Guest Post from Dr Daniel K Claps of Riverwalk Chiropractic on poor thyroid function:
So many adults complain about the same health issues: Not having enough energy. Not feeling emotionally at peace. Feeling anxious. Being overweight.
I encourage all of my patients to be intentional with their lifestyle decisions in order to regain their health, but many are fighting a much more difficult battle than others to find motivation: The battle against hypothyroidism is raging.
In fact, it is estimated that as many as 27 million Americans may unknowingly have low thyroid function–this number is comparable with that of diabetes in America today! Hypothyroidism is a serious epidemic.
To make matters more serious, the acceptable range for thyroid function has been narrowed (from TSH levels of 0.5 to 5.0; to between 0.3 to 3.04.), making more than estimated in the unacceptable range.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid) are:
Sounds like the U.S.’s health problems in a nutshell.
Even more dangerous are the effects hypothyroidism can have on lifestyle through its crippling effect on motivation: if one is depressed and fatigued, it is hard to put energy into living healthfully. (So begins the vicious cycle of Hypothyroidism.)
To fight this epidemic, we must understand the condition. The thyroid is an hard-working little butterfly-shaped organ situated in the neck. Its main functions are controlling metabolism, regulating body temperature, and secreting thyroid hormones. It has interactions with almost every vitamin and mineral, though emphasis is put on Calcium, Vitamin D, and Iodine.
Currently, hypothyroidism is treated with synthetic hormones. On the surface this is wonderful for many–their lives can become full and energized again because they feel energetic and lively for the first time in years! BUT taking synthetic hormones is dangerous. Consuming synthetic hormones can slow the body’s natural production of hormones to a complete stop. This means that one who begins to take synthetic thyroid hormones will have to be put on a supplemental hormone regime for life.
Is there any way to boost thyroid function instead of impairing it permanently? Yes; many can get results without taking synthetic hormones. Using raw materials for a safer, slower, longterm option that promotes the body’s natural thyroid function and hormone production is possible.
Eat virgin coconut oil. The oil present in coconuts promotes the burning of calories to produce heat–a process that is impaired in hypothyroidism.
Eat monolaurin. It is a coconut product that has antiviral and antibacterial components–helpful to hypothyroidism patients who have weak immune systems.
Avoid soy products. There has been lots of research on soy and soy products. Pubmed.gov had patients with abnormal thyroid function and/or goiter avoid soy an found they had normalized thyroid hormone levels and reduced goiters in just one month. There is research on the positives of soy products too, but in the case of hypothyroidism and other endocrine problems it is best to avoid it for now.
Consider endocrine boosting herbs–specifically Maca and cordyceps
Limit your intake of raw cruciferous vegetables. (Yes, you heard me; food is medicine, and we know that taking the wrong medication for a problem will cause harm.) These contain a chemical called “Goitrogen” that essentially “calms down” the thyroid. In the case of hypothyroidism the thyroid is already calm–too calm. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, turnips, millet, peaches, radishes, soybeans, spinach, mint, and rosemary are great fermented but should be limited slightly in their raw form for hypothyroidism. (But there are many other vegetables out there! Do not stop eating lots of vegetables. Just limit intake of those above listed.)
Up the probiotics in your diet.
Try Tai Chi or Qigong as an exercise–both are great for circulation and metabolism. If these are just not for you, find what you enjoy and MOVE IT. Exercise is important every single day to counteract depression, weight gain, and low energy levels associated with hypothyroidism.
Eat goji berries daily. Eat watercress, kelp, and wild-caught salmon often–these promote healthy endocrine function.
Make sure to get enough Vitamin D–but not the synthetic kind. Try fish oils. Women should consider Symplex F from Standard Process. We’ve seen amazing results from this targeted therapeutic supplement which supports the entire endocrine system.
Have your iodine levels tested and consider upping your iodine intake if necessary. (Look forward to a post on this soon!)
If you think you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, try these tips and plan on getting tested soon.