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HYPOTHYROID (Part 3 of 3)

Part 3 of 3  Part 1Part 2

30 Tips to Heal Your Thyroid

Managing thyroid function, healing and reversing thyroid symptoms, Hashimoto’s and any autoimmune condition starts with identifying the root cause and correcting imbalances in the body. 

1. Start by obtaining thorough lab testing and a complete thyroid panel. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto’s autoimmunity. Take the “at home” thyroid test. Other tests to consider: a head and neck exam and an ultrasound of your thyroid. Order your own lab tests here!

2. Many individuals with thyroid disorders tend to also have digestive problems, underlying infections (bacterial, Candida, yeast, fungal and viral infections such as EBV), and leaky gut, and they’re completely unaware of it. Poor gut health and infections will suppress thyroid function and can trigger Hashimoto’s and Grave's disease, (and must be ruled out with a comprehensive stool analysis). Reduced gut immunity is a very common problem in those with any thyroid imbalance. Low or high thyroid function can trigger leaky gut and inflammation in the gut and vice versa. A healthy functioning gut is imperative for optimal thyroid function, those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease, and should be of utmost importance not only for thyroid function, but also depression, mood disorders, brain disorders, healthy aging, and overall health. 

3. Adrenal function must always be factored in with thyroid disorders. A sluggish thyroid often begins with imbalanced stress hormones and 'tapped and zapped' adrenals, which happens when we’re chronically stressed, eat too much sugar and a diet high in processed carbs, exposed to heavy metals, EMFs and toxic chemicals, eat factory-farmed meats and dairy, drink too much alcohol, exercise excessively, don’t get enough sleep, skimp on rest, recovery and relaxation, stay in unhealthy, unhappy, dysfunctional relationships, and when we’re congested and overloaded with toxins from the environment, the food we eat and the water we drink. 

4. Stress comes in many forms (physical, emotional, mental, environmental, electromagnetic), all of which impact thyroid function causing the thyroid to either make too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid, Grave’s disease) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s). Identify underlying stressors, your perception and how you react to stressful incidents. Consistently practice a form a relaxation you enjoy to trigger the relaxation response and parasympathetic (calming) branch of the nervous system. Remember, hormones don’t act independently. An out of control stress response causes an increase in cortisol and a decrease in the conversion of T4 to T3.

5. The hormone system responds to emotions. In mind/body medicine, the thyroid is often associated with personal will, self-expression, communication and speaking your truth. Practice communicating clearly, expressing yourself, voicing your emotions, journaling, biofeedback, and dealing with deeper, underlying emotions.
6. Those with thyroid disorders tend to have hidden food sensitivities. Common offending, inflammatory culprits include dairy, soy, wheat, grains, artificial sweeteners, corn, gluten, and egg whites. It’s important to note that each individual is different and even so-called healthy foods can be problematic for some. 

7. Test for and rule out toxic heavy meals, which tend to be very common with thyroid dysfunction.
8. Iodine plays a crucial roles in the production and maintenance of thyroid hormones. Iodine-rich foods, seaweed and sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, hijiki, nori, arame, wakame and kombu) are nourishing for those with primary hypothyroidism and also beneficial for naturally chelating toxic heavy metals from the body. Consume clean fish and seafood (clams, shrimp, haddock, oysters, wild salmon, sardines with the bones). Note: Most practitioners suggest avoiding iodine for those with Hashimoto’s.
9. Consume selenium-rich foods: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, organ meats, mushrooms, halibut, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef
10. Include more vitamin A-rich foods: free-range, pastured egg yolks, yellow vegetables, carrots, dark green vegetables and leafy greens and raw dairy.
11. Determine your personal zinc status, an very common mineral deficiency. Include more zinc-rich foods: nuts, seeds, beef, turkey, lamb, fresh oysters, sardines, ginger root
12. Use Coconut oil, which is very nourishing for the thyroid plus oodles of other amazing health benefits.

13. Eat ample protein at each meal. Protein transports thyroid hormone to the tissues and can help normalize thyroid function.
14. Make food your medicine and opt for organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible. Pesticides, xenoestrogens and glyphosate interfere with thyroid function. Clinical Pearls from the 2013 IAACN Conference

15. Be cognizant of thyroid disruptors, which include:
  • Anything with gluten. Gluten is a common detriment and problematic for those with Hashimoto’s, Grave’s or any autoimmune disease. A diet that is 100% gluten-free is best! 
  • Avoid grains (specifically millet and wheat), factory-farmed animal protein and dairy products, processed soy, artificial sweeteners, peanuts and sugar.
  • Excessive coffee consumption can have a negative impact on thyroid function. Drinking coffee within 60 minutes of taking thyroid medication reduces absorption of thyroid medication.
  • Millet has the highest level of anti-thyroid factors. The flavonoids in millet not only inhibit thyroid peroxidase, but act on iodothyronine enzymes inhibiting the peripheral metabolism of thyroid. Clinical pearl from my friend and mentor, Harry Eidenier, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Antidepressants disrupt thyroid function and cause an inhibition of TPO.
  • Red dye #3 increases reverse T3 and decreases T3.
  • PCBs are known to cause an increase in anti-TPO (thyroid antibodies).
  • Fluorescent lights, BPA, plastics, glyphosate, GMOs, environmental toxins and chemicals impair thyroid function. 
  • Antacids. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, aluminum hydroxide (in most antacids and some commercial salt) significantly decreases the bio-availability of thyroxine.
  • High serum iron (greater than 100) affects the thyroid and reduces the bio-availability of thyroxine. 
  • Fluorine-containing drugs (antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and steroids are just a few of the offenders) impair thyroid function.
16. Minimize intake of goitrogenic foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale, which can interfere with thyroid function. You can still enjoy these foods, just be sure to steam or cook them, which will inactivate the goitrogenic compounds.
17. It’s important to stabilize blood sugar and optimize insulin levels. A carb-heavy processed food diet increases estrogens and negatively impacts the thyroid. Poor blood sugar control wreaks havoc on the adrenals, increases inflammation, causes leaky gut, weakens the immune system and stresses the thyroid. Avoid low calorie diets, fat-free and low-fat diets, extreme fasting and skipping breakfast.  

18. Excess halogen exposure from chlorine, bromide and fluoride block iodine uptake and inhibit thyroid function. Chlorine and fluoride (water, hot tubs, swimming pools, toothpaste) and excess bromine/bromide (breads, Mountain Dew, processed and packaged foods, hot tubs, products with flame retardants) disrupt thyroid function.
19. Reduce exposure to metabolic, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, obesogens and toxins (insecticides, artificial fragrances and lotions, BPA, PCBs, pesticides, phthalates, GMOs, glyphosate, and harsh chemical cleaners and personal products).

20. Optimize liver and gallbladder function. Thyroid imbalances can lead to problems with detoxification, especially phase II detoxification that can trigger a congested liver and problems converting T4 to T3.

21. Address hidden sources of inflammation (what you eat, breathe, drink, infections, your environment and lifestyle habits). Always rule out Candida, yeast, underlying viruses, parasites and bacterial infections, which are extremely common and often go undetected.  

22. Consider color therapy: wear orange tinted glasses for 30 minutes, then switch to blue tinted glasses for 5 minutes

23. Acupressure. Press the hollow at the base of the throat 3 times for 10 seconds to stimulate the thyroid.

24. Practice yoga. Certain yoga poses (plow, bridge, shoulder stand, fish) are beneficial for the 5th chakra and stimulating for the thyroid. 

25. Daily exercise is important for thyroid health. Strength training turns on genes that metabolize fat and increase metabolism. On the other hand, excessive amounts of exercise especially aerobic and cardio-style exercise deplete the adrenals, which in turn affect thyroid function.
26. Avoid synthetic HRT drugs, anti-histamines, NSAIDS, antacids and overuse of antibiotics. Even bio-identical hormone therapy and oral contraceptives can trigger thyroid dysfunction.

27. Consider alternative therapies such as acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy and biofeedback. 

28. If you take thyroid medication, avoid taking carbonate supplements, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D or iron with your thyroid medication as these block the absorption of T4, thyroxine. 

29. If you take thyroid medication, it is best absorbed when chewed and taken on an empty stomach.

30. Nutritional support for the thyroid (always unique to each individual and their biochemistry)
            * Probiotics * Ashwagandha
            * L-Tyrosine * Adrenal Support
            * B Vitamins, vitamins A, C, D, E * Coconut oil
            * HCL / Digestzymes  * Essential fatty acids (EFA Sirt Supreme)
            * Iodine/Iodide, selenium, zinc * Thyroid support (GTA, Meda-Stim or ThyroStim)
Nutritional support should be specific to each individual and is not a “one supplement fits all” approach.
The hormone system is a complex system. There is no 'one-plan-fits-all' solution for all thyroid sufferers. Balancing hormones, healing thyroid function, and reversing autoimmune symptoms is specific to each individual and their unique biochemistry, which starts by identifying the root cause through functional and clinical lab testing, a blood chemistry analysis, a thorough lifestyle assessment, detailed health history and a diagnostic nutritional assessment.

As a holistic nutritionist and functional health practitioner with over 25 years of experience, my philosophy is to identify the root case of any thyroid, autoimmune or health problem, and determine through functional and clinical lab testing, a thorough and complete lifestyle assessment, and a detailed health history if there are any specific problems, hormone imbalances, underlying infections, nutrient deficiencies or excesses, digestive issues, or deeper health issues. Then, I slowly "peel away the layers of the onion," and design  healing protocol, diet and nutrition plan, and comprehensive lifestyle plan specific to your unique biochemistry so you can heal, experience vibrant health, balanced hormones, more energy, healthy digestion, and look, think and feel better than ever! 
Schedule a free 15-minute consultation!

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This article is part 3 of 3
  • Part 1  Know Your Hypothyroid – Thyroid Testing
  • Part 2  Symptoms and Conditions of a Sluggish Thyroid
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Copyright © Paula Owens. All Rights Reserved.