The autoimmune thyroid, post-partum & hormone connection


As a Naturopathic Doctor and functional medical practitioner with a passion for thyroid health I diagnose and treat a lot of thyroid imbalances in my practice. The thyroid plays an important role in fertility and pregnancy, and is often overlooked. Ninty percent of thyroid conditions are caused by autoimmunity 1 and the immune system is influenced by hormones. Immune cells have hormone receptors on them, and hormones can up regulate or down regulate the immune system. Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and the stress hormone cortisol all interact with the immune system. Overall testosterone and estrogen are anti-inflammatory which means they are going to calm the immune system down. Cortisol has immune calming and suppressing action. For example, we often get sick after a stressful time, our immune systems have been suppressed and vulnerable to exposure but unable to mount a response. Once you finally get that holiday at the end of exam time, your immune system comes back to life and mounts a response resulting in you feeling sick.

Why are women more likely to get autoimmune conditions? 

Women are more likely to get autoimmune conditions then men, in fact women make up 75% of those with autoimmunity 2. Women have more estrogen then men, and estrogen is suppose to be anti-inflammatory so what the heck? Well, we often see autoimmunity rear it’s ugly head when estrogen and cortisol are low. For example estrogen soars during pregnancy and autoimmune symptoms generally improve, and many women are diagnosed with autoimmune conditions after pregnancy.  That post-partum time when our adrenals are burnt out, our estrogen is low, the immune system flares up, attacks the thyroid and causes hypothyroidism or other autoimmune conditions. Similarly autoimmune symptoms can be worse on mensuration when estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. 

Another very common time to see the onset of an autoimmune condition is after a period of stress. The stress system, regulated by the hormone cortisol, plays an integral role in hormone production in the body. When men and women go through prolonged periods of stress the adrenals burns out.  During burn out we don’t have enough cortisol to help calm the immune system when it acts in an abnormal way, like attacking its own tissues as seen in autoimmunity. Low cortisol also drains our sex hormones, when cortisol is low the body shunts all the its hormone making resources towards restoring cortisol, leaving very little resources for making the anti-inflammatory hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Ever wonder why your libido drops when your stressed out? Cortisol is draining your sex hormone testosterone. 

What does this mean for Post-Partum women? 

It means post-partum can be a very difficult time!  If an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimotos kicks in after pregnancy, you are more likely to gain weight, feel depressed and have low energy. Layer this on top of sleep deprivation and huge fluctuation in hormones, and life is going to be a challenge. It can take months even years to recover with out the proper support. 

What type of screening test can be done to find out if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition? 

Most doctors only run TSH, this is not sufficient!! This is why many autoimmune and thyroid conditions go undiagnosed until you are feeling really sick. If you want to get an idea of what your thyroid is doing or if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition you need to see more then TSH. You want to evaluate how your thyroid is producing thyroid hormones, how your body is activating inactive T4 into active T3 and you want to see if the immune system is producing anti-bodies against your thyroid. To evaluate this you need the following tests:

Hypothyroid symptoms, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, natural treatments, alternative therapies, hypothyroid

  • TSH
  • Free T3
  • Free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroperoxidase antibodies (Anti-TPOs)
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies (Anti-TG’s)
  • Oral temperature
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Day 21 Progesterone
  • Salivary Cortisol


Take 12 temperature readings with a digital or shake down thermometer at 11am, 3pm, and 6pm. If your average oral tempurature is below 98.6F, your not getting enough T3 into your cells. And this can have you feeling terrible.

As we have seen the immune system is dynamic, interacting with other hormones, and your body is a complex and interconnected web of beauty. Evaluating other hormones is, in my opinion, a must to get the bigger picture of what’s going on. Evaluating your adrenal stress system with a four point salivary test, and looking at your sex hormones can be done in urine or blood. 

What are the treatment options?

As a Naturopathic doctor, we take all these pieces and put it together for you, stress, diet, hormones, and even your spirituality. As I mentioned we are beautiful dynamic beings, our bodies are the most amazing and complicated things. You can’t just throw a drug like Synthroid at everyone with hypothyroidism or corticosteroid at all autoimmune conditions and expect them to feel great, not alone heal themselves. You can heal yourself, you can heal your thyroid and your immune system. The sooner you catch it the better. Don’t wait until the immune system has damaged your thyroid beyond repair.  Remember Hashimoto’s and Grave thyroid conditions are not primarily a thyroid problem. They are an immune problem! 

We take an integrative approach, balance your thyroid so you can start feeling energized and healthy. We balance your immune system so your thyroid can start to repair itself. We correct the diet and improve the gut so the immune system isn’t being fueled in the wrong way. We balance your hormones so your immune system responds and regulates in a healthy way, and help your stress system come back to life.  If you are considering getting pregnant, then you will want to get your adrenal and immune health in order first so you can feel vital and healthy through and beyond pregnancy. 

Sounds like a lot? Yes, healing yourself is a journey. With the right support you get through, you feel better, and you can be vibrant for your family. 

Diet recommendations for a healthy immune system:

Avoid the major allergens until you know which ones are problems for you- corn, gluten, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and shellfish are the biggest ones. 

Increase anti-oxidant rich foods, berries, dark leafy greens, Try including a green juice daily, or adding super-greens powder to your smoothie. 

Get enough iodine and selenium, Brazil’s nuts are rich in selenium, seaweed is rich in iodine. 

Cut out gluten! If you do nothing else with an autoimmune condition this one is crucial. 

Fasting. Fasting has been shown to turn around autoimmune flare ups. Water fasting, the Fasting Mimicking Diet, and juice fasting (low sugar juice only) for 3-5 days. Best done under supervision of a qualified Naturopathic Doctor and not during pregnancy. 

Cut back on the sugar! Sugar is fuel for all things bad in the body. Seriously do it! 


1. Amino N., (1988). Autoimmunity and Hypothyroidism.   Aug;2(3):591-617.

2. Franco JS, Amaya-Amaya J, Anaya JM., (2013). Thyroid Disease and Autoimmune DiseaseFrom Bench to Bedside [Internet]. Bogota (Colombia): El Rosario University Press;  Jul 18. Chapter 30.

3. Fairweather, D., Frisancho-Kiss, S., & Rose, N. R. (2008). Sex Differences in Autoimmune Disease from a Pathological Perspective. The American Journal of Pathology, 173(3), 600–609.


Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

Healthy fats can be found in avocado, lean proteins from eggs.

With Type 2 Diabetes, your body becomes inefficient at burning sugar for energy. The hormone insulin, that shuttles sugar from your blood into your cells to be used as energy, stops working. Either your body resists the effects of insulin, or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough. It all starts at the pancreas, in the beta cells that produce insulin, something causes damage here, and insulin dysregulation begins. While many see this as a roadblock in life, we at Wild Women Wellness know you can reverse your insulin resistance.

The First Step is to Uncover the Underlying Cause:

What caused the damage to the pancreas and insulin producing cells to start with? What else contributed to blood sugar dysregulation? There are a number of causes that can trigger the onset of insulin dysregulation such as:

  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Dysbiosis, leaky gut and gut microbiota
  • Food additives – like aspartame or high fructose corn syrup
  • Oxidative stress – from inflammation
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction – dysfunction in the energy centres of the cells
  • Toxins- like pesticides on your veggies or plastics in from your water bottle, heavy metal in your teeth and seafood.
  • Obesity
  • Stress or adrenal fatigue
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Infections – such as residual viral infections
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Rx Drugs (Statins and DM)
  • Genetic predispositions/SNP defects
  • High sugar/carbohydrate diet

Insulin resistance and diabetes are also linked to a host of other health conditions such as PCOS, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hypothyroidism, elevated liver enzymes (ALT/AST), and obesity. The insulin resistance often starts before the weight gain and lab results indicate HbA1C above 6.0. If your fasting blood sugar is above 90 or HbA1C is above 5.5, you will want to dig deeper to investigate if you are having early blood sugar dysregulation. Other clues are weight gain, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, weight around the midsection. You should know however, 60% of people at risk of diabetes are not overweight! If you feel sleepy after meals or irritable between meals this can be an indicator of blood sugar dysregulation. If you believe that you may be suffering from insulin resistance, you need to consult a functional medical or naturopathic doctor and work towards a diagnosis.

Diagnose Appropriately

In order to be diagnosed appropriately, I suggest an initial laboratory evaluation, which can include:

  • Adiponectin
  • Pro-insulin, C-Peptide
  • Glucose tolerance test
  • HbA1C
  • NMR lipoprotein profile
  • Fasting Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • GGTP
  • Uric acid
  • Methane breath test
  • Comprehensive stool test looking at the microbiome/flora

Choose Individualized Treatment Plan

Where we see the most success in treatment plans are changing dietary habits. The Westernized Standard American Diet is high in saturated and trans fats, salt, refined grains, and sugars, which can cause imbalances in our bodies and more specifically our gut microbiota. Implementing whole food, which is fresh, unprocessed, organic, colorful, and high in fiber will help work towards decreasing insulin release, modifying the gut microbiota, and increasing your cellular responsiveness to insulin. If it doesn’t look like a plant or piece of meat, then don’t eat it!

Foods to Avoid:

  • Fruit juice and dried fruit
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Gluten
  • Refined foods – pasta, bread, cereal, baked goods, pastries, packaged food
  • White foods – white rice, white bread, white potatoes, white sugar

Foods to Enjoy:

  • All vegetables (except white potatoes)
  • Free range chicken, fish- salmon, grass fed lean meats 1-3x week, eggs.
  • Fresh or frozen Berries, bananas, apples.
  • Good fats: olives, olive oil, avocados, coconut, nuts and seeds, nut butters like almond butter.
  • Fermented foods- like Kimchi

Meal Structure:

  • Make breakfast and lunch your largest meal
  • Keep dinner light
  • Intermittent fasting: 12-16hrs of fasting in 5 days per week, this can be done by not eating after dinner, and keeping dinner 12hrs before breakfast.
  • Avoid snacking
  • Eat protein and good fat with every meal

A structured sleep schedule is very beneficial in your treatment plan. Get your sleep, with a regular bedtime and wake time. Ideally to bed before midnight and getting 8hrs/night. Your body repairs itself in your sleep, so it’s important to make sleep a priority to help maintain your health.

Come work with us at Wild Women Wellness and we will help you establish a healthy foundation through your diet, address the underlying cause, set you up with a targeted supplement program and rebalance your microbiota so you can rely less on medications, feel better, and prevent serious complications down the road.

Take charge of your health, book your free 15 minute phone consultation here or give us a call at (650)-271-9453

Is Your Thyroid Slowing you Down?

Your thyroid is one of the largest glands in your body, and is located just over your windpipe at the base of your throat. The thyroid produces thyroid hormone T3 and T4, these hormones increase the metabolic activity of your cells. The function of your thyroid includes:

  • Boosts metabolic activity of cells causing fat and carbohydrates to be burned for energy.
  • Decreases body weight.
  • Decreases cholesterol and triglycerides preventing atherosclerosis.
  • Increases basal body temperature and blood flow so you feel warm.
  • Helps secrete digestive enzymes so you can break down your food and assimilate nutrients properly.
  • Helps your muscles to contract and relax normally.

As you can see having a healthy balanced thyroid is an important part of good health and managing a healthy weight.  Subclinical hypothyroid is chronically under diagnosed in the traditional medical system. The best way to find out if your thyroid is healthy, is to to have a full thyroid workup: Total T3 and T4, free T3 and T4, TSH, reverse T3, iodine, Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies and Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies all checked by your healthcare provider.  The challenge is most doctors will only check your TSH, which doesn’t give us a complete picture of your thyroid health.  

Signs your thyroid is slowing you down if you are experiencing:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Difficulty losing weight despite healthy diet and being active
  3. Low mood or depression
  4. Dry skin and hair, nail break easily and hair falls out
  5. Constipation


You can also try this home test:

Take your oral temperature at 11am three days in a row. Menstruating women take your temperature on day 3,4, and 5 of your menstrual cycle.  Men and postmenopausal women can take your body temperature anytime of the month. A basal temperature between below 98.6F is a good indicator of low thyroid function. 

Healthy foods for your thyroid:

  • Red meat, spinach, mushrooms, and sea vegetables provides the body with iron which is needed to convert the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine a building block for thyroid hormones.  Sea vegetables, organic yogurt, grass fed cow’s milk, and eggs are an excellent source of iodine, the thyroid uses iodine to build thyroid hormone.
  • A targeted supplement protocol designed by your Naturopathic Doctor can significantly improve your thyroid and help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Men’s Health

Feel the power of balanced testosterone.

If you are looking for a knowledgeable, wholistic, experienced doctor to help you restore your testosterone, growth hormone, or other hormones safely and effectivly Dr.E can help!

Are you experiencing:

  • Muscle loss
  • Weight gain-increased body fat especially around the mid-section
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Depression or low mood
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low energy
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Poor sleep
  • Lack of confidence
  • Feeling complacent

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may have low testosterone, read on to learn how to boost testosterone naturally, how to get tested, and why having the right doctor is important.


Ever wonder why you don’t feel as good in your 40 & 50s as you did in your 20s? It’s because your hormones are dropping rapidly as you hit adropause.

  • Men produce 10x more testosterone than women in their youth
  • Testosterone declines with age, about midlife levels can plumet, this is called Andropause!
  • Testosterone level start to decline significantly, muscle mass reduces, the beer belly makes an appearance, and the libido and erections aren’t what they used to be.
  • In fact as testosterone decreases, fat store increase along with the production of estrogen.
  • By retirement age men can be producing more estrogen than women of the same age.

How do you know if your testosterone or other hormones are low?

Get tested!

The first step is to get to the bottom of how you are feeling, is it low testosterone, low thyroid, poor growth hormone production, nutrient depletion or what?! Here are the tests Dr. E recommends every man should check included in brackets are the HEALTHY ranges (don’t settle when your regular doctor tells you your testosterone levels are “normal”!).

  • Total testosterone (600-1000)
  • Free testosterone (20-30)
  • SHBG (20-35)
  • PSA (<1.0)
  • TSH (1.00-1.50)
  • Free T3 (3.0-3.4)
  • Free T4 (1.1-1.4)
  • B12 (700-1000)
  • Folate (> 18)
  • Vitamin D (50-90)
  • IGF-1  (measure of growth hormone production)
  • Estradiol, sensitive (20-30)
  • CBC w Diff (Hb 13-16.5)
  • AST & ALT (10-26)
  • hs-CRP (<1.00)

Dr. Escobedo orders these test for all her male patients to ensure optimal health, most of which should be covered by your insurance if you have a PPO. If you want to get tested book a free 15 minute phone consult with Dr.E and ask to have her order your labs today!

Why Choose Dr. Escobedo?

Dr.Escobedo has extensive experience working with men to balance, replace and restore healthy hormones including testosterone. She is successfully prescribing, managing and safely monitoring hundreds of men on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), using well rounded programs including testosterone injections, topical bio-identical testosterone cream, hCG, clomid, sermorelin, growth hormone boosters and estrogen blockers such as anastrozole. Moreover, she utilizes supplements, diet, exercise and herbs to help restore the bodies natural hormone levels. Restoring adrenal health, reducing toxic exposure, and increasing building blocks for hormone production all support healthy hormone production and utilization. Maximizing your bodies health and efficiency.

Please don’t try to do it on your own! Did you know if  you’re on testosterone injections your blood gets thicker and increases your risk for a clot! Dr. E always monitors your hemoglobin levels regularly to eliminate this risk. Taking high doses of testosterone can also cause estrogen to sky rocket making you moody, irritable, cause gynocomastia (aka man boobs) and cause your testies to shrink! Managing your estrogen is a crucial part of safe effective hormone replacement therapy. 

Want to Fight Back!! Boost Your Testosterone Naturally Here’s some tips:


Studies have shown these types of exercises increase testosterone when combined in a dynamic workout.

Interval Training

  • 20 minutes total
  • 5 minutes warm up + 5 minutes cool down
  • 10 minutes intervals: 1 minute intense running or biking 1 minute walking X 5 times =10 minutes
  • Weights:
    • 3 sets compound movements
    • Heavy enough for 8-12 reps
    • Focus on large muscle groups

Get your Key Nutrients:

  • Good Fats: Fish oil, olive oil, coconut butter, omega-3s, your body uses them to build sex hormones
  • Protein: Whey Protein concentrate, best taken just before a weight lifting workout
  • Bio-available minerals: Zinc, magnesium, calcium and chromium
  • Lycopene, from tomatoes and is high in tomato past, helps to prevent prostate cancer!
  • Maca to support erectile health and sexual performance
  • B-vitamins to support energy and adrenal health

There are lots of Test booster supplements on the market, most are filled with junk and don’t do much or have fillers that are bad for you and others work really well. For the best results ask Dr. E she has seen most of them and knows what works.