Tired, depressed and overweight can be a sign of a thyroid disorder. Thyroid hormone regulates and affects EVERY cell of your body. It is essential to life. Thyroid disorders are on the rise due to many factors. The American Thyroid Association states:” More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.”
Common symptoms of low thyroid or hypothyroidism are:
- Brain fog
- Low motivation
- Generalized, unexplained weight gain
- Cold intolerance
- Brittle nails and vertical ridges
- Stiff and dry hair
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Poor short term memory and focus
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Dry skin
- Cravings for carbs & sweets
- High cholesterol
- Loss of libido
- Dry, cracked heels
- Thinning outer eyebrow
- Enlargement of thyroid
- Hoarseness of voice
- Pain when swallowing
- Morning headache that gets better as the day goes on
- Hard time starting and completing tasks
How many of these symptoms do you have? The more you have the more likely you may have a thyroid disorder.
What affects your thyroid?
Did you know that the thyroid gland is sensitive to internal and external changes?
- Toxins play a role in damaging your thyroid. There are hundreds of chemicals in the environment that affect your nervous, immune and hormone systems.
- Nutritional deficiencies such as low iodine can cause low thyroid hormone production. Iodine deficiency is the number one cause of hypothyroidism in the world.
- Hormone changes can trigger a thyroid disorder such as post childbirth, menopause and perimenopause. Thyroid disorders rise after the age of 50 when estrogen and progesterone are decreasing. A condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disorder can occur with stress, infection and a genetic predisposition. It often occurs during times of hormonal changes and affects women more than men.
- Gut dysbiosis can interfere with conversion of thyroid hormone to its most active form. Dys – means bad or troublesome and Biosis means mode of life or population and the term dysbiosis is used to describe the population of bacteria in your gut that causes trouble. Probiotics on the other hand are populations of bacteria that are pro or for your benefit.
- Stress affects your ability to absorb nutrients, the bacteria in your gut, your hormones and your immune and nervous system.
These are just some of the factors that affect your thyroid. It is all connected.
To preserve the health of your thyroid and your mind and body, try some of the following:
- Reduce your exposure to toxins. Eat organic, use toxin free personal care and cleaning products.
- Have your iodine measured and be sure to eat a nutritious diet.
- Balance your hormones by consulting a professional who can measure and help you raise or lower essential hormones.
- Feed the good bacteria with nutrient dense whole foods and starve the bad bacteria by minimizing sugar and processed foods.
- Stress reduction techniques such as deep belly breathing, gentle exercise, journaling, Heartmath, doing things that bring you joy and mindfulness can go a long way to balancing your hormones, improving digestion, and preserving the integrity of the lining of your digestive tract.
Stay tuned for upcoming Masterclasses on “The 6 Overlooked Causes of Thyroid Disorders” and Hashimoto’s. An integrative, functional medicine approach can not only prevent, reverse or treat thyroid disorders, it can improve your physical, mental, immune and nervous system and help you achieve optimal health while avoiding developing other illnesses.