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thyroid problems

  • Eat Fat Lose Weight by Ann Louise Gittleman

    1. Rule out thyroid-impacting dental and/or sinus infection. Find a biological dentist who can do a thorough examination of your mouth with a low-level radiation panoramic X-ray. Since many biological dentists also specialize in mercury-free dentistry, have the dentist check your mouth for mercury and/or high copper amalgam fillings as well as for conflicting metal interference in your mouth. Many offer a bio-compatibility blood test, which assesses the most suitable dental materials, crowns, glues, and cements for your unique system. Check out the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine online at to find a practitioner in your area. Check with a local Ear, Eyes, Nose and Throat specialist for sinus issues.

    2. If you do find mercury or copper in your mouth, then keep in mind that mercury and/or copper can be deadly to the thyroid. They both incapacitate thyroid hormones and impact metabolism. To fix this, go to glutathione. It is the primary chelating agent to detox heavy metals. The best way to accomplish this is with the Detox & Liver Health Reg'Activ product. This product contains Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, which is a unique strain of probiotic bacteria that produces glutathione in humans.

    3. Substitute coconut oil whenever you can to nourish the thyroid. Use the oil and all coconut-derived products like full-fat milk, cream, and unsweetened coconut in cooking, smoothies and desserts. Make macaroons your sweet treat. There are many novel ways to get coconut in your diet. Adding it to your morning cup of coffee or tea will energize you from the get-go.

    4. Get your thyroid checked. If you can't get a full thyroid panel with a TSH, T3, T4, and T7, then do consider a hair mineral analysis. The calcium to potassium ratio that is revealed on that test can tell volumes about the functioning of your thyroid and how it might be contributing to your weight loss plateau. Typically those with hypothyroidism have too much calcium in relationship to potassium. And those that need to rev up their thyroid may need more potassium-containing foods and/or supplements. Excessive amounts of calcium from dairy foods or supplements tamp down thyroid activity. In contrast, potassium can speed up thyroid activity. So load up on potassium-rich spinach, squash, salmon and avocados. By balancing the thyroid gland alone and supporting your mineral balance, you can expect to finally jump off that weight loss plateau!

    5. Give up gluten. Completely eliminate gluten-containing grains from your diet to naturally reset thyroid hormone production. Wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, couscous, triticale and barley should be avoided. Gluten-free alternatives that I highly recommend are also grain free options as well. These include the grain-like seeds such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet. Instead of flour, consider using arrowroot or tapioca for thickening. If you are really serious about weight loss, you should also eliminate all other reactive foods—primarily foods containing sugar and yeast, both of which often accompany gluten.

    6. Power up on protein. Consume at least 20 grams (as found in three to four ounces of fish, poultry, or meat, a serving of whey or vegan protein powder equating to 20 grams, about three eggs, and four ounces of fermented soy). Protein boosts metabolism by up to 25 percent for about 12 hours. They are the tissue and muscle builders par excellence.

    7. Cook cruciferous. Since raw cruciferous veggies (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) contain possible thyroid-interfering goitrogens, your best bet is to cook them. With regards to soy products, only consume fermented GMO-free soy products or GMO-free lecithin, which does not contain the goitrogenic element.

    8. Address the adrenals. Well-nourished adrenal glands will help to support a weakened thyroid so do consider adrenal glandulars, which contain the RDA/DNA blueprint for regeneration. In addition, or if you are vegan or vegetarian, try adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola and ashwaganda. Good old fashioned pantothenic acid, which I learned to revere thanks to Adele Davis' books that I voraciously read when I was in college in the '70s, is a long forgotten godsend for worn out adrenals and the inability to cope with stress. It can help to balance the adrenal's output of cortisol, a major fat-promoting hormone. In general, 500 mg up to four times daily, either alone or in conjunction with the other adrenal nutrients—can make a huge difference in energy levels. So can more sea salt.

    9. Pop some probiotics. High probiotic-containing foods like yogurt and kefir contain millions of friendly bacteria, but a well-balanced probiotic with a variety of different strains including the gliadin protecting B. lactis BI-04— will contain billions of probiotics. This is just what you want to populate your microbiome. The right strains and numbers of friendly flora will support thyroid function and many other immune-enhancing processes.

    10. Avoid fluoride, bromide, and chlorine like the plague. Without sufficient iodine to kick them out, these three chemicals can stockpile in your body and impede thyroid function. So become a diligent label reader. A good water filtration system, which blocks fluoride and chlorine, may be essential for home use. About 2–3 mg of the trace mineral boron can help to neutralize fluoride.

    11. Seriously consider supplementation of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are thyroid friendly. Some of these nutrients help the inactive T4 hormone convert to the more activated T3 while others support overall gland functioning. Typically, integrative practitioners will suggest daily totals of 50 mg of a methylated B complex, 25,000 IU of Vitamin A, 400 IU of Vitamin E, 45 mg of zinc, 18 mg of iron, 200 mcg of selenium, 500 mg or more of tyrosine. There are also a variety of whole food sources that will naturally provide all these nutrients, but most likely not in the high enough therapeutic dosage that a tired thyroid needs to heal.

    When it comes to iodine, it is important to keep in mind that iodine is able to restore balance whether the thyroid is high or low, although in the case of Hashimoto's, iodine may not be recommended.

    While the recommended daily intake (or RDI) of iodine for adults is 150 mcgs per day there are many benefits to taking more, especially for women. In higher amounts iodine acts as an adaptogen, a substance that increases the body's ability to adapt to stress, and plays a significant role in treating the thyroid as well as preventing such disorders as polycystic ovary disease, fibrocystic breast disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension and hormonal imbalances. Iodine can also increase your stomach acid levels, which will improve your digestion.

    I like a supplement called Iodoral, which combines 5 mg of iodine with 7.5 mg of potassium iodine for a total 12.5 mg of iodine. Although this may seem like too much of a good thing, it has done wonders in turning up the metabolic fires of many hypothyroid sufferers. The typical iodine sources that I used to recommend would be sea veggies like hijiki, wakame, Kombu and nori. However, since Fukushima I no longer recommend them because I simply can't be assured that radioactive residues, let alone mercury, is not an issue.

    12. Don't be a victim of virus. Coconut comes to the rescue again. The purified lipid extracts derived from coconut oil turns out to be a virile virus killer. Look for products called Monolaurin or Lauricidin. The amino acid l-lysine can stop the virus from replicating along with a diet that is low in lysine's antagonist amino, arginine. That means you will need to limit all nuts, seeds and chocolate for the time being to avoid too much arginine at the expense of anti-viral lysine. Herbal viral remedies include cat's claw (processed without the TOA chemical), lemon balm, lomatium, osha, and/or olive leaf extract. These are all available in either tinctures or capsules. Look for tinctures preserved with non-GMO grape alcohol or grain-free alcohol. Some individuals do very well with colloidal silver—especially the advanced nano- based ones now on the market.

  • Test your Nutrient I.Q.


    • was considered universal medicine for destroying bacteria and viruses before the onslaught of synthetic drugs?
    • has been used for centuries for wound healing; especially during war time?
    • was amply added to a substance we mostly use in our daily diet since the 1920s to reduce the rate of goiter disorder?
    • was considered helpful in ridding the body of toxic buildup?
    • was used to purify water before chlorine?
    If you answered iodine, you’re correct. Before the widespread use of synthetic drugs, iodine was practically a universal medicine for everything, even in assisting the body to fight off cancer. Today, we find ourselves with skyrocketing cancer rates, an epidemic of thyroid dysfunction and auto-immune disorders, and toxic build-up in our bodies—could an iodine deficiency be to blame? I believe it is!


    Iodine was discovered in 1811, isolated from the soda ash of seaweed, by the French scientist Courtors and used as a medical tincture in the Civil War. By 1874, it was found to be one of the most efficacious antiseptics, due in part to its low reactivity to proteins—allowing its I2 molecules to rapidly and thoroughly penetrate the cell wall of microorganisms.

    Credit of its discovery also goes to an East Indian, Sunker Bisey, who ushered iodine into the Medical Hall of Fame. Iodine is one of the four elements in the body that also include water, salt and soda—the basic elements and from these all the rest are made in one form or another.


    Iodine is a “trace element”— modern science and medicine consider it to be essential for healthy maintenance of life. The single most important use of iodine, in animal and human biology, is for the formation of two hormones in the thyroid gland (actually an endocrine gland). The hormones are thyroxine (called T4) and triiodothyronine (called T3). T4 and T3 contain four and three atoms of iodine per molecule of hormone respectively.

    The thyroid gland absorbs iodide from the blood to form these hormones from the amino acid tyrosine. They are then stored prior to being released into the bloodstream in an iodine-containing protein called thyroglobulin. The production and release of hormones T3 and T4 by the thyroid gland are regulated by another hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)—produced by the pituitary gland located in your head.


    Both T4 and T3 hormones perform several important functions including the regulation of the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which determines the amount of energy the body uses simply to function. Therefore, insufficient or excess quantities of these hormones can lead to weight-related as well as many other chronic health disorders.


    These days, most of the iodine we get in our diets is from table salt. Iodine was actually added to salt to reduce incidence of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) in the 1920s. And that worked for a while. Currently people are cutting back on table salt for other health reasons so they aren’t getting much, if any, iodine. What little they do consume may not work effectively, either, even when it’s natural sea salt. Iodine depletion has occurred because other minerals like chlorine, fluoride, and bromide, which lower iodine levels in the body by blocking iodine receptors, are increasingly consumed through foods and environmental exposure. Chlorine is now used to purify water instead of iodine. Fluoride, almost universally found in toothpaste and drinking water, blocks the ability of the thyroid gland to concentrate iodine. Bromines, which began replacing iodine in commercial baked goods over 30 years ago, can cause depression, headaches, and even hallucinations.


    Luckily, not everyone has forgotten what this amazing mineral does for our health. Integrative medical practitioners are bringing iodine back in their clinical protocols. And researchers suggest that boosting iodine consumption improves thyroid health, lowers incidence of breast and fibrocystic disease, prostate dysfunction and promotes overall well-being. The current minimum daily requirement is 150 micrograms (mcg). Typically, we in the United States consume 240 mcg per day— just enough to prevent goiter, but not enough for other truly beneficial health effects. In my practice we do an easy patch test that’s been done for centuries to determine if the current amount of iodine is sufficient in the body…remember… what goes ON the skin goes IN the body so this test is extremely accurate as a guide for natural supplementation. I use approximately 12,000 to 10,000 mcgs daily in a homeopathic blend when hypothyroid is indicated. My book, “Your Thyroid” that explains the home testing method as well as suggested amounts for supplementation depending on your results.*


    Basically, when the thyroid gland doesn’t receive the “fuel” that it needs to function, a thyroid deficiency called hypothyroid develops. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates over 2 billion people are iodine deficient—with up to 50 million experiencing serious symptoms of imbalance that go undiagnosed and untreated.

    Iodine is especially vital for pregnant women, their unborn babies and young babies as a deficiency can lead to severe developmental issues. Recently, iodine deficiency has been linked to autism in children.

    When you consider that industrial farming methods, lack of minerals in the soil, and environmental pollutants have all robbed the soil of natural mineral resources, it translates into poor iodine-content in foods and equates to health disorders that have their roots in iodine deficiency.

    • Thyroid enlargement—often called "goiter"
    • Mental/emotional imbalances such as depression, anxiety, quick temper
    • Fetal hypothyroidism (improper thyroid function in unborn children—leading to brain damage)
    • Slow metabolism/weight gain or inability to lose weight
    • Autism
    • Immune system disorders (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lupus, Scleroderma, etc.)
    • Hormone disorders (anxiety, lack of sexual interest, and insomnia/lack of restorative sleep)
    • Breast cysts, soreness, and heaviness
    • Inability to properly and completely detoxify
    • Swelling in the body
    • Sensitivity to cold
    • Hair loss or severe thinning
    • Brain fog, memory impairment
    • High cholesterol even resistant to dietary changes and/or prescribed medications
    • Gastric forms of cancer
    • Constipation
    • Stiff joints


    By comparison, people in Japan consume more than 12 mg (12,000 mcg) of iodine per day, 50 times more than the average American. Life expectancy in Japan is just over 82 years old—in the United States it's about 78 years and infant mortality there is half of that of the United States. And...American deaths from breast cancer are three times the number in Japan.

    One in seven American women today will develop breast cancer. Thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was much higher, only one in 20 women developed breast cancer. Women in Japan who consume high amounts of dietary iodine have much lower rates of breast cancer and thyroid problems. However, when women emigrate from Japan to the United States and begin eating a Western diet, with its fractional amount of iodine, their incidence of breast cancer and thyroid disease increases dramatically.


    Beyond thyroid support, iodine's anti-cancer functions may be among its most important benefits. Scientific tests exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to iodine show the cells are less likely to grow and spread. Fibrocystic breast disease is a common condition involving swelling, tenderness, and discomfort of the breasts. In one study, 98 percent of women receiving iodine treatment were pain-free by the study's end, and 72 percent had improvements in breast tissue.


    Iodine is available in various forms, each of which affects specific tissues in the body. If thyroid issues are your concern, potassium iodide is best absorbed by the thyroid. Breast tissue uses iodine most efficiently in the form of molecular iodine. Consider a supplement that includes more than one form like that found in a homeopathic blend. The most effective formula I've used and recommended is a homeopathic proprietary blend called Wholistic Thyroid Balance.** If you're extra-sensitive to cold, put on weight easily, have dry skin, or feel "foggy", you may be deficient in iodine. Other easy-to-recognize signs include a thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows, stiff joints, and dull, lusterless hair. If these sound like common symptoms, it's no surprise—most people don't get the iodine they need! 

    * "Your Thyroid" available in eBook and paper version both $9.95 at

    ** Wholistic Thyroid Balance available at