798. Thyroid Distress Syndrome


When it comes to problems with your thyroid, it’s 95% women who have complications compared to only 5% for men. At the Martin Clinic, we’ve coined the term Thyroid Distress Syndrome to describe a thyroid that is distressed.

In today’s episode, Dr. Martin teaches on the thyroid and explains why it’s women in particular who are affected. He shares the top 10 symptoms women experience when their thyroid is distressed.

Don’t miss this chance to learn more about the complicated thyroid!


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning, everyone, and welcome to another live. I know I'm surprising some of you, it's all my fault. I'll see if we get a little bit of an audience here because my schedule got mixed up today. Guys, you know what I'm going to do? I am going to talk about a syndrome. We actually wrote a couple of emails about this. Thyroid, thyroid, thyroid, and we have an expression in the office and we had it at the Martin Clinic. We called it a syndrome, thyroid distress syndrome. Now there's a lot of different symptoms and I'm going to explain why women in particular are affected by a thyroid that is distressed. Why women? Why not men? Sucks to be a man, or to be a woman.

My wife often says, "I'm coming back as a man. You're a bunch of big babies." Men are babies. Because well, first of all, we'd never have a baby. Or if we had one, we'd never have another one. But men are different. We're from a different planet it seems. Because men medically, men medically are just not that complicated. The human body is complex fearfully and wonderfully made. Unbelievable. But men, not as complicated. Women, there's much are moving parts in a woman. So that's the point that you have to understand in order ladies to understand your thyroid. You've got to understand that.

Every day I look at blood work and I'm happy to look at your blood work. Thousands of times in a year I would see blood work as far as thyroid to be within normal limits. But I never accepted that. I never accepted that because everything that you have learned generally about your thyroid is wrong. It's not true because it's complicated. You have to put into the equation everything else. And let me make this point, let me make this point. Why women? At least 95%, why women have trouble with their thyroid compared to men?

So first of all, what is your thyroid? It's a gland right here. You know it. Butterfly shape. But that thyroid is your metabolism, your gas pedal. Your thermostat. Very important. Very important. But as we always teach, the thyroid does not work independently. I think the best illustration we've used over the years is think of a puppet. The thyroid is a puppet. It's got a lot of strings attached to it. And we're teaching this in the emails that the thyroid has a headquarters, the hypothalamus in the brain. Remember about the brain. Again, I'm going to always repeat because for all intents and purposes, you've got two centers in your brain. You've got more than that, but two that you should never forget. One, hypothalamus. And the other one, hippocampus.

Thalmus, hypothalamus, just think of this, hormones or for a lot of women, horror-mones And the other one is hippocampus, which is memory center. We talk about that a lot. And when you look at your brain, two main areas is your hypothalamus and your hippocampus. Now, headquarters for the thyroid, your thyroids here, but your hypothalamus is here. It sends signals to the pituitary gland. So again, you've got the hypothalamus. You have the pituitary. Then you have your thyroid. Headquarters up here, hormones. The hypothalamus tells your pituitary, pituitary tells your thyroid to release what? Thyroid stimulating hormone. TSH. And the TSH test was developed when I was in school in the 1970s. It wasn't there before. They weren't able to test it. And in a way it's been a bad thing. A bad thing.

The TSH test has, I don't want to say destroyed the lives of millions of women, but have made their quality of life to be very substandard, if I can use that word. Why is that? Thyroid stimulating hormone. Hypothalamus, pituitary, pituitary to the thyroid, "Hey, make TSH." "Okay." But TSH on its own, guys, won't cut the mustard. They won't do it. So when you measure TSH, and if it's within normal limits, and by the way, if you understand numbers, it's from here to eternity. Like zero in TSH to seven, let's say or eight. That's eternity. So when they say normal, like between zero point something to four, oh, it's normal.

Guys, it's not normal by any stretch of the imagination. It's normal meaning in their opinion there's no pathology, but it's not normal if you're not feeling good. And remember, TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone must be converted to be used. From T4 makes T4, T4, T4, T4. And again, I don't want to get into the weeds. It makes T4, it makes T5, it makes calcitonin, it makes T1, it makes T2. But the one, got it? The one hormone out of the thyroid stimulating hormones that make your thyroid hormones, the one that your thyroid needs to work properly is called T3. And guess what? You make one teaspoon of T3 in a year. One. If TSH is not converted to T3 properly, you're going to be messed up. You're going to be messed up. So women more than men, I'm not saying it can't happen, but here is the reason and I'm going to give it to you now.

Why do women have trouble with the thyroid 95 to 5. Now, before I give you the answer, let me give you some symptoms. There's lots of them. 18 or 19, but let me just give you the top 10. Actually I wrote 11. Let me give you 11 and let's see if you see yourself in here. Fatigue. Yeah. Remember, your thyroid is your gas pedal. Fatigue. "God, I'm tired, but my blood work is coming back normal." Because listen, every doctor in the universe, when they're trained, they're trained you got fatigue any doctor will say, "Okay, we better check your thyroid." Because they understand that. You learn that in day one of medical school. Your thyroid is your gas pedal.

Now there's other factors to energy. But when you're fatigued, a doctor by process of elimination is thinking, "Okay, we better make sure that thyroid is working." So that's number one. Two, hair loss. I'm very observant. I often do this. I used to do this to patients. I'm looking at you. I'm watching. And I hope they weren't that intimidated. I'm just saying, "Look, when I used to come into the office, I'd look at people." My dad taught me that. Look. Look at their skin. Look at their hair. Look at their nails. Look under the eyes. Look in the eyes. You know when I say listen, Linda, I say, "Look, look, Linda," too. Look. So I used to observe.

And women come in and I'd look at their eyebrows and I'd say, "That's thinning. That's not normal." And a lot of women have thinning hair. Not normal. The Bible says your hair is your glory. Not men. See. I'm thinning out. It's normal for a man. It's not normal for a woman. Ladies, unless you're 90, it's your glory. Hair. And I used to look and I'd see, sometimes patches are just thinning and I'd say, "Man, that thyroid is not working okay." In my head or I would tell them. "Ah, but my blood work is normal doc." Gaining weight. Like I say to a lot of women, you don't even have to eat. You just have to look at food. Why? Because your thyroid is your metabolism. Again, there's other factors to it. But it's your metabolism.

Listen, if a man eats right, he ain't gaining weight. If a woman eats right, she often gains weight by just, "[inaudible 00:12:19] I don't know what's happening." Do you know how many times we even hear it on the reset? "My husband, he lost 20 pounds and I didn't lose. I lost two pounds. What the heck is happening?" Well, you're a woman and you got horrormones. And your thyroid end up to snuff. And we'll get into some reasons in a minute, weight gain, fatigue, hair, skin, dry. Ladies, you know your hair. You know your skin. Manly, we're not so observant and we don't care as much. But ladies, you know what your skin is like. You know what your skin is like. "Oh, it's [inaudible 00:13:16], it's drying out."

Cold hands, cold feet. Why do I say that? Because it's your thermostat. The thyroid is the thermostat too. Isn't it fun? Cold hands and cold feet. And then of course, if you're any kind of perimenopausal or whatever, then you sweat like a whatever at night. There's temperature fluctuations. It's fun to be a woman. Isn't it? Now but guys, these are things you have to understand. Constipation. Now men can be constipated, but not often. Women, their peristalsis slows to a crawl. "Doctor, I need more fiber." No, it's not fiber. It's your thyroid. And that's complicated. Depression. A lot of times. Mood swings, depression don't feel good, low energy but also depressed. You're just, blah, down Debbie Downer. But that's hormones guys. Horrormones.

They always called me a woman's daughter. It's true. I was so sympathetic. And it drives me crazy when women, they fall through the [inaudible 00:14:52] They're not looking. They get it wrong. They've got to put this together. The thyroid distress syndrome. What else did I write down? Low libido. That thyroid is really important. Isn't it? And then you could have itchiness unexplained. Whenever that happened I used to say, there's a very, very, very good chance that this is your thyroid not working properly. Now there's other factors. Now itchiness, muscle cramps for women. Messes that up a lot of times. Anemia. "My blood work is low all the time. My ferritin and I take iron and it doesn't seem to rise up." That one little teaspoon of T3 can have a major effect on that.

Now why women and not men? I'm going to tell you. I'm going to let you in on a secret that your doctor... I've written books called Secrets That Your Doctor Won't Share With You. Well, the secret that your doctor won't share with you is because your doctor has not been trained to think this way. Ladies, here's really, really, really important. And the reason women have more trouble than men with their thyroid. Think about, men, have a hypothalamus. Men have a pituitary gland. Men make TSH. Men have to convert T4 to T3. But the complication comes from your ovaries. Yeah. Your ovaries. When your estrogen, estrogen makes you a woman and your progesterone, progestation, pro babies, estrogen and progesterone have to be, you guys should know this because I talk about this a lot. Have to be equal.

If it's not equal, your thyroid ain't going to work properly. And listen what happens? I've never seen a woman, ever with too much progesterone. I just haven't seen it. But what I have seen is women with too much estrogen compared to their progesterone. And I use that example, I used it the other day and I'll use it again I'm sure, is that when women have a baby, they leave all their progesterone in their placenta. And they actually weren't women [inaudible 00:18:09] I didn't even know this. To take the placenta and make capsules out of it. It's so that you get your progesterone back. It's incredible. I found that out with my great grandson. They were actually recommending that my grandson's wife take placenta capsules. I said, "What? Never heard of that." But it's the good idea. Because that placenta is made up of progesterone.

And look, a woman has a baby and ordinarily all of the progesterone comes back and equalizes with estrogen. But a lot of times, it don't. And have you ever heard of women that had a baby and they had hair loss, depression, postpartum, blues? Have you ever heard of postpartum depression? Very common. Weight gain, hair loss. "Doc, what happened?" Well, your thyroid is not working properly even though your blood test might be normal because your estrogen and your progesterone are not equal. Your estrogen is there, but your progesterone is not. And therefore you have what we call estrogen dominance. And that ain't no fun. Because it'll slow your thyroid to a crawl. It will. And you can go from having beautiful skin to bad skin. You can go from normal weight to heavy leaking. Your nails become brittle, your skin is dry. And you know what, is there anything that bothers a woman more than gaining weight when they're eating good and hair loss? I don't know. They don't like it. It ain't no fun.

But guys, that's what we call thyroid distress syndrome. And I wanted to explain to you why women have trouble and not men generally. I know we're going to get it afterwards. Men are going to come on and tell me, "Hey, I got a thyroid problem." Yeah, I know. But you're rare. You're weird. Because when a man loses his hair, it ain't the thyroid. It's not. Now, add into the mix. Just let me say this. Add into the thyroid distress syndrome. Remember, if your estrogen and progesterone are not equal ladies, you're not converting T4 to T3. Estrogen knocks out that balance if it's not balanced out by progesterone. So you have that.

Now, I could get into even a lot more detail because I could talk to you about other places where there's some conversion taking place. Gut cortisol stress. You got a lot of stress and it pours gasoline on the fire of a dysfunctional fibroid. Liver. You know where the conversion takes place? The majority of the conversion takes place of T4 to T3? What organ does it take place in? The liver. And hello? Listen, listen, this is very important. If you don't have enough cholesterol ladies, "I got to have my salad. I like salad." Salad has got no cholesterol though. You need animals [inaudible 00:22:31] Cholesterol is found in the animal kingdom. Not in the plant kingdom.

And I know my vegetarian, my vegan friends. I know what you think about those little eyeballs that animals have. But you need cholesterol for your hormones to work properly. Why do you think I want you on the reset? I want to empty your liver so your liver works properly and you can convert T4 to T3 in your liver. And then I want you to have lots of cholesterol so that your hormones work. Nothing happens without cholesterol but God don't trust you. 85% of your cholesterol is from what? Your body makes it. How could it be bad for you? And you better put in your 15%. It's found in the animal kingdom. And it's another reason that women, they got duped in the '70s. Let's eat fat free, no more butter, no more bacon and eggs. Let's just eat salad. "I'm going to have a green smoothie." Why? That ain't going to fix your thyroid.

And we talked about this too. And let me close with this. Let me close with this. Our modern diet fast foods are filled with salt. Aren't they? But it's not the right salt. Even if it's been iodized. Now listen, do you know that your thyroid needs, and I've talked to you about this. It needs iodine. But what has happened? "Iodine? Doc, what are you talking about?" Well your thyroid don't work without it. And we've had a major, major problem because when you have anything weak, like it's in the flour, they change the flour. It used to be processed with iodine.

Now, nevermind what they did to the weak germ, going from pounding the wheat to rolling the wheat. Bread was the first fast food. They changed the flour. I talked about that in the book, The Reset. But listen, let me come back to the salt. Iodine. What happened? It's not in the soil anymore. One. But it's not in the wheat. It's not in bread or whatever. You know why? They replaced it with bromine. And what's the problem with that? So when you have anything fast foods, you have anything bread, pasta or whatever. That flour. You know what's happened? It's not processed with iodine, it's processed with bromine. You know what bromine does? It cancels out iodine. And guess what? Your thyroid doesn't work without iodine. And you can put iodine in salt, which it's all right, but that ain't going to fix it if you insist on eating wheat flour. Not only that in terms of how fast it turns into sugar. But it is devoid of iodine and it is full of bromine and you better know that. And it's another reason I want you off flour. Temporary.

So, hope you appreciated the teaching. And you guys are great because you put up with me and I try not to go on too many rabbit trails so that I can focus so that you understand where I'm coming from. But you guys are great. We appreciate it. Thyroid distress syndrome. Unreal. Isn't it. That's why symptoms, what you're feeling, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck, ladies. It's a duck. It's the thyroid. But it's complicated. You better know that. You better know that. Guys, tomorrow I am taking the day off. So tell everyone I'm taking the day off tomorrow. And I'll give you the schedule for next week as soon as possible. But tomorrow, no question and answer Friday. I'm off. I think we'll try and do it Monday or Tuesday, the question and answer. It's my fault in a way, taking the day off tomorrow. So let everybody know. Okay guys, we love you. We'll talk to 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!

Back to blog