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Monday, October 24, 2016

A new therapeutic branch point for hypothyroidism: But she was doing all the right things

Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS*, advises Cyrex Labs .  Here’s his story:

“Shannon” is a 57-year-old personal trainer who’d been experiencing fatigue, unexplained weight gain, dry hair, dry skin, constipation, and brain fog.  She felt that her energy was being zapped.  These symptoms were very disconcerting to her, making her not a model trainer for other people to observe.  She started to get frustrated that her health was not what it should be, especially because she’d been doing all the right things:  eating right, exercising, etc., but her body wasn’t responding as she’d expected.  People often come to an office like ours when they’ve been doing all the right things, but are still getting worse, like Shannon.

She presented to the clinic with hypothyroidism [underactive thyroid gland], which seemed to be getting worse.  I’ve seen this multiple times.  This is why we want to let people know they have multiple choices, not just one choice.  For a lot of people, especially women, diagnosed with thyroid issues, what’s evaluated are the regular thyroid markers like TSH [Thyroid Stimulating Hormone], T3, etc.  They’ll find that the TSH is elevated, and the T4 is low.  When that pattern is there and they have those symptoms, you say, OK, this person needs thyroid hormone, so you order Synthroid.  

But that doesn’t always work because there may be an underlying autoimmune problem; the person’s immune system might be attacking their own thyroid.  But thyroid antibodies aren’t checked enough; that’s rarely done.  That’s important because when TPO [Thyroid peroxidate] antibodies are elevated, it indicates an autoimmune problem is causing an imbalance.  Knowing that creates a new therapeutic branch point to treat the person comprehensively.  There’s a fork in the road:  either the provider doesn’t care about thyroid antibodies, or he or she investigates the autoimmune component.

We can test for the antibodies, which helps us identify the trigger.  In Shannon’s case, no one had bothered to look at her thyroid antibodies.  They were quite elevated, indicating she had an autoimmune problem going on.  The Cyrex Array 3 and Array 2 tests showed she had “leaky gut” [i.e., she had gaps in her intestinal gut barrier wall] and gluten sensitivity.  These triggered the autoimmune effect on her thyroid.  (This is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.)  No one had addressed that; that’s why she wasn’t getting better.  

If the person can stay away from gluten and we can fix their gut barrier, we can put this all into remission, and keep it there.  We did, and she did great!  Her brain fog, constipation, weight gain, etc., got better, once her thyroid was regulated without the regular attack on her thyroid.  Without the Cyrex tests, we wouldn’t have been able to identify her triggers for the autoimmune condition.

This takes the guesswork out.  Hormones are the body’s communication system.  Just the thyroid hormone alone influences lots of other hormones, like female reproductive hormones, and neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin and dopamine, so if the thyroid is off, multiple systems are affected.

Thanks to Dr. Larson for the interview, and to David Feistel of LFPR for connecting us.  Read another thyroid story.

*Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine; Doctor of Chiropractic; Certified Clinical Nutritionist; Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

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