The Importance of Your Thyroid Health Before You Get Pregnant with Dr. Rodger H. Murphree, DC, CNS

podcast May 20, 2022

 “The two primary drivers of chronic conditions and poor health are stress and inflammation.”

Topics Discussed:

🦩 Improper diagnosis and treatment of thyroid.

🦩 How stress triggers dysfunctional thyroid.

🦩 How thyroid regulates good health.

If you’re struggling to get pregnant, have you checked your thyroid health? Your thyroid is responsible for regulating your health and when you’re stressed and inflamed, it can lead to chronic issues like thyroid dysfunction which cause infertility issues.

In this episode of the Finding Fertility podcast, we speak with Dr. Rodger H. Murphree, a board-certified chiropractic physician, and nutritional specialist. His “Murphree Method,” a combination of functional and orthomolecular medicine, has helped thousands of patients get healthy and feel good again.

Listen in to learn how stress triggers dysfunctional thyroid which later magnifies infertility issues. You will also learn the importance of your thyroid in regulating good health and how compromising it can lead to chronic issues.

“Every function in the body is dependent on an optimally functioning thyroid and once that thyroid becomes compromised, every system in the body slows down."

Episode Highlights:

  • [2:28] Get to know Dr. Rodger and his passion for thyroid health over the last 20 years.
  • [3:27] He describes how his personal health experience led him to functional medicine.
  • [6:20] Rodger on the opening up of functional medicine after years of resistance.
  • [9:42] The telltale symptoms of thyroid dysfunction and why the thyroid disconnect exists in healthcare.
  • [13:24] How stress triggers dysfunctional thyroid which magnifies infertility.
  • [17:39] The importance of the thyroid in regulating good health and how its compromise can lead to several symptoms.
  • [22:03] How fixing your thyroid health can possibly deal with infertility and lead to pregnancy.

Connect with Dr. Rodger:


Listen here: The Importance of Your Thyroid Health Before You Get Pregnant with Dr. Rodger H. Murphree, DC, CNS

🌺 Download your FREE Guide: Top 3 Steps to Maximise Your Fertility That Your Doctor Isn't Talking About

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Full Transcript: 

Hello beautiful and welcome to finding fertility. I'm your host, Monica Cox from finding And I created this podcast to help get you to start thinking outside of the box and realise that your infertility might have nothing to do with your lady bits rooted in functional medicine and personal experience. Finding fertility is all about looking at the whole body and finding the root cause of your infertility. Finding fertility does not diagnose, prescribe or treat any issues of infertility. But what we do is take a holistic approach and improve your diet and your lifestyle to get you steps closer to creating your dream family. Just by being here with me listening to this podcast, you're already going down the right path to making your dreams come true. Let's do this together. Happy Friday. Oh, welcome back to another episode of finding fertility. I'm super excited to have Roger with us. He is a bucket of knowledge. And I'm just gonna let him introduce himself.

Well, thanks, appreciate it. Mark. I'm delighted to be here and get to talk about a subject that I'm really love talking about. Because I think it for a lot of people, it's kind of the missing piece of the puzzle, whether that's, you know, problem with infertility issues, fibromyalgia, brain fog, anxiety, depression. But, you know, today we're gonna talk about thyroid. So thyroid disorders, and this is something that has been near and dear to me. For the last 20 years specialising in functional medicine and fibromyalgia, I would say probably 70% of patients that I work with, have a an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed or mistreated thyroid issue that's compromising their health.

Yeah, exactly. So when you decided that you wanted to be a doctor, did you go the Western way first? Or what was your How was your journey into the functional medicine side of things?

I never do things easy. So you know, I was I was really interested in health in college, I was a triathlete and got injured. And I was doing some research work for the University of Alabama, Birmingham, here in Birmingham, Alabama, for the neurosurgery department. And I really thought about going to med school and most of my family's in medicine, traditional medicine. But something about it just didn't feel right. And what really was the final straw was, you know, went and tried to get help for this injury. And all they could offer was some PT, which was somewhat helpful, but mainly pain medications and muscle relaxers, and you know, you can't do a 25 mile bike ride if you're numbed up on muscle relaxers and pain pills. So I found out about this thing called chiropractic. I never really knew anything about it. But I saw a local chiropractor and he was able to get me straightened down. And a couple of weeks, I was back competing again. I thought, wow, I kind of like this whole natural thing. And so for many years, I just did hands on chiropractic, graduated for chiropractic school in 1990. And, wow, 32 years. We don't want to date ourselves. Yeah. So, you know, for the first 12 years, I was happy, just do hands on chiropractic, had had five clinics, you know, and really love that. But what I saw was that, you know, just doing the hands on wasn't enough people needed to change their diet. They were looking for answers for conditions that medicine, traditional medicine just couldn't provide the answers. And so I started sharing more and more about nutritional therapy. And that led to me really get intrigued to functional medicine testing and then beginning certified in it. And so for the last 20 years, my practice has been more about biochemistry than you know, hands on physical therapy. And my practice has evolved now to where well 100% Now is all by phone or Zoom since I've gone to all telemedicine now in the last few years.

Yeah, what a journey and it's so amazing that you have that personal experience. And I mean, you were like I don't want to sound weird or whatever, but like awake a long, long time ago where those practices still are looked at as like quacky but like back then you would have definitely been like the hippie on the reserve, you know, with the flower powers and stuff, right? So it's like really hats off to like just following that intuition. Because it's really hard to do when there's you know, the majority of society around you going well, you You can't prove that. And at the time, a lot of it wasn't proven right?

Well, I think there was a lot of proof to chiropractic. But unfortunately, it met with a lot of resistance. It still does today. But I really credit, cut my profession chiropractic with really kind of opening up functional medicine, I think we really were the ones and natural paths as well. But there's so many more chiropractors, the natural grass, or at least there were 30 years ago, we really were the trailblazers that got other physicians interested in first it was alternative medicine, then it was, you know, holistic medicine, then it became integrative medicine for a number of years ahead, integrated medical practice with five medical doctors who worked for me, on the campus of Brooklyn hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama, we had a huge clinic. And, and even then, I was just thinking, you know, would this have even happened? Had my colleagues that came before me really, you know, wave the flag of, hey, there's other options, you know, drug therapy and surgery are certainly, you know, we need them, but thankfully, we haven't. But there are other options that need to be discussed as well. So, and here we are, you know,

yeah, exactly. Well, I'm incredibly grateful for you guys. Have you read the book? The Biology of Belief? No, I'm

not a sales entering I like to tell ya,

it's it's Bruce Lipton. He's a PhD, Bruce. Yeah, no, yeah. Yeah. It's you would love that book. And his, you know, he comes from a very scientific background. And he even admits, during his Western training that they were, they told them in class, do not listen to this hackery. It's, you know, it's all crazy and all that. And he had an accident, like yourself, and no one can fix them. And he was like, I think he was on some like Island teaching or something. And one of his students was like, You should go see a chiropractor. And so he was like, desperate to do anything, you know, to fix himself. So he did and that he said, that just changed the course of his whole life. And yeah, he, his book is amazing. I think you'd really enjoy it.

Yeah, I'm gonna order it since we finished Yeah. Well, everyone should read it really, it

was it changes many lives. Um, so the thyroid? My big thing? You know, I know, I would say more than baseline knowledge of the thyroid. It wasn't my issue. I didn't have to study the thyroid to help figure out my infertility. But through my studies, and through autoimmune issues, it's very obvious that the thyroid plays such an important part in fertility. And I am always God smacked how all of my clients who come to me their doctors, like you say, are not looking into it, Miss diagnosing it, telling them it's not a big issue, just do IVF no big deal. And, you know, the results are usually not very good with IVF. And if you do get pregnant with IVF, the impact on your you know, your pregnancy is huge. Why do you think there is this disconnect between the healthcare system not really recognising the importance of thyroid health?

Yes, sure. Great question. And you know, and it's a very big question, you know, it's pretty broad. Just infertility, as you know, yes. Yeah. It's across the board. And unfortunately, most of the individuals who have a common thyroid are females Hashimotos thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks the thyroid tissue erroneously. It's the number one cause of thyroid, females have more are more likely to have autoimmune disease. But you know, there's a, there's definitely a disconnect because and I saw this early on, I would see I would hear people's history, they would share this with me, and I would see that they've got you know, the lateral throat of their eyebrows are falling out, the hairs falling out, dry skin, brittle nails, high cholesterol, no energy, you know, just no energy, can't lose weight, no matter what they eat or donate brain fog, tingling in their hands and feet, cold hands and feet. These are these are the telltale symptoms of a dysfunctional thyroid. And they would go to their doctor usually multiple doctors because of my specialty is fibromyalgia and you know, they'd see half a dozen to a dozen doctors before they ever got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia but they chair the symptoms. And the physician says oh, we're gonna run some blood work. It sounds like it's probably your thyroid. But the bloodwork would come back normal. Now, the reason why I came back normal is because they doing a very limited test. So they were looking at maybe thyroid stimulating hormone or T four. And that's it. And there's several lab test markers that need to be looked at. But they would do these basic tests that say, oh, Monica, everything looks good. Why don't we put you on some Adderall to get you some more energy and since you're gonna have so anxious is put you on some Klonopin, you know, and before you know it, they're on 3456 different drugs to treat the symptoms, when the cause is it's their thyroid. And but no one was really willing to go the extra mile to, to acknowledge that or test for. And part of that is, if you do if you're over aggressive treating thyroid, and you don't have a thyroid condition, it can accelerate ageing, you can cause elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, you know, things of this nature. And so many doctors, they got that memo years ago, partly because I think, you know, a couple of decades ago, it was kind of in vogue to put people on thyroid to help them lose weight, and have some issues with it. But if you weigh the benefits and cons, it's an easy decision to put somebody on thyroid and just really make sure they don't have any kind of issues. I rarely ever see anybody have a problem being on thyroid medication. Even if they have a thing called euthyroid syndrome, which is all their blood work is normal, but they have all the symptoms of low thyroid. That's called euthyroid syndrome. Even those individuals oftentimes need thyroid medication, or over the counter supplements to get their thyroid to work correctly.

Now, is it true that when you are overusing thyroid medication, your body just starts to rely on that medication? And kind of is like, well, I don't have to do this anymore. And like, the longer you're on that thyroid medication, like the harder it is to come off of that medication?

Well, a couple of things. One is I really believe thyroid hormone replacement therapy is really just that. It's no different than oestrogen replacement, or progesterone or testosterone if you know for your man or woman. So I think it's something that you can be deficient in for several different reasons. And being on that hormone to me is different than being on Losartan like a blood pressure medication. If you have a deficiency in a hormone, I mean, you need that hormone to operate correctly. So but your other part of that question is once you start those prescription hormones, do you have to stay on them? You know, or does your body kick in? And usually, though, Monica, once you're on those medications, you have to stay on them. But again, as a natural oriented position, I don't associate that as drug therapy, I think you're better to be on this hormone, you know, even if you take it by prescription than if you're not on it, and you need it.

Yeah. And do you help tackle like the root cause? Because usually, it's just not a thyroid issue, right. Like, with my clients, I see. It's usually one or the other sometimes. Next one is like massive gut issues. Like, you know, you're talking SIBO leaky gut, and that she's really having a big impact on your hormones and that and then the other one is stress. It's like purely stress, right, like, and, and a lot of times that those clients are dealing with secondary infertility, and I think they didn't realise they were having thyroid issues got pregnant naturally. And then their pregnancy really tipped them over the edge. And you know, their doctors like okay, well, here's some thyroid medication. And that's it. We're not tackling anything from a root cause. And they're doing IUI and IVF. And it's not working. And then they finally come to me and I'm like, well, you're stressed out and you have a toddler, like your thyroid needs some support here. So where do you kind of see or how do you help tackle it naturally with your clients?

So with my patients, as you know, with fibromyalgia, about 70% of them have a problem their thyroid, as I mentioned, it's not been properly diagnosed or treated. And it's just a it's really just doing good detective work, good bloodwork to see what's going on with us individuals. But stress is the catalyst you know this for your clients. I mean, this if you were to ask any any health care professional, they would if they're going to be candid, they would tell you that the two primary drivers of chronic conditions and poor health are stress and inflammation and they go hand in hand. And in regards to thyroid, the number one trigger for disc Functional thyroid is stress. Yeah, so and what can be more stressful than you're trying to get pregnant and you can't get pregnant for whatever reason, maybe you're already under a tremendous amount of stress. Yeah, that's creating the problem. And now that stress becomes even more magnified, because you're beating yourself up because you can't get pregnant. You know, it's, it's this vicious cycle that you get in that, for whatever reason you got run down, maybe you're not sleeping, well, maybe you're in an environment that's toxic, whatever. But whatever it is, that stress causes your body to be compromised, and its ability to run itself properly. And then when you get in that state, though, Now, anytime you're under stress, it's magnified. So how do you there's no drug for that? Right? There's no, you can't drug your way out of stress, right?

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think that's why people feel like they're failing. Even if they're like on these perfect diets. They're taking all this supplementation, they might even be on thyroid medication, and they still are having normal, not normal, but very common issues, and then to the extreme if they are dealing with fertility issues, or even getting worse into digging themselves in more into their disease. Right. And then obviously, that adds more stress. And yeah, definitely.

Well, you know, thyroid, your thyroid controls, every cell, every function in the body is dependent on optimally functioning thyroid. And once that thyroid becomes compromised, every system in the body slows down. So when, in the case of infertility issues, you know, the symptoms, you can't get pregnant, you know, everything slows down, your immune system slows down, so you become susceptible to chronic sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, your digestion slows down. So maybe you start to develop problems with SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or leaky gut or food allergies, or IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, where you're constipated, everything slows down, including your body's ability to heal itself to mend damaged tissue. Your hair starts falling out. I mean, that's, you know, that's pretty traumatic for, for female, probably more so than a male but even a male, that's pretty traumatic. But it just goes to show that the thyroid is so important in regulating good health. And once it's compromised, all sorts of symptoms start to show up.

Yeah, exactly. I mean, in hindsight, I probably did have a thyroid issue. But because the work would have been done, and I would have been like, it's normal, because of maybe I wasn't so over the edge, or they weren't testing antibodies, or any of that. Like I said to you, before, we started recording, there's a woman I follow on tick tock, and she actually was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and she did amazing things to heal herself. And I don't know where she was in her journey, whether she was in full remission or whatnot. But she decided to get pregnant, I think she got pregnant naturally, which was great. And she just popped up on my feet the other day, and you can see the swollen glands again, and she's very honest, and very candid. And she has been doing everything under the sun to really reverse this issue. But from my knowledge, my you know, my mind limited knowledge that pregnancy most likely, just hit her over the edge. Yeah. Would you agree with that?

Yeah, I think, you know, she's dealing already dealing with a thyroid issue, but the stress of falling, maybe, you know, getting pregnant. And just, I mean, now, I'm the man obviously. But, you know, having three kids with my wife, I mean, I know, the kind of stress you deal with as a female, you know, when you get pregnant. I mean, it's incredibly stressful, not to mention what it does to your hormones. So yeah, it's no doubt that getting pregnant was probably the straw that broke the camel's back for her. With her thyroid now, it's now it's back in, you know, in flare.

Yeah. And I mean, this is my big thing. I mean, my if there's one mission that I want is the importance is not just getting pregnant. Like being pregnant is such a, like one of the hardest physical thing that any human has to do. And it's so downplayed in our society, right. Like, you still have to work your 50 Hour Workweek, I mean, if you have kids, you still have to be a full time mom. You know, we're always so on the go in our cultures before us knew how important that time was for the woman and the baby for their health and they were given time to rest and you had aunties and grandmothers in the village too. help you when you were doing this time. And now we have women, you know, just popping back to work two weeks after they've had this baby. And we don't realise that, even though it's a beautiful, amazing act, it's so stressful. And yeah, if you're, if your thyroid like you just said, if it is slow and sluggish and everything else is slow and sluggish, then you're like, Okay, let's grow a baby. Like your thyroids. Like, what the fuck? No, I can't do this. And yeah, the the issues can just, they, it would probably feel like it was like a light switch, like, it just got flipped back on where it was a slow, slow, slow, and then all of a sudden, your body's like, now I can't do it anymore. And people fall off these cliffs very dramatically.

You know, I've kind of thinking back, you know, 2030 years ago, maybe even a decade ago, I was recently a decade ago, fertility doctors thought, oh, it never really came up. I mean, it was just maybe it did, if they you know, but I don't remember that. And that. And it always made sense to me, that if someone couldn't get pregnant, because they were just they were sick. I know, it sounds simplistic, but I mean, they were just so rundown, mentally, or physically, their body just could not handle getting pregnant. It's like you see these elite athletes, these female athletes who try to get pregnant, they can't they don't have a menstrual cycle, because they're under so much physical stress from their sport, that their body is conserving every ounce of leftover energy, and there's not much just, you know, just for survival. So the thought of being able to get pregnant and support another human being, it's just not going to happen. So it always made sense to me to look at, number one, what can we do for this individual, get them as healthy as we can? And then number two, what are some of the underlying issues that are causing them to feel so rundown and to be so stressed and stressed out internally, you know, yeah. And thyroid to me was, you know, just I haven't, I remember the story. I think I'm I've shared it with you on my podcast. But years ago, I had this really sweet young couple on both. He was a patient, she was patient. And they were trying to get pregnant. He was a local minister here of a church that that I periodically went to, and she had been trying to get pregnant and, and so I did some testing on her and found out sure enough that she had a problem with a thyroid gunner on some over the counter thyroid supplements to start with, we found a sympathetic physician that would go in and put her arm or thyroid, which is a combination of T three and T four, kind of how the body makes it. Well, lo and behold, she gets pregnant. And so one day, I'm here at this church, and it's really crowded, you know, there is people are coming out to shake their hand and they you know, thanks for being in the service, that kind of thing. She starts waving and yelling and made and she's saying, Oh, this doctor Murphree, he's the one that got me pregnant. Here, a pin draw, you know, partly because, you know, they knew the journey of this of this lady and her husband, that they've been trying for years to get pregnant. But also, you know, in the context of being a church, you know, yeah. And, you know, but anyway, that we sorted that all out, you know, you know, get tainted with with adultery labelled as an adult. But I've had a couple of cases like that, where they've tried all these things and just fix their thyroid. And next thing, you know, they're getting pregnant.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I think if you have the knowledge, I mean, even just the little bit of knowledge behind it, it's not just one of those things, or it's not a miracle, or it's not a surprise, you know, it's like for me, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system at the bottom of your endocrine system is your ovaries. How can we not make that a very important part of the fragility journey? Right, if if it's a system, if something is off, surely it could be having an effect on the other areas? Yeah. So Well, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your wisdom. Yeah, I just love speaking to you. You're such a great guy. Let our listeners know where they can connect with you. Yeah, I

like to invite everybody that we've got to a summit that's going to be launching coming up really soon in the Fibro summits and that's coming up in May 16 through the 22nd I don't know when this episode will air, which you can find out about more about me and more about thyroid issues and proper testing at super healthy And your fibro

Yeah, definitely. And even if you know someone in your life, you know, even a male or a female that aren't trying to conceive, but are having this issues, I highly suggest going down to the show notes clicking on that link and connecting with Roger because it's just life changing is really life changing. So thank you once again for coming on and I hope to connect with you soon.

Thanks so much fun. Thank you.

Thank you once again for tuning in to the finding fertility podcast. If you're loving this podcast, please leave us a rating in review and let us know how this podcast is supporting you to get steps closer to creating your dream family. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and we will see you next Friday for another episode of the finding fertility podcast

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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.


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