By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.
MEN VS. WOMENI have always observed that more women than men would come into our office with thyroid problems. I have never read any research which explained this to my satisfaction, However, I now feel that I have discovered why this is so. A woman's thyroid gland and its hormones are influenced by factors not appearing in a marl This distinction can sometimes make all the difference. It is also a commonly overlooked involvement that has only recently been observed by myself and a handful of other researchers.
MY PREVIOUS RESEARCH
In the course of investigating thyroid problems during 1996 we discovered that there were many nutrients involved in proper thyroid function. Some of these nutrients have never been used or recognized broadly as thyroid involved. Many of these nutrients are minerals that form enzymes which help the hormones work correctly. We also confirmed that many people with inadequate thyroid function had normal blood test results. This is because the problem was occurring in the cells and not in the blood. Both doctor?, Broda Barnes and Denis Wilson have reported in their respective books that taking the underarm temperature in the morning was the most reliable clue. We found that temperatures below 97,8 were accompanied by low thyroid symptoms. When given our original thyroid protocol of amino acids, vitamins and minerals and proteins, a definite improvement was found in overall symptoms and body temperatures. However, I felt that something was missing. I was not sure what, but I knew that I did not have the entire answer.
I then began to test the cell levels of progesterone in women using a new, more accurate test. We found that all of our low thyroid women had very low levels of progesterone, while having normal to high levels of estrogen.. Most had their progesterone readings in the post menopausal range yet they were still menstruating. We began to give them progesterone cream to rub on the skirl This is a natural cream that contains herbs that the body is able to change into progesterone. It is not a drug so it does not have the risks associated with drug versions of progesterone. In some cases, we found it necessary to give them progesterone oil which is used under the tongue. It is similar to the cream, only stronger. In some cases both were needed. After several weeks on these substances a marked increase in energy and body temperature were noted. I estimate that we had an improvement equal to the results of the first protocol.
I then began to research why this was and came up with some very interesting data. Progesterone aids in the retention of zinc and potassium in our cells. Zinc and potassium allow the thyroid hormone to enter the cell and then to be converted to the active form known as T3. Further, progesterone facilitates the action of thyroid hormone according to Dr. Ward Dean, M.D. Estrogen has been known to be an antagonist to thyroid hormone according to Dr. David Watts of Trace Elements Inc. Progesterone is an antagonist to estrogen. This would mean that if progesterone is low, estrogen would automatically be suppressing thyroid function. Balancing estrogen and progesterone would allow the progesterone to do its job in restoring and normalizing thyroid function. Estrogen is known to interfere with thyroid hormone and increase fat storage. Progesterone has been known to do the opposite. It aids thyroid action and encourages the use of fat for energy. Low thyroid women also tend to gain weight on the thighs and hips. This seems to be due to the effects of estrogen. Progesterone reverses this tendency. Estrogen is also associated with copper. Copper is required for the synthesis and release of estrogen and also forms enzymes in the liver which help to break down left over estrogen into harmless substances. Estrogen can cause copper retention if zinc or progesterone levels are too low. Copper has been found to be an antagonist to thyroid hormone. In The Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton, calcium is cited as an antagonist to allowing thyroid hormone to enter the cell. Watts has observed that abnormally elevated calcium levels in the tissue correlate with elevated copper. It appears that calcium and copper can elevate together and then block the effects of thyroid hormone.
Progesterone appears to reverse this action which is why it works. Proper levels of progesterone appear to be the key. Some women achieve normal test results and symptomatic improvement with only 1/16?1/8 of a tsp of the cream? This is a very low dose. In others, high doses of the cream as well as oral use of the oil is needed to get the result.
Once thyroxin is made it goes to the liver. Some of it is set aside as reserve.This is called reserve T4.The body puts some in reserve for times of illness or stress. In the liver, it is changed to T3. T3 is actually the hormone the body will later use.
After achieving a correct progesterone level per the testing, it is important to try to get the body to manufacture its own progesterone without the aid of any substance that the body can cheat with. A special line of vitamin formulas have just been developed that help the body to begin to make its own progesterone again. These, however, do not always work immediately. It may take years for the body to begin to manufacture enough on its own again. It is also possible that it may never happen. However, every attempt must be made to get the body back into its own groove again. I can definitely say that the progesterone program brings about a very substantial improvement in thyroid function. Just as much as the original thyroid protocol. Both are needed in order to improve thyroid function. As a rule, we begin with our original thyroid protocol and then graduate to the progesterone program. We have had cases where the morning body temperatures were as low as a 95 to 96 degree range, yet blood tests showed no thyroid problems.
Michael Biamonte holds a Doctorate of Nutripathy, and is a New York State certified Clinical Nutritionist. He is a professional member of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists,The American College of Nutrition and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. He is listed in "The Directory of Distinguished Americans" for his research in Nutrition and Physiology.