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The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck which is in charge of energy and metabolism, and every cell in the body has thyroid receptors. When your thyroid stops functioning optimally, multiple areas of your health can come crashing down. Your thyroid has the ability to rejuvenate and heal itself when provided with what it needs. First I think it’s important to understand exactly what the thyroid is and what role it plays in the human body.
WHAT IS THE THYROID & WHAT DOES IT DO?
The thyroid is a vitally important hormonal gland that plays a major role in the metabolism, growth and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of hormones into the bloodstream.
There can be a number of consequences if the thyroid produces too few or too many hormones. With an over-active thyroid, called hyperthyroidism, it produces too many hormones. This speeds up energy metabolism, and the following symptoms can occur:
- hot flushes, sweating
- weight loss
- hair loss
- emotional irritability
- racing heart
If, on the other hand, too little thyroid hormone is produced, the body functions slow down. This is called under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism). Possible symptoms can include:
- general loss of energy and power
- slow metabolism
- weight gain
- difficulty concentrating
- slow pulse
- sensitivity to cold
- dry skin
- brittle, dry hair
- loss of sexual desire
WHAT WE’RE TOLD
If you’re believed to have a thyroid condition, doctors will tell you that you have thyroiditis which is an inflammation (not an infection) of the thyroid gland. They will then explain it is caused by Hashimoto’s disease. They’ve labelled Hashimoto’s disease as an auto-immune condition where the immune system cells attack the thyroid gland, resulting in inflammation and destruction of thyroid tissues, thus reducing the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones.
WHAT REALLY CAUSES THYROID ISSUES?
We know inflammation to thyroid causes issues, but what’s causing the inflammation? Not your body attacking itself. Something else is aggravating it.
Radiation is everywhere these days, from the air we breathe to the electronic devices we use. It brings the thyroid defences down and lays the foundation for other problems to occur.
Gut Health and Pathogens
Pathogens like virus’s, bad bacteria, fungi etc work their way into the thyroid and cause inflammation. When your gut health is compromised and the microbiome is unbalanced, long-term inflammation and damage causes the adrenal glands to produce the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, too much cortisol can suppress thyroid function, lowering the amount of hormone produced while also inhibiting the conversion of T4 to T3.
There is a very strong association between high levels of toxic metals and thyroid diseases. The body uses nutrients like activated folate and B12, selenium zinc and magnesium to eliminate heavy metals in our livers. This causes deficiencies in these nutrients leading to thyroid issues. We all have some levels of heavy metal and we need to help assist our bodies to get rid of them. Read more here about how to naturally eliminate them.
A diet lacking in nutrient-rich foods increases the risk of thyroid disorder. If you’re particularly low in the nutrients iodine and selenium, you are at a higher risk of thyroiditis, as these are trace minerals essential for thyroid function. Severe selenium deficiency actually stops activity of an antioxidant known as glutathione which controls inflammation. Other factors can include lack of exercise and stress. The combination of these cause calcification and nodules on the thyroid, causing inflammation.
Having an over-active or under-active thyroid is the beginning stage of radiation, pathogen and heavy metal build up in the body.
WHAT ABOUT THYROID MEDICATION?
Thyroid medication adds hormones to your body which the thyroid is under producing. As with all pharmaceutical medication, it simply fixes the symptoms instead of addressing the underlying cause. So even though you’re taking a hormone replacement, your thyroid condition is actually still there.
HOW TO TEST FOR THYROID PROBLEMS
If you think you have a thyroid issue, go and get a thyroid blood test, including TSH, free T4, free T3 and thyroid antibodies. It is important to measure TSH so that you can determine how hard the pituitary has to work to get the thyroid to produce whatever levels of free thyroid hormones are present in the blood. Keep in mind that even if your tests are in the normal range that your thyroid may still not be functioning optimally because there are many other factors that can influence the levels of these hormones.
HOW TO HEAL THE THYROID
The first step to healing is realising that a problematic thyroid is a symptom of a larger, underlying cause. You need to get to the root cause of the problem and clean up the thyroid by cultivating a healthy lifestyle and eating nutrients that extract radiation and feed the thyroid. Avoiding foods which wreak havoc on your gut like gluten, dairy, processed foods and additives is essential along with eating a whole food, plant based diet with foods that heal and repair the intestinal lining like fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and healthy fats. Incorporating the following foods is also crucial:
FOODS THAT HEAL THE THYROID
Chaga mushrooms are antiviral, which is anti-pathogenic, and really works great with the thyroid and helps to remove unwanted pathogens.
Baby greens like kale, mesculin mix, spinach, and asparagus. Asparagus is incredible and packed with glutathione along with zinc and selenium.
Cherries have lots of zinc, some iron, anthocyanin and polyphenols, which are all amazing for your thyroid.
Apricots contain lots of selenium, zinc and beta-carotene, all of which are really amazing for the thyroid. Selenium has very powerful antioxidant-like functions. Studies have shown that selenium helps balance out T4 in your body hormones. Brazil nuts are another great source of zinc for the thyroid.
Wild blueberries draw heavy metals out of your brain tissue and heal gaps created by oxidation when the heavy metals are removed. Wild blueberries, in particular, possess unique phytonutrients with special detoxifying abilities.
Astragalus can be very beneficial for healing and strengthening the thyroid. It is an adaptogenic herb meaning they help you adapt and deal with stress, and lower cortisol levels.
Hemp seeds provide ALA, a type of omega-3 fat that’s critical for proper hormonal balance and thyroid function. It’s important to have a low to moderate level of healthy fats in your diet (don’t go overboard) to support brain function and lessen inflammation.
Atlantic Dulse is a seaweed which binds to lead, aluminium, copper, cadmium and nickel. Atlantic dulse actually goes into deep, hidden places of the digestive tract, binding to mercury and not releasing it. Concerned about the dulse itself having mercury? Atlantic sea dulse will not release any mercury it might possess into the body. It holds onto mercury and grabs onto other metals along the way and drives them out as well
Chamomile tea has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for the thyroid. It works to strengthen the immune system and boost thyroid health. Drink this tea four times a day to encourage production of hormones by the thyroid gland.
Don’t fear cruciferous vegetables. These include kale, broccoli, cauliflower etc. It’s a myth that they negatively effect the thyroid. (You’d need to eat a barrel a day to experience those effects!).
Liquid B12 is amazing for the endocrine system and the pituitary gland. The master gland of the endocrine is the pituitary, and it produces hormones that control the release of hormones by the other endocrine glands. The pituitary gland controls the release of thyroid hormones by releasing thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). B12 is critical for the thyroid to function optimally.
Nascent Iodine is the right kind of iodine to protect your thyroid from radiation and pathogens. Iodine is an important substance for thyroid metabolism. It is a trace element, which means that the body cannot produce it itself, but needs to take it in with food. Iodine is taken from the food and enters the bloodstream. It is then built into the thyroid hormones in the thyroid gland.
The combination of these foods and supplements supply your thyroid with critical nutrients, help repair thyroid tissue, reduce nodule growth, flush toxic heavy metals and viral waste, and boost production of thyroid hormones. By providing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive, you can heal naturally.