I just have to say this: people are not being seen or heard by their doctors!
I feel like people are falling through the cracks in our medical system. It seems to me there are a few things going drastically wrong.
#1- People are not being heard when it comes to their experience and symptoms
#2- Doctors are not following up with the correct lab work (ie. comprehensive thyroid panel)
#3- Within the medical field, there is a major deficit of understanding hormones
It’s hard to believe, but I see this in my practice every week. I have had multiple clients that have suffered for years before getting proper testing, treatment, and diagnosis of their thyroid condition. For some reason, our medical system only believes in the TSH marker for assessing thyroid health, and I’m here to tell you- they are very misinformed!
It feels silly that I, a functional health practitioner, should have to clarify this to medical professionals, but this is one of the cruxes of our current healthcare system.
I’m here to empower you and tell you that TSH is not the full picture of thyroid health.
In my opinion, the thyroid is the canary in the coal mine, and that coal mine represents our lifestyle and exposure to toxins.
January was Thyroid Awareness Month. Even though we’re now in February, it feels important to bring awareness to this so you can become an advocate for your own health. I hope that this newsletter empowers you with the knowledge of the common symptoms associated with thyroid dysfunction, an understanding of what a comprehensive thyroid panel is, and awareness of the functional ranges that you want to be within.
Many of the clients I’ve worked with have either been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, have a family history of it, or suspect that they have one. If you think this might be the case with you, then find a trusted practitioner to run your thyroid markers or reach out to me. I would be happy to help you with this!
To begin, you want to become wise and aware of the signs that start to surface indicating something is up with the thyroid …
Grave’s or Hyperthyroid- common symptoms can include: weight loss, loose stools, sweating, hot flushes, anxiety, irritability, constant fatigue, elevated heart rate, reduced libido, bulging eyes, hand tremors, change in menstruation and increased appetite.
Hashimotos or Hypothyroid– common symptoms can include: cold hands and feet, intolerance to cold, constipation, hair loss, weight gain, depression, brain fog, hormonal imbalances, dry skin, and fatigue.
Also, If you track your basal body temperature and your average of 5 temps (in follicular phase) starting on day 2 is lower than 97.4 F and you relate to the symptoms above, then checking your thyroid markers would be wise.
Next, you should know that not all women or men who are diagnosed with thyroid disorders are given the resources to get their thyroid issues under control.
Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed a thyroid medication. This can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution- and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem. In fact, medication can become less effective over time, while the root cause goes unaddressed and the thyroid continues to deteriorate.
Medication doesn’t address why you might have thyroid dysfunctions in the first place, and with an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.
The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health! You can prevent and reverse thyroid disorders.
I want to help you elevate your thyroid knowledge so you can heal your thyroid and get back to feeling like yourself once and for all!
I want you to know, even though statistics for being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder are high, it’s not a death sentence.
Oftentimes, it’s not just one thing that triggers a thyroid issue. It’s a combination of factors over a period of time that disrupt the natural balance of your body and ultimately your thyroid.
At first the list of contributing factors might seem daunting, make you feel guilty about the choices you have made, or leave you wondering where to even start; BUT the silver lining is that with a little education, the right lab tests and resources, you can take control of your thyroid health step-by-step.
I’m going to break down the 3 main steps you can take to support and heal the thyroid naturally.
Step #1 – Know Your Numbers- Get the correct Labs
To really evaluate your thyroid health, you need to know all of your thyroid numbers, NOT just TSH.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland to “stimulate” the thyroid. This marker tells you if the pituitary is working hard to kick the thyroid into gear, but leaves questions about what is going on with the rest of the thyroid function.
Thyroid hormone T4 is produced by the thyroid and then converted into T3 primarily in the liver and gut, and then in various other tissues. Total T4 and T3 represent bound hormones (not available for use), verses Free T4 and T3 which represent the unbound or active forms available for use.
Reverse T3 prevents Free T3 from attaching to your cells (inhibiting its effects).
Thyroid antibodies- Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO Ab) and Thyroglobulin (Tg Ab) indicate if the body is attacking its own thyroid tissue, known as an autoimmune response.
Can you see why it’s important to know all of these numbers to fully understand the big picture?
Often I see clients with elevated TPO antibodies while the TSH is in range. Dr. Wentz believes that: “Thyroid antibodies are going to be the first indication of a thyroid problem in many cases. They can be elevated for 5, 10, sometimes even 15 years before a change in TSH is even detected!”
And don’t be fooled by conventional thyroid test reference ranges that were established based on people with existing thyroid disorders. Back in 2002, the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry acknowledged that thyroid reference ranges were probably “skewed by the inclusions of persons with occult thyroid dysfunction,” – yet little has been done to update them.
Conventional ranges are very wide, and optimal ranges are narrow. In the functional medicine world, optimal thyroid reference ranges look something like this:
- TSH: 1-2
- Total T4: 6-12
- Free T4: 1.4-1.8
- Total T3: 120-180
- Free T3: 3.4-4.4
- Reverse T3: <15
- TPO Ab: < 10
- Tg Ab: < 20
Ask your doctor to run a full thyroid panel to include all of these markers. If they won’t, find someone like me who will.
Step #2- Heal the Root Causes
The majority of thyroid disorders can be improved by healing the root causes. Here are some common common strategies to improve overall thyroid health:
Remove gluten from your diet
Heal your gut and improve digestion
Improve the quality and quantity of sleep
Support stress and emotions
Avoid exposure to toxins (heavy metals etc.)
Improve your body’s capacity to detox
Fully address underlying hormonal imbalances
You have more control over your thyroid health than you might think.
It’s impossible to find perfection in food, sleep, stress and environment. However, you can start noticing aspects of your lifestyle that might be impacting your thyroid health and start making changes.
The 3rd step to supporting and healing your thyroid is definitely a topic that most health professionals aren’t talking about – which is funny because it involves communication and trust!
The study of epigenetics, and emotional and vibrational energy, has proven over time how health can be impacted by our beliefs and experiences.
Step #3 – Build Trust & Communication
In various Eastern medicine and healing modalities the thyroid is related to the throat chakra. Chakras are known as energy centers, located in specific places of the body that help to regulate processes such as organ function, the immune system and emotions.
The throat chakra is located exactly as indicated, at the throat. It is related to the thyroid, mouth, throat and ears, as well as our ability to express and communicate.
When the throat chakra is out of balance it might show up as:
· Over or under communication
· Inhibitions of self expression
· Sore throat, asthma and fatigue
· Struggling to find words
· Thyroid imbalances
Almost all of these have been obstacles at some point in my life.
For this final step, I highly recommend engaging in some transformational personal self-growth work. Rewire negative old belief systems and your ability to communicate your needs with confidence. This can rebalance your throat chakra to assist your thyroid in it’s healing process.
Along with this process, you need to remember to trust your body again. Your body didn’t fail you!
Take one day at a time and shift the mindset by…
Looking in the mirror with appreciation
Writing down 3 things you’re grateful for daily
Working with healers and coaches to realign beliefs
Taking time to do one thing for yourself each day (meditate, long lunch, massage, etc.)
Talking openly about your journey and letting those around you know how they could support you
You can reclaim your health with these steps described in this blog, so that you can feel like yourself again… or for the very first time.
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests, resources and guidance to prevent or reverse a thyroid issue, I would be honored to support you!
Click below to Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session with me today!