It’s the cocktail of environmental factors, genetic predisposition, along with a healthy dose of lifestyle factors that are responsible for the rapid increase in thyroid conditions keeping endocrinologists in business. Stress is a most common factor in thyroid conditions.
7 signs your thyroid is trying to get your attention:
1) Thinning hair and nails
2) Dry skin
3) Sluggish metabolism
4) Weight gain (hypothyroidism)
5) Excessive weight loss (hyperthyroidism)
6) Brain fog, memory loss
7) Physical fatigue and gut issues
– are all common symptoms, as is localised swelling, (goitre) which could start as a feeling of a lump in your throat.
People suffering with an auto immune related thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease) are much more likely to develop thyroid cancer. Of note, the incidence of thyroid conditions is 4 x more common in females than males, and more common in those over 30 years of age.
While we’re laying it all out, it’s also important to note that an autoimmune related illness makes you more prone to other autoimmune related conditions like; coeliac disease, arthritis, MS, lupus & autoimmune related diabetes.
All very compelling reasons to make sure you are listening to your thyroid.
Finding the right health professional to partner with is critical to ongoing successful management of your condition. It’s important to understand there are different tests that can be done to identify if your thyroid is the cause of your concern. It is important that your health professional assesses TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid peroxidase antibodies, and thyroglobulin antibodies in conjunction with your history and current symptoms.
After your condition has been diagnosed, your health professional will recommend a course of action which may include medication. Understanding the best type of medication for you is important to your progress.
There are some key nutrients to be aware of to support your thyroid – and it’s important to understand the right form of each nutrient:
Choosing foods that are rich in selenium, Vit C and zinc are a good start, and your health practitioner may recommend a quality, therapeutic grade supplement to complement this.
Consider your Vit D uptake (best from sunlight), include good quality fats, enjoy various types of fibre and good quality, clean protein. Many report feeling better when removing sources of gluten.
Ensuring your diet and lifestyle is complimentary to your body’s individual needs is critical. This means choosing foods that aren’t encouraging inflammation or adverse responses in your body; to calm your immune system. Creating a lifestyle that is safe from chemical exposure in the environment and personal care products will significantly improve recovery.
While iodine levels may certainly be a factor to be addressed, it’s really important that you don’t have too much iodine. High levels of iodine can create resistance.
As with many health conditions, stress exacerbates thyroid diseases. Our overall health status and imbalances within the body can create stress, as can the amount of environmental stressors we are exposed to, and of course, how we respond to them.
Any and all types of stress cause inflammation in the body. Take steps to reduce inflammation with potent anti inflammatories like NAC, turmeric & ginger. Maca is a Peruvian root known for its adaptogenic properties, and the ability to balance hormones – important for people with thyroid conditions. Please appreciate that not all supplements are created equal and it’s important that you choose a maca that is not raw. Maca has a smooth, malty flavour and can be added to a range of foods and smoothies.
Of course, we’d love to hear from you if you have some of your own ideas and recipes using maca – just send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with a pic of your creation and we’ll post it in our blog and socials so others can enjoy, or share with us on Facebook and Instagram.
What thyroid experiences can you share to help others ?