Hypothyroidism: Possible and Precipitating Causes, and Remedies
The tendency toward hypothyroidism is believed to be genetic, but various stressors—such as life traumas, chemical insults, low body temperature, and dietary and nutritional deficiencies—can generate a malfunction of the gland.
1. Possible (or Precipitating) Cause: Life Traumas and Stressors. Major traumas and stress-
Corrective Measures to Life Traumas and Stressors: Psychotherapy. We humans are social creatures. Especially during times of stress or trauma, having someone to talk to about difficult issues can make a world of difference in how we feel. Whether that confidant is a therapist or peer, a lover or a good friend, or a priest/rabbi/shaman—it’s important to have a loving, accepting space provided by someone who is present. Sometimes it’s helpful to get advice, sometimes not. Dealing with stress is critical to helping your entire body-
2. Possible (or Precipitating) Cause: Chemical Insults. These can range from environmental pollution (such as pesticides) to radiation poisoning. Pesticides, artificial chemical fertilizers, and household chemicals are known for their ability to negatively affect thyroid function. Nuclear “testing” also causes major damage to the gland. During nuclear “testing,” radioactive iodine in the air displaces the normal (non-
Corrective Measures to Chemical Insults: Detoxification Protocols. Remedies can include chelation, sauna therapy, ozone therapy, and nutritional modifications. Be aware that the liver, which plays a major part in detoxifying the system, cannot do its job without the necessary nutrients. This includes a balanced protein/carbohydrate ratio. Many people do not get adequate protein and instead load up on carbohydrates. For more information on sauna therapy, see my book The Holistic Handbook of Sauna Therapy. You can read excerpts from the book and cover quotes, and order the book by clicking on its cover on the left-
3. Possible (or Precipitating) Cause: Low Body Temperature. Body temperature plays a major role in thyroid function. The body uses an enzyme called 5’-
Corrective Measures to Low Body Temperature (besides T3 medication, which you can obtain only with a doctor’s prescription): Sauna therapy with far infrared (FIR) as the heat source. Studies on heat therapy are not totally conclusive, but another possible, and adjunctive (to T3 therapy), treatment for thyroid disorders—particularly Wilson’s Syndrome—may be sauna therapy. Taking FIR saunas on a regular basis could help raise the body temperature because with more necessary heat in the system, the 5’-
4. Possible (or Precipitating) Cause: Dietary and Nutritional Deficiencies.
Too many carbohydrates (starches and sugars) and not enough protein daily can stress the thyroid gland.
Skipping meals and eating at irregular hours can cause hormonal imbalances and blood sugar problems.
Certain vegetables called goitrogens—especially when eaten raw and in large amounts—may interfere with thyroxin production. Thyroid-
Another food that has been definitively shown to inhibit thyroid function is the soybean because of its excessive estrogen-
In order for the thyroid gland to function, it needs lots of nutrients. The thyroid’s function is also dependent on other glands—especially the adrenal gland, which backs up the thyroid and can get exhausted and depleted if it’s trying to take over some of the functions of the thyroid.
Although iodine is clearly a nutrient, it is so important that it is being listed separately. The thyroid needs iodine to manufacture its hormones properly. If there is not enough iodine in the diet, the thyroid gland cannot make enough thyroid hormone. (T4 carries 4 iodine molecules, and T3 carries 3 iodine molecules.) By the way, sufficient iodine can also help prevent the enlargement of the thyroid gland. As mentioned earlier, when the pituitary gland senses a drop in thyroid hormone levels in the blood, it releases more TSH to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. But if there is not enough iodine in the diet, no matter how much TSH is released, the thyroid still cannot produce enough hormone. Without sufficient dietary iodine, the pituitary’s continued production of TSH in its attempt to raise thyroid hormone levels can cause the thyroid to grow unnaturally. This is goiter. The fact that goiter is not as prevalent in populations living at or near a seacoast suggests that goiter may well be the result of iodine deficiency.
Corrective Measures to Dietary and Nutritional Deficiencies: Proper diet and nutritional supplementation.
Eat protein at every meal. This means animal protein: red meat, fish, poultry, game, or cheese—produced naturally, without antibiotics or hormones.
Eat at regular hours. If your blood sugar levels have a tendency to drop, eat 4, 5 or 6 smaller meals a day.
If you don’t want to eliminate goitrogenous vegetables from your diet, boil them in water first (that’s right, boil them!), and then discard the water. Heat destroys the thyroid-
Eliminate soy products such as tofu, and fake soy “foods” such as soy “ice cream,” soy “cheese,” and soy “milk.” Soy protein powder isolate isn’t a great food, either. Think what isolate means: it’s isolated, meaning processed and out-
According to Dr. Michael Schachter, who treats people for hypothyroidism, proper function of the thyroid gland and the ability of the body to convert T4 to T3 requires sufficient amounts of the following nutrients: the adrenal hormone cortisol; coenzyme Q10; minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium; protein, especially the amino acid tyrosine; vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5; and of course iodine (see below). Numerous herbs can provide adrenal support; and many people can still obtain supplements containing the required nutrients.
Seafood and seaweed (such as kelp) have always been considered good sources of iodine. However, unless you’re eating massive amounts, these do not have enough iodine to thoroughly saturate the body’s tissues. This is when an iodine supplement is critical.
The Importance of Iodine for Thyroid Support
According to Dr. Kae Thompson-
Iodine has many important functions. To name just a few: it coats incoming allergenic proteins to make them non-
The systems of tadpoles are flushed with iodine at the point they become air-
Drs. David Derry, David Brownstein, and others discuss the importance of iodine in depth. Please see their work for more information.
The thyroid, though tiny, is extraordinarily powerful. A properly functioning thyroid can make a huge difference in one’s quality of life. Hypothyroidism is widespread—but it can be treated. Remember to see a doctor if you think you have thyroid problems!!!
See a doctor if you think you might have thyroid problems!!!
For more information, go to:
Dr. Richard Loyd's GREAT site on other aspects of thyroid function