When the Thyroid function thyroid is low, you can’t adequately balance your blood sugar and your cholesterol or lose weight. A lot of women are suffering from Thyroid without knowing, they are tired, overweight, are pre-diabetes and/ or have inflammation in their body.

In my practice as an Integrative Nutrition and Life Coach I found out my clients often are worried that they have a certain disease, but don’t know where to go for adequate diagnoses and treatment. Often the diagnoses seem to be to isolated from other physical symptoms they are experiencing at the same time. What I also notice is that in the few lucky cases my client got very thorough testing done and diagnoses made, that effective medication and supplements are prescribed, but they are totally left out in the blue on how to make necessary diet and lifestyle adjustments. In rare cases, a few lines will be dedicated to what NOT to eat and one sentence to REDUCE STRESS.

This is what happened to Lilliana who suffers from Thyroid as well. She tells you in person in this video.

Video: Lilliana shares her health journey dealing with Thyroid

For that reason, I have chosen Thyroid Disease as an example of how I advise my clients – who most of the time feel they are too busy to take care of themselves, because they are a mom, wife, daughter and employee in the first place- to approach a health issue that is bothering or worrying them.

What happens when your Thyroid is out of Balance

The Thyroid produces T3 hormones (7%) – that give a signal to the mitochondria to increase metabolism- and T4 hormones (93%) – that are inactive until the body converts them to T3.

When the body is unable to convert the T3 hormones into T4 hormones we speak about Thyroid disease. The effect of this incapacity has effects on the whole body, since T3 hormones talk to all the other hormones in the body, including insulin, cortisol and the sex hormones. So, when there are not enough T3 in our body it effects basically our whole being: energy level, stress level, character and femininity.

Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. It is basically the vehicle that transports the glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles, liver and other cells. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycaemia) or too low (hypoglycaemia).

Cortisol helps control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Because most bodily cells have cortisol receptors, it affects many different functions in the body. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.

To give you an idea on the impact of non-conversion of T4 into the essential T3 hormone: The Thyroid produces T3 hormones (7%) – that give a signal to the mitochondria to increase metabolism- and T4 hormones (93%) – that are inactive until the body converts them to T3.

And thus, an unbalanced body gets even more out of balance because other bodily processes are not set in motion adequately.

Causes for Thyroid dysfunction

So, why isn’t the body in some cases not able to convert T4 in T3? I like to raise this question, because I like you to be aware that only taking medication is probably not going to heal your conditions, since the medication is not effecting the root cause of the malfunction. But don’t listen to me, I have someone I like you to meet, who is much more knowledgeable in explaining to you what possibly can be going on. It’s Functional Medicine Doctor J. Goodbinder.

How does functional medicine approach hypothyroidism?

Watch this video. 

The holistic diagnosis, treatment and healing list

On the basis of this list you can determine your holistic healing plan. There are of course many more elements you can integrate in your healing plant like stress reduction, finding the right exercise and spiritual practice. You might want to have massages or a type of energetic healing session. A good coach will assist you to find your personal mix of nourishing and healing activities that will contribute to restoring your health. Try finding one that can help you with diet, health and lifestyle and make sure you resonate with them.

When potentially dealing with Thyroid issues these are elements that would be good to integrate into your health plan.

1.Proper Testing

Get Proper testing done by a Function Medicine Doctor or Western Medicine Doctor who is specialised in Endocrinology. Do be aware that a Functional Medicine Doctor takes a different approach and is likely to run more test, resulting in more details for a thorough analyses.

2. Determining the cause

A Functional Medicine Doctor will probable run a broader test than a traditional doctor, since he not only wants to determine if you have Thyroid, but also wants to find out the root cause. An important difference in approach is that a Functional Medicine Doctor will have an integral view on your whole body function. A Functional Medicine Doctor will correlate the test results (iodine, Vitamin D, selenium, B vitamins, celiac, etc.), which is contrary to what we have been experiencing in Western Medicine in the last decennia, where the look at disbalances in the body in an isolated way, measuring test to average outcomes.

And the great thing is that nowadays you do not have to live in the same town as your doctor. Get testing done in your area, send them the test result, your consultation takes place online and medication and supplements are mailed out to you. I have good experience working with Dr. J Goodbinder in this way.

3. Diet adjustments

Often ingredients in our meals or deficiencies in our body can cause or contribute to thyroid disease. Adding the right foods and reducing, avoiding or elimination foods that are damaging can be very beneficial. A Functional Medicine doctor or Nutritionist will often give advice on this, however don’t always give support how to transition from your ‘aggravating” foods to nourishing and healing meals.

Environmental toxins like pesticides can cause and contribute to Thyroid. Or chemicals like preservatives and additives. Natural, Organic whole food becomes essential.

Foods itself can be the cause of illness. In case of Thyroid often certain foods are eliminated like:

  1. Soy beans and soy products
  2. Vegetables from the broccoli family: collard greens, cabbage, kale, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts)
  3. Gluten (wheat, barley, kamut, rye, (contaminated)oats, spelt) and also gluten in many processed foods, sauces and condiments.
  4. Food allergies
  5. Toxins; pesticides, mercury

This is where an integrative nutrition and life coach can make the difference between you taking medicine and supplements for the rest of your life, or the success story of changing diet and lifestyle as well, resulting in a healthy body and a happy life. Because they will help you find ways to get nourishing and beneficial foods like seaweed (iodine), fish, like sardines, salmon and mackerel (iodine, omega 3 and vitamins D) and dark leafy greens into your daily meal plan.

4. Lifestyle

In today’s high-speed information society, stress is more common than chilling and lounging after a day of hard work and putting the children to bed. We continue working, learning and communicating until the minute we are exhausted and fall asleep with our phone still in our hands. Stress is known to be one of the causes of Thyroid as of many other diseases.

We seem to have lost connection with who we truly are, what brings us joy and don’t see the possibilities how to incorporate that what feeds our zest for life into our daily life, because of lack of time, money or self-esteem. Most of us, have disconnected from their body and see it only as a vehicle that always needs to function as a race car, speeding us to the next goals we want to reach. Everything has become a project, including curing illness and raising children. News flash……. This is not how it works. The damaging effects of worries and stress around health, wealth and relationships is much more damaging than a glass of alcohol or a plate of French fries.
Regular exercise and sauna stimulate Thyroid secretion and help the body detoxify. So, finding a sport or yoga practice that stimulates sweating helps the body to release toxins and the mind to relax.

Again, finding an integrative nutrition and life coach that helps you implement the advice of your doctor, specialist or nutritionist in a simple, positive and doable way is advisable. An accountability partner that respects your lifestyle and guides your transition by accepting the level you are at, is going to make the difference.

5. Supplements

Your Functional Medicine Practitioner, Traditional Doctor or Nutritionist will be able to subscribe you beneficial supplement. Depending on the deficiencies that are causing your Thyroid it can include iodine, Vitamin D, omega-3 fats, selenium, zinc, vitamin A or B Vitamins.

6. Medication

With Thyroid disease, it is no other than with any other disease, meaning that there are more than one option for medication. Medicine is a science and therefore you should make sure you have a doctor who practices his proffesion as such, and tests and listens to your feedback on to see how your body is responding to medication. In the case of Thyriod a trail period of 3 months will give a good idea.

Do I have to stay on medication and supplements for the rest of my life?

Based on the philosophy that you are restoring the balance in your body, by healing the root cause of the problem, you will not have to be on medication and supplements the rest of your life. Your take them to counteract symptoms while deficiencies are being solved, but once your body is in its optimum state again, you can stop. A balanced eating and living would from that point on be your best preventative medicine against future illnesses.