Ferritin and Hypothyroidism

Ferritin and Hypothyroidism

In this post I’ll cover everything you need to know about ferritin and hypothyroidism.  The ferritin test is a simple blood test and it is one of the most important tests you should have if you have Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, and hypothyroidism. Ferritin is a storage form of iron and the ferritin level test can tell you if your iron stores are low and need to be increased. The ferritin test is rarely ordered by conventional doctors so many patients are left with the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism when it is actually their low ferritin levels that are causing their health problems.  The first issue with iron is that iron deficiency may be quite severe but blood markers such as hemoglobin and the red blood cell count may be normal. This leaves many patients, especially women, misdiagnosed as not having anemia.

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The Ferritin Level Test

The ferritin test may be the most important blood test

The ferritin test may be the most important blood test you ever get, especially if you have a thyroid problem.

When I began my training in the diagnosis and management of internal disorders immediately after graduation, one of the first things we studied heavily was blood chemistry analysis.  My teachers always stressed the importance of taking a careful look at iron levels in the blood and a rare test known as the ferritin test.

What is ferritin?

Ferritin is an iron-containing protein and is the primary form of iron stored inside your cells.  Even though there is a small amount of ferritin released into your bloodstream, it is an accurate marker of how much iron is actually stored in your body.  Iron is primarily stored in your liver, muscles, spleen and bone marrow but if you have too much it can accumulate in your organs and the brain. Read more

How to Increase Stomach Acid Naturally

Betaine HCL

Functional medicine practitioners often take a “Foods First” approach, recommending dietary modifications to improve health. However, for those with low stomach acid, diet alone may not be enough to ensure adequate nutrition. Low stomach acid can impair digestive ability, causing nutritional deficiencies even in those individuals consuming an optimal diet.

This article will focus on the main digestive chemical associated with the stomach, hydrochloric acid. The causes of low stomach acid and the associated symptoms will be covered. In addition, natural treatment options for low stomach acid, such as betaine HCL and herbal bitters will be discussed.

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How to Overcome Mold and Biotoxin Illness

How to Overcome Mold and Biotoxin Illness
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview dietician Tracey Long in a deep discussion about how to overcome mold and biotoxin illness. Tracey has firsthand experience with mold and biotoxin illness so she brings a unique and valuable perspective to this topic. We discussed Tracey’s personal journey with mold and biotoxin illness, how to test your home for mold, lab testing, associated conditions, symptoms, and management strategies to get well.

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How to Overcome Inflammatory Bowel Disease

How to Overcome Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview naturopathic physician Dr. Ilana Gurevich on overcoming inflammatory bowel disease.  We had a deep discussion about testing and treatment options for inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  We covered diagnostic testing, the pros and cons of stool test markers, probiotics, fiber, digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, gut healing nutrients, diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, helminths, and much more.  It was a pleasure to have Dr. Gurevich’s expertise on inflammatory bowel disease.

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What is the Best Diet for Your Gut Microbiome?

Best Diet for Your Gut Microbiome Lucy Mailing
It this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview Dr. Lucy Mailing in a discussion about the best diet for your gut microbiome.  We had a fascinating discussion focused on all of the different diets out there and how they affect the gut microbiome including the ketogenic diet, plant-based diets, high-fat, low FODMAP, and the autoimmune paleo diet.

 

We also talked about fiber, protein, hydrogen sulfide, resistant starch, butyrate, gluten, lectins, stool testing, and whether or not you should take probiotics after taking antibiotics.  I think you’ll find this conversation quite eye-opening about a number of exciting topics related to the gut micobiome.

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Overcoming PANDAS with Dr. Scott Antoine

Overcoming PANDAS with Dr. Scott Antoine
In this episode of the Functional Medicine Research podcast, I interview Dr. Scott Antoine in a discussion about overcoming PANDAS.  Dr. Antoine shares a personal story about PANDAS and his daughter which sparked a deep interest in this disorder that is misunderstood by conventional medicine.  We discuss PANDAS, PANS, IVIG, OCD, and Dr. Antoine’s Fully Functional practice model.  You’ll also learn how to find a practitioner who is well-versed in PANDAS and the associated disorders discussed in this interview.

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What are Optimal TSH Levels in Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism?

Hashimoto's Disease

TSH is the current gold standard for diagnosis of hypothyroidism but are the current TSH levels optimal and how do they relate to Hashimoto’s disease? An excellent paper out of China entitled, “Using Hashimoto thyroiditis as gold standard to determine the upper limit value of thyroid stimulating hormone in a Chinese cohort” has shed some light on this important question which looked at the upper limit of TSH levels in relation to Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism.

The authors begin by stating that subclinical hypothyroidism is characterized by “normal” T4, T3, Free T4, and Free T3 with an elevated TSH. And these patients have an increased risk of cholesterol abnormalities, heart disease, mental illness, and pregnancy complications even though their symptoms are relatively mild.

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The Truth About Plant-Based Diets and Meat with Diana Rodgers

The Truth About Plant-Based Diets and Meat with Diana Rodgers
In this episode of The Dr. Hedberg Show, I interview dietitian Diana Rodgers in a discussion about plant-based diets, meat, and her upcoming documentary and book project Sacred Cow.  Speaking to Diana was a breathe of fresh air among all the misinformation out there about plant-based diets and meat.  We discussed the potential pitfalls of plant-based diets including protein and micronutrient deficiencies.  Diana covered important information about the true environmental impact of meat and how important grazing cows are to the environment.  You should come away from this interview with a better understanding of plant-based diets, meat, and it’s environmental and socioeconomic impact.  I urge you to support Diana’s Sacred Cow project and to look out for the upcoming documentary.

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Healing Hashimoto’s Disease with Andrea Nakayama

Andrea Nakayama Hashimoto's Disease
In this episode of The Dr. Hedberg Show, I interviewed Andrea Nakayama in a discussion about strategies for healing Hashimoto’s disease.  We talked about her “3 Tiers to Epigenetic Mastery” and how they relate to Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid health.  Within the 3 tiers we discussed stress, gut health, infections, micronutrient deficiencies, adverse childhood experiences, SIBO, reproductive hormones, goitrogens, iodine, and all the various diets that people are following these days.
Andrea is a clinician but also a Hashimoto’s patient so it was a real pleasure to get her insight and expertise on healing Hashimoto’s disease.

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