April 2, 2019
The thyroid is the butterfly shaped gland that sits at the front of the neck.
This small gland is part of the endocrine system which produces, stores and releases hormones into the bloodstream. Thyroid hormones responsible for helping regulate the body and mind. Thyroid hormones are necessary for proper growth and maturation, fertility, weight management, energy, immune support and many other bodily functions.
An imbalanced thyroid is more common than one may expect, and will directly impact healthy aging and well-being. If you suspect an imbalanced thyroid, a simple blood test will exhibit results for T3, T4 (thyroid hormones), and TSH (hormone released by the pituitary gland) values.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism):
- Hair Loss
- Impaired memory
- Dry brittle nails
- Weight gain
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Puffiness in the face
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)
- Rapid weight loss
- High body temperature
- Pounding heart
How to balance the thyroid
- Work to reduce stress- meditate, engage in hobbies, get enough rest, journal, manage mental and physical clutter
*its important to note that some thyroid issues are due to weakened adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing many hormones, including “stress” hormones. If one is overwhelmed for long periods of time, the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the production of hormones needed to maintain homeostasis. Taxed out adrenal glands results in more stress on the thyroid, leading to an imbalance.
- Exercise – have a consistent exercise program to decrease physical and emotional stress- Exercise is known to stimulate thyroid hormone secretion to help maintain healthy levels.
- Avoid Toxins (as much as possible) – cigarette smoke (2nd hand as well), unfiltered water, toxic household cleaning supplies, non-organic foods
- Be more conscious of nutrition – eat a variety of food, do not overeat, avoid processed foods, drink CLEAN water, choose organic foods as much as possible *cruciferous vegetables may interfere with how iodine is utilized by the body to produce thyroid hormones. Anyone with hypothyroidism should discuss vegetable consumption with his or her healthcare provider.
Nutrients that support a healthy Thyroid
- Iodine (seaweed, shrimp, sardines)
- Selenium (Brazil nuts, organ meats)
- Zinc (oysters, hemp/pumpkin/sesame seeds)
- Vit. A (leafy greens, cod liver oil)
- Vit. C (red peppers, citrus fruit)
- Vit Bs (brewers yeast, green veggies, seafood)
*Iodine is a key nutrient needed to produce T3 and T4.
If you are concerned you may have an imbalanced thyroid, contact Vitality Natural Medicine for a diagnostic blood test and direction on lifestyle changes.
Naturopathic Doctor Denver
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