1 in 3 women have this…
Did you know that 1 in 3 women are estimated to have a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s?
This statistic hits close to home for me as a woman who was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s back in 2016.
My diagnosis somewhat came as a shock since I was one of the healthiest people I knew; I ate healthy, exercised daily and my doctor always commented about how I was the picture of perfect health.
But when I look back now, I can see the subtle signs that started to surface indicating something was up with my thyroid …
- I slowly started putting on weight despite eating healthy and exercising
- I felt sluggish during my workouts and struggled to recover after
- I wasn’t as efficient at work and got easily overwhelmed with tasks
- I was cold all the time when others weren’t
I simply didn’t feel like myself.
Initially I thought I was “just getting older.” However, there was a little voice inside my head saying something wasn’t right. I ignored it at first, but eventually I got to a point where I was so uncomfortable in my body I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I went to various doctors and health professionals seeking insights and not a single one checked my thyroid.
I finally decided to treat myself as one of my own clients and that’s when I got the answers I was looking for.
And now I’m grateful to say that within 6 months of being diagnosed, my Hashimoto’s was in remission and my recent thyroid test results couldn’t have been more perfect.
Unfortunately, not all women or men, who are diagnosed with thyroid disorders, are provided the right lab tests or resources to get their thyroid issues under control as quickly as I did, or ever.
Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed a thyroid medication, which can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem. In fact, medication can become less effective over time as the thyroid continues to deteriorate as a result of the root cause not being addressed, and over-medicating can trigger secondary hypothyroidism.
Medication doesn’t address why you might have low thyroid hormone in the first place, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.
The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health, to prevent thyroid issues from happening and even reverse an existing thyroid disorder.
In honor of Thyroid Awareness month, I want to help you elevate your thyroid knowledge so you can avoid becoming a thyroid statistic, or so you can heal your thyroid and get back to feeling like yourself again too.
Over the next 3 weeks I will share with you the 3 main steps I took, and that I guide my clients through, to support and heal the thyroid naturally.
In this week’s video and blog, I share the 1st major step I took to boost my thyroid health so I could feel like myself again – medication free, and that has helped others to do the same.
Although the statistics for being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder are high, it’s not a death sentence.
The majority of thyroid disorders are a result of your lifestyle choices or factors such as:
- Foods you choose to eat
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Frequency and intensity of the exercise
- How you deal with stress and emotions
- Toxins you’re exposed to and your body’s capacity to detox them
- Other underlying hormone imbalances, a sluggish liver, poor digestion and an overwhelmed immune system
Often it’s not just one thing that triggers a thyroid issue, it’s a combination of factors over a period of time that disrupt the natural balance of your body and ultimately your thyroid.
At first the list of contributing factors might seem daunting, make you feel guilty about the choices you have made, or leave you wondering where to even start; BUT the silver lining is that with a little education, the right lab tests and resources, you can step-by-step take back control of your thyroid health.
Over the next 3 weeks I’m going to break down the 3 main steps you can take to support and heal the thyroid naturally.
Step #1 – Know Your Numbers
To really evaluate your thyroid health you need to know all of your thyroid numbers NOT just TSH and parts of T4 or T3. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland to “stimulate” the thyroid. It tells you if the pituitary is having to work hard or not to kick the thyroid into gear, but leaves a lot to be wondered about what is actually going on with thyroid function. Thyroid hormone T4 is produced by the thyroid and then converted into T3 primarily in the liver and gut, and then in various other tissues. Total T4 and T3 represent bound hormones (not available for use) versus Free T4 and T3 represent the unbound or active forms available for use. Thyroxine-binding hormone (TBG) binds to your thyroid hormone so it can move through through the bloodstream, and Reverse T3 prevents Free T3 form attaching to your cells (inhibiting its effects). Thyroid antibodies, Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO Ab) and Thyroglobulin (TG Ab) indicate if the body is attacking its own thyroid tissue known as an autoimmune response.
Can you see why it’s important to know all of these numbers to fully understand the big picture of what is going on with your thyroid and not just a few of them?
And don’t be fooled by conventional thyroid test reference ranges that were established based on people with existing thyroid disorders. Back in 2002 the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry even acknowledged that thyroid reference ranges were probably “skewed by the inclusions of persons with occult thyroid dysfunction,” – yet little has been done to update them.
Conventional ranges are very wide, and optimal ranges are much lower. In the functional medicine world, optimal thyroid reference ranges look something like this:
- TSH: 1-2
- Total T4: 6-12
- Free T4: 1.1-1.8
- Total T3: 120-180
- Free T3: 3.2-4.4
- Reverse T3: <15 or < than 10:1 ratio of RT3 to FT#
- TPO Ab: < 10
- TG Ab: < 20
Ask your doctor to run a full panel to include all of these markers, and if they won’t, find someone like me who will.
Stay tuned for Step #2 next week when I address controlling the thyroid affecting factors you can, and what to do about the ones you can’t.
In the meantime, check out the Free Online Hashimoto’s Days Project I had the pleasure of being a part of starting Friday, January 25th.
During this online event, experts from all over the world will be sharing their insights so you can learn more about thyroid health and related topics such as:
- Contributing factors, root causes and connections
- Simple lifestyle changes and how to implement them
- Nutritional support and balancing the immune system
- Promising, holistic therapies