Show #298 – The Thyroid Debacle with Dr Eric Balcavage


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

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And on this week’s show!

Thyroid struggles? This show is where you need to be then for the next 70 minutes. I am thrilled to have back on the show Dr Eric Balcavage, a relentless crusader in thyroid health education and long-term root-causes-based healing. He is one of the duo that has written a new book called The Thyroid Debacle, the co-author also being a past show guest, Dr Kelly Halderman. Kelly Halderman, a conventionally trained and practised physician was hit by two chronic health conditions, one being MS and through her trusting that something more could be done than what she was being told was her lot in life, discovered functional medicine and hasn’t looked back. Eric, seeing sick patient after patient that no amount of spinal adjustments could support for long-term healing in his chiropractic practice felt the same. And so, thanks to these two Drs broadening their understanding of what helps humans achieve homeostasis and lasting improved health, and practising with and educating thousands around the world, we have a powerhouse tackling a thyroid-illness epidemic and having read the book myself I can honestly say I know just how impactful it will be for people to read it and practice what they learn from its pages. Today isn’t all about the book though, as we explore thyroid testing, what gaps there are in current treatments, how you can be on meds and still feel awful and so much more. 

Questions I asked Eric:

  • There’s a term you use to talk about the issue with ‘normalising values through pharmaceutical means’ in your intro called ‘forced normalisation’ and what the crucial issue is with that, whether it be blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels or thyroid markers… at what cost to other aspects of physiology, right? (and maybe include the car oil analogy there)
  • How come symptoms can persist, despite blood markers ‘returning to normal’?
  • One of the things I know people can get really confused about, is different health professionals having different definitions of a ‘comprehensive review’ of your case/ordering labs etc. How do we know we’re getting the best partnership on our health when everyone’s definition of what that looks like is different?
  • How are hashimotos thyroiditis and hypothyroidism linked? Is hyper linked as well and how does autoimmune as a diagnosis/pathology fit for you in relation to thyroid function?
  • Let’s talk about your personal health decline shock and frustration despite leading a model, active life
  • I love that so early in the book Bob Naviaux’s work is talked about with his articulation of the ‘cell danger response’. How did this impact your personal health situation and subsequently the way you support patients?
  • And given what we know about how many different factors can lead someone to go into CDR from trauma to toxic exposures to chronic use of ultra processed foods or smoking… is this why one size fits all just doesn’t ultimately lead a person back to resilient health?
  • In your new book, the Thyroid debacle, you and Kelly are insistent that this book isn’t an ‘answer’ or a silver bullet but an investigative road map for people wanting to embark on a journey of feeling well again. Why do you feel it’s so important for people to not feel like the answer’s going to be in the next supplement they try or the 15th dietary protocol they embark on, following everything to the letter?
  • Your co author is Dr Kelly Halderman who I’ve also had the pleasure of having on the show to discuss detoxification. How did you two come to work together and to decide to write this book? Kelly too was rocked by a personal health challenge – or multiple in her case. Is that a big part of the fuel in both of you, doing this work?
  • Kelly talks about the heartbreaking realisation that patients’ lives were harmed because she was treating as instructed rather than from the ‘what I as an individual think is best’ because of the system… She mentions the paper Claude Lenfant MD published “Clinical Research to Clinical Practice—Lost in Translation?” There’s no doubt the system is broken but I struggle to understand how we fix it by leaving and switching to private care with often times no insurance, super expensive tests all done on a patient’s own dime. I’ve been there through CIRS as it isn’t recognised by mainstream medicine and it cost me so much. I completely understand that the allopathic guidelines protect doctors from malpractice lawsuits but I often wonder – how can we make this kind of bio individual, specialised care mainstream within the construct of insurance covering costs so that it truly can become accessed by many? Lately when I do a root cause work up on the system I land somewhere between the Rockerfellers’ taking over medicine and Citizen’s United being passed and subsequent ‘updates’ to doctors overwhelmingly becoming delivered by pharmaceutical companies. Do you think about this?
  • You drop a bomb shell early on about what you think might be the real stats when it comes to type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism – can you share what that is and why you think the public health stats might be wrong?
  • Something that was a bombshell for me – can we talk about how we get that turned around – and in fact start talking about a few things that might really move the needle for people who suspect something’s up without having to spend a cent on health care – ie stuff they can experiment with and try in the coming month?

About Dr Eric Balcavage & Dr Kelly Halderman

Dr Eric Balcavage is the owner and founder of Rejuvagen, a functional medicine clinic in Chadds Ford. He is a nationally recognized speaker and educator on various health related topics including thyroid physiology, bile physiology, detoxification, oxidative stress, methylation, and chronic illness.

Dr. Balcavage is a Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.), a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, along with being a licensed Chiropractor in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Balcavage is the co-host of Thyroid Answers Podcast. The podcast focuses on answering the pressing questions those suffering with chronic hypothyroid symptoms can’t get answered elsewhere. You can find his educational Thyroid Thursday videos on Vimeo and Youtube.

Dr Balcavage has made it his mission to change the way medicine looks at hypothyroidism. He is the co-author of the soon to be released book, Thyroid Debacle, The book co-written by Kelly Halderman MD, addresses the problems with current allopathic and functional medicine approaches to hypothyroidism as well as the solutions to restoring thyroid physiology.

Dr. Kelly Halderman completed a Family Practice Medicine internship with the University of Minnesota. She has a Naturopathic Medical Degree from Kingdom College of Natural Health where she is the current Academic Dean of Students. She holds certification in MethylGenetic Nutrition by the Nutrigenetic Research Institute and certification from The American Functional Neurology Institute in Functional Neurology and Neurofeedback. She is an active member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, President, and founder of The American Association of Nutraceutical Formulators, as well as a member of The American Medical Association and Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dr. Halderman is also board certified in Clinical Nutrition by the CNCB, has certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and health coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

She coined “Phase 2.5 Detoxification”, which involves properly restoring bile physiology, our body’s built-in toxin transport system and has successfully developed novel nutraceutical products and clinical strategies to support this new, important phase of detoxification.

She works alongside her husband, who is also a doctor at Halderman Wellness LLC in western WI. Her interests include proper detoxification, Chronic Lyme, of which she has personally experienced and beat as well as regenerative therapies such as ozone and stem cell therapies. She also serves as science advisor to both Professional Health Products and Randal Optimal Nutrients.

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Other helpful links:


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Enjoy the show,

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