Is your thyroid to blame?
Is it just me or are we hearing more often than not these days of many people who have thyroid disorders? I would say that at least half of my clients have some kind of under-active thyroid condition that is adversely affecting their energy levels, weight, moods, and digestion.
Women are affected more than men and it is estimated that one woman in eight will develop a thyroid problem in her life and women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid dysfunction. This super important gland regulates metabolism, which keeps us at a healthy weight. It also keeps our moods happy and balanced, and helps us sleep deeply, and our digestion flowing. When any one of these things is out of whack, we simply don’t feel like ourselves.
Hypothyroidism is the most common reason for a visit to the doctor when thyroid issues are suspected. Most often blood tests are used to diagnose the problem and one of the tests might be for TSH which measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone. Other tests might be total T4 (total thyroxine) Free T4 or total or free T3.
When too little TH is released, the body’s metabolic rate decreases, and the body slows down. Hypothyroidism often goes undiagnosed because its symptoms are often mistaken for or attributed to other conditions. Symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight gain even with proper diet and exercise
- Depression and exhaustion
- Cold feet/hands – tingling in hands/arms
- Dry and/or pale skin, coarse, thinning hair and brittle nails
- Puffy eyes
- Memory loss and poor concentration
- Thinning on the outside of the eyebrows
When too much TH is released, the body’s metabolic rate increases, and your metabolism speeds up. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include: palpitations, heat intolerance, nervousness, insomnia, breathlessness, increased bowel movements, fast heart rate, weight loss, muscle weakness, warm moist skin.
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by nodules composed of thyroid cells that produce thyroid hormone without regard to the body’s need. It can also develop during or after pregnancy and may be caused by Graves’ disease. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may also result from over treatment of hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone or from thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid gland, which leads to an overproduction of
There are many reasons why our thyroids may malfunction: Mercury from dental amalgams and other sources, blocks an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase which converts T4 to T3. This is potentially a very significant issue. Fluoride and chlorine found in our water supply are major endocrine disrupters.
Both fluoride and chlorine belong to a group of elements known as halogens and are chemically related. Iodine is a halogen too but fluorine is much more active. Both fluoride and chlorine block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland.
Clearly there are some huge issues that need to be addressed and while treating the symptoms of the condition might make a lot of money for pharmaceutical companies, we should be looking to the environment for answers.
Here’s a Quick Home Test to check your Basal Body Temperature if you suspect you have an under or over active thyroid.
You will need a thermometer for this test
Plan to take the test first thing in the morning after you wake up, because it’s important to measure temperature after you have had adequate rest. Before going to sleep, if you are not using a digital thermometer shake down a regular thermometer and place it by your bed.
> Immediately upon waking, place the thermometer in your armpit (if using a regular thermometer keep it there for a full 10 minutes without getting out of bed). Hold your elbow close to your side to keep the thermometer in place.
> Read and record the temperature and date.
> Repeat the test for at least three mornings (preferably at the same time of day & not during menstruation).
If your temperature is consistently 36.4oC to 36.8oC (Celsius) or between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit, you have a well-functioning thyroid gland. If below temperature, this may indicate hypothyroidism and you may need to take urgent measures to bring it up to speed.
Note: Menstruating women must perform the test on the second, third, and fourth days of menstruation. Men and postmenopausal women can perform the test at any time.
How to Support Thyroid Health
There are several ways to help support the thyroid, such as:
Iodine Rich Foods
Promote thyroid to make more thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, i.e. help with energy and weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight.
- Kelp / Seaweed (found in the Asian aisle of the health food store)
Selenium deficiency is a major factor in thyroid disorders. It maintains production of various thyroid hormones produced in the thyroid gland.
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Sunflower Seeds
- Brazil Nuts
Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3s
- Fish Oil
- Dark leafy greens
- Chia seeds
Coconut Butter and Coconut Oil
Raw saturated fat that contains essential fatty acids that promote thyroid health. The fat in these foods is quickly converted to energy, which helps regulate thyroid function. This is why coconut oil and coconut butter can help you lose weight because they contain the good fats that help you burn the bad fats.
Copper and Iron Rich Foods
- Organ Meats
- Red meat
- Leafy Greens
Food can be medicine or the slowest form of poison. Adding these five food groups in will give you thyroid the essential nutrients it needs to thrive and that translates for you to mental clarity, perfect digestion, a balanced weight, and abundant energy!
For anyone interested in reading more about thyroid health – the best book on the subject is “Solved: The Riddle of Illness” by Stephen Langer MD.