There are 24 discernible thyroid patterns, but most people are just familiar with two – hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In fact, it is more complicated than that and the gland can be impacted by many different things. The thyroid is a luxury and is one of the first thing to run down in times of trouble.
1. Estrogen (HRT) and Hypothyroidism
Estrogen, usually taken as hormone replacement, reduces the available or free thyroid hormone in the body. The liver increases it’s production of Thyroxine-Binding Globulin (TGB) in the presence of too much Estrogen.
A potential lab finding would be a decreased T3 Uptake and decreased free thyroid hormone.
Everyone on hormone replacement therapy including estrogen should always have their T3 Uptake checked to make sure it’s not depressing the thyroid.
Additionally, excessive estrogen will decrease the conversion between T4 (majority of thyroid hormone produced) to T3. (active thyroid hormone).
Supplements for Estrogen Detoxification
- N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- Rosemary or Diindolylmethane (DIM)
- Vitamin B6 (P5P).
Read More about Estrogen Dominance.
2. Dysglycemia and Hypothyroidism
Both high and low blood sugar can cause low thyroid symptoms. Insulin surges will blocking the T4 to T3 conversion causing hypothyroidism. Simply, eating a well balanced diet will mitigate the negative effects of dysglycemia. Focus on anchoring meals in protein (aim for 25-35g) and fat (aim for 25-35g) while modulating carbohydrates with your activity level. Avoid snacking between meals.
Dysglycemia is also the most common cause of functional level serotonin and dopamine deficiencies, both of which lead to even more thyroid dysfunction.
Supplements for Blood Sugar Regulation
- Artichoke Extract
3. Autoimmunity and Hypothyroidism
Autoimmunity is the most common cause of medically diagnosed hypothyroidism although it is rarely tested for. Hashimoto’s disease is standardly treated medically with thyroid hormone replacement. As the thyroid deteriorates over time, the dosage typically increases. Since the severity of the tissue destruction is mild, immune modulating drugs aren’t worth the risk like with other autoimmune diseases.
There are antibody tests to check for immunity against certain proteins in the gland. For example – thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin, TSH, and even thyroid hormone itself.
Even with the perfect diet, some people will have an immune system that will continue to drive excess amounts of inflammation.
Very generally, these patients need help balancing an overactive immune system. Many people have these issues without a formal diagnosis of “autoimmunity.” Focus should be on dampening production of inflammation with things like Tumeric or Resveratrol, potentially removing foods, heavy metals, infections, and balancing T Cells with supplements like Vitamin A and D.
I strongly recommend these complicated patients see a holistic practitioner as even experienced practitioners struggle to balance these presentations.