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The Thyroid Gland

I have found that the thyroid gland is a key for so many health issues. Thyroid imbalances create so many symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, morning headaches depression, constipation, sensitivity to cold weather, poor circulation in hands and feet, getting easily sick, slow wound healing, needed excessive sleep, digestive problems, itchy dry skin, hair being dry, brittle or falling out easily, edema especially facial swelling and loss of the outer third of the eyebrows.

Often a doctor will test the TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone on a test and if it is off then will put them on synthetic thyroid hormone and the levels will show improvement but the person never seems to lose weight, feel energy or warmth, or have better skin or hair, no matter what the test says.

The thyroid looks like a butterfly spread over the Adam’s apple. It has to do with metabolism in the whole body.  Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of thyroid dysfunction, which is an autoimmune disorder. The brain secretes TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone which tells the thyroid to release thyroid hormones T3 and T4, named for the number of iodine molecules. The body can only  use T3 which is only 7% of what iis secreted by the thyroid gland. T4 is changed into T3 in the liver, GI tract and other cells like heart, muscle and nerve cells. 20% of T4 is converted to T3 in the intestines, but it requires healthy gut flora. Many things contribute to hypothyroidism like poor liver or gut function, a sluggish pituitary gland, immune dysfunction or too much estrogen.

Hashimotos is often undiagnosed and mismanaged, and doesn’t respond well to thyroid hormone. Symptoms can be of both over and under active thyroid. There are blood tests that can show if their are autoimmune markers. Supplementing with iodine can make this condition worse. Gluten molecules are similar to thyroid gland molecules, so there is a link between Hashimotos and gluten intolerance. The immune system that attacks gluten such as wheat, rye, and barley, attacks the thyroid as well. Some risk factors for developing Hashimoto’s is insulin resistance, PCOS, estrogen fluctuations, Vitamin D deficiency, chronic infection, inflammation and an immune reaction to heavy metals or environmental pollutants. A factor in autoimmune conditions is a compromised immune barrier in the digestive tract.. The gut lining can be degraded  due to poor diet, infections, blood sugar swing and adrenal malfunctions as well as use of antibiotics.

Most doctors only check TSH, which is just one of 6 patterns that can indicate thyroid issues, and only one of them requires medication, which when one is on, can make reversing hypothyroidism irreversible. But if you ignore symptoms and wait for it to show up on a blood test, it can be too late to use nutrition and you may need a prescription. Having anemia can make it impossible to heal, so if adding iron doesn’t help, look at inflammation as an issue.

It is futile to support hypothyroidism if your blood sugar is too high or low, this is called dysglycemia, a stepping stone to diabetes which is so rampant it might bankrupt our healthcare system. It is important with blood sugar issues to eat protein every 2 or 3 hours and to not skip breakfast. Insulin resistance is where blood sugar is high but can’t enter the cells, so it is stored as fat. This take a lot of energy, so often a sign of this is feeling sleepy after meals. Don’t fast if you have hypoglycemia. A diet that stabilizes blood sugar and restores gut health, is essential to adrenal health that affects the thyroid as well.

So for autoimmune disorder like Hashimotos it is the immune system that must be targeted, not necessarily the thyroid. The thyroid symptoms are like the dashboard light going on. Giving hormones makes the light go off but doesn’t address the cause in the engine, so that is why people don’t feel better even if the blood test shows in range.

So If you suspect a thyroid problem it is best to go to a functional Medical Doctor or Chiropractor or Naturopath that gets the big picture. There are blood tests that can show not just the standard range of disease, but the functional range where things are out of balance, but can be helped with natural products and lifestyle. I find that if one needs thyroid hormone, often it is best to get a prescription  for a natural animal based source like Armour or Nature Throid instead of synthetic hormone like synthroid that your body won’t recognize as well.

I work on a more spiritual level in my work. So the thyroid relates to the throat chakra which is powerlessness. It has to do with things that can’t be spoken and are suppressed. Yesterday someone was exasperated that she has addressed everything with doctors and still can’t lose her belly weight. I touched her thyroid and it told me that it has feelings about her father looking at her with sexual intent. She confirmed that her father had sexually abused her.  So don’t just focus on the physical with any condition, but address all levels. This is the deeper level, the unconscious feelings, that most doctors miss. So ask your thyroid what is the cause of its issues and listen to what it has to tell you.

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