Do you experience a myriad of the following symptoms?
- -Weight gain even though you are adhering to an eating plan
- -Morning headaches that taper off as the day goes on
- -Sensitivity to cold
- -Poor circulation possibly with numbness in your hands and feet
- -Muscle cramps while resting
- -Susceptibility to viral or bacterial infections with slow recovery
- -Slow wound healing
- -Feel like you need excessive amounts of sleep
- -Chronic digestive problems
- -Itchy, dry skin
- -Dry or Brittle hair
- -Hair falls out easily
- -Dry skin
- -Facial swelling
- -Loss of the outer edge of your eyebrows
These are the most commonly reported symptoms of having a thyroid condition.
It is estimated that more than 12 percent of the US population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) estimates that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Compare that to just 9 million Americans with some form of cancer, and the numbers are staggering.
Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, and one woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are not even aware of their condition!
The ancient Greeks named the thyroid gland “thyreos”, which translates to “shield”. Not only is the thyroid gland shaped like a shield, but it also serves as one. It sits over the Adam’s apple, and functions as a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affects critical body functions.
One of the most important things to remember about the thyroid is that it is highly sensitive to the slightest changes in your body. So when the thyroid malfunctions, as it does for approximately 20 million Americans, many body systems are affected. And although the thyroid gland is relatively small, it produces a hormone that influences every cell, tissue and organ in your body. Functions that are influenced by the thyroid gland’s performance include:
- Gastrointestinal function
- Bone metabolism
- Gallbladder and Liver processes
- Growth hormone stimulation
- Fat burning
- Insulin and glucose metabolism
- Cholesterol and lipid circulation
- Brain Chemistry
- Estrogen metabolism and breast cancer
- Adrenal hormone metabolism
- Liver Detoxification
- Stomach acid production
- Protein metabolism
- Progesterone production
- Body heat and hot flash maintenance
- Raising homocysteine levels, increasing the risk of heart disease
There are four disease states identified as thyroid disorders:
- Hyperthyroidism, another form of thyroid disease, is a condition causing the gland to produce too much thyroid hormone.
- Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism; it is an autoimmune disorder that is genetic and estimated to affect one percent of the population.
- Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies directed against the thyroid gland lead to chronic inflammation, eventually resulting in hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis occurs most commonly in middle aged women, but can be seen at any age, and can also affect men, and children.
Current research has shown that 90% of thyroid disorders are actually Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease
In fact, this research has also led to the finding that chronic inflammation of the GUT LINING, or leaky gut, is actually a prerequisite for having an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s. And the findings also demonstrated that 70 percent of your immune system is actually in your gut!
So, if 90% of thyroid disorders are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis autoimmune, and 70% of autoimmune diseases originate in your gut, supporting your gut and getting to the root cause of your autoimmune condition is imperative before the proper support and supplementation can be determined.
Has your immune system gone haywire because of a food sensitivity?
An exposure to a toxin?
Or did a pathogen cause an infection in your body?
Functional Medicine practitioners address the underlying root causes of disease, as the client and practitioner work together in a supportive partnership. Functional medicine is adapted to meet the needs of new research and support modalities for the current direction of healthcare, plus examine the root cause of autoimmunity.
To begin your journey of determining the root cause of your Hashimoto’s thyroid condition, you MUST first address the following:
Hippocrates said that all disease begins in the gut, yet gastrointestinal dysfunctions are the most overlooked and exceedingly common disorders today, affecting about 70 million Americans. Since most of the immune system is situated in the digestive tract, an unhealthy gut leads to an unhealthy immune system. Because the lining of the digestive tract is an important immune barrier, poor gut health is a significant factor in triggering autoimmune diseases. To support an autoimmune condition, you must take care of your digestive health. Chronic inflammation of the gut may cause you to be sensitive to multiple foods that you normally would not be sensitive to. These foods may be gluten, dairy, soy, corn and even some gluten-free foods like rice and quinoa. Every time you take a bite of the foods you may be sensitive to, you actually trigger a systemic inflammation response. Functional medicine practitioners believe that everything starts in the gut, so this is a high priority for most people, especially if you have an autoimmune condition and/or gut infection like yeast overgrowth, or even a parasite. To unlock and support your autoimmune condition or chronic issue, addressing any gastrointestinal issues and a leaky gut is the first area that should be explored.
Stabilizing your blood sugar is paramount for autoimmune stability and health. If you have blood sugar dysfunction, that can have an impact on your thyroid, your gut, and your adrenals and cause inflammation. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can be detrimental to your health. Hypoglycemic symptoms include: cravings for sweets, irritability if meals are missed, dependence on coffee for energy, eating to relieve fatigue, poor memory, forgetfulness, feeling shaky, jittery, nervous or agitated. Insulin resistance, or high blood sugar, can also contribute to an autoimmune problem. Insulin resistance symptoms may include: fatigue after meals, general fatigue, constant hunger, cravings for sweets that are not relieved by eating them, feeling that you must have sweets after meals, frequent urination, trouble losing weight, and aches and pains. You may also experience brain fog, loss of mental clarity and a host of other symptoms that could improve with regulation of your blood sugar levels.
Over the course of your lifetime your body has been exposed to numerous toxins. Environmental toxins found in your food, your beauty products and your workplace have been accumulating in your tissues. Infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria and fungi that you have been exposed to may still be prevalent in your gut. Using functional medicine detoxification methods, you can support your body and begin to eliminate the harmful effects of toxin exposure.
Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to feel like yourself again, control your symptoms and feel more energetic?
Your health is up to you. So what WILL make you healthier?
- Healthy Food & Supplements
- Detoxing chronic infections and toxins
Food, and the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in healthy meal choices should supply the supplementation needed for your body to function properly. However, at times our body needs help, a boost of sorts. However, the simple truth is that you can’t always get everything you need from your diet. Your body works hard to fight off the burdens you encounter each day, handle chronic stress, and reduce inflammation. Even if your diet did provide everything your body requires, you might not be absorbing those nutrients if you have a leaky gut. Supplements don’t replace healthy eating but they are an adjunct to proper nutrition.
Supplementation also manipulates your body chemistry to change how it functions, and speeds up the process of support and helps lead you to better health.
The top 4 supplements that support Thyroid Health are:
Most people are deficient in Vitamin D. Even if you are in ‘normal’ range you are most likely not at an optimal range. Your optimal range should be at 80 -100 ng/mL. Recently there has been a great deal of research looking at the effect of vitamin D on other body tissues, especially immune cells. It is now known that there are vitamin D receptors (VDRs) located in the nuclei of all immune cells, including antigen-presenting cells, natural killer cells, and B and T lymphocytes. There is also a considerable amount of research showing that Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with several autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Vitamin D promotes regulatory T cells, which are responsible for accurately differentiating between outside invaders and “self” cells. When active Vitamin D promotes them, it essentially makes your immune system smarter, teaching it to not attack itself and preventing the further development of an autoimmune disease.
Glutathione is a powerful supplemental defense against toxins and inflammation. It protects the body’s cells from damage, helps detoxify the body, and supports optimal immune function. When glutathione levels drop too low, you become more susceptible to autoimmune disease, multiple food sensitivities, chemical and heavy metal sensitivities, chronic inflammatory disorders, leaky gut, and other immune-related issues.
This intracellular antioxidant is crucial for proper cell function and inflammation response. Because it is important, the body actually makes its own glutathione. However, autoimmune disease uses up the naturally produced glutathione in your body and causes a depletion. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, garlic and other cruciferous vegetables provide glutathione. But if you have an autoimmune disease, supplementation with S-Acetyl Glutathione or Liposomal (liquid) Glutathione, is a must to replenish the Glutathione depletion. Hepato GSH is an herbal compound used to maintain your levels once your glutathione levels have improved.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s):
Fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, may be useful in the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Essential Fatty Acids can be found in fish oils, and dietary supplementation with fish oils has been shown to support several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Many of the benefits of using EFA’s include decreased disease activity and anti-inflammatory action. These EFA’s also help to regulate the body’s T regulatory cell system and contribute to overall support of the immune system.
Neurometabolic Gut Repair:
Because we now know that a Leaky Gut contributes to autoimmune conditions, the supplements in this kit help to repair the inflammation and resulting leaking of your gut. Leaky gut causes nutrients, toxins or infectious materials to leak through the intestinal wall and spark the immune response. One of the items in this kit, GI Resuscitate, acts like CPR for your gastro-intestinal system! It coats and heals the gut and acts like an anti-inflammatory, and supports gastrointestinal mucosal repair. Other items in this kit include NeuroMetabolic Meal which helps to promote an optimal intake of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals needed for overall wellness. Also, a prebiotic and probiotic for supporting gut flora, Prescrip-Assist is a matrix of superior, highly-resilient microflora whose organic, seed-like structures survive the early GI tract to thrive in the intestines. Pro Digestive Intensive contains nineteen digestive enzymes derived from vegetarian sources to support optimal digestion & nutrient absorption. Completing this kit is Fiber FX which contains a combination of fibers derived from fruits, vegetables, roots, seeds, and tree extracts with added friendly bacteria and prebiotics.
Use only high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements like the ones found online at www.neurometabolicsupplements.com. When you place an order for the supplements that support thyroid health, receive 5% off when you use the coupon code “take5today” and begin your journey to autoimmune healing!
Dr. Peter Kan
Dr. Peter Kan is a Chiropractic Functional Medicine and Functional Neurologist located in Gilbert, AZ.