Exclusive Interview with Magdalena Wszelaki, a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Founder of the Thyroid Diet Coach, where she answers YOUR questions. Part 2
Today it is all about thyroid health and hair loss, hormones, fertility, menopause, contraception, associated health conditions, and how to find a doctor that will actually help you to recover from Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism. Magdalena shares a lot of practical tips and gives an exclusive discount to the Outsmart Disease readers on her Thyroid Healing program at the end of the interview.
So, let’s get started with Part 2!
Question 5. Some women have not only thyroid problems but also go through the menopause or get diagnosed with other health conditions such as premature ovarian failure, sleep apnea or digestive issues that are closely connected to autoimmune thyroid disease. Is it possible to improve symptoms of associated conditions by supporting thyroid function?
Yes, all the symptoms you described here can be improved if you focus on restoring your thyroid health the holistic, go-to-the-root-cause way, not the way of just popping a pill.
Let me start off by talking about estrogen dominance first. Progesterone and estrogen have an adversarial and inverse relationship. While progesterone is the pro-thyroid hormone, estrogen has all the opposite effects. Normally, excess estrogen is excreted by the liver. In the presence of stress, however, the liver is unable to fulfill its duty of estrogen detoxification, resulting in an elevated ratio of estrogen to progesterone (this is called estrogen dominance).
Elevated estrogen wastes nutrients, lowers blood sugar, increases free fatty acids, depresses the thyroid (increases thyroid binding globulin), increases prolactin, and depresses testosterone—all leading to high chances of hair loss, ovarian irregularities, infertility, and depression.
Then, we have the low estrogen scenario for women in menopause – this has been the sole focus of doctors today but it’s too narrow of a view as looking at estrogen levels alone will not help relieve menopause symptoms.
We are often told “It’s just menopause,” which sounds like a sentence once you hit 50.
Interestingly, we are now finding that women with the worse menopause symptoms also have a low thyroid function which goes undiagnosed; this is why their menopause symptoms linger for years even when on estrogen treatment. The ovaries and uterus need proper amounts of thyroid hormone as much as any other organ or system. This is why, once again, once you start working on holistically restoring your thyroid health with diet and lifestyle changes, menopause will become more manageable too.
For women who have lost their thyroid or whose thyroid is “too lazy” to fire back up again, there might be no choice but to take thyroid hormone which will help mitigating the awful symptoms of menopause.
Thyroid, same as the ovaries are part of the endocrine system – it is therefore not a surprise to hear that infertility and painful PMS, PCOS, ovarian cysts often subside when the thyroid is fixed. Many of my clients get pregnant within months of changing their diet and lifestyle and were told by their doctors that it’s a “miracle” or “it’s a co-incidence”. I’ve seen too many of these cases to agree with such comments.
We are conditioned to think that PMS is “part of being a woman” – let me assure it is not.
For months of being on the right thyroid diet, PMS symptoms subside and eventually go away; many of my clients even forget what it was like to be in such horrid pain.
Sleep apnea is not uncommon among thyroid patients but the good news is; once the diet changes, the symptoms subside too and I see it with my own clients. Once we clean up the diet (eliminate food intolerances, introduce good fats, regulate fluctuating sugar levels, detox the gut) and manage the stress levels (which is your cortisol and adrenaline), sleep patterns improve too.
Question 6. Hair loss is a typical hypothyroid symptom and many women are suffering because it affects not only how do they look but also how do they feel about themselves. Could you give some tips how to reverse thyroid related hair loss?
This is a topic dear to my heart as I too struggled with this issue for the longest time. In fact, hair loss was the last symptom I had to battle so I’m glad you asked this question as it feel very cathartic to be able to share it with your readers so they don’t have to go through it for years.
I saw probably a total of 8 highly skilled, holistic, naturopathic doctors to help me figure out why all my other thyroid symptoms were gone but hair loss.
Question 7. How to find the right health practitioner to work with who is qualified and can “actually help” and not “think s/he can” or agree to take the money and “try”?
Firstly, do NOT be afraid to call and ask your future doctor these questions. Many people are intimidated by doctors; as a patient you are a client too and it is YOUR choice which doctor you want to work with. The same way you go to a restaurant and expect good service as a client, expect the same from your doctor.
Here are some questions you might want to ask and the answers you want to hear:
Your Question: What do you test for if I suspect having hypothyroidism?
Answer you want to hear: TSH, Free T3, Free T4, rT3, antibodies: TPO, TBG, TSI (if you suspect hyperthyroidism) and some vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A,B, D, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc). Potentially your adrenals too, if we suspect adrenal fatigue.
Your Next Question: Apart from Synthroid and other synthetic hormones, what other medications are you open to working with?
Answer you want to hear: I’m open to working with whatever will work for you. Not one patient responds the same to thyroid medication. I’m open to working also with natural thyroid hormones such as Armour or compounded hormones (designed for your specific needs).
Hint: doctors who insist on treating you only with Synthroid should be avoided.
Your Next Question: I might be suffering from adrenal fatigue; what would you suggest testing for?
Answer you want to hear: I’m happy to test you for 4-point cortisol levels (from saliva not blood) and DHEA as a starting point.
Hint: If your doc tells you there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue, move on to the next physician.
Be prepared not to find many doctors like this, especially if you live in a more suburban area. However, this is a good first step to get your symptoms under control so you regain some energy and clarity of mind for you to investigate and implement a more sustainable change: by changing your diet, lifestyle and levels of toxicity – as this is where the thyroid health problems started in the first place.
We ate our way to this mess (unknowingly!) but we can eat our way out. Think about that.
P.S. If you missed the Part 1 of the interview How To Get Off Thyroid Medication you can read it HERE.
P.P.P.S. Do you like what you read and would like to read more? Subscribe to the Outsmart Disease thyroid blog updates and get your FREE e-mail course Nutritional guide for Hashimoto’s disease.