Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder

natural treatment for thyroid disordersThyroid disorders seem to be on the rise in modern civilization, but why? And how do we know if it’s something we deal with?

As many of you know, I’ve been basically feeling like crud for the last year. I’ve very much had feeling of depression and anxiety along with major fatigue and insomnia. I also think it’s probably something that’s been lingering for many, many years, yet only showed up in full force after my miscarriage.

I now am a believer that stress can cause or multiply health issues.

I’ve always dealt with many of the symptoms, but they’ve never interfered with my life before. Or they came and went within weeks/months. When I switched to a whole foods diet most, if not all of them, went away. But then I got too busy for my own good and had to have the help of a chiropractor friend to help pull me out of adrenal fatigue, and felt well afterwards.

But this last year has been a bugger of a year, as symptoms of a thyroid disorder showed up more and more. As a mom of young children, I shrugged off the fatigue. I mean, all moms are tired right? And the feelings of depression and anxiety could be related to the miscarriage and grief. Yet deep down I knew there was something else wrong.

My much awaited lab results showed me just that. And I have a feeling that many of you may also deal with thyroid issues and just don’t know it. Or maybe you’ve been tested and your doctor told you that everything was “normal”. Even when you feel that it’s not.

Thyroid Basics

We will just discuss the very basics of thyroid function, as to cover it all, we’d need to write a book!

The thyroid is a small endocrine gland, just above the adam’s apple in the throat, consisting of two parts. To me it sort of looks like a butterfly. An ugly one. This gland takes in iodine and produces thyroid hormones. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their own metabolism. It detects shifts in body chemistry (chronic blood sugar imbalance, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, liver congestion, poor digestive health, or even the use of hormones, synthetic or bio-identical) and helps the body compensate for them.

But the thyroid does not act alone. As with everything in holistic health, we must also look at how it functions along with other parts of our body. According to Datis Kharrazian in his book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?“:

  1. The hypothalamus sends thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) to the pituitary. (this is basically the thermostat regulator in the body)
  2. The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to the thyroid gland, giving it the signal to produce more hormones.
  3. TSH stimulates thyroid peroxidase (TPO) activity to use iodine to create T4 and T3 hormones. 93% of the thyroid hormone production is T4, an inactive form which needs to be converted by different organs in the body. 7% is the usable T3. These hormones hitch a ride in the bloodstream on thyroid-binding proteins to the cells that need them and can convert the T4 to T3.
  4. 60% of the T4 produced by the thyroid is converted to T3 in the liver by an enzyme called tetraidothyronine 5’deiodinase. Another 20% of the T4 is converted in the digestive system via the sulfatase enzyme which is present in healthy guts.

Common Symptoms of HYPOthyroid (under active thyroid)

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low basal body temps and/or low temperatures throughout the day
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Morning headaches that go away throughout the day
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Cloudy thinking
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight easily
  • Sensitive to cold weather
  • Constipation
  • Digestive problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Slow wound healing
  • Need excessive amounts of sleep
  • Gets sick often (colds or viral infections)
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Dry hair that breaks often, or thinning hair
  • Thinning of the outermost part of the eyebrow
  • High cholesterol

What happens in the body when you have hypothyroidism

There are actually different ways that hypothyroid happens in the body. Sometimes it’s because the pituitary senses the thyroid isn’t doing it’s job correctly and produces more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Other times the pituitary is fatigued and not able to produce the TSH to signal the thyroid how many hormones to produce. Another pattern of hypothyroid is the inability of the body to convert T4 to T3 because of excess cortisol or chronic inflammation.

Some women with high levels of testosterone may also find that too much T4 is converted to T3, causing the cells of the body to become resistant to the hormone and not allowing it entry to do its work. (most often found in those with insulin resistance and PCOS- per “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?“)

Symptoms of HYPERthyroid (overactive thyroid)

  • heart palpitations
  • heat intolerance
  • nervousness
  • fast heart rate
  • hair loss
  • muscle weakness

What happens in the body when you have hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a medical term that basically means your thyroid is producing to many hormones so you have to many thyroid hormones for the cells. This could be due to the thyroid getting the signal to produce too much, or the inability of the cells to absorb the thyroid hormone.

The following may also indicate Hashimotos, an autoimmune thyroid disorder:

  • heart palpitations
  • inward trembling
  • increased pulse rate, even at rest
  • feelings of nervousness and emotional distress
  • night sweats
  • difficulty gaining weight
  • people with Hashimoto’s also tend to go back and forth between the symptoms of hypo and hyper thyroid.

What happens in the body when you have Hashimoto’s

This is an autoimmune disease where your immune system is actively attacking your thyroid, destroying it. It is also the most common cause of hypothyroidism, some sources stating that up to 90% of hypothyroid cases are due to Hashimoto’s. This causes the thyroid to continue to lose function, eventually not working at all. It can cause hypothyroid symptoms  and then can change to hyperthyroid symptoms as a “flare-up” destroys the thyroid tissue and hormones stored in the gland flow into the bloodstream. Once these hormones get into the bloodstream, the body’s metabolism speeds up, and a person will experience the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

The good news

You don’t have to live your life feeling like junk; depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and overweight. There is hope for fixing thyroid issues without lifelong medications, and in the following days/weeks, we’ll be talking about ways to heal the body and focus on supporting your thyroid.

Have you had your thyroid checked? Your homework for the next couple of days is to call your doctor and get your test results. I cannot stress this enough! You need to find out your numbers and have them tell you exactly what thyroid hormones were tested and what ranges they used to decide what “normal” function is.

We’ll continue this conversation!

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Should you eat cinnamon?

Cinnamon is often used by women (commonly those with PCOS and/or diabetes) for help in stabilizing the blood sugar, using about 1/2 teaspoon per day. Many nutritionists also claim that it helps to reduce inflammation and decrease appetite. Chinese medicine says that cinnamon helps improve pelvic blood flow, is warming, and can help increase a mans sperm count.

But could the type of cinnamon you consume be harming your body?

A few months ago I was chatting with a friend when she brought up the topic of cinnamon, and it was the first time I’d heard about “true” cinnamon.

After a bit of digging around on google, and looking through my own cupboards, I found that there is in fact a couple different kinds of cinnamon. Most notably:

Ceylon Cinnamon

  • grown in Sri Lanka
  • light brown in color
  • thinner and softer
  • more mild in flavor
  • the inside of a stick is filled like a cigar
  • contains a minimal amount of coumarin (which thins the blood)

(I buy my ceylon cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs – I love the quality and flavor)

Cassia Cinnamon

  • grown in China, Vietnam, Indonesia
  • darker brown in color
  • thicker and hard
  • inside of the stick is hollow
  • more intense flavor
  • much higher levels of coumarin
  • this is the type most often found in the US

In the picture below, you can see the difference in the sticks of these two kinds of cinnamon. The Ceylon (or sweet) on the left, the cassia on the right.

dangers of cassia cinnamon

Much of the problem with the less expensive (which is why it’s used more) cassia cinnamon, lies in the coumarin content. Coumarin is a phytochemical that flavors the food source. (it’s also found in strawberries, lavender, cherries, and sweet clover and other plant-based foods to some extent)

While coumarin looks like it may have some health benefits; blood thinning, anti-fungal, and helps to prevent against tumors, in excess it can also do damage to the body as it is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys and could cause uterine contractions. A few different web-based sources even comment that some European health agencies have warned against high consumption of cassia due to the coumarin content.

There may also be a connection from cassia to allergies, due to the dust mites in the bark.

So the idea of cassia cinnamon consumption bothers me in a couple of ways.

1. The fact that it could bother or be toxic to the liver in any way is a cause for concern to me. Because the liver is so important to our body’s detoxification system, if it’s overloaded or incapacitated in any way, we can’t get rid of environmental toxins or excess and old hormones.

2. People often take medicinal amounts of cinnamon each day, some people who contact me take over a tablespoon per day. (I don’t recommend that by the way) If taken long-term at such high amounts, the toxicity to the liver may become a reality.

Now, I don’t think that in small amounts that cassia would be a big issue. But when you’re using it to try to reverse or control physical ailments, you’d be best to search out Ceylon, or sweet, cinnamon. Personally I buy sweet cinnamon from Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my home use, but I don’t worry about the small amount I might consume outside of the home.

Have you ever heard of the problems cassia might cause?

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Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Herbs for Fertility {podcast}

Herbs can bring relief to a body that is ill as well as help to balance the hormone system. In this podcast you can join me as I speak to Jessie Hawkins, master herbalist and founder of Vintage Remedies. We talk about the benefit of herbs and she discusses different herbal options based on diagnosis.

Listen now:

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Or right-click and “save link as” to download to your computer: Herbs and Fertility with Jessie Hawkins, MH

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Fertility Massage {free podcast}

Fertility massage may help increase fertility and reproductive health by putting the reproductive organs into proper alignment as well as increase blood flow. It’s a form of massage that works directly with the abdomen of women and often times called Mayan abdominal massage, and therapists who work with this particular massage technique also claim that it helps to break up adhesions from endometriosis.

A while back I had the chance to talk to Claire Miller and ask her all about fertility massage. I’ve included a shortened version of this podcast in my book, as part of my book launch fun I thought I would post the full version here for when you get a chance to listen.

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Have any of you had experiences with fertility massage?

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

So that book I wrote? It’s now available!

natural fertility bookIt’s seems unreal to me that I finally have a real live book.

But if you order it today, it’s now shipping.

And if you pre-ordered it – it’ll be coming soon!

I’m so excited to get all this information out there in one nice and neat little package. because as much as I try to make sure posts are easy to find here on the blog, it doesn’t always work.

Now you can bookmark, and underline, and have an easy to read reference!

I’m humbled at the fact that people want to read what I write, and I truly thank you for this experience. Because without all of you this just wouldn’t be possible.

I hope and pray that this book is used to do good works. That the good Lord above can speak through these pages, as my attempts are feeble in comparison. Can you share in this prayer with me?

I tried to cover it all – from nutrition to exercise, from alternative therapies to detox and cleansing, from telling my story to guiding you through your options. Thirteen chapters to help cover it all:

  1. Natural Fertility
  2. Cleansing the Body with Whole Foods
  3. Natural Living
  4. Exercise for Fertility
  5. Natural Family Planning
  6. Real Foods
  7. Super Foods for Fertility
  8. What Not to Eat
  9. The “Perfect” Fertility Diet
  10. Alternative Therapies for Infertility
  11. Stress
  12. Your Fertility Plan
  13. Recipes and Instructions for Real Food and Natural Living

I’ve also got some amazing things lined up over the next couple of months:

  • I’ll be involved in the Vintage Remedies online conference this week, speaking both Thursday and Saturday,
  • The Real Food Summit in July is looking like an amazing experience with a lot of very qualified and inspirational speakers – I’m honored to be one of them, talking about real food and fertility. (big surprise, huh?)
  • Giveaways will grace the blog each weekend for at least the next 6 weeks, with products I love and know you will too.
  • Soon I’ll be posting a few free yoga videos as well as some podcasts with alternative health practitioners,
  • and I also have a couple freebies to post here for you.

Thank you again friends, your support and prayers during this entire process has meant the world to me. Now let’s show the world how awesome being “natural” can be! Join me in sharing this book with them.

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.