Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's Going on with Your Thyroid?

I recently found out that a blogger friend has thyroid problems and thought it might be a good idea to see what I could find out and post about it.

Did you know that the secret to balancing your metabolism is the THYROID? If you are feeling tired or moody or edgy or having a tough time sleeping or having weight problems, chances are it's because of your thyroid. It is sometimes described as "a small gland that can cause big problems."  The thyroid is one of the smallest organs and one of the most powerful. It's located in the space between the Adam's apple and the windpipe, where it oversees the body's metabolism.  It manufactures a number of metabolism-related hormones.

To find out if the thyroid is overactive (too much hormone; hyperthyroidism) or underactive (too little hormone; hypothyroidism), you will certainly need to be checked out by your doctor.  The two hormones known as T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) can be checked to see if you have just the right amount  of each.

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Overwhelming fatigue
  • Low libido
  • Hair loss
  • Achy joints or muscles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Brain fog
  • Low heart rate
  • Sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Depression
  • Dry skin  
  • High levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol 
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations or rapid pulse
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Continually feeling too hot
  • Exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Protruding eyes
  • Migraines
  • Difficulty sleeping
  •  Irregular heartbeat
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Swelling in the neck area

Treating Thyroid Trouble

Stated by Dr. Leigh Connealy, "Diagnosing thyroid disease is not just tricky, it’s also only part of the solution, for two reasons. First, boosting an underactive thyroid requires an entirely different approach from slowing one that’s stuck in high gear. Second, thyroid symptoms may be linked to a larger issue, like complications in the endocrine system. Either way, seeing a physician is essential. Thyroid treatment is not a do-it-yourself project, although I encourage my patients to play an active role once the diagnosis is made.
Medication, in the form of synthetic or natural hormones, is available for both under- and overactive thyroids. But treatment doesn’t end there. I encourage my patients to make dietary changes and follow my guidelines for healthy weight, exercise, sleep, and water intake."
Here's something else I found very interesting. Have you heard of goitrogenic foods? (Goitrogenic means causing goiter.) It seems that broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts and also soy, are considered goitrogenic, meaning they may interfere with normal thyroid activity. These foods can actually help reduce symptoms of an overactive thyroid, but at the same time may backfire for those with an underactive thyroid because they contain substances that can dampen an already sluggish thyroid activity, especially when eaten raw. It's suggested to eat them cooked, or fermented, and in moderation.

Then of course, Dr. Connealy suggests good quality supplements are good to take.

  • Vitamin B Complex: 100 mg of B1, B2, B5 and B6 and lesser amounts of the others.
  • L-tyrosine: 500 mg twice daily on an empty stomach. (Plays an important role in metabolism as well as overall mood improvement.)
  • Kelp: Iodine-rich and an excellent source of B vitamins and essential minerals.
  • Fish Oil: Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs help produce new cells and repair damaged ones and support health of the cardiovascular system brain, skin, and joints. The product should have twice as much of EPA as DHA. Suggested is 2,000 to 3,000 mg taken in two or three 1,000 mg doses during the day.

  • Vitamin B Complex: Look for a balanced formula containing 50 mg each of the important Bs and take one dose two times per day.
  • Fish oil: 2,000 to 3,000 mg divided into two or three 1,000 mg doses and taken throughout the day.
  • Melatonin: This powerful antioxidant is produced by the pineal gland. It's production decreases as we age, which in turn sets the stage for long-term health complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, poor immune responses, and certain types of cancer. So if sleep is a problem, (for women) take 2 mg of melatonin. For men, 3 mg, just before bedtime.
As always if you are concerned that you may be having thyroid problems, PLEASE SEE YOUR DOCTOR. The information and suggestions above are not intended for your diagnoses or your cure.

Here's to your health!


  1. Very interesting, Brenda...thanks for the information. I have a sneaking suspicion that the thyroid also plays a big role in our startle reflex, as i experienced that some years back. After taking a supplement another symptom, I noticed my startle reflex had calmed down dramatically. The supplement happened to have I just put the puzzle together.

    I like reading your health articles...keep them coming.

    Blessings for a healthy thyroid,
    Marianne xox

  2. Brenda, this is very good information to know! Thank you for your research. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  3. Very interesting, Brenda... I've never had thyroid problems --but I think it's similar to diabetes in that many people have a problem and don't know it. Thanks for all of the good info... The older I get, the more I realize how important vitamins are.


  4. Interesting facts about soy & certain veggies...never heard that before, nor the increased LDL! Thanks for the fascinating post, Brenda :)