As I mentioned in the last blog post,  I didn’t understand what I was dealing with when I was told I had a nodule on my thyroid.  If I had it to do over again, I would do things very differently.  I don’t regret my decision anymore as God has given me a large audience of people to help over the years who were struggling to make sense of what it all meant for them after they were diagnosed with thyroid cancer – or even with a malfunctioning thyroid.  So for that, I am grateful.

When I started on my journey of lab tests, fine needle aspirations and scanning I was told “It’s probably nothing.”  Lab tests (TSH and T4) were inconclusive – because they were doing the wrong tests.  Ultra sounds showed a complex cyst (which you can see in the photo I included).  Nuclear medicine scans showed cold nodules.  Fine needle aspiration resulted in “abnormal follicular cells”.  But no cancer diagnosis.  Yet I was rushed in for surgery on 3/1/2000.  All of this occurred from January to February with a brand new baby. I didn’t have time to breath and think about what all this meant.  I was 34 – with many years ahead of me.

What would I have done differently knowing what I do now and why it would matter?

First:  Lab tests
TSH                        TPO Ab                             RBC Se                                                      Sodium
FT3                         Tg Ab                                RBC Zn
FT4                         RT3                                    RBC Mg
TPO Ab                 Thyroglobulin                Iron Panel (Saturation / Ferritin)

The only tests my doctor ran were TSH and T4. This tells you nothing about the thyroid’s health.  TSH is a pituitary hormone.  It tells you you how much the pituitary is “calling” for the thyroid to make more hormone.  TSH stimulates the NIS to take up more iodine.  When low in nutrients like selenium, zinc, or magnesium your thyroid will not function properly and you are at risk of autoimmune thyroid conditions and cancer.  When sodium is low the NIS (sodium iodide symporter) may struggle to function.  When ferritin is low you will struggle to absorb / use thyroid hormones at the cellular level.  A high thyroglobulin level can indicate iodine deficiency.  TPO Ab and Tg Ab are thyroid antibodies.  Having high levels can be an indication of Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid condition).

Second:  24 Hour Iodine Loading Test
Additional levels:  Bromide & Fluoride

The iodine loading test was created by Dr Guy Abraham and Charles Hakala (of Hakala Labs).  The process was to ingest 50 mgs of Lugol’s formula in a tablet.  Urine is collected for the next 24 hours and then a sample is sent in a smaller container to Hakala Labs for evaluation.  Optional levels of bromide and fluoride should be added as well.  These two are important because they can block the NIS symporters where iodine is pulled in.  When the body is deficient in iodine it attempts to replace it with another halide and that is Br and Fl.  This information can help you to understand your saturation % results.  Any level over 5 for bromide and 1.5 for fluoride would tell you that the “80% saturation” (for example) is probably incorrect and as you take iodine the saturation will go down as will the halide toxicity.  It’s good to get a baseline test before taking iodine and then another approximately 1 year later after supplementing with at least 50 mgs (according to Dr Abraham).

Third:  4x Diurnal Saliva Cortisol Test
CanaryClub.org has a test that you can order yourself.

Cortisol is important in the body’s ability to take in thyroid hormone into the cells.  A cortisol imbalance is often related to adrenal fatigue which causes other hormones to be out of balance as well.  Individuals under a high amount of stress will have a higher incidence of adrenal abnormalities.   Adrenals are the sprinters not the marathon runners.  You cannot have them running at high speed for long periods of time or they eventually give up.

Fourth:  Hair Analysis
Checking for heavy metal toxicity like mercury – as I had 11 amalgam fillings and a root canal tooth

Heavy metal toxicity is implicated in cancer diagnosis’s.  Early in my treatment with Dr Brownstein MD I found a research article called “Trace Elements in Thyroid Cancer” and I shared it with him.  It noted that when thyroid cancer nodules were evaluated for trace elements all were low in iodine and high in mercury.  I was told to avoid iodine due to a shellfish allergy and with my mouth full of “mercury” it was all coming together.

Putting it all together for what I learned after I had done the cut / poison / burn (3x) and then going to Dr Brownstein in February 2006 (dxd with cancer in 2000):

  • I had TPO Ab and Tg Ab levels registering even after having RAI.  It should have been gone but it wasn’t and that told me I had autoimmune thyroid disease prior to thyroid cancer.
  • My thyroglobulin remained high even after 3 rounds of RAI.  I don’t know what it was prior to thyroidectomy but I would have tested it to know.  I suspect it was high based on severe iodine deficiency.
  • I was low in Se, Mg, Zn and more.  We drew 27 vials of blood and checked for EVERYTHING once I started seeing Dr. Brownstein.
  • My iodine loading test resulted in 60% saturation with 66 mg/L bromide level after a year of supplementing at 50-125 mgs.  We didn’t test earlier because my spot test was deficient.  We also never tested fluoride since I never had fluoride toothpaste or treatments but now I wonder.  The bromide was enough to tackle.  I should do another soon to see how far I’ve progressed.
  • I was in adrenal fatigue which created anxiety, depression and sex hormone imbalance.
  • We did a heavy metal hair analysis.  I was toxic in metals.  We did a DMPS challenge test and again I was toxic.

What we did:

  • I took Iodorol tablets in amounts from 50 mgs – 125 mgs over 3 years until March 2009 when I was cancer free.  I continue to supplement at 100 mgs with LugoTabs from Hakala labs.  I switched products when Dr Abraham died in 2013 and the company was sold.  I want to know my supplier and I had a relationship with Charles Hakala through the iodine conferences.
  • Switched from Synthroid to Armour – my brain lit up in 4 days and it was wonderful!
  • Parasite Cleanse – I tested positive for a parasite in Puerto Rico – where I was working prior to getting cancer.
  • I took various nutritional supplements to balance my levels.  I took Biotics Research Cytozyme AD for adrenal support.  I also used Vit C and unrefined salt to support them.  I use BHrt for balancing my sex hormones.  I went into early menopause from the RAI treatments.
  • I found a biological dentist who removed my 11 amalgam fillings and the root canal tooth.  I then chelated with oral chelation products since I was too far away from Dr Brownstein’s office to do IV chelation.
  • I cleaned up my diet.  I eat mostly organic and focus on nutrient dense options.  I went gluten free, dairy free and soy free.
  • I did coffee enemas to cleanse my liver.  I did a gallbladder flush with olive oil and Epsom salts.  Detoxifying your body is so important.

Today…

  • I continue to take iodine at a dose of 100 mgs.
  • I eat organic foods 80% of the time.
  • I eat gluten but not a lot.
  • I eat dairy but organic and grassfed when available.
  • I continue to support my adrenals with Cytozyme AD as I have a very stressful job.
  • I sleep on grounding sheets (new adventure for me)
  • I use non-toxic cleaning products.
  • I get labs done (all the levels) once a year.
  • I take NP Thyroid medication – I’ve done Armour, Nature-throid, Compounded and now NP.  It’s what’s working right now.

On March 1st I celebrate 24 years since my diagnosis and 15 years cancer free.

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