Autoimmune Hypothyroidism - Nenah Sylver

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Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?
When My Lab Tests Are Normal:
A Revolutionary Breakthrough
In Understanding
Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism

by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC

Below is a brief summary of Dr. Kharrazian's book.
Kharrazian provides a vital missing piece in the understanding of
not only thyroid dysfunction, but immune disorders in general.


Datis Kharrazian has done some groundbreaking thinking, research, and writing. He excels in putting together some very complicated data, from a variety of disciplines, into a coherent protocol that addresses not only thyroid disorders, but all autoimmune issues.

First, of the over 50% of people in the United States who suffer from hypothyroidism, the vast majority have an autoimmune condition that's attacking the thyroid. So while the end RESULT is hypothyroidism, the CAUSES are many and varied, and other systems are affected as well. To name just a few other interconnected systems and problems: leaky gut/poor digestion; adrenal exhaustion, which leads to malfunction; impairment of the liver (where the unabsorbable T4 thyroid hormone is converted into the more active and absorbable T3 thyroid hormone); and of course, environmental pollutants or heavy metals such as mercury, which can damage every system in the body.

The problem with giving people thyroid hormone is that it may not address what caused the hypothyroid symptoms in the first place. (Note I said "MAY not address"; some people do very well taking natural thyroid hormone or a synthetic T3/T4 compound.) First, says Dr. Kharrazian, address the causes of the autoimmune response, and the thyroid problem will take care of itself.

One of the most important things to do is avoid gluten, a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, semolina, and durham (and sometimes oats, when they're contaminated with wheat). According to the authors of Dangerous Grains (different book now), half of the US population may be intolerant to gluten. Gluten destroys the villi (projectiles that help with food absorption) in the lining of the gut, so that large particles of food now enter the bloodstream and cause allergies--or remain in the gut and ferment, causing Candida overgrowth. Kharrazian tells us that incredibly, the sticky gluten protein molecule resembles that of the thyroid gland! No wonder the body learns to attack its own tissue. I think everyone should get off gluten, because even so-called "normal" people take a day or two to get back to normal after ingesting gluten.

But there's so much more to Kharrazian's protocols. Support the adrenals (he gives specific examples) and do liver cleanses. Eliminate concentrated (or even high levels of complex) carbohydrates (not just gluten), because they will cause insulin resistance and--you guessed it--hamper thyroid hormone absorption as well. Note that there are two different immune response pathways in the body; and thus herbs and supplements that work for one type of response may be detrimental to the other. So it's not a simplistic matter of popping more olive leaf extract or drinking green tea and expecting to get the same great results that your friend did. (Kharrazian has formulated specific supplements, made by Apex Energetics, to assist in supporting certain metabolic pathways and toning down others; so it's important for you to know which autoimmune response needs quieting and which needs raising.) That said, it has been reported by some holistic medical doctor colleagues that responses to various nutritional supplements are not as cut and dried as Kharrazian appears to believe; so experimentation and testing are needed. Plus, people's responses can change over time.

To help explain some very complex and interrelated metabolic processes, Kharrazian provides much-needed diagrams. He repeats some information in several different ways so you can see context. There are a few minor annoyances in this book, such as formatting and font glitches that the proofreader missed, which hopefully will get cleaned up in the next printing. But this is a small matter. This book is such a gold mine, even the few highlights I've given can't do it justice. (You may also want to read Hypothyroidism Type 2 by Dr. Mark Starr to learn the historical context of thyroid diagnoses, and more basic issues concerning hypothyroidism. But not everyone can benefit from Starr's one-size-fits-all conclusions. More often than not, there are other issues that need to be addressed. So be sure to also read Janie A. Bowthorpe's excellent book Stop The Thyroid Madness, which is a wonderful companion to Kharrazian's, and fills in some of the missing details for the layperson.)

I thank Kharrazian for writing this book, and appreciate the practitioners who are applying his principles and whose reviews appear on Amazon. This work is light years ahead of just about everything I've read. Autoimmune disorders, no matter what form they take, can make your life miserable. You deserve to feel better! Do yourself a favor and get this book. You'll learn a lot, and not just about the thyroid gland.

—Nenah Sylver, PhD


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