The number one condition that people, and especially women, came to see Dr. Martin is for a misdiagnosed thyroid problem. Dr. Martin has seen enough patients that he can usually spot a sluggish thyroid, but that’s because he looks for the symptoms.
The Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH blood test is used to diagnose a sluggish thyroid. It was developed in 1975, and instead of relying solely on the lab results, doctors also looked for symptoms. Nowadays, the lab results are king, despite not telling the whole story!
Dr. Martin teaches on Thyroid Distress Syndrome in today’s episode and shares the three important factors as to why you may have this condition.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
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Dr. Martin: Well, good morning. Hope you're having a great start to your day. This morning we're going to talk to you about a syndrome. I probably don't use this word enough because when people send me their blood work... And I don't mind having a look at your blood work, but one of the things that I often tell them is that they have a sluggish thyroid. I probably don't expand on that and the reason is because I don't get that primarily from their blood work, although I look for certain numbers, even with the TSH. But let me just talk about the syndrome we're going to talk about this morning, it's called Thyroid Distress Syndrome.
Now we made that up. Tony, Jr. and I, and this is a few years ago, had sat down and we were talking about thyroid and how the thyroid operates, and the thyroid is just the puppet. We were just going over the history of the blood work for thyroid. You might know this and you might not, that the TSH, the primary test that they do for the thyroid is called TSH. When you send me blood work, I actually look at that number because I'm looking for something else in that number. But, anyway, the TSH test was developed in 1975. So what did they do? What did they do before 1975? What did doctors look at as far as figuring out if your thyroid was working properly or not?
So, in 1975, they came up with a blood test called the TSH, but before that, you know what they did? They looked at symptoms. I've often said to you that, unfortunately, in a lot of ways, physicians today have been hijacked by: one, the pharmaceutical companies; two, by the lab. The lab is king. Really shouldn't be. Not that the lab isn't important. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying the lab isn't important, but it shouldn't be king. Ask Jeanette, ask Nicole, who've worked with me for years, what would I say in the office? It was really important they understood that. You work with me, here's what we're looking at. I want symptoms. Symptoms are more important than the lab. Not that the lab isn't important. We did a lot of lab work, and even today I look at lab work.
But thyroid distress syndrome was probably the number one condition that was misdiagnosed in our office. The number one condition that people, especially women, came to see me in the office. They had a thyroid condition and they did not know it. They might have suspected it because oftentimes people are pretty sharp, right? "Doc, I think it's my thyroid but my doctor says no." Now, let me give you a little bit more history. Before the TSH numbers, and by the way, there's a broad range of TSH. It is eternity between low and high TSH numbers, I mean that. That's why when I look at the numbers I'm looking a little bit differently at it because, I've been doing it for years so I can look at a thyroid number and go, "Yeah, you probably have a sluggish thyroid."
But more than anything else, I'm interested in the symptoms. Now, a little bit of physiology. Your thyroid is a puppet. It's on the strings of your hypothalamus that's up in the brain and your pituitary gland, up in the brain. Because without your hypothalamus and without your pituitary, your thyroid doesn't do anything. The thyroid does nothing on its own, and your thyroid is very finicky. How do you like that? It's a finicky organ because things have to be right in your hypothalamus and, two, your pituitary. Otherwise, you can easily get what we call thyroid distress syndrome.
Let's talk about some of the symptoms. We'll do the symptoms first and then I'm going to explain to you how the thyroid goes south, where it's not working at the way it should. Remember, your thyroid, it's a puppet, but it's very important because what happens there is really important for several things in your body. So, for example, let me give you some of the symptoms. Numero uno, and we talked about this last week, fatigue, tired. If you are tired, you have to think about, "Eh, my thyroid is probably not working the way it should," because your thyroid is your metabolism. You gain weight. Weight gain. Just look at food and gain weight. Ladies, it's horror-mones, and like I said, the thyroid is very finicky. Three, hair. Ladies, men, yeah, we lose hair. A man should never get too uptight about losing his hair. It's almost rare that they don't. But ladies, it's not normal for you to lose your hair. It's not normal at all. Look at your eyebrows. Are they thinning out? Thyroid.
Now, again, we'll talk about what makes the thyroid work, hypothalamus, pituitary, and I'm going to go into the ovaries in a minute. But ladies, if you are tired, you are gaining weight or losing weight, like without trying, you're just losing weight, this can be hyperthyroid. But mostly this morning, I want to stick to hypo. Hypo, meaning your metabolism slow down. Constipation. You know me. I got to show you something. I'm going to take a picture of this and put it on Martin Clinic private Facebook group after. But I was in the store the other day, the grocery store. We picked up a birthday card for my daughter. I saw this. Now this is upside down. So it said, "We pooped today," and you see all these senior citizens giving up their thumbs up. I just died when I saw this card. "We pooped today," like you win a prize.
But for some people, they're constipated. They're constipated and this can be a symptom that your thyroid is not working properly. I couldn't help myself. I was just dying the other day. I actually bought the card. Not sleeping well. Now, the adrenals are involved with that, cortisol is involved with that, but the thyroid is involved with that. Cold hands, cold feet, brittle nails. Oh, by the way, when I talk about hair, when your hair is thinning out, ladies, or your eyebrows are thinning out, but then you start growing some hairs here... Look at my beard here. I'm a man, that's normal. If I don't shave this, what happens? You know what I call this beard here, guys? My COVID beard. When COVID is all over, I'll probably shave it off. I've had it on for 14 months now. This is my COVID beard. But ladies, you got a little bit of hair growth... thinning hair on top and then you got a little whiskers here, whatever, and you know what, ladies? That's your thyroid. But I'm going to tell you why in a minute.
Now, those are the main symptoms. Let me see if I wrote... even depression. Yeah, I mean, even cognitively, you're down, you're depressed. Thyroid can be involved in that. It's very important you understand all these things. The thyroid is a master gland. It's a puppet, but it's a master gland. It's very important. It's very finicky. Very finicky. Now, I just want to talk about the medication. If you take levothyroxine, Synthroid, Eltroxin, these work to do what? Now, remember, they were created after the TSH test. You know what they do? They actually fix your TSA, but they don't fix the problem. They don't fix the problem, they fix TSH. Those meds actually do not allow... Because, look, here's how your thyroid works. So a little bit of physiology again. Your thyroid stimulating hormone, first of all, comes up from your hypothalamus to your pituitary. Your pituitary tells your thyroid to release TSH, and TSH tells your body to release T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and calcitonin. I don't want to get into the weeds, but that's what happens.
But what your thyroid needs to work at 100% is T3. So T4 gets converted to T3, and T3 is really the most important thing in your body. When you take a thyroid medication, it actually inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3. Now, am I telling you not to take your meditation? No, I'm not. I'm just telling you what happens. Now, what are the biggest factors in making your thyroid not work properly? What happens that you're not making T3 so that your thyroid works at the level it should. What's the biggest thing? So I'm going to give you a couple of things. What's the biggest thing? Ladies, you're too much of a woman. You're making too much estrogen. Estrogen dominance. Too much estrogen compared to your progesterone. You're making too much of it.
"Oh, Dr. Martin. I am in menopause." I don't care. You're still a woman. Yes, your estrogen is going down. Of course, it is. But it's always compared to the amount of progesterone you're making. When that gets out of whack, even young girls, they've got acne, they're gaining weight. They have PCOS, polycystic ovarian disorder. Too much estrogen and too much insulin. This is why it's important. Even the diet, guys, even the reset helps because you're cutting your insulin down. When you cut your insulin down, you're going to cut the estrogen and your body will balance much better. Estrogen is a growth hormone. It messes up your thyroid. They're connected. Ladies, that's why when I tell you, ladies, in a loving way and I mean this... You guys know me, I'm a woman's doctor. Men are big babies. Women, you're complicated. I hope you understand that.
So when you have estrogen dominance, it does not allow your body to convert T4 to T3 properly. That's one of the number one reasons. Not that it can't happen to men. Of course, it can, but it's 90 to 10. 90% of thyroid issues are women and it's estrogen, one. Two, what's the second reason that your thyroid isn't working properly? Because you have a condition called fatty liver. What's that got to do with their thyroid? Remember, the conversion of T4 to T3. Your hormones are made where? Where are your hormones made? Where are they metabolized? In your liver. You need cholesterol for your hormones. You need cholesterol. Women don't eat enough cholesterol. They eat too many carbs. What happens? Their liver gets gummed up. What happens when the liver gets gummed up? They don't convert T4 to T3, and when you don't convert T4 to T3, you get thyroid distress syndrome. Weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, hair gain a little bit on the chin or the mustache, dry skin, nails. I didn't even mention that: nails, brittle nails. Look at your nails. Ladies, this is for you.
So these are important factors. Numero uno, too much estrogen. Number two, fatty liver. Oh, I don't have a fatty liver. Yes, you do. You're a carboholic, you have a fatty liver. You might not know it, but you're storing fat in the liver and that gums up your liver, and what gums up your liver is going to gum up your thyroid. Now, number three, you're not eating enough cholesterol. What? Chicken and salad. Salad and chicken. For years, women, they think that cholesterol is bad for them. They bought the lie of cholesterol. "Oh, my cholesterol is elevated." Good. You want cholesterol to be elevated. Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, other than, if it's too low. Like the thyroid, they developed a medication for your TSH, and it can regulate your TSH, but you don't even feel any better. Cholesterol, they developed a medication to lower LDL. Does it work? Yeah, of course. It lowers your LDL. What does that do for you? That's not fixing the problem. It's looking for love in all the wrong places.
Your thyroid needs cholesterol. Why? Because you got to make hormones plus cholesterol transports these hormones. So when you see cholesterol in the blood vessels, you take a blood test, "Oh, look at the cholesterol in your blood vessels." Yeah. That's like saying, "You know what? We don't want to see any more transports on the highways. No more." Oh, yeah? Well, how are we going to get our food? How are we going to get our goods? Yeah, but you're ruining the highways. But that's what happens in medicine when they focus in on cholesterol. Oh, we got to lower your cholesterol. Why? You need cholesterol. They transport your hormones. You're not going to convert T4 to T3 without cholesterol. It just doesn't happen. Now, you're not going to drop dead on the spot if you don't need cholesterol.
By the way, when your thyroid is not right, you are about 60% more likely to get breast cancer, ladies. Again, why is that? What's the connection between your thyroid gland and your breast tissue for heaven's sakes? Estrogen. Estrogen, your ladies hormone. If you have estrogen dominance, not normal. Not normal. So you see, I get passionate about the thyroid because a vast majority of people, if they would only listen to the symptoms, realize... And you know, guys? Listen, this is really important, too. When we created our thyroid formula, it was to work on all aspects of making your thyroid work better. Your hypothalamus, ingredients in there to help regulate that; your pituitary gland, your ovaries, and we help you convert T4 to T3. That's why we do it.
Anyway, when you are estrogen dominant, it really does mess up your thyroid and that can make you much more susceptible to other conditions, even autoimmune. They're connected. This is why, guys, when I draw... Let me do it for you because I flunked art, okay? I always used to do this in the office with my patients. So I would build a pyramid, and I'm just doing it now. Now, you see, I flunked art. You see that? Okay, for those who are going to listen to this on a podcast later, I just drew a pyramid. It probably don't even look like a pyramid. Then I got one, two, three, four, five, six circles there. But I used to do this in the office. Ask the girls. I used to do this in the office with almost everybody. Because if you can get this, you can figure out all the hormones.
So what I did is, at the top, that was your thyroid. On the bottom of the pyramid, on the wide end of the pyramid here at the bottom, I would have two circles. Those are your ovaries. Okay, ladies? This is for ladies. Then halfway up, I did these other circles. Those were the adrenal glands. See that? Those are adrenals. What's in the middle there? That's your pancreas. I said, "This is hormones 101. If you can figure out that pyramid, you can figure out your hormones, and there's a balancing act that takes place, especially in women. Not that men, we have hormones, too, but it's not the same. Like men, generally... Here's a man, just generally. You can fix it all men by cutting out your stinking carbs and your sugars. If you fix that, it's amazing what happens in a man. Loses weight right away. Feels better right away because their biggest thing, it's not that they don't have hormones. They have testosterone, that's their primary hormone, and more men have more estrogen than their wives at 50 years old. That's a fact. So that's not good, but you can fix that. You can fix it men, generally, with The Reset. Ladies, you're a little bit more complicated. Of course, The Reset is important.
Someone was on there this morning and said, "I didn't want to lose weight and I lost weight." Well, look, the reset is not a weight loss program per se, and if you need to gain weight, you're eating the best foods to gain weight if that's what you need, what your body needs. But I don't want you to gain weight. I never want a person to gain weight. You know that? I want you to put on muscle, not gain weight. A pound of muscle is very small. Five pounds of muscle. Now, this isn't muscle, it's fat, but I'm going to show you what five pounds is. See, the difference between... I'm just going to grab this. This is five pounds of fat and what I'm showing is about a foot, even bigger than a foot, and six inches wide of fat. That's five pounds. But five pounds of muscle is the size of this and I'm just showing a piece here. That's five pounds if it's muscle. Ladies, if you might have hyperthyroid or Graves or whatever, and you're losing weight, you need to do weights. The Reset helps that. You need to put on muscle by eating more protein and doing weights.
Women don't realize... I know you like walking, ladies. Good for you. You like to walk? Me too. But walking isn't the best exercise for a woman. Jogging isn't the best exercise for a woman. The treadmill isn't the best exercise for a woman. Weights are the best exercise for a woman. Weight resistant. You are better to get on the floor and do a pushup than you are to go for a walk. Now, I'm not telling you not to go for a walk, but in exercise physiology and this has been going on for years and years and years, you got to do cardio. You got to do cardio. No, you don't. Go for a walk, it's good for you, because it clears your brain. It de-stresses you. I love walking, by the way, I do. But the best for your physiology is weights. It's resistant. Use your own weights. Get bands and make sure you're strong, ladies. You need that more than you need a walk.
I get uptight, don't I? Okay, enough for this holiday Monday. Thyroid distress syndrome, millions and millions and millions of women have been misdiagnosed. It's almost abuse. It really is. It bothers me. I'd love to be able to teach this in medical schools. I really would. Because the doctors before 1975, they understood. They used to diagnose the thyroid based on symptoms. Ooh, anyway, love you, guys. Thank you again for making Medical Crisis number one bestseller in Canada. Thank you for that. You're not part of the Martin Clinic Facebook Group, please join. What a community there. We appreciate you big time. So until the next time, we love you.
Announcer: You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!