Autoimmune Thyroid Disorder

A recent client turned up, understandably frustrated, because of her long-term symptoms. These were caused by Hypothyroidism, or were they? We both suspected that a much bigger picture was involved. The thyroid was causing misery-inducing symptoms, such as severe water retention and weight gain, amongst other things. We set out to establish what causes the thyroid to dysfunction, leading to autoimmune hypothyroidism, also known as Hashimotos disease. As suspected, we were opening a can of worms, but I was challenged by the opportunity to help someone while learning about something that might also be affecting me. Our initial assessment established that my client, Ms D, had a fantastic diet, so it was clear that her body wasn’t using the vitamins and minerals she consumed adequately. This suggested malabsorption or inadequate bile flow, which could relate to the liver and gallbladder. We used Bioresonance/Oberon technology to establish if there were any other underlying issues with Ms D’s various systems. Reassuringly, we found that her body was quite healthy and gallbladder function was unusually good (it is common to see inadequate bile flow and gallbladder function with Bioresonance technology, in clients over the age of around 30).
‘My client was relieved to see that her body was otherwise in good shape. We could then focus on the Hypothyroidism’.  http://waverlywellness.co.uk/nutritional-therapy/

Nutritional Deficiency.

Many women are affected by Hyper or Hypothyroidism. This seems to be increasingly common -so why does nobody appear to know what’s causing it? I turned to my most trusted online health forums to elicit first-hand experiences from other women. As expected, there was lots of talk about being low in iodine, vitamins such as Selenium, B12 and Folate, and the link between mercury amalgam fillings and the thyroid. I have been fascinated by iodine deficiency. Several theories exist as to why we would be deficient. The most likely answer is a lack of iodine in our diets. Seafood and seaweed are good sources of iodine, and it is believed that people living far away from the coast are likely to be deficient. Another culprit, more relevant to our modern-day climate, is ‘big agra’- i.e. modern, industrial agricultural practices that deplete minerals in the soil.[2] 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 from thyroid dysfunction years ago, before the era of big agra?

The Liver

The NHS is active in treating people with synthetic hormones. However, I hear many stories about people’s 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 admit to glazing over when people started talking about T3, T4 and TSH levels. I understood that its not easy to obtain an accurate diagnosis of what your levels truly are. T4 or thyroxine is the inactive form thyroid hormone, and T3 or triodothyronine 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, could it be that T4 is not being converted to T3? As I understand, frequently only T4 is tested, leaving an inaccurate picture re the prevailing levels. Apart from the liver, what other organs are involved?

Adrenals

Stress comes up a lot, and was a factor in the case history of my client before she developed thyroid dysfunction. 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 your temperature several times a day and averaging the reading, 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, there may be an issue with the adrenals.

Autoimmune Conditions

One form of hypothyroidism, called Hashimotos, is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. As with approximately 200 other diseases that fall into that category, there are very few answers within mainstream medicine as to why the immune system attacks the body’s own tissue instead of attacking unwanted pathogens.
Many doctors may say that an autoimmune disease is down to our genetics; that we will get the autoimmune conditions related to our genetic weakness. However, research into genetics has found this isn’t quite correct: i.e. 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 that the bacteria in our gut outnumber our cells by a ratio of 10 to 1, and play 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 Fermentation

The good news is that there are other ways to obtain beneficial bacteria – such as the use of fermentation. Fermentation is a lost art in healing, and offers trillions of unique bacteria, not just the billions found in pills. With the introduction of refrigeration, the process of fermenting food for preservation has become a thing of the past. This has had a negative consequence on our good gut bacteria (microbiome). Add to this the overuse of antibiotics and the use of antimicrobial hand sanitisers 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 buying a probiotic. We also need to take away the foods that are feeding the bad bacteria. If we have an autoimmune disorder, it is also likely we have leaky gut, or dysbiosis, leading to inflammation in the body.
The first advice I gave my client was to 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 reside 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.”

Pernicous Anemia.

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 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. My blood serum levels were high in B12, which threw me off the path when it came to establishing the cause of my anemia. Each doctor advised to stop supplementing it. 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 carried out in patients as part of overall assessments of various endocrinologies and other autoimmune disorders can reveal antibodies that 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 illnesses frequently result in low stomach acid, sometimes miss-diagnosed as too much stomach acid and made worse by prescribing proton pump inhibitors. If the body is deficient in intrinsic factor, it cannot use B12 in the diet. As a consequence, blood serum levels may read high. I advised my client to obtain a detailed thyroid panel test done privately, which included a test for B12 and folate. 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 many people are undiagnosed every year, continuing the cycle of unnecessary suffering.
The dire consequence of not having B12 in the diet is anemia. 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.”
From my research into pernicious anemia, I concluded that your GP will unlikely look further into the causes because the serum blood test is unreliable. Many other tests can 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
In my case, I took the advice of others with the same genetic methylation problems, and supplemented the bioavailable form of B12 and folate, known as methycolbalamin and methyolfolate. My symptoms immediately started to improve.
“Something 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. It is 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. Increasingy, research is supporting the use of this old method, that dates to the 1920s, for the management and treatment of diabetes and seizures in mainstream medicine. Previously fallen out of favour, this method has ironically re-emerged because of the failures of modern medicine in treating so many chronic diseases. Keto-adaptation is now being used not just for diabetes and seizures but also for weight loss resistance, metabolic syndrome, neuro-degenerative brain conditions, autism, severe gut disorders and autoimmune conditions such as Celiac and Crohn’s disease.

Toxicity

In the world of complementary medicine, there is increasingly a belief that metals, specifically mercury, may be a key cause of thyroid disorders. Most commonly, mercury from amalgam fillings, and my client has many of those fillings.
“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 recognises 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 metaboliser, 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 willing to take the necessary tests to establish what’s going on underneath the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. 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……
   
Best Kept Secret
 
Low T3 Syndrome I: It’s Not About the Thyroid!
 
Understanding How Your Thyroid Works (Start Here)
  https://www.genome.gov/12011238/an-overview-of-the-human-genome-project/   http://www.easy-immune-health.com/vitamin-b-12-deficiency-symptoms.html   http://patient.info/doctor/pernicious-anaemia-and-b12-deficiency#ref-8   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384703/  

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