Hyperthyroid

Your Thyroid Gland IS NOT The Cause Of Your Disorder!

In just about every case of hyperthyroidism, especially Graves’ Disease, the malfunctioning thyroid gland isn’t the actual cause of the disorder, but is instead an end result. In other words, there is something that is actually causing the thyroid gland to produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. So while giving an antithyroid drug such as Methimazole or PTU, or receiving radioactive iodine treatment might help with the excessive production of thyroid hormone, thus helping to control your symptoms, these treatment methods are doing nothing for what’s actually causing your thyroid gland to malfunction.

This doesn’t mean that those with hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease should stop taking antithyroid drugs and beta blockers, or that radioactive iodine treatment shouldn’t be considered in some cases, as sometimes these treatment methods are necessary. While radioactive iodine is an extreme treatment method and should usually be used as a last resort, sometimes antithyroid drugs and/or beta blockers might be necessary to take for a short period of time to manage the symptoms, as the symptoms can sometimes become severe in people with hyperthyroidism.

So if the thyroid gland itself isn’t the cause of your condition, then you’re probably wondering what IS the cause? Unfortunately there is not a definitive answer for this, and the reason is because there are different causes of hyperthyroid disorders.

Graves’ Disease is the most common hyperthyroid condition, and is not actually a thyroid condition, but rather an autoimmune condition that causes problems with the thyroid gland. Numerous factors (poor diet, extreme emotional trauma, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines, etc.) can trigger an autoimmune response, which for someone who has a genetic marker for Graves’ Disease will cause the formation of thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins This then leads to stimulation of the TSH receptors and lead to the excessive production of thyroid hormone. And in some cases these same antibodies will attack the tissues of the eyes, causing thyroid eye disease. So the focus really should be on restoring the health of the immune system, and not just manage the hyperthyroid symptoms.

Hyperthyroidism symptoms vary and may include the following:

  • Impotence in Males
  • Muscle Spasms, Cramps, Twitching & Tremors
  • Acne
  • Eye Twitch
  • Headaches
  • Hair Loss
  • Anger , Mood Swings or Feeling Anxious
  • Stomach Problems
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Body Temperature Changes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea or Experiencing more bowel movements than usual
  • Itchiness
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating more than usual
  • Hair becoming brittle

Losing weight regardless of the amount of food you eat

When the thyroid gland goes out of whack and begins secreting large amounts of thyroid hormones, this condition is called hyperthyroidism. This condition is classified by increased heart rate, loss of weight, excessive sweating, anxiety & agitation, weight loss, fatigue, tremor, & increased bowel movements. Fortunately, we are beginning to understand this condition better and how to treat it naturally to restore balance and harmony back to the body.

The most common causes for hyperthyroidism are a chronically inflamed thyroid (thyroiditis) and an autoimmune condition called Graves Disease. Both inflammatory and auto-immune disorders are caused by an over-active and under-coordinated immune system. Several key factors such as intestinal dysbiosis, common food & environmental allergens, nutritional habits, vitamin D levels, & heavy metal toxicity must be addressed with any inflammatory and autoimmune disorder.

Dysbiosis is an overpopulation of antagonistic organisms in the gut that damage the intestinal wall allowing food particles to easily pass over and end up in the bloodstream. When undigested food particles are recognized by the immune system and tagged as foreign invaders in the body, the immune system then unleashes an assault of inflammation causing a systemic allergic reaction.

The most common food allergens to avoid include gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, & spelt. Soy products, different nuts, dairy, eggs, and heavy proteins are often not tolerated well. Obviously all processed and man-made foods need to be avoided at all costs. Other common allergens include those of the nightshade family such as eggplant, tomatoes, & onions. Anyone with autoimmune reactions or excessive inflammation should get tested for food allergies or try an elimination diet to see if the conditions improve.

An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle are critical for full recovery from these conditions. Anti-inflammatory foods help to modulate the immune system giving it a more accurate pair of eyes so as to not over-inflame when stimulated. To effectively de-inflame, it is key to completely avoid man-made foods, sugars, and food allergens as listed above. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA powerfully de-inflame the body by restoring natural balance to the lipid wall of the cell membrane.

Other great anti-inflammatory foods include coconut products, berries, and non-denatured, whey protein from grass-fed cows and goats. This protein source is also loaded with L-glutamine and enhances cellular glutathione stores, which are both necessary for rebuilding the gut and de-inflaming the body. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, & oregano among others should be used as much as possible.

Certain foods such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, & kale among others contain goitrogens in their raw state. Goitrogens block thyroid hormone production and thus help to slow down the thyroid. Therefore anyone suffering from hyperthyroidism would benefit greatly from eating raw cruciferous veggies.

Vitamin D deficiencies are a common. Vitamin D helps coordinate the immune response by allowing the body to recognize between foreign and self proteins. This reduces inflammation and auto-immune reactions. A healthy range for vitamin D3 (25-hydroxy cholcalciferol) is between 60-100 ng/ml, which is much higher than the medically acceptable 32 ng/ml.

There are various treatments available for hyperthyroidism. The aim of these treatments is to decrease the amount of thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland so that excess amounts do not get into the bloodstream.

The most common conventional treatments include radioactive iodine, betablockers, anti-thyroid medications and surgery (thyroidectomy).

Alternative treatments offer a wide variety of methods to help maintain balance in the body, for example acupuncture, physical medicine and massage. They have been used for centuries, and now more than ever before, the Western community is embracing this holistic approach of healthcare.

This holistic approach addresses not only the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, but they address the root cause and underlying problems and can help provide all-round support and natural health.

It is best to discuss these options with your doctor or consult a homeopath or naturopath for advice. Also, it is important to incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, meditation and other mind-body therapies to get the maximum benefit.

Immune support

The goal of a diet program for Grave’s disease is to remove all foods that may be triggering the body to create antibodies against parts of the thyroid and subsequently attack its own tissues. Researchers believe that certain foods that are new to humanity (grain products, dairy products, lentils and beans, and yeasted foods), which have only appeared in the past 40,000 years, are one of the possible causes of autoimmune ailments. Meats, nuts, vegetables and fruits have been eaten for more than 2 million years. Therefore, returning to a diet that is made of meat, nuts and produce may remove one of the main offending causes behind autoimmune problems.

In essence, this is a Paleolithic diet.

In a Paleolithic diet, protein makes up about 25-30 percent of calories and is derived almost exclusively from lean meats and fish.

Celiac disease is a fine example of a disease driven by specific proteins found in some grains.

Dietary allergy elimination

Some practitioners believe that an underlying mechanism of autoimmune diseases revolves around the identification and elimination of dietary allergies. Allergy researcher James Braly, M.D. believes that antibodies formed specifically against partially digested food particles form immune complexes when attached together and circulate in the bloodstream, eventually depositing in the tissues where they can cause inflammation, irritation and immune stimulation against the body’s own tissues. Get tested properly (we can do this in our office) to determine your specific food allergies.

VITAL SUPPLEMENTS:

Vitamin D3 5000iu daily (as a minimum dosage; monitor with testing; keep high in range)

Thyroid Calming by HerbPharm (combination of bugleweed and motherwort; order on Amazon.com)

Lithium 5mg 3x daily

Urinary & Gut probiotic – 1 daily

Magnesium – 400-800mg daily

Foundation – multi vitamin

Follow autoimmune dietary guidelines and balance hormones and vitamins as determined by correct testing.

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