Do You Have Thyroid Issues?

 In Blog, Integrative Medicine, Women's Health

Do you have thyroid issues? Are You “Low Thyroid”? Do you have Hashimoto’s disease?

Do you find yourself suffering from chronic depression, fatigue, digestive problems, or strange weight gain? Might you have had your doctor test your thyroid but were told it was “normal”.

These are just a few of the symptoms that might indicate a low thyroid condition. Others include dry skin and hair, poor sleep, low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), low immune function, constipation, joint stiffness, nervousness, allergies, mental sluggishness, PMS, fibrocystic breast disease, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Some estimates say that over 60% of people with thyroid problems aren’t diagnosed. That’s a lot.

Your body produces thyroid hormone starting in the brain, by having your brain tell the thyroid what to do. From the first step to the point of having actual thyroid hormone takes ten steps. Each part of production can go wrong. Normally your doctor will only measure what your brain is doing, a test called the TSH level. When this level is too high, it means that your thyroid isn’t working. But many other issues aren’t diagnosed by that test. You can measure antibodies to your thyroid, and the amount of thyroid hormone your body is actually producing. There are 10 possible places that thyroid production can go wrong in your body, and only one of them is reflected in the TSH level.

There’s a lot to say about thyroid problems. But for the sake of this column, I’d like to keep it simple and provide you with some suggestions if you’re concerned about your thyroid and would like some ideas. If you are interested in learning more, two of my favorite books on the topic are – “Hashimotos Thyroiditis – Lifestyle Interventions for Treating the Root Cause”, Dr. Izabella Wentz and “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal” – Datis Kharrazian DC. They each offer information and practical solutions that will make sense.

How to overcome thyroid problems

Your diet as always seems to make a lot of difference in how your body works. It is true for thyroid problems too. Here are three key suggestions for thriving with thyroid issues.

1. Go Gluten free.- This may seem intimidating, I know. But when your health is at stake, it will be easier. Studies show a strong connection between gluten and Hashimoto’s. Also, gluten promotes inflammation and leaky gut problems which can destroy our immune system. The benefits of feeling better will soon seem much more important than a bagel or a donut.

2. Begin Eating an Autoimmune diet – This one is just a little more intense. Basically it means avoiding all foods that might cause inflammation in your body. Just to name a few, this could include dairy, eggs, sugar, and all processed foods. Research now is showing that sugar really is one of the worst foods you can eat for your immune system among other things. My friend JJ Virgin can make this easy for you, her book, the Virgin Diet, lays out how to eliminate the 7 most common foods that cause allergic reactions. She also has a great cookbook – The Virgin Diet Cookbook -http://bit.ly/1j8ELUE.

3. Stabilize your Blood Sugar – Maintaining a balanced blood sugar is huge for Hashimotos, and many other health concerns. Sugars and refined carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to go up and then come crashing down. When blood sugar goes up and down without staying balanced you’re more prone to inflammation, hormone imbalances, fatigue after meals, loss of energy, belly fat, and sleep problems. Never skip a meal, especially breakfast and cut back on carbs in order to keep your blood sugar stable.

Obviously I can’t cover everything there is to know about thyroid problems in this brief article. Hopefully you have some thoughts about whether you need further information and some guidelines about where to find it.

 

 

 

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