Thyroid Confusion - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

Thyroid Confusion

February 6, 2012

Currently there is an epidemic of hypothyroidism that most doctors can’t properly diagnose because blood tests aren’t accurate enough. The most common cause of primary hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own thyroid cells. This condition is proven by finding thyroid antibodies in the blood.

Allopathic—or as I like to call it—allopathetic medicine thinks that’s the end of the story. If you have thyroid antibodies, therefore you have Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism. The standard treatment is synthetic thyroid hormone replacement and that’s that.

But the question arises, from inquiring minds that actually use their brains for thinking. What causes the body to attack the thyroid gland? Allopathetic medicine says the cause is unknown.

A relatively unknown cause that I ascribe to is the cross reactivity of candida yeast toxins with thyroid tissue. Yes, it’s possible that an overgrowth of yeast is blocking your thyroid receptors. Read my article, Yeast and Inflammation to understand more about this condition.

I decided to write this blog because recently a well-known nutritionist, Donna Gates, leapt into the thyroid fray in a recent blog: Don’t Make These 2 Common Mistakes with Your Thyroid!

Donna says you shouldn’t supplement with iodine, which is also the allopathetic approach.

For a rebuttal, I went to my friend Dr. Roby Mitchell, who says “Most practitioners are operating from “conventional wisdom” paradigms. Conventional wisdom is misinformation that continues to be perpetuated simply because it continues to get repeated by so called experts. The typical mistake with iodine supplementation is the shallow understanding that its only role is as a substrate for the formation of thyroid hormone. Not so. Every cell in the body needs iodine and iodide is also required to prevent attack from the sea of microbes they are surrounded by. Our bodies are saturated by 10 times more germs than human cells. Iodine supplementation serves the same purpose in the body that its chemical cousin chlorine does in a swimming pool or municipal water supply; it prevents germ overgrowth. Therefore, much more iodide is needed than just for thyroid hormone formation.”

I used to order 24-hr urine tests for iodine on many of my clients. There was not one person who had sufficient iodine in their body. Now I recommend low dose iodine supplementation in the form of Nascent Iodine for most of my clients. See my blog Taking Iodine For Your Thyroid.

Donna also says people are mistaken when they think that thyroid hormone replacement can fix hypothyroidism. And in this instance she is right. She recommends healing the underlying causes of an autoimmune condition by avoiding sugar, grains and processed oils. Which is essentially how I begin to treat thyroid disease.

So, the take home message for thyroid disease is:

1. Read the best overview of thyroid disease, Dr. Mark Starr’s book, Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic
2. Include Free T3, Free T4, TSH and thyroid antibodies in thyroid tests.
3. Go on a yeast free diet.
4. Take low dose iodine for your whole body, not just your thyroid.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to:

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