THE THYROID GLANDS - T3 - T4
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ABOUT THE THYROID
by Clifford S. Garner, Ph.D.

Natural solutions for HyperThyroid disorders (minoritiy of cases)
Natural solutions for HypoThyroid disorders (majority of cases)

Symptoms T4 & T3 deficiency
Symptoms of T1 deficiency
Weaning off Thyroid medication
Thyroid and ParaThyroid Glands

ABOUT THE THYROID

The thyroid acts sort of like the gas pedal on a car!
 

"When the thyroid output is low, the metabolic engine runs slowly. As a result, fats tend to be stored instead of burned, resulting in weight gain. Also, since the body burns fat primarily to keep warm, body temperature tends to be low. The skin is dry, again due to a lack of proper fat metabolism. Reproductive hormones may also be thrown out of balance (since they are made of fat) and energy levels tend to be low because the metabolism is slow.

With hyperthyroid function the opposite is true; the metabolic engine runs too fast. As a result, fuel burns too quickly, which results in weight loss, intolerance to heat, and hyperactivity and restlessness. For example, some of the specific symptoms associated with Grave's disease include bulging eyes, rapid pulse rate (90-160), heart palpitations, tremors, restlessness and anxiety, lack of periods, muscle weakness and impaired sleep." Steven Horne

In this article we want to tell you about the thyroid gland, its disorders, and better ways of finding if there is a thyroid dysfunction and what to do about it than is offered by orthodox medicine. Perhaps 40-50% of the USA population has a somewhat underactive thyroid.

The ThyroidThe thyroid is an endocrine gland weighing about one ounce and situated essentially under the Adam's apple (or lower part of the larynx).

It consists of two lateral lobes connected by a narrow transverse portion, the isthmus. (The parathyroids are round glands about one-quarter inch in diameter, located in or near the thyroid, and secrete a hormone concerned mainly with metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.)

There are apparently seven hormones secreted by the thyroid, of which we consider here only the four major ones.

Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) have many similar functions, and are controlled mainly by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland.

Only a tiny amount of T3 is secreted. It is the most active, usable form, and the body controls its need by conversion of the more plentiful, but less active, T4 into T3. This conversion is interfered with by stress, and is probably the most common cause of thyroid malfunction.

Some T4 is also converted to an apparently inactive hormone called "reverse T3," which is incorrectly included as active T3 in the interpretation of thyroid blood tests, and a few laboratories are starting to offer reverse T3 testing.

There are at least thirteen known functions of T4 and T3.
These include:

* a doubling of the basal metabolism rate
* increasing the rate of food use for energy (your caloric needs)
* increasing appetite
* increasing secretion of digestive enzymes and peristalsis in the GI tract
* increasing insulin secretion by the pancreas
* increasing both making and breaking down of glucose and absorption of glucose by the cells and the GI tract
* increasing respiratory rate
* increasing heart rate and systolic blood pressure (and decreasing diastolic pressure)
* dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow.

In one sense, a main T4 function is to regulate the rhythm of the heart (a person can have a perfect heart, yet have heart failure because T4 control is absent).

If the thyroid stops functioning, or has been surgically removed (MDs are people who believe we have an excess of organs and a deficiency of drugs), the adrenals have to act as the heart's backup.

T4 deficiency tends to bring about symptoms such as:

* fatigue
* depression
* headaches
* cold hands and feet
* frequent subluxations of the spinal cervical vertebrae.

A main T3 function could be considered to be the regulation of the rhythm of the kidneys.
A deficiency of T3 gives symptoms such as:

* fluid retention
* swelling of ankles and legs
* bloating
* loose bowels
* colitis
* Crohn's syndrome
* gas
* weight gain

... all because the kidneys are failing to filter the blood properly and to flush out fluids and wastes, which instead are backing up into the body.

The thyroid needs about 0.2 mg of iodine per day to produce T3 and T4.
Insufficient iodine, especially in an absorbable organic form (not the usual potassium iodide), is common in the USA (in the Contact Reflex Analysis CRA system this iodine lack is called T4 1/2). If the thyroid is iodine-deficient, symptoms are likely to be a slow or fast heart rate, pain in the chest, fluid in the lungs, coughing, anxiety, goiters, and double chins.

The third major thyroid hormone (T1) controls the electrical input and charge of the brain.

Symptoms of a T1 deficiency may include:

* fatigue
* depression
* low self esteem
* suicidal tendencies
* various mental disorders.

Sometimes multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's syndrome are a result of not enough T1 to recharge the brain.

The fourth major thyroid hormone is calcitonin, apparently not under pituitary control.
When blood levels of calcium are too high, calcitonin is secreted, which makes more bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) and decreases formation of cells that break down bone (osteoclasts); these processes are tied in with the functions of a hormone secreted by the parathyroids.

Other symptoms besides those given or implied above, when the thyroid is underactive (HYPO) may include a tendency to be:

* overweight
* need for more sleep
* lack of motivation
* constipation
* balding or thinning of hair
* brittle nails
* hands or feet that tend to crack or peel
* muscle cramps
* asthma, or being out of breath with just a little exertion
* irregular or prolonged or painful periods
* low libido
* low blood pressure
* low blood sugar
* hives or acne.

Natural solutions for underactive (hypo) thyroid

For an overactive thyroid (HYPER), symptoms may include:

* having trouble putting on weight (often thin, wiry people)
* nervousness
* difficulty falling asleep even when tired
* sweating a lot and disliking heat
* diarrhea
* hand tremors
* protrusion of eyeballs.

As always, please be aware that many symptoms in any dysfunction may have more than one cause.

Natural solutions for hyper active thyroid


There are many reasons why the thyroid may misbehave.

* Among them are prolonged intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets, prolonged excess intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, although these are otherwise excellent foods) and peanuts and soybean products--all are beneficial for an overactive thyroid.

* Long-term overeating (especially of fats and sugars), prolonged intake of vitamin A and zinc supplements, long-term use of birth control pills, cortisone, epinephrine and some other drugs, taking synthetic thyroid hormone (Synthroid, see below).

* Lack of organic iodine (not found in iodized salt), pituitary malfunction (often affected by emotional stress), estrogen imbalances (whether from pituitary, ovary, uterus, liver, or adrenal malfunction, or from estrogen replacement therapy).

* Low adrenal function (which tends to slow the thyroid in order to decrease metabolism and give the adrenals a chance to rest and recover), and abnormal nerve pressure from spinal mid-cervical subluxations (common in whiplash injuries), use of iodized salt (see below), and certain autoimmune conditions. In the latter, the thyroid can be infiltrated by white blood cells which form antibodies to thyroid cells, eventually causing overproduction of T4 (this autoimmune disorder, known as Graves' disease, produces an overactive thyroid).

Sometimes the antibodies inactivate parts of the thyroid slowly, converting the overactive thyroid into an underactive one (Hashimoto's syndrome).

Louise Hay states that low thyroid function is associated with giving up, feeling hopelessly stifled, "I never get to do what I want to do." An overactive thyroid she ascribes to rage at being left out. Bereavement or divorce especially stress the thyroid.

Test for thyroid dysfunction

In my opinion, the best test is the basal body temperature one, developed by Dr. Broda O. Barnes, MD, PhD, who studied thyroid problems for 35 years. He claims many people have thyroid problems not picked up by the conventional medical blood tests (I couldn’t agree more). He says patients treated on the basis of his test results have a 90% reduction in incidence of heart disease.

His test is done as follows.
1) Shake down an oral thermometer before going to bed, and put it within easy reach of the bed;
2) Upon awakening in the morning, place and hold the thermometer bulb under an armpit and lie still for a full 10 minutes by the clock;
3) Read and record the temperature and date;
4) Repeat for 5 days and calculate the average temperature;
5) If the average is below 97.8 degrees F, suspect hypothyroid; if above 98.4 degrees F suspect an overactive thyroid (or an infection)--couple this information with your symptoms (see above for symptoms).

If premenopausal
, start on day 2, 3 or 4 (day 2 best) of the menstrual cycle (basal body temperature rises and falls just before and after ovulation).
Any day is alright for postmenopausal women.

Women taking oral or topical progesterone should not take it the day before and days during the Broda test. Be aware that the Broda test is not fool-proof in that adrenal malfunction can also give low temperatures, but the test is still very useful, as Dr. Broda’s experience indicates.

Most medical doctors reflexively prescribe levothyroxine (Synthroid) for hypothyroidism.
Synthroid is a synthetic form of T4, and if the body doesn't convert T4 to T3, Synthroid is useless. Moreover, taking Synthroid for a few years tends to inhibit the body's production of thyroid hormones, aside from side effects, which can include severe depression, panic attacks, and kidney problems.

Giving T3 by itself in an attempt to compensate for this poor conversion of T4 to T3 can cause irregular heart rhythm, among other side effects. If one is going to go the orthodox medical route the best thyroid medication for low thyroid is Armour Desiccated Thyroid, a natural porcine thyroid product (but most MDs are wedded to Synthroid and may balk if you ask for the Armour Desiccated Thyroid).

Some patients who have been on Synthroid for a long time without results improve rapidly when switched to the Armour product.

In treating hyperthyroid, medical doctors often recommend partial and irreversible destruction of the thyroid surgically or by ingestion of high-dosage radioiodine--this despite the fact that a third of all overactive thyroid cases will resolve themselves without medical intervention.

Alternatively, antithyroid drugs, such as propylthiouracil, carbimazole. or methimazole, are used. but these can cause serious problems, such as agranulocytosis (sudden decrease in the number of white blood cells, resulting in extreme fatigue, fever, and bleeding of the mouth, vagina, or rectum), aplastic anemia (bone marrow stops making red blood cells), etc.

Weaning Off Thyroid Medication
(By Mr. Steven Horne Sunshine Sharing)

If your thyroid gland has been surgically removed, or destroyed by radioactive iodine or some disease process, thyroid medication
from the doctor is essential. You cannot feed and support a gland that doesn't exist. However, if you still have a thyroid gland and
are on thyroid medication, you may be able to reduce the dose of your medication or eliminate it entirely by nourishing and rebuilding your thyroid.

This should be done with periodic supervision by a medical doctor. If you can't find an open-minded medical doctor, at least work with a competent alternative health care professional. The process can be done aggressively or conservatively. If you have been on thyroid medication for a long time, then you should probably be conservative.

Begin by taking 2-3 capsules of kelp three times daily along with 1-2 capsules of Thyroid Support daily. If you are tired, you should also take at least one capsule of Adrenal Support. After one to two weeks on this program, reduce your thyroid medication by half. Wait one to four weeks (depending on whether you want to go slowly or aggressively). If no symptoms of low thyroid have appeared and you feel good, then try cutting the dose of thyroid medication in half again. If low thyroid symptoms reappear then go back to the higher dose, wait a few weeks and try again.

The goal is to gradually lower the dose until you find the minimum amount of thyroid medication required to maintain health. Some people still need a low dose of medication, other people find they are able to do without it entirely. After about six months on Thyroid Support, it is a good idea Additional Help and Information to try substituting Thyroid Activator for long term use. Eventually, you may also be able to reduce the dose of kelp. Each person is different, which is why it is important to have a professional monitor the process for you and provide additional suggestions and help as needed.

By the way, even people who have had their thyroid glands destroyed or removed have reported that taking Thyroid Activator along with their thyroid medication seems to make their medication work better. And, even if you don't have a thyroid, you still
need iodine.

Béatrice Duplantier-Rhea N.D. recommends these herbs or herbal combinations depending on CRA results:

What are some non-drug alternatives?

HYPERTHYROIDISM (overactive) causes irregular heart beat, insomnia, hair loss.
*TS II with HOPS
B-COMPLEX
STRESS-J or STRESS RELEIF
Regulate heart beat COQ10/50, L. CARNITINE
MAGNESIUM COMPLEX - 1500 mg. relax and slow heart beat
LIQUID DULSE - regulates thyroid which controls heart beat.

Contrary to what many people say, it is not wise for hyperthyroid patients to supplement with iodine of any kind. So, supplements like Thyroid Activator, kelp, dulse and Target TS II should be avoided. The only exception to this is TS II with Hops. A few people have reported cases where this formula was helpful for hyperthyroid. The hops in TS II may be helping to counterbalance the tendency for overstimulation of the thyroid. Milk, bread, salt, and other products which contain large amounts of iodine should be avoided.

One final word of caution is that there are some reports that aspartame may cause hyperthyroid disorders. So, products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame (aka, Equal and NutraSweet) should also be avoided.

Again, hyperthyroid conditions can be serious and life-threatening, so the situation should be monitored by a physician to make certain the therapy is working, even when the person chooses to go the natural route. However, irradiation of the thyroid gland is not the only answer; the information outlined in this article has helped many people to overcome this illness.

FOR LOW THYROID & GENERAL FATIGUE:
Unrefined Sea Salt bath (2 or 3 Tbsp of that salt in tub - stay in the bath tub for 20 minutes. Make sure to have enough water to cover the thyroid) or sea salt foot and hand soak
We use a pure raw, unrefined sea salt collected on the shores of Normandy, Brittany and/or Vendée (France).


HYPOTHYROIDISM (underactive)

THYROID ACTIVATOR also POTASSIUM COMBINATION, LIQUID DULSE - 1 or 2 droppersful for fast support.
TARGET TS II - stimulates pituitary to secrete thyroid - stimulating hormone.

7 KETO [has been shown to boost the level of T3 hormone (also called triiodothyronine), which is considered to have the greatest effect on metabolism of any hormone.]

Also:
THYROID SUPPORT
MASTERGAND