Thyroid, Hashimoto’s, TSH and YOU

Frustrated WomanPeople come into my office with anxiety, depression, weight concerns, hair loss, insomnia, heart palpitations, digestive issues, feeling cold frequently, brain fog, memory issues and other concerns.

 

They are often told by their doctors that they are “fine” and “normal” yet they feel feel that something is just not right with them. Sometimes their doctor may suggest antidepressants because the person has continued to “complain”.

Thyroid issues are often involved in these situations. If there is elevated TSH (according to the bell curve on the doctor’s lab results sheet) T4 medication (Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc.) is prescribed.

There may be no discernible results from taking the medication and the person still feels awful, or there may be minimal improvement.

drooping tulips:free

Looking only at the TSH values and not addressing the symptoms and concerns of the person, is like taking your car into the shop when it isn’t running well and asking the mechanic to only look at the rear left tire!

There is so much more to addressing the underlying mechanisms creating the symptoms. People will tell me their doctor “ran tons of tests” yet when I get a copy of the labs it isn’t even close to the very basic tests I run to find out what is going with a person. How can someone be told they are “fine” and “normal” when the tests aren’t even done?

The TSH values tend to jump around, going up and down. Trying to get TSH in range is not the most effective way to address the situation. Since more than 90% of low thyroid (hypothyroid) cases are really undiagnosed Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid), it becomes more of an immune system issue. The immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and often other body systems and organs as well. As the thyroid gland continues to be attacked, symptoms become more disconcerting and the person seeks help and direction. By the time they come into my office they are frustrated, exhausted and often angry that so much time has elapsed without getting the help they wanted from their doctor.

The blood tests for Hashimoto’s are TPO (thyroid peroxidase) and TGB or TGA (thyroglobulin) antibodies. Close to 10% of us test positive for these antibodies. Most commonly the tests aren’t even done but when they are done, there may not even be any symptoms. However, left unaddressed, symptoms will develop over time as the thyroid gland (and possibly other tissues) are destroyed. Another issue is that the antibodies go up and down, so just because they don’t show up on a test, doesn’t mean they aren’t present…the test may have been run when the antibodies were in their “low” cycle.

Insurance companies are now being more strict with what they cover. Because of this, doctors are often reluctant to run antibody and other tests that could provide the information needed to figure out what is really going on.

Managing the immune system is the most effective way to address Hashimoto’s. I see chat groups and facebook pages with people (mostly women) trying desperately to find a doctor that can “get the right medication and dosage to get their TSH balanced”. That isn’t the answer…addressing the immune system yields much more satisfying and healing results.

If you feel frustrated with your path toward health, have not been improving or getting the help you need, let me help you.

I’ve been there…misdiagnosed, watching my life pass by, wondering if I would ever feel like myself again, too exhausted to be motivated or excited about anything and feeling depressed and anxious about all of it.

I can help you learn how to get control and manage your health, address your immune system, regain your balance and power and move forward creating a wonderful life for yourself. With the right tools and your own commitment to healing, you can regain your vitality, enthusiasm, energy and joy.

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I look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey toward health!

Dr. Elena

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years.  Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease), her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality, taking control of their life.  

Go to DrElena.com for helpful handouts.

 

 

 

Gluten Free but Still Don’t Feel Well?

So you have decided to go gluten free.  You have avoided all gluten for several months but you still feel tired, depressed, anxious, bloated, have pain, may be carrying excess weight…and more.

Yellow Gluten Free image

 

Why?  You’ve been so “good”, brought your own food to parties, had great will power and can’t figure out what’s going on.

Here are some things that might be happening…

 

 

1.  If you are still eating dairy…even organic dairy, your body may be “reading” that as gluten.  Gluten and dairy cross-react.  So you may have been very diligent in avoiding gluten, but if you are still eating dairy, your body may still be reacting.

2.  You may have given up gluten, but if you are still eating grains and flour…even gluten free grains and flours…your body may be reacting as if you were eating gluten!  This is because there is now cross-reactivity between many grains.  Going gluten free may not be enough…you may need to go grain free…totally and completely grain free.

A patient of mine came into the office frustrated and confused.  She had been very diligent about avoiding gluten and dairy and had been doing well.  But she agreed to meet a friend at a neighborhood bagel shop to “catch up”.  My patient was very emphatic that she didn’t eat one bite of a bagel, no cream cheese, nothing…she just had herb tea while her friend ate bagels and cream cheese.

But my patient started having severe symptoms soon after that…gluten-type symptoms.  One of her particular symptoms is that her face would swell up, her brain would feel foggy and she would feel incredibly fatigued.  All of this happened and she hadn’t eaten any gluten or dairy. What gives?

As amazing as this sounds, it is true and I have seen it happen many times.  The gluten sensitive person gets the symptoms just be being in a place where gluten is very prevalent.  In a bagel, donut or cupcake shop, or even in a pizza restaurant…it’s in the air!  The particles are airborne and the person can breathe them in.

Going gluten free, being gluten sensitive, dealing with autoimmune issues…this can be complex.

Be vigilant, read labels and stay out of “risky places”!  Avoiding environments where bread is baked, can actually help you stay gluten free.

Be well, be safe.

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years.  Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and autoimmune disease, her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality.  DrElena.com for helpful handouts.

 

 

 

Are You Interested or Committed to Your Healing?

Are you simply interested or are you committed to your healing and reaching your goals?  What’s the difference?

If you are “interested” you might simply be checking things out, seeing what your options might be and considering the idea of moving forward.

If you are “committed”, you are at that place of being sick and tired of feeling less than you know you could be.  You know this place, right?

Fatigue, lack of energy, loss of vitality, weight gain, insomnia and other symptoms are your body’s ways of communicating with you to let you know that you are out of balance.

Physiological imbalances from stress, illness, insomnia, chronic conditions (such as autoimmune or thyroid issues), hormone issues, depression and anxiety can keep you from being the best you can be.

When you are less than the best you can be, it affects everything…your relationships with your partner (or wishing you had a partner), your family and children, co-workers and friends.  Most of all, your perspective is clouded, your brain isn’t functioning well and the joy is in your life is elusive.

I get calls from people who are “interested”.  When the time comes to make a commitment to themselves, their health and well-being and making some changes, we realize that they are simply “interested”…they aren’t ready and are stuck in that place that is comfortable because it is familiar…and because they’ve been there for some time.  That’s cool…when the time is right, the time is right.

When I get calls from people who are “committed”, I know it right away. They are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to be the best they can be.  They have just been looking for the right person to help them through whatever it is that has been causing physical or emotional discomfort.

They have decided to put themselves first and realize that if they are not feeling and functioning well, everything around them seems to be “off”. These are the people who know there is more…they don’t want to be held back by health or emotional issues any longer…they are READY.

When people are committed, they have come to a point in their lives where they just “know” it’s time to make the changes to expand and grow to the next level.  They are thrilled to have found an ally and partner in their healing and growth, they are excited and looking forward to our work together and to reaping the rewards of being a master of their health and their life.  The growth just flows!

They are ready to manifest!

I love when this happens…it’s a thrill for me to see people grow and such an honor to be part of their process of empowerment and mastery!

Which are you…simply “interested” or are you truly “committed” to yourself, your health and your goals?  If you aren’t committed now, when will you be?  What are you waiting for?

Yours in health and healing,

Dr. Elena 😉

DrElena.com

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@DrElena.com

Why Does Healing Sometimes Take So Long?

— by Dr. Elena Michaels

 

Someone recently contacted me saying she was frustrated that her health goals had not been achieved.  She wanted to give up on the program we had created because things “weren’t happening fast enough”.

Sometimes healing happens rapidly, then it may stall for a bit and plateau, and then speed up again.  Frustration and disappointment in ourselves, only hinders the process of healing.  Being loving toward ourselves contributes to our healing.

It’s important to remember that if an imbalance in physiology has been going on for several decades, it might take more than one month to change!  Being patient and trusting the process is very important.

Depending upon what your health goals are, you may experience rapid changes and improvements like Marianne and others have.  See their videos and comments at http://DrElena.com/testimonials

I personally have experienced frustration as I’ve dealt with my own health challenges as my body has worked it way toward balance and healing.  The key is to be patient, know that everyone is unique and to trust the innate healing power of the body.

I do believe there is a divine intelligence…how can there not be? Look at the divine symmetry found in nature, the exquisite beauty of a young child, or the inspiration from a colorful sunset to be reminded that that higher intelligence is at work.

When I was dealing with advanced stage cancer and healing from the shock of that diagnosis and the treatment, I would look at my cat who would often come and lie on my chest, somehow seeming to know that doing that comforted me. Everything about her was perfect…and she didn’t even know it.  😉

She had no awareness of her beauty.  I thought, “Whatever intelligence created her, is always at work creating, and if it can create this perfection and balance in her, it can create perfection in my body”.

I would look at whatever was in front of me (making sure to have positive and uplifting things in my visual field) and try to find the perfection and balance in it. Looking out the window or being outside and looking at nature, is wonderful for finding the “positives”.  That is what I saw because that is what I was looking for.

Since our bodies are the physical manifestation of energetic frequencies, sometimes simply working on the physical level by taking supplements and sticking to a food program, is not enough.  There may be emotional issues, even unconscious ones we are not even aware of, that may be sabotaging the work we are trying to do.

Chronic illness, weight loss and autoimmune issues often take some time to completely resolve.  It takes many years for some of this situations to develop and manifest physically, so expecting very rapid results may sometimes not be realistic. However, positive movement can take place and we can move toward our health goals.

If you are not moving forward fast enough in your healing goals, really look closely at yourself.  If you’ve been “slipping” in your program, perhaps you are not being being honest with yourself about taking your supplements, sticking to your food plan, sleeping enough, or maybe you are letting stress get to you and not managing it well, being exposed to chemicals or using drugs or alcohol, or not dealing with emotional issues.

When we are working on healing, it is important that we acknowledge the small steps, taking note of those forward movements and being patient with ourselves and trusting that our highest good will prevail.

Our bodies were designed to be in balance, at an ideal weight, with calm emotions and a sense of joy.  Looking at all aspects in a holistic way, can often unlock what may have been sabotaging our goals.

Blessings to you on your journey,

Dr. Elena 😉

 

 

Take Supplements and a Multi or Not?

Here is an interview I did that was printed in Whole Live Times.

Click here to read the short article:

It specifically mentions my thoughts on supplements (supposedly “healthy” supplements) and how they can wreak havoc in someone who is dealing with autoimmune conditions.

Some of these “healthy” nutrients, such as oat bran, kelp, iodine, green tea, echinacea and grape skin, can actually make you feel worse. depending upon your unique immune system!

Some people may not realize that they even have an autoimmune condition. Thyroid autoimmune issues especially often are missed.  They may look more like anxiety or depression and the person may be prescribed anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds when they actually have an immune system issue that may be causing brain inflammation.  I see this situation often.

In their attempt to feel better, many people come into my office with many bottles of supplements they have purchased.  Some are good for them, but most are only contributing to them not feeling well…even though they are “good quality supplements with healthy ingredients”.  The problem is, they are not beneficial for that person.

This can all be very confusing and frustrating since many of you are using and taking things that “worked for someone else” but don’t seem to be working for you.

It’s important to find out what understand the underlying mechanisms causing the symtoms, and take what is needed to strengthen your unique system!

Click here to read the short article:

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

 

 

Why Is It So Hard to Give Up Gluten, Grain and Dairy?

Why Is It So Hard To Give Up Gluten, Grain and Dairy?

by Dr. Elena Michaels

Why is it so hard to give up gluten, grain and dairy?  And why do so many people resist doing it?

Go Gluten Free - DrElena.com

Gluten contains gluteomorphins, also known as gliadorphins, peptides that are actually opioids (yes, as in “opium”).  During digestion (or the attempt by the body to actually digest gluten protein), gluteomorphin is formed.  In an ideal functioning body with balanced physiology, it is broken down into amino acids.  Most of us do NOT have a balanced physiology!

The problem is that with leaky gut syndrome, many people do not have a balanced physiology and particles actually leak out of the gut, move through the body.  These particles can actually even adversely affect brain function.

(This may be why antidepressants don’t work for some people, leading to hopelessness about their situation…the inflammation in their brain is not being addressed and unbeknownst to the person, they are continuing to cause more brain inflammation by their food choices.)

Gluteomorphins and caseomorphins (from dairy products) are highly addictive.  I am going to only discuss the gluteomorphins in this article, but much of what I say applies to caseomorphins, as well.

Leaky gut is rampant now…a leaky gut actually allows undigested particles to move through the body and cause major inflammation in muscles, organs, skin, glands and the brain.

Many people come into my office telling me they were tested for gluten sensitivity or allergies and the tests came back negative.  So they continued happily eating grains and gluten…and they continued to not feel well.

The issue is that the test most often performed is for alpha gliadin only, and there are many more gliadins that can wreak havoc in the system.  Another issue is that there is a huge problem with cross-contamination with all grains.  So a person who is avoiding eating gluten, may still not feel well if they continue to eat grains.

I was one of these people.  I was gluten free and very diligent and vigilant about it but still did not feel well.  I ran some tests on myself from Cyrex Labs (the only lab I feel is accurate and reliable for these kinds of tests) and I was shocked to find out how many of the foods I thought were “safe”, were actually making me sick.

With that hard data, I stopped eating all grains and everything else that showed up on those test results.  I was sick of being sick, and I wanted to be well.  Amazing things happened after my body was able to get rid of those particles that were causing inflammation.  This takes time and patience, as the body needs to rebuild.

When the particle leak out of the gut, they can cause any number of symptoms and many of them are NOT digestive issues.  This is why so many people think they are fine eating gluten (and dairy, as well).

Skin issues like psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo, muscle and joint issues that mimic rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and pain issues, most autoimmune issues, brain issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain fog and memory loss, and glandular issues like thyroid imbalances (hypothyroid and hyperthyroid), Hashimoto’s, Grave’s and thyroid nodules are all affected by leaky gut, gluten, casein and grain and other foods that are cross reactive.  Excess weight is even connected to gluten, grain and dairy intolerances.

The saddest thing is to see a parent of an ADD or ADHD child, or a child on the autistic spectrum, who refuses to “deprive” their child of “foods they like”.  They have no idea how much damage they are doing by allowing their child to continue to eat foods that cause damage to tissues and the brain.

Digestive issues are often an indicator of food sensitivities, but there are other symptoms that most people don’t connect to the foods they are eating.  They think that because they don’t have a digestive issue, that the food is not adversely affecting them.

Remember that these “morphins” are highly addictive…they actually give people a high.  That is the reason so many are resistant to giving up those foods…they are addicted to them.  And this is why some people feel worse for a few days after giving up these foods…it’s like trying to break a heroin addiction.  But have hope…it doesn’t last long and you will start to feel better!

If you aren’t sure how to go about giving up certain foods, wonder what you will eat after you give up the foods you have been addicted to, doubt that you have gluten sensitivity or wonder how your symptoms can be connected…work with a professional who really knows what they are doing and has been trained in these areas.

If you have thyroid issues, get control of that and realize that it is most likely an immune system issue, not a thyroid issue.  Chasing TSH numbers is not the answer.  Your immune system is attacking your thyroid…and you may be able to stop it before your thyroid is completely destroyed.

So who is in control of you?  Are your addictions that are making you sick, causing damage in your body and brain and inflammation throughout your system in control of you?  Are you so much less than you know you could be?  Are you frustrated with medications for mood that don’t seem to help, or thyroid values that don’t seem to stay in the lab range?

Or are you in charge of your life…are you the one who can make decisions in your best interest for your greatest health, well-being and best brain function?

Don’t be a victim…get informed about your unique situation, take charge, learn exactly what to do about it and come into your full power!

 

Elena Michaels PhD, CCH, MFT is a Doctor of Natural Health, Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist.  She has been passionate about helping others take charge of their lives physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually for more than 30 years.  Her private practice is in Valencia, California, in Los Angeles County.  She can be reached at Elena@DrElena.com or 661 250-4395, and check out www.DrElena.com for free gifts to enhance your life. 

Thank you in advance for including the author’s information when sharing this article.

 

 

How To Age Quickly

The other evening, we were at an event where dinner was served.  We chatted with the couple across the table from us, sharing information about our children, our work, and so on.  They were a very sweet couple, and we found out they were our age.

Soon they began talking about their medical problems.  The wife told us she had over 26 surgeries and two more surgeries were being scheduled soon.  The husband said he was no longer able to work, was on disability and soon to have shoulder surgery since he was in so much pain and just “getting older”.

I watched what they were eating.  They had artificial sweeteners with their beverages (the “yellow packets”), lots of bread (he said he “loved” bread and could eat “tons” of it), batter-fried seafood and dairy in their meal.  They were both overweight.

I could tell that they weren’t interested in doing anything differently or adjusting their food choices.  They were on the track that so many are on…seeing the doctor, getting medications and then having surgery.

Dairy and flour-based foods (especially gluten, but other grains as well) are highly inflammatory.  Inflammation creates disease, aging and pain.  Both of these people we sat with the other evening, complained about pain. These foods are also highly addictive, so people aren’t necessarily excited about eliminating them from their diets.

I hear things like, “it’s too restrictive”, “I want to enjoy my life and eat the things I like”, “those things don’t have anything to do with my health issues”, “my doctor never mentions anything about giving up dairy or flour/grain/gluten”, and so on.

But actually, if you were to eliminate inflammatory foods your body would be less inflamed, less irritated and and you would have less pain.  This doesn’t happen overnight, but by sticking with it and being diligent, results are seen.

You may be at a loss trying to figure out what to eat when these foods are removed from your diet.  There actually are plenty of options.  You will find that your taste buds seem to be “reborn”, food will taste wonderful…even foods you may have previously thought of as boring and bland (such as some green vegetables).

If you want to extend your life, lose weight, look and feel younger…give up inflammatory foods.  If you want guidance and direction on how to do this, call the office at 661 250-4395 and set up an appointment with me and I’ll help you change your body and your health.  Don’t age before your time because you don’t have the information on how to keep yourself young and vital.

Start now…the body is a miraculous thing…get out of the way and let it be the healthy vehicle for your glowing spirit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healing Takes Patience

Some people are impatient with the healing process.  The “patient” must be “patient” for healing to occur!

There must be balance between these two ideas: 
1. Yes, all healing comes from the infinite, and from connection and alignment with our spiritual source. 
2. However, each of us must take responsibility for our own healing. Being passive and waiting for it to occur just doesn’t make it happen.

 

So self-responsibility is SO important…doing what we need to do and making sure that we have balance and harmony, less stress, AND an expectation that healing will occur. 

Having an attitude of, “well, I’ll try it for a couple of days/a few weeks and see if it works”, just doesn’t cut it and will probably lead to frustration and disappointment. 

A more helpful approach might be, “I am going to make a serious commitment to my health and well-being, give energy to all levels of my healing (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual), stay focused and conscious on my food selection and intake, my supplements, my spiritual connection AND have an expectation that I WILL and I AM getting well, and I AM doing this until and even after I notice little positive changes start to happen.”

When dealing with a chronic imbalance, patience with the process and with ourselves is very important. The body takes time to manifest disease and imbalance, and it takes time to heal and rebalance…and the body heals in “layers”. 

So let’s trust the process, give it time, be patient with ourselves and expect healing to occur!

 

Could You Have Low Thyroid Function?

Could You Have Low Thyroid Function?

 — by Dr. Elena Michaels

Are you experiencing:

 

• Fatigue

• Weight issues (unable to lose weight or keep it off)

• Hair loss

• High or very low cholesterol

• Cold hands and feet

• Dry skin

• Difficulty concentrating/”brain fog”

• Short term memory loss (no, it’s not “just aging”)

• Recurrent infections

• Muscle aches/joint pain

 

Many people who have sought help for a variety of health concerns and thyroid function, are told that their blood tests are “normal”.

You may have been told there is “no physical cause” for your symptoms, and  because you say “something is wrong” and you don’t “feel right” antidepressants may have even been suggested.  There is a place for antidepressants, but it really may be your thyroid gland that is not functioning well, and/or being attacked by your own body.  Most cases of low thyroid function are from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an immune system issue more than a thyroid issue.  “Chasing thyroid numbers” to get them into the lab range can be frustrating and even useless as with Hashimoto’s, the thyroid values can go up and down in cycles which are frequently felt physically and emotionally.

There are ways to enhance the immune system that are “immune neutral”…they don’t stimulate parts of the immune system and throw other parts out of balance.  Healing the digestive system is important as the autoimmunity directly affects the digestive system.  Eliminating inflammatory foods isn’t enough…damaged tissue must be healed as well and further tissue destruction must be monitored.

If you have been feeling frustrated about your health, not feeling well, missing your “get up and go”, lacking motivation and dealing with some of the symptoms above, working with a specialist trained in the newest ways of dealing with thyroid and Hashimoto’s can help you understand what is going on with your body and regain control of your health, and your life.

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a traditional naturopathic doctor, specializing in thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s and autoimmune conditions.  She sees people in her office in Valencia, California and also does phone consultations for those who are not local.  Dr. Elena is also a holistic psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and has been helping others create greater health, happiness and balance for more than 30 years.  Contact her at 661 250-4395, Elena@DrElena.com or www.DrElena.com

 

 

Turn Your Body Into a Fat Burning Machine

Have you been trying to lose weight but finding it challenging?  It’s really not that difficult once you tap into what your body really needs to function well.

Are you working out and eating what you think is a healthy diet yet still not losing the weight?   What you are eating may not be a healthy diet for you, after all!

But in this article, I’d like to give you a few quick tips that might help you reach your weight loss goals.

•  Eliminate artificial sweeteners.  All artificial sweeteners create cravings for more sweets which could tempt you to eat things you know you shouldn’t be eating to lose weight!  Some artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain, compromised thyroid function and gastrointestinal issues.  Use stevia, instead.  We have awesome natural, flavored liquids and unflavored powder in the office and I personally love using the flavored liquids in creative ways.

•  Stop eating microwavable frozen meals.  They are often full of excess sodium (which creates water retention), the chemical composition of food is altered and microwaving has been linked to cancer.  Real food is much better for you.  Take the extra time to pack a nutritious lunch and avoid that microwave!  If you get home late from work reheat leftovers using a pan and coconut oil.

•  Use coconut oil.  It’s great for cooking, tastes yummy and helps your body burn excess fat.  Start with 1 teaspoon in your morning warm beverage and start the fat-burning process early in your day.  Purchase organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil.  You can even use it instead of butter.  It’s very satiating, rich in lauric acid (antiviral and antibacterial) and coconut and high quality virgin olive oil are really the best oils to use.

If you are ready to “re-boot”your system, take charge of your body and mind and get more ideas on what specific tips and techniques will work for your body, check out the video at www.DrElena.com/testimonials and see what others have experienced.  You can turn your body into a fat-burning machine!  If you don’t feel well or function well, nothing else seems worthwhile.  Don’t you deserve to feel great?

Dr. Elena Michaels is a traditional naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and hypnotherapist who has been helping others create greater health, happiness and balance for more than 30 years.  Contact her at Elena@DrElena.com www.DrElena.com or 661 250-4395.