An elderly man with rather serious medical problems came to see Dr. Erika Schwartz for a consult. She looked at the treatments and drugs he was taking and decided to consult with the patient’s cardiologist and discuss a possible change of therapy.
The man had problems with excess weight, low thyroid levels, low testosterone levels and sleeping problems as a result of an advanced eczema, which caused the patient agonizing itching.
For three weeks, Dr. Schwartz tried to get in contact with the cardiologist and finally she was able to get him on the phone. She suggested that the patient should be taken off the medications which aggravated his eczema. But the cardiologist was dismissive, saying that she didn’t know science so he can’t possibly discuss such matters with her. After telling him that they have the same medical degree he simply hung up.
After the unsuccessful consult, Dr. Schwartz explained to her patient the situation and he decided to change his cardiologist and follow the treatment she had devised. She suggested taking him off his cholesterol levels and boosting the thyroid hormones levels.
When he started the treatment he was afraid a heart attack would be imminent but Dr. Schwartz clarified that his hormone correction therapy would keep his cholesterol levels in check.
Thyroid hormones are secreted by the thyroid gland, a butterfly shaped endocrine gland located in the frontal, lower part of the neck. The gland secretes two thyroid hormones T3 and T4, the T4 is converted into active T3 in the cells, and gets to your organs via the bloodstream. It’s in charge of energy and metabolism regulation, in addition to participating in almost every bodily function.
There are a few thyroid disorders that happen as a result of an overactive or underactive thyroid, but the most common one is hypothyroidism and happens as a result of an underactive thyroid. As a result the thyroid fails to produce the needed amount of hormones to regulate your bodily functions.
Hypothyroidism can happen as a result of number of external of internal factors, including Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease where the immune system starts attacking the thyroid gland. There are a number of symptoms that indicate hypothyroidism such as brittle nails, dry skin, hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, depression, body temperature fluctuations, poor reflexes, mood swings and brain fog.
The problem with this disorder is that its symptoms are pretty vague and can be indicative of other diseases, which often leads doctors to misdiagnose the condition and prescribe drugs which are not suitable and may even aggravate it.
The thyroid expert and renowned author of several books on the subject, Mary Shomon, says that this isn’t an isolated case. Many people go to the doctor’s complaining of high cholesterol and depression and are prescribed antidepressant and high cholesterol medications. No one stops to wonder if the thyroid may be causing these problems.
Furthermore, she adds, the method of diagnosing hypothyroidism is completely wrong. The standard test for this condition, which is the TSH test, only measures the TS hormone levels, but doesn’t show the levels of T3 and T4 in the blood, which are crucial in determining hypothyroidism.
Why is this approach wrong? Because a number of patients experience the abovementioned symptoms but their TSH test results come back showing normal levels and are then prescribed with drugs and a therapy that doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the problem.
In this way we just treat the symptoms and don’t look at the whole organism. We assume the thyroid test is accurate and reliable and believe we haven’t got any thyroid problems.
So what is the right approach? We should examine the individual levels of the T3 and T4 hormones and also make sure that the T4 is being converted into active T3 and that this T3 enters our cells and regulate our organs’ function.
Dr. Schwartz recommends a holistic treatment that includes changing your overall lifestyle, from your diet and exercise to the hormones and supplements you’re taking. This treatment views your body as a whole and doesn’t just look at the symptoms and that’s why it’s so effective.
She adds that her treatment, which giving the patients T3 (active thyroid hormone) was the fastest way to make her patients feel better. And after their condition improved it was easy to make the changes in their lifestyle, including the diet and exercise regimen.
Shomon agrees that understanding how thyroid hormones influence every organ in our body is a crucial part in finding the appropriate treatment for these patients.
Thyroid disorders happen as a result of both internal and external factors, and can be a result of a combination of things like diet, immunity, hormones, the environment and similar factors.
Dr. Greg Emerson, the founder of the Australian Emerson Health & Wellness Center points out that we live in a toxic world and this has led to a massive change in our lifestyle. We need to understand this if we want to stay healthy and adapt our lifestyle to the new circumstances.
One of the most alarming influences on his toxins list are mycotoxins and mold, and ample scientific evidence shows that molds have a detrimental effect on our thyroid function, while the food we eat is high in mycotoxins.
The food we eat is usually loaded with sugars which encourages mold to grow inside our bodies. Moreover, we’re not eating foods that have a protective effect against mycotoxins.
And it’s not just hypothyroidism; many patients suffer from an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism, an excessive production of thyroid hormones which often leads to a boosted metabolism and sudden weight loss as well as irregular or rapid heartbeat.
Hormonal imbalance can be easily restored back to normal if only we make some life-altering changes starting with a healthy diet rich in raw foods, moderate but regular exercise routine, reducing the stress levels and maintaining healthy relationships with the people in our life.
Dr. Emerson says that everyone needs to ask themselves a couple of questions like “Is my diet healthy? Do I drink enough water? What about sun exposure? Am I sleeping enough? DO I exercise regularly? What’s the quality of the food I ‘m eating?” and so on.
Furthermore, Dr. Schwartz suggest you start listening to your body and understand what it’s trying to tell you. If you can’t fall asleep, ask yourself what’s causing it? Is it because of heavy alcohol before going to bed, a heavy meal that can’t be properly digested, electronic equipment surrounding you while you sleep or some other cause? If you find the root of your sleeping problems you will be able to address it properly and find the appropriate treatment.
Joseph Mercola, one of the most popular alternative doctors in the US agrees with Dr. Schwartz and her logic, as he too believes we need to work on many aspects if we want to improve our health.
You need to restart your thyroid and activate your metabolism and only then will you be able to lose weight and keep it off, slow down the aging process, boost your energy and achieve optimal health.
How to do it? Here are a few effective tips:
Combining selenium rich foods and iodized salt such as:
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Fish (sardines, wild salmon, flounder and halibut)
- Shellfish (mussels, oysters, shrimp, scallops and clams)
- Poultry (turkey and chicken)
- Meat (pork, beef, lamb, liver)
- Eggs (no more than 3 a day)
- Mushrooms (shitake, button and crimini)
- Whole grains (barley, wheat germ, brown rice and oats)
- Veggies (avocados, asparagus, artichokes, arugula, bean sprouts, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, beet greens, cabbage, celery, cauliflower, chives, cucumbers, collard greens, cucumber)
- Fruits (all berries as well as lemons)
The following foods are forbidden
- Dairy (don’t consume dairy for at least 20 days)
- Artificial sweeteners and sugars
- beans and legumes
- all types of grains
You should also steer clear of
- calorie restrictive diets
- diets low in fat
- diet that are extremely low in carbs
- don’t eat more than 6-8 servings of Goitrogenic foods on a weekly basis and consume these foods steamed instead of raw.
Start some low-intensity workout regimen for an hour a day, such as:
After one month of low-intensity workouts, start a new routine that will include high-intensity exercises 3-4 times per week:
- Weight-lifting Exercises
- Body- weight Exercises