Your Thyroid is a small gland found
partially wrapping your neck just below what is often called the Adam’s apple. Through a very complex process, involving the entire Thyroid System (including pituitary gland and liver), it controls how your body uses energy, makes proteins, and how your body reacts to other hormones. It influences your metabolism, growth, development, and body temperature. When your thyroid becomes sick, injured, or inflamed it either makes excessive thyroid hormone, called Hyperthyroidism, or it may restrict its production of thyroid hormone, called Hypothyroidism. Then too, because of lack of necessary trace elements or nutrients in your body, the thyroid hormones may not even be used effectively which exacerbates the situation. A struggling thyroid often goes through both stages of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism before becoming too damaged to continue. At this point you are left with the sad reality of needing to take marginally effective and problematic thyroid supplements for the rest of your life. How do you know your thyroid is struggling? You may experience symptoms such as fatigue or racing heart, unexplained weight changes, unexplained muscle and joint pains, swelling in your neck, hair loss (especially eyebrows) and skin changes, extended constipation or diarrhea, menstrual abnormalities, depression, carpal tunnel, difficulty with sleep, increased cholesterol, feelings of cold or hot extremities, and more. In other words, if your thyroid isn’t working properly, you’ll feel lousy and may not be able to function on a daily basis.
So what does a sick thyroid system have to do with prostate cancer? Ask yourself this simple question. If your entire body isn’t functioning properly because of your thyroid, how do you expect it to ward off cancer, or heal itself? Many have seen a connection between a poorly functioning thyroid and prostate cancer. A 2009 study looking at 29,691 people found that those with Hyperthyroidism did in fact have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Before you take an easy breath with your Hypothyroidism, just remember you most likely went through Hyperthyroidism getting to Hypo- today.
Then there are the causal links between a malfunctioning thyroid and prostate. In order for the thyroid to do its job it needs adequate supplies of Iodine, Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamins D, C, B-12, and E. We have already discussed the importance of Vitamin D regarding prostate cancer. Next let’s consider iodine. One report lists iodine deficiency in the US at over 11% of our population, while recent comments suggest it may be as high as 74%. Anyway you look at it, that’s a lot of people. Many also believe due to competing uptakes of bromine, perchlorate, fluoride and chlorine that the iodine we are consuming can’t be used effectively. This lack of effective iodine not only damages the thyroid, it weakens our entire immune system allowing invading organisms and cancers to take hold. There are many correlations between iodine deficiency and cancer. Magnesium is also vital to our body’s health. Over 300 enzymes and ion transport require magnesium. Magnesium’s role in fatty acid and phospholipids acid metabolism also affects permeability and stability of membranes. Without proper magnesium our cells decline, thus opening the door for cancer. It has been shown that high levels of magnesium actually inhibit cancer. Sad to note about 57% of the US population doesn’t even meet the US RDA for dietary magnesium. On the other hand an over abundance of supplemental Selenium and Vitamin-E may promote prostate cancer, while ‘too much’ as well as ‘too little’ iodine will be detrimental to the thyroid. That’s why it is so important to get your levels checked before any supplementation, and to watch your levels of supplementation together with a professional medical provider you can trust.
In addition to these connections between your thyroid and prostate cancer, there’s one more important consideration. There are many foods and supplements thought to be very healthy in fighting prostate cancer that may aggravate your thyroid. Difficult foods for your thyroid include soy, corn, flax, lima beans, sweet potato, Quercetin, and all cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower and kale). Ouch! Why is it that the very things we often believe will cure us, has side effects possible causing harm in other areas? Though the list is long, there are important cooking considerations that may mitigate many of these thyroid problem foods. In addition to this list, you can add any foods causing you an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions arising from a ‘Leaky Gut' have also been attributed to thyroid malfunction as well as generalized silent inflammation throughout the body and a contributing factor to prostate cancer. It has been said that as much as 50% of thyroid autoimmune problems are caused by food allergies. Finally get your Omega-6 consumption under control as it affects both thyroid and prostate. (More about this coming soon.)
With all this said, if you have concerns or thyroid symptoms it may be time to get it checked. If you are dealing with prostate cancer, whether you are in treatment or not, I feel it important to obtain a full thyroid panel to assure it’s working at optimal efficiency. At the very least you will then know what steps to take, and most of those steps will help your prostate. Start by having your levels of Iodine, Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamins D, C, B-12, and E checked. At the same time get your TSH, Free T3, Free T4, antibody protein antithyroglobulin (AB Test), and thyroid antibody TPO (TPO) tested. Add to this list any other tests your doctor recommends. These will give you a good start to evaluate your thyroid and overall health.
Is there a link between thyroid problems and prostate cancer? It sure appears to me one exists. My recent TSH came in at 3.02, with a Free T3 at 2.2, and a Free T4 at 1.15. This puts me in a sub-clinical hypothyroid level confirmed with multiple symptoms. I’m waiting on results of additional tests, though I already know a few years ago prior to the diagnosis of prostate cancer I was living the American dream diet and deficient in iodine, magnesium, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, E and B-12. I was also experiencing increasing food allergies. My next step in this process is to heal my thyroid to the greatest extent possible. I will be looking at balancing my nutritional intakes, maximizing the effectiveness of my liver, and healing my gut. Only after I have attempted a natural route will I consider synthetic T3 or T4, or a more natural T3/T4 treatment such as desiccated thyroid. Once going down that path there is little turning back. For those interested in finding out more about thyroid treatment you may want to browse the website, Stop The Thyroid Madness or contact Dr Adiel Tel-Oren at Ecopolitan with questions.