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The following article is from Dr. Jason Bradley of the Washington Street Wellness Center in Iowa City. It is a compilation of a series of writings posted to his Facebook page in December 2013. There are five parts included below. Additional installations will be provided later. For the most current news, visit Dr. Bradley’s Facebook page. Dr. Bradley inspires and guides people toward greater wellness through data-driven, clinically sound, outcomes-based, practices and protocols. In addition to having a physical office, he utilizes social media to engage and inform people so they can be empowered to take charge of their own wellness outcomes.

Standard Disclaimer. Please not that this information is not intended to be used for self diagnosis or treatment. It is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult directly with your healthcare practitioner to determine the best personalized protocol for your own unique conditions and needs.

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How To Fix Your Thyroid, Part One

11 December 2013

As you know, I am on a mission to permanently end the misunderstandings and mistreatments in medicine of thyroid and hypo metabolic disorders.

I have a goal of helping 50 new patients by the beginning of Spring. That’s only 100 days away and breaks down to solving and helping one new patient who has been suffering every two days.

That’s a tall order.

But then I thought, “Why not try to help a thousand people? Ten a day?” For those of you that know me, this is called The Bradley Way, i.e., create seemingly impossible goals and then try to achieve them.

Now, while I know this isn’t realistic, the concept made me think outside the box.

So I thought that I would break down how to help the thyroid in a few (?) easy steps that those of you that are suffering – or know someone who is suffering – can apply and get the help and care that you deserve.

So, Part One of How to Fix Your Thyroid is simply this: Identify The Problem.

This is very similar to a twelve-step recovery program: Admit that there is a problem and that the problem has affected your life in a way that it has become unmanageable.

Easier said than done.

A lot (A LOT) of times, you already KNOW there is a problem – and you even sought help. You went to your family doctor, the internist, the endocrinologist, the University, Mayo, and the shaman down the street and what was the consensus? You need to go to psychiatry (i.e., ” “Your TSH is normal. It’s not your thyroid.” “You need to eat less, exercise more.” “Everyone needs to nap” “You need to see a therapist.” “Your problems are due to being a mom/stress/genetics/your job.” “Let’s put you on this anti-depressant/statin/blood pressure med.” “Your hair loss is due to being a mom/stress/genetics.” “It’s just Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/fibromyalgia” “I don’t know what’s wrong with you.”)

Ugh.

But for those of you that KNOW something is wrong, but don’t know how to organize your symptoms, let’s go ahead and lay it out.

Here are the most common symptoms of low functioning thyroid and hypometabolism:

  • Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Fluid Retention and Bloating
  • Hair Loss
  • Low Body Temp ( Constipation or Loose Bowel Movements
  • High or Low Blood Pressure
  • Dry Skin
  • Heavy Periods
  • Irregular Periods
  • Muscle or Joint Pain
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Brittle Nails and Hair
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Frequent or Persistent Infections
  • Low Libido
  • Just Not Feeling Like You Know You Should…

So, do you have a low functioning thyroid or hypometabolism?

If you have just three (THREE!) of the above symptoms, you likely do.

And, folks, the verdict is in: levothyroxine, Synthroid, Levoxyl and the other synthetics just don’t work for most patients. Period. Anyone who says otherwise is either not reading the current literature and still prescribing outdated drugs, or just doesn’t care. Period. (Yes, those are fighting words, because, darn it, I’m upset about the way the current medical establishment dismisses suffering patients the way that it does. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t necessarily the fault of your family doc – they probably are still working from what they learned in medical school and the “education” they receive from the drug pushers (sorry, pharmaceutical reps) that gladly reinforce the status quo so that drug sales continue to bloom – I mean, why get people better? There’s no money in that. Ok, I’m off my high horse.)

So, Step One: Admit There Is A Problem.

I invite you all to share any stories you have about the challenges you have faced.

And I invite anyone who needs help – who is looking for a REAL solution to their suffering – to simply call our office today at 319-466-0026.

There Is An Answer.

And, my dear friends, as always, Be Well.

Tomorrow: Step Two: How To Find A Doctor That Will Help You.

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How To Fix Your Thyroid, Part Two

12 December 2013

So, yesterday we covered the basics of the most common symptoms of low functioning thyroid and hypometabolism.

And I mentioned that most of even the best family docs and interns don’t diagnose, let alone treat, hypothyroidism at the level they should.

And A LOT of you guys emailed and messaged that you have so many of the symptoms and your doc won’t listen to you and/or just wants to put you on some psychiatric medication.

And you guys want help and don’t know where to go.

Ok.

So, part two of How To Fix Your Thyroid is “How To Find The Help That You Need And Deserve”.

Here is how to find a good, board-certified doc that will listen to you – and how to interview a doc to find out IF they are a good fit to help you. It literally is so simple it is as easy as a few questions.

  1. Is your doc board certified by the AARM? The AARM are THE experts in Restorative Medicine, and to be board certified, the docs must go through extensive training in advanced thyroid diagnosis and management. To find out if your doc is boarded by the AARM, simply go to their site (http://restorativemedicine.org/find-a-physician/) and search; the board certified providers will have a “C” in a yellow diamond next to their name.
  2. Ask the doc how they test and treat for thyroid disorders. If their answer is “TSH” and “Synthroid”, it’s time to go doctor shopping. A doctor that REALLY understands the thyroid would certainly test TSH, but also a host of other labs that may better explain what is going on with the thyroid. We will cover those labs in a later installment. And don’t even get me started on the problems with Synthroid/ Levothyroxine/ Levoxyl treatment. Again, a doc that REALLY understands the mechanisms of the thyroid would never rely only on a synthetic. We will cover treatment down the road too.
  3. Ask the doc if hypothyroidism is reversible. If they say “No”, again, it’s time to go doctor hunting. I have personally witnessed – in my own daughter even – some cases of hypothyroidism reversing, being cured, with the right treatment. Not all cases, but certainly some. And TSH and Synthroid ain’t gonna do it.
  4. Ask the doc how the thyroid and the adrenal glands function together. And how the adrenal glands play an important role in thyroid function. If they don’t know, fire them and find someone who does.
  5. Ask the doc if they have advanced training in Nutritional, Metabolic, Anti-Aging, or Restorative Medicine (or even better, all three!). If they don’t, they MAY still be able to help you, but the chances become much slimmer.
  6. Ask the doc their success rate. Not just with laboratory turn around. Using synthroid to normalize TSH is child’s play. But ask about their patients and how they feel – do they feel better? Or are their labs just normal and psychiatric meds are used in most cases? Docs should know their outcome measurements and success rate. I know that our success rate for compliant patients is way above 90%. My assistant and office manager Alta Medea may have a better handle on this number and I’m sure she would share if you asked.
  7. Is your doc’s support staff trained in thyroid management to the best of their abilities? The whole staff should be focused on and passionate about getting your better. Again, this might not be a deal breaker, but I’ve found that a fully trained staff is essential to patient outcomes.
  8. Have you been going to the same doc for years and not gotten any better and they seem to not get to up in arms about it? If so, you need to find someone that is going to actually give a hoot and guide you toward being fully healthy.

In summary, having a good provider is key. Finding one may take a bit of effort, but once you do, your health should change for the better very quickly – I know I want my patients to be able to grab ahold of life and say “Show me what you got!”

Of course, if you need help, I am aggressively accepting hypothyroid and hypometabolism patients from now until the end of March.

In-office appointments are filling up, so I added about 12 extra patient contact hours on each week to accommodate your needs.

We also are accepting telemedicine (distance) patients and currently have patients on both coasts, most states, and even out of the country.

In short, we are here to serve you and help you in any way we can.

For more info, message Alta, email us (drjbradley@gmail.com or altamedea@gmail.com), or call our office at 319-466-0026.

I look forward to serving you and, as always, Be Well.

Tomorrow: The basics of thyroid function.

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How To Fix Your Thyroid, Part Three

Thyroid Function Basics

16 December 2013

Well, first of all, this post was meant to go up over the weekend, but, sometimes, the best laid plans of mice and men (or so they say)…

But let’s get to it.

As you know, I have a mission to change the lives of 50 people suffering from thyroid dysfunction by the beginning of Spring.

In Part One, we outlined many common, and often overlooked, symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and hypometabolism.

In Part Two, we outlined how to find a provider that is worth working with. The thyroid and its associated peripheral glands (e.g., adrenals, etc.) are very complicated and I’d advise finding a practitioner that has spent at least a decade investigating and successfully treating the thyroid and is boarded by either or both the AARM and the A4M.

In this latest installation, we will discuss the basic function of the thyroid as well as a general (yet detailed) overview (is that possible) of the hormone related to the thyroid function.

The basic function of the thyroid gland is to regulate the way the body produces and uses energy, or regulates metabolism.

Now it does A LOT more than this, but this is its basic function.

To do this, it produces a hormone called Thyroxine, or T4, which is produced by attaching four iodine molecules to a tyrosine molecule.

Thyroxine is then broken down to Triiodothyronine, or T3, which is the active form of the hormone, by having one molecule of iodine cleaved from the T4. This releases energy, so to speak, and revs up our metabolism.

T3, then, is broken down into T2, and eventually T1, and finally all those leftover, broken up tyrosine and iodine molecules make their way back to the Thyroid to be reassembled.

These thyroid hormones, or Thyronines, act on nearly every cell in the body. They act to increase the basal metabolic rate, affect protein synthesis, help regulate long bone growth (synergy with growth hormone) and neural maturation, and increase the body’s sensitivity to catecholamines (such as adrenaline).

The thyroid hormones are essential to proper development and differentiation of all cells of the human body.

These hormones also regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism, affecting how human cells use energetic compounds.

And they also stimulate vitamin metabolism.

So, like I said, Thyroid is involved in A LOT more than energy and metabolism.

In essence, if we cannot make enough T4, or we cannot convert and use enough T3, T2, or T1, we begin to suffer from Fatigue, Weight Gain, Fluid Retention/ Bloating, Increased Infections, Headaches, Menstrual Irregularities, Low Libido, Depression/ Anxiety, and a whole host of other symptoms like we outlined in part one of this discussion.

You’ll notice that no where in this discussion have I mentioned TSH as a Thyroid Hormone – because it is NOT a thyroid hormone, but we will save that for another section.

For today, if you or someone you care about, or work with, is suffering from the symptoms of low functioning thyroid, please call our office at 319-466-0026 and Alta Medea will get you scheduled ASAP.

I ask for your help so that we can provide the help to those that need us most.

And I thank you for caring enough to do so. Your kindness and thoughtfulness could mean everything to the person you recommend to call us.

Tomorrow we will look at TSH and its relationship to the Thyroid.

And, until then, and as always, Be Well.

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How To Fix Your Thyroid, Part Four

18 December 2013

As you know, I am on a mission to change the lives of 50 hypothyroid and hypometabolic patients by the end of winter.

I began with a shout out to all of you to contact us if you or someone you know is suffering for Fatigue, Weight Gain, Depression, Hair Loss, Cold Extremities, Headaches, Weakness and Soreness, Menstrual Irregularities, Anxiety, Blood Pressure Problems, Blood Sugar Problems, or any of the other symptoms of thyroid dysfunction that we outlined in Part One of this series.

Then I got the idea that I would try to help hundreds or more patients in addition to those that are able to travel here to our clinic by posting chapter outlines for the book I’ve been working on.

In Part One, we outlined many common, and often overlooked, symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and hypometabolism.

In Part Two, we outlined how to find a provider that is worth working with. The thyroid and its associated peripheral glands (e.g., adrenals, etc.) are very complicated and I’d advise finding a practitioner that has spent at least a decade investigating and successfully treating the thyroid and is boarded by either or both the AARM and the A4M.

In Part Three, we discussed the basic function of the thyroid as well as a general (yet detailed) overview (is that possible) of the hormones related to the thyroid function.

Today, in Part Four, we will look at Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, how it affects the thyroid gland, and why anyone who is still using it as the absolute guideline in diagnosis and treatment stopped reading the literature in 1952 and is waaaayyyyyyy behind the times.

The role of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, or TSH, is simply to stimulate the thyroid to release more inactive thyroid hormone, thyroxine, or T4, which is then converted into T3 in the tissues.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is released from the PITUITARY gland (NOT the thyroid) in response to how much active thyroid hormone (T3) and inactive thyroid hormone (T4) is circulating in the blood.

The more T3 and T4 available in the blood, the less TSH is released from the pituitary gland, creating what we call a negative feedback loop.

As TSH levels RISE, the function of the thyroid and the metabolism is LOWER. As TSH lowers, the exact opposite is true.

The Standard of Care in America is simply that if TSH is too high, the patient MAY qualify for standard thyroid medicine, which is usually a synthetic called levothyroxine, or Reverse T4.

The reasoning and rationale is spot on – as long as the pituitary is responding correctly to the T4 and T3 levels in the blood. And as long as the body isn’t making too much Reverse T3 and is converting enough of the T4 into usable T3, which, for many individuals, is not the case.

In fact, most international journals on the practice of medicine have criticized the use of TSH-only diagnosis and treatment and have encouraged practitioners to actually look at the thyroid hormones for indication of diagnosis and treatment.

In study after study, there is a very poor correlation between TSH levels and concentrations of true thyroid hormone in the tissues and blood.

And, to make this worse, it appears that patients on the cusp – you know the ones (in fact maybe you are one of the ones) who have ALL the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and hypometabolism, but their labs continue to be “normal” – well, those patients are at enormous risk of sudden cardiac death in dozens of recent articles in the Cardiology journals.

But, GP’s, family docs, internists, and endocrinologists typically don’t read the cardiology journals, so this info is often not part of their understanding (otherwise, it would be extremely negligent to keep not treating these thyroid patients and waiting until they are finally sick enough to treat). (God, we have a broken system)

All in all, it is important to check TSH, but it is not the end-all-of-all-things when it come to diagnosis and treatment.

And if you, or anyone you know, is still suffering, or has been told, “there is nothing wrong with your thyroid” (despite the fact that you have all the signs and symptoms), please, Pay It Forward and make sure that they or you call our office at 319-466-0026 and we will get them on the right path toward the healthcare they need and deserve.

Or, even better, here is my direct email: drjbradley@gmail.com. Email me. Any time.

I WANT TO HELP YOU.

In the next installment, we will look at how the multitude of thyroid hormones effect the pituitary output of TSH and we will show, beyond a shadow of doubt, that TSH only diagnosis is outmoded, outdated, and dangerous.

Until then, and as always, Be Well.

* * *

How To Fix Your Thyroid, Part Five

20 December 2013

As you know, I am on a mission.

My mission is to end, for once and for all, the misinformation and misdiagnosis, under-diagnosis, and mistreatment of hypothyroidism and hypometabolism once and for all.

On a very real and practical level, I am looking for a total of 50 new patients to help resolve their problems with their Thyroid, whether it be Fatigue, Weight Gain, Depression, Low Libido, Menstrual Irregularities, Hair Loss, Cold Extremities, or any other of the host of symptoms that are associated with thyroid function.

We have had a number of people email and get scheduled, but we still have room for more. I expanded my weekly hours to have 12 more patient contact hours per week to accommodate your needs.

I am asking any of you that are suffering, or have family members, friends, colleagues, or associates that are suffering to contact us at 319-466-0026 or email me directly at drjbradley@gmail.com and we will do everything in our power to help.

That said, as you also know, I have been outlining my new book, How To Fix Your Thyroid, right here is real time on Facebook and sharing the information with you all.

In Part One, we outlined many common, and often overlooked, symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and hypometabolism.

In Part Two, we outlined how to find a provider that is worth working with. The thyroid and its associated peripheral glands (e.g., adrenals, etc.) are very complicated and I’d advise finding a practitioner that has spent at least a decade investigating and successfully treating the thyroid and is boarded by either or both the AARM and the A4M.

In Part Three, we discussed the basic function of the thyroid as well as a general (yet detailed) overview (is that possible?) of the hormones related to the thyroid function.

In Part Four, we looked at Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, how it affects the thyroid gland, and why anyone who is still using it as the absolute guideline in diagnosis and treatment stopped reading the literature in 1952 and is waaaayyyyyyy behind the times.

Today in Part Five, we will expand the role and mechanism of TSH and its effect on the thyroid output. And hopefully put a nail in the coffin of TSH-only diagnosis and treatment.

As we mentioned, TSH responds to the amount of T4, T3, and the dangerous Reverse T3 in your body (NOT just T3). The more of those hormones combined you have circulating, the less TSH should be produced. This is a means of self-regulation so that metabolism doesn’t get out of control (and become a hyperthyroid case, which is a very different issue altogether).

Theoretically, anyway.

The problem is that this reality doesn’t always (or even usually) play out in the literature, nor in tire-meeting-the-road lab results seen in practice.

Very often, TSH remains NORMAL, even while T4 and T3 are either or both running LOW.

In traditional medical training, this is IMPOSSIBLE as we are ALL told that TSH accurately reflects circulating T4 and T3 levels.

And when patients check in with their GP’s about this discrepancy, the usual response is simply, “Well, that happens sometimes; and your TSH is normal so your thyroid is normal.”

So, despite LOW THYROID HORMONES, the GP’s are still saying the thyroid is working just fine – all because the PITUITARY hormone TSH is normal.

This is literally absurd and just doesn’t make sense with even an ounce of thought. But, ok, let’s see if the literature supports the TSH-only diagnosis and management regimen.

Well, according to the literature, only under ideal conditions of ideal health do pituitary T3 levels correlate with T3 levels in the rest of the body, making the TSH a poor indicator of the body’s overall thyroid status.

The relationship between TSH and tissue T3 is lost in the presence of physiologic or emotional stress (1-32), depression (33-38), insulin resistance and diabetes (28,39), aging (30,40-49)(see thyroid hormones and aging graph), calorie deprivation (dieting)(50-57), inflammation (5-8,22), PMS (58,59), chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (60,61), obesity (112,113,114) and numerous other conditions (1-63) (see references in first comment).

In the presence of such conditions, the TSH is a poor marker of active thyroid levels and thyroid status of an individual, and a normal TSH cannot be used as a reliable indictor that a person is euthyroid (normal thyroid) in the overwhelming majority of patients.

Not to mention that the international medical community is moving away from TSH-only diagnosis and management. The international journals are ripe with articles redirecting physicians to test thyroid hormones as opposed to pituitary hormones.

So, why, in this country, do we insist on TSH-only diagnosis and management?

Well, I bet you already guessed, it has A LOT to do with who funds education and continuing education – and, as we are ALL aware, Big Pharma has their hands firmly in the paychecks of University-funding, the FDA, DTC advertising, insurance providers, government contracts (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) and everywhere else they can make sure their message is heard and controlled, which is that patent medicines are the only answer.

And Synthroid, and its generic levothyroxine, is the fourth-most prescribed drug in the USA with over 70-million prescriptions.

The all-natural alternatives, which we will discuss in upcoming sections, are not patentable and therefore not profitable – and therefore not pushed by Big Pharma nor the players they keep in their pockets.

In the next section, we will discuss Reverse T3, its relationship to Reverse T4, TSH, and thyroid function.

Until then, and as always, Be Well.

__________

The above article is from Dr. Jason Bradley of the Washington Street Wellness Center in Iowa City. It is a compilation of a series of writings posted to his Facebook page in December 2013. There are four parts included above. Additional installations will be provided later. For the most current news, visit Dr. Bradley’s Facebook page.

Dr. Bradley inspires and guides people toward greater wellness through data-driven, clinically sound, outcomes-based, practices and protocols. In addition to having a physical office, he utilizes social media to engage and inform people so they can be empowered to take charge of their own wellness outcomes.

Standard Disclaimer. Please not that this information is not intended to be used for self diagnosis or treatment. It is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult directly with your healthcare practitioner to determine the best personalized protocol for your own unique conditions and needs.

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