The American Thyroid: An endangered species

 

Do you know that your thyroid is under attack??? Here are some helpful tips on improving the function of your thyroid

Yes, under attack………….by whom??? Well that is for another article, let us begin with the anatomy and function of the thyroid, what it does and why it effects your well being so much. I am going to summarize this section and provide links to those of you who are not already familiar with the function of the thyroid.

WHAT IS THE THYROID? WHAT DOES IT DO?

Your thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located just below your larynx (on your neck). It plays a major role in nearly every metabolic process in your body. Metabolism, temperature, blood pressure, production of various hormones that regulate many different processes, also plays a role in your immune system.

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Find more detailed information on the anatomy and function here:

 

What happens when it doesn’t wok right??

Most people don’t think about their thyroid until it starts to not perform. Your thyroid can be overactive, underactive or a mix of both with the autoimmune disease Hashimotos Thyroiditis.

For this article, we will focus on what happens when your thyroid underperforms, at subclinical levels (you know where your doctor tells you your test is normal but you are struggling to hold a conversation because your concentration and memory are horribly impaired) If you are looking for more information on the other thyroid conditions, you can find some fantastic information HERE

Because the thyroid plays such a crucial role in helping to maintain balance in the body, there are many things that go wrong when it ceases to function correctly. The symptoms of low functioning thyroid are:

  • Coarse and thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails.
  • A yellowish tint to the skin.
  • Slow body movements.
  • Cold skin.
  • Inability to tolerate cold.
  • Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak.
  • Memory problems, depression, or problems concentrating.
  • Constipation.
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7 days.

Other, less common symptoms may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, and feet, and facial puffiness, particularly around the eyes
  • Hoarseness.
  • Muscle aches and cramp
  • loss of eyebrows
  • eye bulging
  • enlarged thyroid
  • debilitating fatigue

 

What causes it to not work right???

In my interviews and studies I have found a major culprit to be a lack of iodine. I once read that iodine is to the thyroid what quarters are to a washing machine at the Laundromat. You can put the clothes and detergent in, but without the quarters, it just wont work.

In addition, the exposure to many elements that actually confuse your thyroid into not utilizing the iodine you do ingest………..more on that in a moment.

Stress plays a major role in the proper functioning of your thyroid and adrenal glands as well as increasing levels of cortisol, which makes you fat BTW.

 

Why is my body not getting enough iodine??

There are a few causes that I have found that reduce your uptake of iodine, but please note that iodine was found abundantly in our everyday diets 100 years ago, today in our microwave society with chemical companies poisoning all of our land through the heavy use of pesticides, soil no longer contains the iodine it once did, and the use of pesticides inhibits the plants ability to absorb nutrients from the soil, even if it was there.

In addition to the lack of intake from our diet we are also exposed to very toxic substances that trick our body into thinking they are iodine, therefore displacing real iodine and replacing it with these “posers” causing a bunch of nasty side effects.

What are the dangerous chemicals that are damaging my thyroid???

 

Lets start with your water.

My water???? YES your water. especially bottled water. Drinking water is the #1 villain in attacking your thyroid

FLUORIDE

 

You may misinformed that fluoride is actually good for you. This is false and this misconception is spread throughout the medical community, although there are medical professionals that are active in trying to dispel this long held myth. A little history on our enemy, fluoride (mind you we are talking about the natural fluoride not to mention the hazardous material you are actually ingesting on a regular basis):

For in-depth history of fluoride and the shady way it has been brought into our lives go HERE

I would like to quote some findings on the association of fluoride,to fluorosis and enlarged thyroids (indicative of hypothyroid) in an area later to be found the water had abnormally high amounts of fluoride:

“One of the most impressive events during McKay´s search for the cause of “mottled teeth” occurred in Oakley, Idaho. The dentist, who then lived and worked in New York City, was impressed for this was the first time in the history of dentistry that a water supply was changed solely for a dental aspect. Yet it´s some of the inhabitants and a caring Director of Public Health who deserve the highest respect for the responsible action taken to solve their problem.

The problem arose about 1908, when a pipe line was constructed from a thermal spring near Oakley and the water distributed in the usual way for domestic purposes (1). When the second set of teeth erupted in the children grown up there since then, they were “of a chalky appearance, apparently devoid of enamel, and later on showing brown spots upon the upper teeth which ultimately turn black and in a great many of the cases decay. The teeth are not well formed and aside of the hideousness of them, are of very little use to the children” (2).

The situation became so distressing that a group of public-spirited members of the Women´s Civic League asked the local dentist, a Dr. H. B. Smith, to undertake a survey of the public schools. The result of this examination was alarming and the attention of Dr. F. W. Almond, Director of Public Health of the State of Idaho, was called to the situation. In a letter directed to the Surgeon General, Almond wrote in 1923:

I recently made an inspection of the schools in this village and found perhaps 400 of the 500 children attending to be affected with this bad condition of the teeth. The dentist reports that a burr applied to the teeth will go right through into the pulp with very little resistance.

I also observed that a great many of the children between the ages of 12 and 15 were bothered with enlarged thyroids, some of them being barely noticeable while others had assumed quite large proportions” (2).

Only those people using the city water were afflicted, while the families living on smaller private wells did not show this condition.”

SOURCE

For this article I will give you some links as to why it is so dangerous, but I want to put the main focus on what you can do to limit your exposure and even detoxify from it.

here is another link about the dangers of fluoride:

(NaturalNews) All those who promote the addition of fluoride into municipal water supplies are conscious liars. They know that the so-called “flouride” pumped into the water is actually a deadly chemical used as an insecticide, often imported from China.
It’s called hydrofluosilicic acid, and it’s not “naturally-occurring fluoride” as they claim. They are fully aware of this, but they choose to lie and deceive the public by stating they are only “rebalancing” the water with a natural element.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039776_fluoride_hydrofluosilicic_acid_insecticide.html#ixzz2d5h99yI9

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The next substance damaging your thyroid is Chlorine (also in your tap water) . Added as a disinfectant to kill bacteria, chlorine can and has been keeping people from getting sick due to water borne pathogens. But, there again, chlorine can cause issues within the human body when consumed. You see, chlorine is a poison plain and simple otherwise it wouldn’t be able to do it’s job on the water supply. Sometimes too much chlorine can get into the water we drink and cause serious health issues not the least of which is the damage that can be done to the thyroid. Chlorine may or may not be directly responsible for damaging the thyroid gland but when chlorine reacts with other agents in the water, toxins get produced that may be responsible for interfering with the thyroid’s processes. Chlorine is used to combat microbial contamination, but it can react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby’s Medical Dictionary, “Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison”. For more information on Chlorines link to cancer and heart disease go HERE and HERE

The next substance is…………………..ROCKET FUEL!! Yes Rocket fuel is in your drinking water. Angry yet? you should be. This article doesn’t even go into the pharmaceuticals you are ingesting……….

Perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, has been attributed to thyroid issues in pregnant women, little kids and babies all across this country. Perchlorate can occur naturally but the main culprit is via contamination from improper disposal of this highly dangerous chemical. SOURCE

get more information on this HERE

Taking this information into consideration, think of all the ways these substances become concentrated in your daily diet, fruits and vegetables are most likely irrigated with unfiltered tap water, causing a concentration of these deadly substances. Now think of the meat and dairy you consume, these substances will be even more concentrated as you are eating something that has ingested these compounds for a lengthy amount of time…..

Moving away from our water, we can find another assault on our thyroid in the bread aisle.

BREAD??? SERIOUSLY??

Yep………

I am noticing an upward trend of bread companies adding bromine to their products. Now if you have ever made bread you know that it is not necessary to add 80% of the crap they add in commercial products to “extend shelf life”. When you see these things, you should think chemical shit storm. Used as a flame retardant in your mattresses, upholstery, and even found in mountain dew and Gatorade. Bromine belongs to the halide family, a group of elements that includes fluorine, chlorine and iodine. These are all elements that compete for the iodine receptors in your thyroid, effectively displacing natural iodine, causing thyroid dysfunction. In addition to being an effective endocrine disruptor (screws with your hormones and metabolism ladies). Found in many places such as:

•Pesticides (specifically methyl bromide, used mainly on strawberries, predominantly in California)

•Plastics, like those used to make computers

•Bakery goods and some flours often contain a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate

•Soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca and other citrus-flavored sodas), in the form of brominated vegetable oils (BVOs)

•Medications such as Atrovent Inhaler, Atrovent Nasal Spray, Pro-Banthine (for ulcers), and anesthesia agents

•Fire retardants (common one is polybromo diphenyl ethers or PBDEs) used in fabrics, carpets, upholstery, and mattresses

•Bromine-based hot tub and swimming pool treatments

Here is a great article on Bromine toxicity and how it plays a role in increasing your chances for disease:

http://preventdisease.com/news/10/030910_bromine_toxicity_thyroid.shtml

another danger to your thyroid is unfermented soy, found in a host of everyday food and beauty products.

 

Now the good news………..

What can I do about it?

First I would try to eliminate my exposure to these elements by getting a unit that removes these toxins, but also alkalizes your water. You can find whole house reverse osmosis units or under counter units on eBay or Amazon. Also you can purchase a countertop unit that alkalizes, remineralizes and magnetizes your water for optimum health benefits.

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Nikken offers a counter unit, a portable water bottle and a Pi-mag shower head to help you achieve your wellness goals.

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You can find a ton of testimonies on you tube as to the benefits of these products, just put Nikken testimonies in your search engine. Order your products here: www.holistic4health.com

Magnets also have healing properties and you can find people who have healed their thyroid with them, find those here

 

Borax

This common household cleaner has had a lot of evidence based science to support its benefit in reversing arthritis, osteoporosis along with strengthening your teeth and bones. It is also an antidote to fluoride toxicity. Find more information on this HERE, HERE and here. I have personally noticed an improvement with my knee pain just adding this little supplement. (which is safer than table salt, but the folks working for the big chemical companies lobbied to have this naturally mined mineral labeled as a poison)

Iodine Supplementation

How to increase your iodine levels

Foods high in iodine are: Seaweed dishes, kelp, kale, broccoli, cabbage, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, turnips and kohlrabi.
The thyroid gland uses iodine to help create its essential hormones. But iodine could use a little help from zinc, copper, and selenium. Make sure you’re also getting those nutrients in your diet or through supplements.
Kelp supplements are very safe iodine providers, but how much is absorbed depends on how well they’re digested and how much you can consume. Potassium Iodide (KI) is useful as a radioactive blocker to protect the thyroid from radiation exposure. There was quite a run on KI after the initial Fukushima disaster.
Most health experts consider Lugol’s iodine solution a safe and effective iodine supplement. Lugol is not a brand name. It is the type of solution in which iodine is carried, named after a 19th Century French physician who created a water soluble combination of potassium and iodine crystals.
High strength Lugol’s in large quantities is restricted because of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) limitations. It appears that large quantities of high iodine content mixtures have been used by underground meth labs to create illicit amphetamine drugs.
But small bottles and less potent solutions of Lugol’s can be purchased on the internet. It only takes a drop or two a day to supplement iodine.
Different brands offer nascent iodine, highly recommended by Dr. Mark Sircus. Nascent, or atomic iodine, is considered more bioavailable, more antiseptic, and safer even than Lugol’s solution.
Dr. Mark Sircus explains nascent iodine and clears the generally confused controversy of iodine supplementation in his Natural News article “Iodine phobia.” (http://www.naturalnews.com/033875_iodone_deficiency.html).

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034406_iodine_thyroid_supplements.html#ixzz2d5rxDBg7

You can read some awesome personal testimonies here

If you are concerned with taking too much iodine, there is a water soluble iodine, which means that if you ingest too much, your body can flush it out. That is called Iosol Iodine and you can find it on Amazon.

Selenium

 

Selenium is essential for the development of thyroid hormone. Selenium is the key mineral that enables the conversion of thyroid hormone from T4 to T3 (the biologically active form).  Selenium is also required to make the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects the thyroid gland, and includes protecting it from thyroid autoimmune problems. Selenium is to iodine as glass is to water, it’ll work, just not nearly as easy and it will take a lot more work for your body to assimilate the iodine. Read more here, here and here. Selenium has also been found useful in detoxifying from mercury (think vaccines and fillings/analgrams)

Herbs to heal the thyroid

Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero

 

This isn’t an herb that directly affects the thyroid gland itself, but it does play a huge role in hypothyroidism for most people. Many people with hypothyroidism have weak adrenals, which frequently is caused by chronic stress. Eleuthero does a wonderful job of helping  the person adapt with stress, and it also helps to boost the immune system.  Most people can take this supplement long term if necessary, which is a good thing, as frequently it will take at least a few months to fully recover from severe adrenal problems.

Bladderwrack.  This is a wonderful herb that directly affects the thyroid gland, as it helps improve thyroid function, as well as the overall metabolism of the body.  There are numerous places where you can obtain this herb, but just as is the case with any herb or supplement you purchase, you want to make sure you use one that is of high quality.  Also, this herb is not to be used in people with hyperthyroidism, and is also contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation.

Ashwagandha.  Yet another great herb that is beneficial for people who have hypothyroidism. This can be especially powerful when combined with Bladderwrack.  In addition to the effects it has on the thyroid gland, Ashwagandha also has many other benefits, as it helps one deal well with environmental stress, benefits the immune system, and is an excellent herb to use in children as well. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, which means it adapts to the bodies need, therefore for some it will have a stimulating effect, for others a calming effect.

Guggul resin : (Commiphora mukul), from India, has been shown to stimulate thyroid function in clinical studies. Guggul is an important herb to use when there is high cholesterol, triglycerides, or excessive weight gain related to a sluggish thyroid. Guggul is best taken in capsule form, but the powder can also be mixed with honey to be eaten as a paste. Triphala-Guggulu is a combination of Guggul and Triphala, a colon tonic, and may be beneficial for weight gain accompanied by chronic constipation.

Nutritive Herbs For Hypothyroidism

 

Nutritive herbs that are high in minerals will nourish not only the thyroid, but all the endocrine glands. Many of the nutritive herbs are also gentle cleansers of the body, helping eliminate water weight gain and lymphatic buildup.

Nutritive herbs include Horsetail, Oatstraw and Oat milky tops, Dandelion leaf, Nettle leaf, Raspberry leaf. Drink a quart of these herbs made into a rich strong infusion daily for best results. Other blood-nourishing herbs that may be helpful are Bilberries, Goji berries, Spirulina, and He Shou Wu root. (source: chakra4online.com)

Adaptogenic Herbs For Hypothyroidism

 

Adaptogenic herbs such as Eleuthero root, the Ginsengs, Ashwagandha, Maca, Suma, Rhodiola, and Schizandra, provide powerful support to the entire human body, including all endocrine functions. Adaptogens are especially called for when there has been stress, both long term and temporary.

Stress, especially chronic stress, can have a very negative impact on all endocrine function, creating all sorts of problems with hormonal balance across the board. Many of the adaptogens have a restorative effect on endocrine function, especially when used over the long term. (source: chakra4online.com)

Essential Oils For Hypothyroidism

Essential oils can be helpful. Apply stimulating oils such as Ginger*, Rosemary*, Black Pepper*, Peppermint*, Cardamom*, to a soft bristle dry skin brush. Before showering, vigorously brush skin in a circular motion, always working toward the heart.

Dry skin brushing not only stimulates circulation, it exfoliates skin, and supports lymphatic detoxification and cellulite reduction. These essential oils can also be diluted in a vegetable carrier oil (Almond,Jojoba, etc.) and massaged into the body after showering. (source: chakra4online.com)

 

HERBS TO HEAL ADRENALS

Most people suffering from thyroid issues also suffer from adrenal fatigue as the body will use up those resources in trying to maintain homeostasis, so often by the time you recognize symptoms, your reserves have been drained. Here are a list of herbs shown to improve the function of your adrenals and improve immunity and the bodies ability to handle everyday stress. If you are here, you have probably already had the runaround from your doctors with little to no avail.

 

Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng): The main root (not the lateral roots or root hairs) of this plant is traditionally used in western herbal medicine to remedy physical or mental exhaustion, lowered immunity and to facilitate adaptation to stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is considered a key herb for reinforcing vital energy and longevity (Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotheraphy.2000: 418-30).

Recent human studies have expanded the therapeutic uses of Korean Ginseng to include improvement of insulin sensitivity, increased cerebrovascular circulation, better memory, improved cell-mediated immune function and reduced incidence of the common cold, reduced DNA oxidative damage in smokers, and symptom improvement in patients with depression, headache, insomnia and fatigue in women with menopausal symptoms (Morgan M. A Phytotherapist’s Perspective #137. June 2011. www.mediherb.com).

The evidence is in favor of using standardized main root extracts. The recommended dose is 100 mg, 1-4 times daily. Patients with insomnia should take Panax ginseng no later than midday. For those without sleep problems, morning and early evening doses are usually well tolerated.

SOURCE

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra and G. uralensis) is truly a friend to the adrenal cortex. A staple of traditional medicine for adrenal insufficiency and ulcers, this herb contains triterpenoid saponins that influence cortisol-cortisone balance throughout the body. Glycyrrhizin is the main active compound in licorice. At higher amounts, however, it has a strong effect on the kidney and allows cortisol to interact with aldosterone receptors, which affects sodium/potassium balance and increases blood pressure. For this reason, patients taking higher amounts of licorice need to be monitored closely.

More is not always better and the adrenal benefits of licorice root are achieved with doses in the range of 1.75 – 5.25 g per day. Using standardized extracts, this equates to approximately 25-75 mg per day. Licorice root in tablet form, twice per day, morning and evening, usually delivers the proper dose level. Good quality liquid extracts are also available, and should contain around 30mg/mL glycyrrhizin.

Licorice has been positively linked to a range of other health benefits including better blood glucosecontrol and fat modulation, improved iron absorption, reduction of coughing, improved female hormone balance, decreased inflammation, healing of the gut lining, and mucoprotection (Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice ofPhytotheraphy. 2000: 465-75). The latter requires up to 15 g per day of a de-glycyrrhizinated licorice extract.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is a common herb well known for its ability to enhance peripheral circulation and for its neuroprotective effects. Often overlooked is the fact that Ginkgo can favorably affect stress levels. In one study, it lowered cortisol levels in healthy patients undergoing glucose tolerance testing (Kudolo GB. Clin Nutr. 2006. 25(4) 606-16).

Ginkgo is commonly thought to be blood thinning; however, a recent meta-analysis showed that Ginkgo extract did not increase the risk of bleeding (Kellermann A, et al. Pharmacotherapy. 2011 May;31(5): 490-502). (if you suffer from thyroid disease, you may also have a blood clotting disorder so this may be of use here.)

Not all Ginkgo extracts are the same. I recommend products that are standardized to 24% ginkgo flavones and glycosides, and 6% ginkgolides and bilobalides. Ginkgo in tablet form is easiest to prescribe, however some older patients may have difficulty swallowing tablets, so a standardized liquid extract may be preferrable. Tablets and liquids are equipotent as long as they are standardized properly. Clinical studies validate the use of ginkgo extract in the dose range of 120 – 240 mg per day. It can be given in divided doses, i.e. morning and evening, either with or without food.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is another adaptogenic herb with a long history of traditional use. It also has a number of positive human trials in the areas of stress and fatigue management, enhancement of mental performance and treatmentof mild depression. Rhodiola exerts these beneficial effects by regulating key mediators of the stress response including cortisol, nitric oxide, molecular chaperones (HSP70) and stress activated protein kinases.

The anti-depressive effect is in part associated with its effect on monoamine oxidase A and up-regulation of HSP70. (Panossian A, Wikman G, Sarris J. Phytomedicine. 2010: 481–493). Rhodiola has been used successfully to increase stamina, prevent fatigue, improve mental function, reduce anxiety and ameliorate symptoms of mild depression. It combines well with Ginseng for additional vitality and endurance. Some typically use 3-12 g per day of a high-quality Rhodiola rosea root extract, containing rosavins and salidroside.

 

Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa) is an herb used extensively in Chinese medicine. It is similar to licorice and can be used as both a tonic and as specific support for the adrenal glands. It is helpful for people suffering general debility, adrenal depletion, and poor immune system function, specifically in the contextof autoimmune disease. the research generally recommends 750 – 2,250 mg per day of a standardized extract in tablet or liquid form. Up to 4 g per day are used traditionally (Mills S. Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotheraphy. 2000: 519-522).

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) also comes to the West through its long use in Chinese medicine. It is typically used in combination with other herbs, especially Rehmannia and Eleuthero. Astragalus is both a tonic and an adrenal support herb. Its key bioactive components are polysaccharide fractions, isoflavonoids, saponins, triterpenoids, and gaba-aminobutryic acid. These substances can affect growth hormone levels, blood glucose, general inflammation, blood pressure, blood flow, and water balance in the body (Mills S, Bone K. Principles and Practice of Phytotheraphy. 2000: 273-77).

Astragalus can be combined with Eleuthero and Echinacea for patients who are ‘run down’ and experiencing recurrent respiratory infections. Combination formulas containing these three herbs are available, in both liquid and tablet form. Recommended daily dose is between 2.5 – 3.4 g. Patients will typically start to feel the benefits in 4-8 weeks.

SOURCE: www.holisticprimarycare.net

As one reviewer on Amazon wrote:

“Astralagas (Huang qi in chinese), taken three times daily assists one to build a stronger immunity system to prevent winter exhaustion, depression, illness, and weight gain. It assists in lessening sweet cravings and thus assists in reducing water and bloating tendencies created when one indulges in sweet tastes in foods such as flours, nuts, sugars, sweet fruits which can create edema in those with weight gain tendencies. Greater strength, vitality, energy are the chinese “chi” which is vital to a strong immune system, positive attitude, which assists one to resist tendencies toward illness.
Astralagas stimulates the Chinese system of speen, liver, and lungs, and protects heart from oxidative free radicals, and its use will be further enhanced when used with Korean ginseng. Letha Hadady’s book on “Asian Health Secrets,” can further one’s understanding of one’s body type, tongue color, and the best utilization of Astralagas for understanding the importance of “Chi,” “Vital Energy,” to overcome individual and seasonal affect disorders created by changing to higher carbohydrade diet regimes in winter which lead to winter-type illnesses.
Herbs give progressive long-term support which may take up to three months for one to experience the significance of the herbal remedy, and as long as six months for its greatest effectiveness to release one from pharmaceuticals which may be harmful or counteractive to one’s individual constitution.
One must observe one’s daily adjustments as one utilizes the magical power of herbs as medicinal remedies for better health. With herbs one can take in pill form or in ground powder or dehydrated form for easier access at any time of season. One must be on guard to observe the changes one desires, and to adjust the intake through food seasoning, tablet or capsule, according to one’s research and one’s individual’s expectations and body constitution to also lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. I do source some of the sites I found this information to be accurate from, although most of this information I found reading old books on homeopathy and herbology, I found them in easy to read format and have shared it with you, the reader to make it easier for you to take control of your health back.”

A recent study  found on the use of synthetic thyroid hormone and it’s link to increased cancer risk (eg prescribed) may be of interest to you as well”

http://www.rbej.com/content/11/1/75/abstract

 

 

This article is still in draft form. if you have any questions feel free to comment below.

Tiffany 🙂