The Thyroid Epidemic
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
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.
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.
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
where the body's own T-cells attack the
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
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
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
as I said before. Symptoms include an enlarged thyroid gland
(goiter), nervousness, heat intolerance, weight loss, sweating,
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
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.
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.
Extreme irritability, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate,
vomiting, high fever, delirium and coma. Left untreated, it can be
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Essential, either directly or indirectly, for the proper
functioning of most organs of the body and may prevent
stress-induced immunological disorders.
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.
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.
Food Vitamin E
up to 4.0 times the free radical
scavenging strength compared to synthetic.
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 supplements have been shown to improve mood and mental
function and to relieve stress and muscle tension.
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 B6 (pyridoxine) levels are typically quite low in
depressed patients, especially women taking birth-control pills or
other forms of estrogens.
Depression is the most common symptom of a folic acid
deficiency. Other symptoms of folic acid deficiency are fatigue,
apathy, and dementia.
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.
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
Low levels can lead to sleep disturbances, headaches,
gastrointestinal distress and fatigue.
Indications are that
metabolism by preventing iodine absorption.
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
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.
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".
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.
Low levels of manganese can contribute to iodine-deficiency which
could lead to a thyroid imbalance.
Higher chromium levels are associated with a lower incidence of
diabetes and atherosclerosis.
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.
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-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 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.
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.
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
Cholesterol Myth"). A symptom of low levels of
Co-Enzyme Q10 is leg muscle problems.
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.
Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, irritability, depression,
and other digestive disorders.
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.
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.
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
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
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"
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.