It’s that time of year again… and I don’t know about you but I hate getting sick.
I remember getting sick frequently when I was younger, whether it was the flu or the strep throat that arrived on cue, twice a year every year.
In my early adult years I contracted the mono-virus which literally drained every ounce of life out of me, left me extremely weak and malnourished, and emaciated me to the point that I looked like nothing more than a pile of skin and bones.
That was the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. I still shudder at the thought of it.
When I was baby, I also developed pneumonia.
That in itself can be a telling sign of hypothyroidism…
It should come as no surprise that one of the vast numbers of hypothyroid symptoms is lowered immunity or being prone to infection.
Dr. Broda Barnes noted this in his research.
He discovered that hypothyroid people were far more vulnerable to infectious diseases, many of which have a history of being life-threatening.
Today, with the widespread use of antibiotics, many of these deadly diseases are far less common.
But it doesn’t change the fact that your immune system is weakened.
Even research today continues to show the important role that your thyroid plays in your natural resistance to infection.
Lowered immunity is something that I not only struggled with in my younger years, but also as an adult.
I’m sure you can relate as well.
Every year when cold and flu season would hit, it was like living in a war zone just trying to survive.
You go to work only to be surrounded by the sounds of co-workers coughing, sniffling, and blowing their noses.
Then you make your way home only to find that your kids brought home whatever sickness that had been spreading around their school like wildfire.
That was the biggest issue for me…
Without fail, my kids would bring home anything and everything that was going around their school. And low and behold, every single time, my wife and I would get sick too.
Being hypothyroid, you most likely already feel horrible the way it is.
Getting sick just makes everything that much worse.
But getting sick is never the worst part…
You end up wasting your vacation days at work staying home in bed trying to cope. Not quite the vacation you had in mind, right?
You miss out on time with your friends and family.
Your work and your chores around the house just continue to pile up leaving you behind on everything.
If you do attempt to do anything social, then everyone tries to avoid you or you just end up getting everyone else sick.
There’s the money you have to spend going to the doctor and on medicine or supplements just trying to feel better.
Then, just when you do start feeling better…
You’re stuck working overtime trying to get caught up with everything at work and around the house that never got done.
Needless to say, it throws your life completely out of balance.
Then, once it’s finally over, you pray that you don’t get sick again.
And we both know how that works out…
Today, things are a lot different for me… It’s been many years since I’ve last had the flu.
And it’s been just as long since I’ve had a flu shot. So, that has nothing to do with it.
You’ll see why in a minute.
Now, while my kids still bring home all kinds of germs from school, now I rarely get sick.
And when I do, my symptoms are far less severe and shorter lived.
While your immune system might not be up to par today, there’s a lot that you can do to boost your immune system and prevent yourself from getting sick during this cold and flu season.
Flu Season Is Coming and You Have a Choice to Make…
The truth is that germs, bacteria, viruses, and the like are all around us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We come into contact with them every single day. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to avoid them.
It’s nothing short of a war zone out there.
The bad news is that the war-zone is about to get much worse.
Yes, we’re about to enter cold and flu season, so you really have two choices.
You can start preparing yourself now to win the war that’s headed your way.
Or you can ignore the warning and assume the risks entering the cold and flu season completely unprepared and unprotected.
The Truth About Flu Vaccines
Maybe you’re thinking that you’ll just get a flu shot and you’ll be immune to its effects…
Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way.
On average, the flu vaccine is only about 56 percent effective, which is not very promising to begin with.
But it’s important to understand that many years it’s far less effective than that.
You see, there are many different strains of the flu virus. When pharmaceutical companies mass produce the flu vaccine, they really have no idea what strain will hit each year.
It’s nothing more than an educated guess.
Sometimes they get lucky and guess right. But many times they guess wrong!
When they guess wrong, then it doesn’t much matter if you’ve gotten the vaccine or not. The vaccine won’t protect you.
Now, if you’re age 65 or older, then you are a lot more vulnerable than you think.
Within this age group, the flu vaccine was a measly 9 percent effective against the flu.
In other words, it failed to help more than 9 out of every 10 people.
Needless to say, the odds are not in your favor.
And since you’re hypothyroid, the odds are REALLY against you.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Yourself?
The truth is that there’s a lot you can do.
Simply improving your thyroid health is very effective at helping to restore natural immunity.
Of course, this is truly the best approach.
But right now, time is of the essence.
With flu season here, I want to give you some simple tips that can help bullet-proof your immune system and protect yourself and your family from what lies ahead.
1. Protect Yourself with Vitamin D3
Vitamin D serves a number of important protective functions in your body.
- It increases calcium absorption.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- It helps offset the negative effects of estrogen.
- It improves bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
- It helps improve mood and depression.
- It is protective against heart disease and cancer.
- It helps with arthritis and even diabetes.
Needless to say, many of its effects are very protective of your thyroid and helps improve thyroid function.
But Vitamin D is also a very important immune regulator and helps to strengthen your immune system in general.
Vitamin D helps promote the production of cathelicidin and defensins that play a critical role in our natural defense against invading viruses and bacteria.
Some studies have shown that supplementing sufficient amounts of Vitamin D can reduce some peoples’ risk of the flu by 60% to 90%.
Unfortunately, hypothyroidism sufferers have trouble producing adequate Vitamin D and tend to quickly become deficient, which is why getting more Vitamin D is not only recommended, but necessary for improving immunity and thyroid function.
Vitamin D Sources
It is well known that sunlight is one of the best sources of Vitamin D. In a healthy body, Vitamin D is produced in both the skin and the eyes when exposure to sun is adequate.
This is why Vitamin D levels tend to be higher and more stable during the summer months, when the days are longer and your exposure to sunlight greater.
But during the winter months when the daylight grows shorter and the sun is at its lowest, Vitamin D production tends to decline rapidly.
With declining Vitamin D comes declining immunity.
This is why it’s always a good idea to supplement Vitamin D during the winter months to compensate for the lack of sun exposure and help keep your Vitamin D levels up.
And subsequently help keep your immune system and thyroid working as best as possible.
Supplementing Vitamin D
It’s important to understand that not all Vitamin D supplements are created equal.
The first distinction that you need to be aware of is the source of the Vitamin D. You want to make sure that the Vitamin D supplement you use is in the form of Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D2 is highly inferior and should be avoided.
Another common issue with Vitamin D supplements is the solvents or inactive ingredients used in the supplement itself.
Many tablet forms of Vitamin D contain binders and other inactive ingredients that can irritate the digestive tract, affect absorption, and cause unnecessary stress.
While a liquid Vitamin D3 supplement is a better option, many are dissolved in cheap and toxic solvents making them generally unsafe.
With myself and my clients, I only use high quality pure supplements.
A good general dosage of vitamin D3 during cold and flu-season and the winter months is 2,000 IU daily.
2. Protect Yourself with Vitamin A
You may have already been aware that Vitamin D is important to your immune health.
But you may not be aware of the important role that Vitamin A plays in preventing and fighting infection.
Bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and other types of infections generally enter your body through inhaling them in the air or ingesting them by mouth.
In either case, your first line of immune defense lies in what is called your mucosal barrier.
Your lungs, nose, mouth, throat, and digestive tract are all lined with a very thin immune barrier designed to protect your insides from anything that you might come into contact with on the outside.
Within this immune barrier, you produce important immune antibodies known as Secretory IgA that comprises up to 80% of your immune system.
Vitamin A is well known for its ability to protect against infection through its enhancement of immune antibody responses, especially within this immune barrier covering your respiratory and digestive tracts.
There are many additional benefits of Vitamin A, especially with supporting healthy thyroid function and the production of your highly protective youth hormones responsible for keeping you looking and feeling young.
However, from an immune perspective, this is one of the primary mechanisms through which it boosts your immune system and protects you from infection.
It essentially creates a more bulletproof protective barrier preventing infections from ever entering your body to begin with.
Vitamin A Sources
Just like Vitamin D, there are different forms of Vitamin A. Some of which can actually be harmful.
You may have been led to believe that carrots are a good source of Vitamin A because they are rich in beta-carotene, one form of Vitamin A.
However, beta-carotene is not a usable form of Vitamin A.
Your liver has to use your body’s healthy Vitamin A stores to convert beta-carotene into the usable form of Vitamin A.
In some cases this can lead to a Vitamin A deficiency.
This can be problematic since Vitamin A is very important for proper thyroid function.
The best food sources for Vitamin A are egg yolks, dairy products, and high-quality fresh liver.
In many cases, it can be beneficial to increase your Vitamin A through the use of a supplement as well.
Supplementing Vitamin A
(Note: If you are pregnant then you need to consult with your doctor before supplementing vitamin A.)
The best source of Vitamin A, that you want to make sure you are using, is in the form of retinol or retinol palmitate.
(Note: I recently wrote an article about vitamin A can be used as a potential substitute for thyroid hormone here “Vitamin A – Good Substitute for Thyroid Hormone or Thyroid Toxin?”)
As with Vitamin D, there are also issues with inactive ingredients and solvents used in most Vitamin A supplements.
So, supplement quality is an issue.
A good general dosage for Vitamin A is 5,000 IU daily.
3. Protect Yourself with Vitamin E
So far we’ve been focusing on ways to help boost your immune system and prevent infection.
But the truth is that you are partially responsible for your weakened immune system.
There are many things that you are eating that are unknowingly sabotaging your immune system as well.
Some of the best examples are seed and vegetable oils.
Not only do seed and vegetable oils damage your thyroid and promote oxidative cell damage inside your body, they are also extremely suppressive to your immune system.
They are known to directly kill white blood cells, which make up a very important component of your immune system, necessary for fighting infection.
What this means to you is that exposure to these unhealthy fats suppresses your immune system and makes it much more difficult for your body to fight infection and stay healthy.
Avoiding these harmful fats is much easier said than done.
They are used extensively in restaurants and packaged foods because they are so cheap.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your immune system from these unhealthy fats is through the use of Vitamin E.
Like vitamins A and D, the benefits of Vitamin E extend far beyond the positive effects it has on your immune system.
It is also well known for improving thyroid health, protecting against heart disease, regulating estrogen, and improving fertility.
Vitamin E Sources
Like the other vitamins, there are different forms of Vitamin E, some of which are far more important than others. These forms of Vitamin E include d-alpha, d-gamma, d-delta, and d-beta tocopherols.
There is a lot of warranted controversy surrounding food sources of vitamin E as many of the sources are well known for their toxic and thyroid suppressive effects.
For example, soybeans are a particular rich source of Vitamin E. However, the toxic and thyroid suppressive effects of soy are very well known.
This is one reason why you should never eat soy.
In most cases, the negative effects of these thyroid suppressive foods far outweigh the benefits that you might get from the Vitamin E they contain.
Good food sources of Vitamin E are egg yolks, olive oil, and high-quality fresh liver.
Supplementing Vitamin E
In supplement form, it’s important to make sure that the Vitamin E you use contains what are called “mixed tocopherols” with high levels of d-gamma tocopherol.
But you have to be careful because most Vitamin E supplements on the market contain only the d-alpha form.
Using an incomplete form of Vitamin E like this can actually deplete your body of other important forms of Vitamin E like d-gamma tocopherol.
A good quality Vitamin E supplement should contain at least 20% or 160mg of d-gamma tocopherol per 400 IU of d-alpha.
The Vitamin E that I use is one of the best sources available and contains over 300mg of d-gamma per 400 IU of d-alpha.
Another big problem with Vitamin E supplements are the solvents used in the supplement, as most are toxic.
Avoid any Vitamin E supplement that contains soy or soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, or any other polyunsaturated oil.
A good general dosage of high quality Vitamin E with mixed tocopherols is 400 IU daily.
So, there you have it…
…a very comprehensive approach to bullet-proofing your immune system to keep you happy and healthy as we enter the dark and gloomy germ ridden season that stands before you.
By incorporating more of these foods that we discussed and/or using the right supplements, you can very effectively boost your immunity and avoid getting sick.
If you like this post… and you’re interested in using the same supplements that we recommend to our clients during this time of year… take a look at the special below.
We offer this big discount to all of our clients this time of year and for the next three days we’re offering it to you…
…but only for the next 3 days and while supplies last.
The offer below expires at Midnight (US Pacific time) on Sunday November 1st (or sooner if we run out of stock) so grab yours while you still can…
Thanks Tom keep on the good work
Seeds are bad for thyroid? I thought flax seeds and chia seeds were greatly beneficial to the thyroid and other hormones in general. It feels like I can’t read an article about health these days without being encouraged to eat all kinds of seeds. Can you please elaborate on this?
I think the “seeds are bad for the thyroid” comment from Lorraine is a miss-reading of what was said in the article:-
I think the article means “oils made from (seed/vegetable) are bad for the thyroid”
It actually says
“There are many things that you are eating that are unknowingly sabotaging your immune system as well.
Some of the best examples are seed and vegetable oils.
Not only do seed and vegetable oils damage your thyroid and promote oxidative cell damage inside your body, they are also extremely suppressive to your immune system.”
Which is easily mis-interpreted at a quick glance…
I think you’re correct. I’m realizing I did read that wrong. Thanks for clarifying. I was worried for a minute there!
I absolutely LOVE YOU!!! Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to give us all the “light at the end of the tunnel”, the peace and endurance to heal/help ourselves,and survive & move forward!!! Truly, your devotion to the truth is very “Christ like” He is my Lord & Savior!, but you’ve got to be on His payroll!!! LOL Again I say Thank You Tom!!!
Laura D Martinez
Thank you, Tom.
I think that this article is spot on for everyone, whether there’s a problem with hypothyroidism or not. I’ll forward this to people whom I think may be interested.
Thank you Tom. The information you provide is invaluable. Do you recommend a specific brand of vitamin?