Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thyroid Dysfunction- More Common Than You Think!

The Role of the Thyroid

The thyroid is a major player when it comes to hormonal health since it stimulates and synchronizes all metabolic cellular functions. All tissues in the body are stimulated by the thyroid.

Thyroid disorders are more common in women than men. In women, adequate binding of T3 is dependent upon sufficient progesterone. A low level of progesterone is a common experience in both young and older women.

There are certain times in our lives when estrogen levels are increased and this normally occurs during times of hormonal change- say postpartum or perimenopause. So many women have been tested for postpartum depression to only find that there is no true depression but their thyroid levels are “low”. Being labeled as hypothyroid post-partum or during perimenopause is one thing to really take with a grain of salt.

High estrogen levels lead to high levels of TBG. TBG (thyroid binding globulin) reduces thyroid hormones in the blood thereby rendering them useless. So your levels can appear normal but if the thyroid is not getting its "food" (thyroid hormones) it will start to slow function.

Thyroid inhibitors

1. times of extreme hormonal change- postpartum, perimenopause – estrogen dominance
2. SSRIs- prozac, wellbutrin etc
3. birth control pills esp ones that limit monthly cycles

Thyroid Self-Test:

To test yourself for an under active Thyroid, keep an Electronic Thermometer by your bed at night. When you wake up in the morning, place the thermometer in your armpit and hold it there for 2 minutes. Keep still and quiet. Any movement of the body can upset your temperature reading. Temperature of the Body rises when you begin moving around. A consistent temperature of 97.3°F. or lower is indicative of an under active thyroid. I have found when temp is at 96.5 and below the following is affected- energy, weight loss, sex drive, skin health and digestion.

Natural ways to stimulate thyroid health

1. Taking liquid b-12 and kelp- we recommend these for short term use to bump up bbt and then taper down once your temp is consistently in the 97 range

2. Cod and scallops are rich in iodine and work well to boost thyroid function

3. Maine Sea Seasonings
One of my favorite seasonings for thyroid health is Maine
Seasonings- excellent source of iodine which is essential for proper
thyroid health and function. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland
have an impact on just about all of the body's physiological
functions, including the regulation of metabolism, which affects
energy and weight. Maine Seasonings has their seaweed in a shaker and
you can use instead of salt.

* Seaweed corrects mineral deficiencies.
* A good protective food, valuable in overcoming poor digestion,
preventing and overcoming goiter (because it is the richest source of
iodine), and rebuilding and maintaining the proper function of all
* Reported to aid in brain development.
* Kelp helps prevent osteoporosis.
* Helps to detoxify the body. Aids with detoxification of radiation
* Helps to increase metabolism.

Conditions exacerbated by low thyroid function

1. energy
2. sex drive
3. skin
4. digestion
5. migraines
6. depression
7. body temperature
8. hormones

Test goitrogenic foods

Goitrogens are compounds that may interfere with thyroid function by
blocking an enzyme, called thyroid peroxidase, from coupling iodine to
tyrosine to produce thyroid hormones.

Many people who have thyroid disease are able to eat goitrogen foods
with no ill effects what so ever

Common goitrogenic foods in the diet include non-fermented soy foods,
legumes such as lima beans, green beans, peanut butter and raw
cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels
sprouts. Preparation methods, such as cooking or fermentation, reduce
the amount of goitrogens in these foods. The addition of sea
vegetables, like kelp, or including sufficient iodine in the diet can
nearly always counteract goitrogens from crucifers and soy.

As always your chemistry is unique so do not take this list to mean you should not have these foods. It just means that you need to be mindful of how these foods affect you.

Common goitrogens are:
Broccoli- raw
Broccoli Rabe
Brussel sprouts
Soybean and soy products, including tofu and edamame



  1. I am diagnosed with an autoimmune hypothyroidism and currently taking desiccated bovine supplements . I have been reading Gluten free diets being able to control the symptoms too.

  2. We have seen great success with glandular extracts- I am glad you are doing well! I haven't seen much success with gluten free diets and frankly those can be so restrictive and joyless!We have found that testing goitragens REALLY helps and that most women respond to adding cod and or scallops a couple of times a week to boost up their bbt!

  3. A friend told me about The Plan yesterday and today I am trying to read as much as possible to understand. So excuse my question if it seems silly. What is coco oil? Also does Lyn have a book? I would like to try this diet but my budget doesn't afford me her fee.

  4. Good morning akuykendal! Coco oil is coconut oil. The book won't be coming out for a year unfortunately, if you would like I have several associates who work for me at a lower rate and we can offer a discount on that for those who need financial help. Pls feel free to e-mail me- theplan@lyngenet.com!

  5. How long does it take for the b-12 and Kelp to boost your thyroid? I have been taking 200 mcg a day and 1.0cc of liquid b-12 for about a week and haven't seen any increase in my bbt. I even went out and bought a new thermometer hoping that was the problem.

  6. Supplements alone will not do the trick! You will need to find out which foods are goitragens for you- your reactive foods and which foods nourish your thyroid!

  7. Lyn, I'm curious what about people with no thyroid? I had cancer 2 years ago and had to have my thyroid removed, I take synthroid daily. I find I'm ok for a while then my body temp drops, I gain weight, I get sore joints etc etc... They adjust my meds and it all starts over again. I am really interested in learning about gaining control through food and confused as to whether foods that interfere with thyroid function matter for me anymore since I take a synthetic replacement. Thank you.

  8. Hi Gillian
    We have found that goitragenic foods CAN affect those with partial or total removal. Each one should be tested, it is not true that cooking can deactivate the goitragens in some foods. At The Plan we have found that cooked broccoli and kale are the least reactive. We have been very successful with not only weight loss but DECREASING medication needs such as Synthroid, Armour etc

  9. So if you had thyroid surgery, then radio=active iodine to knock the rest of your thyroid-on total replacement-Do you still have thyroid issues and should be on thyroid menu? So far I've been doing the regular menu and seem to be doing okay, except for some gas-but nothing like I've had previously. My bbt is sometimes below 97. What would my status be????? Phyllis

  10. Hi Phyllis! I would definitely recommend that you start on the thyroid menu--Even though the thyroid is gone, We have still found that these goitrogenic foods tend to be more sensitive in people that have a history of thyroid dysfunction. The lower temps also suggest that the medication may not be working optimally at the tissue level and we want to support this process as much as possible so doing things as thyroid friendly as possible will help!
    Dr. Katie

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