Nothing can spoil the joy in life like having constant, unrelenting fatigue. The desire to succeed and accomplish is there, however, the energy levels are not. One primary reason for this degree of lethargy can be due to a sluggish thyroid.
The thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland, is located in the front of the neck below the voice box. This gland produces a hormone called thyroxin that helps regulate growth, metabolism and energy levels. Hypothyroid is the result of the thyroid not producing an adequate amount of T4. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune problem. There are numerous disruptors such as food sensitivity, viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals and toxic chemicals, that affect the ability of the thyroid gland to produce its hormones.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s and hypothyroid are similar; to diagnose Hashimoto’s a specific antibody blood test beyond TSH is needed.
Symptoms can be any or a combination of the following partial list:
- Fatigue, weakness
- Weight gain, difficulty losing weight
- Cold intolerance (you can’t tolerate cold temperatures like those around you)
- Dry skin and hair. Hair loss
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Slowed thinking
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Depression, memory loss, irritability
One food, consumed daily, that can have a disastrous effect on the thyroid is gluten, found in wheat, oats and rye grains. According to Dr. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS “Because the molecular structure of gluten so closely resembles that of the thyroid gland, the problem may be one of mistaken identity.” Confusion arises within the immune system and the thyroid gland begins to put out antibodies against itself consequently leading to an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s. Gluten’s interaction with thyroid function might explain why even though symptoms of low thyroid are present, when testing Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), the results come back as normal. Data has confirmed that elevated TSH blood levels return to normal as a result of the patient simply avoiding gluten.
Selenium, a trace nutrient, of which the Great Lakes States are deficient in, is needed to protect the body from viruses and to promote healthy thyroid function. Selenium is needed to assist a specific enzyme to convert T4 to T3. Low selenium levels can lead to thyroid damage and hypothyroidism. Due to its immune protective properties, selenium deficiency is thought to trigger viruses into attacking and reproducing.
Candida, a yeast toxin can create widespread damage in the body including hormonal problems to the thyroid. Thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid, can be caused by an infection; either fungal, viral or bacterial, which have a similar affect as the antibodies leading to inflammation in the gland.
A handful of chemicals that affect the thyroid are bromine (found in pesticides, plastics and soft drinks), chloride and fluoride. According to Dr. David Brownstein,”the result of too much bromine and chlorine and not enough iodine are the high rates of thyroid disorders as well as cancer of the breast, ovary and prostate.” Iodine, an integral part of thyroid gland’s function can be blocked by toxic chemicals listed above and heavy metals such as mercury found in tooth fillings and vaccinations. Cadmium, found in cigarettes, can also block iodine receptors, impeding thyroid function.
It is important to identify the disruptors causing hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s. Working with an alternative health care provider who is focused on the cause of disease can help transform the tired, fully symptomatic thyroid patient into an energetic, robust person eager to experience life again.
This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.