The Thyroid: A Little Gland With A Big Purpose

Episode 65

Thyroid abnormalities are widespread, and unfortunately, the root cause of the abnormalities are usually not sought after. Many reasons can disrupt the normal functions and processes of this little gland. Don’t let the thyroid’s size fool you; it plays an immense role in our overall health and well-being. In this episode, we discuss:

➡️What the thyroid is

➡️What are its functions

➡️What nutrients are essential to thyroid function

➡️What things impair its function

➡️What labs to check to look at thyroid function

Iodine Content of Foods

Lab Values (These can vary by lab reference range and provider opinion)

LabOptimal Range
TSH0.5-2.0 microunits/mL
Total T45-12 mcg/dL
Free T41.0-1.5 ng/dL
T3 Uptake27-37%
Total T390-168 ng/dL
Free T32.8-3.5 pg/mL
Reverse T310-25 ng/dL
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies0-6.8 IU/mL
Thyroglobulin Antibodies0-0.9 IU/mL

Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris

The Ultimate Wellness Course

How You Can Benefit From Rootine

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secret to the human body. Strive for wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

And now a word from our sponsors. Have you been struggling with brain fog? Maybe it’s indigestion, abdominal bloating. Maybe it’s fatigue or chronic pains. And you’re wondering, is there a way I can fix myself? Is there something natural I can do? Well, look no further. This is what we do at great health and wellness, my company,

We focus on lifestyle medicine, and you may be asking, well, what’s lifestyle medicine. We like to describe it as everything we do throughout the day is either making deposits or withdrawals from our wellness account, and lifestyle medicine is making sure we’re making many more deposits than withdrawals.

So we have a nice wellness account that helps prevent disease and reverse disease if we have it. And we do this through our online courses, where we go through everything you need to know about lifestyle medicine, nutrition, exercise, meditation, fasting, breathwork, and more. But we also combine that with mindset.

And it’s so important to be able to build these healthy habits. We are about sustainability, and that’s what the courses help you walk through is lifestyle medicine sustainably. And it’s not a get-rich-quick or quick-fix scheme. This is how we set ourselves up for success now and in the future. And now to this week’s episode.

Welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast; I’m your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And we’re going to be talking about thyroid in a minute, but first, some things that we need to catch up on. Number one, I have gotten rid of our group, the strive for great health insider group. And I have now changed the Facebook group to strive for great health podcast.

So the same name as the podcast, and that is going to be the official discussion forum, meetup. People can go there and talk about the episodes, ask questions, meet other strivers. All of that directly from Facebook, the strive for great health podcast, Facebook group, it will also have links to the articles and things like that.

And that’s through the Google drive. So you’ll see those on the announcements. There’ll be a link to the Google drive that holds all the articles that we talk about. Also, if you’re not aware our website, has links to all of the episodes. You can get to your favorite podcast player from them.

You can download them. You can listen to them directly from the website, but what’s new is I’ve also added transcripts. So if you are unsure of something, want to go back and write it down or see what was said instead of having to try and find it in the episode, you can now head to the website, and all the transcripts are now there and available for you.

And the final thing is if you actually listen to the ending, no, we are not taking donations anymore for the podcast. So what we are asking people to do is make a donation to their favorite charity. If that’s how you want to support the podcast, not how you want to support the podcast. That’s how we’re asking you to support the podcast is by making a donation to your favorite charity.

And I want to give a shout-out to Danny, who posted on the [00:04:00] website about international treasure house ministries. Doing some really good stuff with rescuing abused children and provides education, and re-integrating them in homes in Kenya. So Danny, thank you for that; it’s a Christian-based charity. And of course, this is a Christian podcast, you know, we talked about that in the Bible’s prescription for health episode.

Okay. So now that we’ve got all of the housekeeping things out of the way. Let’s dive into what we’re going to talk about. Thyroid and thyroid disorders are quite common. It’s one of the most common reasons why people will go see their primary care physician. Now the bad news is we don’t get the right labs ordered.

And a lot of times, people get put on thyroid medication. They don’t need it, and we don’t get to the root cause. And we’re going to talk about that today. So 7% of the country has hypothyroidism, so it’s a very, very common. Disorder, you know, for reference, about 10% have diabetes. So we’re in the same range with diabetes, whereas with thyroid disorder.

So it’s very common. Hyperthyroidism, so actually, let’s go back. Hypothyroidism means the thyroid is underactive. Hyperthyroidism means the thyroid is overactive. Hyperthyroidism is more rare; hypothyroidism, as we just talked about, is not very rare. It’s very common. Some studies say up to 20% of the adult population may have what we call subclinical hypothyroidism, meaning that you look at the labs, and the labs are saying, well, it looks like your thyroid’s not optimal.

And this is a problem because it’s linked to a whole bunch of things we’re going to talk to in a minute. Now let’s start at the very beginning. What is the thyroid gland? It’s a gland that sits at the front of the neck, underneath the voice box. So right about here. If you’re watching on YouTube, I’m pointing to where the thyroid is actually how we feel the thyroid in an exam is we go behind the person, place our hands right there on the neck and ask them to swallow because the thyroid will move into your hand.

It’s a butterfly-shaped gland. It sits right next to the windpipe. It usually weighs about 10 to 20 grams, and it has an inner and outer capsule. And the outer capsule is a loose connective tissue capsule. And this is allowing it to move when we swallow like we just talked about. The gland itself contains smaller lobes, which we call lobules, which contain vesicles, which are basically sacs, which store thyroid hormone.

So what causes the release of thyroid hormones? The brain in an area called the hypothalamus produces something called TRH, which is thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which goes to the pituitary gland, which releases TSH, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and that tells the thyroid to produce and release hormones.

So what hormones are the thyroid producing? So there’s three hormones that we’re going to talk about. Well, two hormones that we’re going to talk about. The third one, we’re not going to talk about on this podcast. We’ll be talking about it at a later podcast. So the two main hormones from the thyroid, we’re going to talk about our triiodothyronine and tetraiodothyronine or T3 and T4.

That’s what we’re going to be called from now on. I like that better; no one that says the full name. We all say T3, T4. The other one is calcitonin, and calcitonin is involved with calcium and bone metabolism. So we’re going to be talking about that. We’re going to do a whole podcast on bone health.

Got that one coming up for you guys soon. And in the thyroid, it is stored and incorporated in a protein called thyroglobulin. So normally, we secrete about a hundred micrograms of T4 per day. And we’ll talk about that a little bit more in a minute, the breakdown between T4 and T3, but here I wanted to pause, hit the brakes, and talk about something that’s very, very important and a reason that we’re seeing a lot of hypothyroidism.

[00:08:00] That’s not checked routinely when you go to your primary care physician, and it should be, and that is iodine. So Iodine deficiencies are not that uncommon anymore. And one of the reasons is our high intake of processed foods. Another is because a lot of people are not using table salt anymore. So in the twenties, the 1920s, iodine was added to table salt because a lot of people were developing goiters.

Goiters are basically enlarged thyroids. And so you see these as the thyroid gland was literally protruding and people would get these, it looked like they were balls stuck in their neck, and these are goiters. And the reason these goiters develop is because the thyroid wasn’t getting enough iodine, and the thyroid would grow in size to try to make more hormone.

Now, there are some estimates that about one-third of the population are iodine deficient. And this could be because of nutrition. As we talked about, this could be because you’re using Himalayan rock salt, you’re using Celtic sea salt, which do not have iodine in them. The RDI, the recommended daily intake for iodine, is 150 micrograms per day in adults.

And this is usually higher in pregnant women. That goes up to 220 and then 290 in nursing women. And why are we talking about iodine here? Because iodine is absolutely necessary to make both hormones, T3 and T4, and we don’t produce iodine. So it must be taken in by nutrition. Sources of iodine include seaweed, kelp, cod, dairy, yogurt, and cheese shrimp, tuna eggs, prunes, lima beans.

These are some dietary sources of iodine, kelp, and seaweed are the most abundant sources. I’ll drop a link in the webpage that has a link to all of the different foods and how much iodine is in them. And you can easily test for iodine deficiency by testing the urine. And so, if the urine level is 50 to 99, that’s a mild deficiency.

Moderate is 20 to 49, and severe is less than 20. So this is something that I’ve seen before, where people get diagnosed as having hypothyroidism. You ask them about their life. You realize they’re eating a lot of Himalayan rock salt or not a  lot o,f they’re using Himalayan rock salt, and they say, Oh, okay, well, let me check an iodine level.

Find out they’re iodine deficient. They didn’t need hormone. They didn’t need T4, T3. They just needed iodine replacement. But this is something you don’t want to overload because overloading iodine can cause the thyroid to become too overactive, hyperthyroidism, or it can also cause hypothyroidism. So the thyroid to be underactive, but that’s usually in patients who are selenium deficient.

And we’re going to talk about selenium later when we talk about the things that help our thyroid to function normally. So thyroid hormones travel in the blood bound to transport proteins, and then you can measure free and bound hormones. So you can measure total hormones. You can measure free hormones. And we’ll talk about that at the end of the podcast.

It’s usually bound to something called TBG or thyroxine-binding globulin. There’s another thing called transthyretin. And then the third is albumin. So overall, about 70% of the thyroid hormones are bound to TBG. So it’s the major protein that thyroid hormone is bound to. And then overall, you know, about 99.8% of thyroid hormone is bound to these proteins.

So our thyroid hormone is essentially bound up. And why that matters is because only the free hormone is able to be active. And we’re going to talk about the activation process of the thyroid here. But first, we’re gonna talk about what are the functions of thyroid hormone. And this is not an [00:12:00] exhaustive comprehensive list because hormones have many different functions in the body, but overall it’s important for calorie metabolism.

So making energy from food. It’s important for normal growth. It’s important for development. And this is really important for brain development. It’s really important for hearing; it’s important for bone mineralization, making sure our bones are nice and strong, body temperature maintenance. So people who have thyroid abnormalities can either run too hot if the thyroid is overactive or too cold; if the thyroid’s underactive. It’s involved with the metabolism of cortisol, and this is so essential. Because if your thyroid is not functioning properly, our old frenemy, you know, the cortisol is probably the most talked-about thing on the Strive for Great Health Podcast, our old frenemy cortisol is not going to get cleared from the body.

And then you’re going to have all of those stress reactions that we talk about that are associated with cortisol. If you want to learn more about that, if you haven’t listened to our six root causes of chronic disease. You know, the first episodes of the podcast, we talk about stress and cortisol in those episodes, and we’ll be doing a deeper dive on cortisol, specifically coming up in the future.

We’re going to have an episode on what we used to call adrenal insufficiency, but what is now called HPA axis, dysfunction, hypothalamus, pituitary axis dysfunction. All right. So back to thyroid hormone, what does it do? In addition, intestinal motility. So, people who have problems with their thyroid can be constipated if it’s too little hormone, or they can be run into the bathroom with diarrhea if it’s too much hormone and then secretion of stomach acid.

So people who have abnormalities in your thyroid, if your thyroid is not optimal, you’re going to have digestive problems. And therefore, because you’re not making enough stomach acid, then you’re not going to make pancreatic enzymes. So you get problems with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Also, thyroid hormone works closely with vitamin D to help regulate osteocalcin.

And this is that bone mineralization that we talked about. So you need adequate thyroid hormone to make sure your bones are nice and strong. Osteoporosis is a major problem in women as we get older; I’m not a woman, but you know, collectively, we, we’re starting to see osteoporosis and fragility fractures in men commonly now.

And we’re gonna talk about that in a completely different podcast. So thyroid hormones are also important for glucose uptake. So making sure the sugar gets out of the bloodstream, it’s important for our mitochondria, our powerhouse of our cells, to be able to turn calories into energy. Well, a calorie is a unit of energy.

So when you see calorie on something, it’s telling you how much energy that thing is going to generate. So it’s more accurate to say it’s more important, or it’s; it’s there to help our mitochondria utilize the energy that’s present in food. It’s important for lipid metabolism. We talked about lipid metabolism on the cholesterol podcast, and this is through interaction with PPAR-alpha.

We’ve talked about PPAR-alpha before on one of the wellness weeklies and also on the cholesterol podcast. T3 is necessary for the LDL receptor to work, right? So the LDL receptor is what pulls LDL out of the circulation in the liver. So if your LDL receptor is not working correctly, you’re going to see higher LDL levels.

And we talked a lot about that on the cholesterol podcast, not specifically about thyroid hormone, but about LDL. So T3 is a biologically active form of thyroid hormone. T4 enters the cells passively in most tissues, but in the [00:16:00] thyroid and brain, it’s actively transported. And so there’s a pump system. So in the thyroid and the brain, there’s a pump that pumps the T4  in the cells.

And then most of the conversion from T4 to T3 happens inside our cells. About 80% of it. So, again, we talked about, most of this is bound in the bloodstream, you know, 99.8% is bound in the bloodstream. We have the free population that’s not bound. That’s the portion that can get into the cells. Most of that T4 enters passively.

So it just kind of floating around and says, Oh, this looks cool. I’m going to go in there. And then, in the cells, it’s transformed from T4 to T3, the active version. And then, this is done by a family of enzymes called deiodinases. So basically, these enzymes remove an activated iodine molecule to convert T4 into T3, but also T4 is also made into something called reverse T3.

And so this is a really interesting biological system because when T4 is activated, It gets converted into T3, which is the biologically active form, and reverse T3, which is the brakes. So it gets turned into the gas and the brakes at the same time. And that’s a really cool biological structure because it’s making sure that there’s, what do we always say in this podcast, balance?

So 80% of the T3 in our system is from conversion. So 80% of the T3 is made from T4 being activated by those deiodinases, 20% is from the thyroid release. So the thyroid does release T4 and T3. 80% of the hormone release from the thyroid is T4. 20% is T3. So then, now that T3 is inside the cells, it binds to the thyroid hormone receptor.

And what does this do? It changes gene transcription, which basically means it activates our genes. So when we say gene transcription, you can think of this as genes are, let’s just say, punch cards, and those punch cards get activated, and then they get turned in or taken to machinery. And that machinery then makes a protein based upon what’s on the punch card. So what T3 does is it’s activating certain punch cards to go do the things that we talked about earlier, metabolism and bone health, but new evidence also shows that the thyroid hormone T3 has been shown to interact not only with the DNA in the nucleus, the inner portion of ourselves.

But also to do signal transduction and interact with other portions of the cell and then have interacting, have interactions with membrane receptors as well. So that’s really interesting because it’s working on our genes, but it’s also working on other signaling pathways. Okay. So what are the nutrients that we need for thyroid function because this is a holistic podcast.

We’re always going to be talking about nutrients. Selenium, selenium is so essential to our thyroid function. And we’ve talked about selenium on one of our wellness weeklies. Selenium deficiencies are not rare. So why are seleniums needed for thyroid function? Well, those deiodinases we talked about are a group of proteins that we call selenoproteins.

And so proteins need selenium to function, and the thyroid has more selenium per gram than [00:20:00] any other tissue. And this is for two reasons, one, the selenoproteins, which are needed to activate the thyroid hormone. And two, because the selenoproteins are also involved in making glutathione. And we’ve talked about glutathione; I don’t know how many times on the podcast cortisol and glutathione. And probably if we went back and looked at probably the two most mentioned things on this podcast. And so glutathione was our major antioxidant. It’s our major detoxifier. We talked about it on the toxins podcasts, which is one of the first podcasts that we’ve ever done.

And so this is really important. So the thyroid is so important to our function that the body says, Hey, I’m going to make sure we can make tons of glutathione here to protect this organ from oxidative stress. What other nutrients are important? Vitamin D we’ve talked about vitamin D. We have a whole podcast on vitamin D. 42% of the US population is deficient in vitamin D.

Your thyroid will not function properly if your vitamin D levels are low. So vitamin D helps thyroid hormone navigate to the nucleus inside of the cells. A lot of these hormones work in concert, and what they’ll do is they’ll help ferry supporting hormones to the right target. And that’s what vitamin D does with thyroid hormone.

And then also vitamin,  normal levels of vitamin D are associated with lower autoimmunity. And a lot of the hypothyroidism that you see, most of it follows a certain pathway, and it’s called Hashimoto’s. It is an autoimmune thyroid disease where antibodies are made to the thyroid that destroys the thyroid.

And because the thyroid tissue is destroyed, then it doesn’t make enough hormone. And so vitamin D helps protect the body from autoimmunity. We talked about this in the vitamin D podcast., how vitamin D is a balancing agent for our immune system. It makes sure that the immune system is able to go up, but it also pumps the brakes and makes sure it doesn’t go too far again balance. What other nutrients are important zinc again, zinc deficiencies are not uncommon.

We’ve talked about zinc on our wellness weekly segments. Zinc also participates in the activation of T3 and is necessary for enzymes that make T3 and T4 in the thyroid. And it’s also necessary for thyroid hormone-induced gene regulation. Iron, iron deficiency is not uncommon. We see this a lot in vegans.

We see this a lot in women. The enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which activates iodine. We didn’t talk about this, but the iodine we eat is taken to the thyroid, and then this enzyme, thyroid peroxidase, activates that iodine. So then it can be put with thyroglobulin to make T3 and T4, and the thyroid peroxidase enzyme requires iron to work.

Vitamin A, vitamin A is important for the feedback loop that the brain uses to monitor thyroid function. Copper, copper is necessary for proper stimulation of TSH. When we talked about TSH comes from the pituitary, tells the thyroid to make and release thyroid hormone. Vitamin C works with copper for TSH stimulation.

The magnesium is also important for that for making sure our TSH levels are normal. And then a supporting thing is B vitamins. So if our thyroid hormone is functioning properly, it’s going to tell us to metabolize. And then B vitamins are used by [00:24:00] mitochondria to produce energy. So they’re necessary for the after-effects of thyroid hormones.

And a lot of these things are things that we’ve talked about on the podcast already. Our wellness weekly, where we talk about Rootine, we talk about a lot of these things, and this is why I love something like Rootine because it’s covering all the bases for our normal physiological function. And it’s doing so by measuring blood levels of these nutrients, but also measuring these downstream products called metabolites.

To make sure that the nutrients are doing what they’re supposed to do, because unfortunately, a lot of our lab testing isn’t the best when it comes to looking at nutrients that are either in the wrong compartment, meaning that most of the nutrients are stored in the liver and not the blood. Well, the blood is just an approximation then, or like magnesium, most of the magnesium is stored in our bone.

So our blood levels aren’t really telling us too much about bone levels. There’s some evidence that a magnesium level of less than two might be a sign of deficiency, but that’s why we love metabolite testing because you’re looking at what is this nutrient actually doing? And so, what are some factors that affect thyroid function?

Stress again, I mean, stress cortisol. We’ve talked about this so many times on the podcast. If you are chronically stressed, there is no way your body’s going to be functioning optimally. And this is why stress mitigation is so important. This is why we talk about meditation in our wellness courses. This is why we talk about breath, work in our wellness courses.

And this is why we do meditation and breathwork. So stress increases cortisol, which decreases the conversion of T4 into T3. And then you make more reverse T3. So what the body’s doing in this situation is saying, pump the brakes something’s going on. We don’t need to be metabolizing food. We need to be storing food.

We don’t need to be making more bone. We might need to pull some of the nutrients out of the bone. It’s saying that we are in a chronic state of stress, which most likely is a famine, because if you look at most of human history in our hunter-gatherer days, what stressed us out, either something was trying to kill us, or we didn’t have enough food to eat.

And if we didn’t have enough food to eat, what are you going to do? You’re going to slow down your metabolism, and we’ll talk about, well, actually, let’s just do this. Now, another thing that can affect your thyroid function is calorie deficits. And this is why we do not recommend more than a 20% calorie deficit.

I don’t even like 20% deficits, honestly. You can do a 20% deficit for maybe a month, you know, to kickstart your fat loss and then go to a 10% deficit; 10% deficits are, are a lot easier to do, a lot easier to manage, and a lot more sustainable. So I usually like people who are trying to lose fat to be at a five to 10% deficit because the thyroid is very sensitive to calorie deficits.

And so what’ll happen is, and I see this all the time. People will say, Oh, I can’t lose any, any weight. And I’m only eating 500 calories a day. Well, what’s happened is they’ve crashed their thyroid function too. Now they’ve dropped their metabolic rate to 500 calories a day. And so that’s why you cannot have massive calorie deficits because it wrecks your thyroid function.

And then also you get nutrient deficiencies and bone mineralization problems and sex hormone problems and all of that. So yes, you need a calorie deficit to lose unwanted body fat, but it needs to be a mild deficit, not a severe deficit, or you’re going to run into problems. This is why we’re so big on health coaches and getting with people [00:28:00] who know what they’re talking about.

If you want to lose body fat safely, get with my friend, Joseph Murci. He does a great job with his client. Evidence-based sustainable ways for fat loss. Okay. Impaired liver and kidney function. So the liver and kidney contain more deiodinases than any other tissue. And so they’re important for maintaining circulating levels of T3. Dysbiosis and leaky gut.

This can impair the absorption of nutrients for thyroid function. And also impair conversion because we do get some conversion to T3 in the gut. And one of the things we want to talk about here is gluten intolerance or celiac disease. So a lot of times, people can have celiac or gluten intolerance or gluten allergy, and they can get thyroid issues because of that. Because one of the proteins that can develop an allergy to that we see in celiac is gliadin, and gliadin resembles fibroid gland proteins.

So this is a case of molecular mimicry, where we get antibodies to one thing that resembles some other tissue, and the gluten immune response can last for six months. So you can eat gluten once and then have effect six months later. So that’s why a lot of times when people have thyroid abnormalities, we’ll recommend, Hey, go gluten-free, but you got to stick to it for a while and see if that helps. Inflammation, inflammation reduces the conversion of T4 to T3. Oxidative stress oxidative stress causes direct damage to the thyroid tissue.

And then also causes and promotes fibroid antibodies. And so this is something that we see all the time. People have thyroid antibodies; we put them on a comprehensive wellness plan, lifestyle medicine, maybe some supplements. And then those antibodies go away because you got rid of the inflammation, you got rid of the oxidative stress, and then there’s something else that you see that it’s not easily tested for.

But you can get thyroid hormone resistance. We talked about another hormone resistance, insulin resistance, before, but you can get thyroid hormone resistance to the thyroid hormone. Resistance is basically the cells stop listening to the thyroid. It stops listening. It stops responding. The hormones there, and it says, Hey, let me in.

But the cells like Nah man, keep it moving. I’m not listening to you anymore. And what can cause that stress, inflammation. It’s been associated with high homocysteine levels. We’ve talked about homocysteine on the podcast before; elevated homocysteine is a marker of inflammation. It’s also a marker of impaired methylation.  Methylation, how we turn our genes on and off.

One of the ways we turn our genes on and off. And then the other thing is heavy metals. And aluminum, lead, mercury, mercury binds the selenium, cadmium, cadmium causes direct thyroid damage; arsenic competes for selenium for absorption. These are things that can all impair thyroid function. And so, this is why a detoxification program may be necessary.

And this is why we may have to check heavy metals and then mold and biotoxins. This is something that’s very common here in Texas, unfortunately, because of the weather. The high humidity, all the flooding, a lot of the homes and areas are moldy. And there are certain people who are very susceptible to mold toxins, and you can do genetic testing to see if you’re one of those people who has a genetic predisposition to being affected by mold toxins.

So, lab values, what are the lab values that we should check to look at the thyroid? So one of the things that gets checked is TSH and TSH is [00:32:00] very sensitive to changes in T3. So it’s the first test that’s done to screen to see, Hey, is there something abnormal? It’s a, it’s a screening test, but the range that you see in conventional medicine is not correct.

So a lot of times, the ranges that you see are population ranges that say, Hey, most people fall between this number in this number. But the optimal range is actually in the middle of that. So if you’re at the ends of either spectrum, that’s not optimal. And if systems aren’t functioning optimally, if you have too many systems that aren’t functioning optimally, that leads to disease.

So the optimal TSH range is between 0.5 and 2.2, maybe at 2.5, and this actually increases with age. So if you’re 80, the optimal TSH can go up to three. What’s interesting about TSH is TSH has a diurnal rhythm. It has a circadian rhythm, and it can vary by 50%, depending on the time drawn. Now, the problem is we haven’t really well-established the rhythm of TSH secretion like we have with some of the other hormones.

And so what some people recommend is we take multiple TSH levels, and you average them out. And what you always want to do is if a first time the TSH is abnormal, when you do other screening tests, you always reorder that TSH. So the other thing that they’ll look at is T4 because that’s the major hormone that’s secreted by the thyroid.

And if your TSH is abnormal, you want to get a T4 and T3, but you want to get the free and the total, the total tells you what the thyroid is doing. Because a total, remember thyroid is 99.8% bound. So it’s telling you how much thyroid hormone is coming from the thyroid. And so, if your total levels are off, that’s an indication that something’s going on in the thyroid.

And then the free tells you if there’s an issue with the binding proteins or there’s an issue with conversion. And so that can let you know which direction do I need to look at. Is there too much binding protein? And that can happen with estrogen or with lots of body fat because you increase some of these proteins that bind up the hormones or conversion we talked about; is there inflammation, is there stress, is there a calorie deficit?

You want to check reverse T3. Because we want to know, are we shunting our T4 through reverse T3 or not for the conditions that I talked about earlier, you can also look at thyroglobulin, and thyroglobulin will tell you, is there destruction going on in the thyroid?

Cause if there’s excess thyroglobulin into the bloodstream, it’s leaking out of the thyroid and then you can look at thyroid antibodies, TPO antibodies, you can look at thyroglobulin antibodies, and there are other thyroid antibodies you can look at in this case, you’re looking for autoimmune disease.

And actually, back to thyroglobulin for a second.  High thyroglobulin levels can also indicate an iodine deficiency as well. It’s an indirect way of testing for that. You want to look at iodine as well, those urine iodine levels to see, can you fix a problem with just giving people iodine? And then we might look at thyroid-stimulating antibodies, and this is checking for something called graves’ disease.

That’s a form of hyperthyroidism. So the thyroid is too overactive. So this has been a thyroid overview. We talked about some of the holistic things that you can do to help your thyroid by talking about the factors that affect thyroid function, the nutrients involved with thyroid function. So I hope this was able to give you a better understanding of the thyroid, how it functions, how you can evaluate your own thyroid.

And I will post the functional lab levels on the website that we look at for thyroid [00:36:00] hormone. All right. Well, this has been another episode of the Strive for Great Health Podcast. We really, really hope that this podcast is bringing you value. If it is, leave a comment on our website, you know, come into the Strive for Great Health Facebook group request topics, interact, please.

I just do this because I want to help people. And it would be nice to know. It’s, it’s reaching people. It’s helping people, to hear stories about how it’s helped, people. Stories are powerful. And if you feel like sharing, leave a comment on the blog, post, leave a comment in the group, but I really appreciate all you listeners.

I really do. I do this because I love it. I don’t do this because I make money off of it. Even if I did make money off of it, I would stop doing this if it stopped becoming fun; I’m doing this because it’s fun because I like it because education to me is essential to fixing this health crisis. And then realizing the power of lifestyle medicine and the power of mindset.

All right, I’m gonna sign off before I keep on rambling, but thank you, guys. Y’all have a blessed day.

Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal with the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose.

You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five-star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform and by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. You can also support the podcast by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you do so and send us an email, we’ll give you a shout-out on the podcast because here at the Strive for Great Health Podcast, we’re all about charitable giving and making the world a better place. Thank you for listening, and God bless.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *