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