Are You Thriving?
My recent trip to a hair salon on a Monday nearly nearly broke my heart. I am writing this blog because I want you to make sure your thyroid is okay and you do not miss it if it is not. We have a true epidemic of thyroid dysfunction (Benhaberou-Brun, 2014) just like we have an epidemic of EBV and today I just want to make sure you have the support and the right information RIGHT NOW!
So what exactly happened that Monday…
I had booked myself online for a haircut in a salon in the neighborhood and enjoyed chatting with my new hairdresser Sharon. Somewhere in the conversation I mentioned I was busy working on a big mission when she asked me what I did. I did not really want too much attention on EBV, but she was curious. “EBV, like mono?” she asked. “I had terrible mono many years ago.” I did not expect to hear what came next….
Here is this lovely happy-looking 39-year-old mom of two little kids. But behind the cheerful disposition is a story of continued pain, isolation, and fear. A year before, she had had her thyroid surgically removed (as she showed me the scar running in the middle of her neck). She had not been well for a long time, ended up in hospital only to find she had thyroid cancer (complete surprise, to say the least) that needed to come out immediately. Just like that. Out of the blue. It reminded me of my friend Marlena who also ended up in the ER one day and found out she had multiple sclerosis, completely out of the blue. Just like that. And now she is gone.
A Painful Thyroid Story of One Woman
Sharon explained she had no support before, during, or after the procedure. She had radioactive iodine and traditional medical treatment. She was then put on synthetic thyroid medication, which threw her into emotional and hormonal upheaval (which no one warned her about)—I believe she called it hell.
All the while she had to maintain her job and take care of her two toddlers. She did not have a medical team that could explain things to her or provide solutions for future or preventive measures. She did not have support from family. She was all alone with this.
She always wondered why she got thyroid cancer in the first place and she worried because here she was a year later and now they were telling her they had not been able to remove 100% of the cancer! She did not know how to improve her situation, where to ask for help, or what to do next. She had real legitimate fear for her life. And she was still miserable, with a brave face, so you would never know her life was so challenging and painful.
The more we talked, the more I suspected that her EBV could have been responsible for the tumor. In fact, one of the two thyroid cancers she had been diagnosed with is linked to EBV in medical literature. Also, I suspect her thyroid started with Hashimoto’s, but she was never tested or supported properly, her thyroid was not routinely tested, it was probably missed, and that is how it may have evolved into cancer (Hashimoto’s increases the risk of thyroid cancer).
I wrote down a lot of resources for her and told her what she could do. Sharon did not have a printer, so next day I sent my husband to deliver a color printout of our EBV Hero Manifesto hoping it would inspire her as she moves forward.
I thought about Sharon all evening. The truth is that there are thousands of women who may be falling through the medical system with their thyroid, having their lives irreversibly altered in such a profound way. This really does NOT have to happen to anyone at all.
So today, to honor Sharon and all of the women and men who struggle with thyroid, I decided to share some important simple facts and resources with you all, just in case!
What you need to know about your thyroid moving forward!
Demand that your PCP test and retest your thyroid at least every six months. And that includes TSH, T3, T4, RT3, AND, most importantly, the two antibodies for autoimmune thyroiditis: TPO and Thyroglobulin antibodies. I am serious about it – if they refuse, find a new doctor who understands the importance of this. If doctors tested this as part of their annual checkup, we could possibly save many women from tragedies like Sharon’s.
Why am I so concerned with antibodies to thyroid?
Antibodies to thyroid are the only way you can test for autoimmunity to thyroid. You cannot assess that with TSH, T3, and T4 AT ALL, and these are the only three markers that are commonly tested in a medical practice.
If you look at research though, it suggests that up to 90-97% of hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid) is actually autoimmune in nature, also called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT).
HT is the most prevalent autoimmune thyroid disorder and the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US (Sanyal, 2014). Between 20 to 27 million Americans are afflicted with thyroid-related illness and up to 60% of those with thyroid disease are undiagnosed (Ata; Kharrazian, 2010, xi). More than 12% of the US population will develop thyroid disease in their lifetime (ACTA).
I hope you hear me on this. Yes, your thyroid may be low because of deficiencies of certain nutrients, environmental toxins, heavy metal toxicity, etc. But we may be missing many women with actual autoimmune process in their thyroid, in which the immune system wages a war and attacks the thyroid (often because it is trying to kill the pathogen that has taken residence in thyroid). Checking and rechecking the two antibodies can help prevent autoimmunity from becoming a full-blown issue.
Welcome to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
This is the official name of autoimmune thyroiditis when your thyroid is underactive, but you WILL miss it if you do not test the two antibodies as I just mentioned. I so wish a good doctor had tested Sharon a year or two before she ended up in ER. But you can get tested. This should be standard of care in medical practice – this is how I feel about it.
What causes Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
There are many causes, among them EBV, of course, and other infections like Yersinia and H. pylori. Gluten can be a trigger. And the list goes on. But I do see EBV quite often being the culprit, at least in the population I work with.
Can Hashimoto’s lead to thyroid cancer? YES!
This is taken straight from www.thyroid.org: “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, is a pre-cancerous condition that predisposes patients to thyroid cancer.” Studies confirm it (Chen, et al., 2013).
From my clinical perspective, when I see a thyroid issue, I immediately want to exclude EBV (blood test), Yersinia, and H. pylori (a good stool test) and toxicity (cleaning the environment), and I recommend testing for the two antibodies to Hashimoto’s. I also want to make sure there is no toxic mold exposure, some of which can trigger thyroid autoimmunity as well. We want to prevent thyroid dysfunction that is driven by autoimmunity from developing into cancer!
This is real…
I have seen too many cases of Hashimoto’s in my practice. And in some cases, women go misdiagnosed for years and even decades, which means that they feel miserable most of their lives! I do not want you to be one of those women (or men).
If Hashimoto’s is caused by EBV or H. pylori, it does not matter how much thyroid medication you take, synthetic or not – you are not addressing the root cause. And when we find active EBV and work on that, guess what, the thyroid stabilizes and people regain functionality, joy, and their lives. The same can be true of other infections, depending on what is driving the thyroid autoimmunity.
Please take care of your wellbeing and your thyroid and do not let anyone tell you they cannot test your antibodies.
And if you are completely new to the topic of thyroid, here is Thyroid 101 in a nutshell:
Thyroid is like an operating system that decides how often you poop (or how constipated you are), how happy (or depressed) you feel, and how well (or poorly) you can lose extra pounds if you have them. It basically affects how you function.
Let me map out how impressive your thyroid is:
- Regulation of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism (how you absorb foods!)
- Stimulation of hydrochloric acid (how you absorb protein, B12, B6, folate, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium!)
- Mitochondrial function
- Digestive process
- Muscle and nerve activity
- Blood flow
- Oxygen utilization
- Hormone secretion
- Sexual and reproductive health
… In a word, thyroid affects all cells and all systems of the body!
Well, as you look at this laundry list of complaints that relate to slow or low thyroid, see if you may have any of these complaints already:
- Difficulty in losing weight
- Tendency to gain weight
- Dry skin
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Menstrual problems (irregular or heavy periods)
- Recurrent infections
- Sensitivity to cold (cold hands and feet)
- Elevated cholesterol
- Mental fatigue and sluggishness
- Thinning/loss of hair
- Thinning of outside eyebrows
- Low stomach acid
Is that you?
Then go see your doctor and ask for the right testing!
Do you want to understand the thyroid issue better and get more tools you can immediately apply in your daily life, feel better, and prevent future health tragedies?
Click on the button below – let my friend Inna Topiler walk you through it.
Can Inna Help You with your Thyroid?
Absolutely – she is on a mission to help as many women as she can!
A dear friend and a nutritionist like me, Inna Topiler herself had to suffer from Hashimoto’s. She did figure it out: it was a hard journey but she has healed and she is now on a mission to bring the best and newest evidence on this condition to the public through many top experts in their fields who also have expertise in Hashimoto’s.
I was honored to be one of Inna’s speaker guest too, so you can hear me talk about the EBV connection in more depth. I hope you can plug in! There are truly some amazing speakers lined up and even if you pick just a few, I know they will make a difference in your life. If you catch it in time, it will be completely free too.
I feel every single woman should know how to protect their thyroid. Period. Your power is in your hands. It is just a matter of knowing the right information and having the right support.
This event starts soon, July 15th, so do not miss it!
ACTA Bio Medica 2003; 74; 9-33. Update on polyendocrine systems (APS).
Benhaberou-Brun, D. (2014). [Hypothyroidism. The silent epidemic]. Perspect Infirm, 11(3), 25-27.
Chen Y-K, et all. (2013). British J Cancer. Oct 29; 109(9): 2496–2501.
Kharrazian, D. (2010). Why do I still have thyroid symptoms? When my lab tests are normal. Carlsbad, CA: Elephant Printing.
Sanyal, D. (2014). Spectrum of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: clinical, biochemical & cytomorphologic profile. Indian J Med Res, 140(6), 710-712.
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If you want to transform your life, if you want health and wellness, if you want peace of mind, there isn’t a better investment than working with Kasia.~ Beth