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Hypothyroidism may be a major factor in Alzheimer’s Disease, Mark Starr, MD
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:34 pm Email this article
Low thyroid function lowers body temperature, and low thyroid might also be a major contributor to Alzheimer's Disease as noted in this audio clip of Mark Starr, MD at a 2007 Orthomolecular Conference.
Dr. Starr is the author of the wonderful book Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemic. Body Temperature
Basal underarm temperature below 97.8 degrees F indicates low thyroid function
“All of the old [endocrinologists] said that lowering of the body temperature is almost uniformly present in people with low thyroid usually 96º to 97º F [underarm temperature taken for 10 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning.]”
[ Normal thyroid function indicated by temperature of 97.8 to 98.2º F. ]
“Broda Barnes, MD, PhD had read all that old literature, and he knew that.”
Giving Patients Desiccated Thyroid
Broda Barnes MD PhD gave patients desiccated thyroid if basal temperature was low even if symptoms of overactive thyroid
“[Barnes] would see patients that had tremor, tachycardia [rapid heart beat], skinny, anxiety, palpitations [symptoms that might be mistaken for hyperthyroidism] but if they had a low basal temperature [below 97.8º F] he would put them on [desiccated] thyroid.”
“And they would normalize.”
Basal Temperature Increases with Desiccated Thyroid
Basal temperature increases significantly with desiccated thyroid
“These patients’ low temperatures increase, quite significantly, in my experience when you put them on desiccated thyroid.”
Thyroid Hormones and Mitochondria
Thyroid hormones increase cellular energy by increasing mitochondria
“What does [ desiccated ] thyroid do?”
“I did not realize that it might be the mitochondria until 2000.”
“If there was an epiphany in all my years of study and writing my book I saw a lecture and was directed to read this article.”
“Mitochondrial DNA in Aging and Disease. Scientific American (1997) by Dr. Wallace.”
“[T]issues and organs most readily affected by cellular energy declines are the central nervous system… heart and skeletal muscle, the kidneys and hormone-producing tissues.” [This is a quote from the Scientific American article.]
Low Thyroid and Mitochondrial Problems
Low thyroid function affects EXACTLY the same tissues discussed in article about mitochondrial problems
“These are EXACTLY the same tissues that are affected in low thyroid.”
Low Thyroid and Deformities In Mitochondria
Low thyroid causes unusual deformities in mitochondria
“In a book… ‘Thyroid Disease and Muscle Dysfunction’ ...”
“[ It says ] unusual deformities found in mitochondria within the muscles of hypothyroid patients.”
“[ It showed there is ] an effect of thyroid on mitochondria.”
Function of Thyroid Hormone
Function of thyroid hormone to increase the number and activity of mitochondria
“So I went to the “Textbook of Medical Physiology”.
“It seems almost an obvious deduction that the principle function of thyroxine [T4] might be simply to increase the number and activity of mitochondria.”
—Textbook of Medical Physiology
Alzheimer’s Researcher: Everything she said about Alzheimer’s sounded like low thyroid
“Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH won the Research Award for Alzheimer’s in 2000.”
“And, when I heard her lecture everything she talked about sounded like [ low ] thyroid to me.”
Alzheimer’s and Energy metabolism
Energy metabolism decreased in mitochondria with Alzheimer’s Disease, same as low thyroid
“Energy metabolism is decreased in the mitochondria with Alzheimer’s Disease [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Alzheimer’s and Mitochondrial Enzyme Formation
Decreased mitochondrial enzyme formation in Alzheimer’s Disease, same as low thyroid
“The amount of enzyme formation in these patients’ mitochondria is also decreased [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Alzheimer’s and Number of Mitochondria
Decreased number of mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease, same as low thyroid
“The number of mitochondria [ in patients with Alzheimer’s] is decreased [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Alzheimer’s and Females
Females are more affected with Alzheimer’s Disease, same as low thyroid
“Females are affected more than males [ by Alzheimer’s ] [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Alzheimer’s and Developed Nations
Alzheimer’s Disease much higher in developed nations, same as low thyroid
“[ Alzheimer’s ] is much higher in developed nations with lower early death rates [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Alzheimer’s and Age
Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease increases with age, same as low thyroid
“The incidence [ of Alzheimer’s ] increases with age [ just like with low thyroid. ]”
Books by Dr. Starr and Dr. Barnes
I encourage you to read both books
Both books are enlightening. Dr. Starr learned about hypothyroidism from Broda Barnes, however, Dr. Starr also went back and read all the old medical literature going back more than 100 years, and his book also contains a lot of pictures from old medical journals which are fascinating. Dr. Starr also talks about hypothyroidism in relationship to Alzheimer’s disease, which Barnes does not.
Modern Medicine has been mislead into only looking at blood tests
Thyroid blood tests will NOT detect Type 2 Hypothyroidism and miss many other cases of hypothyroidism
My impression is that modern medicine has been mislead into believing that thyroid tests (TSH levels) are the perfect way to detect hypothyroidism, when Broda Barnes, Mark Starr and others have found that blood tests are NOT accurate and that many people with normal TSH levels have hypothyroidism and can benefit greatly from being treated with adequate doses of desiccated thyroid.
Tremendous Benefits Of Desiccated Thyroid Forgotten About
Modern medicine has forgotten about the tremendous benefits of desiccated thyroid
I also believe that medicine has forgotten about the tremendous benefits of using adequate doses of desiccated thyroid for many conditions such as:
Lowering cholesterol and protecting against heart attacks and cardiovascular disease (94% protection in Barnes’s patients)
1.) Lowering cholesterol and providing tremendous protection against heart disease—94% lower risk of heart attacks among Broda Barnes patients treated with desiccated thyroid than subjects in the Framingham Study;
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive Heart Failure cured with desiccated thyroid; Enlarged hearts shrink back to normal size
2.) Treating congestive heart failure, shrinking enlarged hearts back to normal size in a matter of weeks. (Yes, really. See the X-rays from old medical journals of enlarged hearts that shrank back to normal size in Mark Starr’s book.);
Depression And Fatigue
Depression And Fatigue: Why not try desiccated thyroid first?
3.) Treating depression and fatigue. (Shouldn’t desiccated thyroid be tried first BEFORE ever trying an SSRI or another antidepressant? Yes, of course it should, but, unfortunately, the drug companies don’t want doctors or the public to know this, so instead, they have convinced the world that their drugs are the answer when, in fact, the data shows that people given these drugs do WORSE in the long run than depressed people who are given NO drugs. Imagine that.)
High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure: Why not try desiccated thyroid (along with potassium bicarbonate) first?
4.) Treating high blood pressure. (The explanation that Broda Barnes gave in a speech as to why low thyroid can cause elevated blood pressure is that low thyroid reduces circulation to the kidneys which causes the blood pressure to rise, and that giving desiccated thyroid improves circulation to the kidneys which lowers blood pressure. However, I have a simpler explanation which is that low thyroid decreases cardiac output. Mark Starr notes that hypothyroidism can lower cardiac output by 50%. When this occurs, the body, in its infinite wisdom, says, “No problem. I will simply constrict blood vessels throughout the body and raise blood pressure to compensate for this lowered cardiac output.” So when a person is given desiccated thyroid, cardiac output increases, and the body can then relax the blood vessels throughout the body, and blood pressure drops.
Fertility Problems And Menstrual Problems
Fertility Problems: Why not try desiccated thyroid first?
5.) Fertility problems and menstrual problems. (With fertility problems, shouldn’t desiccated thyroid be tried first? Yes, of course it should! This seems like a no-brainer to me. There is almost no risk to trying this. The worst thing that can happen is that the man or woman is giving too much thyroid, and they get some tremor or palpitations or can’t sleep for one night. But then all you’d have to do is lower the dose the next day, and the problem is gone. This is the very first thing that I would try if I was an infertile couple. It seems to me that you have nothing to lose. I’d call Dr. Mark Starr and ask for his guidance on dosage on this and what to look out for.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Why not try desiccated thyroid first?
6.) Treating Alzheimer’s Disease. I would try desiccated thyroid in anyone with Alzheimer’s also. Again, this is a very low-risk idea. Dr. Starr presents evidence that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is very similar to hypothyroidism. He believes is a cellular energy problem that can be corrected with desiccated thyroid. However, at this moment in time, it appears that NO ONE ELSE HAS RECOGNIZED THIS. Desiccated thyroid increases circulation. Maybe 10 years on TV, they showed a patient with Alzheimer’s who had dramatic improvement immediately circulation to the brain was improved by doing a radical surgery to attach a long strip of fat from the belly to the brain. The results were dramatic and immediate, suggesting that much of Alzheimer’s might be due to a lack of circulation to the brain.
Frequent Infections: Why not try desiccated thyroid first?
7.) Frequent infections. Broda Barnes notes that low thyroid increases susceptibility to infections, and that giving desiccated thyroid improves resistance to infections. He said it takes about 2 months for the resistance to increase. He also said that he had never given a flu shot to any of his patients since he got out of the military. He also noted that he had not had a patient in the hospital with pneumonia for 15 years or more.
Any Medical Condition Where No Cause Can Be Found
Any Medical Condition Where No Cause Can Be Found: Why not try desiccated thyroid first?
8.) Any condition where a doctor can’t find the cause. Broda Barnes mentions this in a speech he gave in the 1970’s. He said if you have a patient with complaints, and you can’t find anything else wrong, try giving desiccated thyroid. Dr. Starr and Dr. Barnes talk about numerous conditions that respond to desiccated thyroid in his book such as chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, nail problems, skin problems, acne, hearing problems, dizziness and vertigo, bladder problems, bleeding problems and bruising, headaches and migraines, cholesterol, cancer, obesity, diabetes, behavioral problems, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Why not try desiccated thyroid first? I would contact Dr. Starr to figure out the appropriate dose necessary. My impression is that most doctors have been mislead into believing that they should only give Synthroid (synthetic T4) instead of desiccated thyroid, which is absolutely NOT true, and that larger doses of desiccated thyroid which are necessary in most patients with hypothyroidism—an average dose of 3.5 grains (210 mg) of desiccated thyroid shown in a table in Dr. Starr’s book, and he notes that he started out taking 4 grains (240 mg), and now takes 3 grains (180 mg) of desiccated thyroid—are unsafe, which is also NOT true. My guess is that the reason for this is that the supposed “equivalent dose” of Synthroid that large would cause many problems and is rarely used, so doctors have reverse engineered it to believe that larger doses of desiccated thyroid should not be used, but this is NOT true. You can ask Dr. Starr about this.
Quotes about Dr. Starrs book
“I believe everyone needs to review Mark Starrs book.
“He has a vital message to share about the many people who do not realize they have low thyroid, because standard thyroid tests do not show it.
“Mark Starrs dedication to research, and his devoted study with the old masters, have made him an international expert on thyroid and iodine.”
—Dr. Garry Gordon, Co-Founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
“This is an astonishing book revealing the cause and successful treatment for obesity, heart attacks, depression, diabetes, strokes, headaches, chronic fatigue and many more. His in-depth research and discussion of how environmental toxins can interfere with thyroid hormones is groundbreaking and enlightening for us all.”
—Robban Sica, MD
“This is the most significant compilation of medical research ever published in the area of hypothyroidism.
“Over a century of irrefutable scientific evidence is presented in a concise and readable format for laypeople and doctors alike.”
—Mark Starr, MD writing about his own book
Dr. Starr’s Contact Information
Here is contact information for Dr. Starr.
Mark Starr, MD
21st Century Pain & Sports Medicine
10565 N. Tatum Blvd Suite B-115
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
(480) 607-6533 fax
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