Dr. Eric Balcavage is a functional medicine practitioner who looks to assess physiology looking for ways to really help people that want to optimize their overall health. His work is to analyze what’s creating that excessive stress in your body and what you can do to reduce it, and how to support you on your way back to an optimal state of health.
In this episode he talks about how his job is different from allopathic medicine as his job is not to manage the thyroid disease or disorder but to look for ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. He covers:
- How stress affects thyroid function.
- What is the Cell Danger Response.
- How most thyroid issues are missed and mistreated.
- How to address thyroid function comprehensively.
Our bodies response to stress will affect us in different ways, for some people it might show up mostly as thyroid issues and for others it might show up as something else. Also, our bodies respond differently to supplements in allostatic and homeostatic states.
So how do we go from a state of allostasis back to homeostasis? Believing that the body can heal when we give it the right tools and support and look to get to the root cause of many different health issues.
His breakthrough moment came when he read the paper by Dr. Robert Naviaux: Cell Danger Response. He realized his approach was biased as to thinking how to fix the problem or symptoms instead of really going deep into the root of them to find a permanent solution. And he realized this was actually true not just for thyroid issues.
If we just keep chasing the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem, then we are not really healing.
It’s important for people to understand that they can have signs and symptoms of altered thyroid physiology and the gland will still work fine.
50% of the US population is overweight or obese and that means that about 50% of the population has altered or adapted thyroid physiology and so their gland may be fine but it’s one thing to make the hormone and it’s another thing how the hormone works in your body.
He uses an analogy to explain this: You could have a full tank of gas but that doesn’t mean the car is going to run well.
Similarly, it is possible to have a normal TSH and still not have optimal thyroid physiology.
When the body is in healthy mode (low stress) it says as soon as I get more calories, I’m going to increase metabolism so if you’re gaining body fat and not lean muscle mass you could have a metabolism problem.
The things that end up clogging up the system and cause the metabolism to get stuck and therefore the fatigue and the weight gain and the other issues to develop are mainly related to how our diet, sleep, breathing patterns, emotional fitness, environmental fitness, metabolic fitness, and microbial fitness affect our stress state.
Start analyzing your lifestyle and how you’re supporting your health on a daily basis. You might be going to many practitioners who might have prescribed different things and you still don’t feel better and you’re like how much money do I have to spend and how many practitioners do I have to see before we can solve this.
You need to have stress in your life, but we must have a better set of skills to be able to have turn that stressor into a positive experience.
If you’ve been struggling with what you know as thyroid issues or you are wondering if you have thyroid issues, make sure to check out Dr. Balcavage’s book: The Thyroid Debacle.
This book describes the thyroid and helps you understand beyond what you might hear from most practitioners, but more importantly it helps you understand your whole body, not just a thyroid but how to optimize your overall health.
My new book Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health is also a valuable resource for understanding how stress affects thyroid function and how reversing the effects of stress by mastering your own stress type will lead not only to an optimized thyroid function but an overall healthier you.
I’m happy to meet with you and help you put together a comprehensive plan to truly address your thyroid.
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
- Start with Dr. Doni’s Stress Quiz:
- Order My New Book: Master Your Stress, Reset Your Health
- Stress Warrior Book (FREE)
- Stress Warrior Stress Resiliency Group (FREE)
- 7-day SelfC.A.R.E Stress Reset
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