Archive for March, 2013
In our society today, thyroid disorders have become rampant, especially among women since they have larger thyroids than men as well as more hormonal fluctuations. In this article, I will focus on hypothyroidism (low-functioning thyroid), which is often under-diagnosed. Typically, only the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is measured. My naturopathic doctor, however, looks at the entire clinical picture and uses the blood test as confirmation only. Further, she suggests that most individuals feel better when the TSH is on the low end of the range on the blood test. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland, but gets its message from the hypothalamus, and the hypothalamus can nearly shut down when stress occurs. When my brother died of a Coumadin bleed three years ago, my thyroid went into a rapid downward spiral. I was able to get it back on track in a few months with natural supplements.
One of the best gauges of a thyroid issue is the old Brody Barnes test of symptoms along with basal body temperature. Take your temperature first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. If your temperature is 97.4 or below, discuss it with your doctor because you likely have thyroid AND adrenal problems. If you try to correct the thyroid first, you will end up with more issues. You need to work on the adrenals and the thyroid simultaneously.
The thyroid is a hard-working gland that affects every cell in the body. Hypothyroidism has over 40 symptoms. Some of the most common are thinning hair, inability to lose weight, constipation, dry skin, leg and foot cramps, goiter, depression, cold intolerance, impaired memory, high cholesterol, and infertility. There are many more!
Iodine is one of the key nutrients for the thyroid. A combination of iodine and the amino acid, tyrosine, makes T-4 which must be converted to T-3, the active hormone in the body. This requires good liver function, and there are many supplements including glycine that can help in this regard. When we are stressed, the adrenal hormone, cortisol, often becomes elevated and interferes with the body’s ability to convert T-4 to T-3; this conversion also requires adequate selenium, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin D3 at the very least.
In the body, the halogens, fluoride, chlorine, and bromine (from bromated flour) can all fill iodine receptor sites reducing the availability of iodine. Fluoride also binds to selenium making it unusable. Factor in that selenium and zinc are also quenched by mercury, arsenic, and cadmium as well as the day-to-day detoxification of chemicals, and you have the makings for hypothyroidism.
Check back next Thursday for Part II of this article.
Dr. Rogers’ latest book, How to Cure Diabetes, isn’t just for diabetics. Her introduction best summarizes the reason everyone needs to read it; “Who needs this book? Diabetes is merely an example of accelerated aging. For that reason, this book is essential for anyone who wants to retard aging. And folks who know me through the other dozen and a half books and couple of decades of newsletters, know that regardless of the title, I never leave anyone out. Even though a title focuses on one disease entity, the information contained in it is crucial for the health of all of us, even those who do not have the disease in the title or any disease, for that matter.”In her usual approach, Dr. Rogers blows away common medical myths, using science as her sword. For example, Hgb A1C is a blood marker that reflects long-term blood sugar stability, and it is closely monitored in diabetic patients. Doctors consider medical treatment to be successful when this marker is lowered into the “normal” range. Dr. Rogers highlights research that suggests their thinking is shortsighted stating, “This study showed that intensive lowering of the Hgb A1C to less than 6 (the top limit of normal for most labs) with all medications available actually increased the relative death rate 22%”. This is just one example of how lab tests do not necessarily correlate with clinical outcomes.She answers unique questions like “Why do Insurance Companies Only Cover Drugs?”, “Why are Phthalates so Important?”, and “Just how many Millions of Dollars and Hundreds of Doctors does it Take to Prove that Diabetes is not a Deficiency of the Latest Drug?” If you have never read a Dr. Rogers book, the answers will probably surprise you.The consistent messages throughout the book are that diseases aren’t caused by drug deficiencies, and using medications just to improve lab results doesn’t necessarily cure disease or save lives. Bottom line, the only way to turn around diabetes, or any other disease, is to get to the root cause of the problem by addressing nutritional deficiencies with supplementation and a good healthy diet, thus following true naturopathic principles.
By: Dr. Jen Morganti, NEEDS Education Director
As we age, the B12 absorption rate drops due to digestive deficiencies or poor appetite and diet. The reduction of this nutrient has been linked to mental decline, which has been further supported by this recent research. Data was extracted from the Framingham Heart Study, a large study that spanned several decades, on 549 adults in their 60s and 70s. Researchers looked at the results from their mini-mental state examinations over the course of eight years, to determine if low levels of B12 and folate were correlated with accelerated mental decline. It was found that those in the group with lower levels of B12 experienced significantly faster cognitive decline as compared to those with higher levels of B12. It was also found that having an imbalance of B12 to folic acid, particularly high levels of folate paired with low levels of B12, contributed to a more rapid mental weakening.
Vegetarians are also at risk for low B12 levels as the richest source is from meat, and would benefit from supplementation. Cyanocobalamin is considered an inferior source of B12, as compared to methylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin. In most cases, lozenges and capsules have the same absorption rates.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Aug;60(8):1457-64