It is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body and is responsible for metabolism, directly affecting your weight gain or loss. Within the Thyroid, lies hormones (T2, T3, T4) that are essential for growth and development for nearly every physiological process in your body.
The liver provides about 70% of our active thyroid hormone, by converting thyroxine to T3, but it can provide this active hormone only when it has adequate glucose.
Did you know that 10-40% of Americans live with sub-optimal functioning thyroids? Poor thyroid function has been linked to serious health conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema, gum disease, infertility, and autoimmune diseases.
Your T3 Hormone is critically important because it tells the nucleus of your cells to send messages to your DNA to rev up your metabolism by burning fat. This is how T3 lowers cholesterol levels, regrows hair, and helps keep you lean.
T3 levels can be disrupted by nutritional imbalances, toxins, allergens, infections, and stress, and this lead to a series of complications. These include thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism, which today are three of the most prevalent thyroid-related diseases.
Hyperthyroid: Over produces – creates too much hormones
T4 is over produced and tends to accelerate body functions
—> Symptoms – Feeling restless, nervous, emotional, irritable, sleeping poorly, Difficulty concentrating, Frequent bowel movements, Irregular menstrual periods in women, Weight loss, Rapid, forceful, or irregular heartbeat
Hypothyroid: Produces too little hormones
—> Symptoms – Fatigue, lack of energy, weight gain, rough or dry skin, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, low basal body temperature (less than 97.6)
A few ways for your health care provider to check for Thyroid Function is to run a TSH, T3, T4, as well as a TRH Stimulation Test.
Ways to treat naturally:
1. Identify underlying causes – are you on a restrictive diet? Eating too few calories? Exercising like crazy? Creating bodily stress?
2. Repair Adrenal Function, Reduce stress which leads to Adrenal Fatigue – we will touch on this later!
3. Change your diet! Certain dietary components are shown to wreak havoc on your thyroid. Those are GLUTEN, SOY, & BROMINES (which are found in flours, pesticides on fruit, soft drinks, plastics)
Add in Healthy saturated fats & fresh animal meats to get a balance of amino acids
4. Get enough quality sleep
5. Exercise (a great stress relief)
Become more mindful of your health by making these lifestyle changes.
IT’S NOT A LIFE SENTENCE, IT’S YOUR HABITS
Thyroid problems (specifically hypothyroidism) are often a consequence of your diet and lifestyle. Adopt a nutrition plan that gives you enough food and calories to support your body’s cellular metabolism and energy production before jumping on the prescription solution bandwagon for your hypothyroidism.
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Ali Wells, BSN RN
The Holistic Health Nurse