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The Balanced Body Center Thyroid Program

Introduction to Thyroid Disease


Thyroid disease has hit epidemic levels in the United States over the last decade. We are very
fortunate to have medications when thyroid disease cannot be regulated; however, the
medications are often utilized without investigation into the cause of disease. These medications
do not serve the same functions as the hormones they are replacing and have significant side
effects. Once the medications have been started they are often required for life. Continued use
of medications to treat the symptoms and ignoring the cause of thyroid dysfunction can cause
complete failure of the organ over time and have devastating effects on the adrenal glands,
hypothalamus, anterior pituitary, sleep, energy, weight, male and female hormone production,
and immunity. It would make sense to search and attempt to correct the cause of disease prior
to the use of medications for a lifetime. To efficiently treat the thyroid naturally, we must first
understand all the components that contribute to thyroid disease.


Understanding Thyroid Function


The thyroid, although small, has often been referred to as the master gland since it controls so
many aspects of life. Some of the functions of the thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) include:
* Stimulation of growth in children
* An increase in the body's metabolic rate
* Helps regulate sleep
* Affect sexual functions
* Assisting with gastrointestinal function
* Increase metabolic function of almost all tissues except for the spleen, brain, retinas,
testes and lungs
* Increases the rate of fat metabolism
* Controls the use of foods for energy
* Controls the rate of protein synthesis and metabolism
* Aids in the speed of mental function
* Increase the active transport of sodium and potassium into the cells
* Stimulates all aspects of carbohydrate metabolism including rapid uptake of glucose by
the cells, enhanced glycolysis, enhanced gluconeogenesis, increased rate of absorption
from the GI tract, & increased insulin secretion
* Decreases the quantity of cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides in the blood
* Coordinates lipid (fat) metabolism from the fat tissue, which increases the free fatty acid
concentration in the plasma and accelerates the oxidation of free fatty acids by the cells
* Thyroid hormone increases the quantities of many different enzymes. Since vitamins are
essential parts of some of the enzymes or coenzymes, thyroid hormones cause an
increased need for vitamins. Therefore, a relative vitamin deficiency can occur when
excess thyroid hormone is secreted
* If no thyroid hormone is produced, the body's metabolic rate can drop to almost half of
normal
* Because thyroid hormone increases metabolism in most cells of the body, an increase in
thyroid hormone can increase BMR (basal metabolic rate) to 60-100% above normal. This
can result in diseases such as hypertension, heart arrhythmias, and anxiety
* An increase in BMR can cause weight loss, and a decrease in BMR can cause weight
gain

thyroid 20cycle


thyroid 20synthesis



How Does the Thyroid Function?


The body traps iodine in the blood and binds it with the amino acid Tyrosine. This leads to
formation of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 which are stored in the thyroid. The hypothalamus
reacts to the amount of thyroid hormone in the blood stream and sends a message to the
anterior pituitary when thyroid hormone production is required. The anterior pituitary gland
secretes TSH which stimulates the thyroid to release T3 and T4 into the blood stream. Utilizing
copper, selenium, iodine and glutathione, conversion to an active form of these hormones
occurs in the liver and kidneys. (See picture below). In summary, many factors are required for
appropriate thyroid hormone production


Causes of Thyroid Disease


There are many reasons why thyroid disease is increasing at alarming rates.
* Exposure to harmful elements such as fluoride, chloride and bromide can cause
inhibition of iodine transport, alter thyroid antibody function and inhibit the conversion
of T4 to the most active thyroid hormone T3
* Pyridines from pollution, coal, and cigarette smoke alter T4 ñT3 conversion and T4
binding
* Decreased amounts of quality iodine are a severe problem in the United States and
are a major factor in thyroid disease and breast cancer. The average American diet
has 1000 times less iodine than Japan, which coincidently, is the country with the
lowest recorded incidences of breast cancer.
* PCB and PBB which are chemicals found in plastic packaging can inhibit normal
thyroid hormone function
* Autoimmune disease is on the rise in the United States and can result in the immune
system targeting and destroying normal healthy thyroid tissue
* Metal toxicity from lead, aluminum and mercury can trigger autoimmune disorders of
the thyroid and alter T3-T4 production
* Impaired liver and kidney function due to poor diets and toxicity can alter T4-T3
conversion
* Impaired GI function can alter glutathione levels impairing T4 conversion
* Poor protein sources can lead to amino acid deficiencies and result in decreased
amounts of available tyrosine for thyroid hormone production
* Pharmacological agents: antidepressants, dopamine, lithium, glucocorticoids, and
tegretol cause an increase in TSH decrease T4 & T3.
* High levels of iodide in salt have been recorded as a major contributing factor to
Hashimoto's disease (autoimmune disease of the thyroid).
* High stress, low activity and poor diet can alter the adrenal glands which can alter
neurotransmitter levels and ultimately alter normal hypothalamus and pituitary
function.

These and many other factors contribute to the escalating thyroid disease in the United
States. Optimal health depends on normal thyroid function. The underlying cause of thyroid
disease must be discovered and treated.




The Natural vs. the Medical Approach to Thyroid Disease



There are times that thyroid problems cannot be resolved naturally, and we are fortunate to
have medications in these cases; however, the majority of thyroid problems can be resolved
naturally. The medical approach is to artificially replace the thyroid hormone.



There are two problems with this:
1. The medications cannot completely replace all of the functions of normal thyroid
hormone and as a result many of the bodyís systems are permanently impaired.
2. Continued use of thyroid medications will cause continued failure of the thyroid until it
completely shuts down. This is evident as patients continually require greater amounts of
synthetic thyroid over the years.

The natural approach to treating thyroid disease requires identification of the cause of the
thyroid failure. Once identified, the goal of care is to reduce strain on the thyroid, stimulate
repair of the thyroid and ultimately restore normal thyroid function.



The Balanced Body Approach to Thyroid Disease


1. Autoimmune Disease: Hashimoto's and Graves' disease must be identified and/or
ruled out as a cause of thyroid disease. If an autoimmune disease is present, the
treatment must focus on the elimination of the trigger events for this condition. This is
often overlooked in early thyroid dysfunction. There are many factors that trigger
autoimmune conditions; however, the most common triggers are foods and chemicals
that a patient's immune system has became hypersensitive. These can be common
foods in the diet, additives or products in foods such as gluten, casein, whey and yeast.
It is difficult to identify these items without testing since the reactions can be delayed 2 to
4 days, and they can change over the course of time. Our office uses advanced food
sensitivity testing to identify the offending foods, additives, chemicals or products. Once
identified, customized diets are created to neutralize the autoimmune response. (Please
go to our web site www.knowbalance.com and look for Food Allergy under the
ëNutrition and Diagnosticí tab.)
2. Metal Toxicity: It is essential to measure the toxic representation in the body when
evaluating and treating thyroid disease. Our office has been using Heavy Metal testing
for our patients for 20 years. Once toxic elements are identified, our office uses various
natural products to help bind and eliminate these toxins naturally and effectively. (Please
go to our web site www.knowbalance.com and look for Heavy Metal Analysis under
the ëNutrition and Diagnosticí tab.)
3. Complete Thyroid Blood Chemistries: It is essential when testing and treating the
thyroid to have a complete understanding of where in the cycle of thyroid hormone
production the system is failing. This requires such tests as T3, T3 Uptake, T4, Total T4,
Reverse T3, TSH and Free T4. Thyroid auto antibodies may also be required to
diagnose autoimmune disorders. Our office utilizes extensive thyroid panels which
evaluate all of these levels. Repeat blood tests are essential to determine the success of
treatment.
4. Adrenal and Neurotransmitter Testing: The adrenals, hypothalamus, and pituitary are
vulnerable to many lifestyle and stress factors. Since these organs are also involved in
the production of thyroid hormones, it is often necessary to evaluate their function to
help determine the etiology of thyroid disease. Once weaknesses are identified, there
are many natural options to help restore balance and improved function to these organs.
(Please go to our web site www.knowbalance.com and look for Neurotransmitter
Testing under the ëNutrition and Diagnosticí tab.)
5. Orthomolecular Nutritional Therapy: Once the problem is identified there are many
nutrients, enzymes and vitamins that can quickly restore normal function to the thyroid.
Our clinic offers orthomolecular evaluations on all Blood Chemistry studies.
Orthomolecular medicine which was developed by Linus Pauling, aims to restore the
optimum environment of the body by correcting imbalances or deficiencies based on
individual biochemistries using substances which are natural to the body such as
vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and essential fatty acids.
6. Gastrointestinal Function: Normal gastrointestinal (GI) function is essential for proper
thyroid function. Our office offers extensive programs to identify and resolve GI disorders
for our thyroid patients. (Please go to our website www.knowbalance.com and look for
ëGastrointestinal Disordersí under the Conditions tab.)
7. Amino Acid Testing: Please go to our website www.knowbalance.com and look for
ëAmino Acid Analysisí under the Nutrition and Diagnostics tab.
8. Environmental toxicity testing: While the health concerns of our environmental
changes are not fully understood, it is evident that there are many everyday chemicals
that are harmful to our health. Every day, we are exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals
through products like pharmaceuticals, pesticides, packaged foods, household products,
and environmental pollution. As we have become more exposed to chemical-laden
products and to toxic chemicals in food, air, and water, we have been confronted with an
accelerating rate of chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue
syndrome, chemical sensitivity, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/AD(H)D, autoimmune
disorders, Parkinsonís disease, and Alzheimerís disease. The Balanced Body Center
offers the GPL-TOX test to evaluate for the presence of 172 different toxic chemicals
including organophosphate pesticides, phthalates, benzene, xylene, vinyl chloride,
pyrethroid insecticides, acrylamide, perchlorate, diphenyl phosphate, ethylene oxide,
acrylonitrile, and more. This profile also includes Tiglylglycine (TG), a marker for
mitochondrial disorders resulting from mutations of mitochondrial DNA. These mutations
can be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, infections, inflammation, and nutritional
deficiencies.


Getting Started


If you are interested in natural approaches to treating thyroid disease, The Balanced Body
Center is one of the leading centers in chiropractic and healthcare. Our program includes a
complete review of each individualís condition. The appropriate tests are recommended and
evaluated, and the cause of the condition is treated naturally.
Some tests / therapies that may be ordered:
* Delayed Food Sensitivity testing
* Heavy Metal testing
* Amino Acid testing
* Gastrointestinal Absorption/Leaky Gut
* Neurotransmitter testing
* Complete Thyroid blood chemistries
* Male/Female hormone and Adrenal evaluation
* Blood chemistry studies with Orthomolecular evaluation
* Organic Acid tests


Suggested Reading


For more information on natural approaches to treating thyroid disorder, please read
Overcoming Thyroid Disorder by Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.