June 5, 2011

Basic Thyroid Gland (Metabolism Gland) Info

Thyroid disease can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and, in extreme cases, coma or death, if left untreated. Some experts say between 10 and 40 percent of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function, half of which with hypothyroidism (producing less than adequate thyroid hormone) are never even diagnosed. Those who are, more often than not, are inadequately treated, resulting in partial recovery at best. Many of these folks may actually have nothing wrong with their thyroid gland at all – they may just be iodine deficient. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) affects roughly 80 percent of people with thyroid disease.

Indicators of a thyroid problem
- Depression
- Heart disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Fibromyalgia
- PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
- Menopausal symptoms
- Muscle and joint pains
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Autoimmune diseases

Classic signs and well known symptoms of a sluggish thyroid gland
- Weight gain
- Lethargy
- Poor quality hair and nails
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Fatigue
- Cold hands and feet
- Constipation

Conditions not commonly associated with poor thyroid function
- High cholesterol
- Irregular menstruation
- Low libido
- Infertility
- Gum disease
- Fluid retention
- Skin conditions such as acne and exzema
- Memory problems
- Poor stamina

There are, in fact, many more conditions that can be associated with poor thyroid function. Your thyroid plays a part in nearly every physiological process. When it is out of balance, so are you. It is for this reason that it is so important to have a basic understanding of how your thyroid gland works and what can cause it to run amok.

Thyroid problems have become quite common because the same lifestyle factors that are contributing to high rates of obesity, cancer and diabetes are wreaking havoc on your thyroid. Some of these factors are:
- Sugar
- Processed foods
- Stress
- Environmental toxins
- Lack of exercise

How your thyroid works
First off, the thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck and is part of your endocrine, or hormonal, system. It is responsible for producing the master metabolism hormones that influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones interact with all your other hormones including insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

The fact that these hormones are all tied together and in constant communication explains why an unhappy thyroid is associated with so many widespread symptoms and diseases.

The thyroid gland produces two major thyroid hormones: T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). These hormones help oxygen get into cells, and make your thyroid the master gland of metabolism. About 90% of the hormone produced by the gland is in the form of T4, which is the inactive form. The liver then converts T4 into T3, the active form with the help of an enzyme.

The thyroid also produces T2, which is currently the least understood component of thyroid function and the subject of much ongoing study.

The thyroid hormones work in a feedback loop with your brain – particularly your pituitary and hypothalamus – in regulating the release of thyroid hormone. The pituitary makes thyroid releasing hormone (TRH), and your hypothalamus makes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). If everything is working properly, you will make what you need and you’ll have the proper amounts of T3 and T4.

T3 and T4 are what control the metabolism of every cell in your body. Their delicate balance can be disrupted by nutritional imbalances, toxins, allergens, infections and stress.
If T3 is inadequate, either by insufficient production or just not converting properly from T4, your whole system suffers.

T3 is critically important because it tells the nucleus of your cells to send messages to your DNA to crank up your metabolism by burning fat. That is why T3 lowers cholesterol levels, regrows hair, and helps keep you lean.

How to know if you are hypothyroid
Identifying hypothyroidism and its cause is difficult because many of the symptoms overlap with other disorders, and many are vague. Physicians often miss a thyroid problem since they rely on just a few traditional tests, so other clues to the problem go undetected.

However, you can provide your own clues to help your physician in determining if there is a problem with your thyroid function.

The more vigilant you can be in assessing your own symptoms and risk factors and presenting the complete picture to your physician in an organized way, the easier it will be for your physician to help you.

Your body will let you know if your thyroid is not working properly as fatigue is the most common sign, followed by depression and muscle weakness.

People with hypothyroidism sometimes have significant fatigue or sluggishness, especially in the morning. You may have hoarseness for no apparent reason. People with hypothyroidism are often slow to warm up, even in saunas, and do not sweat with mild exercise. Low mood and depression are also common.

Sluggish bowels and constipation are major clues as well, especially if you are drinking enough water and getting enough fiber.

If your upper outer third of your eyebrows are thin or missing, this can indicate low thyroid. Chronic recurrent infections are also seen because thyroid function is important for your immune system.

Another telltale sign of hypothyroidism is a low basal body temperature (BBT), less than 97.6 degrees Farenheit averaged over a minimum of 3 days. A BBT thermometer is best to assess this.

Some other common symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
1. Forgetfulness
2. Changes in weight and appetite
3. Sluggish and tired
4. Difficulty losing weight despite proper diet and exercise
5. Dry, rough, scaly skin
6. Dry, tangled hair
7. Hair loss, particularly from the outer part of your eyebrows
8. Brittle nails
9. Cold sensitivity
10. Cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability
11. If thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is difficult and will notice you don’t have the energy to do things you used to be able to do
12. Feeling like you don’t have the energy to exercise
13. Heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon, as your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status
14. Falling asleep as soon as you sit down and don’t have to do anything

If you wake up energized, maintain decent energy throughout the day, are able to maintain alertness/sharpness, you have energy as needed to meet demands, and your muscles feel fit, you do not have thyroid-related fatigue. The more you don’t feel like this, the greater chance there is a thyroid-related problem

Family history could provide clues as well. Some family history that may suggest you could have a higher risk for hypothyroidism include:
- High or low thyroid function
- Goiter
- Prematurely gray hair
- Left-handedness
- Diabetes
- Autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s)
- Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Elevated cholesterol levels

Now that there is an understanding of the importance of your thyroid and how it works, let’s take a look at the factors that can readily cause problems with your thyroid gland.

Your lifestyle choices dictate, to a great degree, how well your thyroid will function.

Eliminating junk food, processed food, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, and anything with chemical ingredients is a start. Choosing to eat only whole, unprocessed foods, and as many organics as possible is the next step.

Gluten and other food sensitivities are among the most common causes of thyroid dysfunction because they cause inflammation.
Gluten causes autoimmune responses in many people and can be responsible for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a common autoimmune thyroid condition. Approximately 30 percent of people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and is usually unrecognized.

How this works is, gluten can cause your gastrointestinal system to malfunction, so foods you eat aren’t completely digested (aka Leaky Gut Syndrome). These food particles can then be absorbed into your bloodstream where your body misidentifies them as antigens – substances that shouldn’t be there – our body then produces antibodies against them.

These antigens are similar to molecules in your thyroid gland. So your body accidentally attacks your thyroid. This is known as an autoimmune reaction or one in which your body actually attacks itself.

Testing which involves measuring your IgG and IgA antibodies for gluten and other food sensitivities can be done.

Another major contributor to thyroid dysfunction is unfermented soy. Soy isoflavones can wreak havoc on your thyroid. Soy in NOT the health food the agricultural and food companies would have you believe.

Soy is high in isoflavones (or goitrogens), which are damaging to your thyroid gland. Thousands of studies now link soy foods to malnutrition, digestive stress, immune system weakness, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, infertility, cancer, heart disease and a host of other problems – in addition to damaging your thyroid.

However, properly fermented organic soy products such as natto, miso, and tempeh are fine – it’s the unfermented soy products that you should stay away from.

Coconut oil
One of the best foods you can eat for your thyroid is coconut oil. Coconut oil is a saturated fat comprised of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss.

Coconut oil is very stable (3 to 5 years shelf life at room temperature), so your body is much less burdened with oxidative stress than it is from many other vegetable oils. Coconut oil also does not interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3 like other oils can.

Iodine is a key component of thyroid hormone. In fact, the names of the different forms of thyroid hormone reflect the number of iodine molecules attached – T4 has four attached iodine molecules, and T3 has three – showing what an important part iodine plays in thyroid biochemistry.

Iodine deficiency is one of the three most common nutritional deficiencies, along with magnesium and vitamin D.

Because iodine is so important with thyroid function, hypothyroidism can be a direct result of insufficient iodine levels.

This means that a thyroid problem could actually be an iodine deficiency problem.

If you aren’t getting enough iodine in your diet, and most North Americans don’t, no matter how healthy your thyroid gland is, it won’t have the raw materials to make enough thyroid hormone.

Iodine has four important functions in your body:
1. Stabilization of metabolism
2. Brain development in children
3. Fertility
4. Optimization of your immune system (iodine is a potent anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti-cancer agent)

While iodine levels have fallen, there have been simultaneous increases in rates of thyroid disease, breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, prostate cancer, and obesity in North American adults, and an increase in mental retardation and developmental delays in North American children.

On a side note, it’s important to mention why iodine levels are dropping.

In the 1980’s the baking industry replaced iodine-based anti-caking agents with bromine-based agents.

In addition to iodine’s disappearance from our supply, exposure to toxic competing halogens (bromine, fluorine, chlorine and perchlorate) has dramatically increased.

Chlorine, fluorine and bromine are also culprits in thyroid function, and since they are halides like iodine, they compete for your iodine receptors.

You absorb these halogens through your food, water, medications and environment, and they selectively occupy your iodine receptors, further deepening your iodine deficit.

If you are exposed to a lot of bromine, you will not hold on to the iodine you need. Bromine is present in many places in your everyday world – plastics, pesticides, hot tub treatments, fire retardants, some flours and bakery goods, and even some soft drinks.

Fluoridation of water is a major contributor to iodine deficiency, besides being very damaging to your health in many other ways.

Make sure the water you drink is filtered. Fluoride is particularly damaging to your thyroid gland. Not all water filters remove fluoride, so make sure the one you have does.

Additional factors contributing to falling iodine levels are:
1. Diets low in fish, shellfish and seaweed
2. Vegan and vegetarian diets
3. Decreased use of iodized salt
4. Less use of iodide in the food and agricultural industry
5. Use of radioactive iodine in many medical procedures, which competes with natural iodine

The Wolff-Chaikoff Effect
A major reason why iodine fell out of favour is the Wolff-Chaikoff Effect, which has been a disaster for public health.

There was an experiment done that resulted in a case of hypothyroidism, which researchers misinterpreted as being caused by excessive iodine intake. However, the individual was given intravenous radioactive iodine – which is toxic. It had nothing to do with food or supplement iodine intake, and the two are completely different.

Yet, tales of this experiment quickly spread, creating a fear of iodine that caused it to be removed from the American food supply for the last three decades.

Iodine deficiency is particularly profound in the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the United States because iodine is typically found only in soils close to the oceans, whereas soils of inland areas are iodine deficient. In fact, that region used to be called the “goiter belt” because of its extremely high incidence of people with goiters (swelling of the thyroid gland).

Iodine and cancer risk
Iodine levels have dropped significantly due to bromine exposure; declining consumption of iodized salt, eggs, fish, and sea vegetables; and soil depletion. There was a 50 percent reduction in urinary iodine excreted between 1970 and 1990 in the U.S.

The Japanese consume 89 times more iodine than Americans due to daily consumption of sea vegetables, and they have reduced rates of many chronic diseases, including the lowest rates of cancer in the world.

RDA (recommended daily amount) for iodine in the U.S. is a meagre 150 mcg/day, which pales in comparison with the average daily intake of 13,800 mcg/day for the Japanese.

There is a large body of evidence suggesting that the low cancer rates in Japan are a result of their substantially higher iodine levels. Iodine has documented antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties.

Strong case can be made that iodine RDA should be closer to what the Japanese consume daily, if breast cancer rates are any indication. Low iodine can lead to fibrocystic breast disease in women (density, lumps and bumps), hyperplasia, and atypical mammary tissue. Such fibrocystic changes in breast tissue have been shown to reverse in the presence of iodine supplementation after 3-4 months.

Toxic halides
Iodine is a member of a class of related elements called “halogens” that includes bromine, fluorine, and chlorine. When they are chemically reduced, they become “halides”: iodide, bromide, fluoride, and chloride. These are the forms you usually encounter in your foods, medications and environment.

Iodide and chloride are beneficial in small amounts, but bromide and fluoride are toxic. They grab onto your iodine receptors, blocking the action of iodide and thyroid hormones, resulting in, or at least contributing to many serious diseases.

Bromine and chlorine were the most common toxic elements reportedly found in automobiles, according to the blog of David Brownstein, MD. They showed up in seats, armrests, door trim, shift knobs and other areas of the car. This is especially important considering most people spend hours in their car daily with the windows up and no air circulation.

One of the main problems is that toxic halides become stuck in your body.

There is no known detoxification pathway for bromine and fluorine – your body simply cannot break them down. So, they build up in your tissues and wreak havoc on your health.

Bromides are a menace to your endocrine system and are present all around you.

One clinical consequence of overexposure to bromine is suppression of your thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism and another is bromide toxicity.

Because bromide is also a halide, what makes it so dangerous is it competes for the same receptors that are used in the thyroid gland (among other places) to capture iodine. This will inhibit thyroid hormone production resulting in a low thyroid state.

If you are exposed to a lot of bromide, your body will not hold on to the iodine that it needs. Iodine affects every tissue in your body, not just your thyroid.

The ban on bromides has not prevented them from sneaking into our foods and personal care products.

Bromide can be found in several forms. Methyl bromide is a pesticide used on mainly strawberries, found predominantly in the California areas.

Bromide vegetable oil (BVO) is added to citrus/soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca and other citrus-flavoured sodas) to help suspend the flavouring in the liquid.

Mountain Dew uses brominated vegetable oil as an emulsifier. It also contains high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, over 55mg of caffeine per 12 ounce can, and yellow dye #5 (tartrazine, which has been banned in Norway, Austria and Germany). This is literally a weapon of mass destruction in a can!

Despite a ban on the use of potassium bromate in flour by the World Health Organization, bromides can still be found in some over-the-counter medications, foods, and personal care products.

Potassium bromate is a dough conditioner found in commercial bakery products and some flours. The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures. Nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide, as it is commonly used in flours.

Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. Other successful companies managed to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems”.

Potassium bromate is also found in some toothpastes and mouthwashes, where it’s added as an antiseptic and astringent. It has been found to cause bleeding and inflammation of gums in people using these products

Sodium bromate can be found in products such as permanent waves, hair dyes, and textile dyes.

Benzylkonium is used as a preservative in some cosmetics. Even trace amounts of bromine can trigger severe acne in sensitive individuals. Who would want a skin care product that causes acne?

Bromine is also found in fire retardants used in carpets, mattresses, upholstery, and furniture and some medical equipment, plastics, like those used to make computers, and medications such as Atrovent Inhaler, Atrovent Nasal Spray, Pro-Banthine (for ulcers), and anesthesia agents.

Bromine-based hot tub and swimming pool treatments are common.

Even drinking water can be a source of bromide. When drinking water containing bromide is exposed to ozone, bromated ions are formed, which are powerful oxidizing agents. Such was the case in 2004 when Coca Cola Company had to recall Dasani bottled water.

Based on animal research, bromides have been linked to behavioural changes and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Attention Deficit Disorders, in children.

The United States is quite behind in putting an end to the egregious practice of allowing bromine chemicals in your food and products whereas other nations have taken the bull by the horns:
1. The United Kingdom banned bromate in bread in 1990
2. Canada in 1994
3. Brazil recently outlawed bromide in flour products
4. The European Union has banned some PBDE compounds (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)

The reason it has yet to be banned in the United States is because the dollar still takes precedence when it comes to corporate America.

If you ingest bromide
When you ingest or absorb, it displaces iodine, and this deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate – cancers that we see at an alarmingly high rate today. This has become significant enough to have been given its own name – “the bromide dominance theory”.

Bromide is toxic in and of itself. Bromide builds up in your central nervous system and results in many problems. It’s a central nervous system depressant and can trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms

In addition to psychiatric problems, bromine toxicity can manifest as the following:
1. Skin rashes and severe acne
2. Loss of appetite and abdominal pain
3. Fatigue
4. Metallic taste
5. Cardiac arrhythmias

Tips for avoiding bromine and optimizing iodine levels
Trying to avoid bromine is like trying to avoid air pollution – all you can do is minimize your exposure.

Eat organic as often as possible. Wash all produce thoroughly. This will minimize your pesticide exposure.

Avoid eating or drinking from (or storing food and water in) plastic containers. Use glass and safe ceramic vessels.

Look for organic whole-grain breads and flour. Grind your own grain, if possible. Look for the “no bromine” or “bromine free” label on commercial baked goods.

Avoid sodas. Drink natural, filtered water instead.

Look into ozone purification system, if you own a hot tub. Such systems make it possible to keep the water clean with minimal chemical treatments.

Look for personal care products that are as chemical free as possible. Remember – anything going on you, goes in you.

When in a car or a building, open windows as often as possible, preferably on opposing sides of the space for cross ventilation. Utilize fans to circulate the air. Chemical pollutants are much higher inside buildings (and cars) than outside.

Stress and adrenal function
Stress is one of the worst thyroid offenders. Your thyroid is intimately tied to your adrenal function, which is intimately affected by how you handle stress.

Many of us are under chronic stress, which results in increased adrenalin and cortisol levels, and elevated cortisol has a negative impact on thyroid function. Thyroid hormone levels drop during stress, while you actually need more thyroid hormones during stressful times.

When stress becomes chronic, the flood of stress chemicals (adrenalin and cortisol) produced by your adrenal glands interferes with thyroid hormones and can contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unstable blood sugar, and more.

A prolonged stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion (also known as adrenal fatigue), which is often found alongside thyroid disease.

Environmental toxins place additional stress on your body. Pollutants such as petrochemicals, organochlorines, pesticides and chemical food additives negatively affect thyroid function.

One of the best destressors is exercise, which is why it is so beneficial for your thyroid.

Exercise directly stimulates your thyroid gland to secrete more thyroid hormone. Exercise also increases the sensitivity of all your tissues to thyroid hormone. It is even thought that many of the health benefits of exercise stem directly from improved thyroid function.

Even something as simple as a 30-minute walk is a great form of exercise, and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Don’t forget to add strength training to your exercise routine, because increasing your muscle mass helps raise your metabolic rate.

Also make sure you are getting enough sleep. Inadequate sleep contributes to stress and prevents your body from regenerating fully.

Tips to treat a sluggish thyroid
Address and reduce stress, particularly emotional stress. The vast majority of people’s thyroid glands become impaired as a result of weak/stressed ADRENAL GLANDS. The thyroid gland tries to compensate for this and eventually just gives up and stops working. There is little likelihood of recovering your thyroid function without hormonal replacement if the adrenals remain stressed.

Keeping your iodine levels optimal is particularly important if you are a women that is contemplating pregnancy, or are already pregnant Make sure you are taking seaweed or a prenatal vitamin with the right amount and form of iodide, not iodine, to help protect your baby.

Identify and treat the underlying cause (iodine deficiency, hormone imbalance, environmental toxicity, inflammation).

Adjust your diet and understand the role of nutrition (iodine, as well as tyrosine, selenium, vitamins A and D, zinc, B vitamins, and omega-3 fats), food allergies, gluten intolerance, and foods that contain goitrogens, such as soy, which interfere with the utilization of iodine.

Eat plenty of sea vegetables such as seaweed, which are rich in minerals and iodine (hijiki, wakame, arame, dulse, nori, and kombu). This is probably the most ideal form of iodine supplementation as it is also loaded with many other beneficial nutrients.

Eat Brazil nuts, which are rich in selenium.

Get plenty of sunlight to optimize your vitamin D levels; if you live where sunlight is limited, use vitamin D3 supplementation.

Eat foods rich in vitamin A, such as dandelion greens, carrots, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, and sweet potatoes.

Make sure you are eating enough omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).

Use pure, organic coconut oil in your cooking – it’s great for stir fries and sautéing many different meats and vegetables.

Filter your drinking water and your bathing water.

Filter your air, since it is one of the ways you take in environmental pollutants.

Use an infrared sauna to help your body combat infections and detoxify from petrochemicals, metals, PCBs, pesticides and mercury.

Taking chlorella is another excellent detoxification aid.

Many women suffering with hormonal imbalances report significant benefits from the South American herb maca.

Make sure you’re getting enough selenium and iodine, which provide the raw materials for thyroid gland to work better.

Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high quality source. A variety of studies and physiological principles suggest that 3-5 grams of omega-3’s a day would be helpful in restoring thyroid function.

Get sound sleep every night, in complete darkness.

Take active steps to minimize your stress ... relaxation, meditation, hot soaks, whatever works for you.


Reduce your stress!!!!

The more you can rid your body of toxic halides, the more iodine your body will be able to hang onto, and the better your thyroid will function.

Tips to increase secretion of fluoride and bromide

High-dose iodine

High-dose vitamin C

Unrefined sea salt

Epsom salt baths

Sweating in a far infrared sauna

Thyroid hormone replacement
Nearly every conventional doctor will use synthetic thyroid to treat the symptoms of underactive thyroid.

If you have poor thyroid function, despite making the supportive lifestyle changes already discussed, then it might be time to look at thyroid supplementation.

Taking thyroid hormone should be done only after you have ruled out other conditions that could be causing the thyroid dysfunction such as adrenal fatigue, gluten or other food allergies, hormonal imbalance, etc. It is always best to get your thyroid working again by treating the underlying cause, as opposed to taking an external source of thyroid hormone.

Sometimes supplementation is necessary.

Conventional pharmaceutical treatment usually consists of replacing only T4 in the form of Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothyroid, Unithroid, and Levothyroxine, leaving your body to convert this to T3.

Literature suggests that most people can’t effectively convert the pure T4 in synthetic thyroid preparations to T3 so a natural thyroid hormone like Armour Thyroid may be a better bet than synthetic thyroid prescriptions like Synthroid.

However, research has shown that a combination of T4 and T3 is often more effective than T4 alone. The conversion to T3 can be hampered by nutritional deficiencies such as low selenium, inadequate omega-3 fatty acids, low zinc, chemicals from the environment, or by stress.

Oftentimes, taking T4 alone will result in only partial improvement.

Taking T3 alone is usually too stimulating. The drug Cytomel is a very short-acting form of T3 that can cause palpitations, anxiety, irritability and insomnia.

By far, the best approach is combined T4 and T3 therapy.

Natural thyroid products, like Armour Thyroid are a combination of T4, T3 and T2 made from desiccated, or dried, porcine thyroid. Armour Thyroid has gotten a bad rap over the years, perceived by physicians to be unstable and unreliable in terms of dosage. However, many improvements have been made in the product, making it a safe and effective option for treating hypothyroidism today.

In fact, a study done ten years ago clearly demonstrated that patients with hypothyroidism showed greater improvements in mood and brain function if they received treatment with Armour Thyroid than if they received Synthroid.

The optimal dose for Armour Thyroid ranges from 15 to 180 milligrams, depending on the individual. You will need a prescription.

Once on thyroid replacement, you will not necessarily need to take it for the rest of your life, which is a common misconception. Once all the factors that have led to your thyroid dysfunction have been corrected, you may be able to reduce or discontinue the thyroid hormone replacement.

Once on thyroid hormone replacement, I recommend you monitor your progress by paying attention to how you feel, in addition to regular lab studies.

If you remain on thyroid hormones for a period of years, your thyroid will tend to become progressively less functional. In time, it will probably stop producing any functional hormones whatsoever, which could condemn you to taking thyroid hormones for the rest of your life.

Literature suggests that people on thyroid hormones for less than five years respond far better to natural thyroid hormone supplementation that has both T1, T2, T3 and T4, not just T4 like Synthroid which is a synthetic thyroid hormone

You can also routinely check your basal body temperature. If you are not on the correct dose, your BBT should be about 98.6 degrees Farenheit.

If you begin to feel symptoms such as anxiety, palpitations, diarrhea, high blood pressure, or a resting pulse of more than 80 beats per minute, your dose is likely too high as these are symptoms of hyperthyroidism, and you should let your physician know immediately.

A thyroid problem is no different than any other chronic illness -- you must address the underlying issues if you hope to correct the problem. The path to wellness may involve a variety of twists and turns before you find what works for you.

But hang in there. If you approach it from a comprehensive, wholistic perspective, you will find in time that all of the little steps you take will ultimately result in your feeling much better than you could have ever imagined.

If you have any questions about any of the content presented, feel free to contact me at ben@paramounttraining.ca. I'm available for online consulting and personalized program design, as well as one on one training if you are located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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