35 Virtually Secret Clues to Detecting Thyroid Problems Even Your Doctor May Not Know


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I’m totally psyched for the Thyroid Sessions that are going on right now. Thyroid symptoms have been dogging me since I was a teen, yet I’ve always tested normal when taking the standard panel.

Increases in hair loss, occasional mild depression, estrogen dominance, high cholesterol, and a weight gain of ten pounds over the last year have been making me ponder anew, however. I’d been considering digging deeper, even perhaps considering a trial of thyroid medication to see if it changed anything.

My prerogative

Having watched this presentation from Reed Davis, I’ve changed my mind. Turns out, unexpectedly, that the liver and gut are crucial to thyroid health. If those are off, taking a daily dose of Armour® isn’t going to help all that much, and it certainly isn’t going to get to the root of the problem.

Complex, multi-faceted

The video of the presentation was around 40 minutes long. I watched it twice. The second time going through it v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to wring out every piece of information I could. It was dense and full of incredible information.

Reed explained the delicate balance between systems in the body that contribute to thyroid functioning and how, if one is compromised, a chain reaction is set up that will impact the thyroid down the line. 

Basically everything connects to everything else, and you can’t treat one in isolation and expect it to magically solve the problem. If you fix your thyroid, you can fix so many issues, but it is complex.

You may have multiple underlying problems that need addressing in order to create a healthy bodily system within which a thyroid simply hums along. That’s your goal – a happy, humming thyroid. And those issues might not be located in your body where you expect. 

Listen up!

I’m going to share with you the salient, most important points from the presentation.  I suggest you put everything down and pay attention. It isn’t simple, and if you have thyroid issues, this could be the most important information you ever receive. 

(I tried my best, but I made ten pages of notes, so obviously I can’t convey everything I learned here but you can gain your own access to the presentation, along with transcripts, and lots of other goodies by getting an all-access pass to the Thyroid Sessions.)

presenter-reed-davisHere are the 35 takeaways from Reed Davis’  Thyroid Session:  Stop Chasing Symptoms: An Illustrated Guide to Finding the Root Cause of Thyroid Disorders

*Please share with your friends because, 30-50% of your women friends over the age of 30 will have thyroid issues. There are buttons at the end and to your left to help you do that.*

1. The thyroid is vitally important to the working of the human body. Every cell in the body has a a receptor for thyroid hormone. The metabolic rate of each cell in the body depends on the thyroid. 

2. The thyroid affects everything from bone density, to ovarian function, cholesterol, cardio-vascular risk, depression, on and on. Everything, basically.

3. Most people, when they think of thyroid mechanisms in the body, think of the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis. This is the feedback mechanism that senses low levels of thyroid hormone circulating in the body and stimulates production until sufficient is released and the process is shut off. Pretty sophisticated, huh?

4. The standard medical approach seeks to supplement thyroid hormone to make up for a perceived lack in the body’s production. This misses most of the clues that solve the mystery of poor thyroid function.

5. For many people, this approach doesn’t work as it targets the wrong underperforming system in the body, and ignores the root causes which continue to merrily mess up your body, all the while going unhindered and undetected. A better approach is to undertake deeper investigation, along with broadening the scope.

6. The thyroid gland produces T4 (inactive – needs to be converted) and T3 (active). The liver undertakes the conversion of T4 to T3. Only when it becomes T3, is it useable by the body.

7. The liver is also necessary for binding thyroid hormone to make sure that it is unavailable for use until it gets to the location in the body where it is required.  It produces “thyroid binding globulin” for this purpose. This is the difference between “free” T3 or T4 and “total” T3 and T4. “Free” refers to the unbound thyroid hormone; “total” thyroid has had the binding protein added by the liver.

8. Most people who discuss thyroid function, don’t talk enough about the role of the liver or place emphasis on it. Yet it is critical to strong thyroid function.


9. If the liver isn’t functioning well, it may not produce enough thyroid binding globulin. This can lead to too much free thyroid hormone circulating in the body. When it reaches the cells, it can burn them out, like putting gasoline on a fire – over in a flash, leaving nothing useable behind.

10. A dysfunctional liver may also misfire by producing too much thyroid binding globulin. This can lead too little useable thyroid hormone circulating resulting in all the thyroid-related health issues we are familiar with.

11. The liver has to regulate the balance between T3 and rT3. rT3 isn’t useable and if the ratio of T3 to rT3 is weighted too heavily towards rT3, there won’t be sufficient useable T3 reaching your cells.

12. The accurate regulation of this rT3:T3 ratio is dependent on selenium. Selenium isn’t required for the thyroid gland function, it is required for the liver to function properly in relation to thyroid! (This was a huge a-ha for me.)

13. T3 sulphate (T3S) and T3 acetic acid (T3AC) comprise 20% of your total thyroid hormone. In other words, a lot. They are activated by gut bacteria and turned into T3. So, if your gut flora is off, and you have gut dysbiosis, you have a problem with thyroid hormone being available to your cells for energy and function.

14. If you have gut issues, you may experience gas, bloating, pain, brain fog, you may experience thyroid issues without these typical gut issues, or you may have both. It is important to get checked out.

15. Too much bad bacteria in the gut will produce neuro-toxins called lipopolysaccharides or endotoxins. They, too, can have a negative effect on the conversion of T4 to T3 in the liver. 

16. These toxins get to the liver via the bloodstream. They also manage to reach the pituitary gland and can affect functioning there so that TSH goes down which in turn impacts the ability of the thyroid to produce T4 and T3.

17. A third negative impact of these toxins is they affect the receptor-ship of cells to accept thyroid hormone and allow it to do its job. 

18. Good gut bacteria is responsible for neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and if you have too much bad bacteria, neurotransmitter production will be disrupted. Problem is, neurotransmitters affect the hypothalamus! Ack, it’s like a large dysfunctional family at a funeral fighting over a $20 chair that came from IKEA!

19. Inflammation will affect the performance of the hypothalamus. Gut dysbiosis and immune function are two causes of inflammation. 80+% of the immune system resides in the gut. 

20. Gluten intolerance is one cause of this inflammation, along with other food sensitivities. And fat cells will produce inflammatory cytokines that will affect thyroid hormone production via the hypothalamus. 

21. Eventually, everything impacts everything else and it becomes a vicious cycle. (Are you seeing how it all fits together?)

22. The hypothalamus-pituitary connection will also affect other systems that require optimal hormone production such as ovarian and adrenal functioning. Anything – inflammation, neuro-toxins, immune attack, etc., – that affects these two glands will affect your whole hormonal system.

23. Symptomatic solutions, such as T4 supplementation, stimulants to kickstart weight loss, anti-depressants, do nothing to address the problem at source. (As I often say, the problem is always upstream.)

24. So problems with the thyroid can originate in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands but the source can also occur in the liver or gut! And they all impact one another. 

25. The first step is to address immediately identifiable issues such as stress and inflammation. 

26. The second step is to have labs run to identify specific problems.

27. Test urinary bile acid sulphates (UBAS) to determine the functioning state of the liver. When the liver is dysfunctional or congested, it will dump bile into the bloodstream. This is very common. This test is part of the 101 Metabolic Profile from Biohealth Diagnostics. This is different from having your liver enzymes tested.

27. For gut dysbiosis, check indican levels. Indican measures the balance between the good and bad flora in your gut. It tells us if you have sufficient good bacteria to break down protein.

28. Finally, look at lipid peroxides which measure the oxidative stress load (wear and tear) on your body.

29. Treatment options for the liver: liver support products, liver flushing, reduce the toxic load in your environment – hair products, cleaning products, foods.

30. Treatment options for gut flora imbalance: digestive enzymes, HCL.

31. What to do for high oxidative stress: antioxidants – Vitamins D, E and C, alpha lipoic acid, fruits and vegetables. 

32. Go deeper: take an intestinal barrier test (#304 from Biohealth Diagnostics) to look for bacteria overgrowth. Measure secretory IgA to check for parasites, yeast, food sensitivities. Take a stool test to look further for parasites, h.pylori (often seen).

33. A very high percentage of clients (sick people, obviously) have bacterial overgrowth, parasites, and fungi.

34. To take this fundamental approach to healing thyroid function, it is necessary to find a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner. Go to http://fdnselfcare.com and sign up to talk to a practitioner.

35. To train to become a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner, go to http://fdntraining.com.

Phew! There you have it! The upshot is that liver and gut quality are vital to getting a quality performance from the thyroid gland. They must be healed if our thyroids are to function as they are designed. Good diet, a toxin-free environment, a stress-managed life are also important.

But like that large family at the funeral fighting over the $20 chair, a great big pile up can ensue if one of these systems gets off-kilter. When one thing starts, the others all pile on until a big bundle is underway. It’s a finely balanced thing, the thyroid.

If you would like to watch the presentation yourself, you can do so for free on Sunday and Monday, May 4th and 5th, and after that, by gaining an All-Access Pass to the Thyroid Sessions. Click here to do that.

presenter-reed-davisReed Davis is a Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Certification Course. He also developed the D. R. E. S. S. for Health Success® program to consolidate the potent, proven, professional protocols that he developed over a 12 year period in collaboration with other leaders in the field. Reed is known as one of the most successful and experienced clinicians in the world today, having provided functional lab assessments to over 11,000 people for hormone levels as well as adrenal, digestition, detoxification, mucosal barrier, pathogenic, bone density and diet related health problems. He served as the Health Director and Case Manager at The Better Health & Wellness Center in Poway, California for over eight years before launching the FDN Certification Course. Reed lives in Southern California teaching the FDN Certification Course and helping his students to build robust, private-pay practices by integrating functional lab work. He is also on the Clinical Advisor staff at BioHealth Diagnostics Laboratory.

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Written by 

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

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