David G. Olarsch, N.D.
Naturopathic Doctor
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
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A New Method to Treat the Thyroid

Dr. David Olarsch



In the fall of 2006, I became one of a handful of doctors certified in a protocol for helping those who are suffering from thyroid problems. Called Wilson's Temperature Syndrome (also called Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome, WT3 Therapy), it affects many people. WTS refers to the low body temperature that many of us have. Some of the major symptoms include low body temperature (have you ever taken your temperature when you are not sick?), feeling chilled, cold hands (and feet, nose, buttocks), low energy, inability to lose weight or keep it off, and many other common malady's that some people just can't get rid of. For more details, go to Wilson's Temperature Syndrome.

What is remarkable about this revolutionary approach, is that the fix is often permanent and can positively affect many other bodily functions. By adjusting your body's thermostat, many other problems go away. For years, this condition—called hypothyroidism or hypothyroid—has been difficult to treat successfully. Previous measures included drugs such as synthroid or Armour thyroid, and required a lifetime commitment to the drugs. And, after a while, patients didn't feel much better.

At my training, I met other doctors that have seen remarkable results, and most of what I learned fit in with my experience's in my office practice. It can be a long and brutal struggle for some to balance their thyroid. Many have asked me "Is there help for my thyroid?" It is very gratifying to see many people enjoy life once again and to feel wonderful. This protocol has made a big difference in their lives, their families and even their careers.

In addition to the common reasons the thyroid goes out of balance, there are some other reasons we are seeing near epidemic levels of thyroid problems. A traumatic event, such as death of a loved one, divorce or a serious injury can lower thyroid function. A car accident or other severe shock can also cause this. Two other very important factors that reduce thyroid efficiency (or damage the thyroid) are thyocyanide in cigarette smoke and fluorides in municipal water supplies and toothpaste.

Some of the common reasons the thyroid can become weak include: prolonged stress, mercury (from "silver" dental fillings, vaccines, and the environment), poor diet, lack of iodine (no longer in our topsoil, an essential mineral), genetic inheritance, excessive dieting, even childbirth, and perhaps the most shocking: from eating soy products. Soy products, which Americans have been encouraged to gorge on, have enzymes that can inhibit thyroid hormone production. In some countries, pregnant women and babies are told to avoid soy products, along with mercury dental fillings and certain fish that are high in toxic metals. See elsewhere on this website for further information on which soy products to avoid and which are beneficial.

What is the thyroid and why is it so important? One word: metabolism! This little gland, which has 2 lobes (right & left side) and resides in our neck, performs some vital functions. The hormones it produces affect metabolism, calcium distribution, body temperatures, digestion, fat & protein synthesis, white blood cell activity, blood flow and sex hormones! Low thyroid function can have a disturbing effect in young children of slow growth and general lack of mental and physical development.

The ramifications of a low functioning thyroid affects every tissue, organ and cell in the body. It is associated with slow nutritional absorption, decreased libido and lack of motivation (see symptom list at the link above). Thanks to what I have learned, we now have some powerful tools to heal and restore this organ.

I'll elaborate the process and where it goes wrong. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland (both are contained in the brain) to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH then stimulates the thyroid to produce and release thyroxine (T4). T4 is then converted into triiodthyronine (T3), which is vital for life and four times more active than T4. This conversion of T4 to T3 takes place in the cells. (T4 can also be converted into reverse T3, which is physiologically inactive.)

Under significant physical, mental, or emotional stress the body slows down the metabolism by decreasing the amount of raw material (T4) that is converted to the active thyroid hormone (T3). This is done to conserve energy. However, when the stress is over, the metabolism is supposed to speed up and return to normal. This process can become derailed by a buildup of reverse T3 (rT3) hormone. Reverse T3 can build to such high levels that it begins to start using up the enzyme that converts T4 to T3. The body may try to correct this by releasing more TSH and T4 only to have the levels of rT3 go even higher. A vicious cycle is created where T4 is never converted into active T3. Certain nationalities are more likely to develop Wilson’s syndrome: those whose ancestors survived famine, such as Irish, American Indian, Scotch, Welsh, and Russian. Interestingly, those patients who are part Irish and part American Indian are the most prone of all. Women are also more likely than men to develop Wilson’s syndrome.

Armour Thyroid and other prescription thyroid glandulars (including Nuthroid and Westhroid), contain both T4 and T3. Synthroid and other synthetic thyroid medications contain T4 only. Since some individuals have a difficult time converting inactive T4 to active T3, these medications may not work at the cellular level. Individuals may take T4 medications for years and never notice much improvement.

Denis Wilson, M.D., refined some of the pioneering clinical research first performed by Broda Barnes, M.D. Dr. Wilson showed that symptoms of low thyroid function could be present with normal thyroid blood tests. The group of symptoms that he studied he called Wilson’s syndrome. These symptoms can include severe fatigue, headache and migraine, PMS, easy weight gain, fluid retention, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, decreased memory and concentration, hair loss, decreased sex drive, unhealthy nails, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, dry skin, dry hair, cold and/or heat intolerance, low self-esteem, irregular periods, chronic or repeated infections, and many other complaints.

I consider myself and my patients quite fortunate that I have had the opportunity to study with Dr. Wilson and others who have pioneered this exciting new protocol for low body temperature. Please take some time to study it for yourself, and keep in mind that in my office practice, I treat the whole person, not just one organ or system. WT3 therapy is a wonderful addition to my holistic approach to honoring our biochemical individuality.

Dr. David Olarsch


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