Question:I am a 51-year-old female who has been recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I have recently passed through menopause, and besides a few hot flashes, the hormonal changes do not cause any symptoms. I have gained about 15 pounds in the last few years, feel more tired than a few years ago, especially after exercise, and have occasional trouble with insomnia, constipation and dry skin. My doctor has suggested I go on synthroid for the rest of my life. Is there any natural approach to my problem?

Answer: As you may know, hypothyroidism is a very common problem for women of your age. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women older than 50 have at least some degree of low thyroid function. Hypothyroidism is not a benign disorder, because besides contributing to weight gain and lethargy, hypothyroidism also is a risk factor for coronary artery disease and breast cancer. The reason for this elevated risk is that, rather than being an isolated underproduction of a hormone, hypothyroidism means that your metabolism is slowing down—it is a sign of metabolic aging. Simply adding extra synthetic thyroid medicine does not reverse this metabolic aging; therefore, it is not a thorough treatment. What is needed is stimulation of your metabolism, not only to reverse this premature aging but also to stimulate the thyroid to produce more of its own hormone.

The first step is to adopt a diet based on the principles in Nourishing Traditions and The Schwarzbein Principle. In particular pay attention to the advice in Nourishing Traditions on soaking grains, using only healthy fats and oils and avoiding goitrogens, such as soy foods and raw cabbage. Avoiding excess carbohydrates, as suggested in The Schwarzbein Principle, will also help wake up your metabolism.

In addition, a combination of medicines from Standard Process can be used to successfully treat hypothyroidism. This method is appropriate when the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is under 8.0 (normal is about 0.3 – 4.8). I use organic iodine (1 tablet, two times per day) to supply extra iodine to the thyroid gland. Along with this I use cataplex F tablets (1-2, three times per day). Cataplex F contains extracts of the 2 essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic acids) plus arachidonic acid and other polyunsaturated fatty acids that are often low in people with hypothyroidism. The effect of these fats is to help transport the blood calcium (and probably other blood minerals) into the tissues, where it can be used to fuel metabolic and enzymatic processes. The source of these fats are flax seed oil, beef liver lipids and testicular extract. The third medicine I use is Standard Process thyrotrophin, the thyroid protomorphogen. I recommend 1-2 tablets, three times per day. Protomorphogens are specially prepared extracts of the nuclear material of the source gland, in this case bovine thyroid gland. Protomorphogens bind with and neutralize antibodies that can destroy our tissues and organs. In the case of hypothyroidism, often Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is involved, which is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland. Neutralizing these attacking antibodies gives the gland a chance to rebuild itself by sheltering it from the attacking antibodies.

With this treatment, most patients report increased energy and, within a few months, the loss of about ten pounds. In six months your TSH should be back under 5. The treatment should be continued for two years or more.

This treatment is less effective when the TSH reading is over 8.0, in which case thyroid hormone may be required. Most doctors use the synthetic hormone Synthroid, but natural thyroid hormone is available. Such treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.


This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2001.

12 Responses to Hypothyroidism

  1. Lynn says:

    I have read that people with Hashimotos are usually allergic to gluten/wheat (and usually dairy) and that eliminating them is necessary as they may be the cause of the anti-bodies being produced which then cause the body to attack the thyroid tissue. My Dr. says not to use Standard Process products as many contain wheat/gluten which is not good as it creates anti-bodies.

    What is your opinion on this?

  2. Pam says:

    Hello Lynn, gluten can be an issue with any auto immune disease. The Thytrophin PMG, and Prolamine Iodine are gluten free. The Cataplex F tablets are not but you could substitute Cataplex F Perles for the Cataplex F Tablets. Good luck!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Please update the information contained. That is no longer considered the normal range for thyroid hormones. It is also well known that anything off the .9-1 range will not allow a woman to carry a child to term.

  4. Cyndi says:

    Yes, I agree with Suzanne, and would like more updated information. Many are being “educated” by hypothyroidmom.com or stopthethyroidmadness.com Janie is helping many but it is with Natural Desiccated Thyroid, iodine, etc. She talks about the ranges and others who monitor her yahoo group. I’m looking to changing my diet, taking supplements, etc. in order to reverse my thyroid problem.

  5. Maria Andrade says:

    People with Hashimoto’s thyroditis must be careful with any products that have iodine,gluten, cassein, soy etc. IOdine in particular is said to be like, “throwing oil on fire” which accelerates antibody attacks.

    Go to Issabel Wentz’s website. She is a pharmacist who cured herself of Hashimoto’s and has written a great book about how to find the root causes of this illness rather than just to accept that medication is the only solution!

    • Danielle says:

      That is correct. The amount is delicate and should be kept at 150g

    • Danielle says:

      I also would like to say that she cured herself, but is still very young. It is incredibly difficult to cure yourself when menopause is the case and cause. Your body is also working against some mighty powerful hormones, or lack thereof and can fluctuate day to day. Isabella is amazing, but is still very young.

      http://Www.hypothyroidmom.com. Is an amazing website.

  6. Bonnie Lee Waters says:

    I live in Ajijic Mexico,my doctor found I have a thyroid problem 2014.He put me on Levotrioxina 100 mcg/20 1 tablet a day.
    My last blood result’s TSH 1.24 T3 total 55.27 T4 total 6.6. Maybe 10 Months I have been on this Medicine.
    Is this good ? My age is 72 this August 1.


  7. sami didomenico says:

    hi, i am 14 and i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and hypoadrenalism. i am gluten/soy free and i take iodine. does anyone know if this condition can be healed faster in a teenager? does anyone know how common this is in someone of my age? thanks

  8. lin says:

    Maria Andrade is incorrect about Iodine When you use Iodine you must also use selenium- a Methylselenocysteine form of Selenium. Those that had issues with iodine and hashi’s were selenium deficient. The test subjects didn’t get selenium. I know some functional doctors agree with the no Iodine. Because they don’t know any better. They just accept what the dr. K said in his book and his teachings as they sell apex formulas.

    The way to prepare for Iodine intake is to start with Selenium first. Build up and then take Iodine and Selenium for the day. The usual Selenium M capsule is 200mcg. per day but you can take more esp. in the beginning. Please read up on Selenium and Iodine importance. Can’t believe no one here mentioned selenium.

    Jarrow has the correct Selenium type. You can check it out as my spelling of the Selenium M is incorrect.

  9. Christine says:

    Information on the Stop The Thyroid Madness site, etc, is compatible with WAPF recommendations, plus they support each other, help educate and advocate for change. Based on information gathered from over 300,000 people who’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Leave a reply

© 2015 The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts.