Low thyroid function or hypothyroidism is a major common denominator of degenerative disease. Our illnesses have many causes or are multi-factorial. They also have many effects called signs and symptoms. Most physicians, conventional and alternative, treat the disease or the diagnosis primarily and not the patient in a holistic manner – spiritual, mental emotional, physical, and financial. For over thirty years, I have used a holistic approach. Most physicians and patients are seeking the magic bullet. And the patient wants the miracle drugs that cover up the symptoms.
A large percentage of us have low thyroid function. Conventional physicians often treat the thyroid tests and not the patients. If the tests are normal, you are unlikely to be diagnosed and treated. Yet, Dr. Broda Barnes was the first to correlate low body temperature with low thyroid function, which is actually a more reliable indicator of thyroid function. Currently, Dr. Denis Wilson is the international “guru” of this relationship, which he has named Wilson ’s Temperature Syndrome (WTS). For an in depth consultation, call Dr. Dekel’s office at 516-208-6617.
Following is a comprehensive summary of the methods of Barnes and Wilson. I find that many patients now are looking for a physician for treatment of low thyroid function. In my practice, I have used both approaches. Sometimes one works and the other does not. Low adrenal function secondary to stress is another major common denominator of degenerative disease. I often treat the patient for both adrenal and thyroid, simultaneously.
The Barnes Approach
The pioneer in this field is Broda Barnes, M.D., Ph.D., who died in his 90s. His book, Hypothyroidism – The Unsuspected Illness, is a classic and is available in bookstores and health stores. He stated that 40% of the population has low thyroid function. In my practice, I find over 90% are hypothyroid. Barnes developed the Basal Temperature Study (BTS), which I have combined in a form that I call the Thyroid Appraisal Indicator (TAI). I use this for my diagnoses and for following the progress of my patients. The TAI lists all of the symptoms I gathered from Barnes’ book and subsequently learned through my practice. These symptoms may be associated with hypothyroidism, but some are common to other illnesses.
The BTS is a simple, costless test that takes only two ten-minute periods on two consecutive days. If you still have one, you may use an oral or rectal mercury thermometer. (Do not break it!) Currently, mercury thermometers are unavailable and I recommend one with gallium called Geratherm. (Warning: Do not use a digital thermometer for the results may not be accurate. ) Shake down the thermometer and place it bedside at night. When you awaken and before you get out of bed in the morning, place it deeply in your armpit for ten minutes by the clock. Then, take the reading. Do this for two days and average. The normal is from 97.8 to 98.2 degrees. A reading below the lowest reading is suggestive of hypothyroidism and, above, of hyperthyroidism. You must be fever-free to start and must be at the resting state upon awakening. (Do not wake up to an alarm clock.) For an infant, the study can be done rectally, just remember to add one degree to the above normal readings. Barnes had found the conventional thyroid tests often normal or negative, equivocal or confusing. I found the same to be true, as well as costly!
Treatment of hypothyroidism is generally with the natural prescription drug called Thyroid, USP, and iodine – the key thyroid mineral and the necessary vitamins as in a multiple vitamins, especially the B-complex. An alternative treatment is the use of essential oils such as Myrtle and Endoflex combined with Thyromin (available from Young Living Essential Oils). The synthetic product Synthroid is used by the majority of conventional physicians, but I prefer the natural and less-expensive preparations and, in particular, one called Westhroid (Thyroid, USP).
There are reasons for being hypothyroid. For one, mercury from fillings in the mouth may have an adverse effect and contribute to the thyroid’s under-functioning. With amalgam removal and replacement, as with thyroid hormone treatment, the BTS often rises and the TAI symptoms come down. Chlorine and fluoride, often found in ordinary drinking water, poison the thyroid gland. Found in breads and soft drinks like Gatorade and Mountain Dew, bromine is harmful not only to one’s thyroid function but also may contribute to aggressive behavior and gastrointestinal problems. They are all in the same chemical family (halogens) as iodine that is the key mineral for the thyroid. They compete with iodine and impair hormone production.
The Wilson Approach
Denis Wilson, M.D. has developed a protocol for the treatment of Wilson ’s Thyroid Syndrome (WTS). His diagnosis and treatment parallel that of Barnes, but there are some major differences. The diagnosis is based upon the presence of symptoms of low thyroid function, enumerated in his Thyroid Symptom Check List, which is a low body temperature based on oral temperatures and abnormal thyroid function test(s). Temperatures are taken with a non-digital thermometer three times during a day at three-hour intervals, beginning in the early morning and averaged. Normal temperature is 98.6. Thyroid-function tests such as TSH, T-4, and T-3 may be ordered. If they are normal but the temperature is low and the patient has symptoms, the diagnosis is WTS and the patient is treated appropriately.
To understand the treatment, a brief view on the physiology of thyroid production would be helpful. As you may know, the pituitary gland secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) that tells the thyroid gland to produce T-4 (a form of thyroid hormone). An enzyme then normally converts T-4 to T-3, the active thyroid hormone that keeps the body in metabolic balance. For various reasons, some people do not efficiently convert T-4 to T-3 and end up with what is called Reverse T-3, with the result that body temperature drops and symptoms arise or increase.
The WTS treatment consists of taking sustained-release T-3 capsules, e.g., 7.5 mcg twice a day at an exact twelve-hour interval, increasing dosages each day by 7.5 mcg, to “capture” the normal temperature of 98.6, continuing on this dosage for two weeks, and then gradually reducing and stopping. The treatment period is about one month. However, a patient may repeat the series a few times if normal temperature is not captured.
When this method works, the benefits to the patient are significant. I have been treating patients with WTS therapy for over five years. I find 75% of my patients do very well, capture their temperature, and reduce their symptoms. They usually take one to three series to achieve these positive results. Some do need another series down the road because of stress, which is a factor that may lower body temperature. The beauty of successful treatment is that the patient has no need to take any further thyroid prescription medication. With the Barnes Method, the patient takes Thyroid, USP indefinitely. The other 25% of patients seem to have problems in tolerating the medication. The use of the Barnes Method is an alternative to the Wilson approach.
You may learn more about WTS from going to the web site www.wilsonstemperaturesyndrome.com . Here, you will also find a referral list of area physicians who are using this therapy. Dr. Wilson has written a most understandable and cleverly-illustrated book for both patients and doctors called The Doctor’s Manual. I encourage my patients to order it or read it free on the web site.
I wish you good health.
Roy B. Kupsinel, M.D. graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1959 and interned at Martin Army Hospital, Ft. Benning, Georgia. A family physician in Hallandale, Florida from 1960 to 1971, he then became an Emergency Room physician for four years before reentering family practice with an emphasis on preventive medicine. As the "Transition Physician," he developed into a holistic physician who treated his patients as whole beings – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. After 46 years of practice, Dr. Kupsinel is closing his medical practice and enjoying photo-journalism, magic, and travel.
For 15 years, he edited and published Health Consciousness - a holistic magazine that was circulated in 32 countries. He also authored the booklet A Patient’s Guide to Mercury-Amalgam Toxicity with over 40,000 copies distributed worldwide. Becoming a magician in 1966, he is Past President of the Society of American Magicians, the world's oldest magical organization, and has twice performed professionally in Hollywood , California at The Magic Castle . Also a photographer, Dr. Kupsinel began his photographic hobby in 1934, which continues into 2007. Specializing in outdoor photography, he has received many awards for his outstanding work with many of his photos published on the covers of and inside health magazines. Dr. Kupsinel may be reached at RKupsinel@aol.com Web Site: www.kupmed.com.