How do we find out if our thyroid is healthy? I had given no thought to this question so was surprised to find out that I have an ‘under active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism).
According to Doctor Ray Strand, Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland is destroyed or is not producing needed amounts of thyroid hormone. This condition has also been called myxedema due to the potential harm possible to the body when there is no thyroid hormone. Patients can become edematous (filled with fluid), weak and fatigued, intolerant to cold, experience abnormal weight gain, notice changes in their skin and hair, and may suffer from total body pain. They can also develop congestive heart failure as well as significant increase in their cholesterol levels.
Learn more: What does the thyroid do and where is it located?
My main symptom is being overweight (which of course leads to other problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer), the other symptom is that I feel the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand). There are other symptoms so the best thing to do is to get screened. (List of symptoms from the Mayo Clinic here.)
There are two ways to get the health of our thyroid checked out – the usual way is by a blood test. But this may not be as accurate as a Thyroflex test - in this video, Naturopath David Holden explains the Thyroflex test.
The other test that I had done was the VLA Test and that indicated that I need to exercise more to build up more muscle. My healthy low-glycemic diet and the supplements that I take have kept me in good health – so the ‘only’ thing I need to work on is exercise.
The nutritional supplements to support a healthy thyroid are advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C. Plus “Iodral” with supervision from your doctor or Naturopath. I also take a Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules. I am ensuring that I am drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily and avoiding soy products for the time being.
My blood test results showed that my blood sugar levels are slightly elevated – again exercise is the key here too.
The exercise I enjoy is walking (so much so, I have a website ‘Short Walks in Auckland‘), however I hate walking in the cold and wet of winter. But I must get out walking every day for one hour – so I will.
For sufferers of Hashimotos, Dr Steven Gundry suggests the following: “Most gluten free foods are made from corn, rice, and potatoes, all of which are lectins which contribute to Hashimotos. Please eliminate all grains, all peppers, potatoes, milk and milk products. You can have goat and sheep products. No pseudograins like quinoa! No Advil or Aleve. No stomach acid suppressants like Prilosec or Nexium. You will start to heal.”
My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.
I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.
This is a photo of me on holiday in Australia last week: