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It all started with a casual post. The other day on my Facebook page I simply asked, “What autoimmune condition would you like to resolve?” The answers that followed truly blew my mind.
Of the more than 400 comments, over 57% were concerned with thyroid issues. So today, I’m devoting this blog to those suffering with thyroid concerns, but especially Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a type of autoimmune condition, is affecting an alarming number of people today. In fact, low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, has been estimated to afflict upwards of 300 million people worldwide. And up to 60 million of those live in America alone!
The butterfly shaped thyroid gland which sits at the base of your neck is a tiny powerhouse that regulates metabolism and controls the health of just about every organ in the body. Normalizing thyroid activity is vital to your health, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder.
Hashimoto’s involves the production of the autoimmune thyroid antibodies, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPOAb) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb). When these antibodies infiltrate the thyroid gland, they wreak havoc, causing damage to the tissue. In essence, the immune system is attacking the thyroid.
The signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s are basically the same as those of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. They include fatigue, sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold, brittle nails, hair loss, unexplained weight gain, achy joints and muscles, a puffy face, loss of eyebrow growth – especially on the outer third of the brow, diminished sex drive and even depression.
Struggling with these symptoms can be daunting, but there is hope! There are many little-known keys to help you create a comprehensive thyroid treatment plan and heal your overloaded immune system. Let’s take a look at the insidious thyroid thieves that may have derailed you in the first place, like hidden dental or sinus infections, gluten, lack of protein, adrenal burnout, dwindling probiotics, fluoride, bromine and chlorine overload. Not to mention vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies or hidden virus, especially Epstein Barr.
Find a good holistic, biological dentist and have a comprehensive assessment to determine if hidden dental infections are causing anaerobic bacteria to seep into your system from root canals, implants and cavitations remaining from pulled teeth. Check to see if you may be burdened with heavy metals leaching copper and/or mercury from high amalgam fillings. Check out the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine to find a practitioner in your area.
If you suspect sinus infections may be plaguing you, make an appointment with your functional medicine doctor or an ENT specialist to address the issue.
Many people have gluten sensitivities that trigger thyroid dysfunction. Modern wheat contains 10 times more gluten than it did 50 years ago. And it’s high in gliadin, a protein that is foreign to our bodies. It highly resembles a crucial enzyme known as transglutaminase which is concentrated in the thyroid. As the immune system attacks the gliadin, antibodies also attack the thyroid. The immune system can go into overdrive, damaging the thyroid for up to six months. So what are you waiting for? Go gluten free!
Protein is a major normalizer for overall thyroid function. It acts as an escort to transport the thyroid hormone to all bodily tissues. Make sure to have a portion of quality protein with every meal and snack. Two of my favorite clean protein sources are my Fat Flush Whey Protein and vegan Fat Flush Body Protein.
Healthy thyroid function is intimately related to the adrenal glands, as they work synergistically to keep you functioning. When you’re under stress, your adrenals secrete cortisol which can block the thyroid’s T4 to T3 conversion, creating a vicious cycle that creates burnout for both your thyroid and adrenals. I recommend UNI KEY Health Adrenal Formula. If you are vegan or vegetarian, try adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola and ashwaganda. Pantothenic acid can help to balance the adrenal’s output of cortisol and up energy. Generally, 500 mg up to 4 times per day can help. Use a good quality sea salt, too.
Even your gut flora are dependent on your thyroid. At least 20% of thyroid function relies on a healthy amount of quality beneficial bacteria. The strain B. lactis BI-04 from the Bifidobacterium family, especially, protects against the toxicity of gliadin which causes thyroid problems. Flora-Key is an excellent choice as it contains a five-strain probiotic with over 10 billion beneficial bacteria per serving. Plus, I love how easy it is to use. It comes in a powder that mixes easily in water, smoothies or other beverages. I like to sprinkle it onto nuts, seeds or a little coconut because it’s mildly sweet taste makes it seem like dessert.
Many thyroid disorder patients are overloaded with fluoride, bromine and chlorine which negatively impacts the thyroid by competing with iodine. Some of the worst chemical culprits can be found in water, toothpastes, hot tubs, non-organic foods, soft drinks, teas, commercial breads, some medications and brominated vegetable oils. Drink purified water whenever possible. I’ve installed a CWR Under Counter AIO Water Filter with Metalgon in my home so that I always have clean, pure water on hand. There’s also a countertop model and a shower filter. They use four stages of advanced filtration to remove chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, glyphosate, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and more.
For more of the latest health information, read my recent blog, The Little-Known Ratio Your Cardiologist Never Told You About. And, do check out my podcast, The New Truth About Mercury Toxicity with Dr. Bill McGraw.