[Transcript] – The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight (& How to Get Your Life Back)

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2017/03/the-thyroid-connection-why-you-feel-tired-brain-fogged-and-overweight-how-to-get-your-life-back/

[0:00] Introduction/ Gainswave

[5:49] About Dr. Amy Myers

[8:13] How T4 Gets Converted Into T3 and How We Could Enhance That Process

[12:12] Micronutrients That Enzyme Deiodinase Need to Function the Right Way

[14:55] The Hormone That Helps T3 Get Into the Cell

[19:55] What Makes the Body Produce More Reverse T3

[28:30] What Blood Work to Look At Necessary for Optimal Thyroid Function

[29:30] Why Most Labs Don't Test for Red Blood Cell Levels and Why This Is Such a Big Problem

[30:27] The Details Behind the “Iodine Controversy” and Where You Should Be Getting Your Iodine

[32:30] Blue Apron

[33:44] Casper Mattresses

[40:20] Dr. Myer's Opinion on the Use of Low-Dose Naltrexone

[45:01] Kratom

[48:00] Why Your Genetic “SNP's” Are Such An Important Part of Detoxification and Thyroid Health

[53:50] What Does a “Typical Day” Look Like For Someone Using the Myers Way?

[1:07:22] End of Podcast

Ben:  Oh, hello.  It’s Ben Greenfield and if today’s audio sounds a little funky, it’s because I’m in the Bahamas.  You might hear children in the swimming pool behind me playing Marco Polo, the rush of wind over the microphone, fish leaping.  I hope I’m painting a very good picture for you.  And the sunset setting over the, I believe it’s the Atlantic Ocean that I’m looking over right now.  I just emerged from the water.  I’m still shivering from having spearfished three big, tasty fish that I am going to proceed to grill after recording this wonderful podcast introduction for you.  I’m down here.  I’m doing a lot of cool things.  Working on building a new business that I’m going to be revealing to you quite soon.  Working a bit on my book of fiction.  Which you can read for free over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest and of course, planning on how I am going to  continue to get out amazing podcast like the one you are about to listen to on thyroid.  It’s called “Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight & How To Get Your Life Back.”  So my apologies, by the way, for the fact that today’s audio is not pristine, super-duper high quality, at least in this introduction, but in the actual interview itself, I promise to pure audio liquid gold.

But before we jump into this show, let’s talk shockwave therapy, shall we?  Because what podcast is complete without a discussion of shockwave therapy.  This has been used in Europe for about 15 years and it’s been used on people’s crotch.  I’m not kidding.  So Viagra, Cialis, they give you things like blurred vision and priapism which is basically an erection that lasts longer than, I believe five, six, seven hours that causes you to wind up in the hospital.  They also make you dependent on those pills, but this alternative treatment works just as well as Viagra.  Trust me.  I’ve tried both and I’ve had this treatment done.  It works far better.  It uses high frequency acoustic waves to open up old blood vessels and stimulate the formation of new vessels.  It’s called Gains Wave.  G-A-I-N-S Wave.  Gains Wave.  And what it does is it actually increases your sexual performance, increases your vascularity, your size, the power, and the, I suppose you can say, the satisfaction of your orgasm.  It’s really cool.  So I got my results in one treatment.  Some guys and gals will do three, four, a dozen treatments.  It all depends on your individual needs and your goals, but regardless.  This thing freaking works and to do it you can go to gainswave.com and click “find a doctor”.  I got mine done in Miami.  I’ve talked to the folks down on Miami.  They’ll give you a fat discount or you can just text the word ‘greenfield’ to 313131, that’s ‘greenfield’ to 313131 and you will get hooked up with the folks from Gains Wave.  Get 150 bucks off your treatment with Gains Wave.  So check that one out.

And also check this out, while you’re messing around down in your pocket region, this thing called the “Human Charger: Sun in your pocket.”  I used it yesterday as soon as I arrived here in the Bahamas to cause the photosensitive areas of my brain to get activated and release chemical compounds specifically serotonin, and dopamine, and noradrenaline.  So those do things like reduce the effects of jet lag, they increase your energy levels, they improve your mood, they increase mental alertness and your brain has these photosensitive proteins on its surface that you can access.  You can access those bad boys just using white light through your ear canals.  Totally not kidding.  Twelve minutes a day.  Super easy to use.  Shove it in your ears.  You don’t shove it in your ears.  You just put it in just like your earphones. Press the button and boom you're off to the races.  So you go to humancharger.com/ben/ that’s humancharger.com/ben/and use code ‘bfitness’ to get 20 percent off of your human charger.  ‘bfitness’ for 20 percent off.  The sun in your pocketses as Gollum from Lord of the Rings would say.  So let's go ahead and jump into the thyroid, shall we?

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

 “And that’s a whole other controversy about where safe places to be getting iodine, right?  With the radioactive situation in Japan, just what, where is their safe source of carbon.” “Everybody should get testing because really you want to prevent having a problem.  You don’t want to wait ‘til you have the problem to deal with it.  You want to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.” “What’s the secondary effect? I have candida in my gut that creates leaky gut.  Now I have a leaky gut and now I have autoimmune thyroid dysfunction.”

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It’s Ben Greenfield and I know that a lot of you out there get exhausted sometimes, you get plagued by brain fog, sometimes you find yourself unable to shed a little bit of fat, or maybe you struggle with insomnia, or panic attacks, or even things like tremors, and in many cases your doctor tells you that your labs are normal and that maybe you just need to eat less or exercise more, and frankly that can be frustrating.  It can be stressful and it can be emotionally draining.  My guest on today's show gets into a lot of these issues in her new book and highlights how a lot of these issues can be tied directly to your thyroid.  And her book is called “The Thyroid Connection”.  I got it a few weeks ago and thumbed through it.  She had already written a book I'd read before called ‘The Autoimmune Solution” and New York Times bestseller that I got a lot out of and this book is just as good.  Her name is Doctor Amy Myers and Amy is a pretty well-known leader in the functional medicine community.  She’s the founder and the medical director of something called “Austin Ultra Health” which is a functional medicine clinic in Austin that treats people from all over the world who are dealing with issues like this, you know, thyroid and other forms of chronic illness.  She's been all over the place like Dr Oz’ Show and the New York Post, Women's Health Magazine, the Huffington Post, and she's got a lot of really cool resources including this new book.  So I have some things that I’ve circled and highlighted in this book as I do.  I love to damage books as I read them and I've certainly done some damage to this one.  It has some questions to ask you, Amy.  So welcome to the show.

Amy:  Thanks for having me, Ben.  I really appreciate it.

Ben:  Yeah, and for those of you listening, by the way, everything Amy and I talk about I’ll link to over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroidconnection which is also the name of the book.  So bengreenfieldfitness.com/thyroidconnection.  Now, I just want to, if you're game, Amy, I want to dive right into the deep science here.  So T4 and T3, I’ve talked about on the show before.  I’ve even talked about how I have a low amounts of T3 despite having adequate amounts of T4, and so this is a question near and dear to my heart.  Can you go into how T4 actually gets converted into T3, and how we could enhance that process somehow?

Amy:  Sure.  So as you mentioned, T4 well first of all, we say T4 but there’s T4 total, free T4.  So total hormones are usually bound to proteins and the free hormones are what we really care about.  So free T4 or T4 gets converted into T3 partly in the liver and in the gut, and we need a certain amount of nutrients in order to make that happen and then T3 can do one of two things.  It can become free T3 or reversed T3 and for your listeners, if this is new to them, the free T3, I like to think of, kind of as the gas and the reverse T3 as the break.  And so when you say you had low T3, I don't know if you just genuinely have low T3 or if you even look to see if it's low in free T3 and high in reverse T3 or low in both.

Ben:  Yeah.

Amy:  Cause they’re kind of a lot of different things.

Ben:  For me, it was basically like low free T3 and frankly, I talk about this on a podcast episode a few weeks ago with Elle Russ who wrote a book about the thyroid and we discussed how a big, big part of that for me was related to extreme amounts of physical activity and running around the forest half naked, throwing spears, while not eating enough carbohydrates.  But yeah, for me personally, it was low free T3 levels.

Amy:  Yeah.  So that certainly.  So when we are stressed whether that’s physical stress like what you were saying in the forest, not getting enough food.  I mean the physical demands can be stressful, the not having enough carbs, not having enough food can also be stressful or if you’re just stressed like psychological stress, or there can be of course like trauma or abuse type stress, any of these things or even a stress like a toxin on your system can cause that to happen.  Basically, when you're stressed the body is trying to conserve its energy and so it converts more typically.  Sometimes you can see it just as the low free T3, but often what you'll see is a low free T3 and a high reverse T3.  So it's not that people aren't making enough T3, they're just making it more into the break because the body’s stressed and it’s saying, “Stop.  Stop.”

We don't want to be making energy when we want to be conserving it because we're starving, or we’re in a trauma situation, or we’re super stressed out.  Occasionally, they’ll also be like completely normal free T3 levels but still have a high reverse T3, I like to see a ten to one ratio between those.  So there are people that frequently they’ll come in with labs and they have even a normal or optimal TSH, free T4 and free T3, but then nobody checked their reverse T3, and so they’re having a lot of symptoms.  Their hair’s falling out, they feel cold, they have a lot of symptoms of thyroid but they've been told even by integrative or functional doctors that don't really fully understand this that their labs are normal and they just didn't check that reverse T3.  So it is really important that you get that full panel and that you’re not only looking at what is normal, what is optimal, but also like what are these ratios looking like to one another.

Ben:  Yeah.  I want to ask you about that full panel there in a second and also what would make the body produce more reverse T3, but really quickly, returning that whole like enzymatic process for converting T4 into T3.  One of the things that of course seems like a horse that gets kicked to death these days is you’re not eating enough food, or perhaps you're not enough carbohydrates, your combining too much ketosis with too much activity.  Things along those lines.  But sometimes this can come down to simple micronutrient status.

Amy:  Absolutely.  Yeah.

Ben:  You talk in the book about an enzyme called deiodinase.  Am I pronouncing that correctly?

Amy:  Uh huh.

Ben:  Okay.  So deiodinase actually needs specific micronutrients to function in the right way, doesn't it?

Amy:  Yeah.  So zinc, selenium, iron.  In order to, basically what you have is, you have four iodine molecules creating the T4 and then you're dropping one off to get to the T3 and so you need the enzyme to be working properly.  And I see this of course, frequently with people who are just not eating the right diet, but after, as you mentioned, I have two books out there and so now I'm really kind of seeing the sickest of sick, and most people have read the books, and done the programs, and possibly have even seen, of course, they’ve been everywhere, but they might have even seen another functional medicine doctor before they get to me.  So they’re already eating what one would consider a good diet or like many of your listeners, a paleo diet that they think is full of nutrients and it may be, but a lot of things that I see are that like yourself, maybe you were burning through them.

So even though you might have adequate amounts, you might have been over exerting yourself.  So you're burning through them or what I typically see is that people's guts are so messed up.  And about, I think it's about 60 to 70 percent of the thyroid hormone is converted in the gut.  And so a) that's part of it.  That their guts messed up, they're not making that conversion, or b) they're not digesting and absorbing their nutrients properly.  So they might be eating a great diet but then they don't have enough stomach acid, or digestive enzymes, or they have small bile bacterial overgrowth and so they’re not absorbing their nutrients.  So, I like to say it's you're not, “you are what you eat.” But you’re what you digest and absorb ‘cause that’s really, clearly it’s important what you eat, but you got to make sure your gut is working optimally as well so you can extract all those nutrients from your food.

Ben:  Right.

Amy:  And absorb them.

Ben:  So deiodinase is basically stripping all the outside iodine atoms off of T4 and that's what turns the T4 into free T3 and that deiodinase enzyme, which I'm trying to spit out, it needs selenium, zinc, and iron.  So that’s kind of like one part of the equation you’d want to make sure that you cover is testing and making sure you give enough of the selenium, and the zinc, and the iron, but in the book you go on to explain how even if you have enough free T3, it might not be able to actually get into or pass through the membrane of the cell.  And there's something you talk about in the book that actually helps it get through the cell that I found surprising.  Something that gets kicked out of the bus a lot of the time but can you talk about the hormone that helps T3 actually get into the cell, assuming we make enough of it.

Amy:  So cortisol?  Is that what you're talking about?

Ben:  Yeah.

Amy:  Yeah.  Okay.  It’s like you got so specific in the book I'm like, “Alright.”  I remember the first book the first time with the autoimmune solution and I talk about these eight myths about autoimmunity and course I mean, I don't know if you’ve written a book, but like you write a book and then they come out like a year later.  So somebody is like, “Yeah, so want to go over these eight myths.”  And they’re like, “Tell us about myth number four.”  And I’m like, “Okay.  Can you tell me which myth it is?  Like I can definitely answer your question, but I don’t remember like what order I put those things in.”

Ben:  I run into that quite a bit.  I’ve written 13 books and, yeah, they tend to blend together after a while.  So sometimes people would ask me about what I wrote on page 183, and I’m trying to remember which book even had a page 183.

Amy:  Right.  Right.  Yeah.

Ben:  So I hear you, but you talk about cortisol.  Why is it that cortisol is something we need so much for thyroid?  Because a lot of times you’ll hear like stress will inhibit your thyroid capabilities or give you hypothyroidism, or something like that but what is it cortisol is doing on a membrane level on a cell membrane level that's helping T3 move in?

Amy:  Yeah.  So I mean I think it's like everything and I talk about this in the book too.  It’s like Goldilocks, right, with the immune system, with cortisol, with our hormones in general and as you know, I mean know even though we often are sitting here talking about the thyroid, it is never one hormone, I mean, you and I are on Skype and it's not, I'm bouncing one signal to you and you're bouncing one back.  There are all kinds of signals that are going out across the internet in order for you and I to talk to one another.  So that's really what's happening with all our hormones in general which is that our sugar hormones, insulin and our, what we consider, stress hormones, with cortisol, to our female or male hormones, to our sleep hormones, all these things are acting in concert with one another.  And so, yeah, as you mentioned, having too much of cortisol can certainly inhibit and create an inflammatory process and that actually can slow down the thyroid and make you convert to more reversed T3 than free T3.  So too much cortisol is going to inhibit our thyroid, not production necessarily, but at least the conversion and you need just the right amount in order to get it into the cell where it can   do its job and including, we need to make sure that we have enough fats in that cell so that that membrane is nice and porous and fluffy instead of rigid for the hormone to get in.  I mean free T3, their receptors on and inside every cell which is once it’s in there, it’s where it's going to do its job.  So it's very important that the free T3 can actually get into the cell.

Ben:  Yeah, that's one of the things that I think is super important for people realize is that your cell membranes which are going to allow free T3 to actually make its way into your cells assuming enough cortisol is present, those are made up of the fats that you're consuming.  And so if you happen to be grabbing too many, say, bags of sweet potato chips off the shelf of Whole Foods with some heated oxidized fats in them that's what your body's gonna make its cell membranes out of versus, say, like the avocado or the extra virgin olive oil or the wild caught fish.  And so, yeah, I think that that cell membranes or something that certainly get underplayed quite a bit.

Amy:  You aren’t talking to me right there, an honest potato chip courier?

Ben:  (Laughs) No, absolutely not.

Amy:  Then the sweet potato chips cooked in coconut oil, you were not talking to me right?  You haven’t been talking to my staff or something?

Ben:  Nope.  Nope.  I walk into my own pantry and a lot of times, let's just say, that there are certain people in the household that have a craving for crunchy foods coated in heated oils, and I try and avoid those quite a bit for some of the reasons that you just highlighted.

Amy:  But hey, if you’re going to grab a potato chip, getting one that is a sweet potato and it’s cooked in coconut oil is better than a Lays or something.

Ben:  It is much better than the Canola oil.  Absolutely.

Amy:  We all have our silly things.

Ben:  Okay.

Amy:  We aren’t even living in 2017 after all.

Ben:  That's right and for me these days, it is Fruition Dark Chocolate that is my sinful food of choice.

Amy:  Oh, yeah.  I’m a dark chocolate fan too.

Ben:  I have a little secret stash.  You got to try this Fruition brand.  I interviewed a guy named Kevin Rose in a podcast episode a few weeks ago and they had over 25 bars of the custom extreme dark raw chocolate Fruition bars.

Amy:  Oh my god.

Ben:  So, yeah.  Amazing.  Anyways though, so reverse T3, you mentioned about how that kind of puts on the brakes.  You have a section in the book where you talk about what would actually stimulate the body's production of reverse T3.  You highlighted at some things there that I thought were quite interesting like some things you would definitely want to avoid if you wanted to avoid stimulating the production of reverse T3.  What are some of those things that really amp up reverse T3?

Amy:  So, yeah.  I think we hit on them to some degree which is, as you mentioned, you were well, probably having about four main things that I think of and then within those lots of things can sort of sub categories, but I think your experience in the wilderness there kind of hit on three out of the four which was over exercising.  Starvation, so you weren’t eating enough carbs and you probably, I don’t know, if you were living on what you could forage out there but starvation.

Ben:  Oh I didn’t want to give you the wrong impression.  When I say “running around in the forest”, what I mean by that is like I'm actually, I'm surrounded by, I live out in the forest and so it's not like I can’t wander into the house and have a chocolate bar or some of those coconut oil coated potato chips, but I do do quite a bit of masochistic exercise, grueling exertion.  So you're saying that's one thing that can amp up the production of reverse T3?

Amy:  Yeah. Yeah.  I mean for some people, CrossFit.  I mean I see, I think in general, I mean we could probably have a whole conversation about this.  I think that there are people who really, I mean there are athletes out there that are excelling but the average person, that's really not good for them.  I mean, I definitely see a fair amount of women coming burned out from CrossFit and I'm not knocking CrossFit at all but their adrenals and their thyroid, their adrenals get burned out, then the thyroid gets burned out.  So doing Ironman’s marathon, I mean when you complete a marathon, they've done studies of checking people's white blood cell count before a marathon and then after and they end up with a suppressed white blood cell count.  So your immune system is getting suppressed while you're doing that.

Ben:  Yeah, for actually about, it's actually like two and a half weeks that it’s suppressed.  I thought it was interesting.  I think this was a study on Ironman triathletes.  It’s 19 days before your cytokine production kind of ramps back down and your white blood cell count returns to normal.  So I mean it's like almost a month that your body is, to use the highly scientific term, effed up after you do one of those.

Amy:  Yeah, and imagine the training that had to go into that and then there are people who do kind of a one off, right.  A marathon a year or a marathon in your lifetime but there are other people that are, I'm sure you know them, I know them kind of in this world, the better do three or four Ironman a year, and that means that most are sort of like eating gluten you know.  You eat gluten once and it can suppress your immune system for up to three months if you have a gluten issue.  And so that means you get four times that you're eating it a year and you never gave your immune system a break.  So you do three, four, Ironman a year and you're really not giving yourself a break between the training, the ramp up period, the ramp down period.

Ben:  Yeah, it's a very good way to amp up as you go into that in the book, reverse T3.  I think the other interesting part is despite anything else you’re doing to remain healthy, it's one of the fastest ways to age the body and increase the rate at which telomeres shorten.  I recently did a test with a telomere length with the salivary telomere test and although I'm 35 years old and I do a great deal of techniques now to assist with anti-aging and I don't do Ironman triathlons anymore, although I’ve done 12 of them and a whole host of other brutal events, my biological age is actually about 36 despite my chronological age being 35 and I'm convinced that a great deal of that has to do with the years and years of endurance-based exercise.

Amy:  Yeah, but that’s actually probably pretty good.

Ben:  Well, probably.

Amy:  I mean there, I’m sure, a lot of 35 year olds that are 45.

Ben:  Yeah, absolutely and I think I'm reversing a lot of damage these days now.

Amy:  Yeah, you probably would've been higher before and it’s probably gotten better with everything you're doing.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  Now you go into how things like extremely low calorie weight loss plans can stimulate production of reverse T3.  You also go into, no surprises here, physical and mental and emotional stress.  But then you also mentioned, you mentioned heavy metal.

Amy:  Yeah, that was the fourth of them.  Yeah, we were talking about you and how you and your scenario might’ve had three out of the four and maybe you have heavy metals as well.  But heavy metals as well tend to inhibit that conversion and I think it's probably, I don't know if anybody really knows how or why but I think that that’s considered a stressor on the body.

Ben:  Yeah, it is kind of interesting.  You go into like arsenic, and lead, and mercury, and one that you mentioned is cadmium.  This is something that, because I have some clients who I work with will do some metal testing on, people are testing really high and I started to dig in to this because a lot of people I work with now, they're kind of getting into like plant based medicines and stuff like that.  You know what's extremely extremely high cadmium is marijuana, and a lot of marijuana these days like they don't test for heavy metals.  It’s kind of like the Wild, Wild West as far as whether or not it actually is tested or whether it comes from organic sources.  Marijuana especially when you're like vaporizing it tends to be like main lining heavy metals into the bloodstream if you're not careful.

Amy:  Well, I mean, in general I mean we have cadmium in the soil and then certainly   places.  We have to be very careful about herbs, and spices, and teas, and things like from Asia and China because they can be very high and we have arsenic, and cadmium in our soil.  I don't know what testing you're using but I certainly use some testing in my office, an ion panel, and it's looking at the blood levels.  And I mean most people do have high levels of both of these so it’s, I mean even eating organic fruits and vegetables are gonna have it because it's about the soil, I mean not necessarily but unless somebody's really cognizant of that, in their soiling getting it tested, these things are getting picked up and in the environment that it comes out in the rain to floating in the air.

Ben:  Yeah, and green tea and also, this was based on a study done a couple of years ago, whey protein like those are two notoriously high sources of a lot of these metals and you find these in a lot of “healthy” people's diets.  Inclusion things like macha green tea and green teas and of course whey protein, in the mornings, smoothie and you do have to be careful.  I think anybody who has thyroid issues should probably go out and do   something, like you mentioned, like an ion panel or like a urinary analysis or something that actually looks at levels of arsenic, cadmium and some of these other metals because, again, this is one of those things that’s kind of surprisingly detrimental to the thyroid almost like cortisol in adequate amounts can be surprisingly helpful to the thyroid.  So, it’s really interesting.

Amy:  Yeah, I mean I would say everybody should get testing because it's really, you want to prevent having a problem, right.  I mean you don't want to wait ‘till you have the problem to deal with it.  You want to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.  So if you can identify that you have high levels of these things and it's not just thyroid.  I mean I wrote about these in my book, the autoimmune solution, as well.  I mean anybody with any type of autoimmune condition.  So I consider these things toxins and I think that, as I talk about in this book as well as the autoimmune solution, that there are really five factors that are creating all chronic disease and that's the diet rating, or leaky guts, toxins, infections, and stress, and so these are toxins.  So I think no matter what you have, either if you're looking at it from a prevention standpoint or from a reversal of some sort of chronic disease.

Ben:  Yeah.  And you go into more than just something like heavy metal testing in the book.  You have, of course, talk about how it’s important to get a full thyroid panel where you're testing TSH and free T4, free T3, reverse T3, your thyroid antibodies, and then you're thyroglobulin antibodies.  But then you also mentioned like some other nutrients that you look at that wouldn't be on necessarily like a full thyroid panel but that you’ve, in your practice, found to be really important in terms of assessing overall thyroid health.  Can you go into some of the other blood work that you look at for the nutrients necessary for optimal thyroid function?

Amy:  Yes.  So you can get a selenium level, I mean if you can get a red blood cell, anytime you can get a red blood cell level of a nutrient, it's not always available but that's helpful because that’s inside your cell rather than in your, what's called, your serum just kind of all your blood there because particularly those of us that are, I know about you, but I certainly take supplements.  And so if you’re taking a supplement, I mean it’s something floating around in your blood you kind of hope it's there but it's like what are you doing with it and can it get in your cell which is where a lot of these reactions take place particularly conversions, and where the thyroid needs to get.  So you want to make sure that it's in the cell and able to get in the cell.  I mean then there's a lot that you're able to utilize or not and that's a whole different story with genetic SNPs and stuff like that.

Ben:  Yeah, but that's important because a lot of labs will only test, like they spin the blood in a centrifuge, they separate the red blood cells, and then they work with just the serum, right?

Amy:  Yeah.

Ben:  And so you don't actually get a look at the red blood cell levels.

Amy:  Right, and for some things they don't, but there is, you may have to request.  I mean there's a magnesium red blood cell, there's a selenium, there’s a zinc.  So you do want to get those if you can, if not I mean having the serum’s better than nothing because if you're low then you’re low and a lot of people will be low.  But so certainly   testing zinc levels, testing selenium levels, I do a different type of test or at least I want to know somebody's MTHFR, sort of looking at their B vitamin status.  And iron, you want to, somebody’s ferritin, you actually want a ferritin level to look for iron storage.  A lot of people that are anemic, it doesn't really show up on a, what's called an H & H, a hemoglobin and hematocrit.  Iodine is the one that's quite controversial.  There is a blood test for iodine but, again, it's just gonna tell you a level and that really doesn't tell you functionally what your body's doing with it so some people use the, what's called, a patch test where they put some iodine on the skin and see how quickly it absorbs.  The quicker it absorbs the more you need.  Other people do a challenge test where you take 25 to 50 milligrams and then collect your urine and again the less that comes out the more your body took up which means it needed more.  I don’t use those in my clinic.

There's a lot of debate about them and about really because people absorb things at different rates, they filter through their kidneys at different rates.  I'm more and I know one of your questions you wanted to get into the iodine controversy so we can certainly get into that at some point, but I just pretty much assume that if you're having thyroid issues based on the fact that we're not eating an iodine rich diet like we used to, and then more importantly we're being bombarded with the other halides, the bromides, chlorides, and fluorides that are really displacing what iodine you do have.  So I pretty much just take the universal thought that everybody's iodine deficient to some degree and I replace it in micrograms not milligrams.  There's a whole controversy which is why I called it the iodine controversy in my book, but about these super high dosages of iodine.  And being a clinician, being a doctor and seeing people coming in from things they’ve read on the internet or other programs they’ve or even other doctors or chiropractors or people that have prescribed this to them, I’ve had probably 50 percent of the people who’ve been on it, come in, swear it's solved those hybrid problem being on these mega dosages and I’ve had 50 percent of the people come in and swear it's what caused their thyroid problem.  So I think the jury is really out about those milligram dosages.

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Ben:  Okay.  So your take on iodine to highlight this iodine controversy is that what you're saying is that a lot of these other things that we are getting like halides and bromides and even like chlorine in swimming pools, and water, and fluoride that displaces the iodine that our thyroid is dependent upon.  However, when it comes to like supplementing with extra iodine it's kind of an issue because there's no reliable way to test the body's iodine levels and you don't quite know exactly how much iodine to take, but what you're saying is you're just making that assumption that most people are deficient in iodine and should supplement with small amounts of iodine?

Amy:  Yeah.  So I mean unless they’re eating a super iodine-rich diet which then that's a whole other controversy about where safe places to be getting iodine, right, with the radioactive situation in Japan, just what, where's their safe source of [36:08.6] ______ and there are some but you just, unfortunately, this day and age you really have to with everything in our diet look at risk benefit because there's nothing perfect left anymore.

Ben:  So where should we get our iodine?

Amy:  Well, I mean you can get it from kelp sources.  Seaweed, you just need to make sure that you're getting it from a reliable source, fish sources, again, you just need to make sure to the best of your ability that you're getting it from as clean a source as you can get.  What I was saying about the iodine, yes, your summary is correct and just to explain a bit further, I created a multivitamin, formulated one to go along with the book just because there are so many nutrients that are vital to having your thyroid work optimally and or to help reverse a situation, and I couldn't find one out there that kinda had everything.  So I ended up formulating one because in my first book people were like, “Oh, you have so many supplements.  This is overwhelming.”  So I was like, “Okay.  Let me just like formulate one thing for them to take.”  So I included 300 micrograms of iodine.  Now, what people, when they're advocating large dosages or what I would say are large dosages of iodine, is something called iodoral that comes in 25 milligrams.  And so some people are taking one to two pills so that would be 50 milligrams.  So that's over 1000 fold what I'm recommending.

Ben:  Wow.

Amy:  So, yeah.  I mean 300 micrograms versus 50 milligrams.  So that to me, I mean, one would say there's an iodine controversy as it is ‘cause you might go to your regular doctor, this is probably the number one email that we get is, “Wait.  I'm confused about iodine.  What should I do?”  So I would say even at the low level there's some controversy but the real controversy is surrounding these mega dosages of it in my opinion.  I mean in my opinion there's really not a controversy.  I mean if you think about it, breast cancer, thyroid issues are much lower in Japan and that because of their eating a more plant-based diet, soy in their diet or is it that they eat a bunch of seaweed and they have a much higher concentration of iodine in their body.  So we used 1) I don't think we ate a whole lot of iodine to begin with or iodine rich foods then 2) we used to have it in our salt and that got taken away, and then again the most important thing about all this to me is that what we have in our environment is everywhere you look, your sofa, your rug, your computers, your mattress, there’s flame retardants with bromides in them, there is chlorine in our water, there's fluoride in our water.  I mean we are being bombarded by these other halides which are right next to iodine on the periodic table and in our body that ion looks exactly the same and our body gets confused.  And so t’s a relative iodine deficiency because of these other halides.

Ben:  Got it.

Amy:  So, I'm kind of replacing back to what we should be or used to be getting and we’re no longer getting.  I mean that's not even necessarily counting for all these other halides in our system.  And there are people who I’d put on higher dosages but I mean I couldn't do that blatantly when tens of thousands of people are reading a book.  I had to stay on the more cautious side.

Ben:  Yeah.  So basically the idea here is microdosing with iodine is probably a good idea especially we’ve got a lot of exposure to a lot of like fluorides, and chlorides, and bromides, and things like that and then also including preferably safer sources of iodine in your diet.  That would be like seaweed from an area that doesn’t have a lot of heavy metals in it or wild caught fish that maybe wasn't caught right off the Japanese coast, things like that, and that's kind of like your recommendation when it comes to this iodine controversy.

Amy:  Right.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Now, you also, in addition to iodine, another thing that you mentioned in the book is a potential treatment is something called low dose naltrexone. Can you go into why that’s something that you found to be helpful in low doses?

Amy:  Yeah.  So naltrexone is something that, I used to be an ER doctor and we would give that to block opioid receptors.  So when somebody came in and overdose of heroin, we give them a big dose of that and knock them out.  Somewhere along the line somebody realized in very, very small micro dosages, it blocks, it enhances but also blocks receptors and so there's this theory that people with auto immune disease and most thyroid dysfunction as autoimmune in nature, people with cancer, people with depression that they have low endorphins.  And so what happens is when you take a small dose of, what they call, low dose naltrexone, LDN, when you take a small dose so the does we used to give was, I don't honestly remember, 50 to 100 milligrams in the ER and this is like taking one to four milligrams.  So they realized that if you take it at night about nine o’clock at night, your receptors are the highest about, I think like three or four in the morning and so what happens is, and you have to give this compounded by a special pharmacy and it's with a special thing to wear.  It basically gets released right around three or four in the morning when the receptors are the highest and it blocks the receptors just for a quick second.

Ben:  Okay.

Amy:  And so it’s basically kind of floods your system, so blocks the receptors and then they kind of like, it is almost like a rebound effect.  So it is supposed to increase your endorphins ultimately.  And so by increasing the endorphins that's supposed to modulate your immune system and enhance your immune system which then is supposed to help people with autoimmunity.  Now, I write about this in the book because, again, it's like it's out there and there are people, there's a website I think it's lowdosenaltrexone dot org that there are  thousands of people writing how this has dramatically changed their lives.  I have certainly used it in my clinic.  Now, I don't use it as a first line.  I want to work through all the principles of my program because otherwise you're just putting on another band aid.  It's just a more natural or out of the box band aid but you're just putting on a band aid.  So I still like to work through all the principles and if people are getting stock or reached a plateau then we’ll certainly give low dose naltrexone to try.  I’ve had some people have good results.  I’ve had other people not really notice anything.  I've taken it up before.  I don't notice anything but there are lots of people out there that swear by this stuff.  I'm not saying it doesn't work.  I just personally have to be honest.  I haven't personally had amazing results, and I haven’t personally had amazing results in my clinic but there are people out there who have.

Ben:  Got it.

Amy:  So I would have been remised by not writing about it in the book.

Ben:  But the idea behind it is that when you look at the someone with an autoimmune issue which would be somebody potentially who has thyroid issues, they have really, really low levels of endorphins and what low dose naltrexone does is it kick starts some of the endorphin production.

Amy:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  Interesting.  Yeah, I've heard quite a bit about low dose naltrexone used for a variety of things like Lyme disease, autoimmune, Epstein Barr.  So it's really interesting and that's a total prescription based drug, right?  That's not an over-the-counter?

Amy:  Yes, that is a prescription based drug that needs to come from a compounding pharmacy and I mean I have no idea if that something people get from Canada or   something like that.

Ben:  Yeah, you could order it online along with your generic Viagra, I'm sure from someone.  Yeah.  Not recommended though.

Amy:  Yeah, I’m sure.  But, yeah, it is and I would recommend that people do that properly just because there seems to be an art, although, I hosted the Thyroid Connection Summit and I can’t remember who it was, I can't remember who, but I interviewed 35 different people, and somebody that I was talking to, I was talking to about low dose naltrexone and they were telling me that they, the standard is to take it at nine o’clock at night.  He was telling me that in his clinic they were using it at all hours of the day and they were not finding that there's any difference between using it during the day or using at night, and they had better compliance during the day so that's why he started doing that.  But in general what one is taught is to do it at nine o’clock at night.

Ben:  It seems like doing it during the day might have the added benefit of the euphoria produced with that little bit of endorphin release if you wanted to experience some of the euphoric like symptoms.  I've used that during the day, I don’t know if you've heard of this herb before, kratom?  Kratom is an opioid like pain killer.  I've used it in the past for injuries and more specifically recently for a back injury just to allow me to function during the day, but you get this intense feeling of euphoria that actually seems to improve productivity, and relationships, and enjoyment throughout the day, and so I would imagine if low dose naltrexone can produce similar feelings of euphoria, it might be something that patients would prefer to take during the day rather than at night.

Amy:  Yeah, I mean maybe.  I don't know that it’s that noticeable but perhaps.  Tell me what you were doing.  I was just curious about that.

Ben:  Yeah, Kratom.  K-R-A-T-O-M.  It comes in different strains.  You can chew on the leaves, you can put the powder into a tea, and it's mostly broken into three different varieties: white, green, and red.  And the white is a little bit more kind of like up lifting, euphoric, energetic.  Kind of similar to like coffee but with an opioid-like pain killing effect, whereas the red is something you take at night that really does knock you out.  It helps you sleep and I do a lot of sleep quantification and I found that I always test things to see if they disrupt say like rapid eye movement sleep, or deep sleep, or elongate sleep latency, or something like that.  And this seems to give one an extremely nice night of sleep but without producing any symptoms.  And then they also have a green version which is kind of like in between the euphoric, energetic one, and the sleepy time one, and so it's really interesting.  The FDA recently tried to schedule it is a class one controlled substance.

Amy:  I was just about to say, googling it, and here in Austin they’re trying to make it illegal.

Ben:  Yeah, but as of right now, still legal and I found it to be useful and it's a nice tea to drink during the day and also to drink at night just like a night cap especially if in a situation like mine where I had some low back pain from a gymnastics injury that was keeping me up at night.  I mean that was a game changer for me.

Amy:  Yeah.  So anybody just listening, you would not want to do that along with the low dose naltrexone.

Ben:  Probably not.  Yeah, that would be a bad one-two combo.

Amy:  Yeah, well, because you're basically, no, just in the sense that it would be the low dose naltrexone will be blocking that receptor so it would be making the kratom basically inactive.

Ben:  Exactly.  You'd be wasting some of your hard earned money.

Amy:  Yeah, exactly.

Ben:  Because it’s not cheap stuff.  It’s like 20 bucks for an ounce.

Amy:  I just didn't want anybody to be like, “Oh, what she said was cool and what he said was cool.  Let me go out and get them both.”  And then you're kind of negating them.  So don’t do that.

Ben:  Right, exactly and then you can throw a little like weed, and nori, and wild caught fish into the mix and just see what happens to your thyroid then.  Yeah, don't do everything you hear on the show all at once, boys and girls.  Okay.  So you talk a little bit about detoxification too in this book, and specifically you delve into SNPs, these types of common genetic mutations and I'm curious why it is that you talk about SNPs in a book on thyroid.  What's the link there?

Amy:  Well, in part of my thyroid summit that I did, Thyroid Connection Summit, I interviewed somebody about SNPs.  They're not any that he nor I seem to be aware of that are directly related to the thyroid, but I like to look at things as like, “what's the one to one correlation?” I do this, like I don’t have enough selenium.  I might not make enough T4 or T3 where I could have high thyroid antibodies versus like what's the   secondary effect.  I have candida in my gut that creates leaky gut.  Now, I have a leaky gut and now I have autoimmune thyroid dysfunction.   So I think the SNPs are really more that.  I have MTHFR so I can't clear heavy metals like mercury.  I have mercury build up that's affecting my thyroid.  I need a higher amount of B vitamins than the average person, and I need B vitamins in order to have my thyroid function properly.  So there's not something that I see is like a one to one correlation with the SNPs at least not yet.  I mean they are discovering every day, new information about SNPs but there wasn’t anything that I could find as a one to one, it was more the secondary.  I have, I am GSTM1 negative meaning, I don't make glutathione well so I don't detoxify well, so I keep heavy metals and the heavy metals interfere with my thyroid.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  So are you actually doing like a 23andme genetic analysis on people who have thyroid issues and if so are you like looking for specific SNPs?

Amy:  So, I have done 23andme and my family and we recommend it.  So it's not something I mean that's, anybody can get that off the internet 100 bucks, 200 bucks, whatever it is.  And then they'll need to stick that in some sort of software and I'm familiar with probably about ten of what I would call the main that I am aware of, and I can go over that with patients.  I would by no means call myself a 23andme expert.  In all 1000 gene SNPs that come back, I know exactly what they're doing.  So I look at methylation pathways, I look at things like COMT which is clearing nitrogen, and caffeine, and catecholamines.  So there's a handful that I look at that I'm aware of that mostly have to do with detoxification either of hormones or of toxins.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  So the main ones that you would tend to want to take in to consideration will be that MTHFR snip which would be one that would show that you would need to take like a full spectrum vitamin B complex, like a pre-methylated vitamin B complex and then the other one that you look at is this GSTM1 snip which could indicate that you need to be taking some form of glutathione.  Those are kind of like the biggies?

Amy:  Yeah, and COMT is another one.  So that’s your catecholamines clearing through that.  So when you don't clear your catecholamines well, you're gonna have high cortisol potentially from stress.  You’re gonna have high estrogen.  When you have high estrogen that binds, remember when I talked about the bound thyroid is inactive and it’s the free that we care about, so when we have higher estrogens, the proteins, they're more proteins and they tend to bind up the thyroid.  When you have catecholamines, it's   going to compete and a) you’re not gonna clear your estrogen like everything in the body is interconnected.  It’s never just one thing but when you don't clear your catecholamines well then you're gonna, and that same clears your estrogens as well,  when those are elevated then you're gonna have more of a thyroid bounce.

Ben:  Right.  Right.  Yeah and one of the things that I found to be really useful for actually taking your 23andme genetic test results and exporting the raw data into is another website called, I don’t know if you've heard of this, Doctor Amy, 23andyou.com.

Amy:  Oh, I haven’t heard about that one.

Ben:  Yeah, 23andyou.com is fascinating because it's like this resource list of all the different websites out there that allow you to import your 23andme raw data, and take a look at some of the SNPs that you’ve just talked about as well as a host of other helpful information.  Probably one of the more well-known websites for analyzing your DNA data is genetic genie, for example, which actually, genetic genie, I believe for all three of the things you just talked about, COMT, and then the glutathione gene, and then the MTHFR gene, I think genetic genie will look at your status for each one of those.  And they give you some really cool practical takeaway results too, but there are other websites out there as well like Promethease is another common one but, yeah, 23andme combined with 23andyou, I think is a really cool one-two combo, and frankly I found it to be almost intuitive enough to where someone can get their 23andme test, download the results, it's not rocket science, and then upload it to genetic genie and you can get some really good actionable information based off of the stuff that you layout in the book.

Amy:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben:  And speaking of actionable stuff, I want to actually kind of turn from some of this nitty gritty science into some of the practical takeaways because you have this thing called the Myers Way which is kind of like your method so to speak, for implementing a lot of your recommendations to optimize the thyroid.  And I was wondering if you could, because you’ve got like specific days of what a Myers way protocol would look like, could you walk us through what a typical day would look like?  Because in the book you are going to what your meals would look like, what kind of like your morning habits will look like, what you’re evening habits would look like, and I think this is really good practical stuff that people could use especially if they have thyroid issues or really just health issues in general.  So can we go through like a typical day?

Amy:  Yeah!  So I call the program the Myers Way and we did that not, honestly, we we're just trying to come up with something but really I like the name ‘Way’ because it’s really about a way of life rather than it being quick fix.  And I'm sure probably most of your followers have already bought into that idea of this being a lifestyle rather than some 30-day program.  I mean the book is a 30-day program but my goal is that they really learn something from this.  What are the foods that are really become their no-no foods, what are food they can add back in.  So it's really a tool to learn and then to take on with you for the rest of your life.  And so as part of that, I spent a whole chapter talking about stress.  I actually went through a toxic mold exposure as I was writing this and was super stressed, and kind of just talked about all the things that I did to kind of get through that to kind of keep my sanity and my calm while writing a book, and being basically homeless and super sick on top of it.

So the morning is kind of getting up and doing something that gets you settled for the day and that can be anything from, if you're a person that is in prayer or like you do meditation, or you're somebody who likes gadgets and apps, and wants to do something like muse or a heart math, and 5 minutes, if that's all you can do, 10, 20 if you can do that, but really starting your day off in a kind of mindful, relaxed way.  And then, of course, if you take any supplemental thyroid hormone or something like that, taking that and then we like to start the day off with some kind of gut healing, either tea or bone broth because so much of sickness is from having a messed up gut frankly, and again most thyroid is autoimmune in nature and if you have autoimmune then you likely have a leaky gut.  So, we move into breakfast and we have each day, is laid out for all 30 days and there are recipes to go with that.  At a basis it's very similar to a paleo autoimmune protocol.  I mean I’ve tweaked it based on what I've seen in my clinic worked for people.  So if you need me to go into details about that I can.  And lunch…

Ben:  Yeah.  We’ve actually done an entire podcast on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.  So we don't need to delve in that, but what I will do up on the show notes if you go to  bengreenfieldfitness.com/thethyroidconnection I’ll put a link to some of the more helpful podcast we've done on the paleo autoimmune protocol because I certainly recommended quite a bit to folks even if it's just for like a short stand, right, for like four to eight weeks, I'm a huge fan of it because it's pretty easy to follow too like a little paleo autoimmune book out there that exists that I really like.  I interviewed, who was I interviewing, Eileen Laird, I interviewed her recently about it.  So you work this paleo autoimmune protocol in?

Amy:  Yeah, and so I mean my book or you can, either the thyroid connection or the autoimmune solution, the program’s already there.

Ben:  Oh yeah, you have it in your book too.

Amy:  So if you want to go get another resource it can, but it’s also here in both book, I’m just giving people a reference point ‘cause people seem to understand that I didn't want to pigeon my whole, myself into some autoimmune paleo place.  I want to be agnostic and open to all people so I don't taunted it that but to give your listeners a reference point that’s kind of what it is but you don’t need to go get a, I mean if you want to get a separate book that's totally fine.  I don’t mind that.

Ben:  Yeah, you actually do have it all in here.  The Myers Way, step by step, that’s a good point, but I do have a podcast if people…

Amy:  Yeah, and all the recipes are in here and everything you need.  But probably what you’re, so then there's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dessert, and then really, here's the next part of it, as the sun is setting and I know this is big in the paleo world as well but I mean this has been life changing for me is getting that a) doing something that brings you joy, engaging with your community, your family, whatever that is, then as the sun's beginning to set, get your melatonin set.  This is all about sleep.  When we sleep, we detox our cortisol goes down, hopefully our melatonin goes up.  And so we have amber light bulbs in our house.  I use amber glasses.  So that's another part of it is just kind of after dinner is beginning that wind down and then if you can, something else relaxing, a hot bath, again, meditation, prayer, again, whether it's muse whether it’s heart math or if you want to explore even further, float tanks or neurofeedback.  I mean these are not things you have to do, but I just throw them out as once a week, once a month kind of thing.

Ben:  They can be super helpful.  I mean I like that how you go like, for example, I’m looking at day seven in your book and at the beginning of the day, you have a recommendation to relax with heart math which by the way or those of you listening in, that's like neurofeedback based on heart rate variability.  I've got plenty of information on it if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for heart math.  Plenty on there about that.  Muse which is almost like a form of guided meditation, and you talk about, another option will be like binaural beats, brain wave entrainment, meditation, prayer, or breath work.  I frankly, do kind of like a little variation almost all of those in the morning and then you have kind of the same thing in the evening before that.  I love that.  Now you also taught, you say they start the day with one cup of the Myers way spa water.  What's the spa water?

Amy:  Oh, so that’s just lemon water.  We were just trying to make things sound a little better.

Ben:  You fancy man.  Just like an alcolinic beverage to start off the day.

Amy:  Yeah, and so my first book, I kind of was like, “Here’s a sample day.  Now go do it.”  And somehow that was confusing to people so, you’ve written lots of books, you kind of improve upon the process.  So in this book we literally spelled out every day, but just so people aren’t getting overwhelmed, that sort of morning routine and the evening routine are the same each day.  We have, again, you can pick something you want to do.  If you do all six, great.  You don’t have to pick any of them or you can pick one of them to do.  So I don’t want people to feel overwhelmed and I also gave sort of when I talked about stress, I gave things that were free.  I gave things that you might want to do every day and then I gave things that like probably people are not gonna go get acupuncture every single day.  I mean somebody might do that once a week or somebody might only be able to do that once a month.

Ben:  Right.

Amy:  So I just want people to know that there's no set tool.  I mean this book should be a standalone book.  If you want to get supplements, you can.  You don't have to.  If you want to get any kind of gadget to track things, you can, but you don't have to.  So I really and also this book is meant to take to your primary care or endocrinologist, not necessarily functional medicine doctors.  So it’s very, my first book was like, “You need to do this.” and “You need to see this person.” and “Don't take these meds.” and “Do this program.” and this is very much like, “Hey, if you're somebody on supplementary thyroid hormones,”  We didn't even get into my story which is totally fine.  This is actually the first interview I've ever done that nobody’s asked me about my own story.

Ben:  I know.  I don't really care about the people.  I just want to get straight to the science.

Amy:  Yeah, that’s cool.  That’s cool.  But the point is I’ve had my own story which is Graves disease and I had my thyroid ablated so I don't have a thyroid.  I didn’t, know me, I’ve since helped literally hundreds of people with Graves disease, reverse their Graves disease.  So the point of that is that I’ve been there and if I don't take my supplemental thyroid hormone, I would literally die.

Ben:  Right.

Amy:  So there are going to be people who need supplemental thyroid hormone.  The idea that you can just completely reverse it and get off of it if you’ve had this disease for 20 years.  No.  Does it mean you don't do the book?  No.  It means that you might be able to reduce.  You can at least fix your gut and prevent something else from happening to you.  So the point of that is that this was, are really, this affects so many people and everybody does not have access to a functional medicine doctor and you need to work with the doctors if you’re on supplemental thyroid hormone to get testing.  So the book explains what test, what are optimal levels, and there's a letter to your doctor.  It tells your choices for supplemental thyroid hormone.

Ben:  Yeah, there’s a lot in there and if I could interrupt you because I know folks are, I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thethyroidconnection where you can get the book, but just to give you an idea so you could wrap your head around this.  Breakfast is, for example, sweet potato and greens breakfast hash with cinnamon apple breakfast sausages.  Lunch, yum, I'm looking at day one actually.  Citrus shrimp over red leaf lettuce salad, and then dinner you’ve got apricot chicken with some gut healing bone broth.  Snack, for example, is some cucumber seaweed salad.  I mean it's good stuff, I can get on this bandwagon.  That's not necessarily cardboard that you're eating, but it is kind of cool how you walk people through it.

Amy:  Yeah.  I mean I would say besides people telling us that their symptoms have resolved and their autoimmunity has gone away, the next biggest compliment we get is how good the food is.  My registered dietitian helped me with this.  We eat like this.  This isn't just something I threw out there and I don't really eat this myself.  So we do and it is actually good food.

Ben:  Right, and then you just toss a few of those coconut oil potato chips in there for good measure.  Just in case.

Amy:  Yeah, on occasion.

Ben:  Cool.  Well, it's a great book and I enjoyed it immensely I know for those of you listening in it seems like about once a month I do some kind of an episode that has something to do with the thyroid.  That's for two reasons.  1) it's a topic near and dear to my heart with issues that I've had in the past with thyroid and 2) I wouldn't keep folks on thyroid if I didn't see on the blood and biomarkers of so many folks in the cross fitting, and the triathlon, and the marathoning, and the exercise enthusiast community that I look at, thyroid issues related to everything you learn about in the show.  Selenium, zinc, iron, the T3, T4, reversed T3, all that tends to be dysregulating a lot of folks these days.  And so this is important stuff for you to know because a lot of these things like being tired, being brain fogged, being overweight, having low performance, insomnia, many cases it really is related to this really, really important part of your system, your thyroid.

So the book is called “The Thyroid Connection”.  Amy’s other book is called the “Autoimmune Solution”.  They're both really good reads.  I like the actionable practical information and, again, I’ll link to some of the stuff we talk about, but I’ll also link to some of the little things that I’ve found like the 23andme and 23andyou genetic testing and some of the seaweed sources I found that are lower in heavy metal.  There's a little eBook on Amazon about that Kratom that I talked about that I’ll link to if you guys want to delve into that a little bit and everything, I’ll put over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/thethyroidconnection

Ben:  So that all being said, Amy, thanks for coming on the show today and sharing all this stuff with us.

Amy:  Yeah, thanks for an interesting interview.  It was great to talk to you.

Ben:  No problem.  I specialize in the weird ones.

Amy:  Yeah, no.  It was really fun.

Ben:  Cool.  So for those of you listening in, ‘til next time, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Doctor Amy Myers, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com, Have a healthy week.



Are you exhausted all the time, plagued by brain fog, and unable to lose weight? Do you struggle with insomnia, panic attacks, and tremors? But does your doctor insists your labs are normal, and that you just need to eat less and exercise more?

As anyone who has been there knows, nothing is more frustrating, stressful, and emotionally draining than feeling unwell and being told you're fine by the very person who is supposed to heal you.

The truth is, your symptoms could be caused by a thyroid disorder – the hidden cause of a wide array of health problems that can threaten to ruin your life. Thyroid dysfunction affects at least 20 million Americans and yet conventional medicine frequently misses the diagnosis. The scariest part? Most doctors won't even order thyroid tests unless you specifically ask.

Now, in her new book The Thyroid Connection, Dr. Amy Myers, my guest on today's podcast, teaches you how to take your health into your own hands. Dr. Myers, originally misdiagnosed herself, understands the struggles of thyroid dysfunction firsthand. Fortunately, she also knows how achievable recovery and well-being are, and just how to get you there.

In The Thyroid Connection, Amy explains how to recognize the symptoms that could signal a thyroid problem, work with your doctor to ensure proper diagnosis, and make sure you're on the right treatment plan.

Amy is a renowned leader in Functional Medicine a 2x New York Times Bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution and The Thyroid Connection and the founder and medical director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine clinic that treats patients from all over the world who are overcoming chronic illness. She has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, The New York Post, Women’s Health, Huffington Post, and numerous other television programs, radio shows, and print publications. She has helped hundreds of thousands recover from chronic illness through her dietary-based program, The Myers Way®, and she has created multiple programs, tools, and free resources to guide readers through her revolutionary approach to health.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How your body converts T4 into T3 and how you can enhance that enzymatic process…[11:45]

-Why cortisol is surprisingly vital to healthy thyroid function, especially for shoving T3 into cells…[14:55]

-What makes the body produce more Reverse T3…[19:55]

-What blood work besides a full thyroid panel is crucial to look at optimal thyroid function…[28:30]

-Why most labs don't test for red blood cell levels of things like selenium, zinc and magnesium, and why this is such a big problem…[29:30]

-The details behind the “iodine controversy” and where you should be getting your iodine…[30:27]

-Dr. Myer's opinion on the use of low-dose naltrexone (and something you'd never want to combine it with)…[40:20]

-Why your genetic “SNP's” are such an important part of detoxification and thyroid health…[48:00]

-What does a “typical day” look like for someone using the Myers Way? [53:50]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight – and How to Get Your Life Back

Everything You Need To Know About Kratom

The Emerald Cove nori Ben uses that is low in heavy metals

23andme genetic testing

The Paleo Autoimmune protocol podcast I recorded


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “[Transcript] – The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight (& How to Get Your Life Back)

  1. Eric says:

    Hi Ben, as a person who suffers from Hypothyroidism and Panhypopituitarism (HCC), I found this interview very interesting. Prior to seeing this. I was considering BHRT for low T to fix some of the same symptoms. I see you also did some podcasts on BHRT so I will subscribe so I can read those, but is there anything you can recommend for review to help me determine which to do, or if I should do both what order? Thank you!

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