Podcast – How Much Thyroid Medication is Too Much? Parts 1 & 2 with Janie Bowthorpe, M.Ed.
Description: Between the latest online fads and the crazy media headlines, it’s easier than ever to get
confused about your health. If you want to make better decisions about your health today so you can feel
better and live longer, you’ve come to the right place.
In this episode, we’re going to wrap up our examination of current thyroid disease issues. Have you ever
wondered if it is okay to take higher doses of thyroid medication, even if your blood tests say you’re
getting too much? Many patients say that they don’t feel better until their hormone levels are much
higher than is recommended. I’m joined today by Janie Bowthorpe, thyroid patient activist and author
who feels it is important to disregard blood test results. Her own health was compromised when she
developed thyroid disease and it wasn’t until she started dosing natural thyroid medication more
accurately that she started to feel better. She has joined me to share her opinions on the best way to
diagnose and treat thyroid disease, and to consider the many factors that affect thyroid health, including
iron levels, cortisol problems, TSH levels, and adrenal problems. Janie is passionate about her calling
and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her perspective and experiences as an advocate for
After the interview, I will follow-up on the key points of our conversation. I want you to consider the need
for conducting high-quality studies and of the importance of understanding the many side effects and
complications that may not be highlighted in patient-shared experiences. To do so, I will give you an
overview of several studies regarding low TSH, each of which included a look at how low TSH levels can
affect your body’s ability to manage free radicals, bone health, cardiovascular health, and total mortality
rates. Once the facts are laid out, I will share my opinion on this important topic of thyroid disease and
[:35] Today’s topic is the third of three segments on the topic of thyroid disease.
[1:55] Introducing Janie Bowthorpe, who shares the health and medical experiences that led her to
becoming a thyroid advocate.
[5:23] The symptoms that led Janie to the diagnosis of thyroid disease only got worse over time, but she
quickly she experienced a turnaround and stabilization once she started natural thyroid medication.
[10:28] Janie’s calling to be an advocate for thyroid patients and a look at how her observations were
reflected in large numbers of patients over time.
[14:32] Defining ‘optimal doses’ in thyroid patients using desiccated thyroid means people feeling their
best and staying that way.
[20:27] Achieving optimal doses and identifying thyroid hormone resistance through patterns of groups of
patients and genetic testing.
[25:41] What are the concerns that come with TSH levels that are too low or too high? How do
inadequate iron and cortisol problems play into these concerns?
[30:43] Ferritin versus serum iron and considering the presence of inflammation and cortisol problems.
[35:46] Are the benefits associated with TSH suppression worth the long-term health risks?
[39:40] Studies that have disregarded adrenal problems may not be as telling as patient-shared
[43:54] Wrapping up with Janie Bowthorpe and her testimony of the importance of patients listening to
[45:57] Should you ignore your TSH? Understanding your TSH as your pituitary gland telling your thyroid
to work, and a look at what patients have experienced in trying to optimize it’s levels.
[48:47] My five criteria for reviewing evidence, and the importance of placing more weight on the
evidence that is independent of the source it came from.
[51:30] Understanding the treatment that thyroid patients have received from the medical community and
a host of secondary problems that can contribute to feeling unwell despite thyroid stability.
[54:08] What high-quality studies have been conducted to increase our understanding of what happens
to people with low TSH levels?
[59:02] Study results include redox pathways and the body’s antioxidant capacity, bone health as it
relates to lumbar spine density and bone age, increase in inflammation, and increased mortality rates
relative to decreasing TSH scores.
[1:06:02] My recommendation for thyroid patients — based on the facts.
[1:07:58] Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover? Contact me on Facebook or Instagram using
To learn more:
Dr. Christianson on Instagram
Dr. Christianson on Facebook
Stop the Thyroid Madness
Stop the Thyroid Madness on Facebook
Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Years of Inferior Treatment by Janie Bowthorpe
Higher rates of mortality study — “Excess Mortality in Treated and Untreated Hyperthyroidism Is Related to Cumulative Periods of Low Serum TSH”
Higher rates of heart attack study — “How Does Subclinical Hyperthyroidism Affect Right Heart Function and Mechanics?”
Higher rates of hip fracture study — “Osteoporosis due to hyperthyroidism is worse when TSH signaling is lost”
Higher rates of dementia study — “Subclinical hyperthyroidism and dementia: the Sao Paulo Ageing & Health Study (SPAH)”
“If you have any suspicion that you have true thyroid hormone resistance, you need to get the testing
done.” — Janie Bowthorpe
“There’s a big difference between opinion and experiences, and there are a lot of strong opinions in the
medical field, which is why I didn’t go by opinion.” — Janie Bowthorpe
“By and large with good iron and good cortisol people should be able to tolerate raising natural thyroid
doses even if TSH is suppressed.” — Dr. Alan Christianson
“There are many ways that someone with thyroid disease may not feel well, even if they have stablethyroid function back again.” — Dr. Alan Christianson