Start Healing Thyroid Problems by Identifying Key Toxicity Sources
Learn why thyroid conditions are largely undiagnosed and how toxicity can impact the thyroid. Find out what you can do to start healing thyroid problems, shed pounds and become optimistic and energetic again. This is a guest post by Magdalena Wszelaki, nutrition coach and a thyroid expert.
- Could your thyroid be the cause of your fatigue, weight gain, depression and hair loss?
- 1. TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and T4 (hormone produced by the thyroid) are not enough to conclude that your thyroid is healthy.
- 2. TSH range used as “normal” is 0.5 to 5.0
- 3. Antibodies are another critical marker in a complete diagnosis
- 4. T3 is the bio-available hormone for the body to use
- 5. Free T3 and not just Total T3
- Diagnosis is key but it’s only the beginning of the healing path
- There are 7 key toxic sources known to us today that can detrimentally impact the thyroid:
- Free Cooking for Balance Workshop
Could your thyroid be the cause of your fatigue, weight gain, depression and hair loss?
You might have had your thyroid tested lately and been told that “you have no thyroid problem” in spite of feeling run down, fatigued, moody and struggling with weight, depression, anxiety and hair loss.
If you look at your blood test results, you were probably tested for TSH and T4 – the “standard thyroid tests” in a conventional doctor’s office. Holistic and alternative medical practitioners believe that we have far more people suffering from an underactive thyroid but due to inadequate tests and ranges used, we fly under the radar. This is why:
1. TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and T4 (hormone produced by the thyroid) are not enough to conclude that your thyroid is healthy.
It has been proven over and over again by holistic practitioners that many patients might have a “normal” TSH and T4 but only when additional tests are run such as Free T3, reverse T3, TPO and TGB antibodies, a complete diagnosis can be given. Sadly, most doctors are not testing for these markers causing so many people to go undiagnosed.
2. TSH range used as “normal” is 0.5 to 5.0
This is another controversial area as even the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends doctors to use the range of 0.3-3.0. Most endocrinologists are not even aware of the revised range.
3. Antibodies are another critical marker in a complete diagnosis
Most thyroid conditions (we are talking about 90%) are autoimmune diseases. This means that the reason why the thyroid becomes under- or overactive is due to the attack of the immune system. By testing the level of TPO and TBG antibodies we can conclude how inflamed the immune system is. (Laurie's note: My initial TSH levels came back in “high normal” range, but my anti-bodies were sky high.)
4. T3 is the bio-available hormone for the body to use
The thyroid gland produces T4 hormone that is an inactive hormone that our body cannot utilize. The T4 hormone gets converted (in the gut and the liver) to T3 which is the bio-available hormone for our body to utilize.
T3 is the hormone that stimulates our metabolism, our brain function, digestive system, skin, hair, nails, etc. Sadly, many doctors do not test for T3 at all. This is why a person can have a “normal” T4 level but due to a poor digestive system and a sluggish liver, T3 might be insufficient and therefore causing many of the thyroid symptoms. (Laurie's note: My 4 levels were mid-range, but my T3 levels were low.)
5. Free T3 and not just Total T3
The few doctors who test for T3 tend to order “Total T3”. We need to test for Free T3 because this is what the body cell receptors can utilize. Again, some people show “normal” Total T3 but have insufficient Free T3 levels.
As you can see, there are so many reasons why many of us are very likely to be undiagnosed. It is therefore recommended to seek a medical practitioner who understands the thyroid and is willing to run a full panel of tests.
Diagnosis is key but it’s only the beginning of the healing path
The bigger question holistic and alternative practitioners asks is: “Why is it happening? Why did we not have a thyroid pandemic 50 years ago?”
Much of it can be attributed to the increased levels of toxicity present in our lives today. It’s well known, that most people with thyroid conditions have a high toxic load.
Where is it all coming from?
There are 7 key toxic sources known to us today that can detrimentally impact the thyroid:
Toxicity Source #1: Food We Eat
The way we process our food today has contributed to the loss of its nutritional value. Added substances like preservatives and additives are simply not tolerated by our bodies and are seen as toxic. Furthermore, pasteurization, homogenization and refining of food have created a storm of digestive problems. In short, our food today is very different from 50 years ago and not coincidentally, the rate of diseases has escalated too.
An incredible majority of people experience chronic bloating, acid reflux, constipation, gas or burping and assume it’s “normal” to feel this way. It is NOT. It’s critical not to experience any of these symptoms for optimal overall and thyroid health.
Most of us do not know that the majority of the immune system lives in the digestive track. Since most of thyroid diseases are autoimmune conditions, it’s therefore critical to repair the gut.
Not surprisingly, most people with thyroid conditions also experience frequent or chronic bloating, fatigue after eating, constipation, acid reflux, etc.
a. Identify food intolerances you might have – food like gluten, eggs, dairy and soy are known to be causing many digestive problems, aggravating the immune system, hence the thyroid. Eliminate them all for two weeks and re-introduce one after another to see how your body responds.
b. Eliminate all processed, refined foods and replace with real, organic and local food. If shopping for organic food creates a budget strain, look up food co-ops and CSAs (community-supported agriculture) in your area.
c. Address your food cravings – a craving is our body’s well of telling us that it needs something. Most people crave sugar and starches which, unfortunately, feeds the pathogenic bacteria in the gut, contributing to a weaker immune system.
By following these few simple suggestions, you will instantly improve your digestive track and your liver, strengthen your immune system and give your thyroid a chance to get revived from a reduced attack of the immune system.
Toxicity Source #2: Antibiotics and drugs
“Doc, I have a sinus infection, I need help. NOW!”. You know that your doctor will prescribe a dose of antibiotics – which is a great, quick fix to get you back on your feet. The problem is –antibiotics wipe out the bad AND the good bacteria in the gut. Your gut needs the good bacteria in order to support a healthy immune system.
How do you boost your immune system?
a. Always look for natural cures first, adopt a mindset of “drugs are my very last resort.”
b. Introduce an abundance of probiotic-rich food like:
- Sauerkraut (pick from the refrigerated section, never in vinegar)
- Kimchee (Korean version of sauerkraut)
- Yoghurt (best is home-made) if you can tolerate diary
- Kefir, if you can tolerate diary
- Kombucha (fermented tea, yummy!)
- Kvass (beet root drink sold in many health stores)
Toxicity Source #3: Negative emotions and stress
You know when a stressful event at work or at home finally comes to an end, you collapse and come down with a flu? We have all experienced that at some point. This is why: when we are stressed out, our adrenal glands secret a hormone called cortisol which gives us focus, energy and clarity of mind. Cortisol is also responsible for stimulating our immune system. When we produce too much cortisol for too long; the adrenal glands get too tired and they stop producing sufficient cortisol. And this is why our immune system gets weakened and we get sick. Furthermore, too low or too high cortisol levels also interfere with the thyroid gland.
Stress is more of a factor in your thyroid’s health than most people realize.
In fact many people, when asked, can pinpoint to their (thyroid) health spiraling down after a stressful event in their lives. (Laurie's note – this happened to me when my husband lost his job.)
What can you do to reduce stress?
c. Find a centering practice that agrees with you; it could be meditation, breathing exercises, tai chi or yoga.
d. Visualize how your day would look by focusing on the positive aspects and reframing any negative thoughts and events you foresee.
e. Journal your daily thoughts and spot the negative ones (many people focus only on these!) and plan how to avoid, change or reframe these energy-sucking events, people, jobs and places that drain us.
To learn more how these and 4 other hidden toxins impact your health and your thyroid, register for a free call “7 Toxins Sabotaging Your Thyroid” and discover how revitalizing your gut and liver can improve your thyroid function and make you feel energized, clear-minded, optimistic, inspired to heal further and lose some of that impossible weight.
Magdalena Wszelaki is a former Hashimoto’s patient (autoimmune disease causing underactive thyroid) who dedicated her life to empowering people with thyroid conditions to self-heal and reclaim their lives. She’s a big proponent of living a toxicity-free life for optimal health.
Magdelena recommends many of the same ideas I have found helpful for treating my own thyroid trouble, plus additional information. It makes sense to me. I receive affiliate payment if you choose to purchase any of her products. I asked her if she would share the basics on how to identify if you have thyroid problems, and some tips to get you started on healing, since I know I have a DIY audience.
Free Cooking for Balance Workshop
You will learn:
- How to make delicious breakfasts, snacks and quick meals that support your hormones.
- Why you are “eating healthy” but still feel tired, sluggish and sick.
- How the gut, liver and sugar levels control your hormones.
- How food can reverse weight gain, depression and fatigue.
- 30 healing foods for your thyroid, adrenals, menopause, weight, hair loss, cellulite, PCOS, hot flashes and more.
CLICK HERE to Sign up for the Free Workshop
Related posts on the site:
- My Thyroid Journey – Living with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – Common Questions, Misconceptions and Myths
- How To Heal Thyroid With Foods
I was cured once of a hyperthyroid condition at a Christian healing service.
When the disease came back several years later, I thought. OK, God isn’t going to heal me and allow it to come back, has to be something I am doing.
So I switched my diet to the http://www.hacres.com diet plan and in 5 months my goiter was completely gone. I lost 30 pounds the first month. After several years of eating that diet, I got bored and wanted more of the things I couldn’t have on that diet plan and after a few years of not eating right again, the condition came back again. This time I still ate lots of raw veggies, but I also ate only pastaurized eggs, and meat and I had read where a lack of copper in your diet could cause thyroid problems. I started eating sunflower seeds for the copper. The disease cured itself again. I also cut out sugar.
Rebecca – glad you found a solution that works for you.
I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (overactive thyroid) in 2001. After a few years on tablets and it returning everytime the tablets were stopped, I was told I’d have to have my thyroid removed and spend the rest of my life on tablets. I refused on the basis ‘I can’t heal my thyroid if it’s removed!’
Each time I fell pregnant, it went into remission and came back with a vengeance. After my second last child it didn’t return as strongly and after the last child it never returned (she was born May 2009) .
I’m so glad I refused to have part of my body removed!
Carol – so glad that you were able to heal and not undergo surgery.
Have you read the book Iodine crisis or Iodine why you need it why you can’t live without it? Very interesting books and goes back to why we didn’t have these thyroid issues 50 years ago.
I think I read the second but not the first. Was that my Dr. Brownstein? I think it’s not just the lack of iodine in our diets (and how we now get way too much bromine), but that certainly is a factor. I think another key issue that is largely ignored by most doctors is gut health, since T3 to available T4 conversion happens in the digestive tract. Glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic before it was patented as a weed killer – and our bodies have 10 bacteria cells for every human cell. Antibiotic overuse still happens in the food chain and medical office, too, in spite of increased knowledge of the repercussions. Everything is connected.
I too was diagnosed with Graves disease, told I needed to radiate my thyroid because the drugs ultimately affect your liver now I am on Synthroid and 60lbs heavier is there any advice for me
You may find the Free Cooking for Balance Workshop helpful. It’s an introduction to Magdelena’s online thyroid diet program.
You will learn:
CLICK HERE to Sign up for the Free Workshop
Magdelena gets into a lot of detail in her programs and her newsletters, discussing different thyroid symptoms and ways to help heal them. She a nice person, too. I’ve known and worked with her for a number of years.
Alternatively, you may want to try to find a local practitioner who knows something about how diet affects the thyroid and natural healing. Depending on your area, there may be some good options available.
Hi Laurie, I have tried to sign up for this class but the link is broken. I have been struggling with my illness for 35 years. I realized that when I was following Magdalena years ago I felt better. But I was younger too! Need to get this weight down as gardening season is just around the corner. I get your Common Sense emails too. Thanks much
Sorry about that, Kathryn. I need to update the post, as Magdalena has shifted away from teaching and now focuses mostly on selling physical products. I was sorry to see the shift.