HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

 

Your immune system is your body’s defense against disease and infection. However, having an autoimmune disease can make your immune system attack the healthy cells in your body by mistake and affect many parts of the body. While no one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases, Dr. Izabella Wentz says we can take back our health through nutrition or food pharmacology. Dr. Wentz is a Thyroid Pharmacist and author of Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology. Following her bout with Hashimoto’s disease, she has made it her life mission to educate people about Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune conditions and how they can take back their own health without needing to see a functional medicine doctor necessarily.

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Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology with Izabella Wentz

I’m excited to have a total game changer on my program. She trained at the same institution I did back in Chicago, Midwestern University. I’ve got none other than Dr. Izabella Wentz. Dr. Wentz, how are you?

I’m doing great, Dr. Wolfson. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here with you.

Dr. Izabella Wentz has got her third book. It’s called Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology. It’s a follow up to her bestsellers including the Hashimoto’s Protocol and also Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’ll let you talk more about where you’re at and what the new book is all about. Thanks again for being on.

My goal is to help as many people with Hashimoto’s take back their health as possible. I was trained as a pharmacist. The approach to thyroid disease was if you have too much thyroid hormone, we suppress it. If you don’t make enough thyroid hormone, we give you thyroid hormone, but there was never a look at, “Why do you not make enough thyroid hormone? Could it be because your body is attacking your thyroid gland? What can we do about that autoimmune attack?” There were really no lifestyle interventions for Hashimoto’s, for any thyroid condition when I was personally diagnosed myself and I wanted to change that. I wanted to figure out what I could do to get myself to be the healthiest person with Hashimoto’s if possible and to get rid of some of my symptoms. Maybe potentially prevent the progression to other types of autoimmune conditions and reverse some of the damage that had happened in my body.

I started off with the first book that was my discovery and the research I did to take back my own health. I was excited that it got out there and it taught a lot of other people how to do the same. The second book came out after extensive work with various clients and figuring out some additional patterns that I was seeing. I hope it made it easier for people to take back their health as well. This third book, my goal with it is for every single person that picks it up is to be their own nutrition guru. Figuring out all the things you could do on your own in your own home without needing to see a functional medicine doctor necessarily. I feel there’s a lot going on with the autoimmune disease, but that there are foundational things that everybody can do on their own. A big part of that is nutrition or food pharmacology as I like to call it.

As you point out, 35 million Americans have Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is your body is attacking the thyroid gland. We, conventional medical doctors say, “It just is. We have no idea why. There’s nothing we can do about it. Here’s your prescription for a thyroid drug.” As you point out in your first two books and now it’s the third book, is that there is a cause of why someone has an immune system attack on their thyroid. What if someone has thyroid antibodies, but yet maybe they don’t have symptoms and their TSH is “within the normal range.” Where do we go with that?

That is the best time to make an intervention because as we know, it’s much easier to prevent damage to an organ than it is to grow back a thyroid gland. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it’s not easy. When you have these elevated antibodies, you’re going to be in the early stages of Hashimoto’s. They’re about five stages of the condition. It starts off with basically having the genetic predisposition for it. When you don’t have symptoms and you don’t have any markers or any attack on your thyroid gland, that’s going to be Stage 1. Stage 2 is when you start having this autoimmune reactivity, which is the thyroid antibodies against your thyroid gland. Stage 3 is going to occur when we have a breakdown of thyroid tissue and we’re going to start seeing some symptoms.

Stage 4 is when the thyroid is no longer able to compensate. This is when most people get diagnosed when they have those out-of-range TSH, that’s when they’re going to be candidates for thyroid medications. Stage 5 is progression to other types of autoimmune conditions, be it lupus and be it rheumatoid arthritis. There are hundreds of different autoimmune conditions out there. When we have to find the antibodies and even no symptoms, we’re in that early Stage 2. The condition if you do nothing, it might take five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, but eventually your thyroid gland is going to be under more and more attack. You’re going to have more and more symptoms and sometimes you may not even recognize that they’re thyroid symptoms. This will lead to the destruction of the thyroid gland. Stage 2 is the sweet spot. This is where we can do a lot of the lifestyle changes and figure out the root causes and then we can prevent having the condition.

Don’t you have something about The Root Cause where you’ve got a tree and the roots?

The different root causes that you typically see in people with Hashimoto’s are going to be food sensitivities, nutrient depletion, impaired ability to handle stress, impaired ability to handle toxins, gut challenges as well as chronic infections. Chronic infections are going to be a bit more complicated. It’s best to work with a practitioner on. It’s the same with a lot of times some of the toxins. We may need to have some advanced methods but the other things that I talked about like supporting your stress response, supporting your body’s ability to get rid of toxins, the gut health, the nutrient deficiencies and the food sensitivities, a lot of these things we can do in our own homes. It starts in our own kitchens with the foods that we choose to eat and not to eat. Some of these high-quality supplements and nutrients that will help rebalance our bodies.

Tell me what the typical symptoms are that people would look for if they’re looking for underactive thyroid and Hashimoto’s. What are the symptoms of hypothyroid?

Some of the biggest things that people complain about are going to be brain fog or mood symptoms, anxiety and depression. These are going to be oftentimes the first symptoms that people complain about and they’re often misdiagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks. I’ve even seen some people being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder because they fluctuate in function in the early stages when it’s under attack where it will have times where it’s underactive and times when it’s overactive. That would be one big domain is looking at your brain function. The other big thing that people complain about is going to be fatigue. You’re more tired than the average squirrel. You’re having a harder time getting out of bed in the morning. Things are wearing you out that never used to. Perhaps you’re not able to keep up with work or exercise or whatever you used to do.

HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

Food Pharmacology: Stage Two is the sweet spot. This is where we can do a lot of the lifestyle changes and figure out the root causes.

 

The third one that people often complain about is going to be waking or an inability to lose weight. You’re eating exactly what you were eating. You’re exercising as much, but for whatever reason, your pants keep getting tighter and tighter. I know this for me, I was like, “Why are my sweat pants tight? What is happening here? Did they shrink?” They didn’t, it was my thyroid. Those are the top three things people complain about and this can be nonspecific. A lot of times we talk ourselves out of things or maybe our doctor. I know I was 25. I was like, “I’ve got all these symptoms.” I was told that I was getting older. That’s normal. You’re getting old. That’s why you’re getting chubby, forgetful, moody and tired. Some of the more specific thyroid symptoms are going to be if you’re colder than the average person, if you’re the woman in your office and everybody’s in a t-shirt and you’ve got two sweaters.

I’ve diagnosed many of my aunts that way. I’m like, “Auntie, why are you wearing a coat? You know that it’s 80 degrees out.” Cold intolerance is a big symptom, a big red flag for me. If you’re losing hair, that’s a big red flag for me as well as the loss of the eyebrows. Another one that’s seems a little bit random, but when you feel disconnected, maybe your loved ones. That same amount of passion is not there. You may have some version of the apathy that’s going to be pretty specific for me for a thyroid condition as well.

From a cardiology standpoint, what you’d agree that slow heart rate or bradycardia, maybe low blood pressure, dyslipidemia. I’ve heard you talk about that as far as what can happen to the lipid profile and elevated cholesterol, LDL particles, high triglycerides associated with an underactive thyroid. There was well-known cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure related to significant hypothyroidism. I, certainly as a cardiologist, am a big proponent of optimizing thyroid function for cardiovascular health.

That’s an important key component is making sure the key root cause of potential cardiac issues. One big thing that I often will see too, especially in the early stages and I’m curious how often you see the correlation is palpitations. For my people with Hashimoto’s, palpitations are going to be common, especially in the early stages as their thyroid gland is under attack and perhaps before they start regulating with either thyroid hormone and/or different types of lifestyle changes. Do you see that often as well?

Classically, it’s a hyperthyroid condition. If you’re in the early stages of Hashimoto’s and you’re bouncing between overactive and underactive as the antibodies are attacking the thyroid gland. Therefore, maybe either inhibiting thyroid function or stimulating thyroid function, atrial fibrillation would be something more common. PACs, PVCs and certainly sinus tachycardia would be a classic sign of hyperthyroid as well. We see a lot of it. I hate to hear your story about when you were 25 and the doctor was like, “You’re getting older.” You’re like, “What? I’m 25. I’m still a kid. Now, you’re telling me that I’m verging on senior citizen status here.” It’s frustrating for the people. Thanks to you for getting this information out there to millions of people.

Your new book is basically right and is your own doctor on this. When you need a little bit of extra support or need to go the extra mile and that’s why I wrote my book. When you need a little extra support, find an expert in your field, a functional medicine expert as well. Food Pharmacology, I have not read the book. I’m a Paleo cardiologist. I am a Paleo eater. I eat plenty of free-range, grass-fed animal products, tons of wild seafood, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, coconuts and tons of vegetables. Everything is organic. All the animal products are ethically raised. Other people feel the same way. What they miss oftentimes are the glands and the organs of the animal. Tell me what chapters do I find in your book about eating thyroid gland?

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We don’t talk about eating thyroid gland necessarily. The reason for this is I like to regulate thyroid gland with natural desiccated thyroid hormones. One of my challenges with this is because thyroid hormones are dosed in micrograms. When we get too much, that can be an issue and when we don’t get enough that could be an issue too. We end up running into some problems. Some people advocate using natural glandulars that they might buy over the counter. For me as a pharmacologist, I’m like, “Why not get the measured doses?” Oftentimes I recommend things like Nature-Throid to be utilized because we’re dealing with tiny amounts. One microgram is 1/1,000th of a milligram. It’s teeny tiny amounts.

Even in some cases with a compounding pharmacist, you want to make sure that they’re using dilutions and sensitive scales to get the dosage of your thyroid hormone right. With an overactive thyroid, it can be a challenging situation when we get too much of the thyroid hormone on board. I do recommend utilizing liver, pates and do eat animal organs. With the thyroid gland, we don’t want to consume too much. What’s interesting is back in the day, thyroid hormone medications, glandular medications were derived from the organs of animals. They were testing the level of hormone or calibrating by the amount of iodine that was in them. That was the reason why they fell out of favor is that we wouldn’t get stable amounts of thyroid hormone.

A person would get one batch of medications. They’d be within normal thyroid function then they’d get a refill and then they’d be hyperthyroid. They get another refill and be hyperthyroid, so on and so forth. Since that time, we’ve got more elaborate in scientific assays that can measure the amounts of the thyroid hormone and not the iodine in the pills. A lot of times people will go to a conventional endocrinologist and they’ll say natural desiccated thyroid hormones are not safe because you can have these fluctuations. They can’t measure. This is old and outdated information. The drugs, the medications on the market now do measure the amount of hormone. You’re going to get tiny variability between batches, which as a pharmacist is exciting for me.

You heard it there from the worldwide thyroid expert, Dr. Izabella Wentz, who is not in favor of Jack Wolfson’s idea. With Paleo, I know that my ancestors are from Russia, and Izabella and her ancestors are from Poland. When they kill an animal and they saw their thyroid gland, they would eat that thyroid gland. Dr. Izabella is saying, “Be careful,” as far as overconsumption and it can be a problem for some people.

For healthy people, that’s appropriate. If you have somebody that is struggling with Hashimoto’s and their thyroid function is all over the place, I would not say your first source of balancing your thyroid hormone would be to eat thyroid glands of various animals. It would be great as a potential supplement for some people. We do want to go to the source and get those microgram dosing dialed in when we have an advanced degree of thyroid dysfunction.

You’re talking about different thyroid replacement. Tell me as far as the use of natural products aka somewhat glandular as compared to how I was trained and everybody got Synthroid, and some people got Synthroid and Cytomel, which is T3. If we’re going to advise the average patient who’s going to need some hormone replacement, should we tell him to ask for a natural product versus a Synthroid or a combination of T3 and T4?

HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

Food Pharmacology: If you have somebody that is struggling with Hashimoto’s, your first source of balancing your thyroid hormone would be to eat thyroid glands of various animals.

 

I tend to be biased because I’m a thyroid pharmacist and generally people don’t come to me because they have great outcomes on Synthroid and they thought I was cool. Generally, they’re coming to me because they’re taking a medication like Synthroid or levothyroxine. Synthroid was the top-selling drug in the last few years. It’s in the top three. They’re coming to me because they’re not feeling well with these drugs. My bias is that I believe that most people that I see feel best when they take a product that contains both T3 and T4. To make it easier on most people, I recommend something like a Nature-Throid or WP Thyroid when it’s in stock. This is manufactured and they do all the rigorous testing. You don’t have to look for a specially-trained compounding pharmacist. That’s a reasonable starting point for most people who have a requirement for thyroid hormone when they have a thyroid hormone deficiency.

Why have there been such issues over the past couple of years with some of these natural thyroid companies and getting products available, shortages and stuff?

From my understanding, they had a shortage of some of the raw product. Potentially, that was impacted by some of the hurricanes. It’s been a mystery. They’ve given me some information here and there as to what’s been happening. My understanding is a shortage of the raw product, pricing going up and potentially some of the areas being affected by the hurricanes where the raw product was sourced.

If someone comes to you or their practitioner, they were on levothyroxine and not having success with it, still having all the different symptoms and may be abnormal blood work or not. They’re trying on a natural product. What if we had problems dialing in the natural products? Do we ever reach back to a compounded T3, T4?

Absolutely and a lot of times we’ll see people, for whatever reason, they’re not able to tolerate the natural desiccated product. In some cases, it might be small amounts of thyroglobulin or TPO or some of the other thyroid antigens that may be present. When a small percentage of people, I would say maybe less than 10%, we’ll see people’s thyroid antibodies going up a little bit after starting that medication. For a majority of the people, they do go down or maybe they need a customized dosage for them or perhaps they’re reacting to some of the fillers. At that point, the compounded medications offer an excellent option.

Compounding pharmacists, what they can do is make the compounds with a standard T4 to T3 ratio, for example, as you would see in a natural desiccated thyroid. They can tweak the ratios a bit maybe giving a person a little bit more T4 when they need it or a little bit more T3 depending on what their numbers are like. You have the ability to make it custom to not add in some of the fillers that a person may be reacting to. In many cases, when there’s a shortage of manufactured medications, we can always utilize the compounding pharmacies. I do recommend working with a pharmacy that uses PCCA, Professional Compounding Centers of America, starters and dilutions. It’s hard to weigh these tiny micrograms. When they start off with those, you’re going to get more accurate dosing.

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What’s interesting when we talk about different toxins in the world that may be coming in from various sources and they’ll tell us, “It’s a few micrograms. It’s a tiny amount.” It sounds like you’re saying a couple of tiny micrograms can lead to significant effects on the body. I can speak, obviously, if I gave you micrograms of Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor, your body will have an effect. Those tiny infinitesimal doses can have dramatic effects. Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology is the book by Dr. Izabella Wentz, here on the show, we’re talking about it. One of my favorite things is sea vegetables. I love eating nori, wakame, dulse and kelp. They are a phenomenal source of iodine. Iodine is a major component of building of thyroid hormone. What do you discuss in the book regarding the use of sea vegetables?

I love the use of sea vegetables for healthy people that are doing well. For people with autoimmune thyroid disease, we don’t want to do them in excess. It’s a situation with the micrograms. Iodine can be a narrow therapeutic index nutrient. We want to keep it right for certain people. Unfortunately, I’ve had people with Hashitoxicosis and exacerbations of their autoimmune flare-ups with high doses of iodine. I tend to be of the more conservative nature where I try to keep it within certain boundaries. If you want to go have seaweed every now and if you want to go to have Sushi or do any of those things is totally fine. I don’t recommend eating a bag of seaweed snacks every single day because you can overdose yourself on iodine.

From a pharmacology toxicology standpoint, whether it’s a poison or remedy, it depends on the dose. With Hashimoto’s especially when we have deficiencies in other nutrients like selenium and some of the magnesium and everything else like that, we can set off the balance. Where if I give you a whole bunch of iodine, but you don’t have enough selenium on board, what’s going to happen is you’re going to be producing more hydrogen peroxide which is going to cause some surrounding damage because that selenium is not going to be there to neutralize it. A lot of times people out there will say, “If you have a thyroid condition, take a bunch of iodine, that’ll heal you.” I wish it were that easy.

I wouldn’t have to do all the work that I do with my clients. It is a part of the healing, but it’s not the only thing. A lot of times it’s not a single nutrient condition. A lot of times we’re looking at making sure that you have enough selenium, iodine and magnesium on board. Sometimes, the same with giving too much selenium, if we take too much selenium, we don’t have enough iodine. I’m worried we’re going to have a lot of issues with potential even accelerating damage to the thyroid gland. I want to teach people and educate them about how to tune into themselves properly. Rather than saying, “Take coconut oil. It’s going to cure your thyroid or drink celery juice. This is the cure or take iodine.” There’s a little bit of truth in a lot of these things where taking it will be helpful to your journey, but you want to be balanced. You don’t want to be drinking inordinate amounts. You don’t want to slather yourself in coconut oil and say, “I’m done. Why isn’t my thyroid healing?”

You’re saying that celery juice is not the cure. I’m shocked. Thank you for telling us that.

It’s definitely helpful. It can help a lot of different things. Juice cleanses can be extremely helpful for, let’s say if you have gut issues because of GERD infection, juice cleanse can be your cure. There are other types of infections that you might have that the juice won’t do anything for or the juice might exacerbate. I try to teach people how to get into with their own bodies and understand that it’s not a one-size approach and because something worked for one guru, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. I want them to be their own nutrition gurus and get to know their bodies and tune in.

HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

Food Pharmacology: Just because something worked for one guru doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

 

There are some other holistic medical doctors that are out there prescribing and recommending a mega dose of iodine. It’s on the order of 25 milligrams and up. What would you say to the authorities that are reading those?

One of the things that they do, and I’ve talked to many of those authorities is they do a comprehensive thing that I do as well. They will look at other nutrients. They’ll also look at gut infections. They’ll look at all these other things and when you read those books, you’ll see that they’re doing all those other things. For whatever reason, the general consumer picks out the iodine in high doses because maybe it’s the easiest or it’s the unique sounding and they do that one thing, but they don’t do any of the other things. You get out of balance because you’re not detoxifying properly.

I would agree that in isolation you’re right, that can be dangerous. I’ve never spoken with some of those people individually to ask them what their thoughts are. Often, the take-home point is that mega dose on iodine and you’ll be in good shape. As far as testing for iodine levels, are you doing 24-hour urine? How are you testing?

I used to do the urine spot test. That isn’t necessarily the most accurate for everybody. If you’re eating your average diet that might reveal on the day that you test what your levels are. Let’s say you eat a ton of seafood that day and that test may be off because it only tests that. A lot of times I’ll also do a journal assessment where I’ll look at what diet they’re eating and try to match up. I’ll have them do maybe ten days of a typical diet journal. I’ll try to say, “This is the amount of iodine that you are going to be getting from food and how much do we want to add through nutrients?”

What I found is the amount that’s found in a multivitamin or a prenatal vitamin is generally going to be helpful for most people with Hashimoto’s. It’s also going to be safe. It’s anywhere from 150 to 250 micrograms. We do it slowly over time and let that build up as we build up other types of nutrients. When the person is more balanced especially if they’re showing changes in their breasts. I work primarily with women. We might want to increase that up, but only after everything has been tamed. If somebody has thyroid antibodies of 2,000 and they’re deficient in everything, I’m not going to be rocking the boat and saying, “Here’s the bag of iodine, finish this by tomorrow.”

It seems to me like there is an explosion of young women with thyroid cancer. What’s going on with that? I know obviously we can talk about the environment. I tell some of these women like, “You take your latest and greatest perfume and you’re spraying that on your neck or use any makeup or even clothing, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, the food and everything.” Is there anything else that you think is causative to this? Are we getting better with the diagnosis of thyroid cancer? It seems like it’s common these days.

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I wrote a blog post about this because it was interesting and yes, there are environmental factors. The radiation, rocket fuel and all different things in our own homes that can be contributing to thyroid cancers. I grew up in Poland, close to the Ukrainian border. I was exposed to Chernobyl at age three. I didn’t grow up in that city, just downwind of it. We know that people, the closer they were to Chernobyl within a certain age range, the more likely they were to have thyroid cancers as well as Hashimoto’s, thyroid antibodies, Graves’ disease and those things. We do know that environmental factors play a huge role. That’s not something to be taken lightly.

The other thing to consider, however, is we also have some increased rates of screening. We have people getting more scans. There are certain types of cancers that have been reclassified because they’re not necessarily cancerous. They were considered cancers before. They’re essentially benign growths. You would see people would live a full life even if they were found to have this growth. This wouldn’t be something that would metastasize. This wouldn’t be something that would cause any issues or any symptoms.

The joke is out there that most of these cases used to be found on autopsy in people who died of old age or a person who was in a car accident or whatnot. That’s an important differentiation to make. Making sure that if you are getting tested and scanned, that you’re looking at the latest guidelines and your physicians are looking at the latest guidelines because some of these findings may not be cancerous. They might be benign. That said, it’s never good to have any weird growths in your thyroid glands. Any nodules, even if they are “benign,” the very same things I recommend for Hashimoto’s were to shrink them.

That’s going to be supporting your liver detox pathways. We’ve seen great results with that. You are balancing your estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen dominance can be an important cause of growth within the thyroid gland. We oftentimes will see with all the personal care items and all of that, I feel like that’s caused a big explosion in hormonal issues and cancers in men and women, definitely women who slather themselves with this stuff. Things like turmeric can be helpful for prevention long-term. Chamomile tea also seems to be a good preventative in addition to the food sensitivities, nutrient depletion, chronic infections, are the things that I recommend.

Surprisingly, we’ve had a lot of people who have done the autoimmune Paleo Diet has shrunk nodules, and those have gone away completely. We’ve had cases of people with H. pylori where we’ve eradicated that and that’s helped and Blastocystis hominis with disappearing nodules. In full disclosure, I wasn’t looking or targeting the nodules for those people. I was working on supporting their body and their immune system for Hashimoto’s. They would get a scan and they’d be like, “By the way, my nodules are gone.” I would be like, “This is cool.”

Tell me about the book, Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology. Give me the gist because if you’re not recommending the thyroid gland in there and you’re going to tell me not to go crazy on my sea snacks and eating sushi so what have we got?

HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology

We’re looking at dialing in your protocol to your own body. We’re going to be focusing on three different nutritional protocols. One of them is based on the autoimmune Paleo protocol. We’re still going to be adjusting that based on your symptoms. We’re doing the Paleo protocol as well as the gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Different people may have different needs. I recommend a step up or step down approach. For example, one person may need to start with the autoimmune Paleo Diet and they can introduce more fruits. For those that don’t know autoimmune Paleo might restrict otherwise healthy foods like nuts and eggs if your immune system cannot tolerate them. Our goal would be to introduce all these wonderful things back in or you may start off with a diet like the gluten-free diet and realize that you’re also sensitive to these other foods and try to eliminate them as you go along.

That’s a part of it is teaching you which foods to put into your body. With me, these different foods that we’re eating are sending different messages whether that’s to heal itself or to cause more inflammation. It’s figuring out which food is causing inflammation in my body. For some people, it might be a perfectly healthy food like an egg. The other part of that is figuring out which nutrients you may require. In our modern world, even with eating the healthiest diet out there, there’s a chance we’re going to be nutrient depleted. I talk about some of the most common nutrients that are going to be depleted like thiamine, magnesium or selenium. These are often going to be found deficient in people with Hashimoto’s. How do you use them properly and figuring up based on your symptoms, what tests to do, what other additional nutrients you may need and how to take them.

I don’t have a specific dietary plan for each person. It’s more of my goal to teach people how to eat for themselves. There are things that you do that work well for you and you’re dialed in. You’re thriving. You feel amazing on most days. I’m like that too. I feel great. Some people might be sensitive to coconut milk, even though that works for my body, they may not work for their body. That’s what the Food Pharmacology is all about. It is figuring out what’s going to be working for you. One important thing too is the book is going to be there with you as you change. As you get healthier, you’re going to be able to tolerate more foods. You’re going to require fewer supplements. We also have delicious recipes.

I know for sure you’ve got some amazing recipes in there. People love the recipes. I throw a piece of salmon on the grill or in the oven and I eat it. For me, it’s simple. A lot of people love the recipes. I do enjoy that as well. Is gluten ever okay for some people? I’m 1,000% anti-gluten. Where do you come down on gluten?

We’ve increased since 2011. I find that it doesn’t work in my body. That’s going to be the case for most people with Hashimoto’s. My recommendation would be to stay off of it long-term. I’m never the person that will tell you something is not possible. If you’re reading this and if you invent some probiotic or look out for a method that will allow us to all eat gluten again, please get in touch with me. For most people, I generally would recommend staying off of it long-term. Even with dairy as well, for about 80% of people with Hashimoto’s, they need to be off of it long-term.

What about your thoughts on raw dairy versus even organic pasteurize? Are we better off with raw dairy? Does raw dairy maybe make the situation worse? Any insight on that?

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I love how we covered all of these different myths that people oftentimes have about thyroid disease. People will say, “Raw dairy is going to be great.” It would be fantastic if you started off eating it your entire life that way. A lot of times most of us come into this when we’re older. We already have antibodies to dairy proteins, whether that’s casein and, in some people’s cases even whey. That dairy in the pasteurized milk might be the reason why you’re sensitive to milk. The proteins are similar enough in the raw organic milk from this beautiful cow on your farm where there’s a good chance that you’re still going to react to that milk, unfortunately. Camel milk seems to be one of the only exceptions where people who have issues with cow’s milk may be able to tolerate camel milk. There is some research suggesting that it may be helpful with reducing the incidents of dairy sensitivity. Essentially healing people from cow’s milk sensitivity, which is fantastic.

What about a generalization on soy? You’re not 100% against it but 99.7%.

I would say I’m 99.7% against soy. People say there’s not a lot of research. Some of the research that has been uncovered with soy is going to be related to infants who received soy formula are more likely to have Hashimoto’s antibodies later in life. The other thing that I’ve seen with my own personal clients is that soy is a common reactive food for people with Hashimoto’s. I used to do outcomes research, about 60% of people react to soy. We generally see higher rates of thyroid antibodies. They have higher rates of palpitations. They have anxiety. One interesting mechanism is that it seems to interfere with the thyroid peroxidase enzyme. That would make sense why it would cause an increase in thyroid peroxidase antibodies. The other goitrogens like broccoli and all that other stuff that I consider a thyroid myth where most people can tolerate healthy levels of broccoli, crucifers and generally do well with them. Unfortunately, soy would be off the menu.

I’m glad you hit on that because it kills me when people say, “I can’t have brassica vegetables. I can’t have broccoli because it interferes with thyroid function.” I’m like, “How is that even possible that you can even think that eating broccoli would be problematic?” I’m not going to label you as a Paleo person. How much does it bother you? It bothers me when people say, “Paleo is a fad.” My comment is how could Paleo be a fad when Paleo the definition is pre-historic old Stone Age hunter-gatherer? It’s been around for millions of years. How can you call that a fad? Isn’t everything else a fad? The stuff you’re saying, our Paleo ancestors did not have soy. They did not have gluten and they did not have dairy after their mother’s milk. There’s nothing revolutionary. It goes back to common sense. The medical doctors have lost so much common sense.

It’s like, “Do cave men know that it was a fad when they were eating it?” “No.” When I think about food, some of the things that we see at the grocery store, the supermarket, if a caveman or cavewoman walked into that grocery store, would they head for that box? Would they know to eat that? Would we eat grass normally as humans? No, and most of the processed food out there is grass. A lot of times the things that we hunt and gather, I feel it’s the most complementary to our genes. I’m not going to say everything to everybody. If you are eating donuts, Ho Hos and bonbons for every meal, you’re super fit, you feel amazing and everything’s great, more power to you. You do you.

I get upset when people say, “If you have Hashimoto’s, you have an autoimmune disease. You do not need to be gluten-free. You do not have celiac disease.” That gets me angry because it prevents people who are trying to feel better. It makes them feel they’re wrong or they’re faddy for trying to make themselves feel better. I say, “Do what makes you feel best and do what your body is telling you.” If you don’t feel good, try Paleo for 30 days. All you’ve got to do is try it. If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you.

HHS 45 | Food Pharmacology

Food Pharmacology: A lot of times, the things that we hunt and gather are the most complimentary to our genes.

 

One thing I will say is you want to make sure you’re taking proper digestive enzymes and I do cover that in the Food Pharmacology. Some people will say, “I did Paleo and I felt terrible.” It’s like, “They were a vegan and their body was no longer making these digestive enzymes.” In some cases, we may need to take digestive enzymes, or we may have an infection like H. pylori that suppresses our own production of digestive enzymes. I talk about all of this in Food Pharmacology where I talk about the common myths of why people will say, “I went Paleo or I did this and I didn’t feel good. Therefore, it’s a terrible diet.” No, you want to understand how to feed your body properly and that involves the nutrients, digestion, enzymes and food.

Izabella Wentz, her book is Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology. You can get it anywhere. Tell me the best place to get it. How do people get more information about you?

They can find me on ThyroidPharmacist.com. I have a lot of helpful articles. Every week I put out something about what ways you can help yourself, whether that’s recipes or lifestyle changes and simple things you can do to take back your health. Every now and then research articles that may be helpful if you’re trying to convince your doctor or your friends about why you are right and why you know everything. That’s a great place to find me. The book is going to be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold.

Thank you so much, Izabella, for being on the show. It’s fantastic information. It’s another great episode. We’ll catch you next time. Thank you.

Thank you so much.

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About Dr. Izabella Wentz

HHS 45 | Food PharmacologyDr. Izabella Wentz, Pharm.D., FASCP is a passionate, innovative and solution focused clinical pharmacist. She has had a passion for health care from a very early age, inspired by her mother, Dr. Marta Nowosadzka, MD.

Fascinated by science and the impact of substances on the human body, Izabella decided to pursue a degree in pharmacy with a dream of one day finding a cure for a disease.

An avid learner and goal-oriented student, she received the PharmD. Degree (Doctor of Pharmacy) from the Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy at the age of 23.

After graduation, she excelled at numerous roles including working as a community pharmacist, a clinical consulting pharmacist and later a medication safety pharmacist. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and holds certifications in Medication Therapy Management as well as Advanced Diabetes Care.

After moving to a new city, she was given the opportunity to lead a statewide medication safety initiative, transitioning to a career in medication safety and healthcare quality improvement. There, she developed expertise about the whole systems approach, rapid tests of small change; outcomes tracking and root cause analysis.