In this show, we discuss all things thyroid with my friend and thyroid pharmacist, Izabella Wentz.
Izabella is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lifestyle Interventions for Healing and Treating the Root Cause.
Almost 100,000 people have read her book and are on their way to better thyroid health.
Here’s what we talk about during the show:
- Her story of losing 10 years of her life to undiagnosed Hashimoto’s
- What the thyroid does and how it gets dis-regulated
- How to mitigate or eliminate panic attacks, anxiety, and depression by healing your thyroid
- The best labs to run to get a proper diagnosis and what the ranges should be (hint: most people’s lab work comes back “normal”, yet they feel terrible and have been likely building Hashimoto’s and autoimmunity for years)
- Medication comparison of Synthroid, Armor, Naturthroid, and WP Thyroid
- Why Hashimoto’s is truly a whole body condition
- The thyroid-gut connection
- The top 3 thyroid foods to avoid and the top 3 to consume
For those of you who want to go deeper into how to heal your thyroid and hack your Hashimoto’s, check out Izabella’s program, Hacking Hashimoto’s, with you where you can identify the root of your thyroid disorder and work with her step-by-step to heal it.
Every one of us has a thyroid we need to take care of – it is the make it or break it gland regarding how we feel and operate on a day-to-day basis.
This show is for YOU because I love you and your thyroid! 🙂
P.S. – show notes are below
Dr. Wentz struggled with hair loss and extreme fatigue (sleeping through most of her twenties) for almost a decade. It took multiple doctors visits before she realized that she had thyroid disease.
What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of our neck. This gland is responsible for our metabolism (energy, digestion, body temperature) and affects the thyroid receptor cells that are found in every single cell in our body.
Hypothyroid & Hyperthyroid
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid condition and is caused by an underactive thyroid (slowing down). This is usually characterized by fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, and weight gain.
Hyperthyroidism is less common and is caused by an overabundance of thyroid hormone (speeding up). Common symptoms are heart palpitations, anxiety, weight loss and sometimes fatigue. Protruding eyes and thyroid cancer are also conditions that can accompany hyperthyroidism.
Izabella tells the story of a client who was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized with a psychotic disorder. After finding Izabella’s website, the client realized that she had the early stages of Hashimoto’s and was able to control the disease with the appropriate hormones and lifestyle interventions. Her client was able to stop taking all of her psychiatric medications and start a new chapter in her life, which included getting married and starting a family.
What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid. Izabella believes that up to 90% of all hypothyroidism is actually Hashimoto’s. Many people are not aware that they have this condition because most physicians do not run the appropriate lab tests to diagnose the condition. The most common lab test used to check for Hashimoto’s is TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). This test is not always accurate because the original samples that were used to create the reference range came from many people who had hypothyroidism. Izabella explains that the optimal TSH level for women who are in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s is 1.0.
Beyond TSH – Additional Tests
Thyroid Antibody labs: TG (Thyroglobulin) and TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase).
These labs test for autoimmunity and can help detect Hashimoto’s in the early stages. Results from this test can show up about a decade before Hashimoto’s is detected on a TSH test. This early detection can help prevent the need to take thyroid medication for some people.
Even if antibody labs come back negative, about 10% of people will need a thyroid ultrasound to uncover Hashimoto’s.
T3 free levels & T4 free levels- these labs measure the active levels of hormones in the body and can reveal a communication breakdown in the body.
Reverse T3 – this lab tests for the hormone that blocks thyroid receptors. It is best to retest this lab at least once a year.
Synthroid (#1 medication prescribed in the US in 2014) is a synthetic T4 that needs to be converted to T3.
Izabella feels that 50-60% of people do not do well on this medication because they do not convert the T4 to T3 well.
Armour Thyroid, Nature Thyroid & WP Thyroid – all three contain T3 (the active form of thyroid) & T4, many people do better on this medication, but results vary from person to person.
“Hashimoto’s is more than just a thyroid condition – it is a whole body condition.”
Common ways that Hashimoto’s shows up in the body
• Nutrient deficiencies
• Food sensitivities
• Impaired stress response
• Inability to detoxify properly
• Gut issues
• Chronic infections
Vitamin D deficiency is very common with autoimmunity.
Izabella recommends testing (and retesting twice annually) Vitamin D levels to determine appropriate supplementation – usually 1,000 IU to 5,000 IU
B12 – common symptoms of a deficiency are memory loss & fatigue.
B1 Thiamine – 600 mg per day for 3-5 days to see positive results. Thiamine can help improve energy levels and help stabilize blood sugar.
The Gut-Thyroid Connection – A Root Cause
According to Dr. Alessio Fesano, three things need to be present for autoimmunity to take place:
1. Genetic predisposition
2. A Trigger
3. Intestinal Permeability
Izabella had personal experience with irritable bowel and acid reflux before being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.
Common infections she sees with her clients are H. Pylori and Blastocystis hominis.
Addressing these infections can help people reduce thyroid antibodies and either reduce or eliminate thyroid meds.
- Gluten free – important in helping to reverse thyroid antibodies (even without Celiac disease)
- Soy free – can interfere with thyroid function
- Dairy free, Grain free diets – 80% of people feel better removing these from their diets
Izabella’s favorite 3 foods for thyroid health – broccoli, avocados & organic meats