Tag Archives: thyroid disease

Immune System & Thyroid: Are They at War?

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But how do the immune system cells actually start destroying the body they were designed to protect? It happens when some people don’t make enough T-suppressor cells, so the immune system’s attack goes on and on. Some people make too much interleukin 2(IL-2); then, an overabundance of natural killer and cytotoxic T-cells are deployed, putting healthy tissue at risk. There are also people who can make too much interleukin 4 (IL-4); then , an overabundance of B-cells looking for intruders to tag may accidentally mark healthy tissue, like the thyroid. The Immune System and Your Underactive Thyroid One of the common causes of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is autoimmune thyroiditis. With autoimmune thyroiditis, you make antibodies that attach to your own thyroid gland, which affect the gland’s function. The thyroid gland is then not able to make enough thyroxine and hypothyroidism gradually develops. Antibodies are a sign of some […]

Heart Disease: How Hypo- and Hyperthyroidism Could Increase Your Risk

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According to the World Heart Federation, heart disease is the number one killer of women around the world, with more than 8.6 million lives taken every year. This represents one-third of all deaths, and cardiovascular disease kills more women than cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. The Whole Heart Federation states: “Despite progresses in the past years, women are still discriminated against when it comes to the management and treatment of cardiovascular disease. They are more likely than men to be under-diagnosed and under-treated, mostly because the presentation, progression and outcomes of the disease are different and less understood in women than in men.” In a Dutch study called “The Rotterdam Study,” it was found that older women with subclinical hypothyroidism were almost twice as likely as women without this condition to have blockages in the aorta. They were also twice as likely to have had heart attacks. Having autoimmune hypothyroidism increased the risk even further. […]

Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism: Types of Thyroid Diseases

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While addressing a thyroid dysfunction, it’s essential to consider the interconnected web of other imbalances, toxicities, and nutritional deficiencies that are always at play. Your thyroid gland is like the body’s energy factory. Every cell in the body requires thyroid hormones. When it’s operating effectively, you feel energetic, healthy, and in control. But it takes the right amount of thyroid hormones, in a careful balance, for the body to function properly. Too little thyroid hormone, and the body slows down. Too much thyroid hormone, and everything speeds up. When talking about thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid diseases, most people only think of hypothyroidism, but in reality there are many more thyroid conditions that can arise. Non-Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism  It’s estimated that between 3 and 10 million people actually suffer from an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of one or both […]

What You Need to Know About The 4 “T”s to Thyroid Testing

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What is happening here? Many doctors rely only on TSH marker to diagnose and manage thyroid disease; however, this is just one of the four needed markers to establish a correct interpretation and analysis of your thyroid status. Moreover, many doctors use the lab ranges (referred to as “pathological” or disease ranges) that come with the test results, instead of functional ranges, which have been carefully researched and formulated as parameters of good thyroid health. The lab ranges are simply the averages of all the people who have had blood work analyzed by that lab in the last year. They are so called “normal” or “healthy” places to be but are actually statistical averages. Different labs can and do have different reference ranges. It is common to have a test result come back “normal” from one lab and “out of range” for another lab. In truth, if your lab values […]

5 Tips to Thrive with Your Thyroid in 2017

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Why is it that when having a thyroid dysfunction, one might feel so drained and unwell all throughout the body? Because the thyroid controls the rate of energy production, maintains body temperature, regulates body weight, menstrual cycles, muscle strength, heart rate, breathing, and affects brain chemistry profoundly, influencing mood and emotions. No wonder that any dysfunctions in its activity will be intensely felt throughout the body! Regard for Healthy Food Food IS the best medicine. The way our food is grown and consumed should be based on respect, both for the food and our body. It is estimated that today only 10% of all American adults consume enough healthy foods for their diet to qualify as “good,” according to researchers at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information today that is accessible and meant to help you find out what diet is […]

What Goes Up…Must Come Down: The Health Impact of Fireworks

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Let’s take a look at the health impact of fireworks. What is in a firework? A little strontium nitrate, a pinch of calcium sulfate, black powder, oxidizing agent, and binder and we are all set.  A firework, or its smaller cousin, the firecracker, are products intended to go out with a bang—and sometimes a burst of color.  For as complicated as they look—the chemistry behind them is pretty understandable. To delight the eye on the 4th of July, fireworks manufacturers pack a cardboard shell with black powder that boosts the shell skyward.  A time-delay fuse from the powder burns through to the bursting charge at the right altitude.  The bursting charge holds specially designed stars that are the heart of the colors and shapes you love to see go ka-boom. As the bursting charge ignites, gases created by chemical reaction expand, heating metal salts packed in the shell.  Those burning […]

Another Reason to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Hashimoto’s Disease

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We’ve talked about new research that shows that artificial sweeteners do not help with weight loss. In fact, they actually contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. We also pointed out the link between diet sodas — which use artificial sweeteners — and the link to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Now, a new study has given us another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners: Hashimoto’s disease.   Mary Shomon has posted about the new study, which showed a correlation between artificial sweeteners and elevated TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients. In comparison to antibody-negative people without Hashimoto’s disease, the antibody-positive patients were also far more likely to be using artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. 

Lyme Disease and Hypothyroidism: Is There a Connection?

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Specifically, some research has shown that the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme Disease can trigger Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in some people. So there are some patients who had undiagnosed or untreated Lyme Disease, only to go on to develop an underactive thyroid later. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but are not seemingly responding to thyroid hormone replacement treatment, familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of Lyme Disease. Thorough testing with practitioners who have expertise in Lyme Disease diagnose a Lyme infection, and get you on track towards treatment. Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease (3-30 days after the tick bite) Red, expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM) or a “bulls-eye” rash — can reach 12 inches across, and usually shows up around 7 days after the bite. Fatigue Chills Fever Headache Muscle and joint aches Swollen lymph nodes Early Stage Symptoms of Lyme Disease (Days to weeks after the […]

Is Intermittent Fasting a Key to Weight Loss?

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We know that full-on fasting – such as ultra-low calorie diets, or low-cal juice cleanses — tend to lower the metabolism and bring down the metabolic set-point, especially in people with thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism. But research has shown that short-term fasting does not have this permanent impact on metabolism, while potentially offering a number of other benefits. A 2013 study from the British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease found that IF diets can help combat diabetes and heart disease, lowering blood pressure, reducing insulin levels, and resulting in weight loss. More recently, Yale School of Medicine researchers discovered that a compound produced by the body when fasting can actually block responses that are involved in various inflammatory disorders. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is produced when fasting, restricting calories, or on a ultra-low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. BHB inhibits the production of a protein that plays a key role in inflammation […]

The Link Between Vitamin D and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

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In a Chinese study, researchers looked at vitamin D and autoimmune thyroid disease status in their patients. Their study evaluated 66 patients (34 had Hashimoto’s disease and 32 had Graves’ disease), compared to 52 healthy controls. They measured the serum D3, calcium, parathyroid hormone, Free T3, Free T4, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb), and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) in all the patients studied. They found that the patients with autoimmune thyroid disease had Vitamin D3 levels that were significantly lower than the controls. And, interestingly, almost 82% of the autoimmune thyroid disease patients had low Vitamin D. The study defined low Vitamin D as a level of less than 20 ng/ml. The patients who had especially high TPO antibodies — above 1300 — showed significantly lower Vitamin D3 levels. The researchers concluded that vitamin D deficiency was associated with higher TPO antibodies in autoimmune thyroid patients. This suggests […]

Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy: Get Your Thyroid Levels Adjusted Before Getting Pregnant

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A study recently published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism looked at the connection between TSH levels and pregnancy outcomes in hypothyroid women being treated with thyroid hormone replacement medication, in this case, the synthetic T4 medication levothyroxine. The study, which evaluated more than 50,000 hypothyroid women, found that during the first trimester, almost 63% of the women had a TSH level above 2.5 mU/L, which is the recommended upper limit for TSH during the first trimester. More than 7% had a TSH over 10 mU/L. The women with a TSH above 4.51 had an increased risk of miscarriage, compared to women with the targeted first trimester TSH levels of .2 – 2.5 mU/L. The researchers concluded that “there is an urgent need to improve the adequacy of thyroid hormone replacement in early pregnancy.” And their recommendation was that it is reasonable to aim for a serum TSH […]

Five Ways the New ATA Hypothyroidism Guidelines are Bad for Thyroid Patients

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There are so many things wrong with these Guidelines that we could write volumes, but let’s cut to the chase. Here are five ways the new ATA hypothyroidism guidelines hurt thyroid patients. 1. The ATA’s Conflict of Interest Makes the Guidelines Findings Questionable at Best While the ATA goes out of its way to assert that there are no financial conflicts of interests, as patient advocate Mary Shomon points out in her article, the ATA itself receives a substantial amount of financial support from three drug companies – Pfizer, AbbVie, and Akrimax – that make levothyroxine, the drug that the guidelines claim are the “standard of care.” How can the ATA claim a lack of bias and no conflict of interest, when its own balance sheet depends on support from the very drug makers who make the drug they are claiming is superior? 2. The ATA Diminishes the Importance and […]