At a recent short talk on the basics of nutrition I asked how many people know someone with a thyroid problem.
Out of 20 people about 13 raised their hands.
The thyroid is a complex arena and as usual it seems that conventional medicine is slightly behind the times.
Here are some key points from Mary Shomon who has been writing and guiding people on holistic thyroid care since 1995:
- Women are affected eight to ten times more than men often during or after pregnancy, pre-menopause and menopause
- Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, hair loss, depression, and sudden weight gain despite healthy eating and consistent movement
- Thyroid testing is not part of an annual physical, you have to ask for it
- TSH is the most commonly used test for the Thyroid but doesn't provide a complete picture of thyroid health
- It is vital to utilize several tests (Free T3 Triiodothyronine & thyroid antibody handle for autoimmune disease) get a number result, and understand the range of what is healthy, what is borderline, and what is unhealthy
- Thyroid disorders are often linked to autoimmune disorders
- To reduce chances of triggering an autoimmune disorder it is vital to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, be mindful of external toxins, and keep stress in check
- The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and can be effected by malfunctions in other parts the body like sex hormones, adrenal glands, digestive process, and immune system
- Additional clues your thyroid is out of balance include irregularity in thyroid shape, very slow or very quick reflexes, puffiness under the eyes or swelling of hands/feet, unusually low blood pressure, and thinning outer edge of the eyebrows
- It is important to find out if there is a family history of thyroid troubles as this increases risk
If hypothyroidism is present what are some effective strategies to support the thyroid gland?
- Some degree of medication for a temporary time
- Ensure iodine is not too high or not too low
- Make sure cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, and cauliflower are steamed or cooked well as in their raw form they slow down the thyroid
- Manage stress
- Reduce inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, and overly processed junk
- Create a movement routine which doesn't exhaust and helps shed the pounds while keeping the body relaxed
- Explore additional supplements like vitamin D, B complex, and selenium
If the thyroid is malfunctioning it can create an immense amount of havoc for the body.