Hypothyroidism is caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormone. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, inability to tolerate cold, a slow heart rate, weight gain, painful premenstrual periods, a milky discharge from the breasts, fertility problems, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, dry and scaly skin, a yellow-orange coloration in the skin (particularly on the palms of the hands), yellow bumps on the eyelids, hair loss (including the eyebrows), recurrent infections, migraines, hoarseness, respiratory infections, constipation, depression, difficulty concentrating, slow speech, goiter and drooping, and swollen eyes. The most common symptoms are fatigue and intolerance to cold. If you consistently feel cold while others around you are hot, you may be suffering from reduced thyroid function.
The thyroid gland is the body’s internal thermostat, regulating the temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories and uses energy. If the thyroid secretes too much hormone, hyperthyroidism results; too little hormone results in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism affects about 13 million people in the United States, about 90 percent of which are women. Women between the ages of thirty and fifty seem to be most prone to this condition. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop a thyroid condition at some point in her lifetime. Thyroid problems can cause many recurring illnesses and fatigue. The thyroid can be affected by poor diet, fluoride in the water, excessive consumption of unsaturated fats, endurance exercise, pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables, and radiation from x-rays, alcohol, and drugs.
A condition called Hashimoto’s disease is believed to be the most common cause of an underactive thyroid. In this disorder, the body in effect becomes allergic to thyroid hormone. The body then produces antibodies against its own thyroid tissue. Hashimoto’s disease is a common cause of goiter (a swelling of the thyroid gland) among adults, and it can occur in association with other disorders, such as pernicious anemia, lupus, yeast infections, and rheumatoid arthritis. Congenital hypothyroidism in children, if left untreated, can lead to mental retardation and dwarfism. Generally, however, hypothyroidism is detected within a baby’s first few months when routine blood tests are performed.
A rare condition that can result from long-term underdiagnosed hypothyroidism is called myxedema coma. The coma can occur during illness, after an accident, from exposure to cold, or as a result of the ingestion of narcotics and/or sedatives. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Measuring levels of different hormones in the blood can determine if the thyroid gland is working properly. A physician may order a blood test to measure levels of thyroid hormone or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland and in turn helps regulate thyroid hormone production. Even a minuscule drop in thyroid function registers as a distinctly elevated TSH level. Most endocrinologists believe that TSH levels rise when a person is in the earliest stages of thyroid failure.
An iodine absorption test may also be performed. This test involves ingesting a small amount of radioactive iodine. An x-ray then shows how much of the iodine was absorbed by the thyroid. A low uptake of the iodine may indicate hypothyroidism.
Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended in this section are for adults. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, reduce the dose to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For a child between six and twelve, use one-half of the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of six, use one-quarter of the recommended amount.
To test yourself for an underactive thyroid, keep a thermometer by your bed at night. When you awaken in the morning, place the thermometer under your arm and hold it there for fifteen minutes. Keep still and quiet. Any motion can upset your temperature reading. A temperature of 97.6ºF or lower may indicate an underactive thyroid. Keep a temperature log for five days. If your readings are consistently low, consult your health care provider.
CATAPLEX F – Take 4 tablets daily (or as directed). CATALPLEX F comes in tablets or perles. It is made from flax seed oil and a few other products (LINUM B6 is the primary Omega 3 fatty acid flax seed oil product). CATAPLEX F has some beef lipids, but it is really an extract of vitamin F. In most cases, the dry CATAPLEX F tablet is better to use than the perle (football-shaped soft gel covering). However, the perle contains no iodine. CATAPLEX F tablets tend to raise the blood iodine level, as it contains some protein-bound iodine. CATAPLEX F is a source of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are used to transport calcium from blood to tissues. It contains linolenic, linoleic, and arachidonic acids. Vitamin F delivers calcium into the tissues from the blood. Without this mechanism working properly, tissue calcium starvation can occur, which results in itching of the skin. Anybody whose skin itches, look out! You need CATAPLEX F and CALCIUM LACTATE. Take CALCIUM LACTATE to be sure you have enough calcium, and CATAPLEX F to deliver the calcium into the tissue. Hives that people get from being out in the sun a lot – the big welts that form around the tender parts of the body – is a symptom of tissue calcium deficiency. If the person takes CATAPLEX F, the calcium that is already in their blood is delivered into the tissues and the welts clear up. Canker sores that develop on the inside of the mouth are also related to tissue calcium starvation. Canker sores are caused by a herpes simplex virus. Once you have the virus, you will have it for the rest of your life. But if your tissue calcium stays sufficiently high, the virus never forms the canker sores. In fact, is not such a bad thing to have them because they reveal your tissue calcium level. As soon as your tissue calcium level goes down, they pop out and you know you need CALCIUM LACTATE. CATAPLEX F assists the body to prevent tissue calcium starvation, calcium assimilation problems, hypothyroid, herpes simplex, rigid nails, poor hair quality, dry skin, muscle cramps (or “Charley Horses”), hypervitaminosis D, sunburn, sun poisoning, sun sensitivity, heat prostration, and prostate problems. In scientific textbooks, vitamin F is referred to as the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are active and will latch onto fat and burn it, and the fat metabolizes. Polyunsaturated indicates that two or more double bonds are open. Linoleic acid has two double bonds. Linolenic has three and arachidonic has four. Arachidonic acid is the only form in which we can use fat in our bodies. So we eat linoleic acid which is then converted to arachidonic acid in our liver. Arachidonic acid is the principal. It is not found in vegetable oil, only in fat meat and in butter. Margarine is a phony product. Margarine manufacturers take good linoleic acid and hook hydrogen onto the open bonds. That changes the linoleic acid to stearic acid, which is saturated fat.
PHOSFOOD – Take 30-60 drops a day in divided doses with a full glass of water (or as directed). It provides relieve from hypothyroidism, calcium carbonate deposits, joint stiffness, bursitis, parasympathetic nervous system dominant patients, excessive excretions, gout, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, elevated blood viscosity, tartar accumulation, and kidney stones. If there is not enough phosphorous to hold the calcium in solution, the extra calcium starts precipitating out of the body fluids. If it precipitates in your kidneys, if forms kidney stones. If onto your teeth it is called tartar. If it’s in your bones, it’s called arthritis. Phosphorus is the opposite of calcium and must be present for a proper balance. The additional symptoms in a person who is lacking in phosphorus are elevated blood calcium, high blood viscosity, calcium stones, and calcifications. This supplement is a foundational support for both the sympathetic nervous system and the kidneys. It is also a systemic acidifier, Krebs energy cycle stimulant, and gland accelerator.
THYTROPHIN PMG – Take 1 tablet 3 times daily (or as directed). THYTROPHIN PMG supports healthy thyroid function, thyroid gland rebuilding, and normalizes hormone output. For hypothyroidism it is helpful to take PHOSFOOD LIQUID, CATAPLEX F and THYROID COMPLEX, along with the THYTROPHIN PMG. For hyperthyroidism it is helpful to take CATAPLEX C, CALCIUM LACTATE, ORGANICALY BOUND IODINE, and BUGLEWEED, along with the THYTROPHIN PMG.
TRACE MINERALS-B12™ – Take 1 tablet 3 times daily (or as directed). The numerous enzyme systems throughout the human body are dependent upon the presence of TRACE MINERALS-B12™. Modern agricultural practices have seriously depleted trace minerals from the soil, making foods increasingly deficient in trace minerals. TRACE MINERALS-B12™ was originally designed for patients with undulant fever. It contains a lot of manganese, which is depleted by undulant fever. It has also been found to be useful for people with herniated discs. TRACE MINERALS-B12™ contains zinc, copper, iodine, and vitamin B12 (organically combined cobalt). The presence of iodine in TRACE MINERALS-B12™ may makes some people nervous, so instead one may take TRACE MAGANESE-B12™. Manganese is an enzyme activator and a ligament strengthener. In herniated discs, which are very painful, the ligaments supporting the discs can be strengthened with manganese. Another use for TRACE MINNERALS-B12™ is as an overall endocrine support product. The trace minerals contained in TRACE MINNERALS-B12™ are all required by the endocrine glands for proper function: iodine for the thyroid, manganese for the pituitary, copper for the adrenals, zinc for the gonads and pancreas, and vitamin B12 for the spleen and red blood cells. Because of the activation of the body’s enzyme systems by the manganese, TRACE MINNERALS-B12™ can be beneficial for the patient with chronic low resistance to infection, colds, flu, etc. The B12™ and other trace minerals are also important in supporting the integrity of the blood, so the product is useful when caring for patients with anemia.
IODOMERE – Take 2 tablets 3 times daily (or as directed). IODOMERE is a protein-bound iodine tablet which comes from the sea. IODOMERE contains portions of sea conch. It does not contain as much iodine as the PROLAMINE IODINE tablets. Iodine can be toxic due to its tendency to combine with protein. If you get a cut and you put iodine on it, the iodine destroys the bacteria because bacteria is a protein. A lot of doctors give iodine orally, in an iodine and water solution. When you put this solution directly into your mouth, the iodine combines with the protein in your mouth and causes irritation, not just in your mouth, but in the stomach or wherever else it goes. Taking iodine by mouth, therefore, is not the best way to take iodine; it should be mixed with protein first so that it is not toxic to your system, and the iodine is still available to your thyroid for making thyroxine. Standard Process has a patent on the process of mixing iodine with protein – “protein-bound iodine.” Blood chemistry tests give an iodine figure and a protein-bound iodine figure, “PBI.” The PBI figure is a measure of thyroid activity. If your thyroid isn’t working, iodine and protein are not combined efficiently in your system. If this is the case, your protein-bound iodine will be low and your regular iodine high, indicating a sluggish thyroid. IODOMERE is useful for correcting Hyper/hypothyroidism, fatigue and weight gain due to hypothyroidism.
THYROID COMPLEX – Take 1 tablet daily (or as directed). The combination of herbs in THYROID COMPLEX (Bladderwrack, bacopa and Ashwaganda) contain many compounds including trace minerals (iodine), polyphenols, steroidal compounds (including withanolides), and triterpenoid saponins (such as bacosides, alkaloids and flavonoids). Together these herbs and their constituents can help to:
- Support healthy thyroid function important for normal energy production;
- Maintain normal thyroid function;
- Possibly assist the body in achieving normal basal metabolism;
- Maintain or improve general well-being; and
- Assist the body in adapting to physically and mentally challenging circumstances.
CAUTION: Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation. Contraindicated in hyperthyroidism and related cardiac problems.
ADDITIONAL THERAPIES: Combine with Eleuthero tablets to enhance stamina and endurance. Add Rehmannia Complex to promote the body’s normal resistance function. Vitanox® tablets for antioxidant protection.
BLADDERWRACK 1:1 – Take a dilution of 5 mL (approx. 1 metric teaspoon) in water or juice once per day (or as directed). BLADDERWRACK, a specific species of seaweed, contains trace minerals (including iodine), several types of polysaccharides, polyphenols, sterols, lipids and other substances which together work to:
- Support healthy metabolism.
CAUTION: Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation. Contraindicated in hyperthyroidism and related cardiac problems.
COLEUS 1:1 – Take a dilution of 10 mL (approx. 2 metric teaspoons) in water or juice once per day (or as directed). COLEUS contains the diterpene forskolin as a major constituent. COLEUS 1:1 contains a minimum of 2.5 mg/mL of forskolin to ensure optimal strength and quality. The compounds in COLEUS, and forskolin in particular, work together to:
- Support a healthy cardiovascular system;
- Relax smooth muscle;
- Help maintain normal blood pressure within a normal range;
- Support and maintain cellular health;
- Enhance nutrient absorption; and
- Promote healthy digestion.
CAUTION: Not to be used during pregnancy and lactation, unless otherwise directed by a qualified health care professional. Contraindicated in hypotension.
ELEUTHERO – Take 1 tablet 3 times daily (or as directed). ELEUTHERO contains a diverse group of constituents called eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins and other compounds. This product is standardized to contain 950 mcg/tablet of eleutheroside E to ensure optimal strength and quality. The phytochemicals in Eleuthero work together to:
- Enhance the body’s natural ability to adapt to temporary stress;
- Support physical and mental endurance;
- Promote vitality;
- Restore and enhance immune system function; and
- Act as a general tonic.
CAUTION: Not to be used during pregnancy and lactation unless otherwise directed by a qualified health are practitioner. Discontinue during an acute infection or fever.
ADDITIONAL THERAPIES: Combines well with Echinacea Premium tablets or liquid for enhanced immune function. Combines well with Withania Complex tablets to help the body adapt to the changes of every day life. Practice relaxation techniques and adequate sleep. Follow a nutritious diet with minimal intake of coffee and alcohol.
THE ABOVE VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS & HERBS ARE PRODUCTS OF STANDARD PROCESS & MEDIHERB.
Include in your diet apricots, dates, egg yolks, molasses, parsley, potatoes, prunes, raw seeds, and whole grains. Eat fish or chicken and raw milk and cheeses.
Eat these foods in moderation: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, peaches, pears, radishes, spinach and turnips. If you have severe symptoms, omit these foods entirely; they may further suppress thyroid function.
Avoid processed and refined foods, including white flour and sugar.
Drink steam-distilled water only.
Begin a moderate exercise program such as yoga or walking.
Do not take sulfa drugs or antihistamines unless specifically directed to do so by a physician.
Avoid fluoride (including that found in toothpaste and tap water) and chlorine (also found in tap water). Chlorine, fluoride, and iodine are chemically related. Chlorine and fluoride block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, resulting in reduced iodine-containing hormone production and finally in hypothyroidism.
Taking the homeopathic remedy Calcarea carbonica may help. It can sometimes increase thyroid function.
Because thyroid medication can interact with other medications, take them several hours apart. Ask your physician it any other medications will interfere with the effectiveness of your thyroid prescription. Sucralfate (Carafate), an ulcer medication; aluminum hydroxide an antacid found in Alu-Tab, Amphojel, and Nephrox; and two drugs used to lower cholesterol, cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid), are some of the drugs that affect thyroid medications. Do not take thyroid medication with carbonate supplements or calcium as they can block absorption of thryoxine (T4).
Because sugar intolerance, menopause, and depression can cause many of the same symptoms of thyroid disorders, a simple thyroid test should be considered to rule out any errors in diagnosis.
Treatment for a regular morning temperature of 96ºF is 3 to 4 grains of Armour Desiccated Thyroid Tablets (available by prescription) daily. A person with a regular morning temperature of 97ºF should take 1 to 2 grains. If you have side effects, speak to your physician about reducing the dosage.
Synthroid and Levothroid are synthetic versions of T4 that are most frequently prescribed by physicians for people with hypothyroidism. Some side effects of these medications include headache, irritability, nervousness, loss of sleep, diarrhea, weight loss, and changes in appetite. If a person shows no response to this medication, the physician may prescribe liothyronine (Cytomel). It contains T3, which is needed to regulate metabolism. A study done at the University of Massachusetts found that thyrozine can cause a loss of bone mass.
The conventional treatment for Hashimoto’s disease is usually a prescription of a thyroid hormone that must be taken for the duration of one’s lifetime.
The presence of too much thyroid hormone in the system can cause a condition known as thyroid storm. The heart rate increases rapidly and, in exceptionally severe cases, a heart attack can occur.
Recent evidence indicates that an underactive thyroid may put you at an increased risk of heart attack, even if your thyroid is only slightly underactive.
Applying a natural progesterone cream, which is available at most health food stores, may increase thyroid activity.
Lithium, a trace mineral used as a drug to treat manic-depressive disorders, can sometimes cause thyroid malfunction.
Wilson’s syndrome is a condition that results from a problem in the conversion of one thyroid hormone, T4, to another thyroid hormone, T3. This causes symptoms of decreased thyroid function, especially triggered by significant physical or emotional stress. These symptoms can be debilitating, and may persist even after the stress has passed. People with Wilson’s syndrome have many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, including low body temperature, fatigue, headaches, menstrual dysfunction, memory loss, loss of concentration, loss of sex drive, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, unhealthy nails, dry skin, frequent infections, allergies, insomnia, intolerance to cold, and lack of energy and motivation. Their blood test results are often normal, however.
Conventional treatment for a problematic perimenopause is to prescribe a low-dose contraceptive. However, natural progesterone rather than estrogen may be the answer during this period, because symptoms are often a result of estrogen dominance.
After menopause, a reduction in the amount of the sex hormone estrogen can cause shrinkage of urethral and vaginal membranes, promoting incontinence. There may be continuous dribbling of urine. Urethral dilation helps stretch a contracted urethra.
It may be more important to replace progesterone than estrogen. Natural progesterone cream is a good way to do this.
Hypothyroidism is common in menopausal women. Many symptoms ascribed to menopause may be due to improper thyroid function.
Symptoms of perimenopause are often mistaken for those of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Both PMS and perimenopausal symptoms are a result of an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone – specifically, rising estrogen and diminishing progesterone. If your menstrual cycles have changed – for example, if your periods are lasting for a longer or shorter time than they used to, or if they are irregular when they were not irregular before – it is more likely that you are perimenopausal rather than premenstrual. A blood test to determine your level of a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is also helpful in determining whether you are experiencing perimenopause. FSH levels increase as estrogen diminishes.
It is important for menopausal and postmenopausal women to take measures to protect themselves against heart disease. Many women have been led to believe that taking estrogen protects against this disease, but there is very reasonable doubt about the protective benefits of synthetic estrogen against heart attacks.