Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:...

Image via Wikipedia

ALERT:  40 to 70 percent of Americans have a thyroid hormone deficiency called “hypothyroidism” and do not know it!

“What is even more shocking is that their doctors don’t know it either, because the standard thyroid test is wildly inaccurate,” according to Newsmax medical expert Dr. David Brownstein.  “If hypothyroidism is left untreated, it could lead to something more troubling or ruin your life.”  Dr. Brownstein is editor of Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health

What is the thyroid gland?  It is a small gland that sits in the lower part of your neck, just below the Adam’s apple.  It makes about 1 teaspoon of thyroid hormone during one year. 

Why is the thyroid hormone so important?  The tiny amount produced is needed to drive the metabolic rate of every one of the trillions of cells in your body.  It is vitally important to cell development, cell differentiation, and cell metabolism.  It regulates fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.  It creates body heat and energy.  It affects how vitamins and minerals are utilized in your body.  It is also important for the function of every cell in your body and every organ.*

A thyroid deficiency can be at the root of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Cold feet or hands
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Body aches
  • Weight gain

Do you have any of these conditions?

  • Memory loss
  • High cholesterol
  • Hair loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Low or high blood pressure

Do you have the following now?

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes

What is the reason an estimated 52 million Americans are affected with thyroid hormone deficiency or hypothyroidism?*

  1. The main culprit is a poisonous ingredient in our foods and consumer products that destroy thyroid production; and
  2. The standard thyroid test taught in American medical school (TSH Test) is among the most inaccurate tests in modern medicine — hypothyroidism is “usually missed,” which sets the stage for disease.

     What’s worse is that your doctor may have misdiagnosed your symptoms and then prescribed unnecessary drugs.  If hypothyroidism is at the root cause of your disease or illness, and it goes untreated, your doctor will be unsuccessful in treating you correctly.*


“We just saw the passage of a massive healthcare bill — an unnecessary government intrusion into the healthcare sector — with claims that this bill will lower healthcare costs.  Don’t believe it!

Does this bill address the epidemic of hypothyroidism?  No, it does not!

Did our politicians order food and consumer product manufacturers to get poisonous BROMINE out of our food and household products?  No, they did not.”*

Dr. Brownstein states that the chemical bromine makes food and product manufacturing easier and cheaper.  He further states that it is a toxic halide that should never be in your body.  Why?  He says it blocks iodine in your body, and without enough iodine you can’t make enough thyroid hormone.*

When combining iodine deficiency with an inaccurate thyroid test, the result is a hypothyroidism epidemic!


Basal Body Temperature and Your Health

The basal body temperature test is one overlooked test for evaluating the thyroid gland.  Do this test first thing in the morning before you arise.  It is an indirect measure of the metabolic rate of the body.  The thyroid gland is the main control of the metabolic rate of the body.  In a hypothyroid condition, the metabolic rate is lower.*

Normal basal body temperatures range from 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit, under the arm or orally.  If you use a rectal thermometer, add one degree. 

“An abnormally low body temperature (hypothermia) can be serious, even life-threatening. Low body temperature may occur from cold exposure, shock, alcohol or drug use, or certain metabolic disorders, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. A low body temperature may also be present with an infection, particularly in newborns, older adults, or people who are frail.”**

The body is not receiving adequate amounts of thyroid hormone in the case of hypothyroidism.  In other words, the basal metabolic rate will slow down in order for the body to try to conserve its dwindling energy supply and thyroid hormones.  What happens is that the core body temperature [a very important measurement] drops.  Too high or too low temperatures inhibit normal body functions, such as, enzymes, hormones, white blood cells, red blood cells, and other tissues of the body — all function optimally within the range of the narrow body temperature (97.8 to 98.2 degrees orally or under the arm).*

The basal thermometer test is not entirely perfect.  A lowered basal body temperature does not guarantee a thyroid problem.  There are other instances when this temperature may be lowered, such as, pituitary failure, low adrenal function, and starvation.  However, the basal body temperature can give you useful information.*


Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease

The development of atherosclerosis is linked to hypothyroidism, and animal studies have confirmed it.  There has been a century of medical articles written about it.*   

Hypothyroidism is associated with cholesterol levels, and has been known for more than 75 years.  If you are a patient with elevated cholesterol levels, you deserve a thorough evaluation of the thyroid — more than just a TSH level test.  Dr. Brownstein’s father was diagnosed and treated for hypothyroidism, so his high cholesterol level fell dramatically.  His father’s health forced Dr. Brownstein to look at medicine and his medical training differently to search for safe and effective natural therapies that treat the underlying cause of illness.  He credits this experience for giving him his passion for holistic medicine.*

Note:  Our clinicians attended a holistic health seminar on April 1 & 2nd, 2011, where we were taught one way to test the thyroid gland for deficiency.  “If you have a bottle of iodine in your medicine cabinet, and you rub some of the iodine on the patient’s throat over the location of the thyroid gland — if the iodine disappears that is a good indication that there is a thyroid deficiency.”

Dr. Brownstein states that there is no doubt that iodine status needs to be evaluated in anyone with a thyroid problem.  In testing more than 5,000 of his patients, he and his partners found that iodine deficiency was occurring at epidemic rates.  They found more than 96 percent of their patients they tested were most significantly deficient in iodine.* 

Dr. Brownstein emphasizes that the thyroid gland cannot manufacture thyroid hormone without adequate amounts of iodine available to it.  He suggests that if you are diagnosed with a hypothyroid condition, have your iodine levels checked before beginning thyroid hormone replacement therapy.  And he continues to suggest that if you take thyroid hormone and you are deficient in iodine, the thyroid replacement actually exacerbates [aggravates, makes worse] the deficiency.  By correcting iodine deficiency, many patients can be effectively treated for their hypothyroid condition.

Hypothyroidism is affecting between 10 to 40 percent of the population as a common medical problem.  If left untreated, however, it can lead to the development of many serious illnesses.  If you want more information on a holistic approach to hypothyroidism, you can obtain his book, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders


The Thyroid in Women and Weight Gain

Dr. Marcell Pick, OB/GYN NP, states, “More women than men suffer from hypothyroidism, and many more women than men with thyroid issues have problems with weight gain.  Most thyroid problems occur within the gland itself and often don’t reveal themselves until a broader pattern of hormonal imbalance develops.  That’s why thyroid issues, menopause and weight gain often appear together.”***

Dr. Pick suggests that the reasons women experience low thyroid and weight gain with such frequency are many.  Here are just a few reasons:

  1. Women spend much of their lives dieting, usually in a yo-yo cycle of feasting and then fasting.  This undermines your metabolism and decreases your metabolic rate, which compounds the thyroid, especially during perimenopause;
  2. Women tend to internalize stress, which affects your adrenal function.  Overactive adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of cortisol, which directly interferes with thyroid hormones.  In addition,  fatigue caused by adrenal dysfunction increases cravings for sweets and simple carbs to provide instant energy and feel-good hormones; and
  3. Women’s bodies have a delicate balance of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which can upset when your body is under stress and not receiving enough support.  Thus, the resulting hormonal imbalance acts as a trigger for thyroid problems.***

 “Unfortunately, conventional medicine typically views the thyroid in isolation from the other systems of the body. And quite frankly, the success rate of conventional medical treatment for hypothyroidism is far from encouraging. In so many cases women with thyroid problems spiral steadily downward, feeling worse as the years go by and finding themselves on an ever-expanding list of medications.”***

“Often the “metabolic burn” continues to fall as calories are reduced when dieting. That’s why some women with low thyroid can have weight gain even when they severely restrict calories. In order to fix your metabolism, you have to understand your entire health picture, not just your thyroid.”***

It is important that you view the thyroid as an integral part of your overall health! 

 *(Excerpts from articles written) Brownstein, Dr. David, M.D., “Thyroid Deficiency Caused By One Common Food Additive”, and “59 Diseases Now Linked to Thyroid Imbalance, Millions Affected”, Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health, Achieving & Maintaining Your Optimal Health,  Newsletter, Published by Newsmax, 2009. Note: Dr. Brownstein is a Board-Certified family physician and is one of the foremost practitioners of holistic medicine in the U.S.  A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Brownstein currently is the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI.[accessed online 4-5-2011: www.brownsteinhealth.com ]

**http://firstaid.webmd.com/body-temperature [accessed online 4-6-2011]

***Pick, Marcelle, OB/GYN NP, “Thyroid Health: Hypothyroidism and weight gain”, Insight [free e-newsletter], Original Publication Date: 09/16/2005 [accessed online 4-3-2011]