Do you feel like your weight gain, hair loss, fatigue and mood issues might be part of a bigger issue? Have you even gotten tested but it came back “within normal range”?
This can be so frustrating and I’ve seen so many women in my practice at their wits end because they’re trying to feel like themselves again.
Getting an accurate assessment of this hormone is critical when you are trying to resolve period, fertility, and low libido issues.
I’d like you to be aware of what your thyroid is, does, and how it impacts your periods, fertility, energy levels and more before you find yourself in the doctor’s office. So, I’m going to run you through the basics and then talk about how to keep your thyroid healthy.
What Your Thyroid Does
The thyroid gland is the largest in your endocrine system and it’s actually located in the front of your neck. This gland is essentially responsible for making your energy by controlling and regulating your internal body temperature. The thyroid works in tandem with your adrenals in tandem. Together they are there to take care of many vital bodily processes, such as -
- Your metabolism and whether you’re a slow or fast burner of energy and whether you are gaining or losing weight
- Your mood balance
- The quality of your sleep
- Your digestion
- Regulation of your body temperature
- Your sensitivity to other hormonal shifts throughout your cycle
A sluggish thyroid that isn’t humming away as it should will show signs of this in your experience of your cycle. Here are some of the signs your thyroid is struggling to do its job -
- You are having multiple periods per month
- Your bleeds are heavy and full of clots
- You’ve experienced one or more miscarriages
- You find you’re having many anovulatory cycles (that means cycles in which you might bleed, but you don’t ovulate)
- You have unexplained weight gain despite eating well and exercising regularly
- You feel exhausted all the time
- You have cold or tingly feet and hands
- You have puffy eyes
The nutrients that make the thyroid hormone are Iodine and L-Tyrosine. 60% of the iodine we have in our bodies is held in the thyroid gland. Tyrosine is an amino acid that you need to synthesize what your thyroid creates.
Testing With Your Doctor
It’s important that you work with your doctor to test your thyroid with blood tests and an ultrasound if you’re experiencing symptoms before pursuing treatment as certain protocols - such as increasing iodine intake - is good for some thyroid problems, but not all. Specifically Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack your thyroid, can worsen with an increased uptake of iodine. So work with your doctor to figure out the best move forward for your issues.
You want to be tested for TSH levels, T4, T3 and T3 uptake - this will give you the best understanding of where your thyroid function is breaking down.
You may need to be put on hormone replacement. If possible, going bioidentical is better - like Naturethroid, versus the synthetic Synthroid. Regardless of the need for medication, you will need to use food to support your thyroid health, so you don’t continue to experience symptoms of underactive thyroid and need more and more medication to get the same result. Food is your friend in all ways!
Natural Thyroid Support
The best way to improve your thyroid hormone production is by adding in certain foods to your diet that will support the thyroid and protect it from disruption. You can also choose to avoid certain substances that will have an adverse affect on your thyroid. And make sure you include some Iodized Sea Salt in your cooking as well!
The three best ways to improve your thyroid function
- Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, lauric acid and medium-chain fatty acids. Most of the oils popularly used in cooking, baking etc have a negative impact on the thyroid. Vegetable polyunsaturated oils have been linked to many thyroid diseases. Swapping out the other oils you use currently with coconut oil and getting two tablespoons a day into your diet will make a difference to your thyroid function. Click here to read more about the benefits of coconut oil for your hormones.
- Sea veggies are a great concentrated source of iodine. A little goes a long way, so picking nori, which has comparably low iodine is a good choice, as it will support your thyroid without risking disruption. Steaming, frying or roasting nori are good options for preparation as they produce a moderate release of the helpful iodine content. It’s interesting to note that Japan has a very low rate of cancer and this can be partially attributed to their consumption of sea vegetables in the traditional diet.
- A deficiency in Vitamin D has been associated with thyroid dysfunction. That’s because this vitamin is what’s called a hormonal precursor. If you’re not getting Vitamin D exposure from sunshine then you need to supplement with Vitamin D3 tablets. A lighter skinned person can just make sure they’re out in the sun for 30 mins, but if you’re darker skinned you may need up to two hours of sunshine a day to get the right amount of D. Just make sure you get out of the sun before your skin has the chance to burn.
Don’t Harm Your Thyroid
- Avoid Fluoride and Chlorine - these chemicals are present in our drinking water and toothpaste so it’s best to get a filter that will take them out for you and choose flouride free toothpaste. Studies have correlated the amount of fluoride in our drinking water to an increase in underactive thyroid issues. Too much fluoride and chlorine can actually cause iodine deficiency.
- Don’t Eat Raw Cruciferous Vegetables - Cruciferous vegetables like: broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens, bok choy and cabbage contain goitrogens which is a chemical that suppresses the function of the thyroid gland by disrupting and blocking the enzyme that lets your thyroid use the iodine in your body to make the thyroid hormone. If you have an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism then eating raw cruciferous vegetables can suppress the thyroid function. These vegetables have many other nutritional benefits so you just need to limit your intake to two times a week and be sure to cook them before eating. Of course if you have normal thyroid function there’s no need to avoid these. Otherwise you can substitute with celery, romaine lettuce, beet leaves, cucumber and chard.
- Manage Your Stress - Stress throws your cortisol levels off, which is turn impacts your adrenals and therefore your thyroid. Cortisol helps your thyroid work more efficiently and so producing just the right amount is very important for healthy thyroid function. If your cortisol levels are low because of stress-induced adrenal exhaustion the thyroid cannot regulate your energy and metabolism. Chronic stress causes too high cortisol levels.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you
First, do you feel like you might have a thyroid problem? What are your symptoms? What have you tried?
Second, will you try out my suggestions? Let me know how it works for you!
Third, You know every one you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social media ?
Need more Hormone Help?
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones.
I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
Click here to get your FREE detox and evaluation!