Wow! What a year 2020 has been! I hope this message finds you well!
I wanted to wish you a happy and healthy New Year, as well as share a few updates!
I love this time of year… the holidays are an amazing opportunity to slow down and relax with family, as well as reflect on and let go of the past, dream, and plan for the future. The New Year is always a great time to start fresh!
Over the past few years, my readers, clients, colleagues, team members and family have helped me evolve in so many ways as a human being, healer, friend, leader, bosslady, wife, daughter, sister, and more recently, a mommy. 🙂
This year has been a bit of a roller coaster for many of us. While the current world events have been challenging to say the least, I am choosing to focus on the lessons learned and opportunities to heal.
In case you missed some of my new healing resources over the past year, I’d love to highlight a few that have made a big difference in people’s lives, to give you another opportunity to heal. 🙂
- A Pharmacist’s Review of Medications for Hashimoto’s and Hypothyroidism – With the recent reformulation of many natural desiccated thyroid medications, many patients were left with thyroid symptoms. Here’s a comprehensive review of the thyroid medications that are currently available, and guidance on how to get the best results with the different types of medications available out there.
- Pancreatic Elastase, Fat Digestion and Hashimoto’s – Up to 73 percent of people with Hashimoto’s may have deficiencies in bile and/or pancreatic enzymes, leading to issues with fat absorption. One key culprit may be a deficiency in the pancreatic enzyme “pancreatic elastase.” While you have likely heard of the pancreas (where these key fat digestion enzymes are produced), you may not be aware of how important the pancreas is, and how supplementing with pancreatic enzymes can make all the difference in uncomfortable and embarrassing digestive symptoms.
- Is Your T4 Medication Working for You? – Do you take T4 thyroid medication? Is it working well for you? If not, you may want to look into why… especially if you are sensitive to additive ingredients, have gastrointestinal issues, or like to take your medication with your morning cup of coffee! 🙂
- Do Hashimoto’s and Graves’ Disease Share the Same Root Causes? – While the symptoms of Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and Graves’ disease (autoimmune hyperthyroidism) can be quite different, they actually have a lot in common in terms of the root causes they can share — including infections, leaky gut, and stress. In this article, I share some things that can help both Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease.
- Carnitine for Thyroid Fatigue – Carnitine deficiencies have been associated with thyroid imbalances, and recent research has shown that carnitine can be beneficial for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism! Studies have shown that carnitine can help improve fatigue, muscle weakness, blood sugar balance, and gut health, among many other symptoms and conditions that often co-occur with Hashimoto’s.
- Using Electrolytes with Hashimoto’s – Electrolyte imbalances have been shown in studies to directly correlate with thyroid imbalances. This is partly due to the fact that thyroid abnormalities may lead to changes in renal function, which in turn can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Plus, thyroid hormones are involved in the metabolism of minerals, and people with hypothyroidism generally experience a slower metabolism, resulting in electrolyte abnormalities. Supplementing with electrolytes can help relieve many of the symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s!
- S. boulardii to Balance the Gut – This beneficial yeast has been studied extensively for its ability to address (or prevent) traveler’s diarrhea, but has also been shown to be effective for addressing some of the major Hashimoto’s root causes and symptoms, such as antibiotic-induced dysbiosis, adrenal dysfunction, and some gut infections. If you have been dealing with digestive issues, are looking for ways to support your adrenal health, or want to boost your immune support in general, you may benefit from adding S. boulardii to your daily routine.
Helping others heal is truly my life’s purpose, and I am so grateful and proud of the work that my team and I are able to do to help you heal.
At the beginning of the year, we released my brand new Adrenal Transformation Program to a small group of participants. This program had been a long-time in the making, and I had no idea that I would release it at such a difficult time, when it was truly needed. This program focuses on sending safety signals to our bodies, utilizing a variety of healing modalities, beyond what I shared in my books. In the last few years, I’ve had an opportunity to learn new healing modalities from my own challenges and pursuits, other clinicians, training courses, emerging research and, most importantly, my clients and readers.
I am so inspired by the feedback from those who went through the program and experienced tremendous improvement in just 4 weeks, in the following symptoms:
- Brain fog – 92 percent improvement
- Fatigue – 89 percent improvement
- Forgetfulness – 89 percent improvement
- Anxiety – 86 percent improvement
- Irritability – 85 percent improvement
- …among many others!
Here’s what one participant had to say:
This course has been the best decision I have made so far for my health! It has taken a while, until week 5…suddenly I have started to feel so much better, alive, energized, happier! I am so grateful to have found Izabella Wentz… When I heard of this course I was keen to enroll, to be guided through the adrenal transformation. I bought all the supplements and am following the program as best as I can. RIght now, I feel more like the person I was before Hashimoto’s struck around 2015. This course has empowered me in so many ways and given me the knowledge I lacked in this disease… My husband said that I had my ‘sparkle’ back yesterday! I can do housework and other jobs without crashing now… Feeling so blessed and grateful.
If all goes according to plan, we will be releasing the program again at the beginning of next summer. Please fill out this form if you would like to be the first to be notified of its release. 🙂
In the meantime, here are a few deep dive articles I released in the past year, on topics related to stress:
- Are Your Adrenals Sabotaging Your Health?
- Why Balancing Blood Sugar is Vital for Hashimoto’s Health
- 11 Strategies to Overcome Thyroid Fatigue
- Root Causes of Depression and Hashimoto’s
We also launched other resources this year:
- In May, we re-released the Thyroid Secret docuseries for a free viewing, in honor of World Thyroid Day! It was so exciting to see so many people tune in to this life-changing series and benefit from this valuable information for people who are looking to heal themselves of Hashimoto’s.
- We continued to enroll people into the Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program, and I’m so proud of the results we’ve been seeing! We will open up enrollments again in the new year. Over the last several years, this program has had phenomenal outcomes, including the following:
- 97 percent improved their knowledge of Hashimoto’s
- 81 percent saw an improvement/resolution in depression
- 80 percent saw a reduction in stomach pain
- 75 percent saw a reduction in joint pain
- 74 percent saw an improvement in fatigue
- 73 percent saw a reduction in TSH
- 71 percent improved their acid reflux
- We opened our popular Root Cause Reset program up for two more sessions! It was so exciting to help thousands of people take back their health through liver support. Many of the Reset members reported that they were feeling better just one week into the dietary protocol! Over 70 percent of members who completed the surveys at the beginning and end of the program, saw improvements in the following symptoms:
- Weight gain – 88 percent
- Chemical sensitivity – 82 percent
- Night sweats – 82 percent
- Fatigue – 80 percent
- Acid reflux – 79 percent
- Joint pain – 78 percent
Healing Update and a Personal Note
Last year, I shared that the 40 lb weight gain from pregnancy + lack of sleep + lack of exercise + nursing around the clock, led me to lose a lot of muscle (I was like, where did that “mom-butt” come from?), but the right supplements + lifting and chasing a toddler, helped me to get most of those muscles (and my butt) back. According to Dimitry, “mama has a BIG butt” now. 🙂 I’ll be writing a bit more about regaining muscle in 2021, so be sure to look out for this!
This year started off quite well… I had just finished putting together my Adrenal Transformation Program and was ready to test it with a pilot group (as mentioned above), my parents were visiting us in Boulder, CO, and I got to spend precious time with family. I even got to see a few friends!
My hubby, son and I then headed to Los Angeles in February for a little vacation and sunshine, and were enjoying time at the beach, going to the park, and attending toddler art and music classes. And then… well, March came, and we all know what happened in March!
We flew back to Colorado, where we found ourselves having symptoms of the you-know-what. We quarantined at home, and were feeling overwhelmed and scared like everyone else. I no longer felt safe in our world and was worried for my parents, my son, my hubby, and all of humanity.
Perhaps it was a combination of fear, trying to juggle a little kid, feeding our family, working during the pandemic, the infection, having a lack of green smoothies and supplements, and being affected by a thyroid medication recall (+ my morning coffee habit courtesy of #mamalife), or the buildup of 2+ years worth of sleep deprivation, that sometimes comes with having a spirited toddler, but I had my first big health set-back in almost a decade.
I started experiencing acid reflux, perioral dermatitis, weight gain, constipation, a rash under my nose, fatigue, skin inflammation, anxiety, sleep issues, as well as frequent and very heavy periods.
While I’ve certainly had some minor health setbacks, I normally would be able to do a couple of quick things to get myself back on track. That said, I always made time for self-care prior to the lockdown. Even after the birth of my son, I have been very fortunate to have my parents visit every other month or so to help out with my sweet boy, cook, wrangle the home, take the dog on walks, and just spend some time with me.
But because of 2020, we didn’t see my parents again until this fall (which was such a special and healing treat… I’m thinking I need to start a petition to get them to move closer to us, lol).
This time, I had to go back and do some deeper work, including lab tests, medication changes, and taking extra time for self-care. Additionally, I had to consult with other experts and sources — I am still nursing my son, and many of my usual protocols are not nursing safe.
Tests revealed that my TSH had moved out of optimal range (while still “normal” at 3 μIU/mL, I feel best around 0.5-2 μIU/mL). I also ended up with an H. pylori infection (a huge trigger and exacerbating infection for Hashimoto’s), and low ferritin.
- Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and heavy menses. It can also make H. pylori flare up, as well as make us more susceptible to picking up infections.
- H. pylori can lead to an increase in thyroid antibodies, poor absorption of thyroid medications, nutrient deficiencies (including low ferritin), low stomach acid, poor appetite, constipation, SIBO, and new food sensitivities (acid reflux is often a symptom of food sensitivities).
- Low ferritin can lead to mood issues, skin issues, as well as heavy menses… it’s a bit of a vicious cycle, and I had to do multiple things to restore my health. It has taken some time to get back to feeling like myself again.
Here’s what I did:
❤️ Got back on my supplements (methylfolate took care of the rash under my nose within a few days).
❤️ Followed a gentle H. pylori protocol (DGL + black seed oil are safe for nursing moms).
❤️ Took digestive enzymes.
❤️ Utilized neurofeedback to stay calm.
❤️ Took nursing safe adaptogens.
❤️ Switched thyroid meds — I wasn’t sure if it was my coffee habit, H. pylori, stress, or the reformulation of the meds I was taking, that resulted in my levels being out of balance, and thus some of the “minor” thyroid symptoms like mood changes and menstrual changes, that I was experiencing. A switch in hormones actually made me feel so much more calm within just a few days. I think the NDT I was taking had me on a bit of a thyroid rollercoaster. 🙁
❤️ Had iron IVs, which helped me have more energy and feel more calm. They also made my period blood flow normal and not heavy.
❤️ Asked for more help with childcare, which was actually kind of tough, because I really love being with my son.
❤️ Restarted my green smoothies in the morning. This helped me feel more balanced and relieved my constipation.
The above changes helped significantly. I felt calm and more energetic within two weeks, but the perioral dermatitis and frequent menses persisted, so I knew I had to do a little more digging.
I retested my food sensitivities and found that I had now become sensitive to cinnamon and tomatoes, and my gluten and dairy sensitivities had returned. Prior to all of this, I was working on a food sensitivity elimination protocol, after having accidentally resolved my dairy issues and purposefully resolved my issues with gluten.
I removed the cinnamon and tomatoes from my diet (I had been drinking adaptogenic teas with cinnamon and eating lots of tomato sauce during the lockdown). Food sensitivities can occur from incomplete digestion that may happen under stress or low stomach acid conditions. My perioral dermatitis went away within a few days — yay! (If this interests you, I’ll be sharing more on perioral dermatitis solutions on my Instagram feed.)
My hormone tests revealed low-ish progesterone (hello stress, abnormal TSH, fear, and late 30s), and in order to get my hormones under better control, I started a low dose progesterone cream, along with strategies to balance hormones naturally. This included LOTS of magnesium (triple my previous dose), green smoothies, fiber, and nursing-friendly adaptogens.
I was also able to figure out the root cause of my son’s frequent night wakings while researching some advanced insomnia solutions for the Adrenal Transformation Program (and an upcoming article), and he finally started sleeping through the night last month, within 24 hours of implementing this — yay! (It had to do with biochemistry, not because he needed to “learn” to fall asleep on his own.) The extra sleep, on its own, has been especially healing for me, after 2.5 years of sleep deprivation that sometimes comes with a sweet baby!
I also retested for H. pylori. While my gentle protocol did help reduce it, it did not resolve it. I went back into research mode to find some additional, stronger (albeit still safe and nursing friendly) H. pylori protocols.
I am heading into the new year with a calm mind, normal periods and clear skin (yay!), and all of the symptoms of my flare-up are now gone. I have also gained a lot more empathy and insight into the struggles many of us face. I’ll be focusing on weaning off coffee, weaning my toddler, and getting my teeth beautiful again in 2021 (because coffee + nutrients leaching from pregnancy and nursing). 😉
Last but not least, I will be doing some work on birth and postpartum trauma. I recently started sharing some insights from my postpartum journey on Instagram (including a Root Cause Approach to mastitis), when I realized that I have some personal healing to do in that department. I’ll share more when I’m ready.
This year, I continued in my growth as a healer, and have learned additional solutions for new conditions that I had encountered in my personal life, and/or had previously struggled with solving for some of my more challenging clients. My goal is to be able to help 80 percent of people feel at least 80 percent better. I share this information with you in my weekly newsletters because, unlike some practitioners who write their web content to make you aware of the problem so that you will schedule a time to consult with them for the solution, I don’t have much time for consulting these days. Thus, my articles are focused on giving you real solutions, without having to consult with me. I’m in the business of putting myself out of business. 🙂
My commitment has always been to serve the underserved, and it’s been a fulfillment of my dream to be able to share these resources with you throughout the year and hear the stories of how it has impacted your lives.
What’s on the Horizon for 2021
I’m excited for the new resources I’ve been working on for the upcoming year, and I will be sharing some more deep dive articles on many of the topics that are covered in my Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program, as well as new things I’ve learned over the past few years.
Some topics that I’ve been diving into and look forward to sharing more information on include:
- Muscle wasting/restoring muscles and strength: While I’ve had a great track record with clients with muscle wasting, I’ve learned some additional insights in my postpartum period that may be relevant for some of you. As mentioned previously, I am happy to report that I have rebuilt my muscle and I no longer have a mom-butt. 😉 I will be sharing a new article on a deep dive into muscle wasting in 2021.
- Restoring sleep: Personally, I’ve been gifted with the ability to sleep anyplace, anywhere, for most of my life. While I had some success with helping my clients with insomnia, my success rate was nowhere near the 80 percent target that I aim for. So, sleep was a big area of study for me, both for my clients in the Adrenal Transformation Program (ATP) and in my personal life, because my sweet little son continued to wake all night until very recently. I was going through old client files with sleep issues and trying to find some patterns, searching PubMed, and updating the sleep info in ATP and my sleep article, when I came across a solution for frequent night waking that helped my 2.5 year old son sleep through the night within 24 hours, for the first time in his life (I’ll give you a clue: it involved gut health and biochemistry, and not shutting his door and leaving the room so he could figure it out on his own). These solutions have been shared with our ATP group, and I will share the gift of sleep with you next year as well, once my team is done editing and prettifying my ramblings into a well-referenced article. 🙂
- Gut health: I’ve been studying more and more on gut health, and I will share solutions for constipation and acid reflux, along with insights and patterns from testing 300 people with Hashimoto’s, using the GI-MAP test. At some point in the near future, I hope to create a gut-specific program.
- What to do about estrogen dominance/low progesterone: Hormonal imbalances can be a trigger for Hashimoto’s, which can, in part, explain why Hashimoto’s is so much more prevalent in women than in men. The good news is that there are many lifestyle and natural approaches to hormone balancing (that don’t involve birth control pills!) that can eliminate symptoms and make you feel so much better.
- Restoring iron and ferritin levels: Hair loss and lack of energy are common symptoms of Hashimoto’s, but did you know that they are also symptoms of anemia? Iron deficiencies, infections, low stomach acid, hormone imbalances, and vitamin deficiencies — all common in Hashimoto’s — can be potential causes of anemia.
- Relieving constipation: Being “backed up” is a common condition, particularly in those with Hashimoto’s. The good news is that there are root cause solutions to treating constipation that don’t involve harmful laxatives or prescription medications.
- Resolving acid reflux: I was reflux free for quite some time after removing dairy from my diet, but when I was pregnant, I developed acid reflux again, which can be common because of the pressure pushing on the stomach. I tried many remedies, including testing for new food sensitivities. Lo and behold, the test revealed that I was sensitive to a host of new and different foods, including chicken and salmon. Once I cut them out, my reflux was gone again. For many people, getting to the root of gut health issues, such as low stomach acid, food sensitivities, and infections, can resolve acid reflux. I’ll share a comprehensive plan with you in 2021.
- Using nutritional lithium for thyroid, mood, and brain health: I first became fascinated with lithium in 2005, during my fourth year in pharmacy school, when I learned that lithium was one of only two drugs that had been shown to reduce suicidality. I had recently lost someone I love to suicide, and while pharmaceutical lithium had a lot of supportive evidence for reducing suicidality and leveling out the extreme mood swings in bipolar disorder, lithium is a widely known thyroid-toxic drug in larger doses… But what about using nutritional lithium in small doses? My curiosity took me down a rabbit hole. I came across a Texan study which found that counties with higher levels of lithium in the water, had significantly lower levels of suicide, homicide, drug use, and violent crimes. Additionally, nutritional lithium has been shown to slow dementia, improve cognition, help heal the brain from injury and stroke, reduce inflammation, support methylation, and even promote longevity!
And if I have time, I’ll share some info on…
- Solving thyroid-related skin issues
- How to reduce TSH naturally
- Improving T4 to T3 conversion
- Traumatic stress
- Using immunoglobulins for Hashimoto’s
I’m also working on creating a new book to guide you on how to optimize thyroid hormones through medications as well as natural means. 🙂
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years studying additional root causes and solutions… and how to heal various conditions. I’m excited to share them with you when the time comes.
I will also be working on a Nursing Mother’s Formulary for Hashimoto’s and postpartum thyroiditis in the next year or so, to help women heal from postpartum thyroiditis and related conditions.
Besides the protocols for nursing moms, many of the root causes and solutions I’ve shared above, are covered in great detail in my Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program. (I’m excited to open up enrollment for this in the new year again, so that you can learn how to take back your health!)
I have high hopes of sharing what I learned in deeply researched and fact-checked books in the future that ensure that no stone is left unturned, but for now, I may start with a few articles.
Anything in particular you’d like to see me cover?
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It’s been an honor to serve you, and I hope that these resources have been helpful on your journey. If you have had an “aha” moment or success story from any of them, I’d love to hear about it!
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