Name some of the most common complaints of people you know – their energy and sex drive are down, their weight is up, their brain is foggy, their face is puffy, their joints are sore, their hair is falling out, their cholesterol is high, and they don’t seem to be able to shake infections easily.
Thyroid hormones control our metabolism, the fundamental aspect of life. If your cells are unable to utilize thyroid hormones properly, every aspect of your life may be affected. That’s why the list of symptoms and diseases that can be caused from hypothyroidism is so lengthy and varied. Symptoms often slowly progress over decades. People think that is just the way they are and their doctors do not notice the often subtle and gradual changes and decline.
In 2008, Suzanne Somers published the book, Breakthrough-Eight Steps to Wellness. As she speaks of hormones, she says,
“Of all your hormones, the thyroid is the most important! According to Dr. Mark Starr in his book Hypothyroidism Type 2, ‘Without the crucial influence of the thyroid hormones, proper maturation and function of the other hormone glands is not possible.’ I agree with Dr. Starr. The thyroid stimulates the cell energy production that is necessary for life, as well as maintains our body’s relatively constant temperature.
“Thyroid imbalances can manifest as either physical or mental/emotional symptoms. Any organ in the body can be affected by the thyroid. Every cell between and including the hair in the head and the toenail depends on proper thyroid function for development.”
One of the most significant problems in medicine today is the testing for hypothyroidism. Blood tests often indicate you are okay when you are not. Blood tests measure the amount of thyroid hormones, and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), circulating in our blood. For a large majority of people, the tests will indicate “normal values.” But it is not what is circulating in your blood that counts; it is whether you can use the thyroid hormones inside the cells where thyroid hormones do their work. A blood test can tell you if your thyroid gland is failing to produce enough thyroid, but blood tests cannot tell you whether the body’s cells are able to properly utilize the “normal” amounts of thyroid hormones present in the blood – what I call hypothyroidism type 2.
Hypothyroidism type 2 is similar to type 2 diabetes where the pancreas produces normal amounts of insulin but the cells are unable to utilize the hormone normally. The numbers of people who suffer from type 2 hypothyroidism mushroomed in the 20th century. Why? A century ago, 50 percent of Americans died from infection at an early age. The average lifespan in 1900 was about 47 years. Susceptibility to infection has always been one of the hallmarks of hypothyroidism. Elimination of plagues, small pox, tuberculosis and such, and the introduction of antibiotics and better sanitation allowed more hypothyroid people to survive. But in the process, we tampered with Nature’s survival of the fittest. The effect has been to preserve those with weakened immune systems (hypothyroidism type 2). We see evidence of this today in so many conditions. For example, a National Institutes of Health study showed that ADHD was present in 72% of males and 43% of females identified with a genetically inherited form of hypothyroidism.
The World Health Organization recently reported that chronic illnesses have surpassed infectious diseases as the leading causes of deaths worldwide. Diet and environmental pollution most often shoulder the burden, but hypothyroidism increasingly shares the blame.
Add to that, the scores of ubiquitous environmental toxins are in our bodies. Many toxins are passed from mother to child during pregnancy; Environmental Working Group counted some 287 chemicals in newborn umbilical cord blood. Every day, we absorb some of the toxins we run into – plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, formaldehyde, mercury, etc. Scores of these environmental pollutants have been shown to interfere with all aspects of thyroid metabolism.
To put it simply, if we have defective cellular metabolism (hypothyroidism type 2), we don’t have enough gas in the tank to do the thousands of things the body needs to do to keep us young, energetic, alert, and ready to charge up the hill each day.
These before & after photos were published in the early 1900s by Dr. E. Hertoghe. It was not uncommon for doctors of his day to document their patients’ illnesses and treatment with photographs. The photographs show how the patients’ appearance dramatically changed after treatment with natural thyroid hormone. Notice how treatment resolved the puffy face, the puffy eyes, the thinning hair, and even improved demeanor and posture. The lips naturally turn up after treatment. However, the pictures cannot demonstrate some of hypothyroidism’s damage, such as children born to hypothyroid mothers who have lower IQs, arrested sexual development, short attention spans, constipation, laxity of the ligaments, etc.
Today, we have an altered gene pool. Now many people need higher levels of thyroid hormone to stimulate the defective and polluted cells into normal activity. The good news is, desiccated thyroid is a natural, inexpensive solution. The bad news is, most doctors are working with misleading blood tests and synthetic thyroid.