Thyroid problems have become an epidemic. And fixing your thyroid can feel like an impossible task.
There are many factors that will cause your thyroid to malfunction but once you understand all the pieces that need to come together to keep your thyroid healthy, you’ll see that it’s not that hard to heal your own thyroid.
I want to outline this for you so you can have an educated discussion with your doctor about what’s going on with your thyroid. Too many times I hear patients say that their doctor told them all their blood work was normal, yet they still have all the symptoms of a thyroid problem. Most doctors are not looking at the complete picture, so I want to give that to you today.
Nowhere in medicine are they more behind the times than in the thyroid world. Most likely you are going to have to educate yourself and demand some of these tests so you can start to heal your own thyroid.
The first step in healing your own thyroid is to understand that the thyroid is more than an organ, it’s a complete system. You need a healthy brain, liver, adrenal glands, and gut in order to have a healthy thyroid. Your estrogen and testosterone levels must also be balanced.
The second step is to get a complete picture of what is happening with your thyroid. When your doctor tests TSH and nothing else, they don’t have a complete picture of your thyroid. In my office, there are 11 different thyroid tests I evaluate on my patients. These are:
• Free Thyroxine Index (FTI)
• T3 Uptake (THBR)
• Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
• Thyroxine (Total T4)
• Tri-iodothyronine (Total T3)
• Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab
• Thyroglobulin Ab
• Free T3
• Reverse T3
• Free T4
The third step of your thyroid puzzle is to know your iron levels. Your thyroid problem could be as simple as an iron anemia issue that, when resolved, will have your thyroid functioning correctly again. Most doctors run iron tests on you when you have a complete CBC (complete blood count). Go back and look at those numbers to see if they were out of range.
The fourth step is knowing if you are methylating properly. Sounds confusing, I know, but it’s really not. Take a look at your most recent blood work results and check your homocysteine levels. They should be under 7 umol/L. If they’re over 7, it’s quite possible your thyroid hormones can’t get into your cells to activate your metabolism.
The fifth step is knowing any vitamin or mineral deficiencies you might have. Vitamin D, A, B6, Magnesium and selenium are the major deficiencies that affect thyroid function.
The sixth step of thyroid blood work is inflammation. If you have a chronic inflammatory situation going on, your thyroid hormones will be off. The measurement of inflammation on your blood work is called C-reactive protein or CRP. If that number is out of range, your thyroid could produce all the necessary hormones but your cells won’t let them in.
Ok, so you might be reading this and thinking, “This is complicated, how the heck can I ever repair my own thyroid?”
I want you to understand the basics of your blood work so that you can see you’re not crazy. Just because your TSH levels are normal doesn’t mean your thyroid system is working right.
Now that you understand many of the imbalances you can see on your blood work, let’s talk about how you can fix this system and get yourself feeling well again.
Here are four basic principles you need to follow to fix your thyroid.
1. Lower Your Inflammation
The easiest way to lower inflammation in your body is to stop eating chemicals. You might not be conscious of the chemicals you ingest, but if you stop and think about it, you may find that they’re sneaking in through your diet. Ask yourself:
-Do I read the ingredients on everything I eat?
-Do I eat at only organic restaurants?
-Am I careful to avoid all inflammatory oils?
-Do I only buy organic food?
If the answer is no any of these questions, then most likely you are getting a daily dose of chemicals. These chemicals are foreign to your body. When your body senses a foreign invader, it creates an inflammation response.
A great starting point is to commit to organic food free of dyes, additives, or any bad inflammatory oils. If you haven’t done my 15-Day Reset that I mapped out in The Reset Academy, give it a try. It’s a great way to start lowering inflammation.
2. Lower Your Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is low, your liver will produce ketones. And ketones are healing to the brain.
Your pituitary secretes TSH. TSH tells the thyroid to secrete T4. T4 is then converted into T3 in your liver and gut. T3 goes into your cells and activates your metabolism. And you feel great!
Why am I telling you all this? Because a healthy thyroid starts with a healthy brain. Ketones heal the brain better than any supplement or food available.
3. Balance Your Cortisol Levels
When stress goes up, so does cortisol. And cortisol shuts off the pituitary. When the pituitary is not working properly, you won’t secrete enough TSH. Without proper TSH, you can’t start the cascade of hormones needed for proper metabolism.
Life is stressful. I get it. And I know for some of you, it’s not getting any less stressful.
So what can you do to lower cortisol levels without a massive life change?
Support your adrenals. Give your adrenals every bit of nourishment you can.
I also strongly feel everyone should start their day off with ten minutes of meditation and gratitude. Numerous studies have proven that cortisol levels can be lowered by quieting the mind and focusing on what you are grateful for.
Here’s one of my favorite meditations that I do every morning.
4. Fix Your Gut and Support Your Liver
The final big piece of the thyroid puzzle is that your body converts T4 into T3 in your gut and liver. You need both of those organs to be healthy in order for that conversion to happen.
Blood tests can tell you the status of your liver function and stool tests can reveal the health of your gut. Talk to your doctor about running these tests so you can find out if either of these organs need to be healed.
If your liver and gut do need to be healed, the best place to start is the 15-Day Metabolic Reset I laid out in The Reset Academy. It’s designed to heal both these organs.
I know that I’ve outlined a lots of steps here. Don’t get overwhelmed! I am here to empower you. You’ve got this!
Work with your doctor to get the proper tests.
As always, I am here to help! Please reach out if you need anything.
I’m cheering you on!