Getting to the Root of Thyroid Problems with Dr. Lauren Noel

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Lauren Noel talks about getting to the root causes of thyroid problems.

Dr. Lauren Noel, better known as “Dr. Lo,” is a licensed naturopathic doctor and expert in natural medicine. Her areas of expertise are digestive disorders, thyroid & hormone imbalances, and autoimmune disease. She has been a frequent guest/lecturer on health radio shows and medical conferences, and she is the host of Dr. Lo Radio, a top rated podcast on iTunes that has attracted over 1 million listens. Dr Noel owns Shine Natural Medicine in Solana Beach, CA, where she treats patients locally and all over the country.

Main Questions Asked:

  • Can you share your thyroid story with us?
  • What are some of the common symptoms of a thyroid problem?
  • What are the five different patterns of thyroid problems?
  • What is the best way to test for thyroid function?

Key Points made by Dr. Lo:

  • Some of the most common symptoms of thyroid problems include brain fog, poor memory, hair loss, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, poor circulation, and osteopenia.
  • Most traditional doctors never get to the root of thyroid problems.
  • Pattern #1: Sluggish pituitary function. This can be seen on blood testing with a low TSH and low T4.
  • Pattern #2: Sluggish thyroid function. This can be seen on blood testing with a high TSH and low T4.
  • There are many different toxins that can affect the thyroid and cause it to be sluggish and weak.
  • Pattern #3: Under conversion due to stress. This is when the body has a difficult time converting T4 into T3. This can be seen on blood testing with high T4 and low T3.
  • One of the main causes of under conversion is cortisol imbalance due to chronic stress.
  • Another cause of under conversion is exercising too much. Yes, too much exercise causes too much stress to your body!
  • Pattern #4: Insulin surges and blood sugar imbalances. Blood sugar imbalances, from skipping meals or eating too much sugar or carbs, can also cause under conversion.
  • Pattern #5: Nutrient deficiencies. The three most important nutrients for thyroid function are zinc, selenium, and iron.
  • You may eat a great diet, but if you do not digest well you could still have nutrient deficiencies.
  • Good food sources for zinc include pumpkin seeds and oysters.
  • The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Eat 3-4 a day to get your daily dose of selenium.
  • Bonus Pattern #6: Too much reverse T3. This is usually from too much bad bacteria living in your intestines. Reverse T3 is an inactive thyroid hormone.
  • Get the right tests run. Dr. Lo recommends testing TSH, Total T4, Total T3, Free T4, Free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies – anti-TPO (thyroperoxidase) and anti-TG (thyroglubulin) antibodies.
  • The best way to test your cortisol is with saliva testing – 4 saliva samples though out the day so your cortisol curve can be mapped out.
  • To test your blood sugar: fasting glucose, insulin, HbA1C, and triglycerides.
  • To test nutrient deficiencies Dr. Lo uses Spectracell Labs’ Micronutrient Testing.
  • 80-90% of low thyroid is actually caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This is why it’s important to have antibody testing done.
  • With Hashimoto’s the TSH often will go up and down for a while, putting you on a symptoms rollercoaster.
  • You can control Hashimoto’s by fixing your leaky gut, and finding and fixing your immune triggers.
  • Gluten sensivity can be the underlying cause of Hashimoto’s and thyroid problems.
  • The best test to diagnose gluten sensitivities is Array #4 by Cyrex labs.
  • You have no idea how good you can feel once you get the root cause and heal your body. You’ve been designed to feel amazing!

Resources Mentioned:

Spectracell Labs – Micronutrient Testing

Cyrex Labs – Array #4 Gluten Test

Dr. Lo’s website

Dr. Lo’s podcast

Dr. Lo’s Private Practice

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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