Sedona Retreat 2024

Thyroid, Hashimotos & Hormonal Harmony with Lacey Dunn, MS, RD, CPT

The Overlap of Gut Imbalances and a sluggish Thyroid. Constipation Gas / bloating Poor Digestions Weigh Loss Resistant Brand For and Fatigue


"I want women to know all about their bodies and understand the big picture".

In this week's episode of the Less Stressed Life, Lacey Dunn explains why our "Hormones are like a symphony" Taking us through her personal journey as she shares her expertise on thyroid disease and Hashimotos, discussing the connection with nutrition and gut health.

Lacey dives into all things thyroid and emphasizes how the "body can be changed and how you can impact your health from a lifestyle and diet standpoint to cure and prevent chronic disease." 

Key Takeaways:

  • What is the thyroid and what does it do
  • Symptom checklist for hypo and hyperthyroid
  • How we get to this place and what are the root causes of thyroid disease
  • Appropriate testing/working with your Practitioner
  • Ways to heal-treatment option

Lacey Dunn, MS, RD, LD, CPT is a functional medicine dietitian who helps women to reclaim their health and become the boss of their own bodies. She specializes in physique enhancement, weight management, thyroid disorders, PCOS, adrenal dysfunction, and metabolic resistance. I Lacey is the owner of a thriving online coaching platform, UpliftFit Nutrition, as well as host and founder of UpliftFit Nutrition radio. Lacey's goal as a dietitian is to provide the tools that people need in order to achieve a healthy, and balanced diet while simultaneously helping them to grow and thrive in all aspects of their lives. She uses a personalized, holistic approach to help her clients to feel their best, transform their lives, and go from surviving to thriving. Her book, The Women's Guide to Hormonal Harmony, gives women the knowledge, tools, and confidence to rebalance their hormones, master their metabolism, and become the boss of their own body. From thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, gut disorders, to navigating the best diet plan- her book serves as the one book every woman needs to feel her best and reclaim her hormones, and master her health and body.



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Lacey Dunn : (00:00)
We need to get T4 to T3. So not only does it put the brakes on that and shift over to reverse T3, which competes with that T3, but it also prevents T4 and T3 from even getting into the cell and produces a cellular hypothyroid state. So if we have too low or too high cortisol or inflammation, then we cannot get the th IID hormone into the south to even do the job.

Christa: (00:23)
Stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance have let a lot of us down we're overmedicated and underserved at the Lessed Stressed Life. We are a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional Western medicine, toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories each week. Our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home.

Christa: (01:05)
All right, today on the less stressed life, we have Lacy Dunn who is a functional medicine, dietician and founder of uplift, fit nutrition with a fiery passion for helping women feel and look their rare best. Her mission in life is to help women go from surviving to thriving by reclaiming their health hormones and becoming the master of their own bodies. She's the author of the new book, the woman's guide to hormonal harmony, how to rebalance your hormones, master your metabolism, and become the boss of your own body, which is partially what we're gonna talk about today. Welcome Lucy.

Lacey Dunn : (01:30)
Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here. You already know I'm such a fan of you, so I'm just honored to be here and talking with your listeners.

Christa: (01:39)
Well, and I've gotten to know Lacey a little bit better more recently because we have kind of a group where we meet sometimes and she is such a radiant person. And so I was bummed because I didn't think I would get your book before our interview, but I actually got it a day early yesterday. So I was telling you off air I'm on page 44, and that's not really super common for me to just jump in one evening. And I actually get kind of bored with health books really quickly. And it's just because I must need to stimulate a different part of my brain. But with this one, I personally find it really great because I like the way it's written. I feel like I hear your voice in my head when I am reading it.

Lacey Dunn : (02:17)
Oh, that makes me feel so good.

Christa: (02:18)
Thank you. Yeah. Well, I mean, it's literally just feels like you are teaching. It just feels like you're sitting beside me telling me about it and there's a lot of personality in it, but it's well done and it's well put together. So I'm only on page 44 and I know we're gonna talk. And so I'm gonna skip to chapter eight and there is a lot here. It's gonna make me reevaluate my list of recommended women's health reading, which I had some other books here, but this one's like, there's so much good stuff from the very first piece. That's excellent is that there's a great questionnaire. And you've got like, okay, if you feel like you've got high estrogen symptoms, if you feel like you have two little, you know, thyroid, which actually, since we're gonna be talking a lot about thyroid, I'm gonna read through your list.

Christa: (02:56)
You got multiple categories. And so people can kind of add up where they feel because it's usually not just one hormonal imbalance, right? But under, under thyroid hormone and it's hair loss, brain fog, poor cognition, trouble sleeping trouble, losing weight, gaining weight, low heart rate goer, puffy face thinning of I eyebrow hair or loss of it. Dry skin, dry hair that tangles easily constipation and poor digestion with gas, bloating, cold intolerance, joint, or muscle aches, chronic fatigue, high cholesterol, horse, voice, lack of motivation, anxiety, depression in a regular menstrual cycle. So we'll get into all that. I think I should probably go back and start with why, you know, the coolest thing about you. And I hope this comes off in a really positive way, but you are not very old. you have accomplished a lot. You have funny cause I, a lot, I feel old. No, you're like you, maybe I've heard this expression like baby grandma, but I think you're just like your mid twenties right now and this

Lacey Dunn : (03:44)
I'm 26. Yeah.

Christa: (03:45)
Okay. Yeah. So your mid twenties and you've had a lot happen and you've accomplished, like you've gotten to a place in the functional medicine space where it takes a lot of people a little bit longer. So let's go back to the story of how it began, because I feel like most people's foray into or transition into the functional medicine space or the integrative medicine space happens because of their own stuff or maybe even their upbringing and their exposures to different things. So this is a lot about hormones, but you also serve a niche that a lot of other people, I don't feel like surf, which is body building as well. And that's part of your story. So why don't you lay it on us and tell us about where things started for you because you were probably conventionally trained, talk about your story and then tell us how we got to kind of where we are now.

Lacey Dunn : (04:26)
Yeah, so I'm very much a nerd and I've always been, you know, 100%. I always dive into things that I love. So my childhood and my adolescent years were of severe focus on school and cheerleading. I actually went to college for eight years. So when I started in junior year, my high school, I completed a half of a biomedical sciences degree and I was in college during high school. So I did that and a lot of cheerleading. And I went to the university of central Florida where I did my division one college year of college cheerleading. And that's when I was really diving into weight training, I needed to gain weight. I was a stick little thin thing still I am, but I needed to gain weight in order to make the team because they had a lot of muscle on 'em. And of course it's very much of a sadly a visionary kind of thing.

Lacey Dunn : (05:15)
So for that, I did a lot of weight training. I dove into body, learned about weight training, became obsessed with it. And I had my own Instagram and it was quote unquote fit and faith. And that's when I got started kind of like in body building and weight training. And from there, I learned all about the human body and I was absolutely fascinated by how you could adjust the body and dove into nutrition, how you could change your nutrition to impact your body. And that's how I got into physique enhancement and started learning more and more about nutrition. And from there I continued doing body building, started doing body building shows, but then my grandma got diagnosed with colon cancer. And then that's when I dove into functional medicine, as well as more of nutrition and how the body can be changed and how you can impact your health from a lifestyle and diet standpoint to cure and prevent chronic disease.

Lacey Dunn : (06:07)
So that's kind of how I got started. When it came down to nutrition and body building, then I went and did my master's degree at Texas women's university. That's where I did my 1200 hour internship, my master's degree, wow. Being simultaneously a full-time online trainer. And that's where I shot myself in the foot. I was doing all of that online training for body building, weight loss and all that. And I was running myself into the ground. Did not know at the time that I was actually causing myself my own hypothyroidism, I was causing myself cortisol issues. And it was all until I started like reading Aviva bomb's adrenal, thyroid revolution. And I was like, wow, what'd I do when I learn is I try and use the data that I learned in my classes. So I was learning about iodine in this case. And I was like, you know what?

Lacey Dunn : (06:54)
I want to apply this information to better understand it. So I started reading the adrenal thyroid revolution and I started noticing, wow, chronic fatigue, random weight, gain hair loss, anxiety, depression, eyebrows fallen off. These all sound familiar. Why does this sound familiar? So I actually, I went and asked my doctor to do blood work and he wouldn't even listen to me. He's like, you don't need to check your thyroid. It's probably normal. Your TSH is normal. And I was like, that doesn't sound normal. When I looked in my research that you didn't even fold thyroid panel and we could talk more about that. But I went and I did my own blood testing and I saw that I was hypothyroid. So my chronic stress with grinding myself into the ground with all my body boating, with the online training, being a full time online trainer with my master's degree, with my internship, just not taking care of myself, not eating enough over exercising, ran me into my hypothyroid state.

Lacey Dunn : (07:45)
And that is what got me so passionate about functional medicine and hormonal imbalances, because I've been there. I've been in the trenches of chaos myself before I discovered functional medicine. I was completely burnt out. And all my years of body building and weight training were no longer showing on my physique. And I literally felt like I was hit on a truck by a daily basis. So I was able to heal myself naturally actually get my period, which I had never had. I had a primary Monoa. So I was able to finally get back to feeling like my best self. Of course, there's more to that story than I went to with mold toxicity H by Lori KDA, all that you name it. But all my struggles have really helped to breed strength and have really made me so passionate about functional medicine.

Christa: (08:32)
Ooh, man, that was a lot that feels like a lot of years, but I mean, it was a lot of years. So starting college, this is why you got so much done. You started college in high school. And were you going to school for nutrition for your undergrad?

Lacey Dunn : (08:43)
No. First I was going for biomedical sciences. So I wanted to actually work in cancer research specifically. Okay. And then my second year of college, I transferred and that's when I got into nutrition and dietetics.

Christa: (08:54)
Got it. And I wanna point out, there's probably listeners listening to this that would think this as well, but I feel like you were kind of doing double duty on education because a lot of what you're learning in your traditional education was not the same as what you were applying, or it seems that you're applying, you were not learning body building and that kind of nutrition. Like, I feel like you had to do a lot more, you were doing a lot more education outside of that and then, oh

Lacey Dunn : (09:17)
Yeah. There's nothing on body building out.

Christa: (09:19)
Yes. There is nothing . That was a nice way to say that. And to speak to your point about like being an athlete, I always feel like athletes, they use up so many nutrients. They're always the ones that seem a little nutrient Repat sometimes before there's a ton of categories. Right. But they use up a lot of nutrients. They require a lot of nutrients. Right. So that kind of makes sense how the building blocks start. You don't have all the building blocks. So then you start having your own issues. You jump into functional medicine where you've seen your own provider. I mean, it's actually kind of significant that you would jump straight into that training as well. So I just wanted to point that out. You went very quickly.

Lacey Dunn : (09:52)
Into doing training. I did go very quickly. Yes. I kind of like I had a nature path and she significantly helped me at the start when it came to Dutch chest and even understanding why my thyroid was being unbalanced. Like I had no clue the impact of cortisol on the thyroid or the impact of T4, the T3 conversion, or cellular hypothyroidism. I had no clue about any of that. And she kind of like told me a little bit about it. And then it was like, all right, I gotta go find more information for myself. So that's when I really dove into PubMed and podcasts and webinars. And I was like, you know what? I gotta learn more. And I just became completely obsessed with it from there. And even more obsessed with the human body because I realized how much our hormones either create a beautiful or disaster symphony. I mean, they all interact each other and they get peer pressure to jump off the cliff of hormonal harmony together when chaos arrives. So that's what a, that happened for me. And that's essentially why I'm so obsessed with functional medicine. And that's why I wrote my book too, because I want women to know all about their bodies.

Christa: (10:51)
Mm-hmm well, you just brought up the hormonal symphony. And so there's three types of hormones that you identify. And so, or that we could all identify and why don't you tell us those three sets?

Lacey Dunn : (11:01)
So we have main hormones in our body and they all work together. So if one jumps off the cliff, most likely another is gonna jump off the cliff and they're all interconnected. It really all starts essentially with our adrenal glands, our brain, and that filters down into our thyroid, which is a butterfly shit gland at the base of our neck. This controls our metabolism as well as really every cell function in our body from metabolism, mood, cognition, hormones, heart rate, to even growth and repair. And then that filters and effects our sex hormones. So our sex hormones then are kind of like when they come unbalanced and we have maybe heavy PMs, painful periods, no period, late periods, early periods, or any drastic changes in our length flow or pain. That's a fire alarm going off in our body saying, Hey girl, listen to me, help me.

Lacey Dunn : (11:48)
It's definitely not normal to have all, you know, crazy PMs changes in your menstrual cycle all the time. So all these different hormones, they speak to each other and they're influenced by each other. So it can be very hard to decipher what is going on. That's why you have to be in tune with your body and also tests don't guess cuz a lot of these different symptoms, they sound like the same thing or another thing like sounds like hypothyroidism or sounds like progesterone deficiency or sounds like, you know, adrenaline balances, high cortisol. So they all sound like same thing sometimes. And that's why it's important to understand they work together. And many times there's not one thing going on. There's

Christa: (12:24)
Multiple. All right. So let's dive into the thyroid stuff because that's a great topic that affects so many people. And let me start with your story. You said you originally had your thyroid tested and they said, this is fine. And then you went and drew your own thyroid panel. So will you tell us about the difference between what was pulled at the provider's office, what you ran and what you saw?

Lacey Dunn : (12:45)
So thyroid physiology is quite complex and there's multiple different hormones that you need to look at in order to assess thyroid function properly. So my doctor pulled TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone. This is basically a hormone that's produced by your pituitary gland that stimulates your thyroid to produce either T four anti three. Now there are situations to where this TSH does not respond the way it should. So TSH typically when you have hypothyroidism, it should spike up telling the body, Hey, I need it to be warmer. So it spikes up T4 and T3. And then when you have hyperthyroidism too much thyroid hormone, then it should go low telling the body, Hey, I've got too much thyroid hormone. And it says, speaks to the thyroid to say, Hey, produce less T4 and T3. So my doctor pulled the TSH saying, oh, quote unquote, this is how we're gonna measure to see if your thyroid gland is working correctly.

Lacey Dunn : (13:37)
Or if you have adequate thyroid hormone. However, from my reading, from my research, I knew that TSH was just a pituitary marker. It was not telling me what my true active and free thyroid hormones, free T4 and free T3 looked like. So he just pulled a TSH that was completely normal. And he said, that's normal. And I said, no, that's not a full thyroid panel. That's only a pituitary marker. So I went tota labs and I pulled my free T3, which is your active form of your thyroid hormone. That's like the gas in the car. I pulled my T4. That's more of the storage form of your thyroid hormone, not the actual active form that converts over to the T3. So I pulled free T4 free T3. I also pulled my reverse T3, which is kind of like the breaks instead of the gas that competes with T3.

Lacey Dunn : (14:25)
Then I pulled my TPO antibodies, which are on enzyme found in your thyroid gland, involved in the production of T3 and T4. And then I pulled also my thyroglobulin antibodies. So the TPO and the thyroid globulin antibodies helped distinguish between Hashimotos, which is the autoimmune form. And then the free T4 and the free T3 and the reverse T3 were telling me how much active thyroid I had available and how it could potentially be used in my body. And that's when I saw, oh my God, I'm severely hypothyroid. I kid you not on a scale from two being the cutoff for normal T3. I was at 0.5. Like I don't know how I was surviving whatsoever.

Christa: (15:05)
Cause our body was really good at compensating

Lacey Dunn : (15:07)
My body was like, I hate you so much. Please slow the heck down

Christa: (15:11)
Uhhuh I loved your analogy here too, that you had pushing on the gas and the brakes. And so I was reviewing some of my own notes recently and like my brain kind of like exploded when I looked at basically stress or cortisol diverts from T4 becoming T3 into reverse T3. So basically cortisol hits the brakes, you know, instead of the gas, no one wants to hear this, but I think it's so fabulous. And I was telling you unfair, this is why under stress. I think to myself, like if it's been going on for a week or more, if I have some stress that's been going on for a week, I think, okay, how can I support myself? Because otherwise I'll have these very faint thyroid symptoms. Like I might just lose a little bit of hair, like after a while after this is accumulated for a while, because it takes a usually to see lab results or lab changes, it takes quite a bit longer for you to be dealing with those stressors that would make your thyroid out of balance overall. So anyway, let's talk about what you did after that situation. When you found out you were very hypothyroid and actually if you will, I'd love to know what you did. What was your next step then? And then next after that, let's talk about let's distinguish between hypo and hyperthyroidism. You've given some examples, but I think we can hammer it home a little bit more.

Lacey Dunn : (16:23)
Yeah. The first thing I did essentially was go to endocrinologist and when I went to the endocrinologist, he started me on level with thine, which is a T4 only medication. Now I was given this T4 and it took me six months through all this. And my levels would not budge. T4 were not budge, T3 were not budge. TSH was not budge. I was all the way up to a hundred micrograms of level of thyroxine and nothing was budging. So obviously there was some issue in my body and it was not responding well. And I kept digging throughout that time and I knew it had to be cortisol. I was like, oh my gosh, of course, nutrient deficiencies as well was continuing to look at, but I knew there was something wrong. My pituitary and my hypothalamus, they were not responding to the medication whatsoever.

Lacey Dunn : (17:06)
And I had to figure out why. And so I went to see a nature path and her name was Dr. Ray. She was outta California and she had me pull a Dutch test, which is a dried urine hormone test and also checks for cortisol. So you look at hormone metabolites cortisol as well as nutrient deficiencies. And I got my test back and my cortisol was absolutely through the roof, extremely high, free cortisol, low metabolite cortisol. I was not metabolizing my cortisol the way that it should be. I had way too much in my body. And it was like, ding, ding, ding, that's it. I was overstressed overworking myself, obviously not fueling my body. I was still training, really hard, not eating as well as I should be. Of course, consuming a bunch of fluffy, you know, food products that fitness people eat. You know, if it fit your macros, you name it. So not doing what I should have been doing. And that's when I realized that cortisol was such a big demon for me. But that's when I also realized holy crap, cortisol is one of the biggest root causes of chronic illness.

Christa: (18:08)
Mm-hmm exciting.

Lacey Dunn : (18:10)
Right. Yeah. And it not only does it put that breaks, so we need to get T4 to T3. So not only does it put the breaks on that and shift over to reverse T3, which competes with that T3, but it also prevents T4 and T3 from even getting into the cell and produces a cellular hypothyroid state. So if we have too low or too high cortisol or inflammation, then we cannot get the thyroid hormone into the cell to even do the job. And for me, it was a combination of all of that. Plus it causing an imbalance of my hypothalamus and my pituitary from speaking adequately to each other. So we have also not just TSH, which the pituitary hormone, but we also have TRH, which has our brain to talk to our pituitary. So all this inflammation, all this cortisol was causing my body to not communicate properly.

Christa: (18:57)
I would like to underline something there that was kind of challenging in your story. You went on Levine, which is also, you know, another name for another T4 medication is Synthroid in which a lot of people are on these T4 medications and T4 is the storage form, but T3 is the active form of thyroid. So you need to be able to convert T4 to T3 and again, the cortisol competes and hits the brakes. But you endured these changes, feeling like total crap for six months. That's like a hard thing for me and probably every other American, because we like think for anyone who's not feeling great. We would like to feel better a lot faster. And this is why I get frustrated with thyroid stuff a little bit, because it took a while to find out. And I mean, in, in retrospect, that was your experience at that time. And now you would address things a lot faster because you would

Lacey Dunn : (19:48)
Know I would, I know better. And I know now endocrinologists, they follow a specific pattern. They are told every single is every two to three months up dosage. I believe with thine by 25 micrograms, literally in their pamphlets. When I was doing my research and learning all this, I was going through endocrinology protocols and guidelines. And that is literally in their guideline to go through mm-hmm and they don't even add Cytomel, which is the T3 until they've reached like at least 75 micrograms. So that left me feeling like crap. In fact, feeling even worse. And my hair was falling out, even worse. I'm still half bald because of it all very frustrating. But yeah, it took a long time. And now I've learned that with functional medicine and when it comes down to a adrenal glandulars, or even with desiccated thyroid hormone, you can go a lot quicker. You don't have to wait freaking two to three months. You can go every three weeks and see how your body responds. So I'm just thankful that I learned about different thyroid medications, how the thyroid works and optimal testing as well.

Christa: (20:50)
Well, so let's actually create a happy ending because you had six months of nothing. And so then did you go straight on T3?

Lacey Dunn : (20:58)
I actually went on nature thyroid. Well, yeah, I did try T3 did not work. Made me feel actually even worse. I thought my heart was gonna fall outta my chest. It made me feel hyperthyroid at the time because I still did not address my cortisol imbalances mm-hmm so that's something to keep in mind. If you add too much T3 and you have cortisol issues, it will make you feel even worse and hyperthyroid and it'll you'll swing back and forth feeling hyper and hypo. But when I finally was able to address my cortisol and bring that down, stress reduction, reducing my workout, intensity, fueling my body correctly, taking strategic supplementation. I was able to actually start on desiccated thyroid hormone, which is the combination in that T4 T3 at a way lower dose actually than I was taking compared to the Levo with normal thyroid hormone labs. And I felt much better.

Christa: (21:48)
And how long did it take you to respond to it and start feeling better?

Lacey Dunn : (21:52)
Literally two weeks of being on the desk, thyroid hormone, I felt like a new human. I was like, what is this magic? Yeah.

Christa: (21:57)
That is what I would like to hear. Thank you so much. I get so annoyed by that. Like, it's gonna be a few months thing and I'm like, uh

Lacey Dunn : (22:06)
If you address the root cause. Yeah. And you're doing, what's good for your body, you should feel better. Not like night and day, but it is significant. Like I was 75% feeling like myself again as two weeks into the thyroid medication.

Christa: (22:21)
Mm-hmm gosh, that was tough. That was tough. And I'm glad you're here to share your story because I'm pretty sure there's a million other people who feel like that. And I think now is a good time for us to talk about because we've been really hitting the lab discussion. I think it's good for us to talk about. What would you say to the person who gets quote unquote normal labs, but doesn't feel normal in very clearly aligning with thyroid symptoms,

Lacey Dunn : (22:46)
Your cellular hypothyroid, and you have to figure out why, you know, is it cortisol? Is it nutrient deficiency? Is it potential for inflammation? So keep digging. You are your own health advocate and that there's a reason why you're not feeling well. You have to keep finding out why don't be afraid to fire your doctor because your doctor should work for you. And don't be afraid to pull your own labs. I had to do that. I had to pull my own Dutch. I had to pull my own nutrient panels. So don't be afraid to dig into things yourself, if you're not feeling good, there's a reason why.

Christa: (23:17)
Yeah. So a couple things I wanna reiterate that you said was a lot of people think that they have, when they go, they will say I would like a full workup. And what happens is then they get a TSH, a CMP, a CBC, right. Which is like not much of anything at all. Really. And so when people sometimes think that they've had a thyroid lab done, unless you've requested those test results, most of the time you have not because of, I believe insurance, right? Like TSA just supposed to be off before our insurance pays for the others. And that's what I think the situation is. And I don't know if it's changed much, but that's kind of like once you teach a dog a trick, it's hard to like change the trick sometimes. And I meant that positively and like nicely and respectfully, but I think sometimes say, people say I've had my labs drawn and I'm like, but did you really have your labs drawn? First of all, because it's very hard sometimes to get someone to pull or to get the provider, to pull antibodies. And

Lacey Dunn : (24:08)
Now, oh, that's a discussing factor too. They're not even taught to pull antibodies until TSH is above 10. They don't have to. Oh,

Christa: (24:16)
Oh, which is no,

Lacey Dunn : (24:17)
That was when you reach criteria TSH at 10, your thyroid is most likely. If you have, Hashimotos already destructive and destroyed, always pull your antibodies. And those can change within a period of three to four months. I've seen it in my clients all the time too. So just because you pulled it two years ago, doesn't mean that your antibodies are not possibly elevated now mm-hmm

Christa: (24:38)
and you can pull 'em I think on like Alta and some of those sites they're 20 or 40 bucks we can get 'em from Rubo for like five bucks. I think conventionally, I don't know if there's like a bigger co my point is, is like, this is silly. That's all like, and so I kind of got, you are doing a great job promoting, like you can go get your labs drawn on your own. Like there's not really a barrier. Technically. We often think that there is, and I used to ask my clients to go to their provider and ask for labs, but we wouldn't get all the labs. So anyway, so I'm just gonna itemize you know, sometimes people think that they've had things tested and then they're told it's fine. One request the labs because sometimes you may have asked for something to be drawn. And it probably just wasn't to be honest, two, you can take matters into your own hands and get labs drawn three, you noted cellular hypothyroid, right? So like, you can assess what cortisol is doing via Dutch, via salivary cortisol testing, potentially cellular, like, what are the nutrients that help thyroid function at a cellular level? So I just wanted to point out like some of those options I'm just pointing out or rerating the things that you've mentioned overall. Did I message? Yeah,

Lacey Dunn : (25:39)
There's a no, but there's a lot of different thyroid nutrients. It's like, okay, let, there's a lot of different things I could test. Yes. You're looking at anything when it comes down to thyroid creation to thyroid conversion, to cellular sensitivity. So just so people know thyroid requiring nutrients, quote unquote, you're looking at things like iron iodine, tyrosine, zinc, selenium, all your B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin D. And I love that you mentioned, you know, looking at optimal and getting your blood draw and looking at those values because vitamin D is one that's many, like it's not looked at a lot 50 to 60% of that population is low in vitamin D. And just because it's quote unquote normal doesn't mean it's optimal, you know, on some blood draw, it says maybe, you know, 25 is deficient. Well, optimal would be 50. And if you're sitting at 30 and their doctor says, quote, unquote, it's normal. That's probably not optimal if you're optimal, it's around that 50 range. So yeah. Make sure you're getting your blood drawn and you are getting the actual labs sent to you.

Christa: (26:37)
Yes. It's really difficult for me not to go off on a whole tangent. I did an hour or two study session with one of our mutual friends today. And it was a lot about vitamin D and it being assigned post for inflammation because of some other mineral and iron, like essentially some different processes. So there's some things that you're going to be able to ask for or get drawn serum wise, like B12 D iron labs. But typically you're not gonna be able to get something like selenium done serum wise. There are some comprehensive micronutrient testing options, but just throwing that out there, you can get some of those nutrients drawn commonly. Like those are common serum labs and some of the ones you would not be able to find, I'll never forget about. And I actually wanna share this story. I'll never forget the guy who called me once.

Christa: (27:18)
I felt so bad for him. He was doing some kind of cancer treatment. He was seeing multiple providers and they had him on a lot of supplemental selenium, too much to the point where he was getting toxic. But what I recall about this was that as many people have to do, he had to take a lot of matters into his own hands. He did a lot of research, long story short, he got referred to the Mayo clinic to actually get selenium tested because no one else could do it, which it's on our comprehensive micronutrient panels, which there's only a few out there, but I'll never forget how he had too much selenium from over supplementation. And so,

Lacey Dunn : (27:47)
Oh yes. I'm so glad you

Christa: (27:49)
Said that. So there's responsible supplementations. I remember the discussion. I was talking to one of my micronutrient mentors years ago about that particular case. And so you can get enough Solenium from a few Brazil nuts, which is always my favorite recommendation at first, or I would just say like, be careful of the amount. And I think they measure Solenium on micrograms, not milligrams. I could be wrong, but it's around like 200 is where I am careful not to let go, uh, far over that personally, but

Lacey Dunn : (28:12)
Yeah, especially with your thyroid. Oh my gosh. You have to think of each nutrient as part of a recipe for your favorite cookie mm-hmm , which I hope is definitely not oatmeal raisin because those are definitely trash. Each part of your recipe, you want the delicious product, right? So if you're throwing way too much selenium, your cookie might be way too salty. So you just have to be careful. Do your labs, have somebody have a practitioner overseeing things.

Christa: (28:35)
Yes. I love analogies. Thank you so much for that analogy problem. And for the comedic humor, their responsible supplementation is not always like I read about it and now I'm taking it, which is totally my parents' generation. I call it. And a lot of people,

Lacey Dunn : (28:52)
A lot of people run to those thyroid complexes that might have a thyroid glanular and people don't understand that it is legally allowed to make a thyroid supplement with a Glan in it. Now that has maybe T4 T3, please don't do that because if you don't have hypothyroidism and you take that, you might induce a subclinical hypothyroid state if you're taking that long term. So you just have to be so careful with what you do with your thyroid

Christa: (29:17)
Mm-hmm , uh, symphony. Right?

Lacey Dunn : (29:19)

Christa: (29:20)
Okay. That was wonderful. I'm glad we addressed that. So let's touch on the difference of feelings and what's going on between hypo and hyperthyroidism next.

Lacey Dunn : (29:30)
Okay. So hypothyroidism, you're looking at the dry course hair, the loss of the eyebrow hair, weight gain puffy face, slowed heartbeat, constipation, brittle nails, dry skin, chronic fatigue, muscle aches. A lot of people have infertility or heavy, painful periods or no period, and then anxiety, depression. And then when it comes down to the hyperthyroidism, you can also have the hair loss , but you can also have rapid heart weight, sweating, bulging eyes, heat, and tolerance, irritability, muscle weakness. And then of course, a period problem can happen with EO. So you're looking at heavy, painful periods, no periods, infertility, other things that I also notice are like moistness of the palms and trembling of the hands and then sweating rapidly. So this is the hyper versus hypo. Typically hypo you're looking at waking, not always the case, but typically waking and hair loss are the biggest ones, as well as inflammation, the puffiness of the body. And then the hyperthyroid you're looking at massive sweating, rapid heartbeat, severe anxiety and diarrhea. Those would be the, the top symptoms I see.

Christa: (30:37)
Did you mention sometimes trouble to hold weight on hyper cuz everything is revved up instead of slowed down.

Lacey Dunn : (30:43)
Yeah. Weight loss.

Christa: (30:45)

Lacey Dunn : (30:45)
Yeah. Not all the way to case though. Some people actually maintain their body. Weight is fine. Mm-hmm OK. Which is what makes it scary and makes it hard. And we were gonna talk about Hashimotos and you can swing back and forth with Hashimotos.

Christa: (30:56)
Yeah. I wanna talk about Hashimotos what it is, where that fits in. Like explain Hashimotos in the context of hypothy like let's pretend someone has just heard about Hashimotos, but doesn't really get what it means in compared to when we're talking about general thyroid. Okay.

Lacey Dunn : (31:10)
So Hashimotos thyroiditis is actually the most common type of hypothyroidism and it impacts mostly women and it's actually an autoimmune disease. And what happens is the body. It thinks that there's some foreign invader and it can be external or internal. And what it does is it attacks the thyroid gland over time. This causes you to be hypothyroid because the thyroid becomes damaged and is not able to create its own thyroid hormone anymore. So it induces hypothyroidism because your thyroid gland itself has been attacked and damaged. And if not treated or not caught early, which is why I mention, you know, DSH when it's skyrocketing at 10, they don't check antibodies. That might be too late. It can cause that irreversible thyroid damage, which then makes you required to take exogenous thyroid hormone for the rest of your life.

Christa: (32:01)
So you can have your T4 T3, TSH look normal. Correct. But you can antibodies, which would still trigger for Hashimotos.

Lacey Dunn : (32:10)
It'd be the very beginning stage. Yes mm-hmm

Christa: (32:13)
. And so let's talk about what some root causes are of Hashimotos and how they are similar or different than, you know, hypothyroidism on its own.

Lacey Dunn : (32:22)
So one of the biggest root causes is that molecular mimicry response. So your body mistakes, a normal self or a foreign invader, and then it could be triggered and initiated whether that's a virus, bacteria, stealth infection, mold toxicity, heavy metals, food intolerance, maybe that's gluten wheat, soy gut infections, nutrient access, too much selenium, nutrient deficiency, too little selenium. You name it, these trigger the thyroid storm that then accelerates the autoimmune attack and all these different factors that can cause it, it doesn't matter what it is. It just takes little, little drops in that bucket of the molecular mimicry response for the Hashimotos to develop. So it could be, oh, I'm a little bit of stressed. Plus I have a micronutrient deficiency and then boom, it explodes. And you might start developing that Hashimotos and the molecular mimicry response.

Christa: (33:12)
All right. Anything else I like to think

Lacey Dunn : (33:14)
About? Go ahead. Yeah. Do you want me to talk about the car race?

Christa: (33:17)
Yeah. Yes, yes, yes. You have some good analogies and the car is your favorite analogy today. So

Lacey Dunn : (33:22)
Hit us with it. It is, this is one of my favorite race, cuz I like to think of autoimmunity like a car race. So there's that trigger that leads to the damage of your thyroid cells. And I like to say just like in my book, I pretend the trigger is a thief that takes away money from the bank, AKA your thyroid that is being destroyed. So the bank sends out a signal to the police, AKA the hypothalamus that something is wrong. Then your immune cells, AKA the cops come in and strive to save the bank. So the bank can either be continued to be destroyed by the thieves, stay in signal mode. As the cops don't know what's going on or can be resolved when the cops catch the thief. However, the damage done to the bank may be irreversible, but basically the car tends to follow the pattern of the thyroid cells, starting to get attacked antibodies, developing the thyroid, sending the signal for help. When the thyroid levels start to drop the immune system, then attempts to save the day to save the thyroid and the thief can either be caught or not caught and there continues to be damage. And it becomes a nightmare for sure, if not caught.

Christa: (34:26)
So main root cause is molecular mimicry, which is often the body recognizing something, whether it's a food, whether it is a gut thing, what are some other things that might mistake? Anything else I'm missing?

Lacey Dunn : (34:39)
You're looking at environmental toxins, heavy metals, mold, toxicity, gut infections, food intolerances, leaky, gut cortisol, imbalances, any nutrient excess or nutrient deficiency, many, many things, anything that's stressing your body out internally or externally, even trauma like unresolved trauma. That itself could be a

Christa: (35:00)
Trigger. Yeah. That's really exciting for us. we've tried. I know. I'm like I have trauma. Yeah. I remember this conversation I had with Dr. Evan hich and he was telling me about the 10 things in his program that he works on for fatigue. And one of 'em being trauma. I was like, well, how do you determine if someone has it? He said, we just assume everyone does. And we recommend everyone address trauma. Oh Touche.

Lacey Dunn : (35:19)
Thank you. Oh, I forgot to mention one of the biggest ones and I miss this cuz such in functional medicine and one of the biggest root causes of Pomos is a tumor, a thyroid tumor, which you can get rid of that one. Um, but yeah, yeah.

Christa: (35:32)
That one. Good. I think that's good though. It's good to mention that because then it's useful. So you know, what you had to do was you had to go draw your own thyroid labs and then you did take them to an endocrinologist mm-hmm um, but this is where it is good to have a team. So you wanna go back to that provider and have an ultrasound done and usually they do it and you know, the continuity of care or like the care plan that they usually follow. So do they usually do ultrasounds every six months and then spread 'em out or does it depend? They

Lacey Dunn : (35:55)
Typically don't do an ultrasound at all unless there's a significantly high TSH or they see the high antibodies.

Christa: (36:02)
Okay. Yeah. So if you take your antibodies in, right? So if you can't get your antibodies drawn because your provider won't draw them and you go and get them done yourself and you take them back, you can request an ultrasound. Right. That should be rationale. And then I just had another client told me that, yes, he was getting ultrasounds every six months until, you know, there was no activity. And then it moved to every two years. So I didn't know if that was a standardized thing or not, but the

Lacey Dunn : (36:23)
Point and that's, what's important. You can ask to do things. I know I asked for a pituitary scan because obviously my pituitary wasn't responding. So I did a brain scan just to make sure everything was fine. You can request anything. I learned that my brain is beautiful. That's what I learned.

Christa: (36:36)
Mm-hmm that's good. I was like,

Lacey Dunn : (36:38)
Yay. $600 for nothing.

Christa: (36:40)
Well, and you know what, it's important for you to say that because there is a lot of Triess and fails. Like there are you, you mention a lot of the fails and then the successes, but you also tried other things that were like, it's was nice to rule it out when everything is going perfectly and right. Which is like the best case ever. People are just so happy. And I have been joking lately. I'm like, yes, of course you're so happy because everything just went perfectly for you. You had like no barriers you basically almost did. Not like nothing was the wrong fit that we chose. Like there was nothing that didn't work. Like every single thing worked perfectly, which is a dream when that happens, but that's not always the case. Right. Quite, you know, honestly, thank God there wasn't anything wrong with your pituitary, right? Like as if you wanted anything, it just makes us feel better when there's a cause for the problem. I know. And it's almost crazy. We gotta say it. It's crazy how, you know, you haven't been shy about it, how the cortisol was such a massive problem. And so you weren't able to heal either because you hadn't really addressed the underlying, you just, you were just bulldozing through it.

Lacey Dunn : (37:39)
I was, I think I knew it so far, but I just like deny it.

Christa: (37:42)
You don't, you know, it it's so much harder. Like on the outset, it feels so much harder to change that sometimes than like a pituitary tumor. Right. I mean, honestly, I feel like that's how people are and I don't mean that from a pedestal. I just mean like humans in general. Like we all, we all can be that way because it's much harder to change what we've now created slowly over time, which is this stress mess than try to change it. And I would say like generally refractory situation I get in with a client is there's such an uncontrolled stress component where I'm just like, how can I help you stop doing this to yourself,

Lacey Dunn : (38:13)
To yourself? People don't know that they're stressed. They just grind mm-hmm and then grind into the ground mm-hmm and it doesn't have to be with little food and lots of exercise. It could just be simply with not taking care of yourself and having adequate self care.

Christa: (38:25)
Right? Yeah. Taking care of everyone else, which is probably a secondary reason why so many postpartum women end up with thyroid issues. I mean, aside from all of their nutrients needs going up in pregnancy postpartum, I feel like there's just such a stress cascade that

Lacey Dunn : (38:40)
Happens. It's such a Hashimotos trigger as well as pregnancy mm-hmm , which is sad. Cuz babies are beautiful blessings, but they're also a blessing. Oh, Hey, you developed Hashimotos which is fixable. If you watch for it.

Christa: (38:50)
Mm-hmm no, and that's great. It's good that we're saying it out loud. I really appreciate it. Okay. So now we've covered hypo hyperthyroidism. We've talked about Hashimotos fitting into that web and just to reiterate, you could have normal thyroid labs aside from antibodies and still have early stage Hashimotos. So if the antibodies aren't drawn, you have not ruled that out. I have a friend where that is her situation right now and she's going through the grief of that.

Lacey Dunn : (39:15)
So correct. And one of the easiest things and I see it time and time again, if you see those antibodies focus on stress reduction, fix your diet, remove endocrine disrupts, and then, you know, going gluten free in itself causes those antibodies to go. No, for many of my patients mm-hmm

Christa: (39:30)
yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for saying that. Okay. But you've like flirted with discussing this a little bit, but let's just talk about any period issues and weight issues and thyroid involvement. Let's just talk about that web real quick.

Lacey Dunn : (39:43)
It's a beautiful web . So our thyroid is the master of our metabolism. So it tells our body to increase or decrease our metabolic rate, our basal metabolic rate. And what happens is when we're hypothyroid, we have that down regulation and that down regulation causes us to burn less calories on a daily basis. And then this can contribute of course, to weight gain. And then with the hyperthyroid state, our metabolic rate goes up and we don't even notice it. Maybe we don't eat enough. And then we have weight loss. So then what happens is our hormones go chaotic because they're all best friends and they jump off the pure pressure. They jump off the cliff of harmony together. And many times if you've got hypothyroidism, you've also got some estrogen dominance issues and then estrogen dominance in itself can impact your thyroid. They very much are best friends together. I know a lot of people don't think of like sex hormone, binding globulin mm-hmm . But with hypothyroidism, if you have too little of sex, hormone binding globulin, then you have too many, a free hormone. So you can be estrogen dominant or have high free testosterone. And then if you have hyperthyroidism, then you can have too much of sex, hormone binding gall, which basically binds your free hormones. And then you have estrogen deficiency or testosterone deficiency. So they all like interconnect together here.

Christa: (41:01)
I think you have a analogy or like a person for sex hormone, biting globulin, I think

Lacey Dunn : (41:07)
Say as a boot on the car. That's what I think of it.

Christa: (41:09)
As the boot on the car,

Lacey Dunn : (41:11)
The boot on the car, cuz if the boot's on the car, the car can't get to where it needs to be. So your hormone, maybe it's your estrogen. Can't get to it where it needs to be. Cuz it's bound to that sex hormone, biting globulin. Mm-hmm

Christa: (41:21)
got it. Cool. And you talk about that in the book. I did go past information about sex hormone binding Glo. So, which is a great segue into if you loved this conversation. If you loved the way Lacy talks, if you love her analogies, you're in a lover book and it's great. And you, I feel very similarly. Like we want people to feel empowered by things and that's really totally your mission on why you wrote the book. Tell us when you started writing the book and how you birthed that baby and where people can find it.

Lacey Dunn : (41:48)
Yeah. Oh my gosh. My baby, I started it took me one full year to write this baby. I'm so proud of

Christa: (41:53)
It. It's actually I did that long. Good job.

Lacey Dunn : (41:55)
thank you. Thank you. I wrote it somehow when I had mold toxicity and candida and HPI, Lori, all going on, don't ask me how I'm feeling the repercussions. Now. I'm like my adrenal to a little love, but the women's guide to hormonal harmony. Yes. How to rebalance your hormones, master your metabolism and become the boss of your own body. My goal is just, I want women to understand their bodies from the inside out. I want them to understand that just because something a symptom is normal. I mean, quote unquote common. Doesn't make it normal. And I want them to feel like they have control of their own body. It starts with knowledge. So my mission is to give women the knowledge, the tools and the confidence that they need to control their health and their bodies. That's the goal. So if you guys wanna check out my book, it's on Amazon review it. I hope you love it. If you don't, I'll be like very much. Won't

Christa: (42:43)
Tell her don't feel anything how

Lacey Dunn : (42:44)
Stricken, but

Christa: (42:44)
It's probably cuz you have to read it again.

Lacey Dunn : (42:47)
I know it's funny. I actually went to sit down and read my own book and I was 50 pages in and I was like, I need a break.

Christa: (42:53)
Yeah. I know too way too close to it. At this point, I would say like I would not wanna look at that.

Lacey Dunn : (42:58)
I think I put too much in there, but as I say in my book, I don't apologize for it.

Christa: (43:01)
No. And you know what? You're very clear about that education on how the pieces work together. And so, you know what you don't have. You're very clear about, Hey, sometimes you need to do well frequently. You need to do testing to check your own markers. And so you can't do that in a book. And I think when people have an overall big picture understanding of all the things and how they all work together, it answers a lot of questions because you know, you're, I think quite active on Instagram. And so you see all those DMS where people just ask you their health questions and it's like, you know what it is, it's what they think their problem is right now. But if you had more context, you would know that that's not the problem. This book helps solve some of that, you know, issue by understanding the bigger picture. That's what I'd like to tell people. That's a really good ending, except that I think we have to mention like you can't tease people on the mold toxicity. So I'm just gonna say, Hey, you moved in. I think you lived in a moldy apartment somewhere. Oh yeah. And then that allowed

Lacey Dunn : (43:57)
A whole story

Christa: (43:57)
To that. That, that allowed a lot of other stuff to take hold I think is the point. And I want you to correct me or add anything you want here in a second, but basically that allowed a lot of other things to take hold. And that's a new layer in your journey that has been horrible, but also taught you a lot and you addressed it fairly early on. And I would just mention like sometimes we want to never have to deal with another piece of our journey. I mean, you've given you had like two pretty significant stops, really big, big stops. I'm sure that there's much more, but two really big stories, honestly, that you kind of sort of shared with us today. And so I just wanna pull that out because just because you go through a healing crisis and then it's over and then you're looking good. Something like being exposed to something like that can throw you into tailspin again, which is something you've endured this year and you've addressed very quickly. Right?

Lacey Dunn : (44:43)
Yeah. And I say our struggles breed our strength and I wouldn't take back what happened to me. It was crippling. It was debilitating. I lost a significant amount of weight and muscle and sanity, but I would not take it back because I became such a better practitioner, a better clinician, a better person because of it.

Christa: (45:01)
Mm-hmm perfect. That's a great ending. Thank you so much. So people can get the women's guide to hormonal harmony by lace Dunn on Amazon

Lacey Dunn : (45:09)
And follow me. Yeah. Check me out on Instagram, faith and fit faith and fit faith and fit. Sorry. If you find fit and faith it's from like 10 years ago, feel free to stalk me, but it's almost embarrassing.

Christa: (45:18)
Oh my gosh. So it really was fit and faith and now it's faith and

Lacey Dunn : (45:20)
Fit. It really was. Yeah. I got locked out of that count. It's it's embarrassing. Oh my God. Back. That's funny.

Christa: (45:25)
Well, thanks for telling us all to go look at it.

Lacey Dunn : (45:27)

Christa: (45:29)
Oh, such good stuff. Thank you so much for coming on today. It was a pleasure.

Lacey Dunn : (45:32)
Thank you so much

Christa: (45:34)
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