Losing your hair is never fun; not for men or women. I’ve had countless clients who have experienced hair loss due to thyroid disorders, autoimmune conditions, stress, nutrient deficiencies and more.
Your hair is part of your identity so it’s not an easy thing to lose. It’s what makes you look like who you are. It’s part of how you identify with yourself in the mirror and even how others identify you – I mean it is a required feature on any type of official ID such as your driver’s license or passport. It gives you confidence, makes you feel sexy, attractive and good about yourself. Even if bald is your thing, it still defines you.
So when my hair started falling out a few months ago, I was in denial.
My hair has been a treasured part of me since I can remember. As a little girl I loved styling it my own way and I’ve never had the guts to cut it any shorter than my shoulders because I love my luscious locks.
But for some reason when my typical hair shedding increased, I shrugged it off and made excuses for it…
It was because the change in seasons
I went too many days without washing my hair
I wasn’t brushing it enough
I was working more and under more stress
You know, the usual things.
I just kept thinking, “if I just give it time it will stop.”
As the months went by and my hair continued to clog up the shower drain in larger quantities than I had ever seen before, I started to question what my body might actually be trying to tell me.
My hair wasn’t falling out by the handfuls, but something was certainly up.
Overall, I had been feeling really great health-wise. My energy was even and up. I was sleeping soundly through the night and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. I was exercising regularly, taking active rest days and being mindful of not over-doing it. And I had recently recommitted to a modified AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) Ketogenic style diet again to restore my body after a busy summer schedule.
However, I was working more than usual and likely under more stress than I would like to admit.
We recently found another source of mold (ugh, for the 3rd time) in our home which certainly could have been a contributing factor.
And as someone who had been previously diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune thyroid disorder, I was at risk for other autoimmune conditions such as Alopecia.
Whatever the reason was for my hair loss, I was determined to get to the bottom of it so I could get back to feeling like myself again with my luscious locks.
In this week’s video and blog, I confess more about my hair loss and share natural solutions to getting those luscious locks back.
The quality of your hair is a measurement of your health.
I put on my health detective hat and got to work.
The first order of business was to research possible causes for hair loss and which ones might pertain to me.
The most common causes of hair loss are:
- When thyroid hormone T3 is low
- Changes in estrogen and progesterone
- Alopecia (an autoimmune condition) is activated
- Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
- An increase is mental, physical or emotional stress
- Toxic exposures such as mold and heavy metals
- Drastic changes to your diet
- Improper scalp care and/or cleaning
- Poor circulation
I could relate to just about every one of these risk factors, even Alopecia (although I had never been diagnosed with it) because once you have one autoimmune condition your risk for others increases.
So I started the process of elimination by checking my thyroid hormones to make sure all was running right and that my Hashimotos hadn’t flared back up.
To my delight my thyroid hormone and antibodies were practically picture perfect. So I checked thyroid and an autoimmune flare-up as an issue off my list.
I exercise daily and didn’t have any other symptoms of poor circulation such as cold hands or feet, or muscle fatigue. And although life had been a little more work-ful and stressful, I still had a twice-daily meditation ritual in place and I didn’t feel an inability to handle stress, so I bumped circulation and stress as possible causes lower on my list of risk factors.
My mood was stable, cycle perfectly timed every 28 days and easy, I was sleeping soundly and acne wasn’t problem so estrogen and progesterone didn’t seem to be a culprit either.
That left me with:
- Drastic changes to diet
- Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
- Toxic exposures such as mold and heavy metals
- And improper scalp care and/or cleaning
I decided it was time to call in a hair specialist to help me research this further and I schedule a microscopic hair analysis appointment at my Naturopathic Doctor’s office (shout out to Nourish Medical Center for offering such a wonderful service!).
The analysis confirmed I certainly had a condition called Telogen Effluvium going on which can be triggered by a variety of things such as the drastic changes in diet, deficiencies, toxins and improper scalp care that I was suspicious of.
It’s tough to say exactly what the root cause for Telogen Effluvium is, and it could be a variety of things.
So based on my most likely factors here is what I’m doing to solve for hair loss:
- Loosening up on my Ketogenic style diet to boost my food nutrient intake
- Remediating the mold and thoroughly cleaning our home
- Making sure I take collagen peptides daily to promote hair growth and strength
- Consuming lots of gut healing foods and supplements for adequate nutrient absorption
- Using a specially formulated hair care products to cleanse my scalp properly, promote circulation and strong hair regrowth
If you or someone you know has been struggling with hair loss, I recommend going through a similar process of investigation as I did. Do your research, consider your risk factors, investigate possible causes through process of elimination and ultimately support your body naturally through diet, exercise, rest, stress reduction and toxin elimination to restore luscious locks.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources to solve your hair loss struggles so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
This past week I’ve talked to at least 5 people who have been out for the count recently because of a nasty cold or flu bug that has been going around.
Getting sick is no fun, so in true Throwback Thursday fashion I’m bringing back this blog to help you fight this season’s colds and flu naturally so you can feel your best to enjoy all the festivities that fall and winter bring!
Fall is officially here, meaning cold and flu season is swinging into full force, and seasonal allergies are reaching their peak for some people.
How do I know this? Well, there are some obvious signs such as the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees, or the Halloween decorations that are painting every house and storefront these days. And for anyone who still watches regular cable TV, commercials promoting flu shots, cold medicines and allergy relief are being broadcasted more frequently.
Years ago, I suffered from seasonal allergies and the occasional nasty sinus cold. I would load up on symptom relievers, such as DayQuil, NyQuil, throat lozenges, Mucinex, and Tylenol or Advil for my painful earaches.
Now I take nothing.
No, really. I no longer have to take any over-the-counter symptom relievers because I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies anymore, and I haven’t had a cold or the flu in so long that I can’t even remember the last time I did (keep reading and I’ll tell you why).
I’m not superhuman or anything. I still occasionally feel the shift of the seasons in my body – my energy is lower some days, I get a slight runny nose or tickle in my throat when Spring or Fall bring about new allergens in the air, and I even feel the onset of what might be a cold from time to time.
BUT my symptoms are tolerable and I can stop them naturally.
When we take over-the-counter (OTC’s) medications, we have a false sense of healing our body in some way. What we’re really doing is just masking the symptoms until our body is able to make a slow and full recovery. This is why over the years allergies, colds and flus become more intense, frequent, and longer in duration.
When we mask symptoms with OTC’s, we’re ignoring our body’s call for help.
As annoying as a runny nose or postnasal drip can be, it’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, something is really stressing me out right now or I’m under attack. I’m trying my best to fight it off, but I could really use your support and help.”
We’ve been taught to “push through it” when we get sick or feel under the weather. We use OTC’s to numb the pain so we can still go to work and take care of all our responsibilities, except for ourselves. But what is the price we pay in the long run for continually taking this action?
Nobody ever reads the warnings or the side-effects list on an OTC medication. I mean, they’re over the counter so they must be safe, right?
OTC’s come with a laundry list of negative side-effects that can occur acutely or chronically over time. Here are just a few OTC’s side-effect highlights that we commonly overlook …
- Acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) – liver damage
- Ibuprofen (aka Advil or Motrin) – peptic ulcers and kidney damage
- Decongestants – high blood pressure or blood pressure spikes
- Antihistamines – damage to heart muscle and the central nervous system
Large or small, long or short, any usage of OTC’s impacts the body’s ability to function normally and disrupts its homeostasis (balance). They do not boost our immunity, they block it.
OTC’s also are one of the number one contributors to leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability or dysbiosis), and guess what happens when you have a leaky gut?
A leaky gut increases your risk for allergies, colds and flus.
The gut is where 80% of your immune system lives, so if it’s dysfunctional guess what else is going to be dysfunctional? Your immune system, and your ability to fight off allergies, colds or the flu.
When the intestinal lining is compromised you’ve lost your first line of defense internally. Foreign invaders such as allergens, bacteria and viruses are able to cross the gut barrier and get directly into the bloodstream.
In this week’s video and blog I talk more about boosting your immune system by using natural remedies for allergies, colds and the flu to keep your gut and health intact.
One of the first health improvements my clients usually notice very quickly in our work together is that they don’t get sick anymore, or when a cold starts to come about it doesn’t fully develop and they make a very quick recovery from it.
It’s not magic, it’s just allowing the immune system to do its job.
The very first thing I focus on with ALL of my clients is digestive support and repair for 3 very important reasons:
- To boost the immune system, which lives in the digestive tract
- To increase nutrient availability for the body
- To reduce inflammation and stress on the body
Healing your gut is the key to sustainable health success, but healing the gut is a process which requires consistency. It can take months or even years to fully recover in some cases.
In order to heal the gut, you have to consistently:
- Avoid inflammatory and toxic foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
- Get rid of gut bugs such as parasites, bacteria and yeast (candida)
- Add in foods and supplements to help repair the integrity of the gut, such as digestive enzymes, fish oils, L-glutamine, probiotics, collagen peptides, bone broth and fermented foods
Healing my gut is what has made my seasonal allergies virtually non-existent and has given me the superhuman powers to fight off a cold or the flu before it even really gets started.
However, my immune system obviously wasn’t always able to do this. I suffered for years before I started to take action on healing my gut, and when I did the results weren’t immediate. It took time. In the in-between time of healing, I still had to find ways to lessen the pain and suffering without using OTC’s that would just set me back gut health-wise.
I began to slowly transition away from gut damaging OTC’s and introduced more natural therapies to boost my immune system and my body’s own defense system.
Some of my favorite natural remedies for allergies, colds and the flu include:
- Taking a supplement with quercetin and/or nettles leaf for allergies – this is something I do automatically when the seasons change to boost immunity
- Combo of peppermint essential oil (diffused or topically) and arnica (ingested or topically) for tension headaches, migraines or aches/pains
- Vitamin C, D and Zinc to fight off viruses and the flu – taken preventatively or acutely
- Oil of oregano and/or garlic as a supplement for anti-microbial properties to kill off bacteria and prevent colds or sinus infections
- Ginger or peppermint tea and bone broth for upset stomachs
For even more ideas on natural remedies to relieve your symptoms and support your immune system in defending you naturally, check out these other resources:
- Wellness Mama’s Natural Remedies for Illness – she even makes her own cough syrup
- Chris Kresser’s How To Prevent Colds & Flus Naturally OR The Truth About The Flu Shot & What To Do Instead – how to prevent and treat colds or the flu naturally
- Dr. Mercola’s Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body – how the flu happens and how to avoid it
We forget that OTC’s haven’t always been around yet our ancestors found natural ways to ease pain, suffering and symptoms. Natural remedies are still relevant and still work in our modern day world. We just have to seek them out.
Aside from using natural remedies and healing your gut, there are a few other really important things when it comes to having the strength and stamina to fight allergies, colds and the flu naturally – making sure to eat nutrient dense foods, getting good quality sleep, exercising, drinking plenty of water and taking time to de-stress on a daily basis through meditation or some other type of modality.
Bottomline is, you don’t have to suffer or mask your symptoms with superficial remedies. You can become your own health boss and thrive in this world any season of the year!
If you want to heal your gut to avoid allergies, colds and the flu altogether the same way my clients and I have, then schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session today here.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that 60% of the population (or more) is dealing with at least one symptom of digestive dysfunction — gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, candida, and the list goes on.
Living with digestive problems has become the new “normal.”
But digestive issues aren’t normal, they’ve just become common.
Don’t believe me? Just count how many TV commercials, in one hour, address at least one type of digestive issue.
Typically, digestive issues begin as minor complaints — a little indigestion here and there, the occasional tummy ache or bout of heartburn — and sooner or later, what was once a minor annoyance becomes something that can literally take over your life. This usually happens for two reasons — embarrassment or lack of knowledge.
Aside from my functional medicine and closest friends, most people find it embarrassing to talk about their bathroom habits or digestive dilemmas but frequently find themselves sprinting to the nearest bathroom, feeling weighed down by a rock in their stomach or popping antacids like candy.
And others just don’t know any better. Either digestive issues run in their family and they’ve accepted that they are doomed to have them too, or they don’t see the connection with a symptom that is far removed from the source such as acne, anxiety, depression or eczema.
In any case, they’ve simply settled for what they’re dealing with on a daily basis.
Digestive issues should not be ignored, it’s your tummy talking to you.
The digestive system plays a vital role in making sure the body receives the nutrients it needs, in supporting the immune system, and in protecting us from bad guys such as toxins.
If your digestive tract isn’t up to speed, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to run into bigger health issues down the road…or maybe you already have?
Think about it.
If you’re not digesting properly, then you’re not getting enough protein to feed your muscles, vitamins to keep your energy or mood balanced, and toxins aren’t being eliminated making for a toxic internal environment.
In this week’s video and blog I’ll help you decipher what your tummy is talking about, explain why you should be listening and how to respond.
Do you experience any of the following?
- Less than 1-2 bowel movements per day
- Adult acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin rashes or breakouts
- Anxiety, depression, mood swings or a nervous stomach
- Fatigue, cloudy thinking, trouble losing or maintaining weight
- Seasonal allergies, frequent common colds or sinus infections
- Loose stool or an unexpected urgent need to use the bathroom
If you answered yes to any of these then your tummy is trying to talk to you, and you could be suffering from digestive dysfunction.
And chances are, your doctor is unaware of the growing number of research studies demonstrating these alarming findings related to your digestive health:
– The toxicity of persistent constipation may cause common, everyday symptoms like fatigue, attention deficit, and brain fog.
– Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are almost always rooted in digestive dysfunction.
– Inflammation from gut dysfunction can spread throughout the body, causing inflammation in the brain, joints, sinuses, other important organs and deplete mood balancing hormones known as neurotransmitters.
Digestive dysfunction can cause a cascade of stress throughout the body.
Most doctors are either unaware of this information, lack the training to link digestive dysfunction to other health issues or don’t have enough time to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, people like you are paying the price in unnecessary suffering, over the counter digestive aids and medical bills.
As Dr. Nasha Winters (ND), author of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, says “you are what you don’t poop.”
The good news is…
Digestive dysfunction can be resolved through proper nutrition, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation. As a functional health coach, this is the foundation of the work I do with all of my clients because it relates to just about every single health issue.
I’ve seen clients go from one bowel movement a few times a week, to twice a day in as little as a week after making simple changes to their diet, lifestyle and taking supplements to support their digestive health.
And as a result, they feel lighter, more energized, clear minded, happy, free and at home in their body!
It’s time to listen to your tummy talk, and to stop settling for a life less lived.
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to understand what your tummy is talking about, to test and not guess, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
What do you think of when you hear the word “diet?”
Limited, restricted and deprived
Hungry, irritable and unsatisfied
Low energy, tired and weight loss
Short-term and rebound weight gain
Hate is a strong word, so I’ll say that I loathe the word “diet,” not for what it literally means, but because of all the negative thoughts and feelings that come along with it.
The original, simple, and my favorite definition of diet is…”the kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats.” For example, “I eat a Paleo diet.”
But the word “diet” is more widely known, referred to and defined as…”a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.” For example: “I’m going on a diet.”
The ways in which you relate to the word “diet” can be detrimental to your health.
Most “diet” programs fail because they focus on what NOT to eat, which can make you feel deprived and unsatisfied, leading you to eventually give in to temptations due to the lack of pleasure. With this approach you typically lose some weight, but immediately rebound and put it right back on after you stop “dieting” or when you give in to temptations.
Dieting can become an endless and vicious cycle – making it harder to lose weight, or keep it off each time you dive into a diet, until eventually it just doesn’t work for you anymore.
I was a serial calorie-cutter and dieter for a long time. Back in the day, I restricted myself to 1500 calories a day (or less) and turned up my exercise intensity during the week so I could have my “cheat” meals on the weekend. I even trained for fitness shows which required ridiculous and meticulous diets regiments, but the weight loss and results were never long-term.
Over time it got harder and harder to maintain my weight, even with calorie restriction.
Most of my clients have had a similar experience, trying diet after diet with little to no success or only getting short-term results. They’ve counted endless calories, dabbled in the Whole30, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, you name it.
Aside from the well known yo-yo dieting struggles and side effects, there’s a lot more going on under the hood when you’re dieting that can be detrimental to your long term health.
In this week’s video and blog, I share with you 4 reasons why dieting is detrimental to your long-term health and weight, and how to find the right diet for you.
No one ever really talks about the long-term results or side effects of dieting. All you ever see in diet product marketing campaigns and in the media are sexy slogans such as “lose 7 pounds in 7 days.”
What happens after 7 days?
Or a better question might be, “what is really happening to your body during those 7 days?”
Let’s explore 4 things that are happening to your body when dieting, which could be detrimental to your long-term health and weight.
#1 – Increased Cortisol Output
Drastic or abrupt changes in your diet, such as calorie restriction, can really stress the body out. Cortisol is the hormone released when we encounter any type of physical, emotional or environmental stress. An increase in cortisol output is directly related to fat accumulation around the midsection (that “spare tire” effect), and it can block progesterone leading to estrogen dominance and weight gain. Prolonged increases in cortisol output can lead to adrenal dysfunction resulting in chronic fatigue, thyroid imbalances, depression, anxiety, poor sleep and a slew of other health issues.
#2- Reduced Thyroid Function
A study published by the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a 50% reduction of thyroid hormone T4 and 25% reduction of thyroid hormone T3 into cells with overweight individuals who were dieting, resulting Intracellular Hypothyroidism. The thyroid rules our metabolism and ability to lose weight. The findings of this study show just out counterproductive and detrimental “dieting” can be to long-term health and weight. Not only can dieting reduce thyroid function while you’re on a diet, but its negative impact on thyroid function can take weeks, months or even years to reverse, especially if you’ve been yo-yo dieter. I often wonder how much of a role my previous dieting played in my Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s diagnosis.
#3- Lowered Testosterone
Testosterone plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscle mass, and therefore weight maintenance. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate is and the easier it is to keep the fat off. Some studies have shown how long-term calorie restriction has lowered testosterone in men, even when adequate nutrition is in place. This puts women at even more of a disadvantage when dieting considering the already lower levels of testosterone levels (in comparison to men) making muscle building or maintenance, and therefore fat loss, more of a challenge.
#4 – Psycho-Social Impacts
What’s the first thing you fear before going on a diet? FOMO! Fear of missing out! You think about all the happy hour invites you’ll have to dodge, the social gatherings you’ll miss and the dates nights you’ll postpone until after your diet. But you probably don’t know just how important those social engagements are to your health. Laughing, hugging, physical touch and socializing releases a hormone called Oxytocin. This “love”, or “cuddle”, hormone is also a powerful anti-stress hormone that lowers cortisol, blood pressure, and the fear response. It also increases feelings of trust, empathy and positive thinking, which prevent anxiety and depression.
Dieting might seem like a good idea in the moment when you just need to lose 5 or 10 pounds, but stop and think about how hard it will be later to lose the weight or the what health issues you might run into in the future as a side effect.
It’s time to shift your focus onto what diet is right for you- one that you can habitually eat, it’s realistic, sustainable and produces long-term results.
First, find the foods that give you the most energy. Those are the ones to focus on. You can do this by tapping into your body’s own intelligence to understand which foods are right for you.
How do you know when a food is right for you body?
When you eat foods that are right for your body, you will feel more motivated, uplifted, positive and able to make supportive choices for yourself which are in alignment with your health goals rather than destructive ones. Your energy will be even and you should be able to go 3-5 hours without feeling hungry or needing to snack.
When you tap into this natural intuition around food that your body holds, it makes it much easier to naturally choose foods that lift you up and support your ideal health, and weight.
Keep in mind, there is a difference between eating “healthy” and eating right for your body. Eating right for your body will include healthy foods, but not all healthy foods are right for your body.
So don’t be fooled because a food appears apparently healthy or because you’ve heard or read somewhere that it is. Tune into your body and find the truth.
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to understand what food is right for your body, to test and not guess, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
Food isn’t the boss of me anymore!
Food used to basically rule my life in so many ways, but it doesn’t anymore and I want to fill you in on my secret as to why, so you can find your food freedom too.
First, let me rewind for a minute and tell you where this all started…
In 2001 I went off to college, pursuing a career in Sport Psychology. About halfway through my undergraduate I decided the Athletic Trainer to Sport Psychology route wasn’t for me, so I changed my major to an emphasis in fitness, nutrition and I landed my first job as a personal trainer right after graduating.
All throughout college, everything I learned about health centered around diet and exercise. And even to this day the old paradigm of calories in versus calories out is still considered the equation for weight loss and good health.
I was also taught how eating small meals every two hours fueled the body and fat loss, and how many servings of each food group should be consumed based upon government recommended guidelines (aka the food guide pyramid now known as My Plate).
So as a personal trainer straight out of college, of course I thought I knew all there was to know about diet, exercise, weight loss and health, and I followed what I had been taught.
And all of a sudden food became the boss of me.
I planned my personal training client schedule around having to eat every two hours, not just because I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing but also because I found myself hungry every two hours. If I didn’t eat on time I would become hangry.
As a result, my whole life started to revolve around food preparation. I spent hours going to the grocery store, cooking meals for the week, and portioning out my meals and snacks for the week on Sundays. I basically would devote almost half the weekend to food prep.
It was exhausting, monotonous and time consuming, to say the least.
Fast forward to about 7 years after college. I was still personal training but had moved into a career in the corporate wellness field. Food was still the boss of me and I started to develop some health issues such as fatigue, headaches and worsening allergies which lead me to do some research about holistic (aka functional) health practices.
I became a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and started to learn more about what was going on with my body.
I discovered that my tenacious hunger every two hours was partially because I had:
- Adrenal/cortisol hormone dysfunction
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Various nutrient deficiencies
- And bacteria and yeast overgrowth in my gut, causing cravings and inflammation
But my hunger was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t eating the right foods for my body, which in turn contributed to not only being hungry all the time, but also all of the health issues I was experiencing.
In this week’s video and blog, I share a recent Facebook Live video I did with more info about how food was the boss of me, why it’s not anymore and what you can do to find your food freedom, too!
A Metabolic Typing test was one of the initial tests that put me on the path to figuring out what foods were right for my body (and it’s one that I have all of my clients do, too). This test showed me what types of food and what combinations of foods would support my body best.
Prior to the test, boneless skinless chicken breast was a staple in my diet, but as it turned out that’s not an ideal protein source for me. I do better with dark meat such as chicken thighs. I was also eating fruit and foods higher carbs quite frequently, but the test revealed that my body would perform better on a higher protein/fat and lower carb diet.
This bit of knowledge was life changing and I immediately felt more satisfied and energized from eating the right foods for my body.
Upon changing my diet, I started to regain control. I could go 3-5 hours, or more, without feeling hungry and as a result I gained back time in my life by not having to food prep so much! All was well in my world with food.
Fast forward again to about 2 years ago.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) in the fall of 2016, and food resumed its role as the boss for a little while, but for a whole different reason.
Various food sensitivity tests showed certain foods were fueling the inflammatory fire in my body and aggravating the autoimmune response.
This time I made a choice and let food resume it’s boss role because I wanted to heal Hashimoto’s naturally, which meant abiding by a more restrictive diet for a while.
I still ate according to my Metabolic Type (high protein/fat and low carb) to keep my blood sugar and energy balanced, but I also cut out a number of inflammatory foods to give my body the break and space it needed to heal.
For over 6 months, I strictly practiced a modified Autoimmune Paleo diet (AIP) and food ruled my life once more – I had to plan ahead, learn a new way of cooking and eating, and I had to be more conscious about my food choices. It felt like I was thinking about food all the time again.
Eventually eating a modified AIP diet became a no brainer once I got pass the learning curve. It was just something I did. I didn’t have to think much about it and my health was being restored as a result.
Once my Hashimoto’s was in remission and my hormones were back in balance, I set out to find true food freedom once again, and this time in a whole new way.
Over the last 4 months I’ve been playing with a modified keto-style diet, one higher in fat with moderate protein and lower in carbs, and it has been so freeing!
A word of caution here before I move on.
A keto-style diet is NOT for everyone. If you have underlying hormone imbalances, sleep disturbances or other health issues, going keto could make it worse. So make sure to run some functional lab test such as a cortisol, melatonin and complete sex hormone profile for insights about your circadian rhythm, thyroid and overall hormone balance before drastically changing your eating habits.
Before going keto, I made sure my hormones, energy and sleep were in check.
Eating a higher fat and lower carb diet has unleashed a food freedom that I’ve never experienced before. Food doesn’t even matter to me really anymore. I don’t think about it all the time as I used to.
Although I had found a level of freedom with food before, it still would take over my mind at times. I always would wonder about what my next meal would be. I would pack snacks when I traveled for fear of going hungry or not having options.
Now that my body is fat adapted (meaning it burns fat as its primary fuel source instead of being reliant on carbs and protein) as a result of eating a keto-style diet, I always have the energy I need. I can go for longer periods of time without eating or feeling hungry, making food less of a priority.
I’m also more confident about finding foods to fit my needs in almost any situation by simply focusing on high fat choices – a meal can be as simple as eating an avocado or a fatty cut of steak (no sides needed that might be full of inflammatory effects or carbs that cause crashes in my blood sugar and energy).
This might sound boring to you, but I’m a foodie at heart so trust me, it’s not. I’ve eaten some of the most glorious meals recently.
My path to food freedom may not be the same for you. You are unique and, therefore, your food needs will be, too. But I can tell you that there is a difference between eating healthy and eating right for your body. Eating right for your body will include healthy foods but not every healthy food is right for your body.
Case in point, white meat chicken is healthy but it wasn’t right for my body.
Moral of the story is… don’t let food be the boss of you and test don’t guess.
With a little investigation, you too can figure out what foods are right for your body so it can function at its potential – freeing you from hunger and the obsession so you can live your life to the fullest!
If you want to get your hands on the right lab tests and resources to find your food freedom, simply schedule a complimentary Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me today here!
It’s time for another Throwback Thursday blog!
But before you jump into the blog, I wanted to remind you about my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!
The challenge is going on now through September 30th, to encourage you to swap out some of your potentially toxic personal care products for non-toxic health-friendly ones to promote hormone balance, a healthy gut and liver, and to prevent future diseases such as cancer.
Here’s how the challenge works…
For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).
Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!
To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
The challenge is directly related to what I talk about in this week’s #TBT blog 🙂
Ok now onto the most important thing I want you to know in order to achieve or support your ideal health and weight…
You hear me cover a lot of different types of topics in my weekly emails and blog – everything from the latest science about hormone testing and diet, to sleep, exercise, meditation and spirituality.
It may not always seem as if these topics have anything in common, but they do. They are all addressing different types of stress that we encounter throughout our day and how to combat it.
Stress isn’t just the mental or emotional stress that we initially think of in relation to work, relationships or traumatic events. Stress is much more than that.
Stress is anything that places a burden on the body.
Whether it’s inflammatory foods such as gluten, not getting adequate rest or sleep, under exercising or over exercising when your body is already fatigued, toxins in your environment, or physical ailments from misalignments in bones and muscles – it all equates to stress on the body.
When I went through my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training program we were taught to identify H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors, or malfunctions in the…
- Energy Production
- Nervous System
Looking at these different systems of the body and recognizing malfunction helps me to also identify healing opportunities.
But in order to help someone heal and restore health to these systems of the body, I have to know what is causing the malfunction in the first place – stress.
To alleviate stress, I guide my clients in “coaching down contributors to stress, and coaching up function of the body” as my mentor Reed Davis says.
In all of the blogging and work that I do, my one big message for you is…
“I want you to be able to recognize the burden of stress on your body at any point in time and to know what to do about it in order to achieve your ideal health.”
Having a better understanding of what is contributing to a stress burden on your body leading to dysfunction, and taking action to minimize the stress is the secret to optimal health that we are all looking for.
In this week’s video and blog, I talk more about the different types of stressors, how to coach down the contributors and coach up function.
Our bodies are a miracle in and of themselves if you think about all that they do for us on a daily basis with little to no effort on our part: pumping blood and oxygen, breaking down and rebuilding cells, breathing, and giving us the ability to be mobile.
What we don’t realize is that those daily functions require a lot of work and energy from our body already, so we tend to pile on additionals tasks, toxins and responsibilities that force our body to work harder.
Our body will essentially do anything we ask it to, but that doesn’t mean we should.
It’s rare that your body will tell you ‘no.’ It will climb to the peak of mountain tops, work through the night to meet a deadline for us and eat almost anything we feed it. But that doesn’t mean we should ask it do those things, especially if it’s already burdened with H.I.D.D.E.N. stressors that we can’t see or aren’t aware of.
Know that stress can be…
- The inflammatory or pesticide laden foods in our diet
- Eating foods that are not in alignment with our nutritional needs
- Staying up late at night consistently or not getting enough sleep
- Exercising at a high intensity or for long durations when the body is tired
- Perceived mental or emotional stress from work, relationships and traumatic events
- Lack of nutrients in the body for functions to actually take place
- Toxins in our environment which burden the liver, alter cells and disrupt hormones
- And there are many more
For the longest time, exercise was actually one of my biggest stressors. As a naturally active individual with a personal training background, exercising was not only a passion but something I was intrinsically driven to do. I was constantly pushing my body to do more, get stronger or go longer.
A huge turning point leading to my remission with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid disorder) was turning down the volume on my workout routine a lot, to relieve an unnecessary stress I was placing on my body and allow it to heal. As soon as I cut back on lifting weights and running, and focused more on walking and yoga, my body started to heal more rapidly.
I look back now and I can see many points in my life where I pushed way too hard when it came to exercise. I vividly remember running my first marathon and at mile 22 my body simply refused to keep running, but I kept pushing- an obvious moment in time when the burden of stress on my body was high and likely contributed to dysfunction that I probably never fully recovered from. Now I know better and I would never put my body in that position again.
If I go to bed late, get a crappy night of sleep, cheat on my diet, am traveling or doing anything else that might create extra stress on my body, I’m very mindful about striking a balance by doing things such as skipping my usual workout for something that is more restorative, going to bed early the next day and taking a full weekend to eat healthy and rest.
Using functional lab testing, I’m able to help clients see where dysfunction exists in the hormone, immune, digestive, detoxification, energy production and nervous system BUT the bigger question is what do you do about it.
The secret to restoring balance and health is working towards eliminating the things that are causing stress on the body and giving it the support it needs to function at a higher level.
Just fixing your diet won’t do it. It’s one aspect of healing but not the catch-all solution most hope it would be.
Coaching up function in the body and achieving optimal health requires a multifaceted approach, one that involves:
- Stress Reduction (of all kinds)
- And Supplementation to support and restore bodily functions while you eliminate the stressors
I have found in my many years of doing this work that the mindset and spirituality components are just as critical as any of the physiological and science aspects. One will only be able reach a limited level of optimal health without incorporating both and addressing all the burdens of potential stress.
Rebuilding the relationship with your body, taking responsibility and treating it with respect will help you forge forward in optimizing your health. If you don’t change your mindset and the relationship with your body, you’ll continue to beat it down and run into a wall with your health.
So I’ll leave you with this… think about how much stress is on your body at this moment in time as you are reading this blog…
Are there toxins in your environment that you can’t see, hear or feel?
Did you get a crappy night’s sleep?
What was the last thing you ate and was it nutritious or not?
Did your force yourself to work out today or push too hard?
Are you stressed at work or in your relationships?
What else might be contributing to a burden of stress in your life?
Remember to weigh your stress burden regularly and then you can quickly take action to reduce it before it reduces your health.
The average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients – that’s a huge burden of daily stress on the body!
Reduce your body’s daily burden by swapping out your toxic personal care products and participating in my Tackle the Toxins Challenge!
To participate and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
P.S. To access the Activate And Upgrade Your Autoimmune Healing webinar replay that I mention in the video go here
Regardless of whether you have an autoimmune issue or not, this webinar replay can help you to up-level your health. In the webinar, Molly Hamill and I will shared best practices that we use on ourselves and with our clients to identify stress on the body, how to take responsibility for it, and how to take action to promote healing.
Did you know that average adult uses 9 or more personal care products each day, exposing themselves to over 126 unique chemical ingredients?
Have you ever checked your personal care products to see how many chemicals you might be exposing yourself to on a daily basis?
Even small doses of chemical exposures can cause symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, light sensitivity, hormone imbalances and fatigue.
Many of the chemicals found in personal care products have been classified as carcinogens, meaning they cause cancer, or as endocrine disruptors, meaning they disrupt hormones and can lead to infertility issues (in both men and women), painful or irregular periods, more intense PMS symptoms, acne, headaches, night sweats, low energy, insomnia, hyper or hypothyroidism, autoimmunity and much more.
I know it can be tough to give up your old reliable personal care products. Once upon a time I decided to break up with my M.A.C. cosmetics, Aveda hair care and big brand labels, too, in order to support my health on a greater level.
It took time to find the right replacements and alternative brands that I could trust. Now, I have a completely non-toxic line of beauty, skin and hair products that I love.
This is why I’m challenging you to “Tackle the Toxins” in your personal care products and incentivizing you to do it!
By transitioning your personal care products to non-toxic brands and minimizing the toxic load on your body, you can start to reverse any existing health issues and promote preventing them in the future.
Here’s how the challenge works…
For each non-toxic BeautyCounter product you purchase (to replace something toxic that you’re using) through September 30th, you will receive one entry into a raffle to win a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test, plus a 90-minute results review and recommendation session with me ($750+ value).
Buy one product = 1 raffle entry
Buy three products = 3 raffle entries
Buy five products = 5 raffle entries!
It’s that simple!
I selected BeautyCounter’s products as part of this Tackle the Toxins Challenge for a number of reasons…
- Out of all the non-toxic brands I’ve tried, I love the quality and consistency of BeautyCounter’s the most.
- From an ethical standpoint, they are a brand I can get behind; they advocate for stricter product guidelines, give back to the community and are a certified B-Corp.
- Their ingredient list is the strictest one in the industry and they are fully transparent about it.
- They require certificates of purity from their partners and require them to use non-GMO and non-toxic materials.
- Every product is tested every 3 months at a minimum and every single batch of color cosmetics is tested for hidden heavy metals
Some of my personal favorite BeautyCounter products include:
- No. 1 Brightening Facial (and the balancing one)
- Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation Linen
- All eye shadows and powder blushes
- Touch Up Skin Concealer Pen
- Nourishing Cream Cleanser
- Rejuvenating Face Cleanser
- Nourishing Day Cream
- Charcoal Face Mask
- Eye Liner Pencil
- And Bronzer
They have a ton of great kid’s and men’s products too!
Now, you might be wondering, what is so great about the DUTCH Complete Hormone Test giveaway?
The DUTCH test is one of the most comprehensive sex hormone and adrenal test on the market for understanding what is happening in the body as it relates to hormone balance.
This test has all of the critical markers to truly evaluate your adrenal function and hormone balance including:
- DHEA-S, Daily Free Cortisol and Cortisone Patterns
- Testosterone, DHT, DHEA (PLUS their androgens and metabolites)
- Estrogen and Progesterone (PLUS their metabolites and pathways)
- Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepi/Epinephrine and Oxidative Stress
- And nutritional elements related to hormones such as Glutathione, B12 and B6
Along with the test, you’ll also get to meet with me via phone or video call for an in-depth 90-minute results review session to go over your results and my personalized recommendations for you in regards to diet, sleep, exercise, stress reduction and supplements to improve or maintain your cortisol and hormone health!
All you have to do to win is Tackle the Toxins in your personal care products!
The more non-toxic BeautyCounter products you purchase to replace your old and toxic ones, the greater your chances of winning!
To participate in the challenge and for a chance to win, purchase your non-toxic BeautyCounter products here by September 30th.
To learn more about the toxins that might be lurking your personal care products, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database…
Let me know if you have questions about what toxins might be lurking in your products and which alternative non-toxic ones you might want to try!
Glyphosate was recently found guilty by a California jury for causing cancer in a school groundskeeper, who was repeatedly exposed to it in his line of work.
Glyphosate is the primary ingredient found in a pesticide known as Roundup, made by Monsanto, and it’s the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S.
The good news is…
This verdict was a big win in relation to raising awareness around how pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals deemed to be “safe” are actually harmful to our health.
The bad news is…
Every year more than 250 millions pounds of Roundup are used on conventionally grown U.S. crops and in other places around the world. As a result, Glyphosate has been found in all levels of the food chain including water, plants, animals and even in humans.
It has even been found in some organic foods due to water run off and cross contamination.
As a chemical, Glyphosate has been classified as a carcinogen, meaning it causes cancer, and as an endocrine disruptor, meaning is disrupts the glands that produce hormones, that convert hormones and keep them in balance.
Glyphosate was introduced back in the 1970’s and it’s just one of over 120,000+ chemicals that have been introduced in our environment since World War II, most of which haven’t been studied long enough to even know what the long-term impacts are on our health.
In this modern day world, our bodies are facing the largest toxic burden ever known to humankind. Before now, there has never been a time in human existence when so many chemicals existed.
As chemical production and use has increased over the years, we have also seen a steady rise in chemical related health disorders such as:
Seasonal allergies, colds and flus
Brain fog and dementia-like conditions
Irritable Bowel Syndrome and general digestive upset
Everywhere you turn, toxins and chemicals are lurking. In your water, food, air, furniture, personal care and cleaning products.
But we can’t live in a bubble, so what can we do to support our body during these burdensome times?
In this week’s video, I break down exactly what the toxins are doing to your body and how you can offset your exposure to them.
Let’s first explore exactly what toxic chemicals can do to your body using Glyphosate as an example…
It can immobilize certain nutrients and alter the nutritional makeup of the treated crop, meaning you won’t really get any vitamins, minerals or other nutrients from food exposed to Glyphosate.
It decreases the availability of essential amino acids (aka protein building blocks) needed to maintain muscle mass and rebuild cells that the body can only get from food sources.
It contributes to imbalances with good and bad gut bacteria leading to leaky gut, various food allergies or sensitivities.
It increases inflammation, which overloads the immune system rendering it too weak to fight off the common allergies, cold and flu viruses.
It shuts down detoxifying enzymes in the body, and therefore enhances the damaging impacts of other food-borne chemical residues or environmental toxins, and burdens the liver.
It promotes the creation of ammonia in the body which can lead to brain inflammation which has been associated with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and other cognitive impairments.
And some studies have also shown how Glyphosate disrupts progesterone production, negatively impacts female egg availability and development, alters estrogen levels promoting breast cancer, and disturbs overall steroid hormone balance.
Ugh. It seems overwhelmingly bad, I know, but there is hope. There is a lot you can do to reduce the impacts that Glyphosate and other chemicals have on your body.
To reduce exposure and the damaging effects of Glyphosate (and other pesticides or herbicides) you can:
Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as possible
Drink and cook with only filtered water
Take a daily liver support supplement
Avoid food crops most commonly contaminated with glyphosate (even if organic) such as corn, soybean, wheat, barley, rye and beans
Even small exposures to toxins and chemicals have a large impact on your overall health and can contribute to weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, digestive upset, autoimmune issues, hormone imbalances and much more.
Taking action to reduce toxic exposures as much as possible will result in long-lasting positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
If you’ve been eating healthy, exercising and “doing all of the right things” will little to no weight loss or health improvements, then toxins such as Glyphosate might be tripping you up, causing hormone imbalances, leaky gut and overwhelming the immune system, keeping you from getting results.
To help more people like you get to the bottom of underlying toxic burdens in your body so you can get back to feeling like yourself again, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
And if you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their health problems once and for all, share info to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).
It’s time for another installment of Throwback Thursday (#TBT)!
I chose this week’s #TBT blog because what I share in it has been an integral part of healing my leaky gut, adrenal dysfunction and Hashimoto’s so I could get get my energy back, drop the weight and think clearly again.
And it’s a big part of what I teach my clients about so they, too, can get back to feeling like themselves again, or for the very first time.
This blog is all about a sneaky little ingredient that shows up in some of the most unexpected places, but has some of the biggest negative impacts on your health.
If you’ve tried a gluten free diet and felt like it “didn’t work” then this blog will explain exactly why that might have happened for you.
If you suffer from anxiety, eczema or psoriasis then this sneaky little ingredient is one you’ll certainly want to watch out for.
It hides in places you wouldn’t even dream it would be. In your shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, medications and even coffee. Slowly but surely, it inflicts inflammation and turmoil in your body.
That sneaky little toxic ingredient known as gluten.
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, gluten became my number one enemy. Gluten is a trigger for autoimmune disease: signaling the body to attack itself, causing elevation in antibodies, contributing to leaky gut and overwhelming the immune system with inflammation and its toxic properties.
The gluten molecule also resembles thyroid tissue. This molecular mimicry causes the body to attack thyroid tissue even more in people who have thyroid autoimmune disorders, such as myself.
In order to reverse my autoimmune condition and be in remission, gluten had to go for good.
Prior to my diagnosis I was mostly gluten free. My household food products were gluten free and I ordered from the gluten free menu when eating out. But I wasn’t paying close attention to the sneaky or less obvious places where gluten was hiding.
I would order fries made in the same fryer as other gluten-laden foods, such as chicken strips. I would assume that foods on the menu were gluten free if they appeared to be, and hesitated to ask my server to make sure they were. And I certainly wasn’t checking any products outside of food items for hidden gluten.
All of that changed when my health was put on the line and I had to make a choice about what was more important to me…
Did I want to live a life battling symptoms of Hashimoto’s, struggling with my weight, my mood and hormones?
Or was giving up gluten worth being able to resume a normal, happy and healthy life?
For me, my health and happiness was worth more than the occasional slice of bread, pizza, pasta dish or cupcake.
It doesn’t matter if it’s one bite or one slice; It’s still toxic.
A gluten exposure is a gluten exposure. The smaller the size or amount doesn’t make the damage any less. People often think one little bite won’t hurt, but the reality is that it does.
The tricky thing about gluten is that it doesn’t just exist in the form of bread or pasta. It’s also found in hundreds of different foods and personal care products.
The body doesn’t just absorb gluten through food, it’s also absorbed through skin and in more severe reactivity cases even gluten that becomes airborne from the use of products such as wheat flour can pose an issue for some people. It can become embedded in porous surfaces, such as wood cutting boards. I’ve seen cases where gluten eating family members are contaminating gluten free family members by using the same cutting boards and cooking tools.
This is why some people may not see an improvement when they go “gluten free” with food.
They may have cleaned up gluten from their diet, but they are being exposed to it in some other way.
When gluten enters the body, it increases intestinal permeability, meaning it opens up the gates of the intestinal barrier, allowing toxins and food particles to freely flow into the bloodstream. The body then sounds the alarm that foreign invaders have entered the bloodstream. It enlists an immune system response and sends inflammation out to fight off the bad guys and to repair the damage.
Overworking the immune system in this way adds insult to injury for those who have an autoimmune disorder. It can be the tipping point for those at risk for autoimmunity or it can depress the immune system in “healthy” individuals.
Repairing the intestinal lining after an exposure to gluten, and therefore other toxins that have now free flowed into the body, is very complex. And compounding factors such as food sensitivities, existing hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, IBS, stress, infections and an already existing state of leaky gut can slow the healing process even more. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have single compounding factor who could swiftly recuperate from a gluten exposure, because at the very least all of us have stress.
One exposure to gluten can cause damage to the gut for as little as 3 weeks and up to 6 months.
In this week’s video and blog, I reveal the sneaky little places where gluten might be hiding and how you can support your body after an exposure.
First, let’s define what gluten is – it’s part of the grain structure found in wheat, barley and rye. It’s what makes bread-like products or pasta sticky and doughy. Therefore, it’s also used to thicken sauces and products such as shampoos, conditioners and lotions. It’s also very cheap to produce, so it’s used as a filling agent in other foods to create the illusion of bigger bulk for less cost.
Here are just some of the most common sneaky little places that gluten likes to hide:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body or face lotion
- Body wash and soap
- Makeup and deodorant
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Supplements – yep even the “natural” and organic ones
- Sauces, marinades and other condiments
- Potato products – chips, instant or restaurant made mash
- Meatballs and processed meats
- Flavored or instant coffee and tea
Gluten isn’t always listed as “gluten” either. So when you’re reading a menu or an ingredients list, here are the words you want to look for:
- Wheat, barley or rye
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Crusted, crispy or fried
As I mentioned earlier, I used to make the mistake of assuming things were gluten free just because they appeared to be or because they were considered all natural or healthy. I had to give up my beloved Aveda hair care products, a line that is touted by professional hair stylist for being “natural”, because it contained hydrolyzed-wheat protein. Now I always ask for gluten clarity on menu items and make sure my server lets the kitchen know about my dietary needs even if I ordered something that was gluten free.
As much as we can try to control what goes in and on our bodies, that doesn’t always guarantee a gluten free experience. For example, just a few weeks ago I clearly ordered a dairy free matcha latte with coconut milk and that’s not what I received. Although it wasn’t gluten, it just goes to show mistakes can still happen. After all, all of us are only human.
So to safeguard myself against getting unexpectedly glutened, here’s what I do:
- Bring my own soap, shampoo, conditioner and other body products when traveling
- Make sure my server knows I’m gluten free
- When eating out, I take a gluten destroying digestive enzyme such as NuMedica’s Glutenza, Allergy Research Group’s Gluten-Gest or Pure Encapsulations Gluten/Dairy Digest
Just think… if you have some kind of glutenous food for breakfast, followed by gluten in the body lotion you apply after a shower, gluten in the makeup you put on your face and later in your lunch or dinner, the war against gluten goes on all day in your body.
Getting rid of gluten for good played a HUGE role in my body’s ability to recover from toxic mold exposure, hormone imbalances and it was a key factor in my quick road to remission with Hashimoto’s.
Whether you have an autoimmune disorder or not, or a noticeable reaction to gluten or not, this ongoing war will eventually bring your body down. Making a conscious effort to reduce your gluten exposure or minimize it altogether will have a significant and positive impact on your health and your body.
If you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their health problems once and for all, share this to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).
And…to help more people get to the bottom of their so-called thyroid problems and resolve them for good, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
If you haven’t been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder yet, the chances that you will be at some point in your life are pretty high.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition sometime during their life.
The ATA also says:
- An estimated 20 million Americans have some type of thyroid disorder
- Up to 60 percent with a disorder are unaware of their condition
- Women are 5-8 times more likely than men to have thyroid issues
- One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime
- Undiagnosed thyroid disorders may increase risks for certain conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and infertility
- Women with inadequately addressed hypothyroidism have an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and severe developmental problems in their children.
This is more than just a U.S. population problem. A recent study out of India showed that 10.95% of the study group suffered from a hypothyroidism, in which 7.48% were aware of it and 3.47% were not.
In my functional health coaching practice, I have personally seen a rise in people coming to me with either known or unknown thyroid conditions. Heck, I was even diagnosed in 2016 with a thyroid disorder myself!
But what if you’ve have been misled to believe that your weight woes, low energy, fatigue, cold hands and feet, hair loss and other “thyroid-like” symptoms were all your thyroid’s fault?
With thyroid conditions on the rise, we have to ask the question- why?
The thyroid certainly doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to stop working.
So what changed? Why are there so many people knowingly, and unknowingly, suffering from thyroid disorders around the world?
Some might say it’s because doctor’s are getting better at diagnosing thyroid disorders or because there is more awareness being created about thyroid conditions, both of which probably hold some truth.
But what about the people who have been diagnosed, prescribed thyroid medication and still suffer from thyroid symptoms?
Or what about all the people who are estimated to unknowingly suffer from a thyroid condition and are yet to be diagnosed?
There’s simply has to be more to the thyroid disorder story.
What if it’s not a thyroid problem at all?
In this week’s video I break down the most common contributing factors to thyroid disorders and reveal why thyroid issues really aren’t the thyroid’s fault at all.
Let’s zoom out and look at the big picture for a moment to really grasp how a thyroid problem could come to be.
The thyroid is a gland and is part of what is called the Endocrine system, a network of glands within the body which produce hormones. Within the Endocrine system there is also the Hypothalamus, which I like to refer to as the Endocrine CEO because it basically runs the show, and then there is the Pituitary gland which I like to refer to as the President of Operations because it takes direct orders from the Hypothalamus.
As the CEO, the Hypothalamus is constantly observing the marketplace, aka the body. And based on the signals and feedback it’s getting, it will give its directives to the Pituitary gland who then tells the Thyroid what to do. Inversely, the Pituitary also receives signals from the Thyroid about how much hormone is being produced.
By simply understanding the chain of command within the Endocrine system, you can start to see how a thyroid problem could simply be a miss in communication coming downstream from the Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland.
Misfirings in communication by the Hypothalamus or Pituitary gland are just one example of why a thyroid condition may not be your thyroid’s fault.
Even then, we want to ask “what causes these miscommunications amongst the glands?”
So what sparks these mixed signals within the Endocrine system and its glands?
The answers are somewhat simple and in most cases the causes are within your control.
Here are the top 3 contributing factors to thyroid disorders and what you can do about them…
#1 – Chronic Stress & Dysfunctional Adrenals
When you experience any kind of stress, whether it’s emotional, mental or physical, our Hypothalamus signals the Pituitary to tell the Adrenal glands to release your stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol is released, it redirects your body’s resources and deprioritizes anything that is not absolutely necessary in order to deal with the stressor, such as digestion and thyroid hormone production. In this modern day world, we encounter stress on the regular and if we don’t take action to destress, our thyroid hormone will tank.
The reality is, we can’t always avoid stress. Crappy co-workers and unexpected traffic are bound to happen, but we can offset the impacts of stress by taking a proactive approach and having tools in place for when we do encounter it.
Any time you adopt the deep rhythmic breathing patterns of a relaxed person it automatically flips the switch in the brain and the Hypothalamus, and it reduces cortisol levels,allowing the thyroid to return to work. You can proactively support your thyroid by incorporating a deep breathing or meditation practice into your daily routine.
#2- Environmental Agents & Exposures
With over 120,000 toxic chemicals swirling around in our environment, their effects were bound to catch up to us, and according to the climb in thyroid disorders it’s certainly showing. Some of these chemicals have been classified as endocrine disruptors, meaning they directly negatively impact our glands and hormones. Endocrine disrupting chemicals include agents such as chlorine found in our shower and drinking water, BPA found in plastic or canned goods, phthalates found in lotions and personal care products and even fire retardants that coat our walls and furniture.
We can’t always see, hear or feel these chemicals, but they are all around us. You can proactively support your thyroid by minimizing the chemical exposures you are aware of by filtering your shower and drinking water, using glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, buying non-toxic and eco-friendly personal care and home products, installing a HEPA air filter and getting out in nature as much as possible for fresh air and sunlight.
Additionally, you can eat foods and take daily supplements to support your body’s natural detoxification capacity.
#3- Leaky Gut & Sluggish Liver
Your liver and gut convert the largest majority of your T4 to T3 thyroid hormone, hence another reason why a thyroid disorder may not be your thyroid’s fault but actually the result of a faulty liver or leaky gut! The liver can get bogged down and the gut can become leaky due to toxins, excess hormones, medications, inflammatory foods, poor sleep habits and/or lack of nutrients.
The keys for supporting the liver and gut for optimal thyroid function is to address the stress and reduce your toxic load as already discussed, in addition to eating an anti-inflammatory diet, getting adequate sleep from 10pm-2am most nights of the week, moving your body daily to boost its detox capacity and taking supplements for any possible nutrient deficiencies.
When my clients focus on these 3 areas, they frequently see a reduction in their so-called thyroid symptoms and in some cases are able to come off their thyroid medication, never to return to it.
By taking action in these 3 areas, I’ve also been able to manage my thyroid better, get off thyroid medication, and reach remission with Hashimoto’s.
Don’t let the thyroid statistics scare you, or blame your thyroid for not doing its job when it may not be its fault. Take control of your health and take action to support your thyroid in the ways it needs most!
To help more people get to the bottom of their so-called thyroid problems and resolve them for good, I’ve opened up my schedule to help 5 new clients!
P.S. If you have a friend or family member in your life who wants to solve their thyroid problems once and for all, share this to help them finally get back to feeling like themselves again (or for the very first time!).