#thyroid optimization may save bone,vision #health

11.2 ..11.4: health/thyroid/
lifestyle choices that improve function:
low thyroid is very common:
. age-related hypo-thyroid
-- ie "(normal) TSH levels --
is as common as the many modern diseases,
and that may be more than a coincidence .
. there are ties to bone loss,
atrial fibrillation,
and blindness due to glaucoma
(you may be at increased risk if you are
nearsighted or hypo-thyroid).

. I will first explain how common low thyroid is,
and how it can be mistaken for hyper-thyroid
-- that's important to realize because
some are avoiding the iodine they need
under the assumption that they are hyper-thyroid
when, in fact,
both the low and high thyroid extremes
can have the same symptoms
of a rapid or erratic heart .

. the unprecedented rate of obesity starting in the 1980's
may be due to the combination of
not only replacing sugar with high-fructose corn syrup,
but also replacing the iodine in bakery goods
with bromides that actually inactivate
what little iodine you might already be getting !
hypo-thyroid easily feels like hyper-thyroidism:
In hypo-thyroidism,
the TSH that calls the thyroid hormones T4, T3,
is itself called by TRH (thyrotropin-release hormone);
and, TRH itself can cause
tachycardia, [rapid pulse]
"palpitations," [noticable heart beat irregularities,
as in atrial fibrillation ]
high blood pressure,
stasis of the intestine, [decreased digestive function]
and increase of pressure in the eye [pre-glaucoma].
. TRH can raise norepinephrine,[adrenalin]
but acts very much like adrenalin itself.
. also, TRH stimulates prolactin release,
and this can interfere with progesterone synthesis,
which itself affects heart function.
a "normal" TSH level is hardly an optimal level:
. even the lowest TSH within your doctor's "normal range"
would be consistent with [subclinical] hypothyroidism;
in good health, very little TSH is needed.
estrogen dominance promotes bone loss:
. Estrogen blocks the release of T4;
while progesterone facilitates the release of T4.
Estrogen excess tends to cause
a hypothyroid state (high TSH).
Estrogen can raise cortisol,
leading to brain aging and bone loss [catabolism].
Progesterone protects against cortisol's
catabolic effects, [lean-mass wasting]
while also being anti-inflammatory, like cortisol .
--. alert:
estrogen dominance activates cortisol,
and initiates bone loss .

. raw carrots can prevent the absorption of
estrogen from the intestine,
allowing the liver to more effectively
regulate metabolism.
[. being overweight can produce estrogen dominance;
because fat produces estrogen even after
menopausal ovaries have stopped producing progesterone .
. however, if you've been overexposed to progesterone
(from birth control pills or menopause treatments)
then progesterone resistance can persist for several years
so then progesterone creams would not help with
reducing estrogen dominance .
. the only solution in that case is losing all your fat,
to purge all your stored progesterone .]
. people with thyroid problems
often need help with relaxing,
and a common herb for that is valerian .
. for anyone taking valerian to sleep:
 what's the effect on thyroid ?
 it's apparently not a thyroid suppressant;
a self-described pharmacist warns:
"( Valerian can cause liver damage .
. I was only taking 400 mg at bedtime;
but, I had taken it for over a month .
[... there's been no scientific testing
on use beyond one month ...]
. I was eventually admitted to the hospital with
cramping, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice).
canada's database of adverse events:
From 1990 to 2008, Health Canada received 31 reports
suspecting valerian-containing products:
gastrointestinal disturbances
(e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, nausea),
allergic reactions,
increased hepatic enzyme levels [liver damage]
and cardiac complications
(e.g., bradycardia [slow heart rate],
arrhythmia [erratic heart rate]).
There have also been reports in the literature
of withdrawal symptoms:
visual hallucinations, delirium,
and cardiac complications .
sleeping without valerian:
Melatonin may help thyroid:
. among menopausal women from 42 to 62,
3 mg of melatonin at bedtime
caused a significant mitigation of depression in most;
and increased thyroid function in some .
salt keeps magnesium in, and may aid sleep:
. many with hypo-thyroidism will have
insufficient digestive juices
and poor intestinal movements.
. hypothyroidism reduces absorption of
magnesium, sodium, and copper .
. Salt craving is common in hypothyroidism,
(if only we all had some wholesome
organic seaweed around the house!)
. eating additional sodium tends to
raise the body temperature,
and by decreasing the production of
salt helps to minimize the loss of magnesium,
which in turn improves thyroid hormone sensitivity .
This is probably why sodium restriction
raises adrenalin, and reduces sleep quality . [todo: citations?]
. lowered adrenalin may also improve
intestinal motility.
. the safest way to get magnesium
is from foods, not supp's;
--[ anything dark green is loaded with it;
(there is magnesium in the green chlorophyll)
see also usda(pdf): beans
-- the safe carb' for elders .]
too much or too little iodine?:
Ray Peat, Ph.D Biology:
"( Kelp and other sources of excess iodine
can suppress the thyroid,
so they definitely shouldn't be used
to treat hypothyroidism ).
--[. I think that is an oversimplification;
the reason it can cause hypothyroidism
is due to auto-immune thyroiditis
-- preventable with selenium supplementation
and cautious dose ramping .

. when ramping up of thyroid production is done too quickly,
it causes a lot free radical damage
that provokes the immune system .
. such damage would usually be controlled by
the thyroid's anti-oxidant system
which uses selenium and cysteine
(abundant only in high-quality protein)
to make glutathione peroxidase .
[The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism, Vol. 87, No. 4 1490-1498 ]

. selenium is also needed to convert the T4 to T3,
so a deficiency in selenium could limit the T3 levels
that control TSH's calling for T4 production;
so, then having plenty of iodine
will cause an endless over-production of T4;
again, leading to auto-immune thyroiditis
and resulting in low thyroid symptoms .

. se-msc is a less toxic form of selenium,
and is thus usable in higher doses .]
Ray Peat is disagreeing with lef.org's advice
to get plenty of sea vegetables/iodine
(up to 1,150 mcg daily)
so, lets get a 3rd opinion:
2004, New England Journal of Medicine
. our iodine status here in the USA
was described as “marginal”,
based on data acquired from the
Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorder
and the World Health Organization (WHO);
but they didn't recommend iodine supplementation
because they didn't have all the facts needed to
properly interpret what facts they had .
. they thought the greater risk in the USA
is not iodine deficiency per se
but either iodine-induced hyper-thyroidism
or iodine-induced hypo-thyroidism.
. what they didn't know was,
both these problems can occur when
people who are already iodine-deficient
are given iodine too quickly.
[ Dr.Sears:
. any time hormones are affected,
start the dose low and go slow ! ]
. not only does our diet have less iodine
than did previous generations;
but we're also getting more iodine inactivators
and other goitrogens:
# halogens compete with Iodine:
. we are exposed to many halides
-- fluoride, chloride, bromide --
that are binding to the iodine, making it unavailable,
and thereby acting as goitrogens;
ie, suppressing thyroid function .
. perchlorate is one chloride that is
well known to inhibit iodine transport
and thyroid function.
. bromide is widely present in bakery goods and drugs;
iodine was once used in its place (1960's)
until the 1980’s iodine toxicity phobia .
# mercury competes with Iodine .
. iodine will be bound by mercury as well;
[and, if you have any fillings,
you are being exposed to mercury
every time you chew! ]
. so, your actual amount of usable iodine
needs to be subtracted from your
estimated halide and mercury exposure .
safe dosing:
. by starting low and going slow
you can try increasing iodine
without risk of palpitations or anx .
. at womentowomen.com,
they use Iodoral,
and they figure the dosing
by a 24-hour loading test .
. here's a cheaper test
for at home:
. dip a clean ball of cotton in inexpensive
USP tincture of iodine from any drugstore.
Paint a 2-inch circle of tincture of iodine
on soft skin tissue (inner arm or thigh).
If the stain is absorbed within 1–3 hours,
your body may need a higher iodine intake.
. if the yellow-orange stain
takes more than 6 hours to disappear,
you are likely to be iodine-replete.
Ray Peat:
. for moderate hyperthyroidism,
try eating plenty of liver,
and maybe some raw cabbage juice.
protein choices affecting thyroid:
. eating just the muscle rather than the whole animal
may tend to suppress the thyroid,
because of an over-abundance of
cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan .
--[ keep in mind however, that cysteine is vital to
activating the selenium that protects the thyroid .]
. our traditional diet used more than the muscle meats,
meaning our ancestors got a lot more collagen,
and lower relative doses of tryptophan .
. on the other hand, legume proteins
are so low in these anti-thyroid amino's
that relying on beans alone for protein
can result in a deficiency that produces
an inflammatory state involving
extreme serotonin dominance
where most of your available tryptophan
is diverted to serotonin,
which increases ACTH, aldosterone,
and [bone-crushing] cortisol .
Angiotensin is an important promoter of inflammation,
and contributes, along with aging and stress,
to the degeneration of blood vessels .
Angiotensin can also raise estrogen,
and worsen its dominance .
. aldosterone can raise blood pressure:
Aldosterone causes the tubules of the kidneys toincrease the reabsorption of sodium and water .
--[ an optimal bean-rich protein intake
is primarily black turtle or red kidney beans
with just enough combined eggs or egg`whites
to compensate for a bean's low availability of
methionine, tryptophan, and even lysine
(use 15g of animal protein per dried cup of beans
to stay within Zone diet parameters).
--( an aside for vegans:
. just because eggs aren't humanely produced
doesn't mean they can't be .
. the key to humane treatment of animals
is controlling human population size
to raise the standard of living everywhere
so that we have more money available for
humanely-raised food .
. in fact,
your chances of attaining population control
at a point providing sustainable globalized wealth,
are quite a bit better than that for
attaining a globalized veganism . )
. a unique feature of eggs,
is being an animal product that can
safely be eaten raw -- without fear of parasites,
and with very little risk of serious bacterial infection;
 an egg`yolk would be much healthier
if they were produced by grain-fed hens;
the most efficient way to turn grains
into healthy chicken feed
is by feeding the grains to insects
such as crickets or grasshoppers:
"(crickets can be fed a dried pet food or poultry mash,
supplemented with raw vegetable scraps
including greens such as lettuce or cabbage).
. chickens also eat boiled beans .]
dietary factors affecting serotonin dominance:
how salts influence serotonin:
. increasing sodium lowers both
serotonin and adrenalin.
This accounts for some of the
anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects
of increased sodium .
[ notice that Dr.Peat is implying here that
high blood pressure is best treated by
controlling rises in aldosterone,
such as serotonin dominance,
rather than by salt restriction .
. another more important thing to watch more than salt
is fructose levels greater than 50g per day .
. also, sugar alchols may be Atkins`diet-friendly,
but they do metabolize into fructose .]
other serotonin inhibitors:
. other things that protect against
excessive serotonin release:
Carbon dioxide, high altitude, [low oxygen]
thyroid, progesterone[promotes thyroid],
caffeine, aspirin .
how fats influence serotonin dominance:
coconut oil for thyroid:
. excessive poly'oils (polyunsaturates)
inhibit thyroid function by lipid peroxidation
within the mitochondria .
. coconut oil, on the other hand,
is a short-chained, healthy version of saturated fat
that supports mitochondrial respiration,
increasing the energy production
that has been blocked by the poly'oils .
Coconut oil along with small, frequent feedings
of carb's & protein, [beans]
can increase the metabolic rate .
. the short and medium chain saturated fatty acids
[as found in coconut oil]
have antihistamine and antiserotonin actions.
. some of them, such as capric acid,
relax blood vessels .
poly'oils, Hypothyroidism and high cortisol:
. Serotonin liberates free fatty acids from the tissues,
especially the poly' oils,
and these in turn liberate serotonin
from cells such as the platelets,
and liberate tryptophan from serum albumin,
increasing its uptake
and the formation of serotonin in the brain.
. conversely, when brain serotonin decreases,
the level of testosterone in male animals increases.
. an essential [but easily over-dosed] poly'oil,
linoleic acid constricts blood vessels
and promotes hypertension.
Increased serum linoleic acid is specifically associated
with serotonin-dependent disorders such as migraine.
--[. notice that Dr.Peat is implying here that
high blood pressure is best treated by
controlling dietary sources of linoleic acid
(grains, grain-fed meats, 
cooking oils, fried foods)
rather than by salt restriction .
. for getting more oils
without causing blood pressure,
mono'oils won't hurt (hormonally neutral),
and some oils in coconut may even help
(capric acid from unhydrogenated coconut oil) .]
less linoleic acid helps more than blood pressure:
(Lancet, Volume 343, Issue 8911)
The experimental group's diet had less total lipids,
but most significantly, less of
saturated fat and linoleic acid).
. after 27 months,
there were increased plasma levels of
albumin, vitamin E, and vitamin C;
there were far fewer adverse reactions:
(experimentals vs some typical 1994 diet):
# cardiac deaths: 3 vs 16;
# non-fatal myocardial infarctions: 5 vs 17;
# Overall mortality: 8 vs 20 .
study conclusion:
. an alpha-linolenic acid-rich Mediterranean diet
seems to be more efficient than [1994]diets
in the secondary prevention of
coronary events and death .
-- alpha-linolenic acid?
. linoleic acid is an omega−6 oil,
while α-Linolenic acid is an omega−3 oil .
. these -3 vs -6 oils compete for
positions in cell membranes
and have very different effects on human health.
. linoleic acid is very easy to over-dose
being abundant in most grains and seeds;
usa's carb's come mostly from grains;
and grain-fed meat is
higher in sat'fat and mould toxins .
α-Linolenic acid
can be found in chia seeds
. Dr.Sear (Zone diet)
suggests it would be
more efficiently anti-inflammatory
to get your omega-3's from fish oil
( DHA- and EPA-rich,
molecularly distilled
and 3rd-party tested
for dioxins and mercury
mutant sea vegetable causes ulcerative colitis!
news.health/Specific Carbohydrate Diet:
. Elaine Gottschall's Specific Carbohydrate Diet™
is designed for those with compromised guts
(Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis,
celiac disease, diverticulitis,
cystic fibrosis, and chronic diarrhea).
. seaweeds are excluded from that diet;
because, they typically contain
mucilaginous polysaccharides
that cause problems for compromised guts .
"( It may be called a "sea vegetable"
but it falls into the same category as okra
and also herbs like marshmallow and slippery elm.
Slimy, mucilaginous substances
are often prescribed by naturopaths
who think the "coating" properties
are helpful to the intestines.
They aren't.
Watson and Marcus, upon investigating a
hydrolyzed carrageenan pharmaceutical
found that the tiniest amount of it
caused ulcerative colitis
in numerous laboratory animals ).
supplemental thyroid treatments:
how to dose yourself with thyroid:
# how to get help from doctors while on Armour;
# intro by a doctor who uses animal thyroid;
# don't forget selenium for a happy thyroid .

Desiccated animal thyroid extract is controversial:
. pork thyroid was the most common form of
treatment for hypothyroidism
before T3 and T4 became commercially available.
. in the 1960s, conventional physicians stopped using it
because its potency could vary .
Today, desiccated thyroid—also called Armour Thyroid®—
is made from pig thyroid glands by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. .
Forest's Web site displays the slogan
"achieve normal thyroid levels—naturally";
however, the American Thyroid Association points out:
    While desiccated thyroid contains both T4 and T3,
    the balance of T4 and T3 in animals
    is not the same as in humans ... .
[so why would some still swear by pork thyroid ?
There is currently no available tablet preparation
containing both T4 and T3 since the 1970s ...

. there have been 7 [scientific] studies
encompassing more than 900 hypothyroid patients
--[. a sample of 900 is not nearly enough
to catch those rare cases of hypothyroid that can't
generate T3 from the given T4
(requires healthy selenium metabolism) .]
None of the subsequent studies
showed a beneficial effect of combined T4/T3 therapy
on measures of wellbeing, health and mental functioning.
. 3 of the 7 studies on adding T3 with T4
show harmful or undesirable effects.
--[. if you can make T3 from T4,
then perhaps T3 is very easy to overdose on;
however, they should not be denying patients
the opportunity to try combination therapy
if they don't respond to T4 alone .]

8-pack is cheaper than 12-pack
. many seemingly unrelated conditions
could respond to improved
thyroid function;
and, many who feel the need for
thyroid replacement therapy
may actually need to deal with
other hormonal issues:
estrogen dominance,
serotonin dominance .
. finally, some may need only
mineral supplements:
sea vegetables for iodine and selenium;
and perhaps a high-dose se-msc supplement
if needing selenium for thyroiditis,
or for replacing sea veg' in case of intolerance .