We all have one. The butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, below Adam’s apple.
This little guy is one of the largest hormone-producing glands in your body. Chances are you never gave the little guy a thought until you suddenly started gaining weight, feeling fatigued, having migraines, hair loss or a low sex drive.
But until you were diagnosed with hypothyroidism you never thought about your thyroid. So now you're diagnosed - what do you do? Your doctor has probably prescribed medication for you, but is there something else that you can be doing to help your thyroid? How did this suddenly happen anyway?
We may never know exactly what caused our thyroid condition, but some of the culprits are chemical pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, and chemicals added to our water supply and food.
What’s Causing This?
We need to take a look around us and try to reduce the number of pollutants our bodies are absorbing. We get mercury from dental fillings and from vaccinations. Fluoride, bromine, and chlorine are iodine inhibitors and are found in our drinking water and fluoride is also found in our toothpaste. Fluoride was used in the past as a medication for hyperthyroidism and is now in our drinking water?
What To Do?
Use a filter that removes these chemicals from your drinking water. Health food stores sell toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride. Radiation from cell phones, computer screens, and microwave ovens is seeping into our bodies, too. Use a headset for your cell phone, keep computer use to a minimum and try to keep an arm’s length from the screen. Use your oven instead of the microwave.
Then There’s What We Eat:
We need to be careful about the foods that we eat, and the containers we eat them from! Many plastic containers release toxins into our food. If possible, use glass instead of plastic.
Soy isn’t the super health food the soy industry would like us all to believe. Soy is full of phytoestrogens that retard metabolism and increase weight gain. Soy also contains Isoflavones that reduce thyroid hormone. Fermented soy products such as tempeh, soy sauce, and miso are ﬁne to have.
Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. Foods belonging to this family are called “crucifers,” and include broccoli, cauliﬂower, spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage, mustard greens, rutabagas, kohlrabi, and turnips.
Keep these vegetables to one serving per day, 2-3 times per week and avoid eating raw. Cooking seems to inactivate the goitrogenic compounds in these foods.
Walnuts, almonds, sorghum, peanuts, pine nuts, peaches, strawberries, millet, radishes, and cassava (tapioca) also contain goitrogens and should either be eliminated or kept to a minimum.
You should avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar. Avoid all processed foods and sugar substitutes, hydrogenated fats and unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats inhibit thyroid function. These unsaturated fats are soybean, ﬂax seed, corn, canola, sunﬂower, peanut, walnut, almond, etc.
So what can you have to help the thyroid?
Ways to Help Your Thyroid:
You want to include healthy fats in your diet that don’t inhibit thyroid function. They include olive oil, butter, coconut oil, and palm oil. Coconut oil actually has the effect of stimulating the thyroid gland and is the oil of choice for those suffering from an underactive thyroid.
Eat lots of whole organic vegetables and fruits, and include organic protein in your diet. Read your food labels.
Make sure you take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Take calcium and iron supplements at night, so they don’t interfere with your thyroid medication
Include essential fatty acids. Use fish oils supplements. Do not use flaxseed oil. Flax contains lignans which are phytoestrogens and are thyroid inhibitors!!!!
Include digestive enzymes and probiotics to increase digestion.
Take Maca supplements. Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Andes of Peru and contains vitamins, minerals, and key amino acids that build a strong immune system.
Include exercises such as walking, riding a bike or swimming. Meditate to reduce stress.
Whatever the challenges, taking these steps can help you feel good again.
AdvancedPlus: thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone testing with Vitamin D test
Basic Thyroid Panel: just thyroid hormone tests: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, TPO
Comprehensive Elements + Thyroid + Iodine: measures toxic heavy metals, essential nutrients including iodine, plus thyroid testing
We also offer single thyroid hormone tests, great for inexpensive re-testing.
Click here to see all thyroid testing options.
Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health, by Richard L. Shames, M.D. and Karilee H. Shames, R.N., PhD
Feeling Fat, Fuzzy, or Frazzled?: A 3-Step Program to: Restore Thyroid, Adrenal, and Reproductive Balance, Beat Hormone Havoc, and Feel Better Fast! by Richard L. Shames, M.D. and Karilee H. Shames, R.N., Ph.D
Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You... That You Need to Know (Revised Edition) by Mary J. Shomon
Saturated Fat May Save Your Life, by Bruce Fife, N.D., paperback
westonaprice.org for in-depth information on soy, coconut oil and fluoride.