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Thyroid Diet Starter Kit
Thyroid Diet Starter Kit

Have your thyroid problems left you with more questions than answers?

My thyroid FAQ can help.

If you don’t see your question here request a one-on-one coaching session.

Thyroid Problems Diet FAQ

Browse through some of the questions I have been asked by fellow thyroid sufferers:

ThyroidFAQ

What are some of the credible thyroid resources I could use?

It’s important to rely on credible resources. There are many blogs and forums that dispense highly questionable advice that can either hurt or limit us on this healing journey.

My favorite and credible resources are:

1. Dr. Izabella Wentz, the Thyroid Pharmacist, and her book The Root Cause

2. Dr. Kharrazian and his book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?

3. Chris Kresser’s blog – well researched and presented

4. Janie Bowthrope and her book Stop The Thyroid Madness

5. Dr. Osansky’s website – especially good for people with hyperthyroidism

How do I check if I have other hormonal problems?

It’s very common that when we suffer from a thyroid condition we also experience other hormonal imbalances. These hormonal imbalances are very common when there are thyroid problems in women:

1. low thyroid + estrogen dominance

2. low thyroid + adrenal fatigue (stage II or III)

3. low thyroid + low estrogen (like menopause)

4. low thyroid and PCOS

You can take an online hormone quiz to get an indication of what other hormonal imbalances could be at play.

Why should I eliminate gluten?

Looking for some guidance on a thyroid problems diet? To achieve a healthy thyroid diet, it is often necessary to eliminate gluten. A vast majority of people suffering from thyroid and autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, Graves’ or Celiac’s have a problem with digesting gluten.

What is gluten? It’s a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, couscous, and kamut grains. As you can see, since it’s found in wheat, this means you would need to avoid: pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, pizzas, etc.

Many doctors and patients are dismissive of gluten intolerance — which is different from a gluten allergy. (A gluten allergy is an immediate negative reaction, whereas a gluten intolerance is a delayed reaction occurring anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 days later.) Just because a person tests negative for Celiac’s, it does not mean they do not have a gluten intolerance. Many doctors have a limited perspective on this topic, and it’s important that you read the below paragraphs to fully understand it and manage your health.

There are two main wheat protein compounds: gliadins and glutenins. (They are the ones that give bread its elasticity and ability to rise.) Within the gliadin class, there are four different types we know of: alpha-, beta-, gamma- and omega-gliadin. When we eat food containing gluten, our digestive tract produces enzymes called tissue transglutaminases (tTG) to help to break down the wheat protein.

Now, for people with Celiac disease’s, we know that they react to one specific type of gliadin, alpha-gliadin, and a specific type of transglutaminase, tTG-2, and this what the conventional lab tests check for. However, people with wheat and gluten intolerance (including the ones with Hashimoto’s disease) can also have a reaction to the other types of gliadins. The Celiac’s tests do not test for them. This is why many of us are told that as long as you test negative for Celiac’s, you can eat gluten. This is a very dangerous and inaccurate piece of advice.

Many people experience an understandable reluctance and perhaps denial about giving up gluten. They can’t imagine living without it! Let me assure you that it is possible to experience a wonderful and complete life without gluten, once you give yourself the permission to give it up for just a couple of weeks in order to see how you feel.  I recommend for you to do an Elimination Diet (I cover it in the www.CookingforBalance.com free workshop.) by removing gluten together with dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and sugar for just three weeks. You will then re-introduce them one by one to see how you feel. Your body will never lie. Most people with autoimmune conditons and thyroid problems who reintroduce these foods report symptoms ranging from feeling tired, depressed, and anxious to having poor sleep and putting on weight.

The bottom line is: most people experience significant improvement in their health when they reduce or eliminate gluten.

There are many substitutes available today like rice pasta, gluten-free breads, crackers, etc. Even mainstream chains like McDonald’s and Subway are now offering gluten-free menus. Having said that, many of these products are loaded with additives and sugar so watch the product labels. It is best to transition to a whole food diet consisting of real food.

Speak to a nutrition coach to help you develop a transition plan complete with meal plans and shopping lists. You will be on your way to establishing a healthy and nurturing thyroid problems diet!

Do I need more iodine if I have hypothyroidism?

Iodine is the very mineral needed by the thyroid gland to produce T4 and T3 hormones. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism that resulted from iodine deficiency and it is NOT Hashimoto’s Disease, extra iodine dosage might help you. Only 5-10% of those with iodine deficiency do not have Hashimoto’s.

Interestingly, however, if you have Hashimoto’s (which is approximately 90% of the people with hypothyroidism) iodine can create even more havoc in the body; it’s like adding fuel to the fire. Most integrative doctors who have a good understanding of thyroid conditions have split opinions on this topic, but the majority lean towards the “no iodine with Hashimoto’s” approach. In my own practice, I’ve worked with many women who were put on iodine supplements (including kelp pills) which resulted in their TPO antibodies shooting up and them feeling worse. I do not recommend iodine for thyroid problems in women with Hasimoto’s.

You can find many medical studies that support this approach.

Without a doubt, we need iodine to function properly. In fact, the breast tissue has the highest concentration of iodine, and it’s important for us not to be deficient in iodine if we are to maintain good breast health. In my approach, I recommend for clients to first bring down the TPO antibodies to under 100. (You can read about how to do it with a proper thyroid problems diet here.) Only then should clients bring up their daily dose of iodine through supplements or food like kelp and seafood.

What is the function of the thyroid?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, located in your neck, wrapped around the windpipe, behind and below the Adam’s Apple area. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system which produces all our hormones. The thyroid produces several of these hormones, of which two are key: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help oxygen get into cells, and make your thyroid the master gland of metabolism. Think of the thyroid gland as your gas pedal.

The thyroid gland affects a number of things:

  • your weight (Low metabolism means slow conversion of fat into energy.)
  • your energy levels (Thyroid hormones power you up.)
  • your gastrointestinal health (Thyroid is responsible for stomach acid formation, essential for good digestion.)
  • your nervous system (This is why low thyroid causes brain fog, forgetfulness, and depression.)
  • your cardiovascular health (Many heart diseases could be avoided if the thyroid was properly checked.)
  • your hormonal balance (This is why infertility is often caused by thyroid issues.)

I need help, what can you do for me, Magdalena?

Thyroid health is complex, and it’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed at this point. I’ve been there so I understand. The above FAQs are a great starting point, but they are also just the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help. If you’ve been struggling with your own thyroid crisis and nothing you’ve tried has worked, I am here to empower you with the right knowledge and action plans and to point you toward the right resources to regain your thyroid health. (P.S. I’ve done it, and so can you!)

I can offer you a few things to get started. Pick whatever works best for you:

1. Watch Thyroid Diet Videos. (They are free.)

2. Download the Thyroid Diet Starter Kit. (The kit is free if you sign up as member.)

3. Listen to the Hormone Community Calls podcasts. (Yes, they’re free too.)

4. Enroll in a free workshop on “How to Use Food to Rebalance Your Hormones” to learn how to cook for thyroid health and create your own thyroid problems diet.

Don’t hesitate to email  if you have any questions.

I no longer offer one-on-one coaching programs; however, I do offer online group coaching at the www.CookingforBalance.com program.

Where do I find good doctors who understand thyroid, hormones and autoimmune conditions?

Take a look at these resources that many of my clients found very helpful:

1. American College for Advancement in Medicine

2. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

3. Institute for Functional Medicine

4. Paleo Physicians Network

5. American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine

6. ThyroidChange List (US, Canada and Australia)

One more great trick I want to offer you: if you are still having no luck finding a doctor, go to your local compounding pharmacy and ask them for a list of doctors who are their customers. We find that often times, doctors who are willing to work with compounded (meaning: custom-made for you) thyroid replacement therapy are more open-minded and progressive.

Why are thyroid conditions so often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed?

This happens largely due to doctors relying on limited blood testing like TSH and FT4 alone instead of looking at a full thyroid panel and most importantly… listening to the patient’s symptoms and health history. When a sick person’s TSH and T4 are within range, the patient is told there is nothing much that can be done other than going on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, and/or laxatives, exercising more and eating less. This is a real shame.

If you suspect you have a thyroid condition, don’t despair. You can bypass a doctor so you don’t have to convince them what tests to order or pay expensive doctor appointment fees. You can order testing through me via Direct Labs. To learn more click here. From this list, you will also learn what to test for so you can ask your doctor to order these tests for you if you choose.

When I adopt the Thyroid Diet, can I start reducing the medication dose?

You shouldn’t reduce your medication without your doctor’s agreement. What often happens is this: after adopting the thyroid problems diet you will show signs of hyperthyroid symptoms (shakiness, nervousness, sweating, etc.) and/or your TSH will go too low. These are signs (good ones!) that your medication needs to be reduced, as your body doesn’t need such a high dose of thyroid hormones anymore – signs of a recovery!

Many of my clients experienced this and some even managed to get off thyroid medication (or hormone replacement, we should say). Whether or not you will be able to get off them will depend on the degree of damage your immune system has done to the gland. If your immune system has been attacking your thyroid over the past 10 years, then the chances of your thyroid going back to functioning well are slim. Having said that, you should not be discouraged from making dietary and lifestyle changes. Most people who make these changes start feeling like themselves again, which – in my view – is the most important thing!

Will I ever be able to get off medication or heal completely?

It is a frequent question. Not surprisingly; many of you hate the idea of popping the pill first thing in the morning and everyone wants to be free of these debilitating symptoms. The truth is:

  • the earlier you catch it and make changes, the higher the recovery chances (like in the case of this author)
  • depending on the condition of your thyroid gland and the degree it can start producing T4 and T3 hormones on its own again; this is something no one will tell you till you try it. In any case, you will feel significantly better when you adopt the Thyroid Diet
  • even if your thyroid is significantly compromised or you lost it to cancer, the Thyroid Diet will still benefit you in: converting T4 to T3 hormone more effectively in your liver and gut (means less medication) and help you reduce the inflammation in your body (means more energy, weight loss and less fatigue) and preventing you from future autoimmune conditions.

 

How soon will I feel the results of the Thyroid Diet?

Very soon – just by eliminating certain foods that are not serving you well today, most people start feeling better within the first 1-2 weeks. The Elimination Diet will teach you how to spot the culprits; the food culprit is different for each person. Detoxing your liver and gut will provide another wave of relief. Often times thyroid problems in women are caused by too high or too low sugar levels or adrenal fatigue which you would need to address first before healing your thyroid – you will be pointed to the right resources on how to handle that.

 

What is a Thyroid Diet?

I have developed a system I call R-A-B which stands for Remove – Add – Balance that has been creating create results for women with low thyroid functions.

Step 1: REMOVE what is detrimental and toxic to your health. This means sugar, food addictions, thyroid foods to avoid, food intolerances, toxicity in your gut and life. To get the complete list of Food In and Out Guide, please sign up for the free Thyroid Diet Start Kit.

Step 2: ADD what your thyroid and your body need to start healing. This means right food for your thyroid, herbs, supplements, minerals and vitamins. Let’s not forget also adding some grounding/de-stressing techniques, movement and good old fun. You can get the foods to add to your diet in the  free Thyroid Diet Start Kit.

Step 3: BALANCE based on your bio-individuality; no one plan works for everybody as each person has a unique way of healing. Sauerkraut can be a highly healing food but if a person has a histamine intolerance, sauerkraut (and any fermented foods for that matter), may cause the person to develop psoriasis, anxiety attacks, headaches and many other symptoms. The Thyroid Diet Starter Kit I’ve referenced above will give you more ideas what balancing looks like.

Why are there so many thyroid problems in women today?

It’s not just the thyroid; all autoimmune diseases (which thyroid is part of) have become a pandemic in our society and women tend to be more effected by it than men.

An ordinary physician would tell you “we don’t know why this is happening.” If you are a little analytical, well read and observant, you will start connecting the dots, namely:

1. we suffer from nutritional deficiency

  • our aggressive agricultural practices depleted the soil and fruit and veggies of nutritional value
  • we eat lots of processed food which is nutritionally speaking is “dead food” and this includes food like protein shakes and powders marketed as the healthy food.

2. toxicity, found in:

  • environment
  • food, especially in non-organic food
  • water; chlorine, fluoride
  • household cleaners
  • personal skincare products

3. overuse of antibiotics which kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut, leaving the gut highly damaged to vulnerable to diseases, including autoimmune disorders

Why women? Because our hormonal balance is much easier to distract than men’s. There are many hypothesis as to why and one that appeals to me goes back to our ancestors. As women, we used to be home makers, nurturers and supporters. Men were the ones who hunted and fought and inherently their endocrine (as well as muscular and neurological) system developed to handle more adversity than women. In today’s world, as women we often fight and hunt in our own modern ways but the question is how well is our endocrine system designed to handle this pressure?

 

I suffer from a sugar problem/addiction (hypoglycemia or insulin resistance); does it impact my thyroid?

Very much so. Your sugar levels are managed by insulin which is excreted by the pancreas, a gland that is a part of the endocrine system. Without leveling out your sugar issues, you will never be able to fix your thyroid and rid yourself of all the weight issues, depression, brain fog, etc.

Many people do not realize they have a problem with sugar. The symptoms you should be looking at are:

  • feeling shaky, weak, unfocused and/or moody when hungry
  • carrying belly fat that won’t go away
  • you can still eat after a full meal, you feel hungry even when full
  • the meal is not complete with something sweet at the end
  • you feel tired after a meal
  • you crave sugar
  • you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom
  • difficulty concentrating, brain fog and lethargy

If you are ticking two or more from the above list, I recommend getting it confirmed with a functional physician. Ask your doctor to test your fasting glucose levels but also HA1C and insulin. You can also order them right here. It important that for fasting glucose, you use the functional range of 74-84 mg/dL and not 65 – 99 mg/dL which is too wide to be considered healthy. Also strive for your HA1C to be in the range of 4.8 – 5.1% to be considered healthy and not 4.8 – 5.6%.

The other connection to sugar and thyroid is candida – an yeast overgrowth. 70% of women I work with have a candida problem. Craving sugar is one of the many symptoms of candida. The problem with candida is that it inhibits the conversation of T4 to T3 thyroid hormone and it also contributes to the development of leaky gut. Candida should be one of the first things to treat and address in your thyroid diet and healing protocol.

I’ve developed a workshop called “How to Use Food to Rebalance Your Hormones” where I teach how to change your breakfast as the first and easiest way to change your relationship with sugar and rebalance your sugar levels.

 

What is the difference between Hashimoto’s Disease and hypothyroidism?

95% of cases of hypothyroidism in the US, Europe and Australia are the result of an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s Disease. The other 5% are due to iodine deficiency which is rare unless you live around the Michigan are in the United States or elsewhere where iodine is low.

You might not be aware that most thyroid problems in women (and men) are in fact NOT caused by a thyroid disease but an autoimmune disorder in which your own immune system gets mutated and starts attacking your own thyroid tissue. This attack can then cause the thyroid to start underproducing the thyroid hormones (mainly T4).

An autoimmune disease is very hard to treat as modern medicine does not have a cure for it today. This is also why it’s so important to measure your antibody levels to understand the degree of the disease. Sadly, hardly any doctor will run these tests. Medications like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Cytomel, etc are synthetic versions of your thyroid hormone which your thyroid is not producing sufficiently now – they do not however address the cause of your immune system producing the killer antibodies.

As much as western allopathic medicine is not equipped to deal with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s and Graves’, the good news is that there is absolute hope by changing your diet, improving your sleep and supporting the detoxification process of your body.

Further resources on “how-tow” and inspiration 

My story and before-and-after lab results (as proof) in managing Hashimoto’s

Mimi’s story of getting her TPO antibodies down from 1,673 to 138 in 10 months 

Other people’s stories – videos and audio too 

 

Why is it key for me to fix my adrenals when I have a thyroid problem?

Adrenals are tiny glands found on top of your kidneys. Together with the thyroid gland (and a few others) they are part of the endocrine system that is responsible for all our hormone production.

When thyroid hormones are prescribed for hypothyroidism, the metabolism of the body is increased. This will stimulate the adrenals to play along but when the adrenals are not able to produce sufficient hormones, they can get completely overloaded and this can even cause failure of the adrenal glands.

Treating thyroid without treating the adrenals will not produce good results and in some cases will even make the patient feel worse.

Have you ever had your thyroid hormones tested? If not, we can provide testing right here.

 

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Many of symptoms of adrenal fatigue overlap with hypothyroidism, the ones that are unique are highlighted in blue.

  • non-refreshing sleep even after having slept 10 hours
  • overwhelmed by or unable to cope with stressors
  • craving salty and sweet foods
  • you feel most energetic in the evening
  • the day does not start till 10am or after 2 cups of coffee
  • feeling really tired after exercise
  • slow to recover from injury, illness or stress
  • consistent low blood pressure and getting lightheaded when getting up
  • dark circles under the eyes
  • frequent sighing
  • excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • feeling rundown or overwhelmed
  • difficulty concentrating, brain fog
  • poor digestion
  • low immune function
  • food or environmental allergies
  • premenstrual syndrome or difficulties that develop during menopause
  • extreme sensitivity to cold

 

What is adrenal fatigue and how is it connected to the thyroid?

Adrenal fatigue often develops after periods of intense or lengthy physical, emotional or chemical stress, when overstimulation of the glands leave them unable to meet your body’s needs.

It’s not only for people working on Wall Street or advertising. 70% of homeless people suffer from adrenal fatigue, too. This means anybody can who sustains chronic stress, pain or ordeal can develop adrenal fatigue.

The adrenal glands kick in in times of stress; when we need to run from danger; they mobilize our energy and give us a sugar high to escape. This condition is supposed to be temporary in nature. Unfortunately, for many people such state becomes a daily occurrence that wears out the adrenals, making them go under- or over-active.

The adrenals have four key functions:

1. modulate our immune system

2. balance out our sugar levels

3. help us deal with any form of stress

4. modulate blood pressure.

There are many things to be said about the adrenals and thyroid connection. The key issue is that over- or underactive adrenals can’t support the immune system sufficiently and given that most people have Hashimoto’s disease, this is not good news.

The other problem is that a poor adrenal function will interfere with the T4 to T3 hormone conversion. It’s very common for women to suffer from thyroid and adrenal fatigue.

Do you suspect you are suffering from adrenal fatigue? You can do two things:

1. Take an online quiz to see if you have low or high adrenals (this will take you to my other practice website called Hormones Balance that focuses on hormonal imbalances other than the thyroid).

2. Order adrenal test kit (via saliva) or ask your functional doctor to order them for you. My favorite labs are Labrix and ZRT Labs. Conventionally-trained doctors sometimes agree to test the morning blood cortisol but it’s not a reliable adrenal test to use blood.

What is Hashimoto’s Disease treatment?

This is a simple question with an answer that warrants a book!

I recommend for you to look into these resources to get a better understanding of your condition and how you can support your body.

1. Article: “What is a Thyroid Diet” 

2. My story of recovery and continuous management of Hashimoto’s disease

3. Stories of other people with thyroid issues.

What thyroid foods to avoid in hypothyroid/Hashimoto’s Disease?

Goitrogens are substances is a substance found in cruciferous vegetables (list below) and soy. It blocks the iodine uptake receptors and this can results in the thyroid gland underproducing the T4 hormone. There are conflicting opinions whether the goitrogenic food causes and/or worsens the thyroid condition or not. Dr Kharrazian, the author of “Why do I still have thyroid symptoms?” is of the opinion that goitrogens do not contribute to thyroid deterioration. Other experts like Dr Izabella Wentz disagrees when it comes to eating too many raw crucifiers and soy but not cooked.

In my practice, I have met people who developed thyroid problems after going on a “health kick” and juicing of bunch of kale everyday for 3 months. I have also met many newly converted vegans and vegetarians who relied heavily on soy-based products to replace meat protein and they too developed thyroid symptoms in months of following their new “healthy diet.”

I am therefore a proponent of moderation which means:

1. Not eating excessive crucifers in raw form. In cooked form, they are great for us, see reasons below.

2. If you eat raw crucifers like raw arugula salad, keep it to 2 servings per week.

3. Fermented food like sauerkraut is still a raw crucifer. Does it mean you should cut it out? No, you do not. Since 90% of thyroid problems are due to the autoimmune reason, our attention should be on resorting the health of our immune system through our gut, rather than obsessing about cutting out all crucifers. Having said that, I do recommend 2 servings of ferments per day as part of your gut-restoration protocol and they should be varied and rotated between ferments that are not crucifer-based like miso (if you an tolerate fermented soy), dill pickles (lacto-fermented, not in vinegar), coconut water kefir, coconut milk yoghurt and a strong probiotic supplement.

 

Many people have great results when they limit eating goitrous food. This is how to go about it:

Thyroid foods to avoid in raw form (no more than two servings per week):

• bok choy

• broccoli

• Brussels’ sprouts

• cabbage

• cauliflower

• kale

• kohlrabi

• mustard

• mustard greens

• radishes

• rutabagas

• soy

• soy milk

• soybean oil

• soy lecithin (often used as a filler in vegetarian food)

• tofu

Go easy on these raw thyroid foods (no more than 3-4 servings per week)

• bamboo shoots

• millet

• peaches

• peanuts

• pears

• pine nuts

• radishes

• strawberries

• sweet potatoes

 

Is having thyroid nodules something I should worry about?

Yes, even if they are benign. Modern Western medicine is of a different opinion but holistic and integrated medicine doctors feel otherwise about it. Nodules and enlargements of the thyroid gland can be an indication of a couple of issues:

1. a hormonal imbalance called estrogen dominance which has been linked to the development of thyroid nodules and even thyroid cancer. I wrote a detailed medically-referenced article here.

2. an indication of high toxicity in your life coming from food, skincare products, air, water consumption etc. Thyroid is a sponge for toxins therefore women in the Ukraine and Poland even today suffer from thyroid cancers and nodules as their thyroid glands absorbed excessive amounts of radioactive toxins.

One thing I recommend right away is for you to stop spraying commercial perfumes (no matter how big and expensive the brand is) on your neck (or anywhere for that matter!) and they contain endocrine disruptors called phthalates which can contribute to thyroid nodules.

 

If your doctor is advising you to remove your thyroid (or part of it) due to benign nodules, seek a second opinion, especially from a holistic doctor who knows the thyroid. I also cover eating to reverse estrogen dominance (the leading cause of thyroid nodules and cancer but also breast lumps and even breast cancer) in this free workshop called “How to Use Food to Rebalance Your Hormones.”

In the past, I’ve also suffered from estrogen dominance and I’ve managed to reverse it. I talk about it in this article.

What questions can I ask my doctor to assess his/her knowledge of the thyroid?

Firstly, do NOT be afraid to call and ask your future doctor these questions. Many people are intimidated by doctors; as a patient you are a client too and it is YOUR choice which doctor you want to work with.

Here are some questions you might want to ask and the answers you want to hear:

Your Question: What do you test for if I suspect having hypothyroidism?

Answer you want to hear:  TSH,  free T3,  free T4,  reverse T3, TPO (thyroperoxidase) and anti-TGB (thyroglubolin) antibodies and vitamins and minerals (for details see above). Potentially your adrenals too, if we suspect adrenal fatigue.

Your Next Question: Apart from Synthroid and other synthetic hormones, what other medications are you open to working with?

Answer you want: I’m open to working with whatever will work for you. Not one patient responds the same to thyroid medication/hormone therapy. I’m open to working also with natural thyroid hormones such as Armour, Nature-throid or compounded hormones (designed for your specific needs).

Hint: doctors who insist on treating you only with Synthroid should be avoided.

Your Next Question: I might be suffering from adrenal fatigue; what would you suggest testing for?

Answer you want: I’m happy to test you for 4-point cortisol levels (from saliva not blood) and DHEA as a starting point.

Hint: If your doc tells you there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue, move on to the next physician.

 

Why should I test for thyroid antibodies?

Because they are the reflection of the degree your immune system is attacking the thyroid gland. The anti-TGB antibodies are also a good tool to determine if you have estrogen problems and an early detection for thyroid nodules and cancer.

 

What does it mean when my thyroid antibodies are high?

It means your immune system is inflamed and is launching various attacks on your body.

High TPO antibodies (see above) show the degree of the inflammation. Your antibodies should be below 30, anything above 300 means serious inflammation, and above 500 a severe inflammation. 70% of people with hypothyroid have elevated TPO antibodies. My TPO antibodies were  over 1,000 and I managed to bring them all down after adopting a thyroid diet and making sound lifestyle changes.

People with hyperthyroid and Graves’ Disease are also likely to have TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins) antibodies elevated. It’s not uncommon though to have TPOs elevated too.

If you’ve never had your thyroid antibodies tested before, we can provide the test for your right here.

 

What if the doctor does not want to test me for a full thyroid panel you recommend here?

Find a doctor who is worth your time and money. And your thyroid.

I’ve put together a list of directories that might help you find a supportive and knowledgeable practitioner in your area. They do exist!

 

 

What are the things I should be asking for in my thyroid blood tests?

Apart from the standard TSH and FT4 (Free T4), you should also ask for FT3 (Free T3; this is the active hormone that powers you up) as well as reverse T3. Also ask for TGB (thyroglobulin) antibodies and TPO (thyroid peroxidase) antibodies. If you suspect having hyperthyroid or Graves’ Disease, also test for TSI (thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins). For mineral deficiencies, test for vitamin B12, vitamin D, ferritin and folic acid.

If you suspect you have a thyroid condition and want to bypass your doctor or avoid trying to convince them what tests to order, there’s the option of to order your thyroid testing through me via Direct Labs. For more information,  click right here.

 

Why has my doctor never explained this to me? Why were my antibodies never tested?

70% of people I meet who struggle with thyroid conditions were never explained what an autoimmune disorder is, that it is the root cause of your thyroid crisis and monitoring the antibodies will be as important as looking at your TSH, T3 and T4. A few reasons why this is happening today:

  • Modern Western medicine is most often focused on treating the symptoms, not the root cause of any disease
  • There is no medication, apart from steroids, to lower the inflammation of the body
  • Doctor were never taught nutrition in medical school, hence they can’t really advise on what thyroid diet foods should be
  • Western medicine does not recognize chronic inflammation as a medical condition

 

How can I order a thyroid test myself?

There’s the option to order a thyroid panel through me via Direct Labs, you can read more about the panels I offer right here.

You can also order the labs yourself from Direct Labs but it will be more expensive as I get special provider bulk discounts on these panels.

How is the gut connected to my immune system?

Most people do not know that 75% of the immune system lives in the gut. The gut is your smaller intestine located below your stomach. The lymph nodes and tissues can be found there, this is where the immune system begins. There is a saying “you are only as healthy as your gut” which is very true. A troubled gut shows up in the form of constipation, diarrhea, gassiness, bloating and digestive pains. Strengthening the gut will reduce the inflammation level of the immune system. It’s a simple idea that is not yet fully embraced by Western Medicine. Functional medicine has made the connection and sees inflammation of the gut as the underlying reason for majority of chronic diseases today; most of which can be prevented.

 

Why is it important for me to fix my autoimmune system?

Because it is the core cause of your thyroid issues today. Once you fix your immune system, the thyroid will stop being attacked and this is how you can free yourself of most symptoms; weight gain, depression, hair loss, etc.

The second thing is this: often times an autoimmune disease (such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’) mutates into something else; 60% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from thyroid issues too. Other conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are also autoimmune conditions often connected to the thyroid.

 

Is my hypo- or hyper-thyroid condition caused by an autoimmune disorder?

Yes, in 95% of cases. 95% of thyroid conditions (both hypo- and hyper-) are caused by an autoimmune disorder. In simple words; your own immune system starts destroying the thyroid. As crazy as it sounds, it is true. It is not known for certain why this is happening. Suspicion of toxicity in food, water and the air are slowly being connected to thyroid diseases. Thyroid problems in women are more frequent than in men, about 7:10.

In the case of hypothyroidism, the autoimmune disorder is called Hashimoto’s Disease and in hyperthyroidism – Graves’ Disease.

 

Could it be that I have a thyroid problem even though my blood tests are normal?

Absolutely. This is part of the reason why so many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Instead, they are dealing with depression, anxiety attacks and heart diseases; all of them are preventable if the thyroid was checked more skillfully.

TSH and FT4 alone are widely used as the ONLY indicators of thyroid heath; they are however highly deceptive. Firstly, the range is a disputed issue; many people feel sick even though they have a “normal” TSH. Secondly, TSH and FT4 are indirect measures of the thyroid’s health. To make a proper diagnosis and help you, your doctor needs to do a full thyroid panel test which includes free T3 and (most importantly!) look at your symptoms and your health history to give a conclusive diagnosis.

 

Why is TSH and T4 not enough to determine your thyroid’s health?

Sadly, TSH and T4 are the “golden standards” in testing for thyroid health amongst most physicians. This is only an indirect measure of your thyroid’s health. A good physician would look at a full thyroid blood panel as well as your symptoms and your health history. It’s widely proven that many people have “normal” TSH (within the range) in spite of having many thyroid symptoms.

You can read and download what ranges to use (this is really important), what are complete thyroid lab tests and more in this article.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)?

  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • increased perspiration
  • thinning of your skin
  • fine brittle hair
  • muscular weakness especially involving the upper arms and thighs
  • shaky hands
  • panic disorder
  • insomnia
  • racing heart
  • more frequent bowel movements
  • weight loss despite a good appetite
  • lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods

 

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)?

  • fatigue, exhaustion
  • feeling run down and sluggish
  • depression
  • difficulty concentrating, brain fog
  • unexplained or excessive weight gain
  • inability to lose weight no matter what you do
  • anxiety attacks
  • brain fog
  • dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
  • dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
  • feeling cold, especially in the extremities
  • constipation, indigestion
  • muscle cramps
  • increased menstrual flow
  • more frequent periods
  • infertility/miscarriage