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Hair Loss

I had major surgery 6 months ago, and 2 months after I recovered, we moved out of the country. The adjustment has been a little stressful. Shortly after surgery my hair started falling out and I continue to lose hair every day. Is there something I could take to help my hair to grow back in? Thank you.

There are 3 treatable causes of hair falling out:

1. low thyroid

2. low nutrients, especially biotin and zinc

3. stress.

Outside of those 3 conditions are some identifiable and some non-identifiable conditions–male balding being one of them.  My recommendation for you is to get your thyroid levels checked.  If the T3 is below the mid reference range, I consider it low thyroid, although conventional medicine does not consider it low until it is below the low range.

Take extra biotin and zinc for up to 3 months. (Because zinc competes with copper for the transporter, long term use of either one will cause a deficiency of the other one.)  Learn some relaxation, de-stressing techniques and practice them.  Also, be aware the average person loses between 60 to 100 hairs each day.  So if that is the amount of loss you are experiencing, it is not a matter of concern.

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Roasted Edamame

Is eating roasted edamame bad for you?

Until I know differently, I assume roasted edamame (soybeans) has the same problems as any non-fermented soy.

Unfermented soy decreases the absorption of important minerals and interferes with thyroid function.  A am against eating them.

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Postpartum Depression and Other Issues

I am 5 months postpartum, and I have a lot of symptoms of hypothyroidism – severe depression (still ongoing – I’m on zoloft), aching in muscles/joints, sensitive to cold, heavy periods, inability to concentrate, occasionally I feel like I can’t breathe & there is something in my throat. I know that iodine supplementing will help, however, I’m wondering if I should seek medical professional help first, because I may have had iodine deficiency too long now. Or I may have something else I’m not pinpointing?

First, you need to know if you are hypothyroid or not.

Get lab tests:

  • free T3,
  • free T4,
  • TSH.

If the free T3 is in the lower half of the reference range, you are hypothyroid.  I prefer to treat with the thyroid extracts, Armour thyroid, Westhroid, Naturethroid.

Zoloft does not help the depression of hypothyroidism.

You can begin iodine supplementation, 12.5 mg daily.  It won’t hurt if you don’t need it, and it could help if you do need it.

If your symptoms are not hypothyroidism, you need to see an integrative health care professional, as conventional medicine does not do well with the symptoms you have described.  (I doubt you have a Zoloft deficiency.)

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Iodine, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Your Thyroid

Is there a link between polycystic ovarian disease, thyroid issues and rheumatoid arthritis, and if so how to balance all this in one body?

Iodine is the common link between ovarian problems and thyroid.

Women use iodine in 3 organs:

  • thyroid,
  • ovaries,
  • breast.

Men only use the iodine in the thyroid gland.  This is probably why women are 10 times more likely to have thyroid deficiency than men.

Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease (the immune system has identified joint tissue as the enemy and attacks it), it is possible to have a second autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  In this disorder the immune system has identified thyroid tissue as the enemy, and attacks it.

There could be a genetic propensity in a person with more than one autoimmune disease present, which could link them in that way.  That said, each of the diseases needs to be treated.  This is best done by looking at the body as a whole, and not as separate parts.

The beauty of alternative medicine is that the goal is treatment of the cause, and not just treatment of the end organ symptoms.

You need to be on an excellent diet and supplements so the body has the nutrients to repair and heal itself.  Iodine, and probably thyroid hormone, will need to be administered to fix the thyroid symptoms.

PCOD may be made worse by estrogen dominance, so the addition of progesterone may prove helpful.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you will need a physician or practitioner in the alternative medicine field to set up a comprehensive program for treatment.

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My husband has graves disease. His thyroid is up again and his eyes are sore and very red. What would you recommend. I have been told iodine and lithium in small doses have been beneficial. What do you think? We would like to stay a way from cordisone, if possible.

Graves disease means your husband’s immune system is attacking his thyroid gland.  This may cause

  • hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone),
  • hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) or be
  • euthyroid (normal thyroid hormone).

Iodine and lithium have been found to help reduce the autoimmine attack and stabilize the thyroid gland.  Additionally, careful attention to the diet is critical, as sugars and processed foods interfere with the immune system.

Toxins may also interfere with the immune system, and need to be identified and removed as much as possible.  As I don’t believe any of us can get all the nutrients we need from even the best of food, basic supplements like a potent multivitamin, essential fatty acids and vitamin D are also necessary.

Most of the patients I see that get on board with the complete program have negative thyroid antibody tests within 1 to 2 years.

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Weight Loss

I would like to know if Dr Gardner has a diet that will help me to lose weight (100+), help my hypothyroidism get better, maybe with Armour ( I take Levothyroxin 175mcg), and consequently get rid of Metformin 100mg that I started taking about 1 year ago now.

Keys to Healing Medical Center treats hypothyroidism and obesity, and they are intertwined.  You have also identified insulin resistance as a contributing factor in weight gain, and insulin resistance makes it extremely difficult to lose weight. Dr. Gardner has various tools for assisting in weight loss. Call 801  302-5397 to have a packet sent about his philosophies and costs so you can decide if this is right for you.

If you would like to consider the Ease on Down Weight Balance Program when it becomes available again you can enter your email address here.

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Is eating roasted edamame bad for you?

The ingestion of soy interferes with thyroid function and the absorption of some minerals. Fermented soy (miso, tempeh) has removed these harmful substances from soy.  Edamame is a less mature soy, but until I know differently, I assume it acts like its more mature counterpart and is harmful to the body.

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Thyroid Issues, Weight Loss and HCG

I am on synthroid medication and have been for 26 years, was given a radioactive iodine pill that killed the function of my thyroid for hypothyrodism, recently had a parathyroid gland removed.I am overweight,,, obese,,,, I need to lose weight as it is beginning to affect my legs and back. I would like to use the HCG drops and wonder if they would benefit me. I know that having a non functioning thyroid slows down your metabolism and you gain weight and have a harder time losing it… can you give me some info on this and tell me if you think I can benefit form the drops. I really need to lose,,,

Weight loss is not so easy as energy (food) in, energy (exercise) out.  If you are still hypothyroid on Synthroid, no matter what else you do , it will be difficult to lose fat or weight. 

The free T3 level is the level of your active thyroid hormone, and if it is at or below the mid range of the reference range of the lab, it is hypothyroid if you have any other symptoms of low thyroid.  Synthroid is T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone, which is converted into T3 in the body.  That is, if the conversion takes place properly, which is not the case in many people. 

Conventional medicine tends to ignore the T3 level, relying on TSH and T4 levels to assess thyroid function.  If all conversion pathways and feedback pathways were intact, it would be accurate.  But, in my experience, too many people are low thyroid even with normal TSH and T4 levels.  You should also be taking iodine daily. 

Once the thyroid is fixed, and you are on a good diet (no sugar, processed food, soda pop), then HCG drops or shots could be considered.  They are safe.  If you are willing to  be aggressive with the dietary restrictions (which are not healthy long term) during the HCG period, you can plan on losing one-half to one pound per day on the drops.  You can have repeated courses with breaks in between, if needed.  It also has a tendency to remove fat from those difficult to lose places–hips, thighs, arms, abdomen. 

I have a proprietary formula of HCG in homeopathic drops that contains 22 amino acids.  They have been helpful for many, with excellent results.  You can find them in the products available on the website navigation bar.

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Thyroid Issues

I have two daughters. The oldest one was diagnosed with a big cold spot on her thyroid, which they say is hypothyroidism. My second daughter suffers with the same symptoms of extreme tiredness and she is sick a lot, along with the other symptoms of the disease. For some reason no Dr. has been able to see that she has a thyroid problem. I have noticed it for years and knew the first daughter had developed it too, before the Dr. told her she had hypothyroidism. It took several years before the first daughter was able to get a Dr. to see that she had a problem. I don’t understand why Dr.’s don’t see the obvious. Do you have any suggestions for getting my second daughter any help? She lives in the Houston, TX area.

Conventional medicine uses a screening test, TSH, as a test for thyroid function.  This test is part of the feedback loop between the blood levels of thyroid hormone and the pituitary gland.

The feedback loop functions like a thermostat–when the house is cold, the furnace turns on; when the house is hot, the furnace turns off.  The TSH levels are higher when the thyroid hormones are low, and TSH is low when the thyroid hormones are high in the blood.  This works nicely if the thermostat works.  But, TSH does not test for thyroid hormone levels.

I always want to know the free T3 level, as that is the active thyroid hormone.  Also, the lower 1/2 of the ‘normal’ range of T3 is unhealthy and low thyroid as far as I am concerned, if the patient has low thyroid symptoms like cold intolerance, dry skin, constipation, brittle dry hair falling out, mental fog.

I don’t know alternative medicine practitioners in the Houston area, but you might try looking online for local practitioners from the following organizations: ACAM, ICIM, AAEM.

Although I would prefer to see her in person, consults and follow-up through my office can be done by phone, if needed.  Call 801-302-5397 to schedule time with me.

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Why Not Soy?

You have mentioned several times [in the Ease on Down Weight Balance Program] “no soy”.  Why?

Soy interferes with thyroid function and the absorption of some minerals in the intestinal tract. This includes soy milk and any soy product except those that have been fermented, like they do in Japan. The fermented (and acceptable) soy products include miso and tempeh. Tofu is coagulated soy, so not as good as fermented, but better than regular soy products.