Your thyroid plays a part in nearly every metabolic process and when the thyroid isn’t working you won’t feel well!
The thyroid secretes several hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4, but there are others, including T3 and even lesser known T1 and T2. It requires adequate selenium, iodine, zinc, B vitamins and antioxidants for optimal function. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development. Unfortunately, the thyroid gland is uniquely sensitive to drugs and environmental chemicals, which may affect proper function.
It’s estimated that as many as 25 million Americans have a thyroid problem, and half of them have no idea that they do. Hypothyroidism, or an under-active thyroid, accounts for 90% of all thyroid imbalances.
Often, at first, you barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain. You might simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Below is a small list of symptoms. You can also complete our Hypothyroid Symptom Checklist. If you have several of the items listed, you may be hypothyroid.
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Muscle aches and pain
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slower heart rate
- Depressed mood
- Impaired memory or “brain fog”
Other conditions that may be associated with thyroid dysfunction
- Infertility or frequent miscarriage
- Irregular periods
- Low libido
- Fluid retention
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent headaches
- Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s, etc.)
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
10 tips to support a healthy thyroid
*Always consult with your healthcare provider before using supplements.*
Eliminate gluten from your diet! One in three patient’s with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are sensitive to gluten.
Wild caught fish, like salmon, supply ample omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for optimal thyroid function. If you don’t eat fish frequently, you can supplement with a high quality Omega3 supplement.
Get plenty of sunlight and take Vitamin D3 to optimize your vitamin D levels.
Adrenal adaptogens like ashwaganda will help thyroid function as well as treat adrenal fatigue. Thyroid and adrenal dysfunction typically go hand in hand.
Dandelion greens, carrots, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and sweet potatoes are all rich sources of essential Vitamin A.
Use organic coconut oil in your cooking — it’s great for high heat cooking and sautéing many different meats and vegetables.
Filter your drinking water from chlorine and fluoride, which suppress the thyroid and block iodine.
Find daily ways to detox. Try using a sauna or taking an epsom salt bath to help your body detoxify from chemical exposures (petrochemicals, PCBs, pesticides, and mercury).
Work on lowering stress levels through daily gratitude, prayer, meditation, yoga, deep breathing!
Don’t forget that environmental toxins may be poisoning your thyroid!
Many environmental factors have the potential to impact thyroid function. Some of these factors include:
Isoflavones (phytoestrogens), found in soy proteins, are thyroid peroxidase inhibitors.
Pesticides induce glucuronidation of T4 and reduce T4 half-life.
Bisphenol A—used in plastics, as resins for coating food cans, and as dental sealants—antagonizes T3 activation of the thyroid hormone b-receptor in rats, causing a thyroid hormone resistance–like syndrome.
Keep your home free from these and other toxic chemicals.
A prescription for hypothyroidism
If you are truly hypothyroid, nutritional supplementation will help, but you may still need to replace your abnormally low levels of thyroid hormones. Call us for comprehensive thyroid lab testing including: TSH, free T4, free T3, reverse T3, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOs), and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). An ultrasound to evaluate the appearance of the thyroid is necessary if you are experiencing symptoms of enlarged thyroid or nodules. There are many safe and effective ways to replace your thyroid hormone depending on your specific type of hypothyroidism. Our treatment plans never stop at just simply taking a pill every morning. Thyroid issues are linked to your adrenal glands, gut health, food sensitivities, immune system, blood sugar and stress levels. We have the ability to look at all of those and find an individualized plan for you!