Autoimmune Thyroid Disorder.A recent client of mine came to me, understandably frustrated, due to the symptoms she has been suffering for a long time caused by Hypothyroidism, or were they? You see what we both suspected of course, is that there is a much bigger picture going on…..OK, the thyroid is causing miserable symptoms such as severe water retention and weight gain amongst other things, but what we set out to establish is what causes the thyroid to dysfunction leading to Autoimmune hypothyroidism, also known as Hashimotos disease. As I suspected we were going to open a can of worms, but I was challenged by the opportunity to help someone as well as learning about a subject that was likely to be affecting me too, and it was time to face the music. Our initial assessment established that my client, Ms D, had a fantastic diet, so it was clear to me that she was not properly utilizing the vitamins and minerals in her diet adequately which suggested likely malabsorption or inadequate bile flow which could relate to the liver and gallbladder. We used Bioresonance/Oberon technology to establish if there was any other underlying issues with Ms D’s various systems, but reassuringly found that her body was quite healthy and gallbladder function was unusually good (it is very common to see inadequate bile flow and gallbladder function with Bioresonance technology, in clients over the age of around thirty).
‘My client was very relieved to see that her body was otherwise in good shape and we could go on to focus on the Hypothyroidism’. http://waverlywellness.co.uk/nutritional-therapy/
Nutritional Deficiency.Many women are effected by Hyper or Hypothyroidism, it seemed to be getting more and more common but why does nobody seem to know what is causing it? I turned to my most trusted online health forums to see what first hand experiences other women were willing to divulge, and as I expected there was lots of talk about being low in Iodine, and several vitamins such as Selenium, B12 and Folate and the link between Mercury Amalgam fillings and the Thyroid. Iodine deficiency I have been fascinated by, and there seems to be several theories as to why we would be deficient, the most likely answer of course being that it is lacking in our diets. Seafood and seaweed are good sources of Iodine, and it is thought that people living far away from the coast may be more likely to be deficient, but another culprit which may be more relative to our modern day climate is ‘Big Agra’; modern, industrial agricultural practices depleting minerals in the soil. Environmental pollutants have robbed the soil of natural mineral levels in turn this appears to be creating low iodine levels in soil, after all, did so many people suffer with thyroid dysfunction years ago before the era of Big Agra?
The Liver.The NHS is very active in treating people with synthetic hormones, but I hear so many stories of peoples symptoms not improving, and of the risks of long term use. Hormones and the thyroid are a complicated subject to try to understand and I have to admit that I glazed over when people started to talk about T3, T4 and TSH levels, but understood that its not so easy to get a accurate diagnosis of what your levels truly are. You see T4 or Thyroxine is the inactive form thyroid hormone, and T3 or Triiodothyronine is the active form, which is made active in the Liver. And right there was my first hunch, if the Liver is not functioning optimally then could it be that T4 is not being converted to T3? As I understand it it is often only T4 that is tested, leaving an inaccurate picture of what the levels truly are. But apart from the liver, what other organs are involved?
Adrenals.Stress seems to be something that comes up a lot, and it certainly tied in with the case history of my client prior to developing thyroid dysfunction, and of course the organs that deal with stress are the Adrenals and the hormone Cortisol. How do we know if Hypothyroidism is caused by Adrenal exhaustion? Well according to Dr Rind, taking ones temperature several times a day and averaging the number, and repeating this over a period of five days is suggested as a way to discover if the Adrenal glands are suffering, and your autonomic nervous system is therefore in ‘flight or fight’ mode. If your temperature is fluctuating dramatically that can indicate and issue with the Adrenals.
Autoimmune Conditions.What I found very interesting is that one form of Hypothyroidism, called Hashimotos, is considered to be an autoimmune disorder, and like approx 200 other diseases that come into that category, there seems to be very little answers within mainstream medicine as to why the immune system attacks the bodies own tissue instead of unwanted pathogens.
Many doctors may tell you that an autoimmune disease is down to our genetics, that we will get the autoimmune conditions of our genetic weakness. But research into genetics have found this is pretty far from the truth, the study of what has become known as Epigenetics;
“Epigenetics means above the genome, indicating that genes can be changed for better or for worse. Your DNA is no longer your destiny. Believe it or not, within any species (including humans) the DNA is practically the same. According to research from the Human Genome Project1, the DNA of all the people in the world is 99.9% alike, and it is the Epigenome that makes us all so different”.The Human Genome Project revealed the bacteria in our gut outnumber our cells 10 to 1 and plays a critical role in changing our gene expression. As a matter of fact, certain hormones or immune cells cannot be made without these bacteria communicating with our own cells (DNA) to tell them what to become or do.
The Lost Art of FermentationThe good news is that there are other ways to obtain beneficial bacteria like through the use of fermentation. Fermentation is a lost art in healing, and offers trillions of unique bacteria, not just billions found in pills. With the introduction of refrigeration, the process of fermenting food for preservation has become a thing of the past; however, it has had a negative consequence to our good gut bacteria (microbiome). Add to this the overuse of antibiotics and the use of antimicrobial hand sanitizers and cleaners, and we have a new problem that triggers an epidemic of autoimmune diseases. http://healthecells.com/new-science-new-answers-for-autoimmune-conditions/
“The microbiome is our inner-ecosystem of bacteria that occupy our digestive tract. New research is showing that these microbes are there for more than just aiding in digesting food and maintaining good gut health. We now know if certain bacteria are missing, or are present in very low numbers, our immune system will go on a vicious attack against our own tissues (autoimmunity). Inflammation is part of a normal immune response and is needed to activate the immune system. However, if it is not turned off, it becomes chronic and can lead to autoimmune conditions and many other modern day diseases”. http://drpompa.com/additional-resources/health-tips/248-the-autoimmune-answer-microbiome-epigentics-chemical-stress-three-legged-stool
Obtaining beneficial bacteria is not as simple as just buying a probiotic, we also need to take away the foods that are feeding the bad bacteria, and if we have an autoimmune disorder, it is also very likely we also have Leaky Gut, or Dysbiosis, leading to inflammation in the body.
The first advice I gave my client was to either make or purchase a particular type of yogurt, (fermented using colostrum), which is not your usual yogurt. It is made with key ingredients chosen to help activate the Macrophages in the immune system, much of which resides within the gut. This can be purchased online, or can be made at home following the recipe here.
“But the gut and its dysfunctional microbiome is not the only trigger for autoimmune disorders, there is usually a stressor of some sort which is often an infection and environmental stress such as toxins and heavy metals or physical and emotional stress. These factors all come together in our modern day lifestyles to create autoimmunity. All these factors must be addressed in order to reverse the symptoms of autoimmunity. It requires a multi faceted approach, but it is possible to do”.
By the time your body has developed a diagnosed illness, the process of this disease will have been well underway for decades. Years of exposure to toxins can change your genetic expression (Epigenetics) and can often culminate in a multitude of symptoms.
Something that is common with Hypothyroidism is Pernicious Anemia. I discovered I had pernicious anemia through my own investigations, by using bioresonance and confirming this by testing my genetic polymorphisms, but my blood serum levels were high in B12 which through me off the path when it came to establishing what was the cause of my anemia. Each doctor advised me I had to stop supplementing it, but I wasn’t. Not one practitioner was aware that B12 serum levels are usually high when one cannot produce Intrinsic Factor;
“Pernicious anemia is one of a number of autoimmune diseases, including Hashimito’s disease, type 1 diabetes, vitiligo and hypo-adrenalism, which may coexist together. Antibodies against specific tissue antigens can help to diagnose specific conditions. Pernicious anemia is characteristically diagnosed by the presence of intrinsic factor antibodies (IFABs). However, autoimmune profiles done in patients as part of overall assessments of various endocrinologies and other autoimmune disorders can reveal antibodies which may be associated with pernicious anemia (IFAB, anti-parietal cell antibody), raising the possibility of co-existent pernicious anemia”. http://patient.info/doctor/pernicious-anaemia-and-b12-deficiency#ref-8
Intrinsic factor needs good stomach acid and chronic illness’s often result in low stomach acid, often miss-diagnosed as too much and made worse by prescribing proton pump inhibitors, as is often the case with modern medicine. If the body is deficient in Intrinsic factor, it cannot utilize B12 in the diet, and as a consequence blood serum levels will often read high. I advised my client to get a detailed thyroid panel test done privately, which included a test for B12 and Folate, and as expected, her levels were very high, both for B12 and Folate, despite not supplementing. A detailed thyroid panel includes results for T3 AND T4 and not just T4 as the NHS may do. Simply looking at levels of T4 will not give a accurate measure of thyroid health. This is how so many people get undiagnosed every year, and so continues the cycle of unnecessary suffering.
The dire consequence of not having B12 in the diet is of course becoming anemic, the danger of anemia is low blood oxygenation leading to potentially serious conditions;
“People who have pernicious anemia have red blood cells that are too large and do not divide as they should. These red blood cells have trouble getting out of the person’s bone marrow. Lacking sufficient numbers of red blood cells to carry oxygen to their body, the person may feel weak and tired. Pernicious anemia that is either long-lasting or severe can lead to damages to the person’s brain, heart, or other organs in their body. Additional complications related to pernicious anemia can arise. Neurological problems including memory loss, the potential for nerve damage, as well as issues with the person’s digestive tract can occur. Persons with pernicious anemia may also be at a higher risk for stomach cancer.”
What I concluded from my research into pernicious anemia, is that your GP will unlikely look further into the causes, because the serum blood test is unreliable, there are many other test to confirm PA such as;
- Serum LDH
- Schilling Test
- Reticulocyte Count
- Complete Blood Count
- Serum vitamin B12 Level
- Bone Marrow Examination
- Serum Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Level
- Measurement of Serum Holotranscobalamin II
‘Something very affordable and easy to take, and yet it took tremendous research to establish what to do about my lack of B12’. http://waverlywellness.co.uk/nutritional-therapy/
The Ketogenic Diet.Keto-adaptation is a very high fat, low carbohydrate diet. So low in carbohydrates that the brain, which typically uses glucose for energy, adapts to the use of something known as ketones. The brain cannot use fat for energy like all the other organs in the body, so with the lack of glucose it must break fat down into ketones to function. More and more research is supporting the use of this old method that was used as far back as the 1920’s in mainstream medical practice for the management and treatment of diabetes and seizures. The hope in modern medicine had caused this practice to fall out of favor, but ironically, it has re-emerged because of the failures of modern medicine in treating so many chronic diseases. Keto-adaptation is now being used for not just diabetes and seizures, but weight loss resistance, metabolic syndrome, neuro-degenerative brain conditions, autism, severe gut disorders and autoimmune conditions like Celiac and Crohn’s disease.
There is increasing belief within the Complimentary Medicine world that metals, specifically Mercury, may be one of the key causes behind Thyroid disorders. Most commonly mercury from Amalgam fillings, and my client has many.
“Women with high mercury exposures are more than twice as likely to have higher levels of antibodies that are associated with autoimmune disorders.A large study of women in the United States indicates a link between mercury exposure and elevated levels of a thyroid antibody that is often higher in women with autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and lupus”. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/2012/01/2012-0320-mercury-linked-thyroid-antibody
“An average mercury amalgam filling releases approximately 10 micrograms of mercury daily into the body. The significance of this is that mercury vapor is being immediately and continuously introduced into all of the most absorbent tissues of the body i.e., mouth, lungs and digestive tract. Consequently, mercury is continuously being deposited into the tissues and cells of the body. Mercury is the second most deadly poison known to man, after plutonium. The body recognizes this and immediately sequesters this mercury away in organs where it will do the least short-term damage. The primary storage sites are the brain, thyroid, liver and adrenals. Placing the mercury in these areas gets them out of the blood stream where immediate damage is then avoided. Unfortunately, the long-term affect is very troublesome, and much more difficult to relate to the mercury effect.” Dr David Kennedy.Toxins in general appear to be drawn towards the thyroid;
“The thyroid is also extremely vulnerable to pesticides, heavy metals, and industrial pollutants. This is partly due to the fact that certain pesticides and common environmental toxins (chlorine, fluorine, and bromine) accumulate in the thyroid because they are chemically similar to iodine, which the thyroid naturally absorbs. Also, since the thyroid is a very fast metabolizer, it encounters more toxins. So a gentle, total-body detox to safely remove pesticides, heavy metals, and other risky chemical compounds is important for thyroid health”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/whats-behind-the-secret-e_b_2915186.html
Client Case Study.
My client is fantastic to work with as she is keen to help herself, and also willing to take the necessary tests to establish what is going on underneath the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, so I took time to establish what those test should be, by testing we can observe improvement and without testing we are really stabbing in the dark. We are awaiting results to various tests such as;
Thyroid Auto Antibody screen, Liver function, Vitamin D3, Blood Toxic Elements Screen (for metals), Vitamin Profile: A,C,E, carotenes, B1,B2,B6, and Plasma Mineral Screen with RBC Magnesium. Wisely, she wishes to know precisely how to balance her vitamin and mineral status to improve her health.
Watch this space……
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