The Thyroid Epidemic

Are You Gaining Weight, Losing Weight, Fatigued, Too Much Energy, Diminished Sex Drive, Severe PMS, Losing Hair, Sleeping Too Much, Insomnia, Brittle Nails?   Could it be an Autoimmune Disease is Attacking Your Thyroid?

The title of this article has a lot of contradictory symptoms in it; well thyroid disease is very contradictory in this modern unhealthy world.   Thyroid diseases are actually very rare but they have reached epidemic numbers; there I go again a contradiction but it is true.   Why because autoimmune diseases are involved here and autoimmune diseases are a total contradiction when you look closely.

Medical science has identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases at this point and suspects at least an additional 40 exist, unnamed.   Here are some examples of well known and dangerous autoimmune diseases; muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's (ALS) Disease, Parkinson's,  Crohns disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Hepatitis C, Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.   And though they have been with us for a long time medical science cannot explain why and has not found a cure for even one.

I know you are thinking the same thoughts that I did when I discovered I had cancer.   I take good care of myself, I eat good food, I only have fast food once or twice a week; I am like everyone else, why me?   Well, why not you, especially if you are like everyone else.   Because just about everyone else is also having some kind of health problem in this unhealthy world of ours.   Try this; write down 6 diseases you can think of, then one at a time do a search on the web of that disease and add the word epidemic to it.   You will find that more then half of them have reached the epidemic numbers of 1 out of every 4 people getting that disease.   Oh, and do not bother putting cancer, heart disease or thyroid disease because they are epidemics.    That is why if you are like everyone else then you are sick and you will soon have a disease.   I am sorry, this is how bad things have gotten but there are some positive proactive answers so please read on.

The thyroid disease epidemic is an excellent example of one of those many autoimmune diseases running amok in the world.   The first recognized autoimmune disease was Hashimoto's disease; it is an autoimmune disease where the body's own T-cells attack the cells of the thyroid causing less hormones to be released (recognized as the leading cause of hypothyroid disease).   Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease, is an abnormal immune system response that attacks the thyroid gland, and causes an over production of thyroid hormones (recognized as the leading cause of 95% of hyperthyroid disease).   Notice that both of these autoimmune diseases are respectively the leading cause of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid diseases.   And you thought that thyroid disease was simply hyper or hypo thyroid disease and who would suspect that an autoimmune disease had anything to do with the thyroid or maybe you did.

Now here is a shocking revelation.  This is how easy you can catch an autoimmune disease today like Hashimoto's or Graves';  after food poisoning, exposure to chemicals, a vaccination, an injury (such as in an auto accident), severe exercise, exposure to mold, and even minor stretching of unused muscles.  It can happen to a woman after a cesarean section.   The continual and persistent use of over the counter nonsteroidal pain killers (NSAIDs) such as aspirin is suspected as autoimmune disease triggers.   Also it seems that our liberal use of the vaccinations we are giving our children (they are now receiving up to 30 of them) can lead to autoimmune diseases.   The overuse of antibiotics, and exposure to septic environments is also known to be directly responsible for the increased incidence of the many autoimmune disorders and even a stressful situation such as losing your job can trigger one.   One good note here; you cannot catch an autoimmune disease from someone else but you begin to wonder, "Is it OK to sneeze?"

Here is a medical definition of autoimmune disease "A process in which the body's immune system causes illness by mistakenly attacking healthy cells, organs, or tissues in the body that are essential for good health.   Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, along with systematic lupis erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and many others.   The precise origin and pathophysiologic processes of these diseases are unknown" World of MS website, www.msif.org, 2003.

Symptoms of Graves' Disease:
All right you have done something to start Graves' disease; what do you feel, what are your symptoms?   If you have Graves' disease, of course you have an autoimmune disease which usually arises after an infection or physical or emotional stress as I said before.   Symptoms include an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), nervousness, heat intolerance, weight loss, sweating, diarrhea, tremors, palpitations and exophthalmos (swelling of the tissue behind the eyeballs causing protrusion of the eyeball).

Other Symptoms of Graves' Disease:
Shortness of breath, Weakness, Fatigue, Pretibial myxedema (lumpy, reddish-colored thickening of the skin, usually on the shins), Double vision, Muscle wasting, Increased eye tearing, Infrequent or absent menstrual periods, Abnormal breast enlargement (men), Increased hair loss, Diminished sex drive, Brittle nails.   The body's processes, including digestion, speed up with this disorder.   A speeding up of digestion can cause the malabsorption of nutrients, so a nutritionally complete diet is crucial.

Graves' Disease Thyroid Storm:
Graves' disease, may lead to life-threatening heart, liver, or kidney failure.   Thyroid storm begins suddenly and may be caused by a stressful event.

Symptoms of Thyroid Storm:
Extreme irritability, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, vomiting, high fever, delirium and coma.   Left untreated, it can be fatal.

Symptoms of Hashimoto's Disease:
Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis might include symptoms of hyperthyroidism in the early stage of the disease, and then hypothyroidism.   Weight gain, anxiety, depression, mania, bipolar, fatigue, panic attacks, bradycardia, tachycardia, high cholesterol, reactive hypoglycemia, constipation, migraines, memory loss, infertility and hair loss are a few possible symptoms.

Below is the Long List for Hashimoto's Symptoms:
Anemia, Brain fog, Chest pains, Cold intolerance plus cold hands and feet, Constipation, Depression, Difficulty recovering from infections, Dry skin, Early graying of hair, Exhaustion after exercise, Frequent colds and flu, Headaches and/or Migraines, Infertility and/or Miscarriage, Low basal temperature, Low libido, Muscle cramps Tender muscles, Hair loss, Restless leg syndrome, Cold weather exacerbation of symptoms, Severe PMS, Sleep disturbances, Slowed speech and ankle reflexes, Tender, Tired, aching muscles, Weak, brittle nails, Weight gain

OK, Now We are Getting into the Good News:
This is my Naturopathic definition, origin and answer to autoimmune disease, "Your immune system has stopped recognizing you and is now attacking you as though some part of you was a foreign substance.   The origin of the disease is an inadequate diet (American), exposure to toxins and pollutants, toxic body from poor elimination, lack of exercise, too much stress and a poor spiritual base."   The answer to autoimmune diseases is just simple common sense, "proper diet, reduce exposure to toxins and pollutants then eliminate those your body has through cleansing and detoxing, get into a reasonable exercise program, weed the stress out of your life, and seriously search for your spiritual base."   I recognize that you may have some of these under control such as exercise or spiritual base but what about the others.  Read below to understand what you must do today to undo the problems your body is facing.


Enzymes, the Absorption of Nutrition and Disease Prevention
You can eat, and take the best multi-Vitamins, and it will do you absolutely no good if there are no enzymes to digest it.   The information about enzymes is getting out but you may not have heard about them yet; here is a thumbnail sketch.   Almost everyone thinks that it is stomach acid that digests your food; not true.   Stomach acid helps digest your food, the real digestion is done by enzymes.   Enzymes break the food down to the molecule level so assimilation of nutrients can take place.   There are many different kinds of enzymes the ones we are interested in are digestive enzymes.

There are three types of digestive enzymes; amylase, protease and lipase.  Amylase breaks down carbohydrates, protease digests proteins and lipase breaks down fats.   Our body can produce enzymes, we can get enzymes when we eat uncooked, unprocessed and irradiated foods and we can take enzyme supplements.   We produce less of these enzymes as we get older.   This is why it is so important that we eat a diet that contains 75% fruit and vegetables (the majority of these should be raw) and about 25% high protein meat, dairy, and whole grain products.   Whether you are young or old, these enzymes are crucial to you; without enough of these enzymes you will have a poor level of health, you will have a number of diseases and you will be on many medications.   I have personally seen people with four different diseases (thyroid is always one of them) taking 20 different medications, totally nuts.   One of them told me, "I am afraid that I will not live to see my son graduate from high school".

Diet and Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases
Why change your diet when you just want your thyroid disease to go away?    The answer to this question is that the physical foundation of your body depends on your nutrition.   It is exactly like the old saying, "you are what you eat."   You cannot avoid it because you are exactly what you eat.   So if you do not like what you see or what you are feeling, neither does your immune system; you better take a close look at what you are bringing home from the market.

You just have to look around you today to notice something is wrong; thyroid disease along with many other diseases has reached epidemic numbers (1 in 4 people have thyroid disease in the U.S.).   So many people are overweight (see my article "America Is Number One, The Fattest Industrialized Country In The World, With 74% Of Our People Overweight And 25% Obese"), it is obvious that something is wrong with the nutrition they are putting in their bodies.   They are not just overweight they are also sick.   About 80% of Americans are on medication and so are most kids over 12 years of age.   This is somewhat like watching a group of people going over a cliff right in front of you and you can't do a thing to stop it, just watch.   So if you do not want to be one of them and you want your health and your body to come out the way you want it; you need to change the nutritional materials you are using.

Medical fact; your body is constantly being rebuilt and over a seven year period every cell has been replaced, you are a new person including your thyroid glands.    Your thyroid requires proper nutrition to function optimally and certain Vitamins and minerals are essential to the thyroid glands health (see the list of whole food Vitamins and minerals below, those in bold are directly specific to the thyroid gland)

How to change the nutritional materials you are eating in our modern world is not easy.   The easy part is telling you what you should be bringing into your body to do the construction, but where do you get the right materials.   Your average grocery store is a nutritional disaster; loaded with refined garbage and irradiated produce.   They worry more about shelf life then what happens to you when you eat their stuff.   Health food stores can help; they carry organic vegetables, fruit and whole food products.   But it is expensive and they also have a hard time keeping organic produce on their shelves.

I have been involved with naturopathic medicine and nutrition for over 20 years and I find it difficult to locate whole foods that are truly nutritional in any market or restaurant. The odds are stacked against you having any better luck than I do.   So I supplement to make sure that I keep a balance of Vitamins and minerals beyond what I eat and I suggest you do the same thing.   Why allow yourself and your family to be caught up in the same health crisis you see everywhere today.

Very Important Note About Vitamins:

Basic law of nature and another scientific fact (see article, "The Truth About Vitamins"), if your Vitamin supplement is not from food you cannot absorb it!   It is the great basic law of nature; we depend on plants for our nutrition.   Think of this, if all the plants on this planet died, all living creatures would be doomed because without the plants there is no food.   Our scientists could not help us because they cannot create nutrition from earth only plants and God/nature can do that.

What does that mean to you?   It means if your Vitamin supplement does not say the words somewhere on the label "Whole Food Vitamins", "Made From Whole Foods" or "Food Vitamins", do not waste your money on it because it is synthetic and you cannot absorb it.   I know, I know, I also have spent thousands on the stuff in my 64 years!

Below, is what your Whole Food Multi-Vitamin supplement should contain.   I also listed some of the problems of deficiency you might recognize.   Plus, as I stated above those listed in bold are the Vitamins that directly or indirectly influence how the thyroid gland functions.   Some of the information below is from past articles I have written on similar subjects.

Vitamin A
Essential, either directly or indirectly, for the proper functioning of most organs of the body and may prevent stress-induced immunological disorders.

Vitamin C
If, you are not getting enough Vitamin C you may be tired, you may bruise easily, and you may just feel generally ill.   In a food form, Vitamin C has over 15.6 times the antioxidant effect as synthetic Vitamin C.

Vitamin D
It appears that our need for Vitamin D has been under-estimated and it is not as toxic as was initially thought.   Vitamin D has a direct secondary role that stimulates thyroxin production by the thyroid.

Vitamin E
Food Vitamin E has up to 4.0 times the free radical scavenging strength compared to synthetic.

Vitamin K
Known for the synthesis of normal blood coagulation factors.   Vitamin K-dependent proteins were revealed to be of vital importance for bone and vascular health.

Thiamin B-1
Thiamin supplements have been shown to improve mood and mental function and to relieve stress and muscle tension.

Riboflavin B-2
People today have an increased need for Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) in stressful situations and it is the most common of Vitamin deficiencies. Highly beneficial, for anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

Niacinamide B-3 (called the happy Vitamin)
A deficiency of this Vitamin can cause depression. Left untreated, it can lead to psychosis and dementia. Symptoms of a deficiency include agitation, anxiety, and mental lethargy.

Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) levels are typically quite low in depressed patients, especially women taking birth-control pills or other forms of estrogens.

Folate
Depression is the most common symptom of a folic acid deficiency. Other symptoms of folic acid deficiency are fatigue, apathy, and dementia.

B-12
Recent studies have shown that there is a definite benefit to be gained by giving Vitamin B-12 to patients suffering from depression, fatigue and mental illnesses of other kinds. Even a slight deficiency of B-12 is found to produce marked symptoms.

Biotin
Necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated.

Pantothenate
Low levels can lead to sleep disturbances, headaches, gastrointestinal distress and fatigue.

Iron
Indications are that iron deficiency impairs thyroid metabolism by preventing iodine absorption.

Iodine
Iodine in food form is required by humans for the production of thyroid hormones.   Persistent iodine insufficiency can lead to various health problems, including thyroid gland dysfunction (including goiter) and assorted neurologic, gastrointestinal, and skin abnormalities.

Zinc
A deficiency of zinc will depress the immune system and leave you at higher risk of infection and can increase the possibility of a thyroid hormonal imbalance.

Selenium
There appears to be a correlation between selenium and early miscarriage, male infertility, mood problems, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.   New England Journal, "selenium deficiency can result in thyroid injury and decreased extrathyroidal triiodothyronine production".

Copper
An improper balance of copper and zinc can lead to thyroid problems (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism).   Low copper levels can also lead to iron deficiency anemia and impaired iron assimilation.

Manganese
Low levels of manganese can contribute to iodine-deficiency which could lead to a thyroid imbalance.

Chromium GTF
Higher chromium levels are associated with a lower incidence of diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Molybdenum
Dietary molybdenum deficiency is rare in healthy people. However, if the body does not get enough molybdenum, certain enzymes needed by the body are affected. This may lead to a build up of unwanted substances in some people.

Beta-carotene
Your body uses beta-carotene (a precursor) to produce the Vitamin A that it needs; no Vitamin overdose can occur with food Beta-Carotene.   Vitamin A resists the oxidative stress that can harm brain cells as you age, decreasing your risk of dementia.  Beta-Carotene also helps avert eye problems such as night blindness and skin disorders.   Increases immunity, protects you against toxins, cancer, skin disorders, colds, flu, and infections.

Beta Glucans
Beta-glucan, a fiber-type polysaccharide (sugar compound) that comes from the cellular walls of yeast, oat and barley fiber, and mushrooms.   Beta-glucan is for the most part used to strengthen your immune system.   Research has found that beta-glucan activates white blood cells (macrophages and neutrophils), which provide the immune system's first lines of security against foreign material in the body.

Boron
Boron is a vital trace mineral that is needed by the body to build healthy bones and proper brain operation.   It helps minimize the loss of calcium and magnesium through urination, which is needed to help build strong bones.   Boron helps maintain healthy cell membranes and facilitates various enzyme reactions.   Deficiencies of boron may impair mental performance and decrease mental alertness.   The highest concentrations of boron are found in the bone, spleen, and thyroid.   This indicates boron's probable role in hormone metabolism.   This is believed to influence muscle mass and strength; help maintain bone density and calcium absorption while decreasing body fat.

Choline
May be helpful in strengthening the liver, slowing memory loss, and preventing Alzheimer's.   Choline makes acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter needed for brain and memory function.   Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients typically have low levels of acetylcholine in their brains.   Recent studies show that choline is particularly important for healthy brain function in newborns.   A Whole Food supplement of choline is considered beneficial for mood, mental acuity and heart health.

Co-Enzyme Q10
It is a naturally occurring fat-soluble antioxidant, necessary to the functioning of every cell in our bodies.  It is produced by our body and found everywhere in nature, it is essential for life.   Protects our bodies against free radical damage and exerts a protective effect on cell membranes.    Low levels bring on high blood pressure, heart attack and heart disease, immune system deterioration, low energy, weight gain and obesity.   Supplementing with whole food CO-Q-10 can naturally stimulate the immune system and result in a wider range of beneficial effects for the health of the heart, increased energy and strength.

Warning Note Co-Enzyme Q10: If you are on a drug for high cholesterol; those drugs are known to deplete your levels of Co-Enzyme Q10.   Consult with your doctor regarding supplementing to maintain your levels at normal (see my article "The Cholesterol Myth").   A symptom of low levels of Co-Enzyme Q10 is leg muscle problems.

Inositol
Studies have found that it may help patients who suffer from depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.   Helps protect cells from oxidation and is an important aspect in the building of cell membranes.   Helps prevent too much fat from being stored in the liver.   Low levels of Inositol can cause health conditions such as hair loss, diabetic imbalance, and possible anxiety and depression disorders.

PABA
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, irritability, depression, nervousness, headache, constipation, and other digestive disorders.

Silicon
Silicon has been recently regarded as an essential mineral required by the body to live.   It is needed for the optimal growth and helps strengthen and reduce the permeability of the extra-cellular matrix in connective tissues including the arteries, trachea, tendon, bone, teeth and skin.   Silicon facilitates healing in the body and helps to build the immune system.

Vanadium
Regarded as an essential mineral, vanadium is required by the body to live.   It is necessary for tooth and bone development. Vanadium also plays a major role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and assists in the metabolism of cholesterol and blood lipids.   Too little vanadium, leads to a higher risk for cardiovascular and kidney related diseases.

Cleansing and Detoxing for Thyroid and Other Autoimmune Diseases
Detoxification, which is the elimination of poisons or toxins, includes a wide variety of treatments that aim at getting rid of the body's toxins and improve health.   Although we have a natural detoxification system in our body such as our liver, lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and skin that all work to eliminate the toxins we take in, the huge amount of contaminants and toxins in today's environment presents too challenging of a job for our body to handle on its own.   Many of the toxins and pollutants that are found in the food we eat, the water that we drink and the air we breathe are too toxic.  They can not be destroyed by digestive enzymes, detoxified by the liver, or eliminated by the immune system and bowel.   These build up and affect every part of our body, slowing our metabolism, taking our energy, reducing our immunity, leading to serious autoimmune and other chronic illnesses.   Below are listed some toxins and pollutants that have come out of people during a cleanse and detox process.

Insecticides, lead, aluminum silver, gold, selenium, mercury, cadmium, strontium, cesium, and many kinds of inorganic dust including traces of nerve gases.  Other Chemicals: Phenol, Cadaverin, Agamatine, Indol, Sulphurretted Hydrogen, Cresol, Butyric Acid, Botulin, Putrescin, Urrobilin, Histidine, Ammonia, Muscarine, Methylmercaptan, Indican, Methygandinine, Idoethylamine, Sulpherroglobine, Ptomarropine, Pentamethy Lendiamine, Neurin, Sepsin, Teflon poison.

These are just the tip of the iceberg with over 10,000 chemicals in the air, water, and food in America, 3,000 of which have never been tested for toxicity.   It's no wonder so many autoimmune diseases are reaching epidemic numbers, and modern medicine admits "we do not understand the cause for these diseases".   Of course, if they do not understand the cause how could they possibly keep up with what is going on.   They just keep on handing out more of the same old drugs for your symptoms which are part of the problem.

The answer to this is clean as much of this stuff out of your body as fast as you can.   I do suggest a certain style of cleansing and detoxing, one that I have used personally for more then 20 years for four big reasons.   One, I personally used this one on myself (see article (Seasonal Cleansing and Detoxing) when I was deathly ill with cancer, and it worked beyond my greatest expectations (see my biography).   Two, I personally know of at least twenty people who have used this program who were at least as sick as I was and it worked for them.   Three, this is probably the oldest cleansing and detoxing program in this country and possibly the world.  For myself, I appreciate a long successful track record when it comes to my health and I am sure that you do to.   Four, this program is very easy to use as the herbs are in small micro doses and so cause a very gentle cleansing and detoxing action.


Herbs to Take for Thyroid Disease

See my article "Thyroid Disease, A Naturopathic Answer"

Summation
Why, do we have these disease problems?  Well, as a naturopath I say look at the basics; we are violating just about every natural law in how we take care of ourselves and our environment.   Nature and our bodies will tolerate just so much abuse before things begin to go wrong.   We are now seeing abominations like the proliferation of the autoimmune diseases that we see today.   But for you who have thyroid disease, solving your problem is the most important priority right now.   I will be frank with you; the drug industry does not have a realistic answer for thyroid support.   Drugs can be a way to stabilize your situation temporarily but to use those drugs does not address the root of the problem only the symptoms.   Through your thyroid disease, your body is saying something is wrong with the way you are living.   If you only address this disease signal your body is sending you with drugs, without addressing the real cause, it will break out again as another disease and so on.

 
 
Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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