What if your client's thyroid issue has NOTHING to do with their actual thyroid? Here you are recommending thyroid glandulars, thyroid complexes, thyroid nutrients and you are just wasting their time and money. Even worse...you may be getting them ZERO RESULTS.
When it comes to Hashimoto's and Hypothyroid, you need to look beyond the thyroid. Whitney Morgan, L.Ac, likes to call this the "thyroid landscape."
This means moving beyond the thyroid and looking at the factors that may be preventing the thyroid from working optimal and most of these things may have nothing to do with the thyroid itself.
Whitney is a licensed acupuncturist and diplomate of Oriental Medicine. She is the owner of SagePoint Acupuncture & Wellness LLC in addition to being on staff at Tucson Acupuncture Co-op. Whitney has extensive experience as a functional nutritionist and serves as a clinical adviser for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, Inc. Whitney. Whitney has obtained additional certifications as a Primal Health Coach and Gluten Practitioner. Whitney lives in Tucson Arizona with her husband and two dogs.
Book an appointment with Whitney: https://snapappointments.com/whitneymorgan
Grab our Ultimate Health Coaching Tool Kit complete with our top picks for platforms plus our sample contract and intake form: http://360healthbizpodcast.com
LIke this episode? Take a screenshot and share it to your Instagram stories and we will share it to ours
Connect with us on social:
Kendra Perry: Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to another awesome, unbelievably amazing episode of the 360 Health Biz Podcast. I am your host, Kendra Perry. And I am so happy to be joined by my co-host, Christine Hansen, who looks lovely, has amazing lipstick on as always, and almost didn't make it today, so I feel extra lucky.
Christine Hanse: See, and I still had time to put on my lipstick. It's like, there's priorities in life, you know?
Kendra Perry: Yeah, and I mean, you look fantastic as always, Christine. And I'm so happy to be here with you.
Christine Hanse: Okay, darling. I'm never getting tired of this. I will never say, "Please stop."
Kendra Perry: We like to flatter each other. And guys, as always, we have a really great episode lined up for you today. We're going to be talking about the thyroid. And when I was, "Okay. We need to talk about the thyroid. Who should we get on?" I instantly thought about Whitney Morgan, who is an old colleague of mine. I used to work with Whitney when I worked for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, and she is one smart cookie. And she is on with us today. And just to give you guys a little bit more info on Whitney ... and I always slur or stumble over my words when I read people's bios, so bear with me, 'cause I get really nervous about it for some reason.
Kendra Perry: So Whitney is a licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomat of Oriental medicine. She is the owner of Sage Point Acupuncture and Wellness, LLC, in addition to being on staff at Tuscan Acupuncture Co-op. I'm doing good so far. Whitney has extensive experience as a Functional Nutritionist and serves as a Clinical Advisor for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Incorporated. She has obtained additional certifications as a Primal Health Coach and Gluten Practitioner. She lives in Arizona with her husband and her two dogs. Welcome, Whitney. Thank you so much for being here.
Christine Hanse: Yay!
Whitney Morgan: Thanks. I'm glad to be here. And I didn't put on lipstick this morning, so [crosstalk 00:01:53].
Christine Hanse: It's not morning. It's 6 PM, right? I had lots of time.
Kendra Perry: Yeah, Christine's in Europe, so she's in the future.
Christine Hanse: I don't look like this in the morning. Yes. I'm in the future. Exactly. I don't look this good-
Kendra Perry: I'm still on my first coffee, so.
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:02:07]
Kendra Perry: Awesome.
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:02:10]
Kendra Perry: Whitney, I'd love to know, 'cause I really find you to be such an expert on the thyroid. I've learned a lot from you, just advising with you on tests with Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, and we used to also do webinars together and talk about test results. Why do you like to focus on the thyroid, and how did you become such an expert in it? I'd love to know that.
Whitney Morgan: Well, it's interesting, because as you know, when you worked for FDN, there was always projects in the works, right? Different webinars to be produced. And I got tapped. Reed said, "Hey, do you want to do a webinar on thyroid?" And you know, I'd been a clinical advisor for a while, and I was comfortable with thyroid labs, and I said, "Sure!" But then, preparing the webinar, actually I realized how much I didn't know. So it really was going through that process of doing lots of research, and pulling all of these various threads together that I think improved my expertise. I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert on the thyroid, but I'm on my way. And so, you know, it's all about learning, right? You just got to keep learning. So I was really interested in it, and just kind of dived in. And so, here we are.
Christine Hanse: Well, I can say you definitely came over across as a expert to me, because I'd looked at that webinar, and I was just like, "Oh my god, this is saving my life," because I promise every single client I work with has a thyroid issue. And maybe what's most important, every single client tells me that they've had looked into their thyroid, and they've been told that everything is okay.
Whitney Morgan: Everything's fine, yep.
Christine Hanse: That, and that every practitioner out there who's listening has had the same scenario. And if you don't know better, you will just take that for granted. Right? So okay, they had a test done, their practitioner said, "Everything's okay, so let's not look at that." Why might that not be the best idea?
Whitney Morgan: Well, you know, I think it's a common occurrence like you said, and it's not just the thyroid. It happens with your basic annual blood work too. It's like, "Oh, I had all these tests run. I do it every year, and everything's fine." But you know, in the functional world, we don't wait for diagnosis or pathology. We're looking for patterns before things really go crazy, before the wheels fall off the bus. But most people who come to see practitioners like us, they've already had chronic issues for so long, and unfortunately when they do get their thyroid checked, traditional docs aren't running all the markers. They're just maybe doing TSH or maybe T4, T3 if you're lucky, but that's about it.
Kendra Perry: Right. And what is the comprehensive thyroid panel? What should that actually look like? 'Cause yeah, I see it all the time. People come with their TSH and that's all they got, and you're kind of like, "Well, I mean, that's a small piece of a bigger puzzle."
Whitney Morgan: Right. Right. Well, I think it's important to look at TSH and free T4, free T3. Those are some primary markers that most people are comfortable with. But then reverse T3 is super important, as is thyroid-binding globulin and of course the antibodies are really important. I look at thyroid globulin too, but that's more of a tumor marker. But still, every once in a while, I see that it's really elevated and that's an issue to refer out for follow-up. So really, I think you need all of those things in a complete thyroid panel, at least in the initial test. And then once you get a sense of the lay of the land, then maybe your follow-up testing can be a little more strategic. But it's actually so cheap, I tend to run a complete panel every single time.
Kendra Perry: Yeah. Yeah.
Christine Hanse: Yeah, me too. So maybe explain to us why it's so important. Like, why is TSH and T4 not enough?
Whitney Morgan: Okay. Well, you know, TSH is really just the signal, right? So it comes from the pituitary and it says, "Hey, thyroid gland, there's not enough hormones circulating. Make more." It's just the signal. So it is a measurement of that feedback loop. So what's going on in the body that signaling the hypothalamus and the pituitary to determine whether or not we need more or less thyroid hormone production. So it's an important marker, but it does change pretty ... it has a wide range. Let's just put it that way. And it can fluctuate throughout the day, so it really depends on when you get your thyroid tested, are you testing it at the same time every day? So there are certain nuances to relying on TSH. But that's really a marker to evaluate a signal. That's really it. And then you have free T4 and free T3. Of course, the majority of what the thyroid produces is T4, and then it's converted into T3, which is the active form of the hormone that docks into all the cell receptors and is that metabolic driver.
Whitney Morgan: But there's also reverse T3. So reverse T3 is really important, because if you think of free T3 as the brakes, let's rev up that metabolism, get things going. I mean, I'm sorry, it's the gas. Reverse T3's the brakes. So these two aspects of the thyroid hormone compete with each other at the cell receptor site. So someone could have plenty of free T3 and look normal on paper, but if they have more reverse T3 than they should, they can still be showing up as having real hypothyroid symptoms and be sub-clinically hypothyroid, even though their free T3 looks normal.
Kendra Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Christine Hanse: Yeah. I think that's super important to understand.
Kendra Perry: Yeah. And so how often do you see thyroid issues in your patients? Like is this something that you come across quite frequently?
Whitney Morgan: Yes. In fact, I think once in a blue moon, I see a complete panel that looks textbook normal from a functional standpoint. And that's important, because these standard reference ranges for the various things we're measuring, they're pretty wide. And so when a traditional doc's looking at them, they say, "Oh. You're fine." But looking through functional, the ones of a functional reference range, we can see this kind of sub-clinical stuff show up much earlier, and start addressing it and intervening.
Christine Hanse: Yeah. It's like when I talk to my clients, I just tell them, "People don't go and get their thyroid tested when they feel super duper cool. They go when they have issues." So it's just a statistic. It's a statistic from extreme cases, so it's extreme ranges. And just because it means that you're not an emergency, doesn't mean that it's not impacting your lifestyle. And I think that's a little bit where people get lost, because they're not an emergency, but it is impacting their lifestyle which is not the territory of our more emergency-orientated doctors. Which is fine, but I mean, that's where Functional Diagnostics is where they find their place, basically.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. And what I see quite frequently is someone might have free T3 levels that look pretty solid, and might even be at the low end of the functional range, but when you look at their ratio of reverse T3 to free T3, they're so out of balance that they're not getting the full benefit of the free T3 hormone that's circulating. Or, what I also see, is thyroid-binding globulin being too low or too high, and that's like the transporter. It's the bus that carries the thyroid hormone to its destinations for conversion or to the destination cell. The cell receptors. And if there's not enough buses moving or if there's too many buses moving, things can also get out of whack, so that's an important marker to look at. How is hormone being transported through the body? Is that happening in an efficient way?
Kendra Perry: And so I want to talk a little bit about how things kind of go wrong with the thyroid. 'Cause in the thyroid course that you created for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition that both me and Christine have done, you talk about, I think you call it the thyroid landscape or the thyroid disorder landscape. And some of the things that actually play into the thyroid going out of whack that may actually not really have anything to do with the thyroid. Can you discuss some of those?
Whitney Morgan: Sure. Well, the first thing that comes to mind ... well, the first two things that come to mind, the liver and the gut. The liver produces the binding globulin that binds to the T4 and T3 for transport, and it's the primary site of conversion, both from T4 to T3, and from T4 to reverse T3. So if there's something going on in the liver, if there's a lot of liver congestion, if there's some detox issues, just overburden issues, anything that we consider sub-par function, then that can really throw thyroid function off. And then the gut is a big contributor too, because we need healthy gut flora to really produce adequate amounts of T3. So if you've got parasites or overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria, or you've got gut damage, leaky gut, things like that, that can impact thyroid function. And then of course, the circulatory system is a contributor, because that's your highway. That's your transportation system.
Whitney Morgan: And then of course the hypothalamus. Sometimes there can be things that are going wrong on the front end either with the hypothalamus or with the pituitary, so we call that maybe a tertiary or primary, secondary, or tertiary hypothyroidism. So sometimes you can have signaling malfunctions that happen. That's the brain. And so lots of things can affect the hypothalamus, of course, and the pituitary subsequently. So you think of anything that stresses out the adrenal system. That HPA axis. That can really impact how effectively the hypothalamus and the pituitary signal the thyroid gland.
Christine Hanse: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kendra Perry: Yeah, and when you think about it that way, it kind of seems like, "Well, no wonder so many people are having thyroid disorders," 'cause who's not getting exposing to toxins? Who doesn't have gut issues? We all run gut panels, all three of us do.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Kendra Perry: We're always seeing infections. We're always seeing parasites. We're always seeing opportunistic bacteria. And you know, I think when you're a practitioner and you're working with someone who has thyroid disorder, you do have to look at the bigger picture. Because some people, they know they have a thyroid problem, so they're like, "What's wrong with my thyroid? What's wrong with my thyroid?" But you need to kind of take off the tunnel vision and look at the things that could be causing it, 'cause it sounds like, yeah, it could have nothing to actually do with the actual thyroid.
Whitney Morgan: Oh, absolutely. It's just that that's a common test that's run in the traditional world, whereas it's pretty rare for a traditional doc to be assessing the HPA axis or looking at the gut or the liver the way that we do. So I think chronic stress is just such an issue in our modern world, and when that hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal system is out of whack, that will inhibit the signal from the pituitary to the thyroid gland. So it will inhibit that TSH, and it will bring down T4 production. If you have too much cortisol circulating, it will inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3. Also, it drives up the production of reverse T3, because the body's trying to slow itself down, keep you safe, right? So it increases the competitiveness of reverse T3 to free T3, the cell receptor site. And then it also changes the cell receptor sensitivity to T3. So it's just this cascade of dysfunction that can occur, but it's origin might be in the adrenal system, and the thyroid is where maybe it first shows up in terms of any sort of traditional tests that are run.
Kendra Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Christine Hanse: Right. Agreed. So obviously sometimes it can also be a physiological problem. So I have actually lots of clients who I then send to an endocrinologist, or for example, just say, "Look, you might really need to look into this a little bit more if I can't help enough." And a lot of them have then come back and they've been diagnosed with ... what do you call it in English? Goiters? No. Cold knots, we call it in-
Whitney Morgan: Nodules? Nodules.
Christine Hanse: I think so.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Christine Hanse: Like the non-
Whitney Morgan: Non-cancerous?
Christine Hanse: Yes. Exactly. So a lot of them come back with that, and they're super confused. So what would you give them as an advice? Also, as a practitioner, you're kind of, I think it's not in all of our [inaudible 00:16:33], especially if you're a general, generic, like a health coach or a nutrition coach. What would you recommend people to tell their clients or patients?
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. Well, you know, that's a good point, because what you're bringing up, like nodules or enlargement at the gland itself, those are kind of critical things you got to deal with. But that's what I call a branch issue. It's not a root issue. So that's what's showing up, and yeah, we need to intervene, but of course, most FDN practitioners are not medical doctors. So that's something where you got to tread lightly, because traditional medicine has its own way to intervene with that kind of a situation. But I think that the key is to focus on, "Okay, while your doctor is dealing with the branch, let's deal with the root." So we need to look at nutritional factors. Are there chronic nutrient deficiencies due to, I don't know, you've been on birth control pills for 20 years. That's an issue. Do you have some mineral deficiencies? What's your iodine status? How is your liver detoxifying? Do you have a lot of gut infections that are shutting down detoxification? Do you have heavy metal toxicity?
Whitney Morgan: I mean, there's so many things that underlie all of these root issues. So even things like, hey, if someone comes back and they say, "Oh, my doctor said my TPO antibodies are 400 and something, and so my doc says we're just going to watch that." Right?
Christine Hanse: Yep!
Kendra Perry: [inaudible 00:18:19]
Whitney Morgan: 'Cause they have nothing to offer, right?
Christine Hanse: Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: But we know, "Okay, that means that this is an autoimmune issue where your immune system is attacking your thyroid gland. There's tissue destruction. We need to find out what the trigger is, so we're going to be running some ... we're going to look at the gut, we're going to look at food sensitivity issues. There's something that's the trigger." Right? Usually it's gluten. But it could be heavy metals. It could be gut infections. But that's where we can get a lot of work done that then those branches get healthier, because you're dealing with the soil and the roots, and the branches kind of start taking care of themselves, if that makes sense.
Kendra Perry: Oh, that makes total sense.
Christine Hanse: Beautiful metaphor. Why haven't I heard that before?
Kendra Perry: I love it.
Christine Hanse: I love it too. Makes total sense.
Whitney Morgan: It's a Chinese medicine philosophy. That's the whole basis of Chinese medicine, is root and branch. In fact, if you read anything about Chinese medicine, it's very poetic and esoteric, but they talk about the doctor being like a gardener. Of course, the branches might need a little pruning here and there, and you have to address things, but if you're not putting the majority of the attention in the soil and the roots, the tree is never going to be healthy.
Christine Hanse: Kendra, I see both of our eyes and our brains going like, "I really want to learn this [inaudible 00:19:44]."
Kendra Perry: Totally. I know, right?
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:19:49]
Kendra Perry: Always.
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:19:50] my brain is already fried, but it's on my to-do list for my next life. [crosstalk 00:19:53]
Kendra Perry: I know. I know. There just needs to be more hours in the day to take all the courses and learn everything I feel like I need to learn.
Christine Hanse: Yeah. It's like I've been attracted to that topic for so long, and it's just like, "Ugh." Yeah. [crosstalk 00:20:08]
Kendra Perry: It's very cool. And I know you know a lot about gluten sensitivity, and sort of that non-celiac gluten issue, and can you talk about how gluten can be a trigger? 'Cause I know many people who have Hashimoto's, so they have hypothyroid, and they continue to eat gluten, and I'm always like, "That's a mistake." And why would that be a mistake?
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:20:31] much?
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. Yeah, it is a mistake. Okay. So celiac disease is kind of a narrow, more limited form of gluten sensitivity. It's way on one end of the spectrum, right? And maybe you're looking at one percent of the population. But up to 20 or 30 percent of the population, we have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. So they don't have that gut autoimmune process going on, but there's tomato, tomahto. It really doesn't matter, because it's still both set you up for the same kinds of autoimmune disorders down the road. So what we do know, what the research is showing, is that almost half of people with gluten sensitivity of any form will manifest some type of thyroid dysfunction. And just one exposure to gluten can set off an inflammatory cascade that can last for several weeks to several months. So there's no such thing as eating a little bit of gluten, right?
Kendra Perry: Right.
Whitney Morgan: So a few things to understand about gluten. It sets the stage for gut permeability in everyone. It doesn't matter if you're sensitive to gluten or not. Gluten creates a more permeable gut because it increases zonulin production. And zonulin is that enzyme that kind of hyper-regulates the tight junctions when it's in the gut in increased amounts. Those tight junctions will kind of open up a lot. So then you get leaky gut, and you get things moving through the gut that shouldn't, like partially digested food proteins. So you've got these big food antigens going into the gut, or viruses, or metals. All kinds of stuff, right? So like all grains, also gluten has a toxic lectin in it. And so even beside the zonulin issue, all grains have these lectins that create more permeability in the gut as well.
Whitney Morgan: So in this sense, gluten is kind of like the mob boss of the grains. It's like the one that does the most damage, and it can be an exacerbating factor in all thyroid autoimmunity. In addition to that, the gluten protein, the structure of it is really big and complex and kind of clunky, and it can look a lot like other things. One thing is the thyroid. Particularly when we're talking about wheat germ agglutinin, which is the lectin part of the thyroid gland. You kind of get this double whammy, because the wheat germ agglutinin, if it gets through the gut, will actually ... it's really sticky, and it can stick to the thyroid gland. And then you get the immune system trying to destroy the wheat germ agglutinin, and in the process, it does a lot of tissue damage. But then there's also this mimicry, where gluten can start looking a lot like thyroid tissue as well, so then you have the immune system going, "Oh. I'm going to make antibodies not only to gluten, but to this thyroid thing here, because that looks way too much like gluten for me to be comfortable." Right?
Kendra Perry: Right.
Whitney Morgan: And there's almost 100 percent correlation, almost, between Hashimoto's and gluten sensitivity. And to make matters worse, most people who come to us will say, "Oh, I have hypothyroidism." Rarely do I hear, "I have Hashimoto's."
Christine Hanse: Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: But almost everyone's diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Right? But most hypothyroid cases are undiagnosed Hashimoto's cases. They just haven't been properly assessed. So when you follow that logic, it's like okay, if you have hypothyroidism, you probably have Hashimoto's. If you have Hashimoto's, you probably are gluten sensitive. No one should be eating gluten if they've got a thyroid issue. Nobody.
Christine Hanse: I think nobody here has any [inaudible 00:24:45] condition [inaudible 00:24:51]. All the clients I've had, I only had one single client who didn't show positive to food sensitivity when it came to gluten. All the others had a big red bar.
Whitney Morgan: Right. Well, and then when you jump down that rabbit hole, then there's that additional thing of, "Well, there's all of these other foods that aren't gluten, but they cross-react with gluten." So it's not just the gluten you might have to get rid of. It's the dairy, and the corn, and the yeast, and the rice, 'cause those things look too much like gluten to the immune system.
Christine Hanse: Mm-hmm (affirmative). [crosstalk 00:25:26]
Kendra Perry: Yeah, and I know there's a test that ... is it the Cyrex Array 4 that tests for cross-reactive gluten sensitivity?
Whitney Morgan: Yeah, and up until recently, I pretty much used exclusively Cyrex. So the Array 3 test for gluten sensitivity, and then the Array 4 looks at all of these cross-reactive proteins. And it's an IgG, IgA looking at the whole food protein. Now I've stopped using the Cyrex because now we have the Wheat Zoomers. We have all these Zoomer tests from Vibrant Wellness. The Wheat Zoomer is great. It's cheaper than the Cyrex Array 3, and inside the Wheat Zoomer, you have an intestinal permeability panel as well. So you get a bigger bank for your buck. You can also add on the celiac genes for an additional 99 bucks if you want.
Christine Hanse: [inaudible 00:26:22]
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. They also have a Dairy Zoomer and a Corn Zoomer and a Lectin Zoomer, so like the Wheat Zoomer, these other Zoomers are looking at these foods at the peptide level, breaking them apart into all their constituent parts, so they get a more granular view of how sensitive someone might be to the little itty bitty parts of the food. Whereas IgG and IgA is just looking at kind of like the whole big bad protein. So I will run Wheat Zoomer, Dairy Zoomer, Corn Zoomer, Lectin Zoomer, and then I will add to that their 96 food panel. And that's just the basic IgG, IgA to 96 foods. If I run all of those, the only thing I'm not testing that cross-reacts with gluten, is millet. It's the only thing.
Kendra Perry: Okay. Millet's gross anyways. Who wants to eat that crap?
Christine Hanse: I know. Dog food.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. And most people don't. And it's not a common ingredient in gluten-free foods anyway. But a word of warning, because I had a very interesting experience recently where I usually run an Array 3, at least one Array 3 a year, and two Array 4s on myself a year just to make sure that everything is kosher, 'cause I have celiac disease. I've never come up positive with any cross-reactivities. So I live a primal lifestyle pretty much, but I'll have a little bit of raw, organic dairy. Small amounts. And then maybe on a Sunday or so, I'll go way off the reservation, get crazy, and have some corn chips maybe.
Christine Hanse: Oh my god! Oh my gosh!
Whitney Morgan: I know, right?
Christine Hanse: Crazy girl!
Whitney Morgan: But I figured, "Hey, I don't have cross-reactivities. I'm cool." So then I ran all these Zoomers on myself. Not only were my gluten antibodies elevated, but I was super reactive to dairy, super reactive to corn.
Christine Hanse: Wow.
Whitney Morgan: I also came up positive with a rice lectin, so I'm reactive to rice.
Christine Hanse: There's like nothing left. It's like-
Whitney Morgan: But the interesting thing is the 96 food panel that also has dairy and corn on it, I came up non-reactive on the IgG, IgA. So it just really ... it was a big "Ah ha" for me. It just goes to show you that IgG, IgA is good, but it's not enough for some people, because my level of sensitivity is such that I really need to be looking at things at the level of the peptide in order for it to show up. So now I'm a big Vibrant Wellness fan.
Kendra Perry: That's very cool. I actually have the Cyrex Array 4. I've been trying to run it from Canada with zero success. I just can't make it happen. I've had the run-around. [crosstalk 00:29:24] I've tried multiple blood draw places, and they're like, it's not ... they don't run it fast enough or something, so I'm like, "Okay." Now I'm like, "Maybe I should look into the Zoomer." But I think that's really interesting, what you say about the IgG, 'cause I see so many people ... like one of the main tests people bring to me when they start working with me is the food sensitivity test, and it's like a Great Plains lab, or an MRT or something. I'm not dissing these companies, but sometimes stuff doesn't come up. And they're like, "Oh, well, gluten didn't come up, so I'm good," and I'm like, "Mm, I don't know. You probably aren't."
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Christine Hanse: Let's just try to cut it out, and usually they see the reaction so quick, but yeah, it's super hard. I'm in Europe, and so getting labs over here is really difficult, especially from independent. So the one that I usually run is the ZRT, but they started to cut out RT3. Like, they're not testing it anywhere. So I don't know why. They have a disclaimer on their website. I forgot what they said, 'cause I was just annoyed and didn't read it. But it's been just a couple of months that they took that out of their panel, so I'm like, "Oh."
Whitney Morgan: Interesting.
Christine Hanse: Yeah. They're not testing that anymore.
Kendra Perry: I wonder why they'd do that. Yeah, you'd think they'd be progressing forward, not backwards.
Christine Hanse: I know. So it's ... I don't know what's happening there. But yeah, I need to find a new company that I can use for my clients up ahead. So not always easy.
Kendra Perry: Yeah. I know. If you're in the US, you're good, but you're in like Canada and Europe, it's like sometimes it can be ... some things are really easy to do, but yeah, anything that requires a blood draw seems to be like pulling teeth over here.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah, and you know, what I see too is like you were saying, Kendra, people come to you with food panels. I see exclusive IgG panels. Like they're just getting the finger stick, or they're just, you know, Great Plains or whatever. And that's just half of what you need to be looking at anyway. Right? So they'll come up totally normal. "Oh, wheat's normal." Yeah, but that doesn't mean you're not having an IgA response to it. Right?
Kendra Perry: Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: And about the MRT too, I stopped using it because ... well, for two reasons. One, you can't tell the difference between what's just an inflammatory reaction, what's an IgG or IgA reaction. Right? You can't make that distinction. And also, I've had two people who are celiac come up totally unreactive to wheat. My daughter, who's not celiac gluten sensitive, come up with unreactive to wheat. And then, I've had situations where I've had clients who absolutely know. It's like, "Hey, if I eat avocado, my throat starts to close up," and it comes up green. So it's just like [crosstalk 00:32:04]
Christine Hanse: That's not good.
Whitney Morgan: False negatives are not good, right? Particularly when we're dealing with clients who are looking for a reason to not have to take things out of their diet.
Kendra Perry: Yeah.
Christine Hanse: Yes! It's so harsh. They're like, "I can't eat anything." It's like [inaudible 00:32:20] eat stuff, you know? It's like [inaudible 00:32:22].
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Christine Hanse: Like, "Now my life's over." It's like, "Yeah. That's a tough one."
Kendra Perry: So Whitney, if I am a ... say I'm a health coach, and I have a client who has hypothyroid, what would be like the top three things I should be recommending to this person besides ... I think we've made a good point for getting gluten out at this point, so it's definitely one of them.
Christine Hanse: Very subtle.
Whitney Morgan: Well, yeah. I guess ... okay, so it depends. If your client is willing to do some additional testing and has some money to throw at that, then I'd want to know ... okay, I'd run a GI map to see what the gut infections are looking like. I would get a sense of metal toxicity, mineral status, whether that's an HTMA or the Quicksilver test that I like a lot as well. And I would also be looking at a micro-nutrient panel. So I want to say, "Okay, what are the nutrient deficiencies, and are there these other toxins?" You know, whether they're pathogens, endotoxins, or metals, what else is going on? It also could be that you might have to dig even deeper than that, and be looking at viruses and microtoxins. You just don't know.
Whitney Morgan: And then there are just the basic things that we know and we do every day, which is you need to remove the things from your life that are stressing out your HPA axis, right? You need to modulate that system, strengthen that system, and so all those lifestyle changes that go into that. So I would do a batch of additional testing. We always need to be looking at that root system, right?
Kendra Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Whitney Morgan: But let's say you've got a client who says, "I don't have any money. I can't do any of that. All I know is that I have hypothyroidism and I feel like crap." Okay. Well, I would definitely assume it's Hashimoto's. I would definitely assume that this person has a gluten sensitivity. I would put them on the AIP diet. They would have to eliminate all potentially cross-reactive foods, which if you're on the AIP, that does that, takes care of that. And they would be on glutathione. I'd check their vitamin D levels. They would be on vitamin D if necessary. Glutathione. Really high-dose fish oil. I'd have them on immune globulins, like The Microbiome now has the bovine serum immune globulins.
Kendra Perry: I love those products. They're great.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Christine Hanse: I saw those too. Yeah. I couldn't get them, but I'm like, "I really want them."
Whitney Morgan: They're really good. So I would definitely do that, and then some Boswellia, some crocumin to kind of tamper down that inflammatory response. I might give them 100 micrograms of selenium, or 200 if their antibodies are elevated. So you kind of put everything together that's going to address the fundamental stuff in supporting the immune system before you even think about, "Well, am I going to do anything to encourage more T4 production?" Right?
Christine Hanse: Yes.
Whitney Morgan: Because it doesn't make sense to address the thyroid gland unless you've got all that immune system support in place. Right?
Christine Hanse: Yeah. Agreed. Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: But let's say you do. You get all that immune system support in place, and they make all those dietary changes. I would make sure they've got all the nutrients in their diet that we know contribute to adequate thyroid function, and then I would just maybe put them on a little Thyro-Gold, depending on what their numbers look like. Maybe a little Ashwagandha. Definitely some liver organ extract, 'cause it's super, super nutritious. These are just basic, fundamental things. You know? And that happens a lot. Some people, particularly if you're looking at throwing a bunch of money towards tests, and then have me throw a bunch of money at supplements, some people will just say, "I'll do whatever you tell me to do. I just need to put my money towards the supplements and the food." Right? So then I just assume the worst. I mean, really. And I'll even prophylactically treat people for parasites and bacterial overgrowth and yeast.
Whitney Morgan: Because I mean, that's what we used to do anyway. I remember a decade ago when it was just like the known thing that two or three times a year, you do a parasite cleanse. You just do that, right? So why not just do that? It's not going to hurt them, as long as you support detoxification. You support the liver. You make sure those pathways of elimination are open, and urine and stool and all of that. You do all of that, then I just prophylactically treat everything I can except for metals. I don't detox metals unless I've got hard data. That's just not cool.
Kendra Perry: Yeah, that's a dangerous thing if you're not in the right state to do it.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. Yeah. But, having said that, I will frequently put someone on the PushCatch kit from Quicksilver, and that will detox the little metals. It will bind up some metals and other things without actually actively going after stored metals. Right?
Kendra Perry: Yeah. Totally. Yeah. I always have people on binders. I'll use a little bit of ... I don't know what's in the PushCatch, but I'll use BioCell's, so I think it's like a similar thing in the PushCatch [inaudible 00:38:13]. There's some silicon and-
Whitney Morgan: No. In the PushCatch, there's two supplements. So the push is the liver sauce, and that's got your bitters, dem, milk thistle, and R-Lipoic Acid. And then the catch is the ultra binder, and that has your Cytozen, IMD, which I believe is silica-based.
Kendra Perry: It's silica-based, yeah.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah, and your charcoal and your clay.
Kendra Perry: Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: And I add to that a PectaSol-C.
Kendra Perry: Mm. You know I love my supplements. [crosstalk 00:38:39]-
Whitney Morgan: -which is pectin. Then I put five drops of BioCell in there too. I just kind of like supercharge my binder.
Kendra Perry: Yeah. Totally.
Whitney Morgan: I do binders every day. I mean, no matter what.
Kendra Perry: Me too. I have some PectaSol-C in my coffee.
Whitney Morgan: Yes.
Kendra Perry: That's how I always start my day.
Whitney Morgan: We need to do binders every day. It's too toxic of a world not to.
Kendra Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Absolutely. I totally agree. Well, that was amazing. Honestly, that is so much information. I'm actually going to probably have to go back and re-listen to this episode and take better notes.
Christine Hanse: It was amazing.
Kendra Perry: Because yeah, that's some really actionable stuff, and some really ... because it is so common that ... you know, I have a friend who I will not name who has Hashimoto's, and they're like, "Oh, but I'm medicated for it, so it's not an issue. I'm taking Synthroid." And you're like, "Well."
Whitney Morgan: But that doesn't do anything to Hashimoto's.
Christine Hanse: Yeah, that doesn't fix it.
Kendra Perry: Yeah.
Whitney Morgan: It doesn't do anything.
Kendra Perry: Maybe preventing you from dying, but-
Whitney Morgan: It can exacerbate some of the tissue destruction, you know, if you don't have other things in place. And another thing I wanted to mention to is simple things that practitioners can have their clients do. Stay out of swimming pools. Right?
Kendra Perry: Yes. Oh, my gosh.
Whitney Morgan: Get filters on your shower. Stay away from fluoride. Stay away from chlorine. Stay away from all of those chemicals. Those are the halogen chemicals, right? Halites, yeah.
Christine Hanse: Halites.
Whitney Morgan: That antagonize the thyroid, and actually compete with the thyroid hormone at the cell receptor site. So if you've got someone who's going to the gym every day and swimming, and they've got ... they're on, god, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, that's crazy. [crosstalk 00:40:21]
Kendra Perry: Or drinking tap water, or showering in tap water. [crosstalk 00:40:25] 'Cause if you're on municipal city water ... I mean, I'm like a broken record with this shit, but I'm always talking about the chlorine, the fluoride in your water. You're putting it into your system every day, and like you said, it competes with thyroid and pushes iodine off of the receptor, which you need [crosstalk 00:40:39] hormone. It's huge. Who's not getting exposed to that crap, right?
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. Yes, it is huge. [crosstalk 00:40:45] Then you know, just the simple things too, like B vitamins and zinc and selenium. I can't count the number of times I have clients who were on the pill for 15 plus years, and now they're dealing with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's or whatever. It's like, "Well, yeah, of course." It's almost like a guarantee. You are going to get thyroid dysfunction if you've been on the pill for a long period of time. Just wait.
Kendra Perry: Yeah. I see it all the time when I test people's minerals. Like their thyroid ratio is out of rate. Their copper toxic from all the estrogen they've been taking. And it's just unfortunate, because girls get put on it pretty young. I mean, I started taking it when I was like 15 or 16, and no one's getting the information of what it actually can do to your body if you use it long-term, unfortunately.
Whitney Morgan: No, it's the largest human experiment, right? Unregulated. Yeah.
Kendra Perry: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Oh, it's crazy. So Whitney, if people want to connect with you or learn more about you, where can they find you?
Whitney Morgan: Well, they can go to my website at sagepointacupuncture.com. Disclaimer here that I am going through a rebranding process, because I've shut down my private acupuncture practice, and I'm now doing community acupuncture at a local clinic here.
Kendra Perry: Oh, awesome. I love that.
Whitney Morgan: Yeah. I love it too. It's awesome. So now my name confuses people. I'm going to be building a new website, changing my business name. It's going to be more just focused on the functional nutrition aspect of my business, so I'm completely separating them. But I'll still point my URL to my new website, so sagepointacupuncture.com will get you to me for sure.
Kendra Perry: Awesome. And you said you're located in Tuscan, Arizona?
Whitney Morgan: Tucson.
Kendra Perry: Tucson!
Whitney Morgan: Yeah.
Kendra Perry: Awesome.
Whitney Morgan: Everyone says Tuscan that isn't from here.
Christine Hanse: Even I knew that, and I'm not American.
Kendra Perry: Whatever, Christine.
Christine Hanse: Smart ass.
Kendra Perry: Awesome, Whitney. Well, we appreciate you so much having this conversation with us. This was very enlightening, and I think our audience will love it.
Christine Hanse: It's a brain fry. [inaudible 00:42:59]
Kendra Perry: Yeah. Total brain fry, but I feel like our audience likes being overwhelmed. They're like, "I feel overwhelmed, but I kind of [inaudible 00:43:04]." And guys, if you like what you're hearing, if you like this episode, make sure to hop on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, wherever. Give us that five-star review. We will give you a live shout-out on air. We will love you, and send you lots of kisses. So yeah, if you like what we're doing, that's the best way to support the show is just give us a quick review. Takes two minutes. And that will help us reach more people. So thanks so much, guys, as always. We very much appreciate you listening to our banter, and we'll see you guys again in two weeks from today. Bye guys.
Christine Hanse: Bye.
Whitney Morgan: Thanks guys. Bye.
Feeling exhausted, cold, backed up and carrying around a muffin top around your belly? If you’re answer is yes, then you might be struggling with a sluggish thyroid.
Symptoms of low thyroid include: constipation, fatigue, weight gain (despite eating a healthy diet and exercising), cold hands and feed and many, many more!
Thyroid problems are on the rise and effect women significantly more than they affect men. WTF?!
The result is many women are struggling to lose weight and have enough energy to get through the day AND they have NO IDEA how to fix it.
Unfortunately, thyroid problems are often under diagnosed. As lab ranges get wider, your thyroid markers have to be pretty freakin’ bad to get a diagnosis. Instead, many women are sent away with an anti-depressant or are told to “relax” and stop “stressing.” Unacceptable.
If you suspect your thyroid is malfunctioning, make sure to grab my FREE Sluggish Thyroid Cheat Sheet. I will teach you the signs of a sluggish thyroid, a simple at-home test you can do to identify a thyroid problem and finally, all the markers you need your doctor to run and where exactly your numbers should fall. Get that here!
Ok, let’s get to it! Watch the video below to learn 3 simple strategies to support your thyroid and finally start losing weight! Enjoy!
Thyroid dysfunction is on the rise. It affects women significantly more than it affects men. Many women have thyroid dysfunction but they have no idea! Why?
Lab ranges for thyroid markers have gotten wider and wider over the years. The most common thyroid marker, TSH, has a reference range of 0.5 – 5.0 but women with results over 2.0 generally have thyroid symptoms. As a result, many women are told that their lab tests look normal and their thyroid is fine. The result is they struggle with fatigue, weight gain and digestive issues. They may be told to reduce stress or be prescribed an anti-depressant instead.
Your thyroid plays a role in nearly every single metabolic process. The bottom line is if your thyroid is not functioning as it should, you won’t feel well!
Shaped like a butterfly, it lies low on the front of the neck and below your Adam’s apple and in front of the windpipe. When the thyroid is its normal size, you don’t even notice it. It secretes several hormones, called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4, but there are others, including T3 and even lesser known T1 and T2.
The thyroid gland needs adequate selenium, iodine, zinc, B vitamins and antioxidants for optimal function. Unfortunately, many of these nutrients are deficient in the foods we eat. Additionally, the thyroid is incredibly sensitive to inflammatory foods and environmental toxins. Because of this thyroid disorders are on the rise
Hypothyroid, which involves low thyroid function, is incredibly common, affecting as many as 23% of Americans with 80% of those being women. But few of these people are actually getting treated for the condition due to the issues I mentioned above.
Wide lab ranges and lack of knowledge leads to this condition being severely under diagnosed. Your numbers have to get pretty bad before they are detected as “out of range” by conventional lab tests. At this point, a women might be given a prescription for synthetic thyroid hormones. But in many cases the drug doesn’t actually fix the issue and women continue to struggle with thyroid dysfunction.
You might suspect you have a thyroid problem but your health practitioner has told you that everything looks fine. Let’s discuss three different ways you can determine if you thyroid isn’t working
An underactive thyroid tends to produce very specific symptoms. If your thyrois is sluggish, you are likely experiencing several of the symptoms below.
Keep in mind that these tips are not meant to diagnose your thyroid condition. Rather, they are meant to give you some insight into your thyroid health which can help you seek a licensed health practitioner who can legally diagnosed you.
It is usually the experience of these symptoms that leads a women to suspect her thyroid as the cause of her pain. But actually getting diagnosed with hypothyroid can be an ongoing struggle. The good news is there is a simple at home test that can give you some very valuable information into your thyroid function.
Make sure to grab my Cheat Sheet for this post. I’ve included all the important pieces of this post to help you determine if you might have a thyroid issue. You can grab that here!
Since the thyroid regulates the metabolism, body temperature can be a good indication of whether the metabolism is fast or slow. Like a fast running engine, when metabolism is high, body temperature should be high as well. Conversely, when metabolism is slow, body temperature is lower then normal.
You can go out an purchase an inexpensive digital thermometer. As soon as you wake up in the morning, you can take your temperature under your arm pit. Make sure to do this before you get up or you might skew the results.
A normal waking body temperature is between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees farenheight. Anything less than this indicates a possible thyroid issue. If you are below 96 degrees then a thyroid problem is likely.
If you want a cheat sheet of this blog post with all the thyroid temperatures and functional reference ranges for thyroid function, download that here.
The only way to confirm hypothyroid is with blood testing. But you need more than a single TSH marker, you need to the entire panel.
If you have an open minded doctor or work with a functional doctor then it should be no problem to ask for a full thyroid panel. You can come equipped with your list of symptoms and that super low waking body temperature that you have been tracking for the past week.
Most doctors will only run Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) but this maker alone gives little information about the thyroid. It is actually not a thyroid hormones but rather a pituitary hormone. You will also need to request free T3, free T4 and TPO antibodies at an absolute minimum. If you reside in Canada, this might be all you are able to get.
If you reside in the US, then you can also request additional markers like total T4, T3 uptake, TGB antibodies, TSI antibodies and reverse T3.
As I mentioned before, lab ranges are wide and your numbers have to get pretty bad before your result will get flagged out of the range. For this reason, it is important to work with functional lab ranges. These ranges are more narrow and more associated with healthy thyroid function.
For example the normal TSH range is 0.5-5.0 but the functional range is 0.5-2.0. If you are above 2.0 then you might have what’s called subclinical hypothyroid. This means that it isn’t bad enough to be recognized as a diagnosis but you still have the thyroid symptoms listed above. Subclinical hypothyroid still needs to be addressed in order for you to get well.
If you want to a list of the functional lab ranges for each of these markers, make sure to download my Sluggish Thyroid Cheat Sheet. You can do that here.
If you have all the typical thyroid symptoms and have a low waking body temperature, there is a good chance your thyroid is sluggish. It is important to obtain a comprehensive thyroid blood test in order to confirm your suspicions. If your results fall outside of the functional ranges, it is important to find a health practitioner who can help you treat your subclinical hypothyroid.
Letting a thyroid issue go untreated can lead to chronic, unrelenting fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues and obesity. Natural thyroid balancing has the opposite effect. It can boost your energy, clear your head, improve digestive health and help you lose that extra weight.
To discuss your personal thyroid health in more detail and to see if my hormone balancing program is a fit for you, please book a FREE 30 minute call with me.