Low Thyroid (hypothyroid), Do You Have It? Part 2

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Last week Tracie did an awesome guest post on the warning signs of low thyroid.  Many of you had an “ah ha” moment realizing you might suffer from this.  Today Tracie gets more in depth into ways you can heal the thyroid naturally and what some of the causes are.  Her tips she gives not only are great for the thyroid, but are also the same recommendations I give people looking to lose weight.

cute-baby-working-mood-funny-02Here is her post.  Enjoy!

As I mentioned in the last post, thyroid conditions are becoming a serious issue in America today…the next question is why?

Why do so many people have hypothyroid and what can be done?

There are many things that can contribute to the inability for the thyroid to properly function. Listed below are some reasons along with helpful tips:

  • It runs in the family. According to Dr. Mark Starr in his book called Hypothyroidism Type 2, poor immune function and premature deaths are signs of hypothyroidism.  As modern medicine has advanced significantly over the last 100 years, fewer immune compromised individuals are dying from infectious diseases at an early age.  This is allowing individuals to pass on their weak genes to their offspring.  Survival of the fittest for many years has kept the hypothyroid gene pool under control but in today’s society, this is just not the case.  Does it run in your family?
  • PUFA intake has increased. Along with the increase of thyroid problems, there also has been an increase in the consumption of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAS) in the diet.  The intake of vegetable oils, such as soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, sunflower and safflower has skyrocketed 400% over the last 30 years.  This huge jump has created a lot of health issues for our nation.  PUFAS affect the thyroid by interfering with the uptake of the thyroid hormone in cells. PUFAS can also interfere with the conversion of T4 in the liver to T3.  Tip – Minimize or eliminate PUFA oils from your diet!

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  • Low blood sugar. Your body needs glucose to convert T4 to T3, your active thyroid hormone.  If you are chronically low in blood sugar, is very stressful on the body and makes it more challenging for the conversion to take place. Tip – Eat a small snack or meal every 2-3 hours.  Make sure that you include a protein and/or fat with a carbohydrate. Example – 2 oz of cheese (contains fat and protein) and a piece of fruit (carb).
  • cute-baby-06Not enough protein in the diet.  Your thyroid hormone is made from the combination of iodine and the amino acid tyrosine.  If your diet is deficient in protein, an adequate amount of tyrosine will not be available for synthesis of your thyroid hormone.  Tip – Focus on consuming enough (this number is different for everyone) high quality protein and adding gelatin to your diet.  Click here to find out more about gelatin.
  • Consumption of certain foods. Goitrogenic foods reduce the body’s ability to use iodine sufficiently to convert T4 to T3. (Langer and Scheer 31) Following is a list of foods that contain goitrogens: cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips, soybeans, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts and millet. Cooking or fermenting these foods usually will deactivate goitrogens. (Murray 126)  Tip – Limit and/or cook these foods when hypothyroidism is an issue.
  • High stress hormones. The adrenal and thyroid glands work hand-in-hand. Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels and inflammation in the body while decreasing testosterone and TSH, which consequently lowers active T3. (Hyman 181)  Tip – Use stress reduction techniques and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  • cutebabyToo much fluoride and other toxins. Fluoride has been added to toothpaste and drinking water in order to prevent cavities. Unfortunately, many studies have shown a correlation between increased levels of fluoride and hypothyroidism. Fluoride negatively impacts the conversion of T4 to T3. (Shomon 32)  Other heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and arsenic can also lead to problems.  Tips – 1) Avoid fluorinated toothpaste and water.  2) Do not get amalgam (silver) fillings put in your mouth.

Final thoughts

There you have it.  As you can see, there are many contributing factors to this epidemic.  I hope that the tips I provided will help you to implement some diet and life style habits that will support your thyroid.  In the final post on thyroid, I will discuss what blood tests to request and treatment options.

If you would like more information about me or my services, please visit www.itsyourplate.com.

Tracie Hittman Nutrition, LLC

References:

    Barnes, Broda and Lawrence Galton. Hypo-thyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. NY: Harpers & Row Publishers, 1976.
    Blanchard, Ken and Marietta Brill. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypothyroidism. NY: Warner Wellness, 2004.
    Hyman, Mark. Ultra-Metabolism. NY: Scribner, 2006.
    Langer, Stephen and James Scheer. Solved: The Riddle of Illness. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
    Murray, Michael. Total Body Tune-Up. New York: Bantam Books, 2000.
    Peat, Ray. “TSH, Temperature, Pulse Rate, and Other Indicators in Hypothyroidism.” Ray Peat.com 2007. 9 Sept. 2009. <http://raypeat.com/articles/articles /hypothyroidism.shtm>.

Shomon, Mary. Living Well with Hypothyroidism. NY: HarperCollins, 2000.

Starr, Mark. Hypothyroidism Type 2. Columbia, MO: Mark Starr Trust, 2009.

Comments

  1. Once again, awesome Tracie!! If we wanted to get just one of those books listed above, which one would you recommend? I have been clicking onto Ray Peat’s site, and oh my….you can read forever, there is SO much info-very scientific, for you heady ones-but very readable. Thanks again, Tracie, for sharing from all of your research and experience!

  2. Hey Joy,

    I would recommend getting Hypothyroidism Type 2 by Mark Starr.

  3. Now if our doctors would have told us all of that when sticking us on medicine YEARS ago…..we might have been doing something more to help correct it all! Great information and once again…you said it in ENGLISH!

  4. I’d like some clarification on this. These are your tips for if you have hypothyroidism and it’s been diagnosed by a medical professional, correct?

    While some of your tips are also related to eating a healthy, balanced diet, some of these could be misunderstood as things everyone should avoid – like the final bullet about flourinated water and toothpaste. Lack of flouride in your water often leads to increased tooth decay (which is why they add it to our water). I’d hate for someone to go out of their way to find unflourinated water and affect their dental health when they aren’t sure if they even have hypothyroidism.

    More info please …

  5. Tracie,

    Hi Tracie, I had a hyperthyroid and a nodular goiter about 10 years ago. I chose to have my thyroid removed vs. staying on medication or treating it with radioactive iodine. I have been taking synthetic thyroid hormone and have had normal blood levels since, but I am wondering if diet or other things caused it in the first place and I would like to do what I can so it doesn’t happen to my kids in the future. What do you know about diet or other things and hyperthyroid? Thanks!

  6. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for your question. The majority of tips that I provided I would recommend across the board for anyone(esp. the elimination of PUFA’s from the diet). Also, keeping your blood sugar stable and eating enough high quality proteins is very important for everyone’s overall health.

    Fluoride – I knew that comment might cause a bit of controversy. I would encourage everyone to do some research on the fact the fluoride use might not be as beneficial as we have been told for tooth decay. Here is a link to a article that starts to go into the issue (http://thyroid.about.com/cs/toxicchemicalsan/a/flouride.htm). Like everything else there is a lot of conflicting information out there but after reading about the history of fluoridated water and why they do it might change your mind.

    Couple of other resources:
    http://www.westonaprice.org/envtoxins/fluoride.html
    The The Fluoride Deception By Christopher Bryson

    Hope that helps…

  7. Tracie –

    Thanks for following up. And I wholeheartedly agree on the dietary suggestions. I like your rule about if it wasn’t invented 100 years, then you shouldn’t be eating it. 🙂

    I know the flouride issue is always a mixed bag, but just wanted to clarify that it’s not a black and white, good and bad issue.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Hi…I too would like to see some real clarificaiton on the fluoride and amalgam issue. An extensive search of both PubMed and Cochrane Reviews turned up no definitive “evidence-based “research on fluoride and its direct correlation to hypothyroidism. Additionally the idea of not using amalgam as a filling material has been studied over and over and again no definitive “evidence-based” research linking it to hypothyroidism exists.

    Advocating for removing fluoridated water and toothpaste will ultimately do far more public health damage. Community water fluoridation is recognized as one of the greatest public health initiatives of our time. With over 48 million Americans lacking dental insurance, dental Medicaid reimbursement rates prohibitively low discouraging dental health provider participation, children needlessly suffering with dental decay (a completely preventable disease)fluoride stands on the front line of defense against dental disease.

    I think its entirely possible to find trumped up allegations for just about everything and without real longitudinal “evidence-based” research to back it up can cause far more harm than good.

    That said…we live in a society where we each have the right to make personal decisions.

    Lastly…I was dx. with hypothyriodism 12 years ago. I eat healthy and exercise regularly, take a synthetic medication that has remained constant for the last 5 years, and at a few months shy of 50 feel and look great!

  9. Hi…I see no evidence-based science behind this web-link. The fluoride comment isn’t causing controversy…at least I don’t think it is. My concern is real factual research driven information be provided in an unbiased manner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use real science to examine risks and benefits of a wide range of modalities, time and again community fluoridated water stands the test of science vs. suggestion or innuendo. You are aware I am sure that community fluoridated water is highly regulated by the USDA and individually monitored system by system…and water bottling companies have nearly no federal regulations monitoring their procedures. No mandates on systems, including pipes and purifiers or bottling procedures. Consumers have no idea what is “really” in that water…much different in continually monitored community systems.

  10. Lisa,

    I just wanted to let you know that I will respond to your last 2 post within the week.

    Thanks,
    Tracie

  11. my baby age was 1year and 3 month but she didnot walk and hear weigit is small.
    what can i do?

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