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Hello, my name is Tanja Fellenberg and my GP told me the news 8 years ago: Hypothyroidism

I felt tired and listless all the time, had to deal with a slow metabolism, being bloated, etc. and put on weight for no apparent reason.

Despite eating a healthy diet, it seemed almost impossible to lose even a gram.

Even though I regularly ate less than my body burned according to various online calculators.

But the worst thing was the constant tiredness. I felt like Sleeping Beauty almost every afternoon.

The pills prescribed by the doctor only helped at first.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that an underactive thyroid sounds harmless, but it leads to several malfunctions in the body.

The thyroid gland is something like the control centre in the body when it comes to energy production and hormone control.

Thyroid problems often lead to the liver also shutting down and digestion no longer working optimally.

Everything piles up and it is difficult not to fall into a downward spiral.

Looking back and equipped with the knowledge I have today, all my symptoms made sense.

Over the last 2 years I have been able to manage almost all of my symptoms and turn the downward spiral into an upward spiral.

My thyroid levels are back in the good range, although I have been able to reduce my levothyroxine dose from 125 micrograms to literally 0.

Since I experienced first-hand how neglected and sometimes medically questionable most docs treat the thyroid issue (most of them simply give you levothyroxine and increase the dose from month to month), I decided to share my story with you.

In this article you will learn:

Zurück zu meiner persönlichen Geschichte

Let’s get straight to the point.

When I had enough of my constant tiredness, I went to my trusted doctor and had a blood count done.

My doctor correctly recognised that my TSH level was elevated.

Of course, I didn’t know the value at the time.

But my doctor knew, and that was important.

It said: “The higher the TSH value, the fewer thyroid hormones are present, the more likely it is that you have hypothyroidism.”

My value was 5.

The reference range is 1 – 2.5.

When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I was initially relieved.

I was no longer completely in the dark.

At least I had an explanation for my suffering.

My doctor gave me hope that we could fix it.

After all, I’m not an isolated case.

By adjusting the medication correctly, everything should be fine again and the symptoms should disappear.

That brings us to the subject of “correctly adjusting” the medication.

If you also suffer from hypothyroidism, you’re probably familiar with this:

Your doctor prescribes you L-thyroxine – the classic treatment for thyroid problems.

My doctor prescribed me 25 micrograms of L-thyroxine at the beginning.

“Now you’re back on track, your thyroid should be working as usual and producing enough hormones again.”

Full of hope, I went to the pharmacy, got the thyroid medication and took it for a while.

Somehow nothing happened, except that I swallowed the tablets in my morning routine.

A month later, the doctor increased the dose from 25 to 50 micrograms.

I went to the doctor again and was told: “Hello Mrs Fellenberg, your blood values have improved a lot.”

Yes, my blood values were great.

But what good are my “super blood values” if I feel more listless than ever before?

So my story of suffering continued until I reached a dosage of no less than 125 micrograms of L-thyroxine.

The blood values got even worse, the symptoms even worse.

My body was unimpressed.

Blood values great, but limp as never before.

With this state of mind, I set out in search of a solution.

Because it’s incredibly frustrating when the doctor keeps telling you that your values look great and there’s not much we can do about it.

And the constant intake of synthetic thyroid hormones can’t be healthy for my liver in the long term either.

It was clear to me that I had to take my happiness into my own hands.

It was last Christmas in 2022 when I made the crucial discovery.

My best friend from school gave me a book for Christmas.

She knew that I had problems with my thyroid.

The book was called: “Every day I got fatter and more tired.”

It was written by Vanessa Blumhagen, a thyroid expert who is increasingly making the rounds online.

Normally I’m always sceptical about books like this, but I wanted to give her a chance.

Because she had hypothyroidism herself.

She knew the symptoms I suffered all too well.

From being overweight, to metabolic problems, to listlessness, it was all there.

She too was not taken seriously by the doctors and had to take her fate into her own hands.

And, what a miracle, otherwise she wouldn’t have written a book:

Vanessa managed all her symptoms very well.

Curious, I began to read…

A discovery that changed my life forever.

Vanessa knew how to explain what happens to the thyroid gland in a humorous way.

In her book I read that an elevated TSH value indicates that thyroid hormones may be produced.

The abbreviation “TSH” seemed very familiar to me from my blood test.

TSH controls thyroid activity.

The pituitary gland (hypophase) has sent a signal:

“Dear thyroid gland, please produce hormones, we need energy.”

Energy for a wide variety of things, such as

– Warmth when you are cold

– Energy to wake you up

– Regulating your cycle

– Regulating the digestive tract

– Stimulate hair growth

– and much more.

But something was wrong with me…

My TSH value has levelled off again.

My blood values were back to normal according to the doctor.

But my mood got worse from day to day.

So what needs to happen so that not only the blood values improve, but also the symptoms?

Vanessa talks about the fact that it is unfortunately not enough to get the thyroid gland to produce more hormones again:

The thyroid hormones have to be converted into an active form and then also transported to the cells.

For this process to work, a well-oiled system is required:

Only when these steps are perfectly interlinked can energy production in the cells work.

Then we are bursting with energy, are no longer tired and no longer have cold feet.

When the metabolism starts up again and the sluggishness has disappeared, you can imagine what will happen to your weight.

You will hardly believe it.

Let me explain to you how, according to Vanessa, the thyroid gland works properly again and the energy returns.

Step 1: Form thyroid hormones

As soon as the TSH hormone sends the signal from the pituitary gland, it starts.

Something special happens in the tiny cells of your thyroid gland.

This is where it mainly produces the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4).

T4 is known as the inactive thyroid hormone and consists of the amino acid tyrosine and four iodine atoms.

Most doctors focus exclusively on this.

They see an elevated TSH level (and perhaps a low T4 level, if they check it at all) and simply prescribe L-thyroxine, i.e. T4.

As is almost always the case, they simply treat the symptoms with medication.

Unfortunately, that alone is not enough.

Step 2: Activation of the thyroid hormones (T4 -> T3)

However, your body cannot do much with the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) alone.

In principle, it is only a precursor.

Only when the inactive thyroxine (T4) is converted into the active thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) do magical things happen in your body!

How?

By splitting off an iodine atom from T4 – through enzymes.

Most of this activation takes place in the liver and is called 5′-deiodinase.

Step 3: Transport of T3 into the cells

Your thyroid hormones have been activated and now want to release the energy in your cells.

But how do they get to their destination?

This is achieved with so-called transport proteins.

For this transport in the blood and into the cell, the transport proteins need the right nutrients.

As soon as your thyroid hormones arrive in your cells, energy can be produced.

Back to my blood work

My TSH value was normal again and my T4 value was also in the good range – all thanks to taking L-thyroxine.

So everything was fine for my doctor.

My body had enough T4.

But I was still unwell.

This means that my symptoms could only be due to the fact that

either T4 could not be converted into active T3,
or that the T3 could not dock onto my cells.

There were only two options.

At least it couldn’t be because my T4 level was too low.

Why does the conversion from T4 to T3 often not work?

Remember: T3 activation mainly takes place in the liver.

And there is an indicator that shows whether T3 activation (5′-deiodinase) can take place properly:

The glutathione level.

Thyroid expert Dr Dorothea Leinung writes in one of her specialist articles:

“When our thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, it simultaneously produces free radicals. If there is not enough glutathione to keep this oxidative stress in check, the excess can affect other tissues.”

As early as 1988, a connection between glutathione and T3 activation (5′-deiodinase) was established and documented in a study.

Glutathione is the most abundant and a very potent antioxidant in the body.

It is therefore sometimes referred to as THE main antioxidant.

And watch out:

It consists of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid.

Another study shows that the amino acid L-methionine plays a key role in the liver against oxidative stress.

Methionine is a precursor of cysteine, one of the three amino acids of glutathione.

To summarise the problem:

✅Administering the thyroid medication L-thyroxine (T4) alone will not do much good because it is still the inactive form.

✅ The thyroid hormone T4 must be converted into the active form T3. This process takes place in the liver.

✅ The active T3 can now release the energy in your cells via transport proteins.

✅Only when these metabolic processes are working properly can energy be released and the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as tiredness, disappear. Because your thyroid is working again!

✅ Amino acids play a particularly important role in the conversion of T4 to T3.

I finally discover the missing piece of the puzzle

After reading these studies in detail, I delved deeper into the research to better understand the connection between amino acids and thyroid health.

The parallels between thyroid problems and a lack of amino acids became more and more obvious in the course of my research.

So I started thinking about whether I might also have an amino acid deficiency.

Most people – including me for a long time – believe that they eat enough protein in their normal diet and therefore get all the essential amino acids.

In fact, this is often not the case!

Women in particular consume too little animal protein, which is essential for the conversion of T4 into T3 and the transport of thyroid hormones into our cells.

The situation is even worse for vegans and vegetarians.

The protein sources are all totally different in terms of their value.

One measure of how well a protein provides all the essential amino acids is the DIAAS value (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score).

She is the author of 5 bestselling books on gut health, thyroid disease and metabolic health.

In her thyroid patients, she has found that almost all of them have a deficiency of the amino acid proline.

Proline is very important for thyroid tissue and can only be obtained from animal protein sources.

The parallels between thyroid problems and a lack of amino acids became more and more obvious during my research.

So I thought about whether I might also have an amino acid deficiency.

Most people – including me for a long time – believe that they eat enough protein in their normal diet and therefore get all the essential amino acids.

In fact, this is often not the case!

Women in particular consume too little animal protein, which is essential for the conversion of T4 into T3 and the transport of thyroid hormones into our cells.

The situation is even worse for vegans and vegetarians.

The protein sources are all totally different in terms of their value.

One measure of how well a protein provides all the essential amino acids is the DIAAS value (Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score).

Animal protein has a much higher biological value than vegetable protein.

I am now even of the opinion that most people with hypothyroidism are deficient in amino acids.

This is due to 2 things:

#1: We have a much higher protein requirement

People with thyroid problems have a much higher protein requirement.

This is because the liver plays a crucial role in protein synthesis, protein breakdown, detoxification and amino acid metabolism.

An overloaded liver (which is often the case with hypothyroidism) can lead to an accumulation of toxins and increase the consumption of amino acids needed for detoxification.

If the requirement is very high, you will also become deficient much more quickly.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends that a healthy adult should consume at least 0.8g of protein per kilogramme of body weight.

For Hashimoto’s patients (who all suffer from hypothyroidism), however, at least 1.5g of protein per kilogramme of body weight is recommended.

For a woman weighing 70kg, that’s over 100g of protein per day.

When was the last time you ate 100g of protein in a day?

I almost never reached such a high protein consumption.

Reason #2: Impaired digestion

If you’re like me and you also have problems with digestion, the chances are unfortunately very high that you won’t be able to fully absorb many nutrients.

This means that even if you consume a lot of protein (in the form of meat, shakes, eggs or dairy products), you may still suffer from an amino acid deficiency.

Why does the T4 to T3 conversion often not work?

✅ #1 Most women have a deficiency of essential amino acids because the requirement is very high and digestion is impaired in many women.

✅ #2 The liver – the place where the conversion takes place – is restricted in its function. More precisely: the glutathione level is too low and must be increased with amino acids.

Amino acids and the thyroid gland

From that point on, I understood: I need essential amino acids.

I have to get my body to convert my T4 back into T3 and, ideally, at some point even produce enough T4 on its own again (without medication).

The only question was which option I should choose:

Option 1: I eat more meat and check which foods have the highest bioavailability,
Option 2: I take the essential amino acids directly.

I have decided in favour of the abbreviation.

I call it the “amino direct method”.

By consuming the essential amino acids in their pure form, the digestive system is not burdened.

This was particularly good for me because my intestines were still causing problems at the time.

It’s also much cheaper than eating meat every day.

But before I set off and looked around for a suitable amino acid product, I had to find out which amino acids I absolutely needed.

Which amino acids are particularly important for hypothyroidism?

First you need to understand a few basic concepts:

Proteins consist of amino acids that are arranged in different structures. There are so-called essential and non-essential amino acids.
Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body itself. They must therefore be supplied from outside.
The body can produce non-essential amino acids itself. However, only if you have enough essential amino acids.

The most important essential amino acids for Hashimoto’s

The following amino acids cannot be produced by the body itself and are particularly important in the case of hypothyroidism:

L-methionine for the conversion of T4 to T3

As mentioned earlier, people with an underactive thyroid often have an impaired detoxification capacity.

Methionine is the starting point for the synthesis of glutathione in the liver. T4 to T3 activation in the liver can only take place with sufficient glutathione.

Methionine is also important for the absorption of zinc and selenium.

If you suffer from a methionine deficiency, this affects the absorption of zinc and selenium.

This means that even if you consume plenty of zinc and selenium, there is no guarantee that your body will be able to utilise them.

L-phenylalanine for the formation of tyrosine and later T4

Phenylalanine is the starting material for the even more important tyrosine, which is the basic component of thyroid hormones. If the body lacks phenylalanine, various hormones cannot be produced in sufficient quantities, which causes depression and tiredness, among other things.

L-lysine against fatigue

Lysine plays a major role in immune cells, which is why a deficiency makes people more susceptible to viruses. This is one reason why people with hypothyroidism are sick more often.

In addition, iron requires lysine for its absorption. This explains, among other things, chronic tiredness and fatigue in patients with hypothyroidism. If you eliminate the lack of lysine, iron is better absorbed and you feel more active.

The most important non-essential amino acids for Hashimoto’s

Once you have covered all the essential amino acids, the body can also produce the non-essential amino acids itself again. Because these are also important:

Tyrosine for the production of T4

Tyrosine is a precursor for the production of thyroid hormones, namely thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).

Without sufficient amounts of L-tyrosine, the thyroid hormones cannot be produced in sufficient quantities, which can lead to impaired metabolic performance and other health problems.

To avoid a lifelong dependence on the intake of L-thyroxine (T4), it must be ensured that the body always has sufficient tyrosine available.

Glutamine, cysteine and glycine

Together, these three amino acids form the antioxidant glutathione, which is so important for the liver.

As explained above, glutathione is particularly important for the conversion of T4 to T3.

However, it also has numerous other positive effects on liver health.

The genius of essential amino acids

If sufficient essential amino acids are available, non-essential amino acids can also be produced by the body itself.

For example, the non-essential amino acid L-cysteine, which has a positive effect on thyroid antibodies.

Or the amino acid L-glycine, which is important for T3 activation.

So you get all the necessary amino acids and can avoid inflammation at the same time.

The Human Amino Pattern

Vanessa Blumhagen also writes about amino acids in her book.

She recommends amino acids that are based on the so-called Human Amino Pattern.

The Human Amino Pattern was researched at the International Nutrition Research Center (INRC) in Florida by Prof Dr Luca Moretti.

It is a combination of 8 essential amino acids and is produced from purely plant-based substances (chickpeas) – making it 100% vegan.

The 8 essential amino acids are absorbed through the mucous membranes and are available to the body after just 23 minutes.

The body can then also produce all non-essential amino acids from them.

For this reason, it is extremely important that you actually take amino acids that are based on the Human Amino Pattern.

This means you don’t have to take glutathione, glycine, glutamine or cysteine separately.

It is also much better if the body produces the non-essential amino acids itself.

After all, we don’t want to serve the body everything on a silver platter.

It is important that the body’s own metabolic processes start up again.

When Vanessa Blumhagen wrote her book (2013), there were unfortunately no amino acid supplements available in German-speaking countries that resembled the Human Amino Pattern.

Fortunately, this has now changed.

The SMART PROTEIN product from everydays is based exactly on the Human Amino Pattern, is even produced in Germany and is specially made for people with intolerances.

And I can tell you right away: For me, Smart Protein was the missing piece of the puzzle that provided me with more energy and a better sense of well-being.

On the product page, you can also see that the manufacturers work closely with experts who specialise in autoimmune diseases and intolerances.

What ultimately convinced me, however, were the many positive reviews on the Trustpilot review platform.

That also gave me a good feeling.

So how does this smart protein work?

Smart Protein consists of 100% pure amino acids, based on the Human Amino Pattern.

It contains exactly the essential amino acids mentioned above, which are so important for people with hypothyroidism.

It also contains 2 other essential amino acids, which also have numerous positive effects:

L-isoleucine: Isoleucine is involved in the hormone regulation of the organism. For example, the amino acid stimulates the release of insulin, which stimulates the absorption of glucose and amino acids from the bloodstream into the muscle cells. This in turn is not only necessary for the regulation of blood sugar levels, but also for rapid energy production.
L-tryptophan: Tryptophan is a precursor of the happiness hormone serotonin and can therefore improve mood. One study found that people who consumed higher amounts of tryptophan were significantly less irritable and depressed and had less anxiety than those who consumed lower amounts.

But now comes the really crucial part that sets Smart Protein apart from others.

The amino acids in Smart Protein are obtained from the fermentation of chickpeas in a process similar to digestion.

They are absorbed directly via the mucous membranes and therefore no autoimmune reaction can be triggered.

Smart Protein is completely vegan, free from lectins and lactose, gluten-free and contains no sugar or other additives.

This makes it the ideal source of protein for people with an underactive thyroid.

The advantage of 100% pure crystalline amino acids is that they have a higher purity than amino acid sources from food and other sources, are easily soluble and are quickly absorbed by the body.

This allows the body to use the amino acids quickly to build and repair tissue.

The self-test – better thyroid values with Smart Protein

I ordered Smart Protein from the Everydays online shop that same evening.

As the shop offers a discount when you buy 3 doses and it was clear to me that it wouldn’t cure my hypothyroidism overnight like a miracle cure anyway, I ordered 3 doses straight away.

Perhaps I should mention this again at this point: although some customers mention in their reviews that they feel an improvement immediately, you have to realise that this is a longer process.

The body is supplied with the necessary nutrients so that the amino acid deficiency is eliminated and the body can produce and convert hormones normally again.

The whole process takes time.

Personally, I have set myself an ultimatum of 3 months.

My first weeks with Smart Protein

The order with the 3 tins arrived after just two days.

There are 180 pellets in one tin.

The recommended daily dose is 6 tablets (3 in the morning and 3 in the evening).

One tin therefore lasts 30 days. I was therefore equipped for 3 months.

At first glance, the packaging looks very high quality.

The pellets are a little large, but there is a lot inside.

They also have a “predetermined breaking point” in the centre, making them very easy to crush.

I am now taking 6 tablets a day.

I will continue to take my L-thyroxine to be on the safe side.

Many customers report an immediate improvement.

After testing Smart Protein for four days, I knew what they meant.

I noticed two things in particular straight away:

Even after taking it for the first time early in the morning, I felt energised. I have never experienced anything like it with any other dietary supplement. You can really feel how your body gratefully absorbs the amino acids.
My usual midday slump has completely disappeared.

After one month: better digestion

After just under a month, I realised why my midday slump had disappeared – it was due to my improved digestion.

And that’s no surprise either: a quick Google search shows that amino acids can improve gut health.

By the way: the pellets are actually super easy to digest.

Even after 3 pellets early in the morning on an empty stomach, I don’t feel even the slightest signs of it in my stomach.

My other symptoms have also improved.

I feel really energised throughout the day.

I feel stronger and more active.

Even my boss at work has noticed this.

Afternoons at the office used to be a real horror because I had absolutely no energy left.

It was all about getting home as quickly as possible and flopping down on the sofa.

I’m now thinking about signing up to the Pilates studio again and doing sport.

After two months: improved thyroid values

The first 2 tins of Smart Protein are now empty. And I’ve ordered more straight away!

Since I’ve been taking Smart Protein, my life has turned around 180 degrees.

No more tiredness, no more fatigue.

I’ve even been able to start exercising again thanks to my improved performance.

I have also lost around 3 kilos without changing my diet.

My thyroid levels have also improved slightly, which I honestly didn’t expect.

After all, Smart Protein is not a medication for hypothyroidism.

Together with my doctor, I then started to reduce my L-thyroxine dose slightly.

Over several months, I managed to reduce it from 125 micrograms to 25 micrograms.

I had my thyroid levels checked at regular intervals and listened to my body.

Despite reducing the dose, I felt better and better.

My TSH is now at 1 and my fT4 (free T4) is in the green range despite minimising my L-thyroxine dose. And for the first time, the T3 value is also correct!

Out of curiosity, I also had my liver values analysed.

The amino acid L-threonine is supposed to have a positive effect on the fat balance and liver function. I was also able to greatly reduce my intake of medication.

And lo and behold: my liver values were also slightly improved at my last check-up!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they will look like in a year’s time.

In short: my enjoyment of life has returned.

You could say that the last few months have been life-changing for me.

I am glad that I came across Smart Protein and can only recommend it to anyone with an underactive thyroid.

I have linked you to the Everydays online shop here, where there is a 15% discount when you buy 3 cans:

The company behind Smart Protein

Behind Smart Protein is a young family business from Berlin called everydays.

Everydays produces food supplements that are specially made for people with intolerances.

Almost all of their products are vegan (including Smart Protein, by the way).

They also work a lot with experts who specialise in autoimmune diseases and intolerances.

Addendum to the article

Since I published this article, many of you have asked questions. So I wanted to briefly answer the most important ones:

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