Most thyroid conditions occur in females. Whether we’re talking about hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or an autoimmune thyroid disorder, women are more likely than men to develop such conditions. Of course a lot of men also develop thyroid conditions. I’m a perfect example of this, as most people who are reading this article know I had a personal battle with Graves’ Disease.
When it comes to following a natural thyroid treatment protocol to restore one’s health back to normal, is there a significant difference between the different protocols in which both men and women need to follow? As I have spoken about in the past, I put everyone on an individualized treatment plan, regardless of their gender. There are definitely numerous similarities when it comes to recommending a protocol for both genders.
Weak Adrenal Glands Are A Big Problem In Both Men & Women
For example, many people develop thyroid conditions due to weak adrenal glands. As I have discussed numerous times in other articles and posts, weak adrenals are a very common problem, as most people have compromised adrenal glands. The reason for this is because most people eat too many refined foods and sugars, get insufficient sleep, and/or do a poor job of managing stress, all of which will eventually lead to weakened adrenal glands. This is the case with both men and women, as both are guilty of neglecting these lifestyle factors, and thus both are highly susceptible to developing adrenal gland problems.
The primary difference when it comes to men and women is with regards to the sex hormones. While both men and women produce the same sex hormones, they do so in different quantities. Women produce more estrogen and progesterone, while men produce more testosterone. So any doctor obviously needs to take these different hormone levels into consideration when designing a natural thyroid treatment protocol.
On the other hand, just because men and women have different levels of these hormones doesn’t mean they always affect men and women differently. As an example, I’ve spoken in the past about estrogen dominance, which is due to an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While this condition is more common in women, men are also affected by estrogen dominance as well. While they don’t have the same levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, they should have a similar ratio. And some men are progesterone deficient as well.
But one also needs to remember that hormones are interactive. As a result, it’s important to look at all of the major hormones which can play a role in one’s endocrine health. This is why I recommend an expanded hormone panel, as this will not only include hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone, but will also evaluate the pituitary hormones LH and FSH. It’s a little more costly to obtain a complete hormone panel when compared to simply ordering a test for estrogen and progesterone in women, or testosterone in men. But it’s important to look at all of the hormones.
For example, whenever I consult with a male who has low testosterone and was put on bioidentical hormones, almost never was the cause of the low testosterone looked into. DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, and so if the male was deficient in DHEA, causing a low testosterone, then of course one would want to increase the DHEA, which should in turn raise the testosterone levels without needing to take bioidentical testosterone.
Another example involves low progesterone levels, either in men or women. This frequently is due to miscommunication between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which is why it’s important to look at the hormones FSH and LH. Because if the problem is with the HP-Axis, then one should focus on this area, rather than giving natural progesterone. In other words, it’s important to correct the problem which is causing the hormone deficiency, rather than just give every single person with low testosterone or low progesterone bioidentical hormones.
Is There A Difference In Nutritional Supplements Taken?
With regards to women and men who follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol, there will be many similar nutritional supplements a person needs to take. For example, both men and women with hyperthyroid conditions can usually benefit from taking Bugleweed. Similarly, for hypothyroid conditions both men and women can frequently be helped by the herbs Bladderwrack and Ashwaghanda. Both men and women need to be aware of certain deficiencies, such as Vitamin D, iodine, selenium, magnesium, etc. So there without questions are many similarities regarding the protocols in which both men and women follow.
On the other hand, there can also be differences in the protocols. This is especially true with regards to cycling women, as they will sometimes require different nutritional supplements and/or herbs, and this once again usually relates to any hormone imbalances they have. The fluctuation of hormones makes it more complex to treat cycling women, and is actually a big contributing factor as to why many cycling women develop endocrine orders, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy to treat men or menopausal women, but in most cases, it is more challenging to restore the health of a cycling woman. This is especially true when she is taking oral contraceptives, as I have mentioned in a previous article.
When it comes to finding the underlying cause of a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition, with the exception of the specific male and female hormone panels, the other testing will for the most part be the same. So there is no separate male and female test for an Adrenal Stress Index or hair mineral analsyis, and as you already know, the thyroid blood tests are all the same regardless of the gender.
In summary, there are definitely some differences with regards to treating men and women naturally for their thyroid condition. While the testing is the same (with the exception of the hormone panel), there frequently are some differences with the nutritional supplements and herbs taken by both women and men. What this means is that a man who is diagnosed with a thyroid condition can’t necessarily follow the same protocol as a woman. And even two women with the same thyroid condition shouldn’t follow the same exact protocol, as they both need to be evaluated on an individual basis.