What Does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid produces two thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) and calcitonin (which helps to lower calcium and phosphate levels in the blood by helping the bones absorb more calcium). The thyroid hormones are essential for metabolism, as well as normal growth and development. They influence every cell in your body. They maintain the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, influence your heart rate, and help regulate the production of protein.
Unfortunately, most doctors focus on the individual hormones instead of the nutrients and processes that make those hormones. Thyroid dysfunction is a symptom of a much larger, whole body issue. It is just one piece of the puzzle. Medicating the thyroid is a bandaid, and is not actually addressing any of the underlying issues going on.
The regulation of the thyroid hormones depends on the relationship between the anterior pituitary and the thyroid gland. The pituitary secretes the thyroid stimulating hormones. This is why the HPA axis is so important in our health and why we can’t just focus on one part of the body. The HPA axis is the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis. If the HPA Axis is under stress, then the HPT axis is under stress as well- they are connected, and the HPA axis tends to take precedence. You cannot heal the thyroid if your adrenals aren’t healthy.
Gut Healing and Thyroid Health
The gut is one of the first steps to address in healing from any illness. The gut encompasses so much – digestion and nutrient assimilation, gut microbiome, gut/brain axis, and lots of inflammation can stem from the gut!
Stomach acid is so important for utilization of the nutrients needed to support a healthy thyroid, especially copper, iron, potassium and more. When our gut is out of balance, it can increase inflammation in the body which will stress out our HPA axis (and HPT axis). The conversion of thyroid hormones also depends on a healthy microbiome.
Liver Healing and Thyroid Health
The liver has hundreds of functions in the body. If it is not happy, then lots of things can being going wrong in the body and many processes start failing. Regarding the two thyroid hormones – T4 and T3, T3 is the ONLY form of thyroid hormone that the cells can use. T4 must be converted to T3 before it can be used by the cells. Guess where that conversion takes place? Yep, in the liver! Thanks to the state of our food and environment, so many people have sluggish lovers because it gets sluggish when we have nutrient deficiencies, chronic underlying infections, and if we have lots of toxins.
Some of our favorite liver healers are castor oils packs, herbal infusions, bitter herbs like dandelion root, bioray liver life and liver detoxes.
There’s also high amounts of autoimmune thyroid issues these days (caused mostly by underlying infections like Lyme and EBV), but also from inflammation from many causes, including gluten and caffeine.
Avoiding gluten, processed foods, and goitrogenic foods like soy, can also help the thyroid. Focusing on a whole foods, organic diet with healthy fats and proteins is essential.
There’s a lot of focus on iodine for thyroid health but in isolated form, it can cause problems for some people. So, unless recommended by your practitioner, it’s best to get it from a good, clean source of sea veggies. Maine Coast Sea Veggies is a great brand!
Selenium is also a very important factor in thyroid health. A Brazil nut a few times a week will cover your selenium needs!
There is a lot to thyroid health!
Balancing minerals, replenishing other nutrients, healing the gut, and healing your liver are imperative for healing the thyroid.
Addressing any underlying infections or toxicities will help as well.
Since there are many variations in thyroid dysfunction, fixing the thyroid will be different for most people.
Here are some things you can do now to help your thyroid:
- Cervical spine chiropractic care
- Addressing trauma’s and feeling “heard”
- Addressing oral health such as amalgams & root canals as these are a direct download to the thyroid.
- Nourish your body with minerals through whole food, natural sources.
- Avoid taxing toxins & toxicants such as BPA, bromine, mercury, and lead. As these all compete with the receptors for iodine thus inhibiting thyroid hormone production!
- Strawberries (conventional)
Need More Help?
Specific Testing & Working with a Provider
- Find a healthcare provider who looks at the body as a whole, avoids overusing prescriptions, and practices lifestyle medicine.
- Ask your healthcare provider to test both your T3 & T4 levels.
- Request a food sensitivities panel
- Schedule a thermography session to locate sources of inflammation in the body
More sources for thyroid healing:
Dr. Brad Shook has many great videos about thyroid health, like this one!