Could your symptoms be due to a thyroid imbalance?
Maybe you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition and you don’t know if there is anything you can do to restore or improve it’s function?
Below are diagrams which outline typical hypothyroid (underactive symptoms) and hyperthyroid (overactive symptoms). These are not a complete list and you may not experience all of them.
What does the thyroid do?
This little butterfly shape gland sits on your trachea but has a very important role in making our thyroid hormone which controls our cellular metabolism (the speed at which our body functions).
Disruption to our thyroid can come about from stress, toxins in environment such as plastics and perfumes and other hormone disrupting chemicals including fluoride, Heavy Metals/ Pesticide/herbicide exposure, viruses such as Epstein Barr, lack of thyroid supporting nutrients (see below) & probably the most common reason – stress!
An imbalance of the HPA axis (hypo pituitary adrenal) can mean an imbalance of another hormone eg adrenal, sex hormones or thyroid and can impact on the others, particularly during the change into menopause.
I see quite a few ladies with thyroid issues at this time of life.
I myself, was diagnosed in 2018 with Hashimotos hypothyroidism (autoimmune version) after feeling pretty damn awful, lacking energy, cold at times, breathless due to anaemia, I had put on a lot of weight, was puffy and inflamed looking, had painful plantar fasciitus, heart arrythmias.
I’m thankful to say that after following my own Metabolic Balance personalised Nutrition Plan and taking some nutritional and herbal supplements it is now in remission (normal autoantibody levels, no more plantar fasciitis,I now have more energy to do all I need to do. I’m now at a healthy weight and I feel and look so much better. This insiduous health issue often goes undetected unless thyroid autoantibodies are requested when doing a thyroid blood test.
It’s important to know if your hypothyroid symptoms are caused by autoimmunity as dietary factors like avoiding gluten, some dairy, processed foods and sugar is essential to assist recovery as leaky gut is involved with any autoimmune process and needs addressing to help heal it and reduce autoimmune antibodies. Avoiding over consumption of goitrogenic foods (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc. & especially kale if hypothyroid). These pesky little things actually turn your body against itself and actually damage the organ affected, in this case the thyroid gland.
Along with thyroid supporting nutrients such as selenium (crucial for the conversion of t4 (inactive form to t3 active thyroid hormone form) and often depleted with thyroid imbalances it is one of the essential nutrients to aid recovery.
Vitamin D is also essential and often low when testing is done. It’s crucial to our immune system and conversion to the active form of thyroid hormones.
Vitamin A (particularly where taking thyroxine and still not feeling better) aids the hormone getting into the cells to be utilised. Iron also helps t3 get into cells, so make your your iron levels are optimum.
Iodine, Zinc, Magnesium, vitamin C/ E, Tyrosine, Inositol, B vitamins are other required nutrients.
Herbs such as Withania, Rehmannia, Hemidesmus, Echinacea can help support and may help to modulate the immune response (last 2 herbs). For Hyperthyroidism Lemon Balm,
The ability to lose weight can be affected if you are hypothyroid so make sure that is ruled out.
Look at your stress levels & implement changes to support reducing them such as seeking help spread the load of duties at home. Practice deep breathing nice and slow into your belly at least once a day. Learn mindfulness, meditation (guided meditation is a great place to start). There are plenty of apps you can download to help such as Calm, Breethe, Insight Timer etc. Do not overexercise as it depletes the thyroid further. Instead go for walks each day and get fresh air. Yoga is very gentle & restorative for the thyroid. Drink filtered water. Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep as this is the rest and repair time for our body’s.
Seen in the other diagram is levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which is all that is typically ordered in a regular blood test and if within the vast range of 0.5-5.0 considered to be functioning ok by Drs. However as Naturopaths we know that anything over 2.0 may indicate a labouring thyroid which definitely needs support with the above nutrients/herbs/ dietary & lifestyle changes to aid recovery and restore balance.
If you think your health issues may be due to a thyroid imbalance I can help support you to get things sorted and working optimally and empower you to take control of your health so you feel well again with the above treatments and simple lifestyle/ dietary changes to lead the life you want to lead. As a side benefit weight loss will naturally occur from getting your thyroid working better. This is where a truly personalised Metabolic Balance Nutritional Program (to your blood biochemistry) provides the best tool to achieve optimal wellness and release excess weight if desired. It worked fabulously for me with a loss of 17kg in 5 months and has helped many of my clients with thyroid issues finally release excess kilos after struggling for years without success. There is no need to struggle anymore! Book in now!
These are general thyroid support recomendations. It is advised that a personalised approach is the most effective way to get well again.
I have recently completed extra Certified ‘THYROID RECOVERY’ Practitioner training under a top Australian Naturopath so that I can now provide the best strategies and support to get your thyroid working optimally again and get you feeling well to live your best life possible! Book in for a free 15 phone consult to find out how I can help you (or if you know you are ready to start, book an initial Naturopathic Consultation) via the book a consult button.
How to minimize your toxin exposure to help your health and especially your thyroid.
We live in a very toxic world, with daily exposures of hundreds of different chemicals. This places a toxic load on our body’s which can build up leading to disrupting not our hormones produced by our endocrine system which includes our sex and thyroid hormones, blood sugar balance and adrenal hormones. It also places a heavier burden on our liver, our major detoxification organ.
Where do all these exposures come from?
– the water we drink – if not filtered it is full of chlorine and fluoride which block thyroid hormone production and disrupt hormones and is carcinogenic.
– swimming pools are chemical cocktails, particularly chlorine and bromine.
– air – cars, industry, smelters, smoke, cities
– food – processed foods and if non organic fruits and vegetables contain traces of pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, colours and chemical derivatives
– personal care products – perfumes, make up, shampoos, lotions, soaps, deodorants – women are more affected than men to to using more of these sort of products. Teens are particularly vulnerable as they are still growing and start exposing themselves to many of these products.
– furniture, new cars, carpets, building supplies, electrical devices, computers , phone batteries – all off-gas chemicals. Think of that new car smell!.
– plastics – plastic containers (especially when heated leach toxic chemicals into the food) and platic wrap that most processed food come in also leach into the food.
These are just some of our daily exposures and can be the trigger for many diseases including thyroid disease. The thyroid acts like a filter for toxins and many toxins act to block the thyroids ability to use iodine to makes its hormones.
Toxicity in our environment is prolific and can be hard to totally avoid, but there are many ways to reduce our exposure:
1. Eat organic as much as possible. See the list Dirty dozen (best to buy organic) and clean 15 (can be washed thoroughly with veggie wash or soaked in vinegar and is then ok to eat).
2. Filter all your drinking water
3. Eat a whole food, unprocessed diet. Buy bulk and dispense into glass jars to minimize plastic wrapping.
4. Switch to more natural or organic personal care products such as make up.
5. Ditch the perfume and swap for essential oils or more natural scents.
6.Store food in glass jars, pyrex etc, eliminate use of plastics, including plastic drink bottles (swap for glass or stainless steel).
7. Air any appliances, cars, furniture before use.
8. Consider doing a yearly detox to clear and minimize toxins ensuring your natural detox capacities are working at their best. Working in harmony with nature means Spring is the logical time for to do this however you can do a detox any time of the year.
Start with one change a month and build up from there. Even small changes can make a big difference to your health and prevention of disease.