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Thyroid

Do you, or someone you love, suffer from thyroid issues or disease? Have you tried medications and been told that diet has nothing to do with your symptoms? Did you know that food can affect your thyroid and gut health also plays a major part in the health of your thyroid?

At Changing Habits we believe in vitalistic living and natural approaches to health and well-being. Since 1998 our highly qualified and experienced team has empowered thousands of people to take control of their health by providing the tools and information to make sustainable changes for long-lasting health. Your body has amazing innate healing abilities, given the right tools and conditions.

About the thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine (hormonal) system and its primary function is to make and secrete thyroid hormones into the blood. These hormones are responsible for controlling and influencing your body’s metabolism and it also directly affects the gall bladder and liver function, brain, gastrointestinal tract, regulates the body’s temperature, along with glucose, protein, cholesterol and fat metabolism and much more. The thyroid uses iodine from foods to make two main thyroid hormones; T3 (Triiodothyronine) and T4 (Thyroxine), and the amount secreted of each is controlled by TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) which is released from the pituitary gland. Thyroid hormones affect every cell and organ in the body.

Diseases of the thyroid gland

Hypothyroidism: is when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, and Hashimotos is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, responsible for up to 90% of low functioning thyroid issues. Hashimoto’s is when the body mounts an immune reaction against its own thyroid gland tissue, leading to inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Reduced energy
  • Sluggishness
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Sensitive to cold
  • Depressed feelings
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Dry skin

Hyperthyroidism: is a condition in which an overactive thyroid gland produces too much of thyroid hormones that circulates in the blood. Grave’s disease is the most common cause of an over active thyroid gland. This is usually a result of the TSI (Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin) mimicking TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) which attaches to the thyroid cells causing the thyroid to produce too much T3 and T4, more than what the body actually needs.

Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sensitivity to heat and excess sweating
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Menstruation issues
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

What can help your thyroid be at its peak health?

Changing Habits recommends

  • Remove dietary causes of inflammation. For example; unfermented soy products, alcohol, wheat and gluten, food chemicals and artificial sweeteners, refined flours, sugar and oils.

  • Reduce your exposure to chemicals. Choose spray free and organic foods, natural cleaning products and personal care products. Try your best to avoid plastic storage containers and water bottles by opting for glass containers and drink bottles instead.

  • Focus on your gut health. Begin healing, sealing and nourishing the gut. It is essential to begin increasing and supporting the health of your immune system. Eat seasonally, consume bone broth, bone marrow and organ meats from healthy animals, anti-inflammatory foods, cultured foods like; kefir, water kefir, sauerkraut, other cultured veggies and Changing Habits Probiotics.

  • Consume coconut oil for your thyroid health. Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids that are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and used for energy. Coconut oil increases energy expenditure and metabolism.

  • Consume beneficial fats for health. Butter or ghee is wonderful for your thyroid, it is rich in Vitamin A which is critical for hormone balance, liver health, stamina, fertility and is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid. The Vitamin A found in butter and ghee is immediately useable by the body and is also a source of butyric acid, an anti-carcinogenic and short chain fatty acid which has been found to have numerous healing and soothing properties on the intestinal tract.
  • Consume liver for thyroid health. Liver offers the highest concentration of bioavailable Vitamin A found in nature, and is a significant thyroid-boosting property and helps get a ‘sluggish’ thyroid back into health. Make sure you source grass-fed and organic liver. Try frying chicken livers (the mildest in flavour) in butter or ghee with loads of herbs or spices, onion, garlic, pepper and seaweed salt or try our Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Liver Pate.
  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques. This is absolutely essential as stress causes thyroid hormone resistance and imbalances. Examples include yoga, meditation, walks in nature and along the beach, playing with your pets, gratitude journaling, reading, having a relaxing bath, getting a facial or massage and so on.

Book a consultation with our qualified nutritionists

Sheridan Williamson and Jordan Pie

Chances are that if you’re suffering from thyroid issues or a disease, you will extra support along the way. Everyone is an individual and requires a little tailoring to suit their own unique body, environment and lifestyle. There are many foods that can help the thyroid as well as foods that can worsen the condition. Our consultants are here to help and consultations can be conducted in person at our office, over the phone or via skype.

Hunter Gatherer Protocol

Our Hunter Gatherer Protocol has been designed to eliminate foods out of your diet and slowly re-introduce foods back into your diet, to see what creates health and mental clarity and what foods may create ill-health and cause inflammation. As you start to eliminate certain foods out of your diet:

  • be more alert and have a better sense of well-being
  • feel happy and healthy
  • have improved sleep
  • have mental clarity
  • start to heal the gut
References
  1. Abdullatif HD, Ashraf AP. ‘Reversible subclinical hypothyroidism in the presence of adrenal insufficiency’. 2006; 12 (5), Pp. 572.
  2. Kresser C. ‘The Thyroid Gut Connection’. 2010. Available Here: http://chriskresser.com/the-thyroid-gut-connection/
  3. Stockigt, JR and Baverman LE. ‘Update on the Sick Euthyroid Syndrome. Diseases of the Thyroid’. 1997. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, Pp.49-68.
  4. Führer D1, Brix K2, Biebermann H3. ‘Understanding the Healthy Thyroid State in 2015’. Eur Thyroid. 2015. Pp. 1-8.
  5. Sun X1, Sun Y, Li WC, Chen CY et al; ‘Association of Thyroid-stimulating Hormone and Cardiovascular Risk Factors’. 2015. Intern Med. 54 (20), Pp. 2537-44.
  6. Ritchie M1, Yeap BB2. ‘Thyroid hormone: Influences on mood and cognition in adults’. 2015. 81(2), Pp. 266-75.
  7. Campbell AW. ‘Autoimmunity and the Gut’. 2014. Autoimmune Dis. Pp. 2-14.
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