“If my thyroid is normal according to my lab work, why do I have all the symptoms of low thyroid?”
Hey guys Dr. Infantino from Platinum Wellness in Phoenix here! Today I thought I’d dive into one of the most common questions I get.
Symptoms of a low thyroid like fatigue, poor sleep, mood swings, forgetfulness, brain fog, depression/anxiety, aching muscles, weakness, high cholesterol, dry skin, constipation and let’s not forget the big one…
Weight gain -in spite of exercise programs, a healthy lifestyle, and trying everything to lose weight??
Daily people come into my office showing me their food journals, personal training records, etc. They truly are doing everything they need to do to lose weight and keep it off, and they’re so frustrated! Typically they’ve tried things like counting points, HCG, intermittent fasting, keto, paleo, cabbage soup diet, you name it- all to no avail!!
Why? What they’re doing is right- because let’s face it, people have lost weight doing any of those programs!
It’s the body they’re doing it to that’s the problem!
And many times that comes down to their thyroid gland, but it’s not what you think… Let me explain…
I can’t tell you how many times someone has walked into my office convinced they have low thyroid because they can’t lose weight. They order bloodwork for the thyroid & it comes back normal… So what gives?
The Thyroid Gland & It’s Connection to Weight Loss
Let’s do a little background- what is the thyroid gland and what does it have to do with weight loss? Your thyroid gland is the largest gland in the endocrine system. It sits in the front of your neck and makes three major hormones- thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and calcitonin. T3 and T4 are the hormones normally associated with your thyroid and regulating your metabolism to burn fat and lose weight, so we’ll be discussing these. Your body needs iodine to make these hormones. That will be important for later.
hormone-imbalance/">Thyroid hormones’ main role is to increase/regulate your metabolism. They affect virtually every cell in your body. If you don’t produce enough thyroid hormone a condition called hypothyroidism you’ll likely develop the symptoms above.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is actually an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. When someone’s suffering from this condition their immune system attacks their thyroid gland causing hypothyroidism or low thyroid. Often this starts in the gut with a condition called leaky gut. This is when large protein molecules escape from the gut into the blood triggering an immune response which attacks the thyroid.
But here’s the kicker, while a leaky gut can cause low thyroid function, low thyroid hormones can lead to a leaky gut. This happens because thyroid hormones help keep tight junctions between cells that line the gut. Low thyroid hormone allows more gut permeability or leakage from the gut into the bloodstream. Research has shown people with ulcers for instance have low T3 and T4.
Get the “Gut” Right
So yes, it’s a vicious cycle that’s why I usually focus on getting the gut right first and foremost! So many other symptoms in the body can be the result of this problem if you don’t fix this you end up chasing symptoms endlessly…
Funny, a while back a guy named Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut”. How right he was! We’re starting to understand more and more the role poor gut health has in many diseases. In fact, it’s been said 90% of health challenges people deal with are gut-related including reduced thyroid function and Hashimoto’s disease.
Another important role of gut bacteria it’s to help convert T4 into T3 which is the active form of the thyroid hormone. If you don’t have enough healthy gut bacteria this doesn’t happen the way it should- yet another great reason to make sure you work on gut healing when suffering from a thyroid condition. Leaky gut also leads to a host of other autoimmune conditions like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia in my opinion. Restoring gut health helps people suffering from Hashimoto’s disease, so that’s our main treatment for Hashimoto’s disease.
What if you are producing enough thyroid hormone or at least that’s what your doctor tells you and you’re still dealing with those symptoms could your thyroid still be to blame? And the answer is well sort of….
My Thyroid Labs are Fine?!
Often people are producing enough thyroid hormone the problem is it’s not getting into cells properly.
Again this tends to have a lot to do with the gut, as do about 90% of health challenges people suffer from these days, from type two diabetes to IBS, autoimmune diseases like celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) to high cholesterol, blood pressure, depression, etc. all can be traced back to a gut that’s not functioning properly.
See the problem frequently is the fact that healthy bacteria in the gut die-off from things like antibiotics for dental work years ago, or coffee, white flour, sugar alcohol, etc. When these bacteria die off they are replaced with yeast. An overgrowth of this yeast is called candida. This yeast actually grows roots that pry apart cells lining the gut causing a leaky gut.
Candida doesn’t just affect the gut but coats cells in the body. They coat cells that the thyroid hormones are trying to get into (which is virtually all of them) you may have enough circulating thyroid hormone it just can’t get into the cell so you have all the symptoms of low thyroid. Makes sense?
Another potential challenge is the overwhelming amount of environmental toxins. According to the EPA, the average American has roughly 600 toxins in one fat cell! These toxins compete with hormones, mimic hormones, and actually bind them preventing them from getting into cells to do their job.
They also compete with sex hormones like estrogen progesterone testosterone which is why menopause is practically a disease process in this country today and our men suffer from the lowest testosterone levels in history!
If that wasn’t enough, your thyroid needs iodine which most people are deficient in. We used to use primarily iodized salt. These days many of us use more natural things like sea salt or Himalayan pink salt which is not enriched with iodine.
Amazingly our bodies do the best they can and instead of using iodine to make thyroxine, it will use the next best thing that’s available which might be chlorine or fluorine, or bromine all of which are similar elements, but toxic to our bodies (halogens) so, unfortunately, they don’t allow your thyroid hormone to function properly.
Can You Fix It?
So what’s the bottom line here? After about 30 years and thousands of people, I’ve come to the conclusion if you’re diagnosed with a thyroid condition, or you suspect you have one, please forget dieting and focus on cleansing and healing your body from the inside first.
Pay particular attention to healing your gut and restoring normal flora, cleansing your liver and lymphatic system.
I also highly recommend far infrared saunas and generally removing toxins and heavy metals from your body. Certain herbs or great binders to help with this work. If you have any questions about a low thyroid natural treatment just shoot me an e-mail at DrInfantino.PlatinumWellness@gmail.com.
Think of it this way… instead of treating symptoms of the thyroid problem (or any health challenge for that matter) with meds first, focus on cleansing and healing your body first to get to the source of the problem versus endless symptom management.
That being said are there times for thyroid medications like Synthroid, etc.? Of course, but I think most doctors would agree if you can get healthy enough to not have to take them that would be a win! For the last 30 years, I’ve been blessed to help many people not just manage their symptoms but get healthy enough to not have them.
Yours in great health, Dr. Infantino