Tag Archives: thyroid

For every health guru there is an equal and opposite guru


Day 5 Thyroid summit

Its was a BIG day with Dr Greg Emmerson who is 6’7″ and Dr Steven Hotze from Houston, where everything is just BIGGER.

I found this pair were so inspirational – men of action, no whinging, go out and change it if you don’t agree types. Dr Emmerson has a food is your medicine approach, and since he thinks modern food has had the medicines increasingly bred out of it, he grows his own on a permaculture farm on the gold coast.  He’s a fan of dandelion tea and weeds in general. I am a dreadful gardener so I have had to learn to eat the weeds and love them . But the ideas he kept mentioning of  ‘medicine’  ‘mycotoxin’ I think is better thought of in terms of dose and situation – Bechamp’s terroir theory . After all one person’s weed is another’s cottage herb. Toxins and medicines are two sides of same coin. There’s a theory that humans don’t like bitter tastes to avoid poisoning in pregnancy and childhood. Being small I have had a few accidents with green leafies that really actually don’t want to be eaten ( buckwheat sprouts), and the purgative properties of violet leaves. Bug resistant plants like weeds are basically full of  natural pesticides – which we can label medicine or toxin  if we can’t metabolise them, and that is an individual genomic thing.

Dr Ray Peat phd, who incidentally is the man who inspired Dr Lee MD, who inspired Dr Hotze MD, on the wider therapeutic uses of bioidentical progesterone, thinks only the below ground parts of plants, or ripe fruit, is fit plant matter for human consumption. He doesn’t like green leafies.

So in 1978 I attended a meeting, actually I was giving a talk on hypoglycemia and Linus Pauling was there giving a talk on Vitamin C, when Dr. Ray Peat, a Ph.D. from Oregon was there giving a talk to doctors challenging them, saying, “why aren’t you all using progesterone, the second female hormone? It’s readily available, they can make it from yams, they can make it from soy, they can make it from 5000 different plants, it’s identical to what the humans make, it’s been out for 30 years in face creams, cosmetics, it’s wonderful for the skin, it’s available, the FDA can’t find anything wrong with it, why are you using only estrogen for post-menopausal ladies? http://www.keepsmilin.com/transcriptdrlee.htm

He has an interesting idea on using raw carrot as a between meal cleanse and for hormone balancing! that Dr Emmerson might like. Dr Peat says root crops are naturally rich in antifungals since they are surrounded by moisture all the time in soil,   “The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol” http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/epilepsy-progesterone.shtml

Confession: I found Ray Peat’s work while looking for a diet that allows white sugar daily. Recently both the bitter and the sweet receptors have been linked to our immune system in the upper airways. University of Pennsylvania researchers say “Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) in the human airway detect harmful compounds, including secreted bacterial products.” If  something smells bitter we secrete antimicrobial peptides into the airways. When the sweet taste receptors of the nose are activated this is shutdown. Score one for aromatherapy and quitting sugar, but alas for diabetics, who have more sugar in their nasal mucus.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934184/

I agree with Dr Emmerson that the pace of modern inventions is moving uncomfortably fast for gross mammalian adaptation, so we should take a step back. But I can’t imagine living like our ancestors – full on paleo no way – just have a look at the experience of this month’s speaker Tracy Hohnke who was blasted back to 1800’s with her family for 4 months on the living history show ‘the Colony’. At least chocolate had been invented! Perhaps we have a better chance of keeping up than we realise since most of our cells are ‘not self’ but ‘other’ in a personal unique microbiome. I wonder how much of our health is thanks to exotic DNA?  Who knows what buttons we can push epigenetically?

Detox: Create a Virtual rainforest:

Absolutely agree with Dr Emmerson that yoga is fantastic, and that we should be out in the rainforest, but preferably at a Byron hinterland spa with all mod cons. (My mum and aunt were fans of the Swami Sarasvati show. Swami had lots of painful impossible poses for us every morning. I never imagined it was spiritual or relaxing until I stumbled across Haven Yoga special stretch and breath version while putting up Astrotas posters 🙂 It crossed my mind Dr E should have an aversion for nature after catching a horrid parasite that ruined his health in Papua New Guinea. Perhaps it was a case of terroir since his family history is one of  thyroid issues. I’m not big on camping. Dr Horowitz will scare us all out of the forest on Day 6 of the thyroid summit with his talk on Lyme disease.

How generous is youtube with hours of free music videos for meditation and yoga – lets put one on the big television and nebulise a little eucalyptus oil to complete the illusion 

Dr Emmerson talked on the importance of minimising and removing environmental toxins like mould to which he is allergic. Depending on genetic MTHFR status of  an individual detoxifying can need a little extra help.  Zeolite he reccomends does sound like an excellent choice as it binds ammonia, which is problematic for us MTHFR A1298C mutants. also see CBS pathway from day 1 but the potential benefit is probably more than cancelled out since aluminium in zeolite is itself a detox problem! Zeolite is an aluminium compound shown in the animal feeding test mentioned on Dr Ray Sahelian’s excellent website to cause accumulation of the metal in bone and cartilage.

Where to Get Dessicated Natural Thyroid

http://www.hotzepharmacy.com/ – compounds slow release natural whole dessicated thyroid.http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/armour-vs-other-brands/ has list and helpful notes about various dessicated thyroid suppliers – including several supplying australians http://www.nutri-meds.com does not need prescription. http://www.acpharm.com.au/ is in Sydney.

Forest Labs prescribing notes for Armour Thyroid are a useful read http://www.frx.com/pi/armourthyroid_pi.pdf%20

hotze heart infection

Dr Hotze – this guy is utterly fearless! He doesn’t fart about with saliva or blood tests for any hormones – he just treats the patient on a good old clinical diagnosis. He is sueing the govt over Obamacare! http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/04/08/Obamacare-Lawsuit-from-Houston-Moving-Forward

He started looking at natural therapies when his father almost died on the table undergoing a balloon angioplasty. Hotze senior, an engineer, reasoned that this was in fact a violation of basic engineering principals to stretch a calcified stiffened tube and not expect it to burst, and asked his son to go look into vitamins after reading a newsletter on heart disease from Dr Julian Whitaker.

I’m a fan of Linus Pauling’s metabolic draino recipe which will simultaneously stomp out inflammation, rebuild collagen and pull off the Lipoprotein(a) mentioned as being rather hard to treat with high dose niacin; equal parts sodium ascorbate and lysine powder eg. 6 grams of each divided into three doses. lpi.oregonstate.edu/fw12/lipoprotein.html (the only caveat being I would suggest testing copper levels. I am a small labrat. On megadose vit c after months I did find it is possible to drop your copper levels if your diet/gut is suboptimal, both also bad for collagen. The FBC will show a neutropenia. Other than that the earliest side effects were all good – losing stretch marks, varicose veins and the old lady swollen ankles 😉

The Popeye approach to hypothyroidism


Day 4 thyroid summit – MTHFR!

bens smoothieThe big surprise was that Dr Lynch didn’t reccomend any particular folate supplements, just the Popeye approach – green leafies and avoid synthetic folic acid. Very refreshing – given the panoply of potions on every internet doctor’s website. The girly looking pink prenatal smoothie is actually Dr Lynch’s webinar energy booster! He was a jackaroo in Australia in his youth so they have labelled it ‘cowboy smoothie’ but no drover would own that drink. Needs spinach.

Just one small possible snag – you can overdose on veggies if you juice as the idea is to be able to get more in than you could with just teeth. I’ve personally done it with buckwheat sprouts which have fagopyrins. Kale is goitrogenic  and so is spinach which are my favourite greens 😦 According to Dr Lynch my low dopamine levels contribute to taste addictions.

These are Non-Goitrogenic leafy greens:

red/green chard ( silverbeet)
swiss chard
red or green leaf lettuce
dandelion greens
arugala / rocket

from http://rawpregnancy.com/goitrogenic-vegetables-and-curing-hypothyroidism-with-raw-food-during-your-pregnancy/

Why is MTHFR and Folate so important for hypothyroid patients?

MTHFR = very long name of folate activating enzyme, not an F word! though I certainly felt like swearing when I found out from nerve damage that the vitamins in most supplements, and those added back to to refined food such as ‘enriched’ flours, are NOT ALWAYS ACTIVE. The term ‘vitamin’ doesn’t mean they are plug and play molecules, or even the same molecule – folate and B9 are umbrella terms for many structures. Bit like the term ‘fresh’ can actaully mean ‘stored for months’!

Some ‘vitamins’ like folic acid, do squat all except block cell receptors unless the body can convert them into active enzymes. Dr Lynch managed to simplify an incredibly complex scenario without any dizzying biochemical pathway diagrams. Folic acid needs little bundles of carbon and hydrogen (called methyl groups) created by the MTHFR enzyme in order for you to be able to make T3.  Genetic mutations that reduce the activity level of  MTHFR will reduce production of T3. They are relatively common, especially in ADHD children according to Dr Lynch. (Some people wonder if this is because the mutations may actually confer some other evolutionary benefit).

Why is Activated Riboflavin so important for hypothyroid patients?

Dr Lynch explained hypothyroid people are probably deficient in activated riboflavin (called FAD) since converting that vitamin requires T3. If you are FAD deficient the MTHFR enzyme cannot function properly even if your genetics are optimal. And then you will have less T3. Vicious cycle.  Result – your body is crippled because you can’t make SAM-e or recycle glutathione, two key components of the biological system. Glutathione is the body’s major antioxidant. Glutathione apparently neutralises hydrogen peroxide so perhaps testimonials I’ve read of people who have their hair colour restored are due to this; I’m looking forward to reversing my grey hair when my levels are optimised! 70% of SAM-e goes to produce phosphotidyl choline for cell membranes, and creatine, (that stuff body builders are so fond of.)

(You can buy activated riboflavin and any other MTHFR pathway supports easily from iherb.com who ship cheaply to Australia. I’ve never had any issues with customs as they use DHL. For some reason customs pounces on anything that comes in Fedex. They send it on anyway but it gets held up for weeks.)


I concentrated on Dr Ben Lynch and methylation defects because I have just done my 23andme DNA test which gives actionable information on the MTHFR methylation genes if you can do your own reporting. Smartdna in Melbourne and Pathway Genomics in USA through Nutripath, an australian pathology company, are some other labs that can test for this and provide reporting. MTHFRsupport.com.au is a good place to look for information for australians – look out for their folate, mthfr and pregnancy webinar on the 24th June. $25

If you want to get even deeper into genomics check out https://www.coursera.org/course/genomicmedicine Coursera provide free tertiary level instruction – amazing! I enrolled late but even though this finished, I can still access the course materials so I think you can just sign up anytime.


click to register for the free event or order the recordings to own for a reduced price of $67 before the end of the summit.

Here’s another hour with Dr Lynch and Dr Alan Christianson if you want the methylation cycle more fully explained complete with alphabet soup diagrams. http://seekinghealth.org/resource/mthfr-and-thyroid-disorders/ It was well worth patiently working through, and as he promises it gets easier after a few goes. Discussion of CBS pathway upregulation which Ben didn’t have time for, is on Day1 post

Of course there was so much more on day 4, anti aging hormones with Dr Pamela Smith, and Dr Tom O’Bryan talking on gluten. ( I think my blood literally ran cold when I saw his information thinking about a young lady I know who has worsening epilepsy on a background of a family tree riddled with autoimmune and GI tract issues. Are they missing the root cause? )


Fire Water: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace


Talk about thyroid health and you talk about two elements – fluoride and iodine. Both are on the same period of the periodic table of elements and this is why one, fluorine – which is not needed for any bodily function, can interfere with the other, iodine – without which we cannot live.

Lucy Herron talked about flouride on day 3 of the thyroid summit. She is a kiwi – and was warned before moving to Australia that we do things a bit funny in Tasmania, the little southern island state that keeps getting left off the map. Tasmania was going to add iodine to the water apparently but we lobbied to get flouride instead, …. and won!

Australian water has flouride added at levels in all States and Territories, other than the Northern Territory ( who set optimal at 0.6 mg/l) :
Optimally Fluoridated” = The level is more than 0.7 mg/l.
Suboptimal Fluoridated” = The level is between 0.3 and 0.7 mg/l. Please seek advice from your dental advisor.
Not Fluoridated” = The level is less than 0.3 mg/l.

Note: mg/l is the same as ppm ( parts per milllion ) which you may see on water analysis. source – fluoride map of australia

Altered thyroid function is associated with fluoride intakes as low as 0.05-0.1 mg fluoride per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/day), or 0.03 mg/kg/day with iodine deficiency. Increased prevalence of goiter (>20 percent) is associated with fluoride intakes of 0.07-0.13 mg/kg/day, or 0.01 mg/kg/day with iodine deficiency.4

Drinking water, reconstituted baby formula or fruit juices, other foods made with water from a municipal supply like soups, rice and pasta, those which concentrate water like jams – you add all of this up and work out how much poison you are ingesting! Kids of course are at risk as they eat and drink more per kg of body weight than an adult but have less tolerance for fluoride.

Firewater is a free online film about the issues of  water flouridation in Australia http://www.firewaterfilm.com

But what about cavities?

Cavities are due to calcium deficiency, vitamin C and D defficiency, a mineral deficient acidic diet, or malabsorbtion as in coeliac disease – not lack of flouride.

In her careful experiments, Dr May Mellanby demonstrated that the same nutritional conditions that support development of strong, well mineralized teeth, also support the arrest of dental decay, development of reparative dentin and tooth remineralization.  That is, optimal supplementation of vitamin D, together with adequate calcium and phosphorus and a calcifying diet with restricted intake of sugar and cereal grains. Dr Weston Price found even better results when vitamin K2 was also supplemented. ~http://%20thedentalessentials.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/can-cavities-really-be-healed/%20

There are non-toxic proven alternatives to topical flouride to prevent and reverse tooth decay. Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (CPP-ACP) as Recaldent from Melbourne university http://www.breezecare.com.au/ausshop/recaldent-tooth-mousse.html( the recaldent chewing gum is really nice, the mousse not so much but effective.) How about theobromine from chocolate in the toothpaste? http://www.theodent.com/products_kids.html (hoping to try this soon) or the orthomolecular tooth hardener nano calcium hydroxyapatite  in Apagard, a japanese toothpaste which has been available for 30 years www.apagard.com/en/ ( tested this too and its nice!)

Access to pure water – only for the rich?

removing flouride ( and chlorine) is incredibly hard. A few filters will do it as cost of around 20c a litre www.fill2purefilters.com.au. and on my wishlist the Bear Gryll’s tough British Berkfield http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/berkey/ My children had the luxury of growing up in a semi rural area with rainwater tanks. Now they are renting they can’t have the option of showering in flouride free water.

NZ residents of Hastings have come up with another solution – tapping directly into the city’s bore supplies to stockpile untreated waterhttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11262618 Just don’t use that water to make tea – Tea, particularly with lower quality older leaves, contain high levels of fluoride.

Had enough? Join the International Fluoride Free Teleconference

(Australia/Sydney): Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 07:00 – 09.00 am

A monthly teleconference of activists from around the world sharing information and experiences to increase the effectiveness of local, state, and national campaigns. Register Here

Iodine, Thyroid and Adrenal Health


Freebie Alert! Free thyroid health information 

lucy heronDay3Banner

click the picture to sign up for the summit

with THE original alternative thyroid health expert and a father of iodine therapy Dr David Brownstein MD   – very important as Tasmanian soils are the most iodine deficient in the nation and we have historical health problems because of this that have been resurfacing. Note the dates given are for USA so  June 4th is the 5th locally – there will be two presenters during the sessions who are practicing in Australia – Lucy Herron, i think she’s a kiwi originally and Dr. Greg Emerson, canadian by birth ( new members may also like to check out the astro pages on seaweed )

Here are some of my thoughts and notes from the shows so far –

Day One Dr Brownstein discussed basal body temp, ( basal means upon waking but before getting out of bed – 97.8-98.8 farenheit translates to 37 centigrade Lucy Herron went into more detail on day 2. Here’s how to test it and a handy metric basal temp chart http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/conception/trying-to-conceive/basal-temperature-chart-print-out-and-fill-in-20100907-14z6c.html Use a digital thermometer sold for ovulation monitoring which is more precise than a standard thermometer. You can find them at most chemist stores. (I’ve used a few ideas from a little ebook by Matt Stone called ‘eat for heat‘ to ramp up my own basal temp.)

For the well person the big news is cancer prevention with iodine sufficiency: Iodine is necessary for normal glandular architecture of the breasts, ovaries and prostate not just the thyroid; deficiency causes cysts and nodules and eventually cancer. I was flabbergasted to learn a couple of years ago from a commercial fruit grower how her own child developed a goitre from the home veggie garden. Before you start to think ‘pesticides’ their farm is organic “To nurture the soil, they use the clear clean water from the Derwent River and hundreds of tonnes of organic compost, seaweed fertilisers and nutrient-rich cover crops which they mulch back into tree rows.” So I think it’s safest to test your soil if you eat a lot of home grown vegetables and also test your urine iodine levels as these are simple to do and cost effective considering the implications. Since October 2009, iodised salt is used in all bread sold in Australia (except organic, or salt free bread) and also not home bread mixes, flour and not pizza. [1] In Tasmania the stat govt. has iodine monitoring and you can call the public health line for information  1800671738. Plants also grow better with extra iodine. Here’s a nifty article outlining the pros and cons of iodine fortification of plants as an alternative to iodised salt.

Day Two Tahoma Clinic Doctor Jonathan Wright MD  (whose excitable speech pattern reminds me of  Willy Wonka)  says testing free T3 and then reverse T3 if nothing else would suffice to check thyroid function in contrast to choosing a TSH level – the usual sole screening test run by physicians,.

TSH is a pituitary hormone and he pointed out that unfortunately the normal range was created from total population averages, not tests of optimal function.

Thyroid function tests—time for a reassessment

St John O’Reilly’s paper notes TSH has never even been correlated with physical symptoms. www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7245/1332 This of course is true for other nutrients – Dr Bevin Hokin of the Sanitarium Hospital in Sydney has tried for years to point out that the reference ranges for serum B12 are too low – [2]

The usual method of deriving a reference range (Mean +/-2SD) results in a vitamin B12 reference range of around 130-850 pmol/L. This is an unsafe range as many in the population exhibit neurological symptoms of deficiency at much higher concentrations. The lowest concentration to be considered normal is 221 pmol/L. (Herbert 1996b)

Total T3 and T4 is stuck on binding proteins and is unavailable to the thyroid so measuring it is not helpful. TPO and TGA thyroid antibodies measurements can predict Hashimoto’s.

Dr Wright talked about chelating heavy metals out of the body in order to reduce inappropriate creation of reverse T3 when the body is not faced with starvation. If, when using DMPS to remove arsenic and mercury, an excess of sulphite is created from the sulfur not being metabolised efficiently due to molybdenum defficiency, the patient will have ‘foggy brain’ symptoms. I know this can also happen with common genetic mutations.

“People with mutations of CBS do not metabolise sulfur well and must limit sulfur containing foods as well as sulfur medicines. CBS is Cystathionine-β-synthase. CBS converts homocysteine into cystathionine. This pathway removes sulfur containing amino acids. When it is shut off there can be trouble.”

A simple sign you may be bad at detoxifying sulfur is a lot of burping or flatulence after eating onions and garlic – both high sulfur foods. [Ameer Rosic interview mp3]. If you have your 23andme genome test, CBS is tested. I use Amy Yasko’s website and http://geneticgenie.org/ to report on this (If that is all alphabet soup to you may email me if you would like help.)

The importance of testing adrenal function and providing the necessary support for these glands before supplementing thyroid was mentioned by both doctors. Vitamin C is at the top of Dr Wright’s helpful list – followed by simple salt. Also natural bioidentical cortisol in physiological doses (he reccomends  William Jeffries – ‘safe uses of cortisol’ ) cheap bulk Himalayan salt. is sometimes available at Astrotas meetings from Allan Wilton.

The toxic halides Bromine and flouride both interfere with iodine in the body.  In america the flour is brominated – but this is not an allowed in australia;  and we add iodised salt to our bread. Bread improvers may previously have contained bromine but this has been removed since the early 90’s. We do however use bromine instead of iodine now to sterilise milk vats, and some spa pools, and of course we continue to add flouride in many areas to our drinking water.

Here’s a link to the Harvard flouride review he mentioned  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/fluoride-childrens-health-grandjean-choi/  “July 25, 2012 — In a meta-analysis, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang for the first time combined 27 studies and found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children. Some studies suggested that even slightly increased fluoride exposure could be toxic to the brain.  “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Grandjean says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious.”

Since both my parents have glaucoma I was really interested by other ideas from Dr Wright’s clinical experience which will be in his new book – 50% of glaucoma can be reversed with adrenal support. 70% of dry macular degeneration is due to a digestive problem leading to nutrient defficiency. His website is www.tahomaclinicblog.com/iodide