What exactly is the thyroid? It's a butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck just below the Adam's apple. The thyroid absorbs iodine from food and turns it into hormones that then control the speed of several activities and processes in the body. Two of these hormones are called T3 (triiodothyronine) or T4 (thyroxine). They control an enormous number of functions within the body, including:
- weight control
- growth and development in children
- and many more.
These hormones are needed in every cell in the body, so it's no wonder that when the thyroid isn't working properly, so many side effects can ensue.
Thyroid imbalances or dysfunctions are more common in women. One in eight will develop thyroid issues her lifetime, and ten to forty percent of Americans have a hyper (fast) or hypo (slow) functioning thyroid.
Each type of thyroid disorder has a different set of symptoms.
Those with hypothyroid have a shortage of hormones and can experience:
- weight gain/inability to lose weight
- pain in muscles or joints
- heightened sensitivity to cold
- hair loss
- puffy cheeks
- hoarse/scratchy voice unconnected to a cold
- heavy, painful or long menstrual cycles
- constipation or difficulty moving bowels
- muscle weakness
- dry or pale skin
Those with hyperthyroid have an overabundance of hormones and can experience:
- weight loss, despite unaltered or increased dietary consumption
- increased appetite
- heightened sensitivity to heat
- fast or irregular heartbeats
- shaky hands or fingers
- infrequent, light, or short menstrual cycles
- frequent bowel movements
During pregnancy, a woman's need for thyroid hormones increases greatly. An under or overactive thyroid can cause issues for both the mother and child.
In the child, it can cause:
- nervous system underdevelopment
- brain damage
- rapid heartbeat
- smaller birth size
- premature birth
In the mother, it can cause:
- early labor
- abnormal bleeding after birth
All of the issues above can be amended by consuming more iodine. Iodine is what the thyroid uses as fuel to accomplish its many different tasks, and fortunately, natural iodine is fairly easy to come by.
Iodine can be found in several dietary sources, such as:
- sea salt or pink himalayan crystal salt
- cod fish
- navy and lima beans
- sesame seeds
- organic yogurt
- raw, organic cheese
Traditional medications for hyperthyroidism involve either preventing the body from absorbing the hormones created by the thyroid, preventing the body from producing hormones, or actually damaging the cells that make synthetic hormones! If none of these work, they'll actually remove the thyroid, which can cause a whole host of other problems in the body.
Hypothyroid treatments are just as detrimental. Since those with hypothyroid have a shortage of thyroid hormones, traditional treatments involves supplementing with artificial hormones that, over time, will slow and eventually stop thyroid function altogether. By bypassing the thyroid and simply giving the body the hormones it needs, the thyroid no longer sees a reason to continue functioning and will shut down. This is why most hypothyroid patients have to begin and stay on treatment for the rest of their lives.
Feeding the thyroid iodine - the nutrient it needs for proper function- and other natural, organic herbs that can help stimulate proper thyroid function is a much safer, side effect-free alternative.
Call us at (423) 899-8422 or reach us by email at naturesfinestnutrition (at) gmail.com to find out more about our safe, gentle yet effective thyroid program. You can also check us out on our website or Facebook! We're always happy to help!
Please note: We do not directly or indirectly give medical advice or prescribe through alternative treatment. We recommend that people contact their doctor if they need a medical diagnosis. We assume no responsibility if anyone decides to use this information, which is of historical value, for they are choosing to prescribe for themselves. Healing is sometimes a slow process, and we suggest that you do not stop taking any medications without the guidance of a doctor.
Joseph Mercola. "What You Need to Know About Your Thyroid Health." No date.
"http://articles.mercola.com/thyroid.aspx" Accessed 21 March, 2015.
Josh Axe. "Is Your Thyroid the Cause of Your Health Problems?" No date.
"http://draxe.com/is-your-thyroid-the-cause-of-your-health-problems/" Accessed 21 March, 2015.
"Thyroid Disease Fact Sheet." Updated 16 July, 2012.
"http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/thyroid-Disease.html" Accessed 21 March, 2015.
"Natural Sources of Iodine." No date.
"http://underactivethyroiddiet.org/body/natural-sources-of-iodine" Accessed 21 March, 2015.