Proper thyroid hormones are very important for overall health. The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It helps regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. It has a major role in metabolism and that’s why people with thyroid imbalances can have weight loss resistance.
What are the thyroid hormones?
TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone tells your thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones.
T4, the main hormone your thyroid makes, is mostly inactive and must be converted to T3 by the other tissues in the body (your kidney, liver, gut, etc.)
T3 influences our mood, menstrual periods, skin, gut health and a whole lot more.
A lack of conversion and low T3 can cause those typical low thyroid symptoms, such as dry skin, hair loss, constipation, depression, fatigue and more.
To help the body convert more T3 we need to
1. Exercise daily. Movement helps us optimize all of our hormones.
2. Eat selenium-rich foods such as Brazil nuts, fish, sunflower seeds, spinach and pasture-raised eggs.
3. Eat zinc-rich foods such as oysters, grass-fed beef, raw pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate.
4. Iodine is also one of the main building blocks of both T3 and T4 and we need to get this from our diet as well. However, those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are advised against taking in too much iodine.
The thyroid gets support from the pituitary gland as well. It tells the thyroid gland whether to release more or less hormones into the bloodstream. When we are under large amounts of stress, pituitary suppression can cause low TSH.
An overactive thyroid (also known as hyperthyroidism) occurs if the thyroid gland makes too many hormones. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is where the gland doesn’t make enough hormones. Both of these imbalances can lead to a great number of symptoms. And there’s also Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s disease – two autoimmune thyroid disorders.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, make sure to ask for a FULL thyroid panel, testing TSH, Total and Free T3, Total and Free T4, reverse T3 and anti-thyroglobulin and anti-TPO – the latter two testing for antibodies to the thyroid, which indicates an autoimmune disease.
Six healthy habits for those with hypothyroidism include:
Healthy sun exposure (especially first thing in the morning), a regular and consistent sleep schedule, daily movement, journaling or meditation, red light therapy and a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods. If you’re suffering with a thyroid problem, let’s chat at www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.