Dr. Julie Harden recently spoke about different aspects of thyroid health, as well as The Institute for Progressive Medicine’s approach in treating and preventing hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. See the playlist of the 4 videos below:
Articles on Hormones
Testosterone deficiency is commonplace, and closely related to age. Levels decline 1% yearly after the age of 40. We also see declines in men under stress, either emotional or physical, and in men taking psychoactive agents such as antidepressants, sedatives, as well as alcohol and other drugs, particularly narcotics.
Testosterone is easily measured with a simple blood test. Deficiency is variously defined, but levels under 300 ng/dl are considered low. Treatment with testosterone by transdermal gel, injection or subcutaneous pellet will raise blood levels, and restore energy, libido, muscle mass, bone density, and sense of well-being.
A recent study reveals a further benefit with weight reduction and lower waist circumference. These improvements were progressive over 5 years, not limited to a few months after starting therapy.
The study, reported at the annual Endocrine Society meeting, involved 255 men averaging 61 years of age. All were obese or overweight. Testosterone levels normalized with long-acting intramuscular injections. Mean body weight dropped 16 kg (35 lbs) over 5 years. Waist circumference dropped an average of 8.8 cm (3 ½ inches).
Government law restricts the use of human growth hormone (HGH) to three conditions: adult onset human growth hormone deficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, and adult immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The reason for this appears to be the unfair use of growth hormone by professional athletes to gain physical advantage over opponents. This situation is similar to the use of testosterone by athletes.
HGH, however, is beneficial in many ways. It increases bone density, heart muscle function, and connective tissue strength, reduces abdominal fat, and improves mental outlook and sense of well-being. Growth hormone levels decline with age, as does IgF1, a hormone made in the liver under the influence of growth hormone. Low IgF1 levels correlate with heart failure and general body decline.
Diabetic men with low testosterone levels had a death rate twice as high as diabetics with normal testosterone levels, followed over 6 years (20% versus 9%). When men with low testosterone were treated to restore normal levels, the risk of death was the same as men with normal testosterone levels. The study was published in Endocrine Abstracts (2011; 25:P163)
Most of the deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. Average age was 61 years. Testosterone therapy was regulated to restore the men to normal levels, and not higher.
Another study revealed transdermal testosterone replacement provided improvements in insulin resistance, total and LDL cholesterol, and sexual health.
Congestive heart failure is the major cause of hospitalization in people over the age of 65, causing one fifth of hospitalizations, or 875,000 admissions. Half of these patients die within five years.
Testing for testosterone deficiency should be performed in all men with heart failure. Low levels, below 320 ng/ml, should be treated with hormonal support, in the absence of active prostate cancer.
Allan Sosin MD
Many patients, most of them women, have symptoms suggestive of underactive thyroid glands, but thyroid blood tests are normal. They complain of constipation, hair loss, cold intolerance, low body temperature, weight gain, fatigue, depression, dry skin, and changes in menstruation. Unless blood tests are abnormal, many physicians decline to offer thyroid hormone therapy.
I have seen a number of patients whose symptoms markedly improved with thyroid hormone supplementation, even though thyroid blood tests were normal. The risk of providing low dose thyroid hormone, starting at 15 mg daily, is quite small, and we have seen no adverse effects at this dose. Symptoms, however, may improve remarkably.
The thyroid gland is sensitive to toxins, and in particular to gluten. Dietary restriction and detoxification have been shown to improve thyroid function. An initial trial of thyroid hormone may offer relief of symptoms while waiting for other changes to be made.
I also suggest a trial of detoxification for anyone with low thyroid. This involves taking nutrients to enhance hepatic detoxification and the release of toxins from fat cells where they are stored, combined with sauna therapy at 140-180 degrees. The program is followed daily for several weeks.
Studies were performed in firefighters and rescue workers engaged in the New York City 9/11 cleanup. Many of them had low thyroid function, which returned to normal after sauna and exercise detoxification.
Allan Sosin MD
A post-menopausal woman had been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and was taking both Fosamax and transdermal hormone replacement therapy, without improvement. She did not want to continue taking Fosamax out of concern it would damage her jaw or cause swallowing problems, which bisphosphonates are reported to induce.
We stopped the Fosamax and began treatment with subcutaneous hormone pellets, both estrogen and testosterone. She also took calcium and magnesium, strontium and vitamin D. She continued to exercise actively on a daily basis.
Over the next four years, repeated bone density studies revealed a remarkable 20% increase in spine bone density. Osteoporosis had not only disappeared, but her bone density was now above average for her age.
This is the most dramatic example of hormone pellet effects on bone density, but we have seen positive effects in every individual tested. The pellets are highly effective, and should be considered for every appropriate individual, man or woman, who is at risk for fracture due to low bone density.
Allan Sosin MD