Solutions for Thyroid, hormones,
immune & digestive health.
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For answers to many common questions, read the following article:
Getting rid of Extreme Fatigue and Weight Gain with your East West Thyroid Hormone Experts
UNDERCOVER THYROID CONDITIONS
A patient recently asked me, “Regan, why am I so tired and in pain all the time? I’m gaining weight like crazy, my hair is falling out and…….I can’t even remember what else.” A few moments later she was able to recall the other bigger concern which was-brain fog. I explained to her that I too had experienced some of the worst symptoms when my thyroid wasn’t functioning right, which was muscle achiness, joint pain, and severe insomnia-no matter how many sheep I counted.
My symptoms led me to multiple doctors who told me my labs looked normal and that I had too much stress. (Telling me I was stressed was the only stress I felt in all actuality.) I grew up working on a cattle ranch in Idaho and felt like I had a pretty decent outlook on life. After all, being a student at the University of Utah was easy compared to ranching! My real stress was the fact that no one gave me real answers about my health, and it seemed like they cared about my “normal labs” than in discovering why I was so symptomatic. I was devastated because I was “much too young to feel this darn old.” (**Yes, I did quote Garth Brooks.)
FRUSTRATION WITH LACK OF SUPPORT AND ANSWERS
My frustration led me to look outside of mainstream medicine and find someone who looked at health differently, so I entered the arena of natural medicine based on advice from a friend. The doctor I was referred to ordered in-depth blood labs that uncovered the fact that I was, in fact, dealing with a thyroid issue that wouldn’t have shown up while testing TSH and T4 alone.
CORRECT THYROID TESTING (ANTIBODIES)
We found out that my elevated Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies were the missing key to my ongoing health issues. This autoimmune reaction is one reason why thyroid sufferers have joint arthritis and pain. We also ran a basic gut profile and salivary adrenal test.
Armed with the evidence needed, I was able to make the necessary lifestyle changes like avoiding gluten, sugar, and dairy. I also started receiving acupuncture from my soon-to-be mentor, Tao Tan. (My acupuncture treatments were incredible!)
3-4-5 METHOD OF HEALING: TESTS, PEPTIDE THERAPIES, AND COACHING
The wellness program designed for me was not much different than the one my team and I create for our patients with thyroid symptoms. The biggest difference between the thyroid program I had in the early 2000’s vs. the programs available to you is that we prescribe specialty thyroid peptide treatments, give you more advanced testing, and you get a health coach and teaching curriculum.
All of these pieces of the puzzle would’ve accelerated my healing process faster than anything back in the 2000’s. Following the 3-4-5 Method of Healing, which is a new medical approach to confronting thyroid issues, has been the bedrock of our clinical successes. You will have the confidence and clarity needed to stay on track while working on your pain and thyroid health.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE A THYROID CONDITION?
Listen, I’m not sure if you have thyroid issues or not, but the fact that you’ve found me here means that you’re at least curious to know if your thyroid is functioning or not. So let’s do some non-medical diagnostics. You ready?
WHAT DO MY FINGERNAILS HAVE TO DO WITH MY THYROID?
Take a quick look at your fingernails. I will give you a minute to wipe off the polish so that you can get a real look. Do you see vertical or horizontal ridges? How about nail pits or spots? Are your fingernails yellow? Looking at your nails can go beyond the need for a manicure; it can actually provide insights on your overall thyroid health.
WHAT DOES MY TONGUE HAVE TO DO WITH MY THYROID?
Now look at your tongue, you can do this in private with a mirror or ask your nearest co-worker to provide the necessary details. Stick out your tongue. Do the sides of your tongue have scalloped edges? Is it swollen or really pale? Is the tip or are the sides red? Your tongue is the only muscle that can be seen and provides a significant number of insights into your overall health.
If you are like me, you love learning in a way that simplifies complex subjects so that you can understand and take action, which is where we jump in. But before we get too carried away, what are your main thyroid health concerns?
My promise to you is that I won’t waste your time with yet another thyroid treatment approach that doesn’t turn over every stone until the problem is identified, corrected, and solved. But before we talk about what it’s like to work with a medical team who are obsessed with your health, let’s talk more about your thyroid hormones. We want you to gain the certainty that there are thyroid solutions for you that are practical, scientific, and easy to implement.
Let’s Take a Quick Coffee Break
I don’t know if you drink coffee or not, but every nose is familiar with the aroma of coffee beans. Non-coffee drinkers and coffee lovers alike can recall the smell of fresh roasted coffee. One of my best friends who is also a brilliant Functional Medicine Doctor, Dan Kellams, DACM, taught me this simple coffee bean and thyroid hormone analogy that I think you will love.
Step #1: (TSH) Making the (T4) Coffee Bean
Just as any good coffee bean must be grown, so must your thyroid hormone. It all starts when the hypothalamus in your brain releases thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH) which causes the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
In turn, this makes the thyroid produce T4 and T3. Think of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as “miracle grow”, which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce coffee beans that we call T4. In summary, TSH = Miracle Grow, and T4 = coffee beans-got it?
Step #2: Grinding (Liver) the Coffee Bean (T4)
So now we have our coffee beans (T4), but does that mean we have coffee? Absolutely not. When the thyroid produces the beans, 93% of its overall production is in the form of T4 and only 7% is T3. Just like the bean must be ground up, the T4 isn’t useable to the majority of our body and must be converted to T3. Having coffee beans alone doesn’t make for a great cup of coffee so the T4 (coffee beans) gets sent to the liver, your body’s very own coffee grinder.
The liver converts (grinds) nearly 60% of that T4 to T3. You are one step closer to that cup of coffee, but it still needs to be brewed. Coffee grounds alone still don’t make coffee.
Step #3: Coffee Grounds (T3) + Hot Water = Brewing
Here we are with our coffee grounds (T3) and the wafting aroma has every cell in our body just waiting for some fresh brew, but we still have to properly cook it so that our tissues can make use of it. That’s where our digestive system kicks in. So now that we have (T3) we have to convert that into our own special cup of coffee called Free T3.
A majority of the “cooking” process occurs in our large intestine and some in various other tissues. Once the T3 is properly converted, it will then affect every cell in our body!! I’ll say that again slowly one more time to let it sink in – E-V-E-R-Y C-E-L-L! Yes, it’s that important. Just like every nose is keen to the smell of fresh coffee, every cell has to quench its regular thirst of Free T3.
It’s important to remember that in order to have Free T3 coffee, our liver and our digestive system must all be working properly. This gets missed by most doctors who have told you your thyroid is fine when you’ve had normal levels of TSH. You also need proper levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in order to have a perfect cup of coffee. This is where we go back to the farming stages of the coffee beans themselves.
Step #4: Upstream Farming of the Coffee Beans: Making great
My favorite farming activity in the spring was fertilizing the fields with cow manure. Loading up the manure from the corrals into the spreader and then driving the fully loaded tractor out into the fields allowed us to increase the nutritional composition of the soil. As you may have noticed, most thyroid doctors fail to look upstream to find out if you have the right ingredients to make the “coffee bean” (T4/T3) in the first place.
In order to make great thyroid hormones, your body uses iodine and tyrosine. Having an abundance of these nutritional precursors will add nutrients to your soil that the coffee beans are grown in.
Your soil must also have the 3 essential thyroid minerals: selenium, iron and zinc. These powerhouses are the fuel that charge-up the thyroid hormone engine. Once the engine is started, the Omega 3 fatty acids act as the transmission that drives the Thyroid hormone (T3) into the cell.
Without adequate levels of selenium, iron, zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids, you could have a perfect amount of T3 in your body, but it wouldn’t make it into your cells. This would be like you attempting to sip on coffee after you’ve had your entire mouth numbed by your dentist!
Your body wants a steady “drip” of thyroid hormones. This thyroid “drip” allows you to enjoy great metabolism, proper breathing, regulated heart rate, ideal body weight, improved muscle strength, pain reduction, regulated body temperature, and balanced cholesterol.
I don’t know if you’ve read this far because you love coffee or because you sincerely want to learn more about how your thyroid hormones impact your life. If you are even remotely interested in having more energy, losing weight, or enjoying better cognitive function, your thyroid hormones are the best place to start. Reading on makes sense because now we will talk about the most common conditions associated with the thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism
Just as not every coffee bean is created equal, not everyone has the same thyroid activity level. Some people may unfortunately have an overactive or underactive thyroid. This is referred to as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid that produces too many hormones. Think about your coffee making process resulting in drinking A LOT of coffee. This means that the metabolism speeds up and may cause the heart rate to increase and induce weight loss. It may also result in diarrhea, anxiety, hair loss, and trembling…no big deal, right?! That’s WAY TOO MUCH COFFEE!!
Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid that does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Low thyroid function slows everything in life down; heart rate, metabolism, digestion, weight gain, dry skin, sensitivity to the cold, fatigue, sleeping problems, and muscle/joint pain. You may even notice the familiar brain fog and depression more often than not.
The Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism Myth
When it comes to over-functioning and under-functioning hormone glands, such as the thyroid, the real underlying issues are rarely just the organ itself. This is a myth that has permeated not only our society but has been the reason that thyroid issues are often mistreated within our medical system.
Anytime we end up with dysfunction in our body, or our coffee growing and brewing process, we need to analyze the whole operation, not just the thyroid. Both coffee making and Free T3 formation rely on many interdependent functions. Again, complete and proper transformation of thyroid hormone begins with the correct level of nutrients and proper function of the liver and digestive system.
Hypothyroidism and Medication
The most shocking part of this is how the medical establishment treats hypothyroidism. For over 60 years patients have been prescribed 100% T4 in the form of a medication called Synthroid or Levothyroxine. What’s the big deal you ask? Well imagine ordering a coffee next time you are at a café and they give you a cup with coffee beans only in it. Being prescribed medications like Synthroid and Levothyroxine won’t give you the thyroid hormones nor the energy you need if the problem is in the liver or the digestive system. This is the reason many of us who are taking medication for our hypothyroid function still feel like we haven’t had our coffee.
That tells us that the problem now, and perhaps the reason we felt this way from the beginning, is because we are lacking vitamins, minerals or proper liver and digestive functions. The correct way to treat Hypothyroidism starts with simple but rarely used testing to find the broken mechanism(s). Here’s to the next cup!!
Thyroid produces T4 (Coffee Bean)
Liver produces T3 (Coffee Grounds)
Digestive System produces Free T3 (Cup of Coffee).
Iodine and Tyrosine are the “seeds” that grow the Free T4 (Coffee Beans).
Selenium, Iron and Zinc are the minerals that activate the thyroid hormone engine and Omega 3 fatty acids are the transmission that drives it into the cell.
There’s no shame in getting help. I was nervous when I started my exploration and wish I had experienced the same environment that we’ve created at East West Health. If you’d like to find out if your thyroid is compromised in anyway, you can schedule a friendly conversation with one of our Thyroid Experts here!
Once you get this little gland some support, you will notice a BIG improvement in all aspects of your life.
Regan Archibald, Lac, FMP, Thyroid Expert
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P.S.S. To enroll in our “30-Day Thyroid, Immune, and Hormone Health Accelerator Course” and weekly H.A.C.’s, sign up here.