Blood tests are notorious for missing all but the most extreme cases of thyroid dysfunction. Most thyroid issues go undetected for decades because they are low level issues that don’t show up on conventional medical tests, even though they are causing major imbalances in the body. If you’ve had this happen, you can now take your health into your own hands and test your thyroid at home!
This article is our Primal Health notes from part of The Thyroid Sessions interview with Dr. Dan Kalish. Learn more about Dr. Kalish and The Thyroid Sessions at the bottom of the article.
3 main triggers for thyroid problems:
Inflammation – Can result from dietary issues, lifestyle choices and stress. Inflammation signals the body to make more cortisol, and results in a block of the thyroid hormones.
Toxins – Such as heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium. Every American adult has between 400-700 toxins in their body right now. We are saturated with toxins from our modern environment. These toxins are endocrine disruptors: once they get into your tissues, they mess up the way your hormones operate. Impossible to avoid completely, but can be minimized.
Stress – External stress: job deadlines, financial pressure, relationship challenges, parenting, aging family members AND internal stress: not living the life we want, not satisfied, unfulfilled, not at peace with ourselves. Another main trigger of cortisol release. When cortisol levels go up, thyroid hormones drop. The more stressed you are, the more of a thyroid problem you will have.
But my thyroid test came back normal!
People come in to their doctor with symptoms that point to the thyroid, so the doctor orders the blood test, but when the results come out ‘normal’, the thyroid is thought to be healthy and fine, and the doctor and patient continue wondering what could be the problem.
Scientist and conventional doctor, Dr. Brodo Barnes, published an article in the Journal of American Medical Association in the 1940’s about these undiagnosed thyroid conditions. For many years, he studied thyroid issues and successfully treated many patients with thyroid problems. He treated them for adrenal insufficiency, which means he knew that there was direct correlation between high cortisol levels (which exhausts the adrenal glands) and thyroid problems. Eventually, he developed a more thorough thyroid test that could be done at home and would pick up all thyroid problems, whether minor or severe.
So if your doctor has run a blood test and your thyroid levels have come up as normal, try this home test.
The Thyroid Home Test
When your thyroid is weak and underactive, you will feel tired, be putting on weight, have dull hair and skin, feel cold all the time…this is all because your metabolism has been slowed, which will also decrease your body temperature. So a consistently low body temperature can correlate with a sluggish thyroid.
You will need:
– Old-fashioned basal mercury thermometer
– Supplements. See next section for details.
– Chart to record daily results. Make your own – something like this:
What to do:
A/ Do steps #1-3 below for 5 days (noting the different timing for women still menstruating). Make sure that you take your temperature BEFORE getting out of bed, before checking your phone messages or anything. While the thermometer is under your armpit, do nothing but lay there for 10 whole minutes. Don’t read, use your phone, talk or anything.
If your armpit temperature (only use the armpit) is in the normal range stated in #5, your thyroid is ok, and you can stop testing. If your temperature is below the normal range, continue to part B. If you do not see a clear trend in your temperature yet, try another 5 days until a trend of low or normal temperature becomes clear.
If your temperature is higher than the normal range, HYPERthyroidism may be a possibility, or you may have an infection.
B/ If your temperature is below the normal range for the first 5 days, continue testing for 21 more days while also taking these supplements recommended by Dr. Kalish (they can be ordered online), or other thyroid supplements/medication.
Thytrophin PMG made by Standard Process. Dosage is 6 pills at breakfast, or 3 at breakfast and 3 at lunch.
Thyroid Synergy by Designs for Health (better for vegans as not animal based). Dosage is 4 tablets, 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch.
The supplements reduce inflammation, lower cortisol, stabilise blood sugar and provide nutritional support to the thyroid. Therefore, as it says above in #5, if your temperature is low at first but rises while taking the supplements, you may have a weak thyroid.
Two ways of treating the thyroid
1/ The only conventional medical solution is medication, which is usually recommended to be taken for life. This is because if the inflammation, toxins and stress are not being kept under control, the thyroid problem will remain and continue to need the medication. So this is like putting a bandaid on the thyroid, without actually addressing the cause of the thyroid problem or fixing it.
2/ In the alternative medicine world, there are many other solutions. There are natural remedies, and there are also general treatments to greatly minimize the inflammation, toxins and stress, so you never have to directly treat the thyroid, just the cause of the thyroid imbalance.
As discussed above, a main trigger for thyroid dysfunction is stress and the biggest emotional stressors for most people are emotional. The top 10 emotional stressors in the human life span relate to grief or loss such as divorce, loss of a loved one, death of a spouse, marital separation, retirement, loss of a job. Often these emotional stressors lead to physical illness within a couple years.
Therefore, effective thyroid treatment can be through emotional and spiritual healing, which contributes greatly to the body’s ability to stay strong and heal. For example, in Eastern Medicine, the area of the body where the thyroid gland is, relates to the human emotional need of communication. So looking at communication issues in one’s life can give much insight into contributing causes of the thyroid malfunction.
This article is our Primal Health notes from part of one of these amazing thyroid sessions interviews, where Sean interviews Dr. Dan Kalish. Dr. Kalish gives even more awesome detail about the thyroid home testing and emotional healing in his video interview (more than I could possibly type up here for you!), which is included in The Thyroid Sessions.
Dr. Dan Kalish, DC
– Founder of “The Kalish Method”
– Teaches medical doctors Functional Medicine
Test Your Thyroid at Home – May 2014