Category Archives: Thyroid

Thyroid Conditions and Natural Treatments

11Jan/18

Thick Neck or Goiter?

I am constantly watching videos and searching the internet to learn new things.  I am always struck by the number of people I notice who have a goiter.  For those of you that don’t know what a goiter is, it is a swollen thyroid.  The gland swells in an effort to capture iodine to make thyroid hormones.  We are so iodine deficient not only in the United States but all around the world that its becoming epidemic.  When I see it, I sigh and wish that I could offer some help because if they don’t have issues now – they are coming.

So what’s the big deal about having a goiter?  To most medical doctors – nothing.  My own gynecologist who found my goiter mentioned it to me casually but then never suggested that I should do something about it.  Had I addressed the issue I doubt I would have gotten thyroid cancer nor would my children have lifelong thyroid issues.  But we are here now and I try to help as many as will listen.

So what does a goiter look like?  Here are some examples.

This is relatively large but there are some more extreme in 3rd world countries.

They can look like this – a thickened neckline.

Milder left lobe only goiter.

Milder forms of goiter I caught on a video I watched.  This is the time to catch it before damage to the gland occurs.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the reasons why we develop a goiter?

Iodine deficiency 
I’ve already hinted above that iodine is a reason.  The thyroid needs it to create hormones.  The T4 hormone contains iodine.  The number 4 in that hormone name represents 4 iodine molecules.

Selenium deficiency
Selenium is needed in the thyroid hormone creation process to create thyroid peroxidase (TPO).  When this gets out of balance we can see an autoimmune condition occur called Hashimotos.

Hashimotos
Hashimotos is an autoimmune condition where the body creates antibodies called TPO Ab and Tg Ab to attack the gland and kill it off. The body is confused and views it as an invader that needs to be removed.  The Iodine protocol has been shown to assist in the reduction and even elimination of this condition.

Nodules & Tumors 
This can be cancerous or benign which if left untreated can turn into a cancerous condition such as papillary thyroid cancer.  It did in my case and I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone.

Pregnancy
During pregnancy the baby will take what it needs to grow and develop.  Iodine is critical for the development of the neurological system as well as the thyroid gland.  The mother’s thyroid gland produces hormone for the baby for the first 2 trimesters.  When the mother is already low and the baby demands more the body sends out the signal of a goiter to show that a crisis is coming.

The Iodine protocol is important for not only goiter issues but the entire body.  If the thyroid shows signs of deficiency then the rest of the body is as well.  Women who are low in iodine are at a higher risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and breast cancer.  Men can also get breast cancer as well as prostate cancer.  Fibromyalgia has been helped with iodine supplement too since the muscles house a high volume of iodine.

I believe iodine is one of the most critical nutrients needed to maintain optimum body health.  Don’t wait until a problem appears.  Your body is sending you warnings.  Listen!

 

14Dec/17

Zinc is Not Just for Immunity

 

If you are in a store that sells nutritional supplements, odds are you will find zinc lozenges.  These are used when you are fighting a cold to help boost the immune system but zinc is so much more.  There are many critical body functions that depend on adequate levels.

Immunity – Zinc increases T Cell growth and enhances differentiation into white blood cells.  It is important in creating proper gene transcription.  It has been shown to be needed in the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death) for viruses, bacteria and even cancer cells.

Thyroid – Zinc is critical for the conversion of Free T4 to Free T3 (active metabolic hormone).  When there are inadequate amounts of zinc in the body, it will be more apt to convert FT4 into RT3 (Reverse T3) which actually “negates” FT3.   This creates lower levels of energy and oxygen being delivered to the cells of the body.  These two hormones compete for the same receptor.  Despite this negative issue, RT3 has a beneficial function.  It is a defense mechanism to protect the body in the event of an over production of FT3.  But if you are already struggling to have enough FT3 you would not want this hormone to be increased unnecessarily.

Allergies – When zinc levels are low in the body it will release an increased amount of histamine.  High histamine will result in sneezing, runny eyes and itching.  Histamine is part of all allergic reactions.

Hair Loss – One of the first things that is looked at by physicians is thyroid levels.  If low, the patient will be given thyroid hormones.  However, this often does not correct the problem.  Low levels of zinc, as stated above, are needed for hormone conversion and are also important in proper adrenal function where sex hormones are released.  Stress can deplete zinc levels in the body.

Leaky Gut / Skin – Zinc is critical in wound healing by supporting the formation of collagen.  Collagen is also important in restoring the lining of the gut wall when leaky gut is an issue.  Leaky gut is a condition where the cell wall becomes permeable in the gut wall allowing proteins to leak directly into the blood stream.   Collagen is also required for skin integrity.  Proper levels will restore “plumpness” thus lessening the appearance of lines and wrinkles.   Since we know that stress lessens zinc, perhaps this is the reason why we see aging in the face when an individual experiences a stressful life.

Fertility – Fertilization of the female egg requires rapid movement of the sperm to the egg along with the ability to permeate the cell wall.  Zinc plays a role in overall quality and quantity of the sperm count.

Diabetes / Blood Sugar – Zinc is highly concentrated in the islet cells of the pancreas where insulin is produced.   It has the potential of promoting healthy insulin production which helps to maintain natural blood sugar control.   Zinc can bind to insulin receptors and activates insulin signaling pathways.  This will result in more glucose uptake into the cells and a lowering of glucose in the blood.   A deficiency in zinc can result in poor ?-cell function and a higher incidence of insulin resistance.

As you can see, zinc is important for overall health.  It is seldom discussed as a needed nutrient, but could be instrumental in combating many common health maladies of the day.  Zinc can be found in grass fed beef, pastured chicken, cashews, garbanzo beans and pumpkin seeds (to name a few) but you may also require supplementing  as well.

Dr Flechas on Zinc & Prostate Cancer

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22Jul/16

The Iodine Protocol – Why It’s Important

The Supplementing with iodine and the fear that accompanies it is due to poor execution and not the nutrient itself.

The preferred form of iodine is Lugol’s formula.  This is because Lugol’s contains both Iodine and Potassium Iodide.  Various organs and tissues in the body prefer one form over the other.  The breast, prostate and stomach prefer to utilize Iodine while the thyroid, salivary gland and skin prefer to use iodide.  When you supplement with one form, most often iodide, you rob the body of functioning at optimum levels.  This is why products like SSKI, Nascent and other forms of iodine don’t offer the same benefits as Lugols.

Another common issue with iodine supplementing is detoxification.  We live in such a toxic world that it is hard not to be toxic on some level.  As it relates to iodine the key toxins are bromide, fluoride and to a smaller degree mercury.  We need to support the body when supplementing to help it push what iodine releases, out of the body through the kidneys and out in the urine.  This detoxification can also cause stress to the adrenal glands so supporting them is important to your success.

If you are dealing with Hashimotos it is critical to ensure that there is a sufficient level of selenium either already “on board” in your body or that you are taking it along with your iodine.  Because selenium can reach toxic build up levels in the body it is important that you monitor your levels through a RBC (Red Blood Cell) Se lab test.  Please work with your doctor / healthcare professional to determine your specific needs.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) 3,000 + mgs  – This vitamin is critical for combating oxidation due to toxin release.  The adrenals also thrive in a vitamin C rich environment.  The adrenal glands are the largest storage site of  Vitamin C in the body.  The NIS symporters (where iodine is pulled into the cells) are supported and in some cases healed when higher doses of Vitamin C are provided.

Selenium  100-200 mcg  – Selenium is needed by the thyroid hormone creation process by working in conjunction with glutathione peroxidase as a protective mechanism to reduce and neutralize excess hydrogen peroxide.  Without this building block the risk of autoimmune thyroid condition flare ups increases due to the oxidative damage of TPO.  Selenium is also a critical nutrient in the creation of glutathione in the liver where detoxification occurs.

Magnesium  200-400 mgs – This nutrient is important in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.  During the organification of iodine, intracellular calcium stimulates the NADPH-Oxidase System.  When this becomes over active as it can with autoimmune thyroid conditions, magnesium works as a natural “balancer”.  The production of ATP also requires magnesium along with other nutrients.

Unrefined Salt  1/2-1 tsp  – The symporters that pull iodine into the cells are known as NIS or sodium iodine symporters.  Adequate levels of sodium are needed to ensure proper function.  Salt is also used by the body to pull out the bromide being released from the receptors and tissues by the iodine supplementation and carry it from the blood through to the kidneys where it is filtered out into the urine.  Unrefined salt is also rich in minerals that help to support the adrenals.

B2/B3 (aka ATP CoFactors) 100 mgs B2 / 500 mgs  B3  – Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) are cofactors to the NADPH oxidase pathway.  They work at the mitochondrial level to provide more energy.  Many with Hashimotos will comment on an increased level of energy when they add these two nutrients to their protocol.  They are both also key in providing sufficient hydrogen peroxide to efficiently oxidize iodide.  This is an optional supplement but can be added for the above reasons.

Other nutrients that have helped – but are not part of the core protocol …….

Boron  – This nutrient has proven to be beneficial in the removal of fluoride from the body.  It has also shown a positive impact on the NADPH Oxidase and ATPase processes within the cells.

Beta Carotene  25,000 iU  – For some individuals who supplement in iodine, their menstrual cycles or hormones may become imbalanced.  Supplementing with higher doses of Beta Carotene can assist in maintaining proper balance.  Research has also shown that it may help to upregulate NIS gene expression to increase iodine uptake.  While research has been done on radioactive forms of iodine, it may also equate to the non-radioactive forms as well since the radioactivity is not a key element in its benefits.

Over the last 9 years of supporting both the Yahoo Iodine group and the Facebook Iodine group with thousands of members, I have seen that when the full protocol is implemented amazing benefits are realized.  It also helps to mitigate the issues seen by many practitioners that causes them to sound the alarm bells.   When iodine is supplied in isolation it can be problematic.

Final thoughts:  When supplementing with the supporting nutrients do not try to cut corners.  Use high quality supplements.  Do not try to obtain then from food alone.  It is critical that you ensure that the right levels are available to your body.  Vitamin C is often criticized because many ascorbic acid products are sourced from corn which is often GMO.  In my store I offer non-GMO and tapioca based options.  For selenium, brazil nuts will not supply the needed dosage of 100-200 mcg / day.  The soil where they are grown is also depleted.

Take care to do it right and you too can reap the benefits that adequate iodine levels in the body can offer.  For additional support with your supplementing journey please join the Iodine Facebook group.