Monday, 20 June 2016

The Butterfly Effect

What every woman (and some men) need to know about thyroid disease.

Of all the conditions I have treated over the years, thyroid issues are some of the most common.

Of the thyroid diseases, hypothyroidism and Hashimotos's are the most common in my clinic.

It is something I am especially passionate about because the right intervention at the right time can hugely change disease progression.

A nutritional assessment is essential as oftentimes, thyroid disease starts out as nutritional deficiencies.

The thyroid  is a butterfly shaped gland located in your throat. It produces thyroid hormone, which affects virtually every cell in your body, regulating your metabolism; affecting digestion, fertility, bone density, energy, skin and cardiovascular health.

The 4 Key Nutrients to feed your thyroid!

  • Selenium is essential for a  healthy thyroid; Australian soils are deficient in selenium hence Selenium deficiency is commonplace. If relying on brazil nuts for selenium Aussie & Kiwi brazils won't do the job. If testing blood levels, red blood cell selenium is the most accurate.
  • Zinc is essential for thyroid hormone production and conversely, thyroid hormones are required for zinc absorption. Zinc deficiency contributes significantly to the hairloss seen in hypothyroidism.
  • Iodine- the most abundant mineral in the thyroid gland and makes up the bulk of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency can lead to an enlarged thyroid, hypothyroidism and mental retardation if a woman is deficient in preganacy.
  • Tyrosine- an amino acid found in proteins, including soybeans, cheese & seaweed.  

 Planning a baby? Read on for must have information.
An Australian study found alarmingly high rates of iodine deficiency in Australians, including upto 58% of women in their reproductive years. As iodine deficiency is the leading cause of  preventable mental retardation the researchers recommended all women should be screened for iodine deficiency prior to or at conception.

Typically, if selenium, zinc or iodine are lacking a hypothyroid state can develop.

The way I see it, there are 2 options at this point-take prescription thyroxine for life or replace the lacking nutrients and restore thyroid function. Admittedly, this can be harder to do after many years of thyroid disease and high antibody levels, though not impossible.

Other common disruptors of thyroid function include viral infections,especially EBV virus, chronic stress, mercury toxicity, chlorine, bromide and xenoestrogens.

Your thyroid is one of the important glands in your body and I assure you, if you look after it, it'll pay you back in kind.