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Category: Thyroid Health (Page 1 of 2)

Treating Thyroid Problems Naturally

Thyroid Function Must Be Controlled Before You Get Pregnant

Treating thyroid problems right away is important if you are wanting to have a baby.  Preconception planning is essential to a healthy pregnancy for women with thyroid problems.  Women with untreated or neglected thyroid problems may affect their baby’s growth and brain development.  Untreated thyroid problems may also lead to infertility, miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects.

It’s important to see a doctor bout thyroid issues.  Make a plan with your doctor.  If you desire natural treatments it is important to speak with your doctor to see if that is a possibility for you.  Here I will present some ways to supplement and support proper thyroid function.  If you are interested in any of these, talk to your doctor – we can help with a plan of action to help.

Iodine Rich food sources

A diet rich in whole foods should always be the first way to support overall health, including thyroid health.  Poor diet and nutritional deficiency is one of the top reasons for thyroid problems.  Choose organic foods when possible, as the thyroid is very sensitive to environmental toxins.  Too much iodine can also cause goiter, so do not go overboard.  More is not always better.  It is about balance.  It is important to get a balanced amount of iodine in the diet.  People with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency may benefit from increasing the recommended daily allowance of iodine rich foods.

  • Raw cranberry
  • Whole-fat yogurt
  • Raw dairy products
  • Navy beans
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes with skin left on
  • Himalayan Crystal Salt

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Why Thyroid Problems Should be Resolved Before Conception

Is Your Thyroid Impacting Your Fertility?

YES!  Solving thyroid problems before conceiving is more important than you think!  The thyroid is a very important gland for fertility.  Hormonal imbalance can act as a trigger for thyroid problems.

Let’s review how the thyroid functions and learn the different ways thyroid issues may affect your fertility.

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland.  It is located just below the larynx, in the lower part of the neck.  The purpose of the thyroid gland is to take iodine from the foods we consume and convert them into thyroid hormones:  thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).  Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine.  The thyroid combines iodine and the amino acid tryosine to make T4 and T3.  T4 and T3, once released into the blood stream control our metabolism.  They thyroid is also responsible for proper growth, development and repair of the body.  It is extremely important for the development of the central nervous system.  The metabolism of every single cell in our body is dependent on thyroid hormones.  The thyroid produces about 80% T4 and 20% T3, but T3 has four times the strength of T4.

Our thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland.  The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus.  When thyroid hormones drop too low, the pituitary gland releases Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH).  The release of TSH stimulates th thyroid to release more T3 and T4.  Healthy regulatory release of T3 and T4 signal the pituitary to decrease the release of TSH.  The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to release TSH through the release of TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH).  This can be so confusing.  To break it down, the hypothalamus is like you – a person who can control the thermostat in your home.  The thermostat is the pituitary and the heat is thyroid hormones.  As the heat rises (thyroid hormones), it signals the thermostat (pituitary) to shut off.  As the heat decreases, it signals the thermostat to run again.  The control person (hypothalamus) sets the thrmostat (pituitary) to a regulate the heat (thyroid).

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Can You Treat Inflammation Holistically?

Smoking and inflammation

It’s pretty common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health and contributes to the development and exacerbation of a slew of diseases.  Researchers have recently developed a theory as to why smoking is so closely related to so many inflammatory conditions.  Apparently nicotine is able to activate a specific kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, and while normally neutrophils work to protect the body, they are also responsible for tissue damage due to excessive inflammation.  So one way to decrease inflammation is to quit smoking.

Conventional treatments for inflammation
Non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDs)

As you might know, the most common over-the-counter treatment for inflammation is a drug called ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).  These can be amazing drugs for the occasional ache or pain, but they are not designed to be taken regularly and do not treat the underlying cause of inflammation.  Symptoms of NSADIS include stomach ulcers, hypertension and rashes.  Taken long-term or too often, they can be dangerous, linked to heart attacks, strokes and stomach bleeds.

Corticosteriods

Another common type of anti-inflammatory medication are corticosteroids.  These drugs work by suppressing inflammation-causes genes.  They often come in the form of cortisone injections, and can be very effective at decreasing inflammation.  They also come with a lot of side-effects and the body can also start to build up a tolerance.

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Allergies and Inflammation

Allergies are another common sign of chronic inflammation.  If you suffer from seasonal or year-round allergies, you have probably wondered why they seem to affect you but not some of your friends or members of your family.  It’s because people wit allergies have an immune system that is launching an immune response to harmless substances (like pollen), as if they are a threat to the body.  This activates an immune response and causes that annoying persistent sneezing, mucus, and inflammation.  The immune systems of your fortunate allergy-free friends is simply not perceiving those substances as harmful.

The body will provide a tone of subtle signs when someone starts to develop chronic inflammation, and this is where conventional medicine can sometimes fall short.  Your doctor will be well aware of inflammation caused by infection or injury and fully recognize autoimmunity and autoimmune disease, but they don’t seem to pay much mind to the subtle signs of chronic inflammation.  And if they do, they will prescribe a medication that will treat the symptoms and not the root cause.

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Inflammation and the Immune System

The Immune System

Our immune system is one of the most incredible and complex parts of the human body.  The immune system is able to recognize foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria that might do our body harm.

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Fertility food

Eating for Long-Term Health – Lowering Inflammation Is the Key!

Inflammation in the body causes or contributes to many debilitating, chronic illnesses.  These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.

Eating a diet focused on anti-inflammatory principles not only helps protect against certain diseases, but also slows the aging process by stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism.  Many people find they also lose weight by following an anti-inflammatory eating pattern.

Incorporate these principles into your diet for optimal health:

Consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day.

A fiber-rich diet helps reduce inflammation by supplying naturally occurring anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.  Seek out whole grains, fruits and vegetables to get your fill of fiber.  Best sources include whole grains such as barley and oatmeal; vegetables like okra, eggplant, and onions; and a variety of fruits like bananas and blueberries.

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Optimal Fertility and the Gut Health and Microbiome Connection

Digestion plays a role in the health of virtually every body system.  70% of your immune system cells reside in the gut wall.  Gut and digestive health are important for all couples trying to conceive.  Enhancing digestion can greatly aid men and women with fertility concerns.  An improvement in gut health may be the missing link to solving otherwise unexplained fertility.  Do you have digestive problems?  Hopefully this information will help and pave the way for relief and new power over your fertility.

How Does Digestion Impact Fertility?

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 4!

MTHFR – What is it and why do you need to know about it?

MTHFR: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – this is actually a genetic test for how well you absorb and process folate.  It possibly is an issue in early stage miscarriage.

If you have this mutation, it could affect your ability to get and/or stay pregnant.  This mutation has an effect  on mental health as well as having implications on reproductive health.  Women usually find out about this mutation after having multiple miscarriages.  Wouldn’t it be easier and better to know before?

The MTHFR gene produces the MTHFR enzyme which is necessary for the proper utilization of folic acid or folate (vitamin B9).  The MTHFR enzyme breaks folic acid down into L-methylfolate to make it usable by the body.  This is known as methylation.

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 3!

Thyroid Hormones – TSH, fT3, tT4,rT3

Understanding the Physiology

TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  TSH is released in the pituitary to urge the thyroid gland to produce hormone.  The thyroid produces T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) which is then converted to T3 (active) and reverse T3.

It looks like this:

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Low Down on Hormone Tests – Part 2!

So, if you are like most couples that have been struggling to conceive or even if you are just starting this journey, you probably have a binder full of tests!  Test after test has probably been done trying to figure out why you are not getting pregnant.  Possibly you have the diagnosis of – “your test results look good, we are not sure why you are not getting pregnant!”

Let me help you try to make sense of some of this testing so you can be empowered with the information that I use to analyze my client’s lab results so they can be successful on their fertility journey.

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