6-Point Checklist to Understand Thyroid Problems
Your thyroid produces a hormone that controls every cell in your body. It regulates your brain, your heart, your metabolism, and your libido. No other hormone has this kind of power in your body. So when your thyroid is not working well, your body is not working well.
Thyroid problems are more varied and complex than most people realize, including most doctors. Here are 6 hidden thyroid problems we need to start discussing, and what to do about each one:
1. Autoimmune thyroid problems
Labs to run: Thyroid peroxidase and TBG antibodies
What to do: Use an elimination diet to heal your gut, and natural compounds such as Baicalin to balance the immune system.
2. Thyroid resistance.
This is actually a cell receptor issue. If your cell receptors are impacted by inflammation or toxins, your body will exhibit hypothyroidism despite having adequate hormone levels. Your TSH will test within normal range, but you will not feel well.
Labs to run: Markers such as CRP and homocysteine as well as reverse T3 will help your doctor assess inflammation and hormone receptor site availability. In addition, check for high triglycerides and low HDL.
What to do: Liposomal turmeric and resveratrol are two ways to lower inflammation.
3. Thyroid- binding globulin elevation
Women with high estrogen levels and women on birth control pills present with this pattern. Hormones in the body get transported on protein carriers. The thyroid’s specific transport carriers are known as thyroid-binding globulins (TBG). Elevated TBG levels can cause an increase of protein-bound thyroid hormones, which cannot be utilized by your body.
Labs to run: TBG, Free T3, and T4 as well as an expanded female hormone panel.
What to do: Clear excess hormones by supporting your body’s detoxification pathways with herbs like milk thistle, and support methylation pathways with activated B vitamins.
4. Hypothyroidism secondary to pituitary hypofunction
Your thyroid is governed by your brain, and chronic stress levels or chronic infections can cause this particular disorder. In this pattern the pituitary gland, which sits at the base of your brain, fails to communicate with your thyroid gland. There is no dysfunction in the thyroid gland itself.
Labs to run: Look for low levels of T4 and T3 despite a normal-to-low TSH. Consider testing for viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
What to do: Use natural brain-immune support tools, such as astragalus, olive leaf, rubidium, sage leaf, L-lysine, zinc, and vitamin C.
5. Thyroid underconversion
This disorder is also called low T3 syndrome, and it is common in cases of adrenal stress and elevated cortisol. Most thyroid hormone is in a form which is metabolically inactive and must be converted to T3 to be utilized by your body. An estimated 80 percent of this thyroid conversion takes place in your liver, and 20 percent in your intestines. Synthetic thyroid T4 drugs do not solve this problem.
Labs to run: Free and total T3, liver enzymes, microbiome testing, and nutrient testing of selenium, magnesium, and zinc
What to do: In addition to supporting gut, and liver health, foods rich in selenium, zinc, and magnesium help make the enzyme needed for healthy thyroid conversion.
6. Thyroid overconversion
This pattern is sometimes present in people with elevated testosterone levels, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and in women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Producing more T3 can overwhelm the cells and lead to a resistance pattern.
Labs to run: Free and total T4 and T3, free and serum testosterone, fasting blood sugar Hbg A1c.
What to do: Eat a clean diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, meats, and healthy fats, and supplement with alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, and cinnamon to balance blood sugar.