Q&A 5/31/22 Thyroid Disorders


Podcast Highlights:

00:43 What is the relationship between depression and leaky gut?

02:15 What about Leaky Gut and ADHD?

03:18 I’ve gained 35 pounds in the past two months. I went from eating gluten free, sugar free to eating whatever I want, whenever I want. I haven’t been dealing with life very well. Is that fast weight gain because of leaky gut?

05:14 I had COVID two years ago and still don’t want to know and still don’t have all my taste back. Do you know if that would have affected the bitter part of my tongue doing its job with sending signals to the brain

06:02 Bone bruises. What are some DIY things that might expedite healing?

07:50 Are dried elderberries safe to eat when added to a smoothie for salad, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc..?

08:26 If bonobos are human’s closest living relatives sharing 98.7% of our DNA, and bonobos eat mostly an entirely fresh raw fruit diet, and fresh fruit is so high in vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, structured water, etc., why is TCM so anti-fresh raw fruit for humans?

14:55 Thyroid disorders – Advanced integrative approach

15:13 Symptoms of thyroid disorders

16:41 Hypothyroid

17:58 These are symptoms of thyroid disorders. Those are symptoms of iodine deficiency.

26:37 HPA Axis

34:17 Thyroid testing, TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone

35:40 T3, reverse T3, free T3, free T4

36:58 Primary hypothyroidism

37:54 Pituitary hypofunction

39:48 Under conversion of T4 to T3

48:51 Autoimmune

53:51 Th2 stimulators

Transcript from Webinar:

Hi, This is Dr. John back with another all too quick session. I’m going to take about an hour to cover several days of thyroid disorders, and I’m going to do that today. Before I start, I have been saving of the other questions for the end. I’m going to take a few of those upfront. We just got a bunch sent over today, so I’m going to take a couple minutes on those and then I will talk about thyroid disorders.


What is the relationship between depression and leaky gut? Massive. Every week I believe there is a new study out showing the horrible effects of leaky gut on the brain and on neurotransmitters. In fact, there are many people that believe you cannot fix these mental/emotional diagnoses until you fix the gut. That goes for everything from depression to ADHD to anxiety; you have to fix the gut.

Now, I believe they can be done simultaneously. In fact, I think it’s better off if we do that simultaneously. But if you don’t treat the gut, it’s going to come right back, because that’s the core. That’s the key to inflammation. The gut is wide open. You’ve got 4000 square feet of surface area. You’ve got 100 trillion microbes that are fighting over that surface area. If your gut loses the turf war, then you will have massive numbers of inflammatory chemicals and cytokines that penetrate the barrier, hopefully the barrier, of your intestines and get into your bloodstream. From there they go everywhere and caused massive inflammation. There is a huge, huge correlation.


What about Leaky Gut and ADHD? It’s one of the first things I would treat with ADHD. A couple of things that we look at are iron levels. Iron levels are usually very low in ADHD patients. That’s somewhat because the gut lining is so damaged and impaired that patients are not absorbing ion and then some of them become picky eaters because things irritate their intestines and a few other reasons why they have low ion. We also look at zinc and copper levels for the same reasons, looking at absorption and utilization. Those are really three of the biggies.

However, the biggest problem there too is the brain is on fire. You know, there’s a great book called “Brain on Fire,” which is a little more serious than what we’re talking about. It’s a great indication of the problems that happen with brain chemistry from seemingly unrelated causes.


I’ve gained 35 pounds in the past two months. I went from eating gluten free, sugar free to eating whatever I want, whenever I want. I haven’t been dealing with life very well. Is that fast weight gain because of leaky gut? Well, partially, it could be because of leaky gut, as I’ve mentioned before. If you look at the work of Dr. Alessio Fasano, which I highly recommend that you all just pull him up and take a look. Dr. Fasano is very clear from his studies that every single time. No exception. Every single time you eat wheat or gluten gliadin and you will have transient leaky gut. Transient leaky gut means you also have (this he proved very clearly) transient leaky brain which then changes your entire brain chemistry to deal with the inflammation.

Now, if you pour sugar on, it’s just like putting gasoline on a fire. It doesn’t matter what else is wrong, the sugar will make it worse. It is the most evil product we have on the planet. I would recommend that you look at some of the books on sugar that have been written by professors at UCSF; it’s pretty frightening. I mean, very, very frightening. You can also see the incredible setup and the lies told by the sugar industry so that we believed that fat was bad and sugar was okay. So, yes, if you’ve been eating gluten and sugar and you have leaky gut, you are destined not only to gain weight, you’re destined also to have depression, probably anxiety, inflammation and body pain.


I had COVID two years ago and still don’t want to know and still don’t have all my taste back. Do you know if that would have affected the bitter part of my tongue doing its job with sending signals to the brain? Yeah, it would. Any lack of taste is dangerous. Lack of the bitter taste is very dangerous because that sets up your entire gastrointestinal tract and other organs also to be able to do their jobs. If you can’t taste bitter, you’re not going to release the chemicals that are going to turn on your pancreas and your gallbladder so that they are ready for the food that’s coming. Therefore, you won’t get proper absorption and nutrition. So, yes, that’s a big problem.


Bone bruises. What are some DIY things that might expedite healing? Well, the question is in the plural “bone bruises.” I’m wondering how someone got those. Bone bruises are actually not very easy to come by. You usually have to do something pretty extreme, you know, car wreck, bicycle accident, football injury, falling down over a curb or something. Usually you’re going to bruise one bone, maybe a couple. So I’m curious about bruises and wondering if there’s some underlying problem going on.

With bone bruises, one of the main things is just rest. However, we have tons of tools in our office that we use for that. Acupuncture is extremely powerful for bone bruises, electro acupuncture in particular, because when you stimulate the area around the bruise, you bring in what’s called the soup and that has 15 major chemicals that are very, very healing and will reduce and/or eliminate inflammation. That’s a key piece of that. Plus, we will do a variety of electrical stimulations, pulsed electromagnetic fields. We would do red light therapy and infrared therapy which pulling in the inflammation out and are very, very helpful. Often we would have someone lie on one of those mats, and then put a smaller device over the top so that the bone bruise area is completely surrounded by these healing wavelengths of light and other wavelengths that are very powerful.


Are dried elderberries safe to eat when added to a smoothie for salad, oatmeal, chia pudding, etc..? I don’t know. Honestly, it’s not something I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve never been asked that question before. I have read and/or heard that there’s a problem with Elderberries if you eat them raw. Now I have a lot of products that have elderberry in them, but of course that’s processed. I honestly, unfortunately, do not know the answer to that question.


If bonobos are human’s closest living relatives sharing 98.7% of our DNA, and bonobos eat mostly an entirely fresh raw fruit diet, and fresh fruit is so high in vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, structured water, etc., why is TCM so anti-fresh raw fruit for humans?

Well. (A) there’s a supposition there that’s kind of the base, I guess, of the question that I have not found to be the case. I’m not against fresh fruit. I’m very careful about when I think people should eat fresh fruit. I think that’s a really, really big issue. None of my instructors were anti-fresh fruit. Again, it was more timing. Some of them felt that a lot of people make too much of that and others didn’t. Most of my instructors ate fresh fruit, so that is news to me. If I am supposed to be against it, I’ll work on that, but I didn’t know I was supposed to be against it. Now, there are lots of problems, obviously, with fresh fruit. You have very high histamine levels. If it’s eaten at the wrong time, if it’s eaten too late, even a day after it is really, really perfectly ripe, then you have can have severe histamine problems. If you eat it a day before it’s perfectly ripe, you have leptin problems. Either of those leads to massive inflammation problems. Those are some difficulties. You have to eat the fruit perfectly. I am absolutely for it. I grew up eating fruit off of our fig trees and off of our plum trees, which we had lots of them at my home in Napa. I’m all for that.

The danger is getting it at exactly the right time; that’s the issue. It has to be perfectly fresh. Not a day too late or a day too early, because either of those is a problem. This is one of the things with dietary issues in general. We can make sweeping generalizations about whatever. I have patients eating carnivore diets that are doing phenomenally well. I have patients eating vegan diets that are doing phenomenally well. I have seen people eating vegan diets that are near death because they ate them inappropriately. That to me is really the issue.

According to Daoist practices and traditional Chinese medical practices, which are largely based on Daoist practices of fruit, fresh fruit should never be eaten with other foods. Maybe some lettuce, or something like that, but it should never be eaten with protein. It should never be eaten with carbohydrate, because fruit ferments. If you put a two ounces of meat in your stomach and then you have fresh fruit, the fruit is going to sit there in an acid bath and it’s going to ferment. Same thing if you eat it with carbohydrates. I don’t like the idea of people eating oatmeal with fresh fruit in the morning. It pushes their blood sugar up too quickly. For a lot of people, that’s not a problem. However, for most of my patients, that would be a significant problem. Then they run the risk of fermentation of the sugars being there or the fruit sugars being there with the carbohydrates. I’m absolutely 100% not against fresh fruit. I am just pro being very careful.

As far as bonobos, we share a lot of DNA, but when you start looking at DNA, we share a lot of DNA with pretty much everything. It’s that extra percent that can make all the difference. I’m a firm believer in looking at dentition and looking at the digestive system of humans. We were designed to be omnivores. Now, people can argue with that, and I’m fine with that. However, we don’t have multiple stomachs. We have a moderate-length intestinal system. Our food goes through and gets much fewer digestive enzymes than the pure plant eaters, and it’s way longer than the pure carnivores, so they don’t get the putrefaction. Even though we share a lot, we don’t share 100%. I would be looking at that dentition and see cultures that are really, really happy, that do eat lots of things other than fruit, and there are cultures that don’t ever eat fruit that are very, very healthy. Some of it depends on genetics. Some of it depends on location of where we live. Some depends on energy requirements. I think there are a lot of diets that can be effective for different people.

I had promised that I would talk a little bit about thyroid today in response to the question. Now, this is going to get a little bit technical in a couple of places, and I’m going to walk you through it. If you don’t get it at first, don’t worry about it. I honestly had to read about the thyroid cascade a dozen times, probably. I can remember exactly where I was standing and what the weather was like and what I was doing the day it all made sense to me. Get what you get. Next time you hear it, you’ll get a little more. The bottom line is, there are a couple of things that I think are very important that you look at.


Thyroid disorders – Advanced integrative approach. It’s actually a kind of maybe medium integrated approach. I’m going to talk to you about things that your doctor doesn’t, but I’m not going to speak to you in a way that I would speak to my acupuncture students that are also doing functional medicine.


Symptoms of thyroid disorders. “Were we better off before the TSH test?” The answer is in many ways, yes. The reason is this. If you came in to a doctor with those symptoms, particularly if there’s more than one of those before the TSA test was popularized, they would start treating you for a thyroid disorder just flat out. Now, if you came in with that entire list, but your thyroid stimulating hormone, which, by the way, is not a thyroid hormone, it’s a stimulating hormone, but if you came in with what they considered a perfect PSA test, which may be way outside the range that I think is perfect. If you came in with that, even though you had this entire list of symptoms, you might not get thyroid treatment because they’re basing the treatment to the test, which personally I don’t think is ever a good idea. Tests are valuable. They give you tremendous amounts of information. They are not the end all, be all. There are many things that are more important to look at, and this is in all areas than the test results. Again, they are one piece of the puzzle. I love testing. I do testing every day. However, I also keep in mind that there are lots of other things that we can look at.


Hypothyroid. I’m not going to talk about hyperthyroid today because it’s dramatically less likely to affect you, and there’s not enough time to go into that. However, if you look at these symptoms of hypothyroid, you’ll see that pretty much it can affect anything: delayed reflexes and hoarseness. People don’t think about that. Why am I getting hoarse? Is it my lungs? Is that my….. No, it could be your thyroid hormone is bad or your thyroid is actually swelling and pressing. Other symptoms include poor hearing, hair loss, paresthesias, odd sensations in your body, constipation, menorrhagia, which is really long, bloody menstrual periods. Any of those can be a sign of hypothyroidism, even something like carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the first things I do if someone comes in with carpal tunnel is first actually check them to make sure that’s what’s happening. Over a third of the time, it’s not even the carpal tunnel that’s the problem. The second thing I’m going to test their thyroid to see if that’s where the problem actually lies.


Now we are going to go back here for a minute. They are symptoms of thyroid disorders. Those are symptoms of iodine deficiency. If you look, they are the same thing. They are exactly the same thing. That’s because thyroid hormone is primarily made of iodine. It’s made of iodine molecules that are linked with the amino acid tyrosine, but iodine deficiency is a huge cause of thyroid disorders.

That’s why they started putting iodine into salt around the 40s, maybe, because there was no iodine in the soil. There was a report in the 1930s to Congress saying, “Hey, we have almost no minerals in our soil. It’s so deficient, and one of the minerals that’s missing is iodine.” If you don’t live near the coast, then you’re probably not going to eat a lot of fresh fish. You’re certainly not going to get any seaweed, so people in the middle, 80% of the country were very likely to be iodine deficient. Therefore, they added iodeine to salt because pretty much everybody was using salt. Well, now we know that regular old table salt from a lot of the manufacturers is horrible stuff. The way it’s processed is really bad, and they have taken the other minerals out of it. It’s just almost completely sodium chloride, so it doesn’t have any health benefits or very few. However, in doing that, they’ve reduced their iodine exposure.

Iodine is critical, amazingly critical. People die from iodine deficiency all the time without knowing it.

Look at this list: ADD and ADHD, sleep disorders, menstrual disorders, constipation, etc. There’s a whole lot there that can happen with iodine deficiency. Again, it’s the same thing that happens with thyroid deficiency or hypothyroid.

Every organ that secretes something needs large amounts of iodine to excrete. That’s just basic physiology. The thyroid has the highest concentration. Actually, the first little bit of iodine really comes in and fuels the brain, the pineal gland, pituitary, etc.. They don’t take much, but they get the first crack at it. Then the thyroid, which takes a fair amount of iodine and then what’s left over, goes to the glandular tissue.

Now in Japan, fibrocystic breasts, lumpy breasts, breast cysts, breast cancer are at a fraction. A fraction. Last time I looked, it was about 10%, but I haven’t looked recently. Dramatically less than in the United States. Why? Because they eat seaweed, they eat fish, and they allow flooding of their land so that they get iodine from the ocean onto their plants and onto the soil that they’re going to grow their plants in. We don’t allow that here anymore.

The first thing I do when a patient comes in and says, you know, “I have really painful breasts premenstrually. I have lumps and bumps and some cysts.” I will ask them, “Have you had any ovarian problems?” Usually they have, because the ovaries also need a huge amount of iodine. Then I’ll say, “Have you had your thyroid checked?” “Oh yeah, I did have my thyroid checked. I’m borderline hypothyroid.” I’m thinking, “No, you’re not borderline. Just on the test numbers they’re using you’re borderline. In reality, that’s not the case.”

Prostate swelling is largely related to a couple of things. One is estrogen excess and then over conversion to dihydrotestosterone. However, a lot of it is from iodine deficiency.

Again, look at this list. The Chinese have been using iodine to treat thyroid disorders for at least 1500 years.

I have some writings from a very famous Chinese doctor where he used deer thyroid gland plus seaweed, which was burned down so it was pretty much just iodine. He used that to treat thyroid disorders way more effectively than thyroid disorders are generally treated now. It’s a very fascinating dynamic. You need it to make stomach acid. All of these things that we are looking at here, dry eyes, dry mouth, all of those things could be related to low levels of iodine and/or hypothyroid.

Here’s a picture of a thyroid. You can see the one on the right is enlarged. It’s inflamed. It would be hypofunctioning; it’s called a goiter. You don’t see too many goiters anymore. The center of the country used to be called the goiter belt because so many people had goiter. Now, the reason you get all this swelling is the thyroid is doing everything it can to get every molecule of iodine, so it swells trying to capture any iodine. The same with breast tissue, fiber cystic breasts, etc. The glandular tissues are trying to get every single bit of iodine that they can.

These are some pictures taken when goiters were more common, and thyroid deficiency was more common. The woman on the right is swollen, that’s prethyroid treatment. If any of these pictures bring anything to mind for you, you might want to get your thyroid checked. Here’s another. The swelling, the edema and the face. Here you have not just the swelling, but even that little head forward. There’s almost a depressive activity there. In this one, does she look different or what? Crazy what a little bit of iodine does. Now, in this picture, this is a woman that got iodine and then a thyroid hormone. In the picture on the left was when she first went to the doctor. Figure 1D she had been under iodine treatment. Figure 1E she had been doing thyroid treatment. That is a pretty dramatic difference.

When I see young women whose parents bring them in because they’re really not developing at a rate that we would expect or that they would expect, iodine is one of the things. There are obviously more, but iodine is one of the things that I’m going to consider in my diagnostic protocols.

The picture on the left says, “sufficient dietary iodide” and you can see the hypothalamus. If you have ever watched a movie about a submarine or about a nuclear power plant, you had people monitoring these huge boards with lights flashing and all these things going on. That’s kind of like the hypothalamus. It is monitoring almost everything in your body: your temperature, your hormone levels, everything. Then it sends messages through a closed system to the pituitary. There’s the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary – the anterior being the front which produces eight trophic hormones, meaning that they’re going to go somewhere else in the body and stimulate something. Thyroid stimulating hormone, adrenocortical stimulating hormone, prolactin, which stimulates milk production and some other changes in the breast. Follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, etc.


The anterior pituitary is really running the show here, but it’s running the show under orders of the hypothalamus. You’ve heard of the HPA access (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis), but there is also hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis; all of those because we’re getting feedback up to these glands. Here you can see it’s creating adequate T3 and 4 (I’ll talk in a minute about what those are) which then you get a negative feedback and it says, “Hey, we don’t need any more of this; no more TSH.” That is why TSH really confuses people. There’s an inverse relationship to the health of your thyroid. The higher your TSH, the louder it’s yelling at the thyroid to make more hormone. As the levels actually balance out, it won’t have to yell as much. It’s just saying, “Okay, all right, let’s keep it right where it is.” You get these negative feedback loops, negative meaning slow things down. Over here with insufficient iodine you get down here produces too much TSH because the T4 is too low, so you’re not getting the negative feedback. You are getting low feedback, so it keeps raising the TSH screaming, “Make more thyroid hormone! Help us! Help us!” However, there’s no iodine to make the thyroid hormone out of because it’s insufficient. Again, T4 means that there are four iodine molecules that are linked together by tyrosine. It’s obviously way more complex than that, but that’s basically it.


T3, Triiodothyronine, is three iodine molecules that are connected. To make T3 from T4, which is critical in this, one iodine molecule is broken off. We will get to that; there are certain chemicals that do that, the deiodinases which are critical to break off that extra iodine molecule.

TSH, as I just said, is the messenger. It’s saying, “Release more or less thyroid hormone.” The thyroid then in response to that releases primarily T4 and T3 into the bloodstream. The ratio is about 20 to 1. It also releases a little T1 and T2, but they’re relatively unimportant. It’s mostly T4 that gets released into the bloodstream. T4 has a longer half life. It is pretty much a storage hormone. It gets converted to T3, which is 3 to 4 times more bioactive, meaning once it converts to T3, it really makes things happen. It’s really the Energizer Bunny. Again, tyrosine and iodine are the critical factors. Selenium is critical for these deiodinases, which convert T4 to T3.


The big controversy here about selenium for this conversion. My recommendation is don’t take selenium with the idea that you’re going to do this conversion because it can backfire; however, it is critical.

In this picture, the T4 is getting released. It comes down, and it can go to produce either T3, the Energizer Bunny, or reverse T3. Reverse T3 is the trickster. If someone’s under stress, has trauma, or on a low calorie diet, which the body reads as stress. It might be good for you. It might be wise, but your body will read it as stress, right? You could be starving to death. It could be a famine. What will happen is the body will produce more reverse T3. Reverse T3 binds in the same receptors that T3 bonds to. In this picture you can see they compete for binding sites. If you have high reverse T3, you’re not using your T3. It might look perfect on a blood test, but you’re not utilizing it. Over here is a list of things that can cause problems with that conversion from T4 to T3.


Here are some factors that are important for production of thyroid hormones. These are things that that inhibit proper production. Notice one of these is fluoride, which is horrible, horrible for the thyroid because it’s in the same column of the periodic table, and it is an antagonist to iodine. Fluoride is a smaller number, which means fluoride can bind into the iodine sites and block the uptake of iodine, but iodine can’t bind them to the fluoride sites. Fluoride has a huge advantage there in terms of binding. Bromine/bromide (same thing) has a lower molecular weight, and it also can bind into the receptor sites that would normally respond to iodine. If you’re eating things with bromine or exposed, bromine is in a lot of plastics, t’s actually put into bread products, it’s in tons of things. If you are drinking fluoridated water and exposed to bromine can almost guarantee that you have low iodine.

This picture shows T4 being converted to T3 in the liver, being converted to T3 in the kidneys, and being directly produced by the thyroid gland.

Again, TSH stimulates the thyroid gland, produces T4 that converts to either free and bound T3 or converts to reverse T3. Free T3 versus bound T3. When your medical doctor measures your T3 level or T4 level, often they will measure the bound form, and that’s fine. There’s a lot of information there. However, if you go to a functional medical doctor. An endocrinologist or to me we’re also going to measure free T3. That means how much is actually available, how much could we use that’s not already being used, and that’s a really important number.


Thyroid testing, TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone. The applications are very poor. I mean, it has a place. It’s a really handy test. It’s just grossly over-relied upon. The ranges vary 3.0 to 5.5. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has said that once you get over 3.0, you are hypothyroid no matter what LabCorp or anybody else says.

Also, if you go to a fertility specialist, they’re going to want you down under 2 because having a really, really balanced thyroid is critical for pregnancy.

When they set up this range, they had a really poor pool. They just took everybody that wasn’t on thyroid medication and did not have diagnosed thyroid disorders, and they said, “Okay, you’re our pool!” and then they came up with these numbers; horrible numbers. These are all tests that one should have if they suspect thyroid disorders. With these tests, you can pindown 32 different thyroid disorders. Thirty-two. That’s a lot, and that’s just hypothyroid.


T3, reverse T3, free T3, free T4; T7 is an index of the ratio of T4:T3. Antibodies are very, very important. The symptoms really are more reliable than the tests, but if you give me this whole cascade, we can figure out what’s going on. In terms of the hypothyroid, most MDs check for one type, and that is your test out of range? Some MDs, if they find it is out of range, will follow up with an autoimmune test for Hashimoto’s, almost none test for the other. I put three types there to keep it simple, and then I said four types. Datis Karrazian, who is a brilliant man is also a genius. He says there are 32 types of hypothyroid. In reading his information, I believe he’s absolutely correct. Clinically, I find that I don’t necessarily have to break it down into 32, but I do break it down into about eight on a regular basis.

If you’re still having difficulty, then I’m going to look beyond that and look at all 32. However, that’s a lot more than the 1-1/2 that your medical doctor is generally looking for.


Primary hypothyroidism. This is when the thyroid burns out for whatever reason. This happens a lot with childhood trauma, walking on eggshells kind of sense, and the thyroid literally just burns out, and stops functioning well. Usually there’s an autoimmune piece that goes well along with it. This one is usually treated pretty well by MDs. They give levothyroxine sodium, which is a T4 supplement. However, if they get products with T3, also, about 50% of patients feel even better. That’s because they have a secondary pathology of poor T4:to T3 conversion. Anyway, primary hypothyroidism they usually do a pretty good job. In this case, the TSH would be elevated. Everything else could be normal or low.


Pituitary hypofunction here, the TSA is elevated. Again, this looks a lot the same as the primary hypothyroidism, so you’d have to look a little deeper.


Primary hypothyroidism (Treatment). These are some things to consider for treatment: Thyroid gland dealers. In this case, you’re actually taking ground-up thyroid gland, which in a pinch, if you’re on thyroid medication and the apocalypse comes, you can always shoot a squirrel or a chicken or something and grind up their thyroid gland. That’s how they found out about this. They were have giving people thyroid glandulars. Deer thyroid may be the best. They’re really, really good anyway, and we use a lot of herbs, of course,


For the pituitary hypofunction (treatment), we actually have to treat the brain, and we have to treat the stress. For that, we’re looking at a lot of the same supplements. I don’t want to go into those too much because I don’t think you should treat yourself for this. Everybody should be taking vitamin D, literally everybody. Unless you live in the sun and your vitamin D levels are 60 or over. Otherwise, everybody should take that. Magnesium is the number three deficiency in the country. The number of people magnesium deficient is horrifically high, and magnesium does hundreds of different jobs within the body. It’s involved in many, many processes, including muscle relaxation. Low magnesium can lead to heart attack, diabetes, etc..


Under conversion of T4 to T3, your TSH could be normal. You go to your doctor and you say, “Doc, I feel like crap. I don’t want to get up, and when I get up. I don’t want to do anything. I’m having severe menstrual dysfunction, I’m gaining weight and I’m really bummed out and depressed about it.” They test your TSH and say, “Well, that’s not the problem.” Well, if you get down here, you’re going to find there is a problem because you’re not converting that relatively inactive form of thyroid hormone. You’re not converting it to the active form, so you’re not going to feel good, period. There is just no way.


These are some of the supplements that are beneficial for that.

Guggul, which is not the online service, but it’s an Ayurvedic herb. We use a lot of Chinese herbs, but we would use Guggul in some cases.

L Glutathione. Now L glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body. Some people argue that it’s alpha-ipoic acid, but for now we’ll go with glutathione. I didn’t use glutathione ever until very recently because it didn’t work. It didn’t survive getting through the stomach and couldn’t be utilized. Instead I would give N-acetyl cysteine, which is a precursor, and I got pretty good results. Then they came up with Liposomal glutathione, which is better. Most of my patients won’t take it because it tastes so horrific, but now there is a new form that has come out. We just started carrying it a few months ago, and it’s an L glutathione, and it is not so bad tasting. People are willing to take it, and it actually does work.


In this picture, we have total T3 and free T3 are high. That causes a whole other group of problems that are beyond my lecture today.

For over conversion, you usually see this in polycystic ovarian syndrome patients with a lot of insulin resistance and diabetes, so it is a whole different ballgame. You get high testosterone often in polycystic ovarian cyst syndrome, which really feeds this imbalance. Testosterone supplementation can also cause this; so in weightlifters, etc., people who are trying to really get a lot of muscle development, or in older guys who are wanting little testosterone for some drive, you can see this particular problem with the decreased thyroid-binding globulin. It’s all about liver detoxification. Now. I’m going to do a show on liver detoxification. I talk about it all the time. We do 10-day programs on liver detox, and all the time I have patients talk to their doctors who will say, “Oh, that’s ridiculous! The liver doesn’t need detoxification.” If your doctor says that to you, find another doctor, because if they don’t understand the basics of liver detoxification, there’s a whole lot more they don’t understand.

Keeping the liver detoxified is critical for hundreds of different processes in the body. If the liver’s toxic, you can get stones. Everybody knows about gallstones, but you can get kidney stones. In fact, they’re very common. You can go online and see pictures of them. You can see film studies that show these, and they are a huge problem because then you don’t get proper flow through the liver. The really, really, really scary thing is at this point the estimate is that 25% of the world population has metabolic-induced fatty liver disease. We are used to alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. This has blown way past that. This is metabolic. Sometimes it’s called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 25%! Also, 25% of teenagers that you see walking around on the street have fatty liver disease that can lead to liver fibrosis, that can lead to liver cirrhosis, which leads to death. This is a huge problem. You need to get that fat out of the liver, which is part of the liver detoxification process.

That’s why I say if your doctor says this isn’t a thing, you actually just need to get a different doctor because it’s a huge thing. Twenty-five percent of that doctor’s patients and in many cases more, depending on what they’re treating, have fatty liver disease. The doctor just doesn’t know it. This is scary stuff. I’m going to talk about this in a couple of weeks and maybe the most critical thing I ever talk about.

I am going to talk about water soon. Waters just would seem like the easiest topic in the world, and it’s one of the hardest, but I will be talking about it.

Elevated thyroid binding globulin – You don’t need to worry about any of this. I just want you to see that there are a lot of possible issues here around hypothyroid. We would want to support the methylation pathways. We want things to be able to deal with methyl groups so that they are functioning properly.

Choline, eat your eggs. Choline is one of the most important substances on the planet. It’s grossly under consumed. People got really afraid to eat eggs. Eggs are the number one source. There are other sources like organ meats, so you have your choice. Eat some sheep kidneys or eat some eggs and get that choline.

Betaine hydrochloride. You can either take it or you can eat your beets because that’s where this comes from.

B-complex – that’s going to come from your vegetables. B12 – that’s going to come from eating meat. If you are a vegan, you’re very likely to be low in three of these substances and you’re going to have to supplement if you want to stay healthy. If you’re primarily eating fruit, you could get enough choline. You could get enough B-complex. You will not get enough B12.

These are things for liver detox. I’m not going to spend much time on them because I don’t want you to treat yourself. Here are some things for healthy bile flow. If you think you have a slow gallbladder, you’re getting discomfort under the rib cage on the right side over here. Anybody in your family has had their gallbladder taken out. Then it doesn’t hurt to do beet root, artichokes, radishes, lots of vitamin C, a little dandelion extract, some Phosphatadyl choline. These are all very safe in even high amounts. I don’t mind you treating your own gallbladder with these.

Thyroid resistance. I’m not going to go into this because this is really, really rare. We are seeing a bit of it, though. In this case, you really have to treat the adrenals, which have had to take up the load for the thyroid. We would really do a lot more testing here, and we’d look at your hormone levels. However, this is not very common.

Stress induced. The biggie is the reverse T3. If you see high reverse T3, your body is under stress, could be physical, could be emotional, could be mental, could be high mold levels, it could be heavy metals. Something has stressed out your body. When you see high reverse T3, it’s your practitioner’s job to put on their deerstalker cap, start smoking their calabash pipe and pretend they’re Sherlock Holmes. That’s what this is. If you get just reverse T3, you know there’s a significant problem and now you have to smoke it out.

These are some of the things we would do for that. Mostly the things you all know that you should be doing all the time to get rid of stress: Chinese herbs for kidney, Acupuncture for kidney, marrow, qi, yang, yin, DHEA, Increase sleep, Meditation, Rest, Gentle exercise and stretching, Yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and Walking.


Autoimmune. Everything can be fine, but you’re going to see a positive TPO. That’s the thyroid peroxidase or thyroid antiglobulin. It’s actually antithyroglobulin. TPO is the enzyme that assists in making the thyroid hormone, thyroid peroxidase.

Then the Tab is the actual hormone of your body. Usually the antibodies get the TPO first, not always, but usually, then when it’s deeper, they’ll go at the thyroid globulin and antibodies. Either one of these is considered Hashimoto’s. It’s an autoimmune thyroiditis. Most doctors treat this as though it’s low thyroid; often it is, but you you need to do more. That doesn’t treat the antibody problem. You need to smoke out the cause of the antibodies and the autoimmunity and fix that at the same time that you’re supporting the wonky thyroid. Usually call it Hashimoto’s. Again TPO is the enzyme involved in the production, and thyroid globulin is the actual hormone.

If you increase the output of thyroid hormone, you can actually increase the damage. Why? Because you now have more thyroid hormone for your body to be attacking. This is one case where you definitely do not want to increase iodine, and that’s why I recommend that people, if everything else is fine, take a little iodine. However, I’ve seen people take megadoses and completely shut off their thyroid, which was quite frightening. I didn’t tell them to, but they did it on their own.

Animal thyroid products (Westhroid, Naturethroid, Armour). I really like for many of the other conditions, but you don’t want to use it here. You’re already allergic or have an immune response to your own thyroid. And most of these come from pigs and you may well have an immune reaction to the pig thyroid. So this is a case where I don’t recommend these T3 supplements.

Everything that increases inflammation makes autoimmune conditions worse. Wheat, it’s not even close. It’s the worst that I’ve seen, and you have to avoid it in any autoimmune conditions. I had one patient who was a nurse practitioner, and her TPO was at 1200. I basically begged her to stop eating wheat, just try it, give it a trial. Now, she worked at a hospital and got her blood checked every week. Her TPO went from 1200 to 120 in about two months. That’s almost a 90% reduction in about two months. That’s just totally different in how it’s going to damage your body. Also, vaccinations can trigger it because there have a lot of adjuvants in them and adjuvants are designed, and the purpose is to hyperstimulate your immune system. Well, if you hyperstimulate your immune system and you have an overstimulated immune system with autoimmunity, it can make it much worse.

This could take a month to go into, but basically there’s an infinite number of different parts, correlations, and connections in the immune system. One of the simpler things to look at is T-Helpers 1 (Th1) and T-Helpers 2 (Th2) for dominance and in some autoimmunity the seesaw gets out of balance, so there’s too much Th2 activity. Sometimes it gets out of balance so that you have too much Th1 activity.

You can test for that by testing these interleukins. Fortunately, the prices on that are coming down. If either group is high, you stimulate the other side. Now, 90% of Hashimoto’s, it’s been a couple of years since the last time I looked, 90% of that is Th1 elevations. If that’s the case, avoid Th1 stimulators. Those include Huang qi astragalus; echinacea which stimulates that immediate immune response, which is a Th1 response. Beta glucans, which largely come from mushroom products, particularlymaitake mushrooms, licorice, and Melissa. These are all Th1 stimulators. You don’t want to do any of those if you have Hashimoto’s.


Th2 stimulators. These are all fine: Green Tea, Caffeine, Grape seed extract, OPC, Pycnogenol, White Willow bark, Resveratrol, Lycopene, and some mushrooms. You need to investigate the mushrooms a little bit because some go one way and some go the other. Generally 90% of the time they are safe with Hashimoto’s.

Remove all your allergenic foods. Remove the high glycoproteins, which I’m not going to go into right now. In either type of elevation, you are safe to use vitamin D plus cofactors, which includes vitamin K, fish oil, liposomal glutathione, and a couple of other things. You need to have your labs monitored at least annually.

In the Western system, what happens is if you test positive for Hashimoto’s, usually they never test you again for the rest of your life. That’s because they don’t have any way to treat it. However, we do have a way to treat it, so test that every year for sure. Then, again, if you find out which side of the TH system it is, then use specific supplements.

If you have thyroid symptoms now you have a list there. Get checked. Fatigue, lethargy, Shortness of breath, Edema, Myxedema, Puffiness, Weight gain, Cold Temperature, Poor digestion, Pale Complexion, Goiter, Insomnia, Depression.

If you get checked, do a full thyroid cascade. It’s not going to break the bank. It’s well under $100, so get a full thyroid cascade, not just the TSH. Low thyroid is actually very serious. One of the reasons we have an epidemic, and there are many, but one of them is people with thyroid disorders now live longer because we have drugs to keep it under control. Historically, people with thyroid problems usually died by their 20s because they couldn’t fight off infection, so this is a big deal. Also, low thyroid is directly linked to high lipids, high LDL levels, so it’s a big deal.

The bottom line is, don’t treat this on your own. It’s extremely complex. It took me years to learn all the details of it. Go to someone who understands all this and get treated, but first get tested.

I am out of time. I want to thank you for hanging in there and listening to this. Please tell your friends. I guarantee there is no doubt you know people with thyroid problems. Whether they know it or not, they have them. Please invite them to take a listen. Take a watch. I want to thank you all for showing up.

Be happy. Be healthy.



Dr. John Nieters L.Ac, DAOM, is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, functional medicine, writer, teacher, and leader in the community. In this episode, John talks about his experience with the importance of finding your vision and purpose in life, in order to create the right goals for you.

Disclaimer: Dr. John Nieters received his Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture degree from Five Branches. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Nieters is a licensed acupuncturist in California. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Nieters and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. TheBalancingPoint.net, Alameda Acupuncture, and Dr. John Nieters L.Ac, DAOM are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

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