The thyroid is complicated and a major source of frustration for both men and women. It’s a big problem. It doesn’t help that so few doctors know how to properly treat the thyroid. They also rely too heavily on testing…while almost completely ignoring symptoms. According to most doctors… If your lab numbers are good…you’re healthy. Even if you have every symptom. In this episode I talk about 5 nutrients you need to have a healthy thyroid. If you’re low in any of them…you risk having a sluggish thyroid. The five nutrients are… Iodine Selenium Zinc B12 Iron If you have a sluggish thyroid then you don’t want to miss this episode.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Announcer: You’re listening to The Doctor Is In podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It’s strictly for informational purposes.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well, welcome to the podcast The Doctor Is In, number 203. Today, we’re going to talk about the thyroid. Now, if you go back to episode [00:00:30] 175, we talked about why it is so difficult to diagnose thyroid conditions. The blood tests today are very, very unreliable, and a sluggish thyroid or Hashimoto’s… You just have no idea how many, I mean it, literally thousands of patients over the years who have been misdiagnosed with [00:01:00] a thyroid that wasn’t working properly. Because it’s not necessarily diseased, it is not easy to diagnose. Again, like I said, if you’re waiting for blood tests, like a routine TSH test that checks the thyroid, they don’t do a good job on checking the thyroid unless you do a full panel of thyroid testing.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Well guess what? A lot of people just fall [00:01:30] through the cracks, especially women. Let me just go over a few things here today. What I really want to do is really talk about nutrients that support proper function of the thyroid. Before I do that, let me just give you some of the… I mean look, there’s a broad range of symptoms, but generally, and they cross over. For example, you might have primary problem with your adrenal glands, [00:02:00] we’re going to talk about that, how that can affect your thyroid. But here’s generally some of the symptoms that are pretty common for a sluggish thyroid. These are things that, again, in functional medicine…
Dr. Martin Sr.: Functional medicine is you take the lab and then you take the patient’s symptoms, and you marry them. It’s very, very important in functional medicine to look at [00:02:30] the symptoms, the patient. For example, I had a lady in this morning that she was fatigued, had weight gain, had hair loss, she had brittle nails, very, very dry skin, cold hands and feet. Well, you know what? If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck. Oftentimes, doctor, yeah, but your lab tests come back normally. Do you [00:03:00] know how often I hear that in the office?
Dr. Martin Sr.: This is Dr. Martin Sr., and welcome again to another podcast of The Doctor Is In, just to talk about nutrients in the thyroid. But let me just give you some of the symptoms that you get. Fatigue, we talked about this. Weight gain, like unexplained weight gain. Think about this for a minute, that there are thousands and thousands [00:03:30] of women out there and they say to me, Doc, “I actually eat less than I ever used to. Why the heck am I gaining weight? I just look at food and gain weight.” Well, did you ever think for one minute that maybe your thyroid is not up to snuff? It’s not working the way it’s meant to work? Your thyroid is your metabolism. Your thyroid is your gas pedal.
Dr. Martin Sr.: When you have fatigue and weight gain, [00:04:00] hair loss or hair thinning, brittle nails, dry skin, cold hands and feet, mood swings, muscle pain, yeah, it can be related to thyroid. Constipation, how it affects your bowel. It slows the bowel down. The thyroid even helps with peristalsis, which is the little hairs inside of your, they move the feces along. If those [00:04:30] things don’t work properly, if your thyroid’s not working properly, then you can have these, even constipation, brain fog, neck swelling. You see, when a patient comes in the office, one of the first things that I usually do is I palpate their neck. I want to see if their neck is swollen, their throat is swollen. Oftentimes, they’ll get voice changes.
Dr. Martin Sr.: They’ll tell me that, “Hey, you know, I’ve got a deeper voice [00:05:00] than I used to have,” and you have neck swelling. They feel it, and yet so oftentimes their doctor will not even put their hands on them just to see if the neck is swollen. Unexplained itching with no visible rash. These are all things that can be possibly the side effects of what we call a sluggish thyroid. What I want to do today, and I’ll talk to you about [00:05:30] some of the things that go wrong in the thyroid, how the thyroid is not independent. The thyroid is a puppet, even though it’s a very, very important gland. Like I said, it’s your metabolism, it’s your gas pedal in your car. If you can’t go to the floor, you’re never going to really feel at the top of your game.
Dr. Martin Sr.: These are all things that we see in the office very, very frequently. One of the things [00:06:00] that we like to do in the office is to do is an iodine skin test, just where we watch iodine. You just put it on your skin and watch how fast your body absorbs iodine. A lot of women, they just drink up iodine. Why? Because your thyroid does not operate without iodine. This is one of the nutrients that is missing. It’s not in the soil anymore. Your body needs iodine [00:06:30] and tyrosine, the amino acid, for your thyroid to work properly. At one time wheat in this country, go back a bit and even the wheat in our country used to be processed with iodine. Now it’s processed with bromide, and the chemical bromide kills the iodine.
Dr. Martin Sr.: You need [00:07:00] iodine for your thyroid to work properly. This is why I like Himalayan salt. It has iodine in it. I like seaweed, you can take a supplement of that. If not, just take some vegetable iodine. You can actually put a few drops in water, start with maybe five drops in water, and then go up to 10 drops, depending on your symptoms and how you feel. [00:07:30] I mean, iodine is an effective mineral that your body needs. It’s no longer in the soil like it used to be. This is one of the factors in having a thyroid that’s not working properly. You need iodine, and you need L-tyrosine for your thyroid to work properly.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Secondly, selenium. Now, selenium again is found in the animal kingdom mostly. Your [00:08:00] body needs selenium for your thyroid to work properly. Today, we’re very low in selenium. A lot of people don’t realize that, that their body needs that selenium. This is one of the deficiencies that we see. Now you don’t need to take a supplement of selenium, unless you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, or you don’t do well with the eggs, meat, and cheese, well [00:08:30] then yeah, you need to have a good look at a multivitamin with selenium in them. We like our Blood Boost. I like selenium in our Blood Boost, because oftentimes patients are deficient in it, and I need to give it to them. They’re not eating enough. They’re not getting it in their diet.
Dr. Martin Sr.: The third one is zinc. Now zinc is an important nutrient found, again, in the animal kingdom. [00:09:00] Zinc is usually found in eggs and meat, cheese. If you don’t get enough zinc, your thyroid’s not going to work properly. Again, a lot of women today, they are deficient in it. They don’t eat enough of this thing. They live on salad, salad, you know, chicken and salad. I get a chuckle with my patients in the office, because I like to tease them a little bit.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I said, “Well, you know what salad is. Salad [00:09:30] is glorified grass. That’s all it is. It’s glorified grass.” And I said, “Cows love eating grass, but they got four stomachs. You only have one. So why do you like salads so much?” I like to tease them, because even my wife loves salad. I go, “You know what? You’re not a rabbit. Why do you like that stuff so much?” But there’s no zinc in that, and there’s no selenium in salad, and there’s no iodine in salad. [00:10:00] I like to tease them.
Dr. Martin Sr.: The other one is iron. Iron is a nutrient that you need to get your ferritin levels up. Ferritin is a protein that binds to iron. Your thyroid won’t work properly without getting enough iron. Where you find iron, again, is especially in the red meat kingdom. You need the heme [00:10:30] iron, H-E-M-E, I like to call it heme iron and Tony Jr. likes to call it heme iron, but whatever it is, it’s iron, and your body needs that. Oftentimes, when you look at your iron levels, the doctor will say, well yeah, your iron levels are pretty good.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But you know what, you’re pale and your thyroid’s not working properly. I often like to look at the ferritin levels. What is your ferritin levels? Because [00:11:00] that can give you even a better indicator. I got a high level of suspicion when a patient comes in with their thyroid is low and their thyroid’s not working properly. I have a high level of suspicion that they are low in iron, and they’re low in the fifth nutrient that I want to…
Dr. Martin Sr.: So iodine, selenium, zinc, [00:11:30] iron, and fifthly B12. Especially with those that have an autoimmune like Hashimoto’s, what are they saying now? Somewhere around 20%, it’s craziness, of women have trouble with Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disorder which can lead to… What’s very, very common in Hashimoto’s is a condition called [00:12:00] pernicious anemia, where antibodies against, whether they call them parietal cells, parietal cells, I don’t know. I often have trouble with pronunciation, because I’m just a simple guy. Sometimes in medicine they say parietal cells, and I don’t know, are they parietal or parietal? I don’t care.
Dr. Martin Sr.: All I know is these cells, with Hashimoto’s, oftentimes they secrete, parietal cells secrete [00:12:30] your intrinsic factor. So what does that mean? It helps to absorb your B12. A lot of people have a lack of intrinsic factor, because antibodies that are produced with Hashimoto’s go against your parietal cells, which secrete the intrinsic factor, and therefore you’re not getting enough B12. You can understand that, again, why I’m so suspicious. [00:13:00] If you look at the symptoms that I talked to you about at the top of this program, like fatigue and weight gain and hair loss and brittle nails and dry skin and cold hands and feet, oftentimes these are signs of pernicious anemia. They’re oftentimes the signs of low B12.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Even B12 with constipation and brain fog, and the other ones where you get numbness and tingling in your hands and feet, [00:13:30] and even your tongue feels swollen and whatever. These are often overlapping symptoms between low B12, but I’m suspicious, low B12 and the thyroid, and they go together very much so. So these are the nutrients that are often missing, and it’s very important for functional medicine doctors to look for these things. We’re usually trained to look. [00:14:00] We want to see if you’re low in selenium, low in iodine, low in zinc, low in iron, and low in B12. They often will be a factor and your thyroid won’t work properly without these nutrients. So you need both the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom.
Dr. Martin Sr.: I know that there’s a big push today to get people not to eat meat. I see it, [00:14:30] and I’m against that. I want you to know that. I think you guys know me enough to know that if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, then you need to take supplements. You cannot get everything that you need for a healthy thyroid and whatever to… It’s just not found only in the plants. I’m not saying plants are not good for you. Of course they’re good for you. I just teased you a little bit about grass. I mean glorified [00:15:00] grass, which is salad. But you can’t live on that, so don’t fool yourself. Okay? You can’t live on that, and your thyroid will not do well on that.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Some of the nutrients that I talked to you about, including L-tyrosine, are found in the animal kingdom. It’s not in the plant kingdom. Some of the things are in the plant kingdom, of course they’re good for you, but you need to have both kingdoms. Let me talk to you about a couple of other things [00:15:30] that… And by the way, there’s a very good teaching on our website. We did a teaching, Tony Jr. and I on the thyroid distress syndrome. Perhaps you remember that. We talked about this. One of the things that we did talk about is iodine. In order for your thyroid to work properly, you need iodine.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But let me talk to you about a couple of other things that are factors with the thyroid gland. These [00:16:00] are some of the things that you should consider because, first of all, one of the active forms that… Okay, so what happens, your hypothalamus, it secretes a hormone that’s sent to your pituitary. Your pituitary tells your thyroid to produce thyroid stimulating hormone. When you do that, your thyroid stimulating hormone secretes [00:16:30] T5, T4, T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin. But the most active form of your thyroid is the one that your thyroid needs, and it’s… Listen, this is so sensitive, you have no idea. We did a teaching on this.
Dr. Martin Sr.: In a full year, your active form of T3, which is the [00:17:00] form of the thyroid hormone that you need the most, it’s T3, and you only produce about a teaspoon, a teaspoon of this stuff in a full year. So you can imagine that it doesn’t take much to throw the thyroid off. This is why, especially in women, but I’ll talk about this, almost [00:17:30] everything has to be perfect, including your adrenal glands. Let me tie this in. When your cortisol is high, when your stress hormone is high, your body makes cortisol. You need cortisol, it’s part of the fight or flight, it’s the long-term effect of fight or flight.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But if that cortisol is secreted for a long period of time, [00:18:00] you don’t sleep properly, you secrete cortisol. If you’re stressed, you secrete cortisol. If your cortisol is high, you don’t even sleep properly, so you get that vicious cycle. You’re not sleeping. This can affect your thyroid gland. It stops that conversion of T4 to T3, and remember T3 is the active form of your thyroid that it needs for it [00:18:30] to work at its optimal level. Very few doctors ever check to see how much T3 you’re making. This is why you need a full panel. Anyways, it’s why women, especially with thyroid, they don’t feel good. They’re gaining weight, their hair’s not the same, and all this and that, fatigue sets in, and their body changes, and wow, they don’t feel good.
Dr. Martin Sr.: [00:19:00] Part of it can be the lack of nutrients that I mentioned. You know, the B12, selenium, zinc, iron, whatever, but it also can be cortisol. This is why we’re so keen on looking at cortisol as part of the equation when it comes to hormones, and especially in women. Not that we don’t, cortisol can be secreted by men. It’s very dangerous for men to have high cortisol over a long period of time, because it usually attacks their heart. In women, it usually [00:19:30] attacks their thyroid, because it stops that conversion of T4 to T3.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Now here’s another thing, leaky gut. 20% of the conversion of T4 to T3 occurs within the gut. If your micro biome, due to antibiotics, non steroidal anti-inflammatories, you’ve had a bad diet, you’re eating too much sugar, you have an overgrowth of candida albicans, [00:20:00] guess what happens? It can affect your thyroid. Why is that? Because 20% of the conversion of your T4 hormones, in order to be converted to the T3 active form, the one that your thyroid thrives with, T3 gets done in the gut. So leaky gut, leaky thyroid. Even the thyroid doesn’t work properly. And that is [00:20:30] what occurs within the gut.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Here’s another one, and ladies, this is for you. Estrogen dominance. What happens? Estrogen dominance. You’re too much of a woman, you got too much estrogen. I always give a little quiz to my patients, because when women come in and they’re not feeling particularly good, and I check their hormones and their estrogen is too high compared [00:21:00] to their progesterone. Well, what happens? Well, even in the estrogen, what it does, it changes your micro biome. When you have too much estrogen, it inhibits again the conversion of T4 to T3. Guess what else it does? It lowers your progesterone.
Dr. Martin Sr.: If you have estrogen dominance, and your progesterone is not keeping up to your estrogen, [00:21:30] you’re going to inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3 again. Do you see all these things that can happen? Cortisol, stress, leaky gut, right? Take one antibiotic in the last year. Think of it, and you didn’t take a probiotic to replenish your micro biome. Well, you know what? It can affect the conversion of your thyroid hormones. Guess what? You can start having thyroid issues [00:22:00] after that. So estrogen dominance, here’s another one.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Liver, fatty liver, okay, why is that important? How does that have anything to do with my thyroid? Well, listen, 80% of the conversion of your thyroid hormones, 80% gets converted in your liver. So guess what? Your liver, you say, “Doc, what’s that got to do with [00:22:30] my thyroid?” Listen, your hormones are metabolized in your liver. I’ll just refresh your brain for a minute, okay? Cholesterol. You need cholesterol even to make thyroid hormones. When they tell you, especially ladies, never try and lower your cholesterol. That’s the craziest thing in the world that [00:23:00] you ever want to do. You need high levels of cholesterol.
Dr. Martin Sr.: But liver, you see in the liver is where a lot of metabolism of your hormones take place. In cholesterol, for example, I always tell you this, you know this, you should know it by heart. 15% of your cholesterol comes from your diet, 85% of your cholesterol comes from your liver. Your [00:23:30] liver will produce cholesterol. Why is that? Because you can’t live without cholesterol. Your hormones need cholesterol, including your thyroid hormones. They need cholesterol. Your body doesn’t trust you enough, 85% will come from your liver. 85% of it, 15% comes from food.
Dr. Martin Sr.: Let me get back to fatty liver. Remember what your liver is. Your liver is like [00:24:00] a parking lot at Costco. Okay? I think you understand that. In my hometown, if I ever want to go see my patients from out of town, I go to Costco, because I’m going to see all my out-of-town patients. If they’re coming from out of town, I say, “Well when do you want to come to Costco again?” Oh yeah, every time they come and see Dr. Martin to go over to Costco, because they don’t have a Costco in their hometown. They only have it in Sudbury, where I [00:24:30] have my practice. I tease them. I say, “When do you want to come to the Costco again? Then you might as well stop in and see me too.”
Dr. Martin Sr.: But your liver is like the Costco parking lot. It’s always busy. Listen, when your liver is like a parking lot, what gets parked there? Fat, right? You’re eating carbs. Where do your carbs get parked? Or you can call your liver a suitcase. [00:25:00] If the suitcase gets full or the parking lot gets full… So insulin is like the traffic cop, and he’s putting you into the parking lot. There’s so many people trying to get into the mall at Christmas or whatever, there’s a traffic cop out there. Well, that’s insulin. It’s taking your carbs, it’s converting them to sugar, and sugar cannot stay in your bloodstream, so it has [00:25:30] to be parked. It has to go into the parking lot. So that’s what happens.
Dr. Martin Sr.: When the parking lot is full, when the suitcase is full, your liver stores fat. When you get fatty liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver, because you’re eating too many carbohydrates, that can stop the conversion of T4 to T3, the active [00:26:00] form that takes place in your liver. So not just your gut, but your liver. This is why it’s… Even the diet, because at the Martin Clinic we’re always, always, always trying to get your insulin down. The reason is, I mean there’s a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because we’re trying to keep your liver from storing too much [00:26:30] fat. Because when it does, you can get fatty liver.
Dr. Martin Sr.: It’s one of the first steps in diabetes, but it also slows your thyroid down, because you’re not going to get enough conversion of your T4 to your T3 active form where your thyroid works at its highest level. You see how the diet is important? So not just iodine, not just selenium, not [00:27:00] just zinc and iron and B12. You want to lower your carbohydrates for your thyroid to work properly, because what happens at the liver. Okay? It’s very important to keep the parking lot so you still have some parking spaces in there, so that your insulin…
Dr. Martin Sr.: If you cut your carbs down, you are actually going to help to stimulate your thyroid. It will work more, because [00:27:30] your liver is clean. When the liver is clear, the liver can produce more thyroid stimulating T3, which your body needs for it to work properly. Okay, so there’s my rant for today. I hope you enjoyed it and listened. If you have any questions, you have any feedback, we’d love to hear from you, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks [00:28:00] for listening. We love you guys.
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