Hypothyroidism

Maintaining proper amounts of thyroid hormone in the body is essential to feeling like yourself!

Thyroid hormone is the goldilocks hormone! Having too little or too much thyroid hormone floating in the body can have negative effects.

Hyperthyroid, which is an overactive thyroid, is when your thyroid secretes too much thyroid hormone. This supercharges your body in the wrong way, causing anxiety, panic, and other issues.

Hypothyroid is the more common problem, which is when your thyroid is underactive. Too little thyroid hormone leaves you lethargic and can result in other side effects like weight gain.

Did you know that out of every 1000 Americans 8 have overt hypothyroidism and 30 have subclinical hypothyroidism?

Signs and symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

Suspect you might have an underperforming thyroid? Here are the most common signs and symptoms:

● Skin problems, acne, hair loss or brittle nails
● Mood issues or disorders – frequent mood swings, anxiety, depression
● Weight gain or inability to lose weight
● Feeling tired and fatigue even after a good night sleep
● Painful or inconsistent periods, PMS, low libido
● Constipation and problems with digestion system
● Inability to concentrate well, poor memory, brain fog
● Rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, tendonitis
● Insomnia, snoring or hoarse voice
● Sensitivity to heat, having low body temperature, cold feet and hands
● Missing the outer third of your eyebrow

Root causes of hypothyroidism

Nine common causes for an underactive thyroid include:

1) Congenital hypothyroidism is when a person’s thyroid isn’t working correctly, starting at birth. Usually, hospitals screen for this.
2) A deficiency in iodine can also trigger hypothyroidism. Iodine is artificially added to unhealthy processed foods. This can sometimes make it hard to get enough iodine on an otherwise healthy diet. Supplements can help fill the gap.
3) If part or all of your thyroid has been removed or killed with radiation, you probably don’t make enough thyroid hormone.
4) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (lymphocytic thyroiditis) is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks the thyroid. Your thyroid then stops producing enough hormone as its tissues get damaged. This is one of the most common reasons for an underfunctioning thyroid.
5) A high toxic load overloads your body’s detoxing systems. This often results in autoimmune diseases that can attack the thyroid.
6) Some prescriptions can slow down your thyroid – your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if this is a side effect of any medications you’re taking.
7) Radiation can damage your thyroid. This is most common after cancer treatments around the neck.
8) Postpartum thyroiditis results in an increase and successive drop in thyroid hormone production. This can sometimes occur during the first year after giving birth due to fluctuating sex hormones.
9) Abnormalities in the signaling between your hypothalamus and pituitary glands can result in hypothyroidism, as well as hyperthyroidism.

How to identify hypothyroidism

Did you know that not all thyroid tests are created equal?
● So, you believe you have a thyroid issue and ask your doctor for a test.
● They perform a TSH blood test, and everything comes back “normal”.
● You’re left feeling confused, unheard, and not sure where to turn next.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

You may find yourself going back and forth, and requiring many opinions before receiving the information you require if you’re seeing a conventional doctor.

The type of test ordered, as well as what is considered “normal” for that test play a large role in thyroid diagnosis and treatment. The truth is that a lot of docs will use TSH ONLY as the indicator of your thyroid function.

This is because TSH levels only depict a small portion of what “normal” thyroid function entails.

Here are ALL the thyroid tests that can be given:

Free T4 (Thyroxine) is used by your body to store thyroid hormone for conversion to T3 when needed. Too little, and there won’t be enough to convert.

Free T3 (Triiodothyronine) is the active form of thyroid hormone. Usually, your body converts T4 to T3 when needed, but sometimes this process goes awry.

Reverse T3 is also converted from T4. It does the opposite of T3, which helps slow things down when needed. Too little reverse T3 can result in anxiety and a racing heart.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) attack the enzyme that’s used to make thyroid hormone.

Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) reduce thyroglobulin, which is also used to make thyroid hormone.

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) should also be tested since it’s responsible for modulating thyroid hormone. Here’s the catch. Since it’s used by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to create thyroid hormone, any issue with these two glands makes a TSH measurement less than useful.

So what can you do to support your thyroid?

Focus on these 6 lifestyle factors to support your thyroid:

Exercise regularly
Exercise can help improve thyroid function and increase energy levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. If you are really struggling with fatigue, it may be better to focus on low impact exercises such as pilates and yoga first.
It’s important to note that while exercise can be helpful for people with hypothyroidism, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting or making significant changes to an exercise routine. The intensity and type of exercise may need to be adjusted based on individual circumstances and thyroid hormone levels.

Get enough sleep

Adequate sleep is important for maintaining proper thyroid function. In particular, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland and regulates the production of thyroid hormones. (High TSH = HYPOthyroidism, low TSH = HYPERthyroidism). Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Reduce stress
Chronic stress can disrupt thyroid function. Stress can cause the body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can interfere with the production and release of thyroid hormones. In addition to disrupting thyroid hormone production, stress can also weaken the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to infections and autoimmune disorders, such as thyroiditis, which is inflammation of the thyroid gland. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to help manage stress.

Eat a healthy diet
A well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help support proper thyroid function. Certain nutrients, such as iodine and selenium, are important for proper thyroidfunction. Iodine is found in foods such as seaweed, seafood, and eggs, and is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. Selenium is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and is necessary for the conversion of the inactive form of thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3). Avoid processed foods and sugar, which can contribute to inflammation and hormone imbalances.

Minimize consuming goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with thyroid hormone production. Foods that contain goitrogens include soy, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts), and nuts and seeds. While these foods can be part of a healthy diet in moderation, it is best to consume them cooked rather than raw.

Avoid overexposure to environmental toxins
Certain environmental toxins, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals, can disrupt thyroid function. To reduce your exposure to these toxins, try to use natural and organic products whenever possible and avoid areas with high levels of pollution.

Work with a provider
If you’ve been struggling with hypothyroidism and don’t know where to turn, schedule an INITIAL CONSULT to see how I support clients with hypothyroidism.

Are limiting beliefs holding you back from achieving your New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you tired of making New Year’s Resolutions that you never keep? Tired of all the guilt that comes with it?

Do you feel like no matter how hard you try it’s impossible to keep your promises to yourself? If so, it could be due to the thoughts that are taking up rent in your head, in the form of limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs are thoughts or beliefs that hold us back and prevent us from achieving our goals or reaching our full potential.

These beliefs can be about ourselves, our capabilities, or the world around us, and they can limit our actions, behaviors, and choices…and all those things impact our overall health.

Limiting beliefs are often formed in childhood or early life experiences and can be reinforced by negative experiences or messages we receive from others.

They can also be the result of negative self-talk or automatic thoughts that we have internalized over time. Limiting beliefs can be difficult to identify and challenge, but it is possible to overcome them and develop a more positive and empowering mindset.

Common limiting beliefs that hold you back from changing your health:

“I’m not good enough.”
This belief can lead you to not try to make changes because you don’t believe you have what it takes to succeed. If you feel like you’ve already have tried SO many things yet nothing worked, this can contribute to this limiting belief.

“I don’t have the resources.”
This belief can cause people to feel like they don’t have the time, money, or support they need to make changes. Many people (maybe even yourself included) feel as though being healthy comes at a large financial cost. However, that does NOT have to be the case. The truth is that the cost of an unhealthy lifestyle consisting of fast food, Netflix, and microwave meals can add up pretty quickly – not only for your bank account but also for your health. But becoming healthy doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. You might be surprised that when comparing a healthy lifestyle to an unhealthy one, you can actually save more money in the long run, and there are even many healthy practices that are entirely free!

“I don’t deserve it.”
This belief can cause people to feel undeserving of success, happiness or even a basic foundational human right: health. I truly believe that everyone deserves to feel their best…even you.

“I can’t do it.”
This belief can cause people to doubt their abilities and give up when faced with challenges. You don’t have to face your health journey alone. Build a healthcare team to support you on your journey. By having support, you can ask questions and feel like you can achieve your goals when you have an actionable plan.

“It’s not worth the effort.”
This belief can cause people to believe that the benefits of making a change are not worth the time and effort it would take. Getting healthy doesn’t have to be depriving or challenging. By working with someone who knows your specific needs / challenges can make the process easier.

Are these beliefs true or false?

These beliefs are not necessarily false, but they can be limiting and prevent people from making progress on their health goals.

It’s important to recognize that everyone has the ability to grow, learn, and make positive changes in regards to their health, no matter their past experiences or perceived limitations.

While it may take time, effort, and resources to make changes, the benefits of working towards and achieving one’s goals can be well worth it.

It can be helpful to reframe these limiting beliefs and instead adopt a growth mindset, which means approaching challenges with the belief that one can learn, grow, and improve through effort and perseverance.

Limiting belief exercises

Identify the limiting beliefs.
Start by becoming aware of the specific thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back when it comes to your health. Pay attention to negative self-talk or automatic thoughts that pop up when you’re faced with challenges whenever you try to implement a new habit (like going to the gym!) or trying to make a change. Write these beliefs down and try to understand where they came from and how they are impacting your actions and behaviors.

Challenge the evidence.
Once you have identified a limiting belief, try to evaluate the evidence for and against it. Are there any examples in your life where you were able to overcome a challenge or achieve a goal despite this belief? Is there evidence to suggest that this belief is not true or is not always true in every situation?

Practice reframing.
Once you have challenged the evidence for a limiting belief, try to reframe it in a more positive or realistic way. For example, instead of thinking “Why do I always fall off track,” try thinking “I may not be perfect at this yet, but I am learning and improving with every effort I make. Every little improvement adds up.”

Set small, achievable goals.
One way to challenge and overcome limiting beliefs is to set small, achievable goals that help you build confidence and momentum. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals).

Practice gratitude and self-compassion.
Focusing on the things you are grateful for and being kind and understanding to yourself can help you build resilience and a more positive mindset. It’s important to recognize that everyone makes mistakes and has setbacks, and it’s okay to be imperfect. Instead of beating yourself up, try to be compassionate and understanding, and focus on the progress you have made.

Visualize
“Visualizing success” isn’t a waste of time – it’s science. Many incredibly successful people use visualization. Visualization alone won’t make you Tiger Woods – but combining visualization with practice makes your potential soar. Science shows us four main benefits from visualization:

1) Reinforces positives with the power of your “reticular activation system” (RAS). Every day, we’re bathed in an incredible amount of stimulus. What’s dangerous? What’s beneficial? What’s worthy of attention? Your RAS helps you spot that car swerving into your lane – but it’ll also reject anything that doesn’t reinforce your beliefs. Visualizing negative beliefs? Positives become invisible. Visualizing success? Your RAS helps you achieve by showing you what you need.

2) Reduces fear and anxiety by hacking your brain. The root of fear and anxiety? The anticipation of unknown future events. Real and vividly imagined memories look the same to our brain. Intensely visualize a situation to make it familiar to your brain, which can reduce the impact of crippling anxiety.

3) Reprogramming your subconscious with positive beliefs. Relaxing slows your brain waves, making it easier to replace any negative beliefs held deep in your mind. Relax and visualize to overwrite negative, limiting subconscious beliefs (while putting
positive ones in their place).

4) Learning new skills (MUCH faster).
Visualizing a skill stimulates the same regions of your brain as actually performing the skill. This
boosts your learning speed by building the same neural networks as actual practice.

Seek support and accountability.
It can be helpful to enlist the help of a trusted health care practitioner to guide you on your health journey so that you can minimize setbacks.. Having someone to share your progress with and seek guidance from can be a powerful motivator.

If you want to learn more about how our team can support you, sign up for an initial consult.

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