Optimizing your thyroid health has incredible benefits for your overall health, wellness, and longevity. I’m joined by Dr. Amie Hornaman, also known as The Thyroid-Fixer, to talk about the symptoms associated with thyroid immunity. She talks us through the tests your doctor should request, what the optimal thyroid hormone levels are, and how you can start healing your thyroid through diet and supplements.
Listen to the Episode
Or listen and subscribe for free in your favorite podcast app!
Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction
- Weight gain and an inability to lose weight no matter what you do or what you try
- Brain fog, anxiety, and depression
- Low energy
- Hair falling out
- Low libido
- Inflamed joints
About Dr. Amie Hornaman
Dr. Amie Hornaman, a.k.a The Thyroid-Fixer, is a woman on a mission to optimize thyroid patients around the world and give them their lives back using her proprietary transformational program: The FIX Method.
After her own experience of insufferable symptoms, misdiagnoses, and improper treatment, Dr. Amie set out to help others who she KNEW were going through the same set of frustrations and who were on the same medical roller coaster.
She grabs your hand, gives you answers about your health that no one has told you, and gives you the actual tools and personalized treatment to fix you. What makes her program unique is the extra support and accessibility that you can’t find anywhere else. That’s the transformational journey.
With a focus on optimizing thyroid and hormone function and thus optimizing her patients, Dr. Amie looks at you as a unique individual and not JUST a lab value. She examines all factors that tie into thyroid dysfunction and thyroid symptoms and FIXES you to give you your life back.
Diagnosing Thyroid Autoimmunity
Your thyroid function is essential to your longevity. Dr. Amie Hornaman talks about all the functional processes your thyroid impacts and the importance of optimizing your thyroid hormones.
However, for something so essential to our health, well-being, and longevity, misdiagnosis is common and thyroid autoimmunity often goes unnoticed. Dr. Hornaman explains some of the biggest symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and what you can look out for if you’re worried about your own thyroid health.
Optimal thyroid function is often missed is because of the generic tests that doctors run. Dr. Hornaman provides a list of blood tests your doctor should perform if you’re worried about your thyroid function.
Thyroid Function Tests
- TSH, T3, T4
- Free T3
- Total T3
- Reverse T3 (anti-thyroid hormone)
- Antibodies: TPO & TGA
- Iron & Ferritin
Food and Supplements for Hormone Health
Dr. Hornaman explains what the optimal thyroid hormone levels are and what your doctor should be looking for. In particular, she talks about the importance of the Reverse T3 hormone and what symptoms to look out for.
We also talk about how you can lower your thyroid antibodies at home, without medical intervention. Dr. Hornaman stresses the benefits of removing gluten from your diet and explains how even the slightest bit can cause your thyroid function to decrease.
We also talk about the most beneficial supplements for thyroid health. Finally, Dr. Hornaman says that she recommends a lower-carb diet for optimizing your thyroid health.
Do you have any of the symptoms related to thyroid autoimmunity? Are you concerned about your thyroid health? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“Your thyroid health affects every single organ. Every single cell in our body has a receptor site on it for thyroid hormone, specifically T3. It’s vital for longevity. You can’t live a good life, much less a long life or a quality life without your thyroid being optimized.” [7:26]
“T3 is the active thyroid hormone. T4 is inactive, it is thyroid hormone storage. T4 has to convert over to T3, it has to change in order for that T3 to attach to the cell, to do its job. To give you metabolism, grow your hair, give you energy, give you a good mood.” [9:47]
“Gluten builds your soldiers up. This is not a fad, it’s not something that you keep hearing on Dr. Oz and seeing on Facebook. We know from studies that gluten will spur on an autoimmune attack and, not only that, it has a molecular mimicry to the thyroid gland. When we eat gluten, our thyroid soldiers think there is an invader to our immune system and the thyroid function.” [28:05]
In This Episode
- How important the thyroid is for your longevity [6:00]
- Some of the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction [8:00]
- Why do so many people go so long without a thyroid dysfunction diagnosis [9:00]
- What thyroid function tests your doctor should perform [9:30]
- The optimal ranges of TSH, T3, and T4 hormones [14:15]
- Some of the causes of elevated Reverse T3 [24:30]
- How to lower your thyroid antibodies [27:15]
- How gluten negatively affects your autoimmunity [28:00]
- How food and supplements can impact your autoimmunity [32:00]
- The benefits of low-carb eating [35:30]
Links & Resources
Use Code MAGNESIUM for 10% Off Magnesium
Use Code BERBERINE for 10% Off Berberine Support
Listen to the Thyroid Fixer Podcast
Get Your Free Lab & Symptom Checklist
Follow Dr. Amie Hornaman on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn
Get your copy of the Your Longevity Blueprint book and claim your bonuses here
Follow Dr. Stephanie Gray on Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Twitter | LinkedIn
Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic
Podcast Production by the team at Counterweight Creative
Episode 39: Biote Hormone Pellet Therapy With Dr. Gary Donovitz
Episode 53: Keto Green Approach To Hormones With Dr. Anna Cabeca
Episode 84: Ketogenic Hacks With Dr. Lisa Olszewski
Dr. Amie Hornamen 0:03
Gluten will spur on an auto immune attack and not only that it has a molecular mimicry to the thyroid gland.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast, I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from my good friend Dr. Amy Horniman. Today we're going to dive into all things thyroid symptoms labs diet, and I apologize I'm feeling a bit under the weather so if I sound congested, you know why but I didn't want to reschedule as I knew how good this interview was going to be. So let's get started with all things thyroid.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast today my guest is Dr. Amy Hortman, aka the thyroid fixer who's a woman on a mission to optimize thyroid patients around the world and give them their lives back using her proprietary transformational program the fix method. After her own experience of inseparable symptoms, misdiagnosis and improper treatment, Dr. Amy set out to help others who she knew were going through the same set of frustrations and who were on the same medical roller coaster she grabs your hands gives you answers about your health that no one else has told you and gives you the actual tools and personalized treatment to fix you.
What makes our program unique is the extra support and accessibility that you can't find elsewhere. That's the transformational journey with a focus on optimizing thyroid and hormone function and thus optimizing her patients. Dr. Amy looks at you as a unique individual and not just a lab value. she examines all factors that tie into thyroid dysfunction and thyroid symptoms and fixes you to give you your life back. Well that sounds great. Yeah. Welcome to the show. Dr. Horniman.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 1:48
Thanks, Stephanie. Thanks for having me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:51
Well, tell me your story. So how did you become the thyroid fixer? I like that name. But where did it start?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 1:58
It started like many of us write this pain to purpose story. So if we backtrack 25 plus years when I was younger, I was competing, I was competing in Figure competitions, which is kind of like bodybuilding, but a lot more feminine. And I had done this multiple times. So I come from a family with type two diabetes and obesity. So I was always very conscious about taking care of myself and my weight. And you know, I started I was I was a fat kid. So I was working out really early. So I knew what to do. I knew how to get ready for a show. I'd done it multiple times before I knew you know, I had to diet down to get on stage in a bikini. You know, you're at your leanness self. And I knew how my body was supposed to respond. Going to the gym twice a day, and the fish and the chicken and the asparagus and the broccoli. And this one show the scale kept going up. My body wasn't responding, kept going up, kept going up, kept going up, like what the heck is going on. So about 20 pounds and then probably more because I stopped weighing myself because I was getting so depressed.
At that 20 pound mark I started seeking answers like we all do. We got you know, you know your body knows something's wrong or like what the heck's going on? So I start seeing doctors saying, Listen, this is what I'm doing. This is what I'm eating. This is how I take care of myself what is happening. And then I mean, side note of fatigue and hair loss, but my main focus was the weight because that wasn't supposed to be happening. Six doctors misdiagnosed me. You're fine, you're normal, everything's good. Now back then I wasn't into functional medicine so I have no idea what labs they ran probably just TSH, which was talking about probably seven doctor actually touches my throat says swallow, diagnosis me with hypothyroidism. So I'm like, Yes, this is awesome. I get a pill answer. Yeah, sir. We just want an answer. When we feel like garbage and we're gaining weight and our body is rebelling against us. So I had the answer. And I had a pill Synthroid Synthroid T for and I gave that about five months did nothing did absolutely nothing. So you know, I start researching and I always joke I'm pretty sure I had a gateway computer back then.
And I remember I don't even know what was out there on the internet that long ago. I can't even remember but I stumbled upon an article about T three and T four working really well together. So I took this to her I said Hey, what's this T three thing? She goes I don't do that. I go you know what? I'm gonna find somebody who does. So I went to a functional medicine practitioner who was now my mentor. And he did all the labs went over supplements got me on the right medication, and boom from there. It was just life changing. And I went literally from crying in my car. to getting my life back and being able to compete again and think again and lose weight again. It was just it was a game changer. So that changed the trajectory of my career. And I went into functional medicine and diving into the thyroid and just, I've been treating patients for years now a couple decades, just really focusing on thyroid and hormones and getting them to the place that I was able to get to that place of optimization where you're like, Okay, life is good again.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:30
Mm hmm. So all the while, was your TSH, normal, like when you were put on Synthroid? Was your doctor checking the TSH? Do No,
Dr. Amie Hornamen 5:39
no, I wish I could go back and see all those labs may I might have him somewhere around,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:45
it doesn't matter. Because you know, you needed the T three, and I want to talk a lot about T three, that was a missing link for you. But so I'm happy to hear you're back on track and that now you're educating others, helping them get their lives back on track. But let's I want to digress and go through a couple of the questions and we're gonna we're gonna circle back around to T three, because I know my listeners want to hear about that. But this is a longevity podcast. So tell us, how important does the thyroid play like how important of a role does it play in longevity?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 6:12
Right? So the thyroid is the master gland, it is the master, I don't think it gets enough love. I really don't, we tend to forget that the thyroid is at the top. So if your thyroid is off, then your insulin is going to be off right. So for longevity, we know that insulin is very inflammatory Alzheimer's is now deemed type three diabetes, it is very much connected to high insulin levels. So if your thyroid is off, even if you're eating perfectly, if you're like, I want a low carb diet, that doesn't matter, it's going to throw your insulin off and you're going to have high insulin, insulin resistance borderline type two diabetes or diabetes. Then we go into the sex hormones. So estrogen progesterone, testosterone, again, we know for longevity, we want our hormones, not in the tank, we don't want to live 20 3040 years with no hormones, we want our hormones optimize thyroid gland being off is going to throw off your hormones too.
Even if you're not a postmenopausal, you could be 20 years old, and have your hormones in the tank because your thyroid gland isn't working and it's not optimized. So and we can just keep going, going going, your cortisol, your adrenals that, you know it can make your adrenals pump out too much cortisol not enough. I mean, it just affects every single organ, every single cell in our body has a receptor site on it for thyroid hormone, specifically T three that we'll get into. So it's vital for longevity, you can't live a good life as much as a long life much as a quality of life without your thyroid being optimized.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:46
I totally agree. I think the aging process is just accelerated when thyroid is not plugged in. So how do listeners know if they have a thyroid problem? What are some of the symptoms you if you shared some symptoms you had had some weight gain some hair loss, go over all those symptoms so listeners can maybe identify here.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 8:02
Yeah, the list is long but the top ones right. The top ones are the weight gain inability to lose weight no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. Brain fog, anxiety and depression, constipation low energy, your hair falling out low libido. When you think hypo think low and slow. So everything in your body just slows down, your metabolism slows. Your ability to go to the bathroom slows your mood slows your brain and your thinking and your cognition slows. So everything basically comes to a screeching halt. And then we can even see things like frozen shoulder, I have one patient that will now she works for me. She's awesome. But she's like she just told me last week she's like, do you know before I started seeing you, I couldn't even write my hands were so swollen and my joints were so bad. I would be grabbing a pen and could barely hold it. So even inflamed joints are connected to the thyroid.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:01
Yeah, a lot of things individuals may not may not have thought. So why do so many people go undiagnosed and untreated when they have thyroid and hormone issues like yourself? Why do you think that's the case?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 9:13
Yeah, so first, it starts with testing. Right? So so like you and I talked about with myself back then if I could look back, I would bet money that on my labs they only tested TSH and maybe free T four maybe if you're lucky. But then we have to go on from that we have to So when you ask for a full thyroid panel from your doctor, you got to be specific.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:35
Yes, Let's list all these out for us. Got to list them all out.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 9:39
You got to list them out for your doctor to TSH free T for those are the standard ones. Then we have to go into free T three because T three is the active thyroid hormone. So let's back up T four is inactive. It's storage that is bioroid hormone storage. T four has to convert over to T three it has to change in order for that T three to attach to the cell to do its job to give you a metabolism to burn your fat to grow your hair to give you energy can you can move. So we want to test free T three because I want to see how much free unbound thyroid hormone is in your body ready to attach to that cell. So that's, that's vital. That is a vital importance. Now you can test the total T three. It's okay, that's an add on. That's a bonus. But we really need that free T three, because I want to see what's ready to bind to that cell.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:31
I totally agree. Yep. Yeah.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 10:33
I mean, yeah, there's total and there's free a lot of people, my patients will ask their doctor to test T three and they want specify the free version and you'll get that total. So then it's like, okay, well, we can go by this if it's in the tank, if your total T threes in the tank and assume Yeah, yeah, yeah, then you're in a low T three state. But we really like to see that free. Then there's the reverse T three. So that is the anti thyroid hormone. I always use the analogy of a bouncer at a club, that reverse T three is standing outside the club doors, arms crossed, going, you can't get in, you're not getting, you're not getting in either. And it is literally not allowing the T three to get into the cell. Now I know some functional practitioners will argue like No, it's not blocking the T three, but let's just for understanding saying yes, you know, if your reverse T three is elevated, the free T three ain't gonna work. It's gonna do its job. I like
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:31
that analogy. Many times I The analogy I use with my patients is the T three is the gas pedal on metabolism and energy and hair growth. And reverse T three is more like the brake pedal. So you certainly don't want your gas not on and your brake on strong. Right? You don't want those. So yeah, I agree gotta have reverse T three checked as well. And let's keep going through the labs. But let's come back to reverse T three also. But yeah, I
Dr. Amie Hornamen 11:55
agree. I agree I cuz I love explaining reverse T three, two, and the arguments that you'll get from your doctor if you asked for it. We don't want to forget the antibodies. There are two by the way, it's amazing how many conventional medicine Doc's will test one antibody, there are two antibodies to your thyroid. So that means if they that those test positive, you have Hashimotos. That's the autoimmune form. And 95% of all hypothyroidism is autoimmune, it is honeymooners. So we want TPO and TGA. So thyroid peroxidase, that were globulin antibodies, so we want those tested. And a side note to those. If any antibody is present, you're in an autoimmune state, like those are little soldiers that are building their army. And I don't care if the lab value says less than 20. And you're at a 15, you are walking your way to Hashimotos. Those are 15 Soldiers 15 antibodies that are going out and attacking your thyroid, because they think that your thyroid gland is an invader is the bad guy. Yeah, and they're just really confused. So I don't say to someone, you don't have Hashimotos, unless they're at Dead zero, like zero antibodies. If you have any antibodies. That's, that's a red flag. So those are all the tests that I really, really, really like to see. And I mean, beyond that, we look at everything else that affects the thyroid, like insulin, and hormones and all that. But for thyroid panel, those are the tests you must have.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:27
Do you so do you check fasting insulin in most of your patients? Yep. I think
Dr. Amie Hornamen 13:32
our insulin resistance? Yeah, let's go back to these
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:35
lab values, because I wouldn't know what optimal is from a year interpretation. And I guess I would add to the lab value, I always check iron and ferritin. Many patients are very anemic and you iron is a cofactor that make thyroid hormone. So you don't want to be low in that many patients. If they're not low in iron, they're low and ferritin, which is our iron stores. And we got to get that up. So I would add those to our list, which I'm sure you agree with. So let's go back to each of these lab values and you tell our listeners, what in your interpretation is an optimal range. So I don't like TSH I think TSH stands for too slow to help because by the time it's high, many times patients have been symptomatic for a long time. But conventional medicine still uses that as the standard of care. So where do you want to see TSH?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 14:16
I want to see TSH less than two. Okay? And listen, if it's suppressed, it's going to be if you're on T three. If you take an itty bitty teeny tiny amount of T three or if you're on a natural desiccated thyroid Med, that TSH is going down and it's probably going to be flagged low and I don't care. It is not going to make you have a heart attack or lose bone that has been debunked and conventional medicine needs to catch up with the studies because we do not worry if your TSH is suppressed and in fact, if you had thyroid cancer, we want it Yeah,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:56
I totally agree that study that scares everyone away from you know it feels feeling like they're getting too much thyroid medication was done on I think it was like malnourished, elderly individuals that were at high risk anyways. They're having arrhythmias, bone loss and whatnot. So I don't worry about that about that TSH either. Although I certainly asked my patients if they're feeling over medicated if they're having palpitations, jittery insomnia, right? That's the true test for sure. So you went TSH, less than two, and you're saying it's okay, if it's suppressed as long as patients aren't exhibiting hyperthyroid symptoms. So what about T four and T three? What are your goals for those ranges, what's optimal,
Dr. Amie Hornamen 15:34
so with T four and T three, if we start with T four, we go, okay, optimal is 1.5, or above but.dot.do, I really care if your free T four is, let's say less than 1.5. Let's say you're coming in at a point nine. But we look at your free T three, which I like 3.5. or above in most labs, I also say in the upper quadrant in case you have listeners in Australia, UK, in the upper quadrant of that standard lab value range. And that is 24 hours without thyroid medication containing T three, because you take your T three medication in the morning, and then you go and get your labs, those labs are actually reading the medication because T three is very fast acting in the system. So it's going to bring that level up. And then when you get your blood drawn, it is reading the medication in your system, not your actual true value without medication. So and listen, I understand that the medication is there to keep your lab values up.
But I want to see what is it without that's where my optimal range comes in is without like 18 to 24 hours without medication, I want it 3.5 or above or in the upper quadrant of the range. And then it's very individualized. Because some people do better with a higher free T three. So we really have to kind of you know, target it to the person. Sure. So if the free T three is optimal. If you feel good. If you ask a person, how do you feel those four important words that we don't hear enough? How do you feel? And someone is saying, You know what, I feel amazing. I'm losing weight, my hair is coming back, I got my energy back, I can see the light, this is awesome, then do I care that you're free? T 4.9? No, I really don't. As long as you are feeling good. And you're free, T three is optimal. And your reverse T three is optimal, which we like that less than 12, then I know you're converting fine.
The active thyroid hormone is getting into the cell and you're feeling better. So I don't pay so much attention to the free T four. There is an optimal range for that. But it's kind of like Now if somebody comes in and they said and they're free, T three is optimal. reversi three is less than 12. But free T four is in the tank, and they're saying, I don't feel any better. I'm still losing, and we're checking everything else, then we go okay, well, we might need to increase your dose over here, just to get that that storage up. So more can convert over to T three. So it's very individualized. But that's an in general range of optimal levels.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:07
Sure. Sure. I want to comment on a couple things you said so I totally agree with the T four I tell patients T fours whole role in life is to convert to T three, right? So I don't really care if T fours low if T three is optimal, and the patient feels good. But there are select cases where patients need more T for and that's where again, we have to personalize this kind of labs. I'm going to comment because I ordered labs differently on different patients. So on some patients, I want to know how high their T three is with their medication in their system, especially patients who are super sensitive, then are feeling more hyper right. So you can with your clinician you can decide how to obtain labs. But as you were saying T three has kind of a short half life. And so I was gonna ask you do you dose it twice a day in many of your patients? Do you Yeah, let's go there for a minute. So let's go to I want to come back to rivercity Three stubble let's go to replacement for a moment. So what brands of T three do you use? Do you use the synthetics more of the like the desiccated porcine Do you compound kind of tell me how you how you treat your patients who need T three,
Dr. Amie Hornamen 19:07
all of the above. So that there is where that that personalization comes in as well. I'll have some patients that there'll be an armor, there'll be 120 150 milligrams of armor and they're like this isn't doing anything. And we switch them we're back with nature. Third was around researching the nature of thyroid bone. There are male fantastic now. So even just the change in the MDT manufacturer, you can make a difference in a person. I like the synthetics. In fact, I read a rename them biosense Because synthetic just sounds so icky, but they really are powerful, great hormone replacement therapy tools. There they are. So the biosense Synthroid Leivo generic, I don't really do too much with that. I like the Synthroid tiersen because the more pure
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:55
for those who are listening that tear center tire said however, we pronounce it as a very hypoallergenic version. So much more pure, which a lot of my patients with sensitivities do much better on.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 20:04
Yep. And really, if you're if you're hypothyroid Hashimotos, you're probably gonna be sensitive Anyways, if you have any autoimmune condition, you're gonna be more sensitive. So it's like, why not just go for the better and go straight for the pure stuff. So, Synthroid tiersen, and then cite Amal and Leo Syrah, Nene, is G three. In that case, Leo Sirenis. With most generic manufacturers, like Greenstone, they actually that actually had the generic has less fillers than the brand. So it Yeah, so a lot of people do really well on the generic and then even within the generic world, the different people can do differently and respond differently with the different manufacturers to Yeah, oh, it gets really personalized.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 20:55
Could you be missing out on magnesium. If you aren't already taking magnesium, you likely should be our deficient food sources, caffeine consumption, stress and exercise Robba sub magnesium, which is an important cofactor for hundreds of processes in the body, it can calm your mind and ease your nerves to help you sleep at night and help reduce anxiety, PMS and headaches. It can relax your muscles when you have cramps your bowels when you're constipated, and it's required for energy hormone production and vitamin D absorption. If you're interested in exploring more about how magnesium can help support you living a longer, healthier life, and the exact type of magnesium supplement to look for, check out my blog post the magnificence of magnesium found at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash blog and use code magnesium for 10% off our magnesium keylite product at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the episode. So that's why I shouldn't say generic the I keep saying synthetic the comm I'll just say commercially available T three comes in two doses, five micrograms, and 25 micrograms. So So for many people, obviously they could take two fives if they needed 10 micrograms, whatnot. But for many of my patients, I will compound if we're you know, if they don't want to cut the pills, because there's so little, they can't do that will compound. And I think the beauty of compounding with T three is we can make that a sustained release version do you use sustained release in your patients?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 22:17
Sometimes. So ironically, I just had lunch with my mentor and he we were talking about compounding and the compounding pharmacies that I have experienced, do not do a really great job at the slow release. And they don't do a great job at compounding now talking to him and then talking to another doctor in our group, there are a couple of really good compounding pharmacies out there. So he said, you know, use this one and she's saying use that one. And those are very reliable, and I'm sure you have reliable compounding pharmacies as well. So as long as it's a good commenting pharmacy, then yes, but I won't use just a run of the mill compounding pharmacy, because then that can get just disaster.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:58
I agree. I've been told thyroid is one of the most difficult hormones to compound period. It's not just like, I shouldn't say progesterone or whatnot. But I've been told it's more difficult. And I have had patients who I put on thyroid compounds, whose labs have not budged one bit, and obviously, that there's a problem with compounding those cases. But you're correct. I have found over the years reliable compounding pharmacies who can make the sustained release T three. So and I guess maybe I'm more attuned to that, because I'm someone who's very sensitive to stimulants. So I'd like everything sustained release, do you find I want to talk specifically about T three because it is stimulating. And that's why it provides a lot of benefit. Do you have patients who have to micro dose it in that don't tolerate it well, or what are some some tricks there that you may have?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 23:42
Very few, but I have had them who cannot even tolerate 2.5 micrograms of T three, which is literally enough for your pinky. Usually it comes back to the gut. So usually it will come back to like you said Either they're anemic, their ferritin is low, their estrogen dominant, or their gut is a complete disaster to where we move on to like the GI map and healing the gut. And then once we do that, and we're looking at cortisol to so three needs cortisol, cortisol needs T three. So we're looking at that as well. But it's usually that if they can't tolerate it, it's an underlying issue that has to be addressed.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:21
Sure. Those are the more complex, complex patients. Let's go to reverse T three for a minute. So what are some causes of elevated reverse T three. So for the listeners, remember, reverse T three is like that brake pedal or that bouncer that's not letting the active thyroid hormone, the T three that's going to actually bind to receptors and cause good things to happen. It's blocking that so what would be some reasons why reverse T three may be elevated on the listeners labs?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 24:46
Yep. So reverse d3. First of all, I want to I want to say just because some people probably heard this already from the doctor. If you asked a reverse d3, your doctor will say Well, no, I don't test that unless you're in the hospital. Oh, Reverse d3 is a survival mechanism built into our bodies. Smart because if we're laying in the ICU or the ER, the last thing that our bodies need to do is burn fat, grow hair and have energy, right? We need to survive. So reverse d3 Absolutely will elevate. If you are in a traumatic situation if you're injured if you have an illness, a virus, whatever infection Yeah, exactly. So but the last thing we want is for you walking around on day to day basis with elevator, reverse T three, because that means your body is in a survival mode. And you're trying to work and raise a family and get stuff done and clean your house and it just doesn't work. So that's why you feel so crappy when your reverse T three is elevated, and you're actually not in a hospital bed.
So going back to the why underlying chronic illness like Epstein Barr Virus, Lyme disease, tick borne illnesses, low ferritin, elevated insulin, insulin resistance, type two diabetes, estrogen dominance, low iodine is a big one, Selenium has to be optimal. Magnesium has to be optimal, your vitamin D has to be optimal. So all of that, and I'm sure there's many, many more reasons. But all of that contributes to elevated reverse T three, and then there are genetic snips. There's the IO one, do two genetic snips that some people have, it's actually easier to get that genetic test in the UK than it is in the US. But that can mean that you just are not a good converter, you're going to have elevated reverse T three no matter what and the more T four we give you, the higher that reverse T three will go because you just can't convert even if we check off all the boxes, you know, no epstein barr, we got that cover, we got your immune system support or we get your Vitamin D. If you're not estrogen dominant, it's all good, you could still have that genetic step that prevents conversion from going smoothly.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:56
Interesting, all the more reason why you need to find a functional medicine practitioner because again, this can get pretty complicated. Not everybody has elevated reverse d3. But if you do, you may be one of those cases who you need, you need a little more assistance. So we've kind of talked about the TSH, the free T for the free T three, the reverse T three. And now let's go back to thyroid antibodies for a minute. So what are some strategies for patients to lower the thyroid antibodies to lower that autoimmune progression
Dr. Amie Hornamen 27:22
100%, we know that gluten will raise your antibody. So I'm giving you another analogy here. I said soldiers earlier so I attribute I kind of correlate having thyroid antibodies with having this group of soldiers, and they're in their barracks, and they're ready for war. But like I said earlier, they're just confused. They think that your thyroid gland is an invader. So they just like to go out and beat it up. And that's why we actually see with Hashimotos, a shrinking of the thyroid gland, thyroid gland destruction. And eventually as you destroy the thyroid gland, you're not going to produce enough T four and T three. So that's where we see the numbers start to change. As the thyroid gland is destroyed by the soldiers. What we know builds the camp with build your soldiers up is gluten. We know it we know it, we know it. This is not a fad. This is not just something that you keep hearing on Dr. Oz and seeing on Facebook. We know from studies that gluten will spur on an autoimmune attack. And not only that is it it is it has a molecular mimicry to the thyroid gland.
When we eat gluten, those soldiers go, Hey, look, it's an invader. And they go out and they start beating your thyroid gland because you wait gluten, because they think that there's a war going on. So we know that gluten will build your camp and we'll start a war. So that for sure will raise your antibody levels and will tank your thyroid function. So there goes T four and T three into the basement. And then then your symptoms increase. We also know that just basic immune support, so I'll have patients I'm sure you do, too. They're not on vitamin D, and they live in the northern hemisphere. Right? They're not on vitamin D. They're not taking mag, they're not taking zinc, they're doing zero to support their immune system. So just even basic immune support and then you can get into like black cumin seed oil that helps lower antibodies. We can use low dose naltrexone, that helps lower antibodies. So anything that lowers inflammation will lower those antibodies, anything that supports your basic immune system will also lower the antibodies but a side note on the antibodies. I tell my patients this all the time. Please do not get hung up on the number. I had one page just last week. She's like, my antibodies went from 42 to 55. Mike that's okay. It's It's okay I
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:50
can wax and they can wax and wane on a daily basis again, based on I'd love that soldier analogy how much maybe gluten you've had or stress you've had or guess you know how For your nutrition was there yeah, those can definitely fluctuate.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 30:03
Yeah. I mean, were you fighting flu virus? Are you fine? I mean, it can be it can fluctuate like that just a tiny little bit. Now if there's a huge increase, then we stop and we go, okay, we need to look into this. What's doing this heavy metals? Is it, you know, an activated EBV? Or something like that, but but just slight fluctuations? That's okay. And don't get
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:25
hung up on? Yeah, yeah, you can't
Dr. Amie Hornamen 30:26
hang your hat on it and just base everything on the antibodies. And it does go back to that question of, how do you feel. So again, if somebody, the ultimate goal is to get antibodies at zero, of course, we like to get any kind of autoimmune condition into remission, so it doesn't spur on other autoimmune conditions. But so the ultimate goal is zero. But again, if you have antibodies 100, but you're feeling great, and your symptoms are gone, and your free, T three is good. And your reverse C three is good. I mean, we'll keep chipping away at it. But at the end of the day, I don't care that your antibodies are at 100. And you're doing all the things to support your immune system and take care of yourself and you're avoiding gluten and you're taking your D and you're dangerous zinc, then, you know, yeah, we we work at getting the antibodies down. But the main goal is you feeling good?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:16
Yep. And I also tell patients to have patients with antibody reduction, right? So you can't go gluten free and check test your antibodies in a month and expect they're going to go from 5000 to zero, like that's just not gonna happen. I have patients who've had antibodies 20,000, I mean, just super high, then it's taken years and years and years and years, but they're tracking their trends or levels are going down. And that's what we want to see is that that general progression down. I agree that gluten is the biggest kind of builder, as you said of the camp that can start the war. But gluten is not the only food right? So for many people, dairy can be a problem. So it can be a problem. So I run food sensitivity testing on patients to see what other triggers they may have for inflammation and autoimmunity. And I'm sure you
Dr. Amie Hornamen 31:57
agree with that. Yeah, definitely. There's so many.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:01
So speaking to weight, I know optimizing your thyroid helps with your weight management. But I know you've also mentioned the importance of getting insulin resistance downs and and tracking insulin with your patients. So let's go there for a minute. So what are some of your top diet and supplement hacks for reducing insulin? So if it's found to be high in your patients, give us some hacks for helping they're
Dr. Amie Hornamen 32:22
my favorite supplement, probably of all time, is Berberine. I have a paper that was published. I wrote it with a colleague of mine, but it was on my patient. And ironically, he didn't have thyroid disease, but he had he was insulin dependent diabetic, and he got out of the hospital call me said I refuse to be on insulin the rest of my life. We got to do something. Okay. I said you got to give it time. Okay, we got to chip away at this I'm thinking it's gonna take a while. His a one C was a 13.9. His blood sugar's were in the 600 when he checked himself into the hospital, so of course, he's insulin dependent. He's on Metformin. So okay, we're going to add in Berberine, three times a day. And we're gonna do a low carb diet basically a keto diet. We have to your body is pumping out insulin like crazy. You're almost at the point of pancreatic shutdown at where you're going to be insulin dependent the rest of your life. In six weeks he was off insulin is a once he dropped to 8.4 It was amazing. Six months. Yeah. Diabetes five, what
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:27
was that like a gram of Berberine three times a day, or how'd you dose it?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 33:31
We did 600 milligrams three times a day. Wow. Yeah, with every meal with the Metformin because there's a lot of studies out there that metformin and Berberine work synergistically together, even though they kind of work on the same path, you can put them together to really like get a double bang for your buck.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:50
You might already know that insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, but did you know that it also is one of the leading causes of death for its role in diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. diet changes are essential when it comes to combating insulin resistance, but additional nutrients can also help the one I recommend the most Berberine Berberine is a plant extract that has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for over 2500 years. In addition to its long history, modern clinical trials have demonstrated that Berberine supports cardiovascular health in a number of important synergistic ways. These include helping you maintain blood pressure, support healthy heart contraction and rhythm and support healthy cholesterol and glucose levels are Berberine support products also contains alpha lipoic acid or HLA, which has been shown to support blood sugar balance and is also a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals it's one of our for maintaining healthy blood vessel and circulatory health.
Consider taking the synergistic blend daily or especially if you eat more than normal, or indulge over the holidays or a birthday, where it should help reduce blood sugar spikes. Check out our product info sheet at your longevity blueprint.com forward slash product forward slash Berberine hyphen support to get 10% off Berberine support us code Berberine at Your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show. I agree I use those in my patients and patients who don't tolerate Metformin because they get diarrhea or whatnot. Berberine has also been shown to be equally as effective and kind of head to head clinical trials. So about a gram of metformin is about equivalent to a gram of Berberine. So just for the listeners, so they know Okay, so Berberine is number one, what are some other either diet or lifestyle supplement hacks,
Dr. Amie Hornamen 35:27
diet wise, like I said, low carb, I just am I'm a fan of low carb, I don't care if you call it keto, if you call it low carb, I don't care what you term it. I like lowering the carbohydrates because if you look at the studies, okay, if you if you just go into Google Scholar go into PubMed, you have to use the term keto, but type in keto and any disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, weight loss, insulin resistance Parkinson's, you will see positive studies about the ketogenic diet and that disease there. I don't know. I mean, there's probably some out there but I don't know if one study that says that keto and XYZ is bad. You know, you'd have some haters that table keto increases your cholesterol, no, it doesn't high insulin increases your cholesterol. So I like a low carb diet because 99% of thyroid patients are going to have insulin resistance, because of the thyroid affecting the insulin.
So just naturally, when we drop our carbs, you're reducing inflammation. And there's a right way and wrong way. And we're not talking about the old school Atkins have eaten bacon and cheese. We're talking about doing keto the right way and focusing on the good fats and possibly even going dairy free, or just using a tiny, tiny amount of like grass fed dairy. But that depends on each individual person. But when you lower those carbs, and you're focusing on good quality protein in good quality fats, everything can just decrease like your inflammation can decrease that insulin can go down. And then remember, reverse d3, one of the things that affects it and drives it up is high insulin. So now you bring the insulin down. Now your thyroid is working better that thyroid conversion is working better because you lowered your insulin. I just I don't see, really any of my patients respond well to vegan diets, plant based diets, high carb diets, some can get away with it, like some guys can kind of get away with a little bit more carbs. And they can even stay in ketosis at like 120 grams of carbs.
Most can't. And since thyroid affects women, mainly mainly 80% effects women 20% guys get it, then, you know, we're just more sensitive or more sensitive to foods and when your thyroid is off, you're really sensitive to foods. So you go oh, you know what, I'm just I'm just gonna have that been with the burger. Well, then here you go. You're eating the gluten that's jacking up your antibodies. The carbohydrates in that process bond is bumping up your insulin now, you know, your thyroids being attacked or not converting? Well, it's just a mess. It's just a mess. So you have to be low carb.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:05
Sure. Any other supplements so Berberine top supplement, are there any others you want to mention?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 38:11
I do like for my really like tiptoeing on the line of true type two diabetes. So with a one c i really like it like a 4.8 to 5.1. So anyway, and of course in the conventional medicine system, standard lab value range, you're not getting flagged until you crossed over 5.6 So for people that are coming in, like a 5.9, where they're not called diabetic by their doctors, but to us, they're diabetic. I really like alpha lipoic acid, I like Canossa tall designs for health makes no sense at all. So I'll I'll pair that with the Berberine and and do that together and then with some LDN. That's amazing. LDN is great for insulin resistance. Fantastic. Those would be my favorite in addition to like the base core supplements of vitamin D and zinc and having your magnesium Yes, selenium and iodine. Iodine does not get enough love. Because the functional community is really split down the middle. Yeah, I am in the Brownstein camp. I am in the camp that when you look through research, every cell in your body has a receptor site on it for iodine. We know that low iodine will drive up reverse d3. So I like iodine for people. Sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:24
What dosing do you use? Slow, like well,
Dr. Amie Hornamen 39:28
just little slow? Yeah, so we build that now I know like if you look at Brown scenes work, he's using 50 milligrams for like breast cancer fibrocystic breast disease and some people can't tolerate going that high. So I will start at the bare minimum. Let's start at 12.5 and like ride that for a while and make sure you're doing salt loading. Make sure you're taking vitamin C and then gradually increase it to tolerance.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:54
Cool. Let's go back for a moment here. As we wrap up. This has been great but obviously we talked a lot about thyroid Today because your thyroid fixer, but how do you feel about optimizing other sex hormones? Is that something that you do with your patients, and how important is that to quality of life?
Dr. Amie Hornamen 40:08
I love I love dealing with the sex hormones. So for women, I don't know what you see in your practice, but I am seeing a lot of low testosterone a lot, a lot, a lot. So I like to start I like total testosterone at 40 or above. And then the free testosterone I like it like dead center and whatever the range you have on your on your lab panel. And then I see a ton of low progesterone and then estrogen can go either way, it could be really low, or it could be dominant. I love looking at sex hormone. So when you take let's take the the typical hypothyroid patient, a woman probably in her 40s, not yet menopausal yet because she's still in that state of like she had a baby. And that kicked on Hashimoto gene. And now she's dealing with the weight gain low energy, and she's like, What the heck is going on with my body. So you take that that typical woman, then you test her sex hormones, progesterone will be that of a postmenopausal woman, and testosterone will be in the tank. So what does that do when you pair it with the thyroid condition, that is like a double and triple whammy to weight gain.
If you're testosterones low, you're not going to lose weight, you're not going to build muscle, you're not going to have a libido you're not going to, you're just not going to feel motivated to do anything much less get to the gym. If your progesterone is low, you're not going to sleep, that's going to increase weight gain, you're going to be agitated, you're going to be irritable. So it's just compounding on itself. And you have the thyroid condition, plus low testosterone, plus low progesterone. And then if your estrogen is dominant, that's going to cause weight gain and water retention and imperative or to T three conversion. If it's in the tank, and you're too young for it to be in the tank. That's when you're not gonna you're gonna have vaginal dryness, you're not gonna have good skin quality. I mean, there's just a host of things that can happen there. So balancing the sex hormones, key, key key key to feeling better.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:03
I totally agree. And if you want to hear more, we have several episodes on the show where we talk about optimizing other hormones. Specifically, I interviewed Dr. Don EVITTS, who's the CEO of bio T, who was a hormone pellet company. We were certified three years ago. That episode is awesome. So if you want to hear more about hormone pellets, specifically for testosterone optimization, go back and listen to that. I'll put the link to that episode in the show notes. So Amy, this has been awesome. So tell us more where listeners can connect with you. And I know you have a free gift. So what is that? Yes.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 42:31
So I have the thyroid fixer podcast that's on all podcast platforms that you're going to be on as well. You can find me on Facebook at Dr. Amy Horniman. Instagram, Dr. Amy Horner, man, YouTube, I think it's our dream horna Minar just search my name.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:45
And it's A M IE. So just that's how we spell it.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 42:50
Yeah. And then you'll put it in the show notes because good luck, spelling Horniman on your own. And then the free gift. So the lab ID symptom checklist. This is going to be tying in everything that we talked about today, right. So all of the symptoms that I love, when people do this, they'll write to me, they'll be like, I checked off like 99% of those symptoms. I'm like, I know, that's what thyroid does. So the lab has that it has all the symptoms that are correlated with our disease, or thyroid not being optimized. And then all of the different labs that you need, as well as their optimal values, like we talked about today. So that's very important. It's one thing to get the labs. And then again, your doctor says your normal air quotes, but it's a whole other thing to be optimal. And that's what functional medicine does. We want you in that optimum range, because that's where you're going to feel your best. That's where you're going to be happy with your life, you're going to live longer, but live happier, longer to actually have a better quality of life if you're optimal. Love that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:48
Love that. Thank you for bringing that together. So I'll post a link to that free gift in the show notes as well. So tell me what's your absolute top longevity tip? Last question here
Dr. Amie Hornamen 43:57
keeping insulin low period coming from a family with Alzheimer's, just a string of Alzheimer's on my mother's side a string of diabetes on my father's side, a string of cancer. On my father's side. What do we know that insulin does? It creates plaque in the brain. It feeds cancer cells. So when you're talking longevity, keeping insulin low, will that help your thyroid function to Yeah, it will help you lose weight. Absolutely. But when you're talking about longevity, you keep that insulin down and you are at a much you have a much much better chance at avoiding those neurological aging diseases. And cancer.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 44:38
Mike drop love it. That's great. Thank you so much, Dr. Roman for coming on the show today and really sharing how important optimal thyroid function is to quality of life but also longevity. So this was great. Thanks for coming on.
Dr. Amie Hornamen 44:51
Dr. Stephanie Gray 44:55
Well, there you have it from the thyroid fixer herself. T three is super important to avoiding gluten is super important and having a full thyroid panel run and labs optimized may just be what you need to get your life back. Check out Dr. Hartman's free gifts link, which I'll include in the show notes containing all the labs you need to have run. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book plus for a limited time the course is 50% off. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint calm and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.