Why does this matter to you?
Lets say you are a woman who is suffering with heavy bleeding, painful cramping, brain fog, passing blood clots every month, anemic, tender breasts, and any other symptom you can think of related to hormonal imbalances…..
Chances are you will make an appointment with your OBGYN or primary care doctor and they will most likely prescribe the pill. This is such common practice and I believe its one of the reasons…. that Thyroid disease is on the rise.
62% of woman of reproductive age are taking “The Pill”
Now listen to this- 62% of woman of reproductive age are taking birth control pills and regardless of the reason on why you are taking them (whether taken intentionally in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy or its taken for the purpose of regulating a cycle) one thing is for sure is that it can and will affect your thyroid. I want you to think about the logic on this one- think this through with me.
You have these symptoms that I mentioned earlier, heavy bleeding, painful cramping, brain fog, pass blood clots, low iron, tender breasts, depression- you visit your doctor, and your doctor puts you on birth control pills in hopes that it will regulate your cycle. But, in a few months or a few years you start gaining weight, you start experiencing terrible fatigue, you have joint pain, you develop bloating and other IBS symptoms, you can’t think straight, your periods begin to get heavier and before you know it, you are now being prescribed a medication for your thyroid.
This is our health care system. Rather than looking at what was causing the hormone imbalance and address it at the root cause, a synthetic, unnatural hormone was used and that created more disease In this case (thyroid problems and GastrointestinalI problems) I don’t know about you, but to me….It’s kind of like sweeping the dirt under the rug so you can’t see it.
Consider this…. Studies show that Thyroid medications that contain thyroxine such as Levothyroxine, Synthroid, are linked with bone loss and osteoporosis. …
So if you are taking Too much thyroid medication or your thyroid is not being properly managed, you are at an increased risk for bone loss and risk for hip, and spinal fractures.
Something to think about if you’re a person who has chronic pain. Birth control pill has also been shown to cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines known as SIBO but also have been shown to cause gut dysbiosis in the large intestines.
Are you also suffering with bloating, constipation, Do you have IBS symptoms? I would bet many of you watching this video are saying- Geeze Dr Hagmeyer, you just described my life story to the T! How do I know this? I can’t begin to tell you how often I see that progression unfold with many patients who eventually are looking for natural treatment options for their health problem. So what Do you need to know about birth control pills and Thyroid disease- Well-
There Are 5 Main Ways “The Pill” Blocks Thyroid Function That I Want You To Be Aware Of-
#1 Birth Control pills Rob your body of the very Nutrients the Thyroid needs to Function optimally
#2 Birth Control Pills and Estrogen Dominance
#3 Birth Control Pills and Low T3
#4 Birth Control Pills Block entry of Thyroid Hormones into the Cell (Thyroid Resistance)
#5 The Pill increases Thyroid Binding Globulin (TBG)
Let’s Unpack These A Bit More………Problem #1 with The Pill and its impact on Thyroid Function.
#1- The Pill (with high doses of synthetic estrogen) like I said a moment ago- robs you of nutrients needed for proper thyroid function and leaves you in a hypothyroid state. When the Thyroid produces thyroid hormones, it produces the inactive Thyroid hormone called T4, it also makes T3 which is active form and finally it makes Reverse T3. In fact your body needs to convert T4 into T3. This is where those nutrients you are being robbed by taking the birth control pill come into the story.
Birth control pills deplete vital nutrients such as selenium and zinc. The reason why Selenium is so important is that it is a major cofactor that activates the enzyme that converts T4 into T3. Selenium also helps break down elevated levels of Reverse T3. So, when you have deficiencies in selenium because you are taking the pill, you will often wind up with Low T3 levels and elevated levels of Reverse T3.
You can start supplementing with selenium. Here is one that I recommend.
I also mentioned that zinc is also depleted when you take birth control pills. Numerous studies show that zinc helps in the production of T3 as well as activating thyroid receptors. Just by depleting zinc and selenium alone, the birth control pill can prevent you from converting T4 into T3, it can down regulate the sensitivity of the Thyroid receptor, and it can cause high reverse T3 levels. This is a disaster in the making for a woman. If interested here are 5 reasons why you may have elevated Reverse T3
The pill also interferes with B vitamin levels such as B2, B6, Folate, B12 levels. Deficiencies in these vitamins can cause a variety of health problems ranging from Anemia (low Iron levels, to Anxiety, Depression and inflammation within the body.
So Problem #1 with the pill is that You make less, you convert less and you use less…this alone is enough to advise against taking the pill if you know you have a thyroid condition. If you want to learn more about the vitamins needed for proper Thyroid function you can watch a video I did that goes into this in much more detail.
Problem #2 with the Pill and its effects on Thyroid Function- we said was Estrogen Dominance.
If estrogen dominance doesn’t already exist, it will when you start taking the pill. Many woman are being overloaded with estrogen. If you are a woman and you went on the pills “regulate their cycle” or you are a woman in peri-menopause or menopause most likely you are either estrogen dominant or you are in a relative state of estrogen dominance. The pill blocks your body from ovulating, if you don’t ovulate, you won’t produce sufficient amounts of progesterone and every month that goes by where you don’t produce progesterone allows estrogen to accumulate. This can also cause heavy bleeding to occur and imbalances between estrogen and progesterone.
Now, There are three main ways that Estrogen dominance affects your Thyroid and it’s very important that if you are a woman with hormonal imbalances that you get your TBG levels tested. The pill can increase TBG. Now let me me explain why this is important- ALL hormones travel around in your blood bound to certain carrier proteins.
These carrier proteins are like taxi cabs. The Thyroid’s taxi cab is Thyroid binding Globulin or TBG. The higher your TBG- the more taxi cabs you have picking up thyroid hormone. When you have too much of these taxi cabs it will lower your T3 levels. Remember T3 is the active Thyroid hormone- when you feel lousy- one of the reasons is that your T3 levels are low. In cases like this you have to correct the estrogen dominance in order to correct the levels of thyroid binding globulin.
Taking more T3 is not the answer like many doctors would have you believe.
The 2nd way estrogen dominance (caused by the pill) interferes with Thyroid function is again with interfering with the conversion of T4 into T3 and that’s going to leave you will all those symptoms of Low T3.
Hopefully what you are starting to see here is that when the Thyroid gland shuts down and no longer produces those thyroid hormones, we need to ask WHY it’s doing what it’s doing.
Taking T3 Thyroid Hormone Replacement Like Armour or Cytomel Does Not Address the Root Cause for Low T3
Simply dumping Armour, Cytomel, Naturethroid or some other T3 combination is NOT the solution to addressing the root cause. We never simply look at the levels of thyroid hormones and say its low take more thyroid hormone or its high take less thyroid hormones. Does that sound familiar? This is probably what your doctor is doing to you and it’s also the reason why you are still suffering and not getting better. Again- think about the ROOT cause- You are only treating the symptom by taking thyroid hormones, you have not figured out why the Thyroid is unable to produce or covert its hormones.
What To Do If You Are On “The Pill” Or Have A Thyroid Condition? There Are 6 Important Steps you Should Take-
#1- Never stop any medication that has been prescribed to you, unless your prescribing doctor advises you to do so.
#2 Make sure you don’t have the nutritional deficiencies we talked about today. You can easily test for these and I highly suggest you watch the video I did a while back that explains in much more detail about these vitamins and minerals needed for proper thyroid function. A one a day multivitamin- does not cover you.
#3- Get your hormones tested to rule out estrogen dominance- but here is the key, you want your hormones tested not only in blood you want them tested in your saliva as well. Understanding your hormones with a blood spot test only is almost useless in 90% of cases. You also need to have your SHBG levels tested. If you need help with getting your hormones properly tested- you can always reach out to us
#4 Get a Complete Thyroid panel including TBG levels- this is a panel that looks at all the markers needed in order to understand what pattern of thyroid disease you have. This is critical to proper treatment. Please don’t rely on your doctor’s test of a TSH as an indicator of thyroid function. This test by itself is unreliable. Without a complete Thyroid panel you are guessing about which patterns is present and without knowing the cause you can’t implement a treatment plan customized to you.
#5 A while back I put together a guide, it’s been downloaded almost 30,000 times, It explains the 6 patterns of thyroid disease that don’t show up on a standard thyroid testing. It goes into a lot of other details that you should be aware of. I get emails almost every day from people all over the world, who have downloaded it and they have found it to be super helpful. So download it! it’s free.
#6- Understand that when diagnosed with Thyroid disease- you need to think outside the box. Your doctor needs to be a detective. You need to think BIG picture. You are rarely dealing with just a thyroid problem. If you are taking thyroid medication and you feel the same or getting worse- your problem is bigger than your thyroid and your health problem won’t be fixed by playing around with your thyroid hormone dosage.