Your thyroid is a small but mighty gland that sits above your clavicle in your neck. It is a butterfly-shaped fatty gland the can affect EVERY SINGLE CELL IN YOUR BODY.
Showing your thyroid some love and improving its balance isn’t just about weight loss and metabolism (although it plays a significant role) but it also affects many major functions that make you, you!
An imbalanced thyroid can affect:
Your mood and emotions: depressed, irritable or anxious anyone?
Hair and nail growth
…and so so much more
The problem is that an under-functioning thyroid can go easily misdiagnosed. There are many women walking around with un-diagnosed hypothyroidism or even sub-clinical hypothyroidism. Experiencing many of the common symptoms, such as anxiety, depression and poor temperature adaptability. This is due to non-comprehensive initial thyroid screenings.
Is TSH testing Enough?
You can have symptoms of under-functioning thyroid even if your TSH is normal. You can have full-blown Hashimoto’s if your TSH is normal. But most doctors are only screening for TSH first to identify thyroid functionality. TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It is not the actual active thyroid hormone, but it’s a messenger from the pituitary to the thyroid gland to start producing more thyroid hormone. A lot of our endocrine system works on a negative feed-back loop. Think of TSH as you, going to visit a friend. You walk to her house, see her car on the driveway and knock on the door. If she doesn’t answer the door, you knock louder. This is equivalent to elevated TSH levels. High TSH, means the message is getting louder, asking for more thyroid hormone to be made because there is not enough circulating.
What About Anti-bodies?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition that attacks the thyroid. Basically it’s a case of mis-identification. Your immune system works by scanning and identifying whether a molecule is a foreign invader and a potential threat, like a cold virus, or a normal part of the body, like your thyroid gland. But your immune system can go rogue and start to mis-identify parts of your body as a foreign invader. Once the immune system marks a protein with an anti-body, it sends a message to the whole system that this ‘ANTIGEN’ is now a threat and must be destroyed. The prefix ‘Auto’ means self. The immune system is attacking self, in this case the thyroid gland. Although you may have normal functioning thyroid according to your lab work, the presence of antibodies shows that your thyroid has been marked and is being attacked. Unless something changes, it’s only a matter of time before your thyroid begins to under-function. And this is where the medical community has no answers. They don’t deal in preventative heath-care. But holistic practitioners do. Why wait around for your autoimmunity to eventually start reducing thyroid function just to prescribe Synthroid? You can act NOW to reduce and even stop the production of thyroid antibodies.
The key is to reduce inflammation. This is a key marker in auto-immune conditions not to mention many other common chronic conditions. Inflammation is a normal part of the immune system. If you cut yourself, it gets red and inflamed while the immune system is called in to heal the cut. But when inflammation is turned on all the time, this can lead to hyper functioning of the immune system and in turn, misidentification of foreign invaders. The food you eat and the food you DON’T EAT can play a big role in turning inflammation on or off.
The number 1 best advice for healing Hashimoto’s = GLUTEN FREE DIET
Gluten is protein in certain grains that has been shown to cause inflammation and leaky gut. Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard has shown through countless studies how this protein can cause inflammation of the gut lining and increase auto-immune response. Other causes of inflammation can be common food allergens that activate the immune response on a daily basis, as well as your own individual food allergens.
Top Common Food Allergens - The NO List
Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Start by removing these items along with all glutinous grains. This is a great start to get yourself on a healing path to reducing thyroid anti-bodies or any auto immune disease for that matter.
Stay tuned where we’ll talk about the best foods to eat for lowering inflammation .