Other Studies • Holtorf Medical Group
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Other Studies

  • Low normal thyroid levels result in a higher risk of heart disease than if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, if you smoke or even have diabetes. Individuals with low normal thyroid levels are 2.5 times more likely to suffer a heart attack. This is greater than if you have high cholesterol (2.4 times risk), high blood pressure (1.6 times risk), if you smoke (2 times risk) or have diabetes (2.4 times risk). Doctors and patients are well aware of these risk factors for heart disease but fail to correct the more important low normal thyroid levels. Many patients needlessly suffer heart attacks because their physician tells them their thyroid is fine because it is in the normal range instead of optimizing to more optimal levels.

    Risk Factor

    Age Adjusted Relative Risk

    Low normal thyroid

    Hypercholesterolemia

    Hypertension

    Smoking

    Diabetes Mellitus

    2.5

    2.4

    1.6

    2.0

    2.4

    Annals of Internal Med, 2000.

    • Low thyroid is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart enlargement, stroke, infections, and cancer.

    Coronary-Artery Disease in hypothyroidism. The Lancet.

    • Many physicians have realized that patients can be profoundly hypothyroid and still have normal values of TSH and Free T4. In a recent issue of the British Medical Journal(1) several physicians noted this by stating, “We wish to question present medical practice, which considers abnormal serum concentrations of free thyroxin and thyroid stimulation hormone-those outside the 95% reference interval-to indicate hypothyroidism but incorrectly considers “normal” free thyroxin and thyroid stimulation hormone concentrations to negate this diagnosis. It is unusual for doctors to start thyroxin replacement in clinically hypothyroid but biochemical euthyroid patients.” They note that of 80 patients who were diagnosed as hypothyroid on established clinical (signs and symptoms), only 5 patients had abnormally low T4 levels and only 4 had abnormal high TSH levels. The averaged TSH concentration was below the middle of the reference range. They state that these people deserve treatment otherwise they are condemned to many years of hypothyroidism with its complications and poor quality of life.

    British Medical Journal 1997.

    • For over 80 years, before the advent of TSH testing, physicians with outstanding ability have regularly treated thyroid patients with enough thyroid to clinically normalize their patients regardless of dose. The maxim of the day before TSH arrived was to give enough thyroid until the patient felt better. Medical students are still repeatedly told to treat the patient and not the lab values, but this quickly gets forgotten and disregarded when it comes to thyroid. The 80 years of experience with thyroid hormone treatment demonstrated that people would normally need 200-400 micrograms of T4, such as Synthroid, or 3 to 5 grains of desiccated thyroid. The long-term studies of over 40 years show no side effects from such doses and thyroid is probably the safest long-term drug of the Century. When TSH testing came into use in 1973, the average doses dropped to 1/3 of the doses previously used.( 2)

     British Medical Journal. 1999.

    • In a study in the 1997 Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, clinical signs were compared to blood tests. The authors demonstrated that individuals have varying degrees of thyroid resistance in different tissues. The authors describe this as a metabolic hypothyroidism in different tissues. They state “…tissue hypothyroidism at the peripheral target organs must be different in the individual patient.” The authors summarize their findings by stating that they agree with the statement in an endocrinology text book stating, “The ultimate test of whether a patient is experiencing the effects of too much or to little thyroid hormone is not the measurement of hormone concentration in the blood but the effect of thyroid hormones on the peripheral tissues”

    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 1997.
    Basic and clinical endocrinology, 3rd ed. London: Appleton.

    • Thyroid and weight loss-In a 1997 study it was shown that T4 preparations such a Levoxyl and Synthroid resulted in very minimal increase in metabolism while supplementation with T3 was shown to increase metabolism by an average of 18%. For a person consuming a 2000 calorie diet, 18% is equivalent to burning an extra 360 calories per day. Thus giving T3 would equate to approximately a 40 pound weight loss in a year. This is equivalent to approximately jogging on a treadmill for 1 hour per day. If we would simply optimize everyone’s thyroid, we would no longer have the obesity crises in this country. This could easily be remedied and drastically cut he incidence of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and cancer. Thyroid should never be given as a weight loss medication but appropriate replacement with the proper preparations often elevates a number of symptoms, often including continued weight gain.

    The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 1997.

    • Reverse T3 blocks T3 action and lowers metabolism

    Res Exp Med 1997.

    • Thyroid and regaining lost weight after dieting:T3 falls during acute and chronic calorie restriction (dieting) and reverse T3 increases during acute and chronic calorie restriction, blocking thyroid effect and lowering metabolism. Is this a factor why lost weight is usually regained?

    Am J Clin Nutr 2000.

    • Thyroid hormones improve blood flow to heart and prevent heart attacks

    Thyroid 1998.

    • There is an increased risk of arrhythmias if your T3 levels are low and/or your reverse T3 levels are high. This is opposite of what most doctors think.

    Journal of Cardiology 1993.

    • Flame retardants are building up in people’s bodies and blocking the thyroid effect resulting in a diminished thyroid effect despite having normal thyroid levels.

    Toxilogical Sciences 2000.

    • Organochlorine compounds (pesticides) are well known to alter the thyroid hormone system by decreasing serum thyroid hormone levels in several species including humans.

    Environmental Health Perspectives 1999.

    • The higher the level of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) in children the lower the thyroid and the higher the level of cadmium in children the lower the thyroid levels (not picked up on standard blood test)

    Environmental Health Perspectives 1999.

    • “In an ambitious review of the literature from laboratory experiments, wildlife observations and human epidemiology, Françoise Brucker-Davis concludes that wildlife data clearly demonstrate thyroid disruption by synthetic chemicals.”

    Thyroid 1998.

    • “Synthetic chemicals are released into the environment by design (pesticides) or as a result of industrial activity. It is well known that natural environmental chemicals can cause goiter or thyroid imbalance. However, the effects of synthetic chemicals on thyroid function have received little attention”

    Thyroid 1998.