What do you feel are the main causes behind
Hashimoto's/autoimmune hypothyroidism, and why do you feel
that it is becoming more common?
We both have researched this question thoroughly because of Karilee's
Hashimoto's and that of our three children. Our findings suggest to us
the main culprit is runaway industrial pollution of the air, food, and
with endocrine disruptor chemicals. Obviously there are other triggers,
as puberty, childbirth, menopause, stress, viral illness, and neck trauma,
name a few - the endocrine disruptor theory, we believe, helps to account
the tremendous mushrooming incidence of this condition. It is well known
scientific circles that dioxins and PCB's, some of the most ubiquitous of
pollutants, both cause autoimmunity and are directly thyro-toxic. Many
thousands of other chemicals are liable to be exerting their own
effects, but have not been as well studied. The scope of this problem is
enormous and utterly daunting to government officials and research
What do you feel the role is of the adrenal
system in dealing with hypothyroidism?
Adrenal function is absolutely and directly related to optimal thyroid
function. Our various hormone messengers all work in concert, usually to
advantage. When adrenal levels are out of balance, however, thyroid
has a harder time getting from the bloodstream into the cells, and in
addition has a harder time attaching to the proper binding site inside the
cytoplasm before moving to the cell nucleus. Moreover, the conversion of
(storage transport thyroid hormone) into T-3 (active thyroid hormone) is
likewise dependent on proper amount of adrenal support.
Another important connection to keep in mind is the common coexistence of
mild adrenal insufficiency along with low thyroid. When these two
are found together, but only the thyroid component is treated, the person
generally feels worse. The doctor then concludes that thyroid treatment is
somehow a mistake, and erroneously discontinues the medicine. This is a
tremendous loss. The person needs treatment for the low adrenal condition
along with treatment for the low thyroid.
Are there any particular supplements you think
most people with hypothyroidism should probably be taking?
I try not to generalize, as each patient is unique. That being said, it is
good bet that low thyroid people have a tendency for low red blood cells.
This can be helped with B-12, and folic acid, along with an easily
iron source if they test low for iron as well. I attempt to steer all my
patients toward healthier whole foods and a good multiple vitamin with
minerals. This usually covers the bases listed above, as well as the
important minerals of zinc, magnesium, copper, and selenium. The essential
fatty acids are just that - they are absolutely essential. I recommend
supplementing with EPA, Omega-3, and GLA, Omega-6. Finally, a gram or two
free-form amino acids each day helps tremendously. Moreover, the "itis"
(inflammation) of thyroiditis benefits greatly from abundant antioxidants.
supplemental item in addition to the multi, therefore, should include
amounts of A, C, E, lipoic acid, pycnogenol, and milk thistle, among
Many holistic practitioners feel that supplemental
iodine (whether it be atomidine drops, or iodine supplements, or
high-iodine herbs like kelp or bladderwrack) should be taken by
patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism. What are your
thoughts about this?