Is Your Thyroid Hurting or Helping You with Dr. Izabella Wentz

I had Dr. Izabella Wentz on to talk all about our thyroid! Her expertise is thyroid and adrenals and I know how important our thyroids are in midlife. Her knowledge stems from a need to fix her OWN thyroid in her 20’s. She had been going to doctors nearly every year for a long laundry list of symptoms when she finally got her diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that leads to an under-active thyroid. She was initially excited for the diagnosis thinking that medications would fix all of her symptoms. But it wasn’t a miracle cure and she dug DEEP into thyroid health and functional medicine in an effort to heal herself and recover from a whole host of symptoms. Whether you have high or low functioning thyroid, Dr. Izabella Wentz has all the info to enlighten us.

What is Hashimoto’s?

Most people think Hashimoto’s is rare but it’s not! Actually 90-97% of women with hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto’s! Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where your immune system thinks your thyroid gland is a foreign body to “attack”. Generally people with Hashimotos will have elevated thyroid antibodies. The two to test for are TPO and TG antibodies. These can be elevated for 10-15 years before a change in your thyroid function can happen. You might experience things like anxiety, mood swings, miscarriages, or just feeling “off”. Often times only one test (TSH) is done for your thyroid. TSH is an indirect measure of your thyroid hormones and is a test that becomes elevated when our bodies senses that we don’t have enough thyroid hormones on board (hypothyroid).

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What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is often time a consequence of Hashimoto’s and is when your thyroid is unable to make enough thyroid hormones. A lot of people go misdiagnosed as “hypothyroidism” instead of Hashimoto’s because most doctors don’t do the antibody tests. Hypothyroid could also be caused by an iodine deficiency, but this is very uncommon in developed countries. It could also be caused by thyroid gland removal or radioactive iodine treatment done to your thyroid gland.

What About Thyroid Hormones?

When you lose the ability to create your own thyroid hormones, it’s generally a good idea to get on thyroid replacement hormones (e.g. Levothyroxine T4 or Liothyronine T3). Anyone with any type of hypothyroidism could benefit from either the T3 or the T4 hormones. If you are ON thyroid medication (like T4) and are still experiencing your symptoms, you may be on the wrong type of hormone and your body is unable to convert it for proper use (like T3).

In addition to maybe having the WRONG hormone, there are a number of reasons why you may not be absorbing your thyroid medication, from:

  • Coffee consumption
  • SIBO
  • H pylori
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Estrogen dominance
  • & more!

What Are the NATURAL Things We Can Do to Help Our Thyroid?

A lot of information you will find online will recommend to take iodine — but Dr. Wentz highly advises against this, as it’s something you should ONLY be taking if you truly need it. If you take it when you DON’T truly need it, it can backfire and contribute to Hashimoto’s and create oxidative stress. The things that DO help a lot:

  • Eating protein and fat
  • Eating a gluten free diet
  • Getting your blood sugar in balance
  • Trying a dairy free diet
  • Trying a soy free diet

If you have been hypothyroid for a long time and your numbers are super elevated (TSH above 10), you should consider medication. But if you’re somewhere in the grey area of just starting to become hypothyroid, you could add selenium 83 micrograms combined with myo inositol 600 milligrams to produce synergistic effects to reduce auto-immune inflammation against the thyroid gland in some people.

This and SO MUCH more on this episode!

About Dr. Izabella Wentz

Dr. Wentz is trained in functional medicine through The Institute for Functional Medicine, Kalish Functional Medicine, and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and holds certifications in Medication Therapy Management as well as Advanced Diabetes Care through the American Pharmacists Association. In 2013, she received the Excellence in Innovation Award from the Illinois Pharmacists Association.

After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in 2009, Dr. Wentz was surprised at the lack of knowledge about lifestyle interventions for Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune conditions. She decided to take on the development of lifestyle interventions as her personal mission in an effort to help heal herself and others with Hashimoto’s.

After two years of researching Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism, she decided to combine emerging knowledge with her quality improvement expertise to run rapid tests of change on herself that led her to discover the root cause of her condition. She has summarized three years of research and two years of testing in her book: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Peak times that thyroid issues may occur
  • How to treat different types of thyroid issues
  • What is Hashimoto’s and why might you be suffering in silence from it?
  • Why 90-97% of women are not correctly diagnosed
  • Best approach to diagnose and treat thyroid issues in midlife.