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Your Thyroid Symptoms Are Real

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Recently, one of my clients came to me with the following symptoms:

  • Tired / low energy,

  • Trouble sleeping,

  • Constipated,

  • Dry skin,

  • Always cold - even in summer,

  • Muscle aches,

  • Depression and

  • Memory problems / brain fog (among other particulars).

Her doctor had diagnosed her with hypothyroidism - a condition where a sluggish thyroid is not producing sufficient hormones to support the metabolism and turn food into energy.

And while she was on a thyroid medication, it simply wasn’t working.

To make matters worse, she was gas-lighting herself - her symptoms couldn’t be due to hypothyroidism - she was taking medication for that!

A huge part of my job was helping her understand that sometimes medications don’t fix the problem unless we can see the whole picture.

The FULL Thyroid Panel

When was the last time you had a FULL Thyroid Panel?

Most doctors check TSH which is the brain stimulating hormone.

But did you know? A FULL panel includes:

  • Total T4

  • Free T4

  • Total T3

  • Free T3

  • Reverse T3

  • TPO (Thyroid peroxidase antibodies)

  • TGab (Thyroid Globulin antibodies)

  • TRab (Thyrotropin receptor)

That means most doctors are missing out on many different measurements that a functional medicine health coach (like myself) would be using to understand your symptoms.

Nothing against doctors! But traditional western medicine is not designed to look at the whole person. They look at symptoms and address those, whereas integrated professionals try to understand the root causes.

I’ve written two blogs on lab work if you want to dig a little deeper: conventional and functional. But the point is that ‘normal’ based on TSH alone is only showing the tip of the iceberg.

Nutrients to Support Your Thyroid

Another huge factor in proper thyroid function is getting the nutrients that are needed to support a healthy thyroid from food sources and ensuring nutrient absorption in the body.

Here are some great nutrients and foods that support a healthy thyroid:

  • Tyrosine (an amino acid found in proteins): e.g. wild salmon

  • Iron: leafy greens (a non-heme iron) are harder to absorb than animal (heme iron)

  • Zinc: seafood, beef and eggs, while best plant sources are pumpkin seeds and chickpeas

  • Selenium: best source (no kidding!) is Brazil nuts (though content can vary dramatically)

  • Vitamin A: high in organ meats, especially liver, and egg yolks

  • Iodine: seaweed and seafood, especially shrimp and crab

  • Antioxidants: berries are an excellent source!

Thyroid Management

And lastly, managing an overactive or underactive thyroid is about so much more than medication - although it can be very helpful. For this client, not only did we look at lab work, diet, nutrients, and supplementation, but we also worked together on the following factors:

  • Stress reduction: under stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can stimulate the thyroid to work harder to create sufficient thyroid hormones.

  • Hydration: dehydration can severely impact functionality. Your cells must be properly hydrated with electrolytes in order for your body and thyroid to function and thrive.

  • Sleep: without sufficient restorative sleep, your bodily systems are not able to function effectively, including producing optimal or even sufficient hormone levels

  • Gut health: you can take all the supplements and eat all the right food, but if your gut is not functioning to digest and absorb them, they won’t work!

Paying attention to your body can be a game changer because it can truly allow you to thrive in other areas of your life.

And you can’t think your way out of your symptoms - if they are happening, they are happening. Remember, pain is your body’s way of drawing your attention to an issue that needs to be addressed. So address it!

Book a free Discovery Session with a functional medicine health coach like my lovely self to chat more about your optimal. I believe in you.

In good health,

Holli Bassin

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