Regaining Thyroid Health with Paleo/Primal Expert Elle Russ – EP002

 In Podcast

Elle Russ was doing everything ‘right.’ She was eating a low-fat, low-carb diet and doing high-intensity cardio workouts regularly. Unfortunately, her primal brain thought that she was starving and running from danger, and in an effort to protect her, it asked her body to produce less thyroid hormone. Elle gained fifty pounds – despite working out two hours a day – and suffered from 30-plus debilitating symptoms. When the medical community offered no solution, she became her own doctor and resolved two severe bouts of hypothyroidism in ten years with a combination of thyroid hormone replacement therapy and a dedicated Paleo/Primal lifestyle.




Elle is a writer, actor and life coach. An alumna of the prestigious Second City–Chicago comedy theatre, she began her acting and writing career in sketch comedy and improvisation. She has gone on to write sitcoms, documentaries, drama, and non-fiction, including The Paleo Thyroid Solution, the only lifestyle and weight loss plan for maximizing thyroid metabolism in alignment with evolutionary health principles. A leading voice in the Paleo/Primal Health Movement, Elle is also the host of The Primal Blueprint Podcast, a top-20 ranked show in the Health category on iTunes.

Today she joins Ali to discuss the significance of the thyroid, how suboptimal thyroid hormone metabolism affects the body, and how a Paleo/Primal lifestyle will help you regain – and maintain – thyroid health. Listen in to hear about Elle’s difficult journey navigating the medical system and how she finally took control of her health!

Topics Covered

[0:52] The significance of the thyroid

  • Master gland of the human body (die without it)
  • Regulates sex hormones, body temperature, metabolism
[4:22] Some consequences of suboptimal thyroid hormones/thyroid hormone metabolism

  • Infertility, miscarriages
  • Food addictions
[8:01] The vocabulary of thyroid issues

  • Hashimoto’s disease – autoimmune disorder, body attacks thyroid, causing hypothyroidism or hypo/hyper swings (triggered by grains)
  • Graves’ disease – autoimmune disorder, body attacks thyroid, causing hyperthyroidism
[11:42] Why people on thyroid hormone replacement still need to maintain the Paleo Primal paradigm

  • Antibodies indicate inflammation, which leads to autoimmune disorders
  • Eliminating gluten/grains reduces antibodies to appropriate levels (ideally under ten)
  • Hashimoto’s antibodies = TPO and TgAb; Graves’ antibodies = TSI
[16:09] Elle’s story

  • Serious chronic cardio, low fat/carb diet
  • Gave herself hypothyroidism
  • Gained weight out of nowhere (from 110-160 pounds)
  • Continued to work out two hours per day
  • Could not lose weight until thyroid fixed (exercise impedes progress)
  • Developed 30-plus symptoms, including gynecological issues
  • Cognitive function affected as well
  • Spent $15,000 on doctors, but no one helped her
  • Became own doctor
  • Suffered from second bout (Reverse T3)
  • Treated herself again, taking T3 directly
  • Adopted Paleo/Primal lifestyle
[25:23] The thyroid tests you should be asking for

  • Hypothyroidism: free T3, free T4, TSH, RT3
  • Hashimoto’s: TPOAb, TgAb
  • TSH is meaningless in isolation
[30:39] How to treat Reverse T3

  • Adopt a Paleo/Primal lifestyle
  • Reduce workout regimen
  • Take selenium, vitamin D
  • Optimize nutrients
  • Adjust thyroid hormone replacement
  • Take T3 directly as last resort
[32:09] How to find a knowledgeable doctor

  • Contact Elle through website for free resources
  • Natural Thyroid Yahoo! Group ‘good doc’ list
  • Search ‘functional medicine doctors,’ ‘anti-aging doctors,’ or ‘integrating MDs’
  • Find a doctor who is malleable and educate them
  • Look at Foresman’s site and match credentials
  • Avoid endocrinologists
  • Educate yourself – never simply accept a pill
[37:10] Why Elle chose the title, The Paleo Thyroid Solution

  • Primal connections involved
  • Paleo lifestyle ultimate in glucose and adrenal management
  • Essential to thyroid health (including sex hormones)
  • Diet most appropriate for humans
  • Reverses thyroid disorders naturally

 Learn More About Elle Russ

The Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ

Primal Blueprint Podcast

Paleo Thyroid Solution Podcast

Resources Mentioned

 Primal Blueprint Podcast: Dr. Gary Foresman

 Primal Blueprint Podcast: Cara and Jimmy Haun

The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne and Robb Wolf

A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol by Eileen Laird

Natural Thyroid Yahoo! Group

Stop the Thyroid Madness by Janie A. Bowthorpe

Stop the Thyroid Madness Website

Dr. Foresman’s Website




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