There is a saying in the world of functional medicine that goes like this - "sluggish thyroid, sluggish anything" meaning that if the thyroid isn't working optimally it can have an effect on almost every other organ or system in the body, slowing things down so we feel and act...sluggish, fatigued, cold, unmotivated, foggy brained, we have frequent indigestion and constipation to name just a few.
Hypothyroidism is relatively common, so why is that, how do we get it and more crucially, apart from being prescribed Levothyroxine, is there anything else we can do?
Why & how do we get to a state of Hypothyroidism?
It helps to think of the thyroid as a battery pack. If the battery is running smoothly, so is everything else, but if the battery is running out of juice things slow down & conversely if the battery is running at high speed (remember the Duracell bunny?) so does everything else - this condition is known as Hyperthyroidism, but is much less common so we wont focus on that just now.
So, the thyroid - our 'battery' needs to be charged and in biology terms, we get our charge from nutrients that include vitamins and minerals. If you know anyone who is hypothyroid, or perhaps you are yourself, you will likely be familiar with the term T4, which is what we are prescribed in thyroid medication if we have the condition. The T is Tyrosine, an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body from high protein foods, particularly cheese and the 4 represents the number of molecules of Iodine needed to make one of these hormones. Thyroid hormone is a mixture of Tyrosine and Iodine which we also get from foods such as white fish, sea food, dairy, eggs and other animal proteins. NB: The body cannot make Iodine so it is essential to get it from our diet. We also need to ensure that we are getting enough Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A and Iron.
So, if we dont get the right nutrients, we wont have enough T4 and we eventually get to a hypothyroid state.
Apart from taking medication, is there anything else we can do?
Other things that will deplete our Thyroid hormone availability are:
Too much Stress
Not enough Sleep
An unhealthy Gut biome
Now, as a fellow human, who has had and dealt with her fair share of health challenges, I know that to eat better, get better sleep, stress less, have a healthy gut, reverse an estrogen dominant state or reduce chronic inflammation is no mean feat to accomplish on our own.
If you would like to chat about how we could work together on one, two or all of these challenges, please do reach out.