Book Report, Thyroid

Book Report: The Paleo Thyroid Solution

The Paleo Thyroid Solution: Stop Feeling Fat, Foggy, And Fatigued At The Hands Of Uninformed Doctors – Reclaim Your Health! by Elle Russ

Thyroid issues are extremely common and under-diagnosed. I picked up this book because Elle has experienced a turnaround based on her own experience and importantly utilized dietary strategies. I have referenced items out of this book many times for patients.

She delivers a ton of nuggets so I think the best way to share is pick some of the highlights I saved thru the various chapters.
  • “TSH is a pituitary hormone and TSH levels only indicate to us how loud or soft the signal being sent to the thyroid is. What truly matters is how the thyroid gland interprets that TSH signal…meaning whether or not the thyroid gland dispenses enough thyroid hormones to the body after receiving the TSH signal.” This is an important item to start with as most providers will only run TSH as an assessment for thyroid performance, but unfortunately, it misses much of the information needed.
  • FOUR PROCESSES OF FAT-BURNING METABOLISM 1. The thyroid gland outputting T4 and T3 (or you taking thyroid hormone replacement) 2. Your body converts the T4 into T3 3. The T3 arriving at work (the cells) 4. The T3 “punching in” to work (enter/affects the cells) Why doesn’t the thyroid gland just pump T3 directly into our system, if that’s what our bodies ultimately need? Why does the thyroid bother with this “middleman” T4 and this whole conversion process? T3 is the biologically active, most important thyroid hormone to human health, and as a result, it’s a very powerful energy hormone. T3 has such immediate and powerful effects that our bodies sort of have a built-in time-release process, where T3 is wisely dispensed to our bodies via T4 throughout the day when our bodies need it. The biologically inactive T4 converts into the biologically active T3. The leftover T4 that was not converted into T3 will convert, instead, into a biologically inactive form of T3 called Reverse T3 (RT3), as a way of clearing out excess T4 from the body that goes unused/unconverted.
  • “A small portion of the conversion from T4 to T3 happens within the gastrointestinal tract, but only if the gut is healthy and has the right level of friendly gut bacteria. Some conversion also occurs within the cells of the brain, bones, muscles, through the action of another specific enzyme called the D2 deiodinase. The mineral selenium also plays a key role in the conversion of T4 to T3.”
  • “There are a variety of factors that can cause T4 to T3 conversion issues, such as a sluggish or unhealthy liver, poor diet, adrenal dysfunction, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, low iron storage, and blood sugar imbalances.”
  • “Doing chronic cardio (a pattern of frequent workouts where you exceed 75% of your max heart rate for a sustained period of time) can negatively affect thyroid hormone metabolism by skewing the output”
  • “The true kryptonite of the human species is anything anti-thyroid. These are external influences such as food glutens, environmental chemicals (chlorine, bromine, fluoride), certain medications, soybeans and soy products, nuclear radiation, and even adverse health practices like too much stress, overexercising, poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, adrenal imbalances, blood sugar instability, and not enough sleep—all of which can throw off the delicate hormonal interactions that support optimal thyroid function and metabolism.”
  • “RECOMMENDED THYROID TESTS • Free T3 • Free T4 • TSH (This is not a test your doctor should rely on as a sole measurement in assessing hypothyroidism; nor should a doctor use this test on its own to prescribe or alter doses of T4, NDT, T4/T3 combination, or T3-only.) • TPOAb (thyroid peroxidase antibody for Hashimoto’s detection) • TgAb (thyroglobulin antibody for Hashimoto’s detection) • Reverse T3 (must be taken in the same blood draw as Free T3) RECOMMENDED THYROID-RELATED TESTS • Vitamin D, 25-hydroxy • Homocysteine • B12 • Ferritin • DHEA-sulfate • Morning cortisol or twenty-four-hour saliva cortisol test • Sex hormones for both sexes: free testosterone, progesterone, estradiol”
  • “Free T3/Reverse T3 Ratio: 20 or higher is considered healthy.”
  • “Gastrointestinal issues: Gut issues can cause problems with the absorption of minerals, which can lead to low nutrient levels that might ignite an RT3 problem. Even if you don’t have deficiencies in selenium or zinc, suboptimal digestion or more serious conditions like leaky gut syndrome, candida infections, or IBS can all contribute to low T3 levels. Inflammation in the gut can reduce T3 by raising levels of cortisol, which can contribute to more RT3 production.”

She goes onto walk thru different supplementation and thyroid replacement strategies. I have worked with providers in many cases to utilize the different approaches laid out in the book with excellent results. It is very rewarding to work with clients to get energy back via proper thyroid support, which in a vast majority of cases, would not be initiated due to “normal” TSH from mainstream providers. While supplementation helps, removing thyroid antagonists in our diet and environment is equally important on the path to recovery. I believe thyroid management is most definitely one that needs to be guided primarily by patient symptoms with labwork in second place. If you have low energy, low temperature, thinning hair, or other low thryoid symptoms but have been told your labs are normal, please reach out!

This Book Report collection is meant to provide some of the best take-home points from the health and science genre I read. I will continue to go thru my notes of the 160+ and counting (as of January 2019) Kindle books I have on file. To view ALL the notes I saved on this one AND many others without a Book Report post yet, THAT IS ALSO SEARCHABLE, please click here.

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