Do you think you have a thyroid issue but keep getting told everything looks normal?
Have you been dealing with thyroid issues for years? Are you on medication but your symptoms just don’t seem to get any better?
In Canada, it is not estimated 1 in 10 people have thyroid disorders but only 50% of these are actually getting diagnosed. To add to this despair, ladies, your risk of developing hypothyroidism is about 10X higher than a male.
Regardless on where you’re at in your thyroid journey, there are things you can start doing now to improve your symptoms.
This is number one because it is the most important step to getting a proper diagnosis. We have lost count the number of times women have come to the office, rhyming-off all their hypothyroid symptoms. Yet their medical doctors have told them their blood work is normal.
The problem here 98% of the time is that the proper testing is not actually being done.
When it comes to testing your thyroid, you need to look at the following:
Often times people are only have TSH checked, leaving out the all-important actual thyroid hormones.
Another issue is comparing health to reference range vs optimal range.
Did you know the lab reference ranges are based on averages, not necessarily what is best for your body?
There are a few lab tests where we ignore the reference range, thyroid levels being one of them. So if you have had testing done and was told everything is fine, it’s possible something was missed.
Both zinc and selenium are crucial components in producing thyroid hormones, as well as proper conversion of T4 to T3 in the tissue. Without them, the process will not work.
You can get 200mcg of selenium per day by eating 2 Brazil nuts per day.
You can get zinc from including pumpkin seeds, oysters, beef and shellfish in your diet.
Bromide, chloride and flouride are halogens that are similar in structure to iodide. If we have too many of these compounds in our system they start to compete with iodine for receptor binding and impact thyroid function.
You can reduce your exposure to these compounds by:
If you have been told you have Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis, meaning your have high Anti-TG or Anti-TPO antibodies causing your hypothyroidism, you need to go gluten free.
There is a strong connection between gluten and autoimmune conditions. Research has specifically shown your thyroid takes the brunt of the damage. Sometimes going gluten-free is enough to reverse your thyroid symptoms completely.
When we hear about endocrine disrupting chemicals we think about their impact on our estrogen. Your thyroid produces hormones as well and they are just as negatively impacted as our estrogen.
You can reduce your exposure by:
Stress might be the number one cause of all issues.
Our inability to destress and being in a constant state of overwhelm has a huge impact on all our hormones, including our thyroid. High cortisol levels impact your thyroid hormone product and conversion, as well as cause an over-activation of your immune system leading to autoimmune disease.
So take a deep breath, and continue to do this for 60 seconds 2-3 times per day. Take time for yourself out of your busy schedule. Start a stress decompression routine every single day. Ask for help. More importantly take care of yourself no matter what. Your thyroid will thank you for it.
Letting your blood sugar drop has the same effect on your body as standing on the train tracks with the train heading at you full steam ahead. Your body goes into a state of sympathetic overdrive in order to keep you alive. When we’re skipping meals or not eating enough calories, our blood sugar dips down making us feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed, and weak. This is usually an indication to eat. During this time to keep us upright and mobile our body release a surge of cortisol, our stress hormone. This negatively impacts our thyroid similar to being in a constant state of stress.
So make sure you always have a snack with some protein and healthy fat on hand, regularly time your meals, and ensure you’re getting the right amount of calories for your body type everyday.
Most women don’t think their birth control pills are doing anything except keeping them from getting pregnant. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
The birth control pill impacts all our hormones by causing significant nutrient depletions of things like B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. These nutrients are vital for the proper production and conversion of thyroid hormones, as well as our cells ability to actually use the hormones.
Secondly, the birth control pill also increases something called Thyroid Binding Globulin, meaning what thyroid hormones you are producing are being bound by TBG instead of making it to the cell to do their jobs.
If you’ve been taking the pill for 5+ years and dealing with thyroid issues it might be time to look at alternate forms of birth control.
Vitamin D, which is not even a vitamin but is actually a hormone, is responsible for so many amazing functions in our body. We mostly know it for it’s effects on our immune system and mood, but low vitamin D has also been linked to increase autoimmune disease. Meaning if your Vitamin D is suboptimal, you may be at higher risk of developing Hashimoto’s.
We believe everyone can benefit from having their Vitamin D checked, mostly because in Canada we are all at high risk of being deficient.
Dosing of Vitamin D depends on your levels – often times the Health Canada recommendation of 1000 IU is not actually enough to bring your levels back up to where they need to be for optimal health. You can also get TOO MUCH Vitamin D, so make sure you’re working with a qualified health practitioner to get the right dose for you.
Iodine is a crucial component for thyroid hormone conversion. If you’ve done your testing and your TSH and free T4 are great but your T3 is low it could be due to low levels of iodine.
Also check your iodine before supplementing as too much can cause your thyroid to become hyperactive. If you have been confirmed to have low iodine, supplementing or eating sea vegetables can work wonders on your thyroid health.
If you’re interested in learning more, click here to book your free 20-minute discovery call with one of our virtual practitioners.