A small gland located in your neck that truly powers the entire body. In fact, every cell has a receptor for thyroid hormone. When the thyroid is functioning optimally you feel energetic and positive. When it’s off you feel totally opposite. Cell replication depends on the right amount and type of thyroid hormone. Every cell needs exactly the right amount.
Hypothyroidism is low thyroid hormone and leaves you depressed, listless, cold with brain fog and often leads to weight gain. Hyperthyroidism is too much leaving you anxious and ramps up your metabolism, leaving you feeling weak and shaky.
Your thyroid is very affected by sleep, stress and the foods you eat. When your other hormones are out of balance your thyroid takes a hit.
The thyroid interplays with other organs and, as such, works more like a thyroid signaling system – involving the hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid. A true blood panel will test for TSH, regular and reverse T3 and T4.
Many factors influence the balance of your thyroid signaling system – consuming foods that you are allergic to, a lack of thyroid-supportive nutrients, an imbalance of sex or stress hormones, exposure to environmental toxins and sleep deprivation. The biggest culprit is autoimmunity.
An under active thyroid might indicate Hashimoto’s disease where the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid tissue. This condition is often reversed with diet and lifestyle changes. An overactive thyroid might be another autoimmune condition called Graves’ disease. If left untreated, can lead to osteoporosis, heart disease and liver failure. Again dietary and lifestyle changes are needed.
Since the thyroid signaling system interacts with all your other hormones and the signals are off you struggle to manage stress, sexual function drops and you see memory, mood and focus all suffer.
Supporting Thyroid Function:
1. Boosting Thyroid:
Focus On Nutrients:
To keep your thyroid signaling system functioning optimally you need the following:
– Iodine and protein. Iodine is a key building block of thyroid hormone. Sources include sea vegetables like kelp and seaweed. Protein such as high quality grass fed beef and wild-caught fish keeps you sated and reduces the blood sugar roller coaster.
– Iron, selenium and zinc. These minerals support proper function. Iron helps make iodine, selenium helps regulate excessive immune responses and zinc supports white blood cell production. Good sources include grass fed beef, spinach, pork and Brazil nuts ( high in selenium).
– Omega 3 fats. These are needed for cell walk integrity. Good sources include cold water fish, flax oil and seeds and chia seeds.
– Vitamin A. Helps T3 enter your cells. Good sources include orange vegetables and fruits such as carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, mangoes and apricots.
– B Vitamins and vitamin D. B vitamins ( grass fed beef, broccoli, green leafy vegetables and beets are good sources) are needed for mitochondrial function,vitamin D helps promote T-cell production. Vitamin D comes mainly from sun exposure or supplements or from fatty fish and portobello mushrooms.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods:
Autoimmunity develops when your comprised immune system starts attacking you. Assaults come from food intolerances, ongoing infections, environmental toxins and chronic stress. Because 80% of your immune system is housed in the gut, a damaged gut is a very common source of chronic inflammation. To heal thyroid function you need to heal leaky gut syndrome – one of the primary triggers for all autoimmune disease.
Leaky gut occurs in the lining of the small intestine where undigested proteins leak into the bloodstream. This jacks up the alert status of the immune system. To heal leaky gut eliminate processed foods and sugars, gluten ( a highly inflammatory protein found in grains) that mimics thyroid tissue setting off autoimmune reactions, conventional dairy that contains casein and growth hormones which are huge thyroid and endocrine disrupters, nightshades ( grains, legumes and soy ) can aggravate autoimmune issues.
Exposure to industrial chemicals that saturate our air, water and soil get into our food sources. They can also be found in cleaning and health care products, home furnishings and more. To protect our thyroid we need to reduce our exposure to toxins and improve our body’s ability to detoxify.
Prevention – reducing exposure by:
Cleaning your air with a HEPA filter.
Filter all your water.
Eat organic and pasture raised foods.
Use organic plant-based body care products.
Remove mercury amalgams.
Detoxification: How to support your body’s ability to rid the toxins.
Check for any gene mutations through gene testing in order to determine the needed supplements to support detox.
Eat a non-inflammatory diet to support liver function.
Heal your gut.
Support your body’s natural daily detox by exercising and sweating.
Stress disrupts thyroid and immune function in many ways, including by slowing the production of thyroid hormone and weakening thyroid receptors. Magnesium, vitamin C and B complex help to rebuild depleted reserves.
Find the right balance of stimulating exercise combined with yoga and some form of meditation.
You need deep and regular sleep. Lack of sleep elevates your stress hormones like cortisol.
Good sleep hygiene includes:
– Get adequate natural light to help reset and regulate your circadian rhythms.
– Go to bed and get up about the sane time each day.
– After sundown, use amber light bulbs and avoid screens.
– Keep your bedroom dark and cool.
– Remove all electronics from your bedroom.