Thyroid Transformation Blueprint with Dr. Heather Stone

By March 12, 2024

Power of Electrolytes

In today’s episode of the Keto Diet Podcast, we’re going to be chatting about the thyroid. We’re talking about common thyroid symptoms, the difference between hypothyroid and hashimoto’s and how to treat these holistically, what to look at as the root causes underneath your thyroid dysregulation.

Dr. Heather Stone’s medical journey began long before she donned the white coat; it sprouted from her own personal health struggles. As a pre-med undergraduate, Heather grappled with weight issues, debilitating fatigue, and irregular menstrual cycles. Searching for answers during a time when instantaneous online medical advice was not readily accessible, her instincts hinted at a potential thyroid problem. Determined to understand the underlying causes of her symptoms, Heather sought the expertise of a top obstetrician-gynecologist in Austin. This pivotal experience not only led her to diagnose her own condition but also set her on a path to become a compassionate and knowledgeable physician, one who truly understands the frustrations of unresolved health issues and the importance of finding the root causes. Dr. Stone’s personal narrative embodies the empathetic spirit and inquisitive mind that she brings to her medical practice today.

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Transcript

Dr. Heather Stone [00:00:00]:

You cannot have healthy thyroid function if you don’t have a healthy liver and gallbladder. I mean, they play a huge role. And so trying to just add in thyroid hormones as if this gland works alone is such a huge fallacy. And it’s not the patient’s fault that they think this because that is like what their doctors are telling them also. So it’s like a theme that I see every day. Every day.

Leanne Vogel [00:00:28]:

Hello. Welcome to another episode. Today we’re going to be chatting about the thyroid. We’re talking about common thyroid symptoms, the difference between hypothyroid and hashimoto’s and how to treat these holistically, what to look at as the root causes underneath your thyroid dysregulation. Big little clue here. It rarely has anything to do with the thyroid. We’re going to be talking about different forms of medication and how to get to the deeper work that’s required to overcome some of the thyroid dysregulations. We’re talking about some of the patterns that affect the thyroid and health practices that help to encourage healing.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:09]:

Oh, we are getting into it today. So I am so excited to introduce our guest, whose name is Dr. Heather Stone. She is one of the top functional medicine practitioners in the world. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in private practice and during that time she has successfully helped thousands of women overcome the symptoms of hypothyroidism and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Her thyroid transformation blueprint has been used by hundreds of doctors and thus has helped countless women return to happy, healthy and lean bodies. Her mission is to change the face of healthcare through her private practice books, master classes, webinars, education programs and retreats on her ranch in Texas. I am so excited to share this with you.

Leanne Vogel [00:01:56]:

I have a personal vested interest in thyroid dysregulation because my thyroid has not always been super kind to me and so really, really enjoy giving you the tools because I made a ton of mistakes before I was educated on thyroid and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes as me. And Dr. Heather Stone is such a valuable resource. She mentions this later on in the episode, but really, really want to bring this up to you now. Go ahead into your Google machine and type in happy, healthy lean thyroid transformation Facebook group. I’m going to include a link in the show notes, but you can really just say happy, healthy lean thyroid transformation Facebook group and find it become a member there. There’s so many good resources, they’re absolutely free. So if you’re dealing with thyroid issues and you’re not sure where to turn, just do that.

Leanne Vogel [00:02:47]:

She also has a book, which you can find out more information by going to thyroidtransformationblueprint.com. She has an Instagram at Dr. Heather Stone also, a little spoiler alert, Dr. Heather mentions how important it is to understand your blood sugar regulation when you have thyroid dysfunction. I can speak personally to this. What a huge difference it’s made to understanding my glucose and just the responses that I have to my activities, my thoughts, and the foods that I’m eating. So if you’re looking for a continuous glucose monitor resource, I highly recommend nutrasense. You’ve heard me talk about them a bunch in the past.

Leanne Vogel [00:03:27]:

Their prices are a little bit more affordable than other options, and the program within the app is by far the easiest to understand. If you’re just new at understanding your glucose and you’re not really sure what all the numbers mean, you can go to nutrasense IO KDP. That’s n u t r I s e n s e IO kdp and use the code kdp. If you’re looking for a CGM resource, let’s get into it. Hey, my name is Leanne Vogel. I’m fascinated with helping women navigate how to eat, move, and care for their bodies using a low carb diet. I’m a small town holistic nutritionist turned three time international best selling author turned functional medicine practitioner, offering telemedicine services around the globe to women looking to better their health and stop second guessing themselves. I’m here to teach you how to wade through the wellness noise to get to the good stuff that’ll help you achieve your goals.

Leanne Vogel [00:04:28]:

We’re supporting your low carb life beyond the if it fits your macros, conversation, hormones, emotions, relationship to your body, workouts, letdowns, motivation, blood work, detoxing, metabolism. I’m providing the tools to put your motivation into action. Think of it like quality time with your bestie mixed with a little med school so you’re empowered at your next doctor visit. Get ready to be challenged and encouraged while you learn about your body and how to care for it better. This is the Keto diet podcast. Hey, Dr. Heather, how’s it going?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:05:10]:

Good. Thank you for having me today.

Leanne Vogel [00:05:13]:

Yeah, I’m so glad that we get to chat about all things thyroid, one of my favorite topics.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:05:19]:

Mine too.

Leanne Vogel [00:05:20]:

Oh, good, we’re in the right place. I would love to know. Like, I just shared your official bio and went through everything, but can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to really focus on the thyroid as a means for your practice. And why does this light you up so much?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:05:36]:

Well, and I think with so many of us practitioners, it starts with our own personal story, right? And there was a time in my life where I was struggling with weight. I was tired. My menstrual cycles were all off, and I was trying to figure out what was going on underneath the surface or why I was dealing with this. And this is back when I was pre med, undergrad, and kind of before Dr. Google. So, you know, I was like, okay, well, I knew enough to think, well, maybe it’s my thyroid. So I go, know the top obgen. And at the time was Austin, and I was like, okay, could you check my thyroid? I’m having all these symptoms.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:06:17]:

I do exercise a lot, but I cannot seem to lose this weight, and I’m tired, and I never have a menstrual cycle. So he’s like, sure, I’ll check your thyroid. So I’m sure that’s what he checked, is my thyroid. And that was probably the extent of what he checked. And when he checked my thyroid, I’m sure he probably just checked a tsh, because that’s typically all they check. Now, at that time, I didn’t really know to ask for my test results because I probably wouldn’t know what I was looking at anyway. But he said, there’s nothing wrong with your thyroid. I think you might have a weight issue because you over exercise.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:06:51]:

And then on his way out, he said, oh, by the way, you’re probably not going to be able to have children naturally. You’re going to need fertility treatments. And I was like, wow, that was an interesting. That was the worst doctor visit I’ve ever had in my whole life. And this is supposed to be the best obgen in Austin, but there was a blessing in that. I knew that when girls exercised too much and their body fat went too low, like less than 10%, then they can stop menstruating. But that does not translate to, you’re 50 pounds overweight and you don’t have a menstrual cycle. And I think it’s because you exercise too much.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:07:26]:

So I had enough knowledge that I did not believe him. I had enough knowledge to say, it’s interesting that he told me that that cannot be the answer, and I’m not going to live my life like that. So that’s what really started me on this journey, to figure out what’s going on underneath the surface. And at the time, I did not know what kind of doctor I wanted to be. I didn’t know where I was going. And so this is kind of like the sign for me, okay, this is what I need to do. I’m going to figure out from a more. My mind was curious about the reason why, like always asking, what’s causing this, because if you know what’s causing it, we can certainly solve the problem.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:08:04]:

I had no idea about nutrition or food or anything like that. So, needless to say, that’s what led me on my journey and I did figure it out. And along the way, I uncovered that I have Hashimoto’s, but I was able to really handle all symptoms. And I had two beautiful boys that are now in college and a junior in high school, so with no fertility treatments. And I just thought, wow. I just googled one day, like, how many women are on thyroid medication, and it is one of the most, if not the most prescribed medication. And I was thinking how many of those ladies were dealing with the same struggles that I was dealing with and getting the same. Here’s your thyroid medication, go take that.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:08:48]:

And then here’s another pill for every symptom that you have or you don’t have thyroid issues. So just go exercise more and eat less and lose weight. And this is just the way life is, or they blame it on age. And so I was like, there is no reason for all of these women to be suffering like this. There is a solution. And that was just my mission, to really change the face of health care. And we got to start with us females.

Leanne Vogel [00:09:14]:

Yes, it’s very true. And so you touched on a little bit on the TsH, and that being the marker that they use. And if that marker is not crazy high or crazy low, they just don’t further investigate any thoughts around what sort of tests we should be asking when it comes to a thyroid panel.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:09:33]:

Yes. So there’s actually twelve different markers that make up a thyroid panel. And there’s over 22 different patterns that we could be dealing with when it comes to thyroid dysfunction. Now, in traditional medicine, first there is a time and place for thyroid medication, and I think it’s really important that if we need thyroid medication because we have low thyroid hormones that we handle that. But we really look to uncover deeper levels here. But there’s twelve different thyroid markers, and traditionally they only order a TSH. If we’re lucky, they will order a total t four, a free thyroid index and a t three uptake. That’s kind of like the thyroid panel with TSH.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:10:16]:

The reason they don’t really order any other labs is because the solution is always the same. Right. So the solution to low thyroid or a high TSH is to give you thyroid medication. And that can come in different forms. Right? Synthroid level, thyroxin, armor, nature, thyroid, on and on. Tyrosin, on and on and on. But the reason they don’t order all of those labs is because it doesn’t change a treatment. Even if you’re digging to figure out, okay, do you have the number one cause of low thyroid, which is an underlying autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s? Traditionally speaking, it doesn’t change the treatment.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:10:54]:

And so they don’t even run those antibodies. They just say, well, of course you have that, because over 90% of women with low thyroid have hashimoto’s, but they don’t have necessarily a solution to handle the autoimmune component. They’re just going to be looking at handling the low thyroid hormones.

Leanne Vogel [00:11:11]:

Okay. And then another piece that you mentioned that I want to kind of dig into before we kind of move on to symptoms and how to know whether or not we need to assess this in ourselves is why do you feel like it’s the most prescribed medication? Because you had mentioned it’s one of the most. Seeing, like, countless women. Why do you think this is?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:11:30]:

Well, and you know, what is really crazy is that there was a study that came out, I think, in 2019, that said thyroid medication is 80% of the time, it’s over prescribed. Like, people don’t even need thyroid medication, and they’re being put on thyroid medication, and mostly it’s to manage symptoms. Right. So it’s interesting. I’m trying to think about which way I want to go because I’m kind of going on a tangent. So, yes, thyroid medication is one of the most prescribed, and it’s a very high percentage. It’s over prescribed because a lot of times we’re using this to manage symptoms without looking at the underlying issues. Right.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:12:12]:

But I think that it’s probably one of the highest prescribed medications because there’s an autoimmunity, first of all, is at the root cause. And if you dig deeper and you try to figure out, well, what causes autoimmunity, and we know that autoimmune diseases are genetic. However, just because something is genetic doesn’t mean it’s your life sentence. We know that genes will turn on and turn off based on the environment that they’re exposed to. So then when you dig a little deeper, to say, okay, well, why do so many women have this autoimmune condition, you have to look at all the triggers. So you look at blood sugar or insulin resistance, which is so prevalent. We look at hormonal imbalance or estrogen and testosterone surges. Right? We look at food sensitivities.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:13:01]:

We look at leaky gut. We look at mold toxins, heavy metal toxins. And the list does go on and on, but those are just the main triggers that we look at. And did I mention environmental triggers? So our world is so toxic, and we’ve got so much more stress in our lives. As a matter of fact, last night, I do a thyroid Thursday for my Facebook group, and we talked about being in sympathetic overdrive and being addicted to these stress hormones and how we just keep creating this in our life. And when we’re in that space, this is the environment that we’re creating for our genes. And that’s when autoimmune conditions start to turn on.

Leanne Vogel [00:13:45]:

So it sounds to me what you’re saying is that there is Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune issue, but is there just hypothyroidism without an autoimmune component, and how common is that, and how are they different?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:13:58]:

So, yes, there is a small percentage of people who have low thyroid that do not have Hashimoto’s. But remember, the research is saying 90% to 98% of women with low thyroid actually have hashimoto’s. So it’s very uncommon for us to see someone who doesn’t have an autoimmune disease. And sometimes it’s hard to know for sure. Like, if I have someone where their antibodies are not positive, like, I can’t definitively say you have Hashimoto’s. Sometimes those antibodies are always fluctuating in and out. It depends on the health of the immune system. I always just assume that they have an autoimmune condition and always look for those underlying issues anyway.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:14:41]:

But, yes, you can have times where something has happened to the thyroid where it doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. You could have had exposure to radiation, or you could truly have some nutritional deficiencies. But for the most part, I think it’s beneficial for us to just assume that we have an underlying autoimmune condition that is causing this whole thyroid issue.

Leanne Vogel [00:15:07]:

And so when it comes to thyroid problems, can you just kind of take us through what common signs or symptoms one would have if perhaps this could be an issue for them?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:15:19]:

Yes. So the most common symptoms of low thyroid are an inability to lose weight, or maybe you just struggle to get it off like, you have to eat an extremely low calorie diet and exercise a lot just to maintain where you’re at with your weight. So weight becomes a big struggle because essentially, thyroid hormones regulate your metabolic rate. And so if you have low thyroid hormones, your metabolic rate is going to be lower. Right. So weight is an issue. Energy levels. Most thyroid patients will have fatigue or they’ll be tired when they wake up and not feel rested whenever they wake up, and they really struggle to get through the day.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:15:59]:

Speaking about sleep, it will be hard for them to fall asleep or maybe for them to stay asleep. Traditional low thyroid would look like you lose the outer third of your eyebrow. Your hair will be thinning. Many women have anxiety, depression. They can have heart palpitations. Those are the main symptoms that we are dealing with when we have low thyroid.

Leanne Vogel [00:16:22]:

Yeah, it definitely doesn’t feel good. I’ve been there. It’s not pleasant. And so many women can relate. So if you’re saying that these medications will then make our metabolism better, why wouldn’t we just go to our doctor, get the medication and be fine?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:16:38]:

Yeah. And I think that that’s what most women hope. That’s what I was hoping for when I was in that space of like, okay, if I have low thyroid, great, just give me some thyroid hormone, and then all these things will go away and I will be good. And unfortunately, what happens is, because the cause of the disease process is not just low thyroid hormones, most of the time, the cause of these symptoms are coming from an underlying autoimmune component. It’s like, it’s more expansive than just the thyroid hormones. So, yes. Is it absolutely important that you get the right thyroid hormones? It is, but if you don’t fix all these other underlying issues, then you’re still going to have the symptoms. And that brings me to another point.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:17:25]:

I do have many women who have all of these symptoms, and they’re like, I go to doctor after doctor and they keep checking my thyroid and nothing’s wrong with my thyroid. And I said, okay, let’s look at your labs. So guess what? Nothing’s wrong with their thyroid. So we have to remember that these symptoms are common with low thyroid, but these symptoms also are extremely common for insulin resistance. Right. They are extremely common for adrenal dysfunction. They’re extremely common for other dysfunction that could happen in the body. So it’s really important that we understand that when we have a symptom, the body’s way of communicating with us that something is going wrong underneath the surface or there’s some kind of underlying imbalance.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:18:14]:

It’s to communicate by giving you a symptom. And so, in my opinion, when we start to treat symptoms without understanding where the symptom is coming from, then we experience a lot of failures. What is perceived as a failure, right? Or nothing ever works for me. Or we also get a cabinet full of supplements that don’t work, or we try, like, 500 diets that seemingly don’t work. And it’s really about trying to figure out what the root cause is as much as possible. Even if you have low thyroid, you got to ask, why? Where is that coming from? And is it truly a low thyroid issue? Is it a pituitary issue? Is it an underlying autoimmune condition? It’s crazy. I saw a lady last week, and her TSH was perfect, right? It was like 1.5. I’m like, okay, this is interesting.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:19:06]:

Your TsH is perfect. And then because we do all of those thyroid markers, I see her total t four is below lab range, like, it’s four point something. And then I see her total t three is, like, 52. And we really want total t three to be like 100 to 130. But, see, her tsh was right. But her pituitary was not communicating with her thyroid in the way that it should. But every time she would go, they would say, oh, everything looks good. Your medication dosage is just fine, and this is just the way life is.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:19:40]:

You’re postmenopausal, you have low thyroid, and this is just the way life is. Get used to it. And it’s really about when you have a symptom, not brushing it off and digging as deep as you possibly can to figure out where the symptom is coming from, because symptoms can mimic, like I just said, low thyroid and insulin resistance and adrenal dysfunction and food sensitivities. All those symptoms are very similar. So you have to really test to figure out what’s going on underneath the surface.

Leanne Vogel [00:20:16]:

A big part of my job is trying out new products, using them for six plus months, and then deciding whether or not it’s good enough for you. And I’ll never forget the day that I made my first order on bioptimizers. This company didn’t know about me. I wanted to try a new magnesium supplement because I was finding that the one that I was taking was either causing a disaster pants situation or it was hurting my stomach, and it was not working. I was dealing with some sleep issues, and I knew that magnesium could help it. And so I just ordered a one month supply of bioptimizers, magnesium breakthrough. And it changed the game. But I kept taking it for another five months just to make sure that it was absolutely fantastic, wonderful.

Leanne Vogel [00:20:59]:

And at that point, I reached out to bioptimizers and I said, I need to work with you guys. This is a fabulous product. I also really love their masszymes, which is a whole other conversation. But today I want to talk about sleep because there was a time where my body just could not fall asleep. And you know when you’re stressed out, when your mind is racing, you’re going to wake up exhausted the next day because you didn’t have a good sleep. And when I started taking magnesium breakthrough, my sleep completely changed. I actually have clients that I put on magnesium breakthrough and they say if I take it even at nighttime, like at dinner time, I will fall asleep. I need to take it the moment I’m going to bed because it will knock me out.

Leanne Vogel [00:21:42]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:22:34]:

So let’s say an individual goes into their doctor, their TSH is elevated, the doctor gives them medication. Oftentimes doctors will say that the TSH will be suppressed while on medication. What’s kind of your thought around that? Because there’s different camps of like, yeah, if your TSH is 0.1, it’s all good. And some people say, no, you still want it to be within normal ranges when medicated. What is your approach?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:23:01]:

So remember that study that I mentioned that said that most 80% or something is over medicated? So that would be my thing. There’s a reason that there are lab ranges. Now, traditional lab ranges are huge and there are functional or optimal lab ranges, and most of those can be backed by research. But the body is always working to be in balance and it’s always protecting you and essentially completely suppressing the pituitary to communicate with the thyroid. It will shrink your thyroid, right? It will completely suppress any thyroid production from your thyroid gland. And that’s coming from a camp of overriding body’s physiology. Because I know better and I just don’t have that philosophy. I think that we as practitioners need to work with the body so that we can help facilitate in any way that we can to help correct imbalance, but not override body’s physiology.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:24:01]:

So there’s so many other things, right, that happen. So you could have hypothyroid where you’re under converting t four to t three because your body is purposely trying to slow down your metabolic rate. So if you think about that, well, why would that happen? So what happens is when you eat, when you have higher blood sugar, right, the cells take the sugar from the blood and they pull it in and they create ATP. And then when you create ATP or what is energy, you have a byproduct, you have like oxidation, right? Or a reactive oxygen species that’s created that the body has to clear out. Now the cells are constantly grabbing glucose to make energy, but if you’re not clearing out all of that garbage, then the garbage starts to build up and you have advanced aging and these cells start to die off and it creates a lot of issues at the cellular level. So if you just say you have low thyroid, that’s your problem. I’m going to dump in loads of thyroid hormone and I want to keep that TSH completely suppressed. Outside of where normal physiology is, you are trying to override the body’s physiology and maybe creating even more issues.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:25:20]:

But instead, if you would look at the whole picture and say, all right, is there any insulin resistance? What is your blood sugar? Do you have a lot of blood sugar variability? What are your detoxification pathways looking like? Are you clearing out reactive oxygen species? Do you have enough antioxidants? All of that plays into our body’s physiology, and I think we get stuck because our traditional western medicine has been compartmentalizing our parts, right? So it’s like the thyroid works best, I like it best when people’s tsh is one. But what is that doing to your blood sugar? And what is that doing to inflammation? And what is that doing to your detoxification pathways? But mostly they’re just looking at, let’s get the thyroid numbers where I want the thyroid numbers, and I’m going to override everything and give you medication to force it there. And then somebody’s looking at your blood sugar. And when you have diabetes, they just give you all of these diabetic medications to force your pancreas to make more insulin and get more sugar into the cell, even though it’s creating all of this toxic waste that you can’t get out, and it’s killing your cells. Right. So it’s just a completely different way of looking at things. Right. So there are some doctors that just essentially override the body’s physiology to get the numbers where they want them.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:26:42]:

And then there’s other practitioners that want to work with the body’s physiology to try to optimize full function.

Leanne Vogel [00:26:50]:

So it sounds like, and I’ve experienced this, too, in my practice, where I’ll onboard a client and we’re working on root causes. We’re discovering what’s going on with their thyroid and some of those inner working pieces. What I see time and time again, like, if you have amalgam fillings and your mercury is high 100%, it’s going to be affecting your thyroid. But I think that there’s this misconception of, if I can just get the thyroid right, then everything will fall into place. And I really want to cover this from all angles when it comes to this, because how many times have you heard that if I can just get the thyroid right, everything will be fine, and it’s, like, drilled into our minds, but we can’t get the thyroid right if we’re dealing with, like you said, the genetic factors, for sure, the blood sugar, the estrogen, the sensitivities, the mold, the metals, the chemicals, all of those things. Any other piece that you kind of want to touch on when it comes to the communication that you have with your clients, maybe even in your Facebook group, what you’re seeing women say about, if I just get my thyroid right, everything will be fine.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:27:56]:

Yeah. And I think it’s almost about shifting the way that we think about the body. Again, it’s like, I know that it’s beengrained in us, ingrained and ingrained, and that’s how we have thought about the body, is it works in parts, but it doesn’t work in parts. And the thyroid, I have so many people who have hashimoto’s. Like, if you have an underlying autoimmune condition and all you’re focused on is getting the thyroid right, but the immune system is attacking and killing the thyroid, right. So when the immune system attacks the thyroid, those thyroid cells break open and they release a lot of thyroid hormones. So when you’re under a lot of stress or you’re constantly in a toxic environment, or you have mold or heavy metals or food sensitivities. You’re constantly making your immune system attack the thyroid.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:28:48]:

So you go in and you get your tsh checked one time, and it’s super high. So your doctor increases your medication, and then you go in two months later and it’s super low. And then they decrease your medication, and then you’re on this roller coaster. It’s because you’re trying to fix the thyroid problem, and it’s not a thyroid problem. Right. It is an underlying issue of imbalances and toxins and all of those things that impact the thyroid. You cannot have healthy thyroid function if you don’t have a healthy liver and gallbladder. I mean, they play a huge role.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:29:25]:

And so trying to just add in thyroid hormones as if this gland works alone is such a huge fallacy. And it’s not the patient’s fault that they think this, because that is like, what their doctors are telling them also. So it’s like a theme that I see every day, every day, which is why I think giving information like this in podcasts and Facebook groups. And there’s a double edged sword to social media. But before social media, we did not have a way to really get this information out and to start to shape and allow them to understand how the body actually works. And if we can just get out of the system of thinking that our thyroid works independently and understanding that the whole body works together. Thyroid hormones are very unique because they’re the only hormone in the body that has a receptor site on every single cell in the body. So it affects you from head to toe, which is why it doesn’t surprise me when women come in and they have any symptom under the sun, like, well, it’s not surprising because your thyroid is a mess.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:30:39]:

But then we’ve got to keep asking deeper questions. Why is your thyroid a mess? Right. And the thyroid in the body, the body is born to heal. The body is a self healing mechanism, and it’s always trying to move towards the safest, best place for you, where it’s at in its environment. And so we just have to have a treatment approach like that instead of just trying to bully these thyroid hormones, because the body will fight back, it’ll push everything into reverse t three to try to get it away, because you’re pushing everything. You’re putting too many in at the top. I mean, your body is pretty cool that it starts to push it in other places to try to protect you. So I just think that it’s a fallacy to think that we can just stick in thyroid hormones and everything’s going to be great, because honestly, if it was that easy, nobody would have any of these problems.

Leanne Vogel [00:31:31]:

Yes, completely. And the reverse t three piece, I can’t tell you how many individuals come to my practice on a vast array of different thyroid medications and they’ve never had the reverse t three checked. That’s the first thing we do, and it’s super high, and that’s just your body deactivating the very thing that you are giving it. Your body is deactivating that thing because it doesn’t want it. It’s like no pit. I have an actual system dedicated to not wanting this.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:31:59]:

Yeah. Just thinking that, oh, I want the tsh super suppressed. Now, there are times where maybe that might be appropriate. I see it when someone’s had thyroid cancer and they’re intending to completely suppress thyroid function. Okay, well, I can kind of see that now. Do I think that would I probably do that if it was me? No, I would not do that, but I would fix the environment that supported the cancer in the first place. But that is one approach where I can see. But that’s how you see how that works, right? Like, they intentionally override the thyroid function so that the thyroid will never grow again or it will completely stop producing all thyroid hormones.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:32:43]:

And I just think that’s crazy to do that outside of a history of cancer.

Leanne Vogel [00:32:50]:

Yeah, completely. Okay. I want to kind of shift gears and talk about how to care for our thyroid because we’ve talked about some kind of high level items like mold, metals, chemicals, detox, nutrition, those pieces. What’s like the number one or maybe top three things that you would recommend somebody look into if they want to have a thyroid transformation.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:33:14]:

First, I would have them look at their blood sugar. So even if they don’t think they have a blood sugar problem, almost all of us do, because the thyroid plays a huge role in blood sugar regulation. And what I’ve started to do with every patient is put them on a continuous glucose monitor, because what we can see is many of us have insulin resistance. A great majority of us have blood sugar variability problems where your blood sugar swings up and down, big, huge swings. I’ve seen it going from 60 to 200 and all over the place. And when you look at the lab markers like your a one C or your fasting glucose, it can be completely normal. But you’re having struggles with weight, you’re having struggles regulating your thyroid and having insulin resistance and blood sugar issues are at the heart of every single chronic degenerative disease. So if there’s anything that you could do, it would be to stabilize your blood sugar.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:34:13]:

And it’s also really important to understand is that every time you have an insulin surge, whether you have a blood sugar problem or not, when you eat bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cookies, cakes, candies, soda, you cause insulin surges. And if you have hashimoto’s that makes the immune system attack your thyroid. So that is like a core basic thing that most people can do. And using a continuous glucose monitor, it’s really eye opening. And I have found even I wear one because I’m kind of addicted to it. But even for me, it helps me keep accountable because I’m like, I do not want my blood sugar to go up. My health coaches can see my blood sugar, too. So I have to set a good example, and I want my health to be as ideal as possible.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:34:56]:

So, regulating your blood sugar is so important. And most of the time, when you have hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia or insulin resistance, all of those symptoms mimic low thyroid as well. Whether you can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, you have low energy during the day, whether you feel like, if you have to have food to feel good, like if you get really tired or hangry or agitated and you haven’t eaten in two or 3 hours, that’s a blood sugar problem. If you get tired after you’re eating and you need a nap, that’s a blood sugar problem. If you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep through the night, most of that’s a blood sugar problem or can be a big part of it. So, regulating your blood sugar, and, yes, that means probably changing your diet and eating whole, amazing foods, proteins, vegetables, a little bit of fruit, good, healthy fats. If most people would do that, that is like, basic stuff that I feel like with the biohacking stuff that we deal with now, we start to try grabbing at all these fun things, like cold plunge, which I love. Cold plunge, but you’ll cold plunge, but you haven’t fixed your diet yet, right? And you’re looking for all these supplements and all these quick fixes, and you’re trying to find all these hacking things without fixing the foundation and the fundamental stuff, which was what really moves the needle.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:36:24]:

So, getting your blood sugar regulated, getting your diet where it’s mostly whole foods, making sure that the foods that you eat aren’t spiking your blood sugar is really, really big. The next thing I would say is really evaluating where you are with the stress in your life, this is something they can do on their own without testing. Right. Like, a lot of the other things, like mold and heavy metals and all the things that we talked about requires testing so that you know exactly what to do so that you’re not guessing. But if we are stuck in sympathetic overdrive, then we are constantly in a state of fight or flight, and we never move into parasympathetic, which is when the body rests, digests, and heals. So we’re expecting our body to do something, but we’re not allowing it to do that because we’re stuck in sympathetic stress. So I will have patients tell me I don’t have stress. Dr.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:37:18]:

Heather, I am retired. I’m not worried about finances. My husband and I are great. And I look at an adrenal panel, and it’s like their cortisol, their total cortisol is through the roof, and the body’s sequestering it, and they’re fat. And then I look at epinephrine and norepinephrine, and they’re high. I’m like, do you have trouble sleeping? Yes. I cannot sleep to save my life. I’m like, okay, so what happens is your external environment may not be stressful, but you’re addicted to those stress hormones.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:37:49]:

So you think about traumas or things that have happened in the past, and you start recreating that in your mind, even though that’s not what’s happening on the outside. Or we start worrying about the future, things we have no control over, things that do not matter to us right now. But because of the addiction, we’re always stuck in the past or thinking about the future. So the ladies that are like, oh, my gosh. The hand wringing ladies that are so worried all the time, I’m just a self proclaimed worrier. My mom was a worrier. My grandma was a worrier. We’re just worriers.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:38:23]:

Okay, you don’t have to be a worrier. So what you’re saying is you’re addicted to those stress hormones, and you will create scenarios, whether it’s in your mind, whether you’re thinking about the past or the future, or whether you create an environment. Like last night, a lady commented, and she said, I always pick fights with my husband when he looks at me, even wrong. Oh, your poor husband. She’s like, it’s not his fault. But she said, I think I’m addicted to those stress hormones. And then I have seen it also in patients where they get so worried about their health. Like, if I say we want to decrease our plastics because BPA is really toxic and they start overanalyzing every little place that we get plastics from.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:39:11]:

So it’s like you’re never going to get away from plastic. It is not even possible. But we could minimize what we’re consuming and using or exposed to on a daily basis. But not to get overly crazy about making sure there’s absolutely no plastic in your life, but just doing what you can do without it going over the line, right? So it’s just about trying to be in the present moment, recognizing when you are addicted to those fight or flight hormones, trying to get your mind to stop and maybe even be in meditation. And all meditation means is just stopping the thoughts and being in a moment of calm and quiet. And so a lot of my patients, we use heart math a lot and that helps train. It even gives you a little dopamine surge when you get it all green. And of course I’m always making it a game, so I have to get green around.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:40:04]:

If you use heart math around the whole circle. So it’s pretty cool to see when your mind starts wandering. Even if you’re focused on your breathing, it’ll turn red in a second to let you know that whatever you just thought elicited more of a stress response. So that’s a really good feedback tool for patients to use to try to train. Getting into parasympathetic or training your mind to be out of those stress hormones. It’s like something you have to practice. It’s like building a muscle. And the ladies that usually say, oh, I just can’t meditate meditation, I just can’t do it.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:40:41]:

But everybody can do it. You just have to practice and learn and train your mind to get there.

Leanne Vogel [00:40:52]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:41:46]:

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Leanne Vogel [00:42:36]:

I’m totally with you. If I could wear one every day for the rest of my life. It’s such a motivating factor too, of like, I know I’m going to eat this thing and I know I’m going to see it on my phone in a couple of minutes. So do I really want to eat this thing? And just like you said, it’s sort of like a game. I know that for myself, I can handle a lot more carbohydrates if I have them before my workout, and then I’m moving and then my glucose isn’t spiking. Do you feel like there is a place for movement when it comes to that blood sugar management piece?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:43:03]:

Absolutely. And I think it’s really important. This is where the CGM is so awesome, because there is like, if you look at a bell shaped curve, right, and you kind of draw a line right straight down the middle. On the left hand side, we would consider that u stress, Eu stress, which is good stress on the right hand side, once you cross that middle, is going to be distress. And so when we move into distress, that’s when blood sugar starts to go up. That’s when we start to have symptoms. That’s when we’re fatigued and tired and all of that stuff. So when we have low thyroid issues or autoimmune issues or any health condition, we have to make sure that we’re not exercising to a point that causes distress.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:43:52]:

Right? So any kind of movement is absolutely necessary because that’s how our lymphatic system moves out inflammation. And that’s the only way the lymphatic system moves is by us moving and pumping that system. So I think everybody can walk. Most people could probably lightly bounce on a trampoline or a workout ball or something to get some movement in. But if you’re, like, not like some people, you just have to pay attention. Exercise is important up until the point where you start to see symptoms the next day, or, like, it wipes you out for the rest of the day. Or if you couldn’t do the same exercise the next day. Now, that is different.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:44:35]:

With weight training on purpose, you exhaust the muscle so that you wouldn’t weight train it again the next day. But, like, let’s just say you went on a bike ride for 45 minutes and you were so sore and wiped out the next day that you couldn’t do another 45 minutes bike ride. You know, that that was probably pushing you into distress, so you have to be careful about that. The other thing I will say is, the more muscle mass we have, the easier it is to regulate your blood sugar. The more tolerance you have for carbohydrates, the longer your life is going to be. So building muscle and doing resistance training, I think, is imperative. It was interesting because I put a glucose monitor on my boys because I’m that mom. So my son, he’s a baseball player in college, and he would just not listen to me.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:45:28]:

I’m like, honey, you are eating all these terrible foods because you’re in a bulking phase. And he was trying to build all this muscle. And I’m like, you can eat carbohydrates, but you don’t have to eat, like, milkshakes and donuts and french fries. I’m like, there’s other things that we could use to give you the carbohydrates that you need. So I said, while you’re home for Christmas, let’s just put a continuous glucose monitor on you so you can see how this impacts your blood sugar. So he’s super muscular, like, 210 pounds, 11% body fat. So he’s super muscular, so he can tolerate a lot more carbohydrates. But it was just interesting for him to see when he drank a milkshake, he’s like, oh, God, my blood sugar went up to 150, mom.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:46:16]:

I’m like, see, I told you. But when he ate other carbs, like a sweet potato or he ate good complex carbohydrates from vegetables, we would calculate the complex carbohydrates, and I would show him how many calories were in, like, almond butter and things like that. We could get his food choices much better. Regulate his blood sugar, his body fat dropped like a percent in two weeks, which must be nice.

Leanne Vogel [00:46:45]:

So true.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:46:47]:

That’s great.

Leanne Vogel [00:46:49]:

I’m so happy for you.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:46:51]:

So anyway, gained like three pounds of muscle, lost a percent of body fat in two weeks. I’m like, do you know it takes me, like six months to do that? But it was interesting for him to see also how foods impact his blood sugar, how easy it was for him to gain more muscle without overdoing the carbohydrates. But he also could eat carbohydrates, but it was just a type of carbohydrates, how much he was eating. And yes, right before he was working out. So he sustained his blood sugar and fueled his workout and was able to build more muscle without having all these crazy spikes up and down.

Leanne Vogel [00:47:29]:

I mean, even 150 for a milkshake, that’s not bad. I feel like most people, right, because he has 200, mine would be crazy. And that really points to the fact that when you have that muscle, your body’s going to respond so differently. But you can make some really good bulking shakes. I actually just finished with a bulk and I was making a quote unquote milkshake that was 1500 calories and, like, two cups of liquid. Yeah, I’m sure he had lots of funds with almond butter and dates and those sorts of things to really get it up. That’s fun.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:48:04]:

Exactly. I was just going to say, I was testing out this glucometer thing, and I was like, okay, I’m going to have a margarita and I’m just going to see how high it goes. And I had a margarita and, like, two corn chips, which I don’t usually ever eat corn. So my blood sugar went up to, like, 200. And I was sitting there with my mom and my alarm went off. She’s like, oh, my God, this is so embarrassing. I’m like, I will never have another margarita. First of all, I don’t even really like them, and they’re way too sweet.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:48:34]:

I was just testing it out. I’m like, that is crazy how often that would happen with someone who wasn’t conscious about what it is that they’re eating. And it was a sip or two of that before my blood sugar went up. It wasn’t like I just drank a whole thing. It was crazy.

Leanne Vogel [00:48:50]:

Yeah. Really just understanding too, like, pairing foods and how to properly structure your meals, too. Like, if you had corn chips on their own, it’s going to be very different than corn chips with having chicken before. And not that I’m saying corn chips are great, but just that your body will process it differently. So I totally agree with you. From a blood sugar perspective, that’s been a phenomenal for my own journey. Is it fair to say that thyroid issues can be reversed, or do you think that we can get it better but not perfect? Or kind of. What are your thoughts and expectations around an individual that has thyroid dysfunction issues? Is it too bold to say they can be out of the woods completely, or what are your thoughts on that?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:49:34]:

Well, typically what we say, especially when such a high percentage of people with low thyroid have an autoimmune condition, we mostly say it can be put into remission. And I think that it’s the goal to get thyroid hormones stable. It’s not the goal of my patients to get them off of thyroid hormones. That’s just not the goal. The goal is, are all of your symptoms resolved? If you do have super high antibodies, are they going down and are they calming down? And in our world, we think of like a cure, or I’m out of the woods with low thyroid, like I have hashimoto’s. I don’t have to be on thyroid hormones, but I can assure you, if I wasn’t measuring my blood sugar, if I was sitting in a toxic environment, if I have bad relationships, it would spin my immune system to attack the thyroid again. Right. So it’s all about making sure that your immune system is as balanced as possible.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:50:32]:

Therefore you’re going to have as balanced as possible thyroid. But when women have an underlying autoimmune condition, the immune system has attacked and killed part of the thyroid. It’s not like all gone, but part of it is gone or is no longer functioning. So if you have to take some thyroid hormones as minimal as possible to still keep the thyroid tissue producing, I think that that is still a win. If you can get your body balanced where there is no symptoms and you are doing amazing, that is absolutely the goal.

Leanne Vogel [00:51:09]:

I think what will really lead into my last question so perfectly is, and I’ve experienced this myself, where I had thyroid issues due to hypothalamic amenarrhea, meaning I didn’t get my period for forever because I was underweight and my pituitary got totally janked. And so a doctor said, go on thyroid medication. So I did. And then over time, every time I’d go in, he would keep increasing the amount and increasing the amount and increasing the amount to the point where it was a mess. How do we find the right practitioner that has this sort of mindset? What are we looking for? You’ve given many, many tips, and just even our dialogue might help people in saying, I heard this on the Keto diet podcast. This is absolute opposite of what this doctor is saying. So how do I manage this? How do I advocate for myself? How do we find a practitioner that’s willing to come alongside us that’s not just going to, like you said, increase the dose every time, even though symptoms are fine, they’re just chasing the labs, or maybe they don’t care about the labs. Any advice that you can give those just really struggling through finding the right individual to work with?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:52:19]:

Yeah, this is really important because I think a lot of people have heard there’s traditional doctors, endocrinologists, that kind of doctor, which certainly there’s a time and place, and then there’s integrative doctors, and then there’s functional medicine doctors, and then there’s functional nutritionist, and there’s all these buzzwords out there. And functional medicine is now kind of like a buzword, and I find a lot of practitioners are using it, but it’s not really what they’re thinking that it is. So this is how I would evaluate if I was going to go look for a practitioner. I would determine what it is that I was looking for. If I wanted a medication. And that’s the route that I wanted to go. Like I wanted a diagnosis and a medication to handle a symptom I was dealing with. I would go to a traditional doctor if I’d already tried that and I hadn’t had a lot of success with that, or I just knew that that wasn’t the path that I wanted to go down.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:53:15]:

I would find someone who was wanting to look at a deeper root cause. So I would start with a functional, whatever. Functional doctor, functional nutritionist. I would look for that title. But then as you’re searching for a functional doctor, you want to make sure that the functional doctors are testing. They’re testing thoroughly. They’re not going to put you in some protocol system that they put every single person in. You want to make sure that they’re not just using allopathic nutrition.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:53:49]:

That means like, allopathic means that you’re going to treat a symptom. So that would be like, if you can’t sleep, I’m going to give you melatonin without checking to see if you had low melatonin or why you had low melatonin. Right. Or if you have a blood sugar issue, they’d say, oh, here’s some cinnamon. So you want to make sure that a functional medicine doctor is really going to do the appropriate testing and dig deeper and not just treat allopathically or put you in a protocol system that wasn’t customized. That’s what I would be looking for.

Leanne Vogel [00:54:23]:

That is such good feedback and probably could have saved me personally a lot of time. So listen up, my friends, listen up. Dr. Heather, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really had a blast. I hope that there are at least a handful of women that learned from you. I’m sure there was at least one thing that you shared where there was a light bulb moment, and that’s really what we’re after. Where can people find more from you? Tell us more about how they can connect and where they can find you on the Internet.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:54:49]:

Okay, awesome. There’s really two main places. Number one, I did write a book called the thyroid transformation Masterclass. So if they want to read a little bit more and dig in, they can find that on thyroid transformation blueprint. They can find that on Amazon. They can also go to the thyroidtransformationblueprint.com, and they can get two free samples, and I think they can purchase it there as well. Also, I have a pretty large Facebook group. I think I’m up to 25,000 members now.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:55:21]:

Happy, healthy and lean. And if they just search that on Facebook, they’ll see, well, you can’t see what I look like on podcast, but you’ll see it’s in really big banner letters. Thyroid. Happy, healthy and lean. Thyroid transformation. So I do thyroid Thursdays, every single Thursday there and then the ladies are so supportive and it’s just such an amazing group to be in. We regulate it heavily so that there’s no negativity and people aren’t sitting in a victim mentality because I know sometimes those groups can go sideways.

Leanne Vogel [00:55:56]:

Definitely. And if people want to work with you, do you do online consults too, or what’s your layout there?

Dr. Heather Stone [00:56:03]:

So the way that they would get hooked in, they would go to the Facebook page and I do master classes. Like, I just finished with a losing weight with low thyroid masterclass. I’m about to do another thyroid transformation masterclass, and I only open my schedule up at that time. So if they would just get hooked into happy, healthy and lean Facebook group, they will have opportunities.

Leanne Vogel [00:56:26]:

That’s amazing. I will be sure to include all those links in the show notes today. Again, Dr. Heather, thank you for coming on today.

Dr. Heather Stone [00:56:32]:

All right. Thank you for having me.

Leanne Vogel [00:56:34]:

It’s been fun. I hope you enjoyed our time with Dr. Heather today again, you can find her book by going to thyroidtransformationblueprint.com and also check out happy, healthy lean Thyroid Transformation Facebook group. I will include all of these links in the show notes, but it’s also really good to just remind you of these pieces. Now, if you want to go deeper into thyroid dysregulation here on the Keto Diet podcast, we’ve done quite a few episodes on the thyroid. Episode 192 is one to check out. That was from way back in 2019 with L Russ. That was a good one.

Leanne Vogel [00:57:10]:

Then we’re talking about going off thyroid medications. That was episode 222. We had Tiffany flatten on to talk about how to treat the thyroid when you are at absolute rock bottom. That was episode 256. Then we had Michael Rutherford, my very, very dear personal friend. I was even in his wedding. This guy is a solid human being. I’ve taken his courses.

Leanne Vogel [00:57:35]:

He is a phenomenal practitioner to follow. This was episode 326 where we talked about your thyroid blood work results. So if you want to understand your blood work, sit down, listen to that episode. It’s a really good one. Also episode 340, we had Amy Horneman on to talk about Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, what to do, what’s not helping, and how to move forward. So lots of great episodes here on the Keto diet podcast and resources to keep you going. Okay, we will see you back here for another episode next week, next Tuesday. See you then.

Leanne Vogel [00:58:10]:

Bye for now. Thanks for listening. Join us next Tuesday for another episode of the Keto Diet podcast. Looking for more resources? Go to healthfulpersuit.com for keto meal plans, weight loss programs, low carb recipes, and oodles of free resources to get you going. The Keto diet podcast, including show notes and links, provides information in respect to healthy living recipes, nutrition, and diet, and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on the Keto diet podcast reflects the most up to date medical research. Information is provided without any representation or warranties of any kind.

Leanne Vogel [00:58:58]:

Please consult a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program.

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Hi! I’m Leanne (RHN FBCS)

a Keto Nutritionist, host of The Keto Diet Podcast, and best-selling author of The Keto Diet & Keto for Women. I want to live in a world where every woman has access to knowledge to better her health.

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