Episode #12: The Hidden Culprit Behind Thyroid Problems

May 31, 2019

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
What's going on. Everybody. Doctor Chad Woolner here and Dr Buddy Alan. And this is episode 12 of the Health fundamentals podcast. On today's episode we wanted to talk about the hidden culprit behind thyroid problems. So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:12)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr Chat volar and I'm Dr Buddy Alan. And this show was about giving you the simple but powerful cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:32)
So, hey everybody, hope you guys are having a great day. On today's episode we wanted to talk a little bit about thyroid problems, thyroid problems that seems today like are becoming more and more common or have been, uh, quite common and even more, getting more common over the years. Um, this is, uh, an issue that is very near and dear to my heart as my wife has struggled for years, uh, with thyroid issues. Um, ultimately I think it was, golly, it's been, I think it's been about eight years now. Uh, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, had her thyroid removed. And as I'm sure you can probably imagine, that creates a whole host of problems in terms of trying to balance, uh, what is, uh, already a very delicate balance that needs to be reached. And so, uh, trying to manage a thyroid hormones, uh, effectively or properly without a thyroid gland is a very tricky, oh, it's like a, it's like hormonal gymnastics.

Speaker 1: (01:31)
So, uh, so we've been down this road for quite some time and it's really challenging because, uh, if you are like so many other, uh, not only women, but men too who struggle with thyroid problems and you've tried to, uh, address these problems through most of the conventional approaches, uh, it can be quite frustrating. Um, because, uh, far too often what happens is they look at a blood tests and what did the blood test typically say? You're within normal. Yeah. Everything looks okay, everything looks fine. And yet you've got all of these classic symptoms of thyroid problems, hypothyroidism, right? What are those classic symptoms people that we see that you hear of low energy, dry skin, um, gaining weight? Uh, hair falling out. Yeah. Eyebrows, thinning, yes. Um, cold. Yeah, exactly. Always cold, always cold, you know, all these classic symptoms and signs of thyroid problems.

Speaker 1: (02:34)
And so, uh, where do you go? You know, especially when everything that the doctors are looking at seems to from all accounts look normal and yet you're not instilling symptoms. Clearly there are things that are going wrong and it's not being addressed well. Um, you know, number one, we'll preface this episode by saying, you know, thyroid issues are complex. Absolutely. Anybody, anything different has not dealt with thyroid issues long enough to, to be able to recognize and appreciate. Now that being said, that's not saying that we can't give answers and it's not saying we can't help people cause we help people with thyroid issues all the time. But just understand, uh, that in the, in the confines of this single episode, we'll, I'm sure we'll talk about thyroid issues plenty, uh, you know, on future episodes, but just understand it's a really complex issue multifactoral uh, as so many other health issues.

Speaker 1: (03:29)
But one area that we wanted to kind of dive a little bit deeper in is, uh, one of the most common and yet hidden culprits behind thyroid problems that is being ignored, largely ignored. And what would that be? A really stress stress. Once again, stress shows his face as a something that's going to complicate and or, um, amplify, uh, you know, just the negative effects of, of different things in our body. But yeah, absolutely. The, our stress hormones get 'em all out of whack and it just, it kind of just confuses our body. Yeah. So let's, let's dive deep into this. You know, so when we say stress, uh, stress will have an impact on the body and specifically one of the organ systems that gets neglected with thyroid issues is adrenal problems, right? A adrenal problems are oftentimes ignored or neglected or just not even thought of.

Speaker 1: (04:21)
Um, in terms of thyroid issues, you know, far too often, uh, doctors will look at the thyroid and only the thyroid and think that that is the primary issue when in reality, oftentimes, uh, it could really be on an underlying adrenal problem that's going on as a result of stress. So, uh, let's kind of unpack that and let's talk a little bit about it. How the adrenal glands and where their function can impact and or impair fibroid function. And so, uh, let, let's kind of unload three key areas where the adrenal glands can impact the thyroid gland. Uh, number one, it can affect how we produce the production of thyroid in general or by hormones. Exactly. Um, number two is going to be the conversion of those hormones into the proper forms. And then the third is gonna. It creates resistance issues, resistance problems, who to the hormones.

Speaker 1: (05:13)
And one of the, one of the things that you'll see is that with some of those areas, those problems that are created wouldn't necessarily be manifested effectively or appropriately or, or visibly on a blood test. Right? And so you, you look at like for instance, resistance, a resistance problem or even a conversion problem. Uh, those types of problems, uh, aren't going to be readily seen on a blood test right now if it's a true, legitimate, like production problem where you are hypo thyroid, where the body is not producing sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone that may or may not show up on a blood test. But these other ones definitely probably aren't gonna show up on a blood test. So let's talk about production. How that's influenced. Well, it's actually kind of a simple, when you, when you simplify it, when you kind of look at it in general, right?

Speaker 1: (05:59)
When the body is undergoing stress, your adrenal glands are the primary stress coping mechanisms within the body. Your adrenal glands will produce cortisol among other things. And Cortisol is used to help combat that stress. And so imagine like this feedback loop where you have your brain that senses stress, whether it be physical stress, emotional stress, chemical stress, you name it. Well, that that brain then sends a signal to the adrenal glands via the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland. They call it your HPA axis. I don't expect you to remember this, but just to understand, your brain sends signals via the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then send signals out to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands will produce stress hormones, primarily cortisol to address the stressor, right? This is what people refer to commonly as the flight fight or flight response, right?

Speaker 1: (06:52)
And so then the cortisol, the, the presence of Cortisol will then send a signal back to the brain to say that, yes, we have produced the appropriate hormones. We are now addressing the problem. And so then ultimately it should ideally, in an ideal situation, a create a negative feedback loop to where it, it stops the off everything. Yeah. The off switch, we've, we've, we've either run away from the tiger where we've killed the tiger right from our caveman days. Right? And so the problem though is that what if the stressor isn't gone? What if the stressor is still there? Or what if there's an immediate stressor right after, at one, right after the other, over and over and over and over again, right? So again, uh, do we ever have a deficit of stressors in our life, right? I mean, and that's, and then we fix one, one problem only to find three more, right?

Speaker 1: (07:38)
Or, or what if there's a chronic infection that's just not being addressed? That's still there, that's still there. You know? And so you can immediately start to see the problem there is that what happens is our body, uh, is, is, becomes hyperfocused on that, that loop in such a way where everything gets diverted at the detriment of so many other processes in our body, including thyroid production. And so all of a sudden production starts going down to try, and it's kind of the proverbial robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario where a thyroid production gets put to a halt along with everything else in effort to try and address the stressor, to produce, to signal the adrenals, to produce more cortisol and other things like that. And then eventually things just kind of start really going wonky and crazy. And so, so that's how production happens.

Speaker 1: (08:24)
So then the next is conversion, right? And so, um, there's a lot of ways that conversion can be impacted. And when we say conversion, let's get specific here. You know, when your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, it produces primarily, it produces what's called t four, which is an inactive version of the thyroid hormone. Uh, like you'd said, kind of used for storage. Um, and so the body needs to convert that to t three, which is the active form of t three. But then also on top of that, the interesting thing is that the body will also produce what's called reverse t three where we will, uh, kind of put the brakes on the uh, uh, the utilization of the active form, the, the free t three. And so, uh, and so you've, you've got this process of conversion that has to take place there. And what happens is when your body is in a chronic state of stress, oftentimes it creates inflammatory markers in the body that will impact the conversion process.

Speaker 1: (09:20)
It'll, it'll impact the, the various enzymes that are involved in that delicate process of conversion. And so now all of a sudden the problem there is that when you run blood tests and you look at t four levels, the t four levels all look Litho, normal range or what's called Tsh, thyroid stimulating hormone, um, you know, everything looks good. It's stimulating the right amounts, the right amounts of t four there. But the problem is is that if it's not being converted effectively, that that thyroid hormone is not going to be utilized. And so you will still have hypo thyroid issues. Um, you will have legitimate hypothyroidism happening there even though everything looks normal. Right? So then the last part is resistance. Let's talk about resistance. And resistance is very much, um, it's very much like a, you know, diabetics or, or insulin resistance leading to diabetes.

Speaker 1: (10:10)
Uh, there may be ample there, but it's the insensitivity to it because of all the stress hormones that are floating and the inflammation that's caused and all of these mixed signals that your body is getting under each and environment to where the tissues are not going to be able to utilize it like they could or should. Right. So again, that's, and that's a perfect example. You know, we were familiar at least maybe should be familiar with uh, common things like insulin resistance, right? Where, uh, when the environment gets, gets completely out of its normal ranges, uh, the tissues no longer respond the same to, to those, to those signals, right? Those hormone signals like insulin, right? But in this instance, we're not talking about insulin. We're obviously talking about thyroid hormone where you may have the proper levels, but if the tissue's just simply aren't, aren't taking it in, taking it in and utilizing it, you know, we have resistance problems and so then all of a sudden we've got a, yeah, we've got a issues there.

Speaker 1: (11:07)
I rate issues, right? So, uh, understanding the adrenal glands and the critical role that they play in normal, healthy thyroid function, uh, is really important to understand because then we start to get answers where previously we didn't have the exams and we have, we have a direction of action that we can take. Okay. We need to be able again, to take a step back and look at our lives and be like, look, stress is a normal part of our life and we're supposed to be able to deal with it in a healthy way. Our body, we have mechanisms to be able to do it. And uh, so we need to look at, you know, do we have physical stressors? Do we have a mental, emotional, what are the stressors in our life? Is there some sort of sanction? Right? Is there, is there an infection that we have to look at?

Speaker 1: (11:48)
Right? And so, yeah, and so again, uh, if you, if you went back to one of our episodes, we about depression, he said one of the first things you got to step back at it, you've got to get clarity and look at where are the areas that are being impacted, you know, and that might require some additional testing outside of the normal parameters. Right? I would say if you're not certain, if your adrenals are impacted or not get an adrenal test, it's very simple. They test salivary hormones. It's a test that can be done at home, uh, having your adrenal function tested. Um, and then the other thing you can look at is, are you dealing with some sort of an underlying, uh, internal pathogen? You know, so having a GI pathogen test, gut issues, right? Uh, are there food sensitivities? Are there emotional stressors that haven't been dealt with appropriately or effectively that you're still harboring and struggling with?

Speaker 1: (12:34)
Right? Um, are there environmental factors right now in your life that maybe need to change? Maybe you need to change some things. Maybe you're in a job that you shouldn't be in. Uh, maybe it's that you've got a diet that needs to be cleaned up. Maybe it's that you need to be a little bit more active and that can be a catch 22 in and of itself in terms of exercise and activity level. If, if people are already feeling already burnt out and they've got these issues, sometimes that can kind of create some problems. But ultimately really trying to identify maybe some of the areas that need to be looked into further to get more answers. And then once we start having some of these answers right in front of us, then we can start creating a little bit more of a comprehensive plan of attack to begin, you know, solving these problems. So anything else you want to add to this episode? Nope. Let's try to keep things simple and let's let it just, let's peel it back to, you know, what, what's, what are the causes? And this is a big one for a lot of people, so it's not getting addressed. Fibroid issues and you're stressed. Um, let's see if maybe we start addressing the stressors and see if your thyroid doesn't respond appropriately. Yeah. So, all right guys, we'll, we'll talk to you guys on the next episode. Have a good one.

Speaker 2: (13:42)
Thanks for listening to the health fundamentals podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop. And in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least. If you have questions that you want answered, live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com

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