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Hashimoto’s, Antibodies, Temperature and Pulse KMUD, 2013


Jan 1, 2013


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Thread starter
Jan 1, 2013
Raymond Peat, Ph.D.
Hashimoto’s, Antibodies, Temperature and Pulse
KMUD, 2013​

(Transcribed by Burtlancast)

HD: This month’s subject is Hashimoto, thyroiditis. Dr Peat, could you give us a resume of your academic professional background, for those who have never heard of you ?

RP: I’ve studied biology at the University of Oregon, graduate school, 1968 to 1972. Did my dissertation on reproductive aging and oxidative processes, concentrating on the effects of estrogen and progesterone, largely. And came to explain why an excess of estrogen resembles the physiology of aging, stress, or x-ray poisoning. And that was sort of a follow up of my interest from the 1950’s on the effects of low-level radiation on public health. And, that’s been one of my continuing interests.

HD: Many people have recently contacted us about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and as your specialty is hormones, reproduction and thyroid, you have spent many years researching this subject. In your mind, what constitutes it, and what are it’s characteristic labs findings, his symptoms, and treatment ?

RP: A hundred years ago, Hashimoto described it as an enlargement of the thyroid gland, caused by infiltration of white blood cells. And, some people actually stick a needle into the gland, and diagnose on the basis of how he described it that long ago. But the general principle is that it’s an enlarged gland that doesn’t produce enough hormones. So, you can make a guess as to it’s cause by looking at the blood: if you see that there seems to be a deficiency of the hormones in the blood, and maybe some evidence of inflammation, such as proteins and antibodies to the proteins from the thyroid gland, then they don’t bother doing the needle biopsy.

HD: So, these two particular tests are the only real things that medical doctors will want to see for confirmation ?

RP: Yeah. Simultaneously, a little before Hashimoto’s studies, people were seeing various reasons for the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Various poisonings, or iodine deficiency was recognized as the main cause of enlargement. And, being in Japan, I suppose was why Hashimoto saw the peculiar inflammation of the thyroid, rather than blaming it on an iodine deficiency ( because many people in Japan eat so much iodine, that they get thyroiditis from blocking the functions of the gland). And that classically results in increasing the TSH to overcome the blockage by excess iodine. But exactly the same TSH excess is produced by a deficiency of iodine. So what you see, typically, is a rising TSH driving the gland to work harder, as the organism shows signs of decreasing thyroid function.

HD: In terms of the antibodies, I understand medicine looks at anti-thyroglobulin and anti- thyroid peroxidase antibodies to make the diagnosis. Yet, people that don’t show any Hashimoto symptoms at all can have raised levels of those ? And conversely, …

RP: The identity of an antibody isn’t really as clear as a lot of people have assumed. They’ve found that there’s a great cross-reaction between thyroid antibodies and joint antibodies. And that explains why people with thyroiditis and hypothyroidism so often have arthritis and joint problems. And the whole issue of explaining disease, as blaming it on the immune system attacking the body…if you wrench your knee, and sort of damage the cartilage…they’ve done experiments in rabbits, taking a piece of foreign cartilage (like, from a cow) and it will produce very few antibodies in the rabitt. But if you twist it a little bit, structurally damage it, then it produces a terrific immune reaction. And any organ that gets strained or overworked tends to leak some of its proteins, and the immune system’s function, largely, is to clean up any mess. In fact, there’s an alternative interpretation of what the immune system is doing: rather than looking for foreign invading pathogens, this theory says it’s primarily cleaning up messes caused by anything which is pathogenic. So, in one of the so-called autoimmune brain conditions, people demonstrated that the presence of the antibody to the brain tissue accelerates the recovery. So, cleaning up the mess is really constructive, and rather than always being the cause of deterioration.

HD: Regarding hepatitis C, you’ve questioned its existence as a virus, and you’ve mentioned that the antibodies that are generally measured to show the degree of severity is actually a bad way of looking at it, as those are very important in mopping up the damage…

RP: Yeah. That’s Duesberg’s basic objection to the whole AIDS –HIV theory, whether it applies to the hepatitis C, at least as much as to the HIV.

HD: And the initial insult, perhaps to the liver (through radiation, or PUFA, or any other external stresses), in its own right, may…

RP: Decades ago, the Egyptian government had a campaign to give a very toxic drug to the whole population, because of a parasite they were eliminating. And that poison causes liver damage. And now, a tremendous proportion (roughly half of the Egyptian population I think it was) showed evidence for hepatitis C. But I think it’s just the after-effects of that poisoning.

HD: So far as the treatment of Hashimoto, you say the necessity is to get the TSH down, which normally is quite elevated in Hashimoto.

RP: Yeah. It’s well established, lately, the last several years, that TSH itself causes many of the symptoms blamed on hypothyroidism; it acts on the bone marrow, and many other tissues ( the liver, producing, increasing the inflammatory cytokines chemicals). So, in itself it’s the basic problem with hypothyroidism, I think.

HD: You’ve always said that TSH in its own right is a chaperone for other inflammatory molecules. In a normal healthy person, it’s a good idea to try to get the TSH as close to zero as possible. Does TSH have any benefits, apart from stimulating the production, or release, of thyroid hormone ?

RP: My newsletter on osteoporosis a couple of years ago, went over the arguments they’re using to say that it prevents osteoporosis. I think that the references that I give in there show that basically it’s just increasing the load of inflammation.

HD: Thyroxin is the main compound given to treat Hashimoto.

RP: Yeah. If they give enough…there has been some studies in which the antibodies tend to disappear after about six months of keeping the TSH under control.

HD: We have seen a lot of people treated previously with thyroxin and not getting a lot of symptom relief. What do you think about its efficacy?

RP: It, in itself, in almost every situation, will suppress the TSH, even though T3 can do it. And sometimes, maybe, 2 or 3% of the people need T3 to work on the pituitary to suppress the TSH. But women in particular have 5 or 10 times as much thyroid disease as men. And the reason is that estrogen interferes with the liver’s ability to convert thyroxin to the active T3 hormone. And, if your liver isn’t producing some T3, your gland which produces a ratio of about 3 parts of thyroxin to 1 part of the active hormone…if you give that person big doses of thyroxin, you’re going to turn off that little bit of active hormone coming out of their thyroid gland, when you suppress the TSH. And they will go into an increasingly hypothyroid state. And that has caused a lot of doctors to think of people being simultaneously hypothyroid and hyperthyroid, which doesn’t make sense, unless you see that they’re interfering with the liver’s ability to activate the hormone. And, some people have argued that one of the needs for TSH is to induce the local enzymes in the various tissues (such as the liver) which do the conversion. But there had been several studies showing that you don’t absolutely need the TSH to do that activation of the deiodinase enzyme in the various tissues; other signals from other glands will maintain the activating enzymes.

HD: Ok. You’re saying it is reasonable to assume that thyroxin in its own right will be the treatment of choice for people with Hashimoto ?

RP: Well, yeah. Especially in men. But since women are the main people who have Hashimoto, it’s very likely to bring on symptoms. It’s very reasonable to try it. But as soon as they start getting symptoms of worse hypothyroidism, then it’s time to give them the complete thyroid hormone.

HD: Right. And that’s because the estrogen. Your recent newsletter dealing with cataracts has a lot to do with estrogen being a pro-inflammatory stress mediating chemical that attenuates the effects of other things in the body.

RP: Yeah. The industry is periodically creating new myths about estrogen. And one of the things they are currently pushing… several years ago, they went through a wave of claiming that estrogen was an antioxidant, even though it’s primarily an oxygen-wasting, pro-oxidative mediator. Now, they are pushing the idea that estrogen is anti-inflammatory.

HD: We have a caller.

Caller: I’ve just read the Broda Barnes book “Hypothyroidism, the unsuspected illness”; my entire medical history is in that book. I’m having problems with the resting temperature that I take upon waking up, with a thermometer under my arm for ten minutes. Over an 18 days period, I’ve averaged 96,4. But I’ve noticed that if I let the thermometer under my arm for an additional ten minutes, the mercury continues to rise (to 97, for example). How can I accurately gauge my temperature thus ?

RP: No. It would be good if you could do it for, half an hour, or whatever it takes to stabilize. But, the trouble is that hypothyroid people have low tissue metabolism. And that often goes with high adrenaline, which cuts off circulation to your skin, fingers, toes, keeps the circulation going primarily to your brain, heart, lungs. So, especially if you are overweight, the skin and subcutaneous fat can take a couple of hours to reach core temperature, if you’re thoroughly insulated. So, it’s good to check your eardrum temperature, mouth temperature, as well as your armpit temperature well, noticing the temperature of your fingers and toes and tip of your nose.

Caller: What are “basal temperature” thermometers?

RP: They’re just marked off, so you can read them more easily in tenses, but I don’t think the small differences are that important for the thyroid guesswork. If you notice that your oral temperature is at all low, and your fingers and toes are colder than other people’s, that’s a good sign that your metabolic rate is low. And, if you consider the amount of calories you need per day, compared to other people, that’s a good indication of your thyroid metabolic rate. And that the amount of water that you evaporate is a very good indicator. A person should take in 2 quarts more fluids than they lose per day in urine. That two quarts would be an average evaporation if your thyroid is good. But many people evaporate less than a quart a day, meaning that…

Caller: …are waterlogged…

RP: Yeah. And instead of being evaporated, the low thyroid person tends to retain water. And, there are so many indications other than temperature…I first started playing with Barne’s technique one hot, humid summer in Eugene, when it was about 95 degrees. And, even people who could hardly move (they were so hypothyroid) were very close to normal temperature. And I realized that a squash sitting on the counter would show a normal metabolic rate, if you went just by temperature. And so, checking your pulse rate, and the temperature of your fingers and toes in a cool room: those are more sensitive indicators. And…

Caller: I remember you writing that if people are using an electric blanket at night, you place less value on the basal temperature.

RP: Yeah. Same thing as in a hot humid climate: if you keep the temperature up artificially, even a dead person will be warm.

Caller: So, because there’s so many variables, getting an absolute gauge on this is going to be very difficult?

RP: Exactly. It’s the whole function. The best single test would be how much oxygen you breathe in, and how much carbon dioxide you exhale, that’s actually showing what’s going on chemically. And you can’t produce a normal amount of carbon dioxide by being overstressed, or high in estrogen. Others things will happen other that producing carbon dioxide, as you burn your fuel. So, the old fashion, 1930’s basal metabolic rate, by breathing oxygen and blowing out carbon dioxide, that was the real thyroid test. And the temperature is just the very rough approximation of how much fuel you’re burning. The pulse rate…

Caller: Where can I go to read more about what you’ve just said ?

RP: My website has several articles about it. And something else you have to do is notice that changes during the day. Because low thyroid people typically compensate with stress hormones increases. Sometimes mainly adrenaline, sometimes mostly cortisol. Others, including serotonin, will increase, especially at night, histamine often increases at night. And, all of the stress hormones make your tissue metabolize, but not in an energy-producing way, but an energy-wasting way. And, if you take an overdose of cortisol and adrenaline, the adrenaline will make your skin get cold, the cortisol will make you breakdown your muscle tissue, and glandular tissue, to turn to sugar. And that will heat your body up. And some people wake up with a 98 or 99 degrees temperature. But then, when they eat breakfast, by 10 or 11 in the morning, their temperature might have fallen to 94 or 95 degrees.

HD: OK. Thanks for the caller. Temperature and pulse measurements is my next question to you. These are 2 practical things people at home can get their hands on to check their metabolic rate. And there are many different scenarios possible here, which I would like to ask you about.

RP: Ok.

HD: I know it’s not very common, but when someone has a high starting temperature in the morning, before they get out of bed, and then they have breakfast, and their temperature falls ?

RP: The first time I’ve started noticing that was a friend who, twice a year, alternated episodes of extreme depression and mania. And, in the periods when she was giving up sleep, sleeping only 2 or 3 hours a night, her morning temperatures were extremely high. But then, after eating something, 2 or 3 hours later, they would fall several degrees. And that was during the time when she tended to be manic, and under the influence of too much adrenalin and other excitatory things. So, I suggested that she take enough thyroid to get her pulse and temperature to be steadier during the day. And, within a few days, she had stabilized, so that her morning temperature was a couple of degrees lower, and that increased after eating, instead of decreasing. And since doing that, she stopped having her annual up and down cycles.

HD: Ok. This kind of person you’ve just mentioned would have cold extremities, under the influence of adrenaline? And their core temperature would be high, because of cortisol and the stress hormones?

RP: In general, you have to check your pulse rate at the same time, because if your cortisol is extremely high and destroying things at a terrific rate, then you’re making enough heat to keep your hands and feet warm, even. But in that situation, your adrenalin is going to be lower, to let out the heat through your skin. And so, if you have a very high temperature, and a normal pulse rate, and then the temperature falls after you eat, your pulse rate is probably going to get slower, still.

HD: Ok. So, if someone has a low starting temperature, before going out of bed, and that falls after breakfast?

RP: That’s still stress, plus hypothyroidism.

HD: Ok. How about a low starting temperature which stays the same after breakfast?

RP: They probably didn’t eat the right things. If you get enough sugar in, and protein, and the essential catalytic nutrients ( B vitamins and such) then, if you have any function of your thyroid gland at all, you’re going to feed your liver enough that it should, just by feeding it sugar, it should start producing a little bit of T3, which would warm you.

HD: Ok. What about the pulse ? If the pulse is low in the morning, before getting out of bed, and it rises then after breakfast ?

RP: That probably means that their T3 is going up from eating some carbohydrates, and increasing their general energy, so their blood is circulating more. And that’s something that I’ve seen most often in women when they’re premenstrual, and having high estrogen blocking their thyroid. They will get very cold when they get hungry. And everything will slow down. And then when they eat, they will warm up, and their pulse will increase.

HD: What if the pulse is high before getting out of bed, and it rises further after breakfast ?

RP: Sometimes that happens when they eat eggs without enough carbohydrates. If you’re already tending to have hypoglycemia, eating eggs will stimulate insulin secretion, drop your blood sugar more, and cause a surge of adrenalin. And, it depends on how you feel; if you’re really increasing your thyroid, and warming your metabolism up, you will feel good when the pulse goes up. But if you feel like you’re about to feint, or go into shock, that happens from eating too much protein without carbohydrate.

HD: And that adrenalin makes you shaky-dance?

RP: Yeah. And, some people wake up cyclically during the night. When I was counseling dieters, there were some very fat people who would wake up: one of them woke up every hour during the night. The other one, I think, was sleeping an hour and a half, or so. And I got them to set an alarm clock to wake themselves up about 5 or 10 minutes before their expected waking, and eat anything with carbohydrates (milk, or juice, or even a cracker or something), and to do that every hour. And, within a week, they were sleeping through the night, and then they were able to start losing weight. Those stress hormones that raise your temperature and pulse rate around dawn were also increasing the blood sugar ( in diabetics, they call it the dawn phenomenon). But it’s the result of the stress hormones that rise during the night. The darkness itself is causing stress, activating hormones. So, in the winter, people are more likely to have disturbed sleep, because of long nights. And getting extra carbohydrates late in the day can help you sleep longer without these episodes of…usually, its nightmares waking people up with a pounding heart.

HD: That’s the adrenalin, right ?

RP: Yeah.

HD: Ok. What about a high pulse before getting out of bed that falls after breakfast?

RP: That’s good. That’s the carbohydrates lowering the adrenalin. And when the temperature goes up, and your pulse goes down, that’s what breakfast should do.

Caller: -inaudible long rambling-

HD: I think the caller‘s concerned about the oceanic radiation coming this way to the coast, between middle to the end of next year.

RP: He’s wondering what to do for radiation exposure ?

HD: Yes.

RP: My first newsletter, thirty-some years ago, was on radiation defense. And I’ve read everything that was available at that time regarding protecting against radiation and repairing the damage. And the research since then has pretty much confirmed what was available then: that keeping your metabolic rate up accelerates the repair process faster than the injury. And progesterone decreases the injury. Thyroid increases the rate of repair. And all kinds of stress create signals from the injured cells that travels through the rest of your body. And so, no matter if your face is x-rayed by a dentist, your whole body, the gonads, are gonna be affected by these substances emitted by the injured cells. In the 1950’s, Russian researchers had noticed that total body irradiation had an estrogenic effect, would cause animals to go into estrus. And that was blamed generally on causing the pituitary hormones to be activated. And people could do… just by irradiating the head. But the Russian researchers irradiated the animal’s foot, and produced the same whole body estrogenic effects, showing that estrogen and radiation are producing these toxins that communicate to all cells of the body. And that’s why thyroid and progesterone have a basic protective effect against radiation. But the whole nutritional support system…magnesium is the element that’s most closely involved in repairing our radiation damage after your thyroid is activated: the cells take up magnesium, and enzymes are activated that do the repair process, when you have adequate magnesium with your thyroid.

HD: And that would be from the green, leafy broths you recommend?

RP: Yes.

HD: So, whether it’s chard, or kale, all rich in magnesium. Ok. My other questions regard the temperature and the pulses; with reference to those, are the morning changes reflective of a similar metabolism seen in the lunchtime’s temperature and pulses ?

RP: Yeah. If your temperature hasn’t stabilized by 10 or 11 in the morning, a low thyroid person will often, especially a woman with high estrogen and low progesterone… the temperature and pulse rate might both fall before lunch, or they might have an adrenalin attack. And have a shock sensation, with a fast, weak pulse. And, so, the effect of feeding…if you can interpret it the same for lunch or breakfast.

HD: Ok. How about, if the temperature doesn’t reach 98.6, or the pulse never gets over 70 (in the mid-afternoon) ?

RP: Well, people have their chronic adaptation, and some people can stay very well at these average numbers. But, on average, people have the greatest ability to resist stress and recuperate from injury if their temperature is a little above average, and their pulse rate is a little above average. So, your health can be very good for most of your life, but you will have more resilience if your metabolic rate is higher.

HD: Ok. How about, if the temperature is higher than 98.6 in the afternoon, and the pulse is over 100 ?

RP: The brain and the immune system, for example, the optimum temperature seems to be around 101, maybe even a little higher.

HD: I remember you saying that if you don’t reach 98.6 , it means your immune system doesn’t run at its maximum capacity ?

RP: Probably. And usually you can see some evidence in your blood test, that there’s unnecessarily high TSH, or other pituitary hormones, indicating that you’re driving your endocrine system and immune system unnecessarily hard. When things are running very smoothly on the cellular level, your endocrine and immune systems don’t have to do very much. The tissue cells take care of things all by themselves.

HD: Ok. We do have another caller:

Caller: I have temperature problems. I’m a light sleeper, and I’ve recently heard that valerian tincture improves one’s ability to relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep through the night. I’ve taken it, and have been astounded how helpful it was ( and for my brother too, who has trouble falling asleep). I wanted to ask if one can develop dependency, and if there are any contra-indications ?

HD: No. Valerian works on Gaba channels. But, in very rare occasions, some people get very stimulated by it. The majority of people do find a good benefit from it, and it does shut off that internal dialogue that keeps people awake when they sit and talk to themselves, and especially if people wake in the early hours. But I know Dr Peat’s interpretation of any kind of insomnia would generally be down to high adrenalin, preventing people from entering a deep, restful sleep.

RP: Valeriane’s Gaba mechanism is very good; it’s a very safe drug. But I think that using a drug of that sort is protective. But it is potentially habit forming. And besides my own experience, when I took thyroid, being able to relax and sleep soundly… on one of my trips, talking to doctors and such, I’ve ran into a doctor who looked horrible, said he hadn’t slept for three nights. And I mentioned my experience with thyroid, and gave him 10mcg of cytomel. And the next night of my talk, he pulled me aside before introducing me, and said: “That stuff’s better than morphine!”.

HD: Ha Ha. Thank you, we’re out of time.​


Nov 28, 2014
Fascinating stuff! Thank you for working on this. I have some questions and/or comments. Should I post them here, or start a new thread, or...?


Thread starter
Jan 1, 2013
Here's OK :)


Nov 28, 2014
HD: Ok. You’re saying it is reasonable to assume that thyroxin in its own right will be the treatment of choice for people with Hashimoto ?

RP: Well, yeah. Especially in men. But since women are the main people who have Hashimoto, it’s very likely to bring on symptoms. It’s very reasonable to try it. But as soon as they start getting symptoms of worse hypothyroidism, then it’s time to give them the complete thyroid hormone.

What does he mean here by “the complete thyroid hormone”? Is he referring to straight t3 since it’s more active or to a t4/t3 combo like Armour or Cynoplus? This is of special interest to me since I’m female.

RP: The brain and the immune system, for example, the optimum temperature seems to be around 101, maybe even a little higher.

Wow! It never occurred to me to try to be achieving temperatures this high. I thought I was doing pretty good getting to 98.6 and occasionally reaching 99.

RP: …on one of my trips, talking to doctors and such, I’ve ran into a doctor who looked horrible, said he hadn’t slept for three nights. And I mentioned my experience with thyroid, and gave him 10mcg of cytomel. And the next night of my talk, he pulled me aside before introducing me, and said: “That stuff’s better than morphine!”.

I’m reading this as if he had the doctor take the entire 10mcg of cytomel at once at bedtime, like you would a sleep aid. But this seems be contrary to Peat’s recommendation to take physiological doses of 4-5mcg at a time because anything larger gets inactivated. Does taking a larger dose like that help you sleep for that reason (the inactivation)? Or do you think he had the doctor nibble on the cytomel during the day and that’s what helped him sleep better during the night?

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