Saul Marcus, ND - Naturopathic Doctor

257 West 39th street, 10th floor - New York, NY 10001

Phone:(646)330-0388 | Email:

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18. Putting it all together

If you have read all the information in this guide it may seem overwhelming. We have seen that hypothyroidism (and hyperthyroidism) is not only about the thyroid gland. It is rather a symptom of a deeper issue that is effecting the entire body. There are also multiple factors that can limit thyroid hormone production and conversion. This may make it difficult to know where to start.

Although sometimes it's important to understand the complex factors that cause ill health, it's also important to pull back and go back to basics: diet, lifestyle, digestion, and detoxification.

Diet and lifestyle

Start with basic questions:

What is the diet like? Is someone eating a special diet that is depriving them of nutrition? Are there enough calories and high quality protein?

What about allergenic foods? Gluten is the top offender and I would recommend that anyone with a history of hypothyroidism as least go on a trial gluten free diet. This means no wheat, spelt, rye, barley or oats. Other common allergenic foods include soy, eggs, dairy and corn.

Is there and excessive amount of sugar, processed carbs, fructose or artificial sweeteners in the diet? When blood sugar is off, it starts a series of hormonal changes that starts with insulin, but effects the other hormones as well.

Does the diet contain many high nutrient foods? Are vegetables being eaten at all?

Are there lifestyle factor causing stress such as anger, fear, a poor job situation, or family problems? Stress increases cortisol and that lowers thyroid hormone.

Digestion and toxicity

Good digestion is essential to health. Especially in case of auto-immune disease. Is there a history of irritable bowel disease, pain, or discomfort after eating. And particular foods that just can't be eaten?

It has also been my experience that most people do not digest their food well, even if they do not actively have gastrointestinal symptoms. The 4R program outlined in section 7 and detoxification as discussed in section 13 are often good places to start, in addition to making lifestyle and dietary modifications. I believe those are the core, foundational issues people need to fix. There are many supplements to help the adrenals and low cortisol, but those work a lot better if the stress from toxins, poor diet, poor nutrition, and emotional stress and relieved.

Sometimes it's necessary to do lab tests for digestive function, toxicity and hormonal imbalances. Most blood tests are designed to look for diseases, and not these foundational issues that lead to poor health. However, there are some companies that do have good tests, which most medical doctors do not usually use. The two labs I use in my practice are: and

Recommended reading :

Adrenal Fatigue : The 21St-Century Stress Syndrome By James Wilson ND
As far as I'm concerned this is the definitive book of adrenal stress and fatigue caused by low cortisol. It was essential reading in helping me understand this problem when I was in naturopathic school.

Optimal Digestive Health: A Complete Guide Trent Nichols, Nancy Faass
This book on digestive function was written by a team of experts and goes into detail on why causes digestive dysfunction and how to fix it. What I like most about this book is how comprehensive it is. Most health books only brisk the surface, and myopically try to make one small piece of the story, the entire story. Optimal digestive covers it all.

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal : A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism by Datis Kharrazian DC
This book goes over much of the same information presented in this guide. I like books such as this, that detail the real cause of hypothyroidism and how to treat it holistically. Stay away from books that tell you hypothyroid is a lifelong, incurable illness that you are just going to have to learn how to deal with.

The real leaders in natural health

Health gurus, popular health books, fancy web sites and doctors on TV may get the most attention, but I believe the real leaders in natural health are my colleagues. These are the naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, chinese medicine doctors, holistic MD's and people with other credentials who day in and day out help people get better using natural therapies.

No, we don't always have the biggest web sites, TV credentials, infomercial's, or health guru status. In fact, most of my colleagues are just plain bad at marketing. I still have to explain to most people I meet just what a naturopathic doctor is. So we may not be well known, but we are out there, helping people in small practices, and I believe we offer clients the best that natural health has to offer.

Nothing I presented in this guide is based upon original research. It came from my education in naturopathic school, professional seminars, things I learned from other practitioners, conventional and functional medicine texts There are many other people who know the same information, working all over the country.

So while I would like my guide to be useful to people with hypothyroidism, and maybe bring some clients my way, I am by no means the only person who can help clients find natural solutions to hypothyroidism. Although I am a naturopathic doctor, I don't think ND's have a monopoly in holistic and natural health.

So if your medical doctor has not been helpful (or if you just don't like bothering with most MD's) and you need help, I strongly suggest seeking out a professional who can help you. Before making an appointment with someone, I would recommend doing some research, and at least asking the practitioner's office if they can help someone in your situation and what sorts of therapies they use. Also, don't assume the fanciest web site, or highest fees makes the best practitioner.

These are a few sites that may help people find a practitioner near them. This is not meant to me an all inclusive directly:

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

These are two lab companies I use in my own practice. Their directories can be useful if looking for a practitioner who does "functional tests," such as hormone testing, digestive function, nutritional status and more. Often when all (or most) of the conventional labs come back normal, function tests are able to give the answers people need.