to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 12.5 mg of iodine daily. However, the patient needs to be monitored closely with awareness of possible side effects and detoxification reactions.”"


I'm happy to hear about your improved sleep. This is a common experience for those doing of iodine supplementation. My own sleep has been noticeably better since I started supplementing late last year.


You might want to check out this thread (snippet below) by a woman who discovered a nasal spray glutathione helped immensely for her brain fog. Thanks for the link to the Akron study. Very interesting--plus, I'm really into history.


"I feel like I only come here when I'm really struggling so I wanted to come here to share some positive news.


For the first time in 20+ years, I can actually say that I'm feeling pretty good. I have sustained energy that lasts me from waking until bedtime. I'm able to stay on my feet for long periods of time. I've started light exercise. I have better mental clarity (but still struggle with memory loss and brain fog. it's just significantly improved). No muscle aches, migraines. Still have nocturia and incontinence issues. -- Anyway, here is what has helped me:


Pindolol - I feel like doctors overlooked my heart issues my whole life or didn't treat them as seriously as they were. Dr Vera put me on this beta blocker and I was reluctant to take it because i had bad associations with them. But it changed everything. I could stand without feeling dizzy or exhausted. My energy felt stable. I didn't get the afternoon crashes. I'm able to lightly exercise without feeling my heart rate skyrocket.


Glutathione nasal spray - I've had a wonderful response to this. This has had the greatest impact on brain fog, mental clarity and energy.


Niacin, 500mg - this gives me wonderful, lasting energy. I feel so great on it. I worry it's not sustainable but for now, I take it once a day religiously. I've had nothing but positive reactions to it. I can't say enough great things about niacin. I love the way I feel on it.


Rhodiola Rosea, 500mg - this was my previous standby for giving me energy and helping me feel more able to get through the day. It lost some of it's effect but combined with the niacin and ubiquinol, seems to really help.


Ubiquinol - 100mg per day - when I don't take this, I notice I get more body aches and feel more tired.


A couple of other points: pindolol. I've tried beta blockers in the past and they made me more dizzy, more tired and I hated them. Pindolol has been the polar opposite. My heart is totally stable and I just feel like I can be on my feet all day and without this constant anxiety of needing to find a place to sit. Whenever my husband gets home from work, I would typically say "hi. i need to lie down" and he'd watch the kids while I went and lay down. He pointed out to me that I haven't said that in weeks now. That I've been active, helping with dinner, playing with the kids, upright without complaint. That is huge for me


When you take anything that helps support thyroid function (which it appears you now currently doing), it actually requires "MORE" iodine to function properly. What the body will usually do in this kind of situation is to "redirect" iodine from other parts of the body (usually scarce to begin with), and give it to the thyroid gland.


This can make the rest of the body even more deficient than it was. Every cell in the body needs iodine for metabolic needs (and energy production). Our endocrine system needs a great deal of that just to make hormones (all of which contain iodine). So it makes sense, to me anyway, to make sure the body has adequate amounts of iodine, whether or not you're supplementing with some kind of thyroid support.


You may find this information helpful...


One simple pill stops breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers


Are you taking iodine? You do if you are my patient. I recommend iodine to all of my patients because I believe it will prevent breast and prostate cancers. Even though there's no direct proof of this, there's a substantial amount of indirect evidence. But one thing is for sure. Taking iodine will prevent the most serious form of the most common cancer there is. I'm talking about thyroid cancer.


Iodine is critical for the formation of thyroid hormones. And thyroid hormones are essential for life. They are the hormones that specifically tell the cells to do what they are supposed to do. So when you're iodine deficient, your cells stop working and things start falling apart. The brain then registers this and sends stimulating signals to the thyroid to produce the hormones the body needs so badly. This causes the thyroid to overwork, and eventually the over stimulation of the thyroid gland can result in the formation of an aggressive thyroid cancer.


The best form of iodine is called Lugol's solution. It was developed way back in 1829 by, you guessed it, Dr. Lugol. It is a mixture of potassium iodide and elemental iodine. You can buy it at in either a liquid or a tablet. The tablet form is the best way to take it. The dose I recommend for all adults is one 12.5 mg tablet per day. But what about testing, you say?


About 15 years ago, a challenge test for optimum iodine levels was developed. I started doing the test on all of my patients. But guess what? Every single one of the hundreds of tests I did indicated that no one had adequate levels of iodine. Absolutely no one. So I called the director of one of the labs and asked him about it. And he confirmed that he had never seen a normal test on someone who was not already taking an iodine supplement.


So naturally I asked him, "Then why should I do the test if everyone is going to end up being low anyway?" His answer was, "It just seems like a reasonable thing to do." So instead of doing an initial test, I simply started giving everyone 12.5 mg of Lugol's every day. Then I did the test after they were on it for a few months. And sure enough, that was all that was needed to establish a normal result.


By the way, 12.5 mg is the average amount of iodine that Japanese men and women get in their diets. And the Japanese have lower risks for both prostate and breast cancer. But here's an interesting statistic. When Japanese men and women move to the U.S. and adopt an American diet, which contains only a fraction of the iodine the traditional Japanese diet has, they have the same cancer risks as Americans have.


I forgot to mention... When a person who's taking a thyroid supplement starts iodine supplementation, they will will generally need LESS of their thyroid supplementation. If this isn't monitored closely, it's possible (and it happens), a person could end up with hyperthyroid symptoms


                   Hypothyroidism ***


                   “The Great Thyroid Scandal” by Dr Barry Peatfield (click here to download as pdf) ***


                   Do you have hypothyroidism? Look at your handsOur fingernails (and toenails actually) say so much about our health. It is mind-blowing when you look at the references listed at the bottom of this article the number of conditions of the nails associated with hypothyroidism including Alunula (absence of the Lunula, the little white moons of the bed of the nails), Onychorrhexis (longitudinal ridging of the nails), Beau’s Lines (transverse grooves or depressions of the nail plate), Koilonychia (spoon shaped nail plates), Onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed), Pterygium Unguis (thinning of the nail fold and spreading of the cuticle over the nail plate), Onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail), Yellow Nail Syndrome, brittleness, slow growth, and thickening. I first heard Dr. Peter Osborne describe the following common symptoms of hypothyroidism he notices in his patients’ nails and it got my mind racing. I dove into studies and books to figure out how low thyroid can affect even our nails. What the heck! Not even one part of our body is safe from hypothyroidism. Written by Dr. Peter OsborneThe symptoms of thyroid problems often manifest in the hands and fingers. Some very common physical abnormalities can present in the nail beds and fingernails. If you have these types of findings on your hands and also suffer with fatigue, hair loss (especially a thinning of the lateral eyebrows), low libido, dry skin, and unexplainable weight gain, visit with your doctor to have your thyroid evaluated. If you are being treated for hypothyroidism and have these symptoms, please too see your doctor in case they are an indication that you are not well treated for your condition. Paronychia & HypothyroidismHere I have a nice image of the classic fingernails of a patient who had been priorly diagnosed with a hypothyroid condition. Now there are a number of classic things we can see here.  Hypothyroid Fingernails The first is around the cuticles. You can see the really jagged and rough edges. You see it on both sides here. The formal name for this is Paronychia and it is a very very hallmark sign of hypothyroidism, meaning low thyroid condition. This type of symptom nutritionally is often times also linked to a protein deficiency. Interestingly enough, one of the major forms of amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks for protein) responsible for helping thyroid function is Tyrosine. Often times we will see a protein deficiency, and particularly Tyrosine deficiency, in patients that have low level of thyroid and it will present in the cuticles looking just like this, called Paronychia. Vertical White Ridges on Nail & HypothyroidismAnother classic example of the thyroid fingernail is this white vertical ridging that we see on both sides in the nail beds.  Hypothyroid Fingernails This is often times indicative nutritionally of a selenium deficiency. Now why is that important in someone that has a thyroid condition? It’s important because selenium is a mineral absolutely essential in the conversion of the INACTIVE thyroid hormone T4 to the ACTIVE T3 thyroid hormone. T4 has to be converted into T3. T3 is the thyroid hormone that communicates directly with your DNA and speeds up your metabolism and has all the wonderful effects we’re looking for in thyroid hormone health. Without selenium we don’t convert T4 to T3 very effectively and it will look like this often in the fingernails. So look at your fingernails and if you find these types of white spots very well it means you have a selenium deficiency. It also might mean you have an undiagnosed thyroid condition. If you are treated for hypothyroidism, it might mean you are not well treated for it. I would advise you if these are present on your fingernails to visit with your doctor and have your thyroid evaluated. Nail Splitting & HypothyroidismOne other thing you can see here in this image is the splitting at the tips of the nails. This is also very very common in people with a hypothyroid condition.  Hypothyroid Fingernails Look at your fingernails and see if you have these types of findings. If you do, follow up with your doctor and have your thyroid fully evaluated. About Dr. Peter OsborneDr. Peter Osborne is the clinical director of Town Center Wellness in Sugar Land, Texas. He is a doctor of chiropractic and a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist. His clinical focus is the holistic natural treatment of chronic degenerative musculoskeletal diseases. He is an expert in the relationship that gluten sensitivity and food allergies play in chronic inflammation. He has helped thousands of patients recover from chronic painful conditions. References: Heymann, W.R. (2008). Thyroid Disorders with Cutaneous Manifestations. London: Springer-Verlag London Ltd. Macura, A.B. et al. Nail susceptibility to fungal infections in patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Przegl Lek. 2005;62(4):218-21. Magee, D.J. (2014). Orthopedic Physical Assessment: Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Series, Sixth Edition. Missouri: Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. Sacchidanand, S. and Savitha, A.S. (2013). Nail & Its Disorders. New Delhi: Jaycee Brothers Medical Publishers Ltd. back to top of article to click to close                                                                                                                         click here to closeback to top of articleRepeat of Thyroid and Adrenal testing (found on page 2 'Testing') by Dr. Sarah MyhillThyroid and Adrenals A lab test for identifying adrenal fatigue is a saliva test. It’s important to take samples of the saliva at different times of the day in order to establish the true cortisol rhythm and DHEA levels. Samples are taken in the morning (6am-8am), midday (12pm-1pm), late afternoon (4pm-5pm) and nighttime (10pm-midnight). Cortisol should be at the highest in the morning and the lowest at night. Taking your body temperature when you wake up in the morning and finding that your temperature is below 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit can help to detect adrenal and/or thyroid problems Please note that adrenal fatigue (exhaustion) has three different stages before it reaches failure. People in stage one of adrenal fatigue have a high amount of cortisol overall and at least one cortisol reading that is higher than it should be. An overall high count and a spike at an inappropriate time of the day indicates there is a problem. Cortisol must be kept under control because it eats muscle when at an excessively high level. Stage two of adrenal fatigue is commonly misdiagnosed and can even go undiagnosed entirely. This primarily happens because a person’s total cortisol level is normal in stage two! The key indicators in this stage are the DHEA level and a low level of cortisol in the morning, midday, or afternoon. The trouble with properly identifying adrenal fatigue in stage two is that cortisol levels are often normal at night and the overall reading usually averages in the normal range as well. Again, cortisol should be at the highest in the morning and lowest at night. If a client is experiencing low cortisol levels when it should be at its peak, there is a problem. Stage three of adrenal fatigue is the easiest to identify. The DHEA level is low and most cortisol levels are borderline low or low throughout the day. And of course, the total cortisol level is low as well. Low nighttime cortisol is a major marker for late stage three adrenal fatigue. There are some tests that can be taken at home which tell you if adrenal fatigue is part of your problem. For example, go into an indoor room that is away from the natural sunlight (a room with no windows or, at the very least, with the shades lowered) with a small flashlight. Shine the light at a 45-degree angle towards your eye and you will see your pupil shrink (the pupil is the black center of your eye). The light of the flashlight will cause the pupil to shrink and it should remain constricted while the light is being pointed at your eye. You likely have adrenal problems if you see your pupil pulsing (alternating between being bigger and smaller). While this simple test shouldn’t replace an actual diagnosis, it does point to what could be the source of your issues and it would be something to further investigate with a health professional. Another test is I recommend involves an electronic blood pressure cuff (the Omron® blood pressure cuff can be purchased online for around $50-60). Place the blood pressure cuff on your arm as you normally would when measuring your blood pressure but lay down on your back for 5-10 minutes before taking the measurement. Have someone write down what the measurement is. Then stand up as fast as you can, take your blood pressure again, and write down that number. You are looking for the difference in blood pressure numbers between lying down and standing. This is called an orthostatic measurement. To illustrate, let’s say someone’s measurement is 120/80 when laying down and jumps to 130/85 immediately after standing. That’s good! The body naturally increases blood pressure when standing because gravity places more demands on our bodies. It is normal and healthy to see both the systolic rate (the top number) and the diastolic rate (the bottom number) increase 5-10 mmHg when going from laying down to standing. What if the rate doesn’t go up? For example, let’s say a person’s lying down blood pressure rate is 120/80 but it goes down to 110/80 immediately after standing. That’s bad. When this occurs, I often find the person has adrenal dysfunction and toxicity issues. Similarly, people who become light headed or dizzy when rising from a lying or sitting position also tend to have adrenal dysfunction and toxicity issues. Conventional practitioners generally determine if a patient has thyroid problems by testing their TSH level. What I find interesting is that TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is not even manufactured by the thyroid! It’s actually manufactured by the pituitary gland and is meant to  communicate with the thyroid. Low TSH indicates hyperthyroidism (overactive) and high TSH suggests hypothyroidism (low functioning). Conventional testing says that “normal” values for TSH are typically .5 to 5 µ/mL. I believe that is too big of a range. I would not use the conventional bell curve that is used to determine the “normal range.” Instead, I recommend all practitioners and those who suspect they have thyroid dysfunction to use the optimal values that are between 1.8 and 3 µ/mL. The bell curve used to show the “normal” range is established by sick people! Think about it: who has their TSH tested? People who are displaying symptoms of having a dysfunctioning thyroid! To be on the edges of what is considered normal in that group is not optimal. Like I said earlier, TSH communicates and works with the thyroid. The pituitary gland in the brain releases TSH which then stimulates the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland then produces its T4 hormone (and a small amount of T3), which is then converted to the T3 hormone primarily in the liver. T3 is the active form of the thyroid hormone and is the most important. To take it to another level, there is a difference between Total T4 and Total T3 vs. Free T4 and Free T3. The body’s cells can only use the free forms of the hormone and Free T3 is the most important. Your body uses proteins to transport T4 & T3 hormones in the blood stream. Your body breaks up the proteins and allows the T3 to be absorbed at the cellular level (which makes it Free T3). T4 is converted to T3 primarily in the liver and this is typically a problem for most people with hypothyroidism. During times of stress the body converts T4 into Reverse T3 (RT3) instead of T3. This is a normal process that typically is very short lived. When the body is under extreme physical, chemical and/or emotional stress this conversion of T4 into Reverse T3 becomes chronic and is very dangerous. The leading cause of hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Disease, which was the first to be recognized as an autoimmune condition in 1912. Hashimoto’s Disease causes the body to attack its own thyroid gland tissues. Testing thyroid antibody levels (TPO and TG) reveal this problem. The most common symptom of the disease is feeling worse even with thyroid replacement hormone treatment. Another symptom is when lab tests show both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid levels at different times.58 When diagnosing a client with potential thyroid problems I always recommend a complete thyroid panel that includes at least: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and Thyroid Antibodies. Depending on what is found in the lab tests, there are different protocols we could follow to heal the thyroid. Most doctors don’t run Reverse T3 or Antibody testing because their treatment would be the same regardless of the results. They typically give a prescription synthroid (or generic Levothyroxine), which is a T4 hormone replacement. If the patient is seeing an alternative medicine practitioner they will typically be switched to Armour thyroid, which is a bio-identical T3/T4 hormone from pigs, not just T4. A recent issue that has emerged is that the manufacturers of Armour thyroid are reducing their production costs by adding gluten as a filler. If you need a bio-identical T3/T4 hormone, I recommend that you find a compound pharmacy to specifically make it for you and eliminate the gluten filler because research has shown a correlation between gluten intolerance and Hashimoto’s back to top of article to click to close                                                                                                                          click here to closeback to top of article



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