Naturally Healing the Thyroid, part one: getting blood sugar under control

heal the thyroid naturally

WHY?!?!

Why does every health issue in my life necessitate cutting out and cutting back on sugar? Heh.Years ago I told a coworker of mine that I wouldn’t cut back on sweets and sugar unless someone told me that I’d die if I didn’t. And while I won’t die tomorrow, due to eating sugar, it was slowly destroying my body.

I don’t eat near as much sugar as I used to, but I could definitely focus a bit more time on making sure my meals are well-rounded, so as not to give me problems with my blood sugar balance. Because of my many, many years of too much sugar consumption, this area of my body is weak and very sensitive to a lot of sweets and refined carbs.

As Americans (and you Canadians and other international readers that live in ‘modern’ countries) we are addicted to sugar. My (free) Sugar Detox Challenge is insanely popular this time of year as people try to tame their sweet tooth yet again. And I won’t lie and say I don’t have a taste for the stuff, I still very much enjoy some of my old favorite treats; when they’re around it can be extremely difficult to keep my hand out of the bowl.

Dr. Kharrazian  has an entire chapter in his book about taming the sugar beast, and states.

“My experience shows that attempts at successfully managing a person with hashimoto’s or functional hypothyroidism are futile as long as he or she indulges in a sugar-laden high-carbohydrate diet.”

Come to find out, an increase in the consumption of sweets not only directly affects the production of our reproductive hormones, but also affects the production of thyroid hormones. Because the endocrine system works as a whole, and not separate from each other.

One of the problems is when we do indulge, our pancreas secretes insulin into the blood stream to deal with rising glucose levels. Once this happens the glucose level drops, causing low blood sugar, which then causes the adrenals to go in to their “fight or flight” mode. The adrenal hormones help to bring the blood sugar back up to normal levels, and these hormones cause stress in the body.

When all of this is happening in the body, because it’s important for our survival, the rest of the hormone production takes a back seat.

“Dysglycemia is a condition loses the ability to keep blood sugar stable………….it’s effects on adrenal function are at the heart of numerous health imbalances that frequently end in hypothyroidism: Dysglycemia weakens and inflames the digestive tract, weakens the immune barriers of the gut, lungs, and brain, drives the adrenal glands into exhuastion, sets the stage for hormonal imbalance (PMS, PCOS, miserable transition into menopause), clogs the body’s attempts at detoxification, impairs fatty acid metabolism, and fatigues metabolism.” – Dr. Kharrazian.

Low blood sugar, or reactive hypoglycemia (reacting to foods consumed), hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance all affect the adrenals, and therefore the thyroid as well.

So how do you begin to control and balance your blood sugar?

  1. Cut out all refined sugar and severely limit sweets. It’s best to cut out all sweets entirely until you’ve been able to control your cravings. (if you’re having a tough time cutting out sugar, you can download the Sugar Detox challenge for free once you subscribe to the newsletter)
  2. Start your day out on the right foot; with a protein rich breakfast. Skip the cereals and coffee, instead focusing on a healthy protein source like pastured eggs or grass-fed sausage. Carbohydrates are important of course, they are an essential nutrient, but have them as a small side instead of the main dish. I also find that eating a breakfast like this ensures that my hunger doesn’t come back ravenous in just a couple of hours.
  3. Stop drinking coffee. Whether or not the actual caffeine in black coffee affects your blood sugar levels, I know from personal experience that it plants the seed for craving sweets as the day goes on. Plus, caffeinated drinks are hard on your adrenals.
  4. Include quality protein, fiber, and good fats in every meal or snack always and along with any carbohydrate consumed. People who have issues with their blood sugar regulation may find that eating a small amount of protein every few hours is very helpful at first.
  5. Do you ever get tired after you eat? I do sometimes! And it’s not because you ate too much turkey, it’s because you ate over your carbohydrate limit. Each of us have a set amount of carbohydrates that our bodies can handle and it’s really important to listen to the cues of our body and pay attention to how much is too much for us. Because all the dietary advice in the world (low-carb, high-carb) isn’t going to help until we can figure out what our bodies need. So if you feel fine before and while you’re eating, but get very tired about an hour later, you may have consumed to many carbs. Make a note of what meals make you sleepy and after a couple of weeks you should be able to figure out your carbohydrate limit. (as a side note – food sensitivities also show up as sleepiness and lethargy after eating, so if you ate a lower carb meal and are still tired, figure out what ingredients were in that meal and try cutting them out for a week before reintroducing. Common sensitivities are dairy, eggs, wheat, and soy)
  6. Do not eat sweets before bed! Dr. Kharrazian mentions that this is one of the worst thing you can do, and it makes complete sense. When you eat a high carbohydrate meal, or indulge in desserts, your insulin level will rise to counteract the blood glucose level, which will then drop to low. When this happens you still have hours to go before your next meal, so the adrenals have no choice other than to begin producing hormones to help fix the problem. (3am wakenings or restless sleep is often tied to blood sugar and insulin issues)

In his book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms?” Dr. Kharrazian has a fast for unwinding insulin resistance that you may find beneficial if you have a bad case of insulin resistance. Magdalena’s Thyroid Detox Program also addresses the blood sugar issue.

But otherwise focusing on making sure your meals consist of vegetables, meats, and some fruit will go a long way in helping your body learn to better control your blood glucose levels.

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.

Less Sugar = Cleaner Body

Grain Free Brownies

There’s no if, and, or buts about it – one of the biggest ways to live a cleaner life is to cut sugar out of your diet.

Conventionally grown refined sugar may contain toxins from pesticides and bleaching, but even organic and whole cane sugars are not necessarily healthy.

Because for your body to process sugar, it takes from your nutrient stores, right along with causing problems with insulin and hormone production.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty, but if you eat sugar daily you’re doing a lot of damage to your body.

One of the biggest changes you can make to clean out your body is to cut out the sugar.

More reading:

Sugar Detox Challenge {free ebook}

Sugar and Your Fertility

Sugar Cravings

Cutting Back on Sugar

Get the Junk Out – Sugar

for the full series, click here

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.

Sugar Detox Challenge 2012 {free ebook}

sugar detox challengeThe last couple of years now, we’ve done a sugar detox challenge after the holidays. This year I’ve made a lot of changes for you! Instead of weekly posts or emails, I’ve bundled it all up into a convenient, 24-page, FREE ebook. This way you can download it (for free) and keep it for future reference.

I used to be quite attached to sugar as I’m sure some of you are, but I had no idea how to reduce my consumption and then replace refined sugars with natural ones.

Whether you’re just starting on your journey to ‘real’ and natural foods, or you’ve been on this road for some time and just need a bit of encouragement, this ebook is for you!

As our Standard American Diet dictates, most of us are addicted to refined sugars. Not only do we dump them into our coffee, and inhale cookies, it’s hidden in almost every processed food we buy. And the problem is, the more we eat it, the more our body craves it.

Along with the 8 weekly challenges you’ll also find:

  • My Story with Sugar
  • What’s Wrong with Sugar
  • Know Your Good Sugars
  • Dealing with Cravings
  • Links to recipes using natural sweeteners

To download this free ebook, just subscribe to either the weekly newsletter! This link will take you to the page of free subscriber downloads. (also available are the “Naturally Balanced” and “Is Your Flour Wet?” ebooks!)

 

Remember – you don’t have to sign up again if you already get our emails! Just check the bottom of your weekly newsletter for a link to the subscriber downloads page.

Enjoy!

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.

Cutting Back on Sugar

Today I joined in over at Kitchen Stewardship’s Spring Cleaning: Get the Junk Out Carnival, and guest posted on sugar. I wrote a very honest (and sometimes TMI) piece on my personal story with sugar and gave a good 5 reasons why we want to rid our diets of sugar. So go take a read and then come back here for part three;

Get the Junk Out: Sugar

Part Three: Take Action!

With books upon books written on the subject, and a mass of articles online as well, the question still stands for many folks – how do you really get rid of sugar in your diet? For some of us it will be easier than others depending on how far along we are in our journey to real foods, so I’ll break it up a bit for you.

Baby Steps

1. When first trying to cut sugar out of your diet, it’s essential that you start reading the labels on the food you buy! High fructose corn syrup is the first thing that needs to go.

2. Stop buying foods with added sugar that aren’t meant to be sweet. Things like taco seasoning packets, dressings, and store bought sauces can have sugar in them and they are so easy to make at home. (cheaper too!)

3. Start cutting back on your consumption of sweets. Limit not only the amounts you eat, but the days you eat them. Try to have at least a few days each week where you don’t consume sweets.

Take it Up a Notch

4. Switch to natural sugars in recipes. Use sucanat or rapadura (one of the least refined sugars), maple syrup, and honey. Yes, they are more expensive, but the great thing is, it’ll give you incentive to use them less!

Grain free brownies sweetened with honey are delicious

Apple Grunt is a wonderful ‘comfort’ dessert

Apple Grunt

And caramel corn makes a lovely sweet and crunchy snack!

Caramel Corn

(And later this week I’ll be sharing my recipe for whipped cream and showing you what we served my little girl for her one year birthday treat! You can grab my RSS feed or get free updates by e-mail to stay in the loop.)

A good sugar to start out with if you’re used to only refined white sugar is going to be organic whole cane sugar. It’s an easy swap (1:1 ratio) and the taste and textures will be about the same. When switching over to more natural sugars, sometimes it’s easiest to replace just some of the sugar at a time. If your recipe calls for 1 cup try using 3/4 cup of your normal sugar and 1/4 whole cane sugar and increasing the ratio each time you make it. For me, this seemed to help my family make the conversion a bit easier!

Put Your Big Girl Panties On!

5. If you’re suffering from medical issues and even things that seem like common annoyances (eczema, headaches, yeast overgrowth, chronic colds/coughs, lowered immune system, etc.) or you’ve been doing the natural sugar thing for some time and want to kick it up a notch, it may be time to cut sugar out of your life!

Personally, I find that I have to go cold turkey in order for me to get a handle on over coming sugar. The gradual cutback cause me to crave sweets more and I end up over indulging. So my advice would be to clean out your cabinets, anything you know you shouldn’t eat, and stay away from buying anymore. The first few days are tough as your body works on the physical cravings. And the days weeks months after, you’ll have to struggle with the emotional attachment to sugar which is the hardest thing to break.

Giveaway!  ***now closed***

Now, Katie did a great job setting up a couple giveaways for the carnival this week!

Honeyville Grain has offered to give two winners from Kitchen Stewardship and Naturally Knocked Up their choice of one large can of freeze dried fruit.  The cans are about the size of a big coffee can and hold almost 3/4 lb. (Freeze Dried fruit is real fruit, with no sugar added, that is so lightweight you think you’re eating processed cereal.  But it’s real food.  It makes a great emergency snack for young children when you’re out and about.  (U.S. residents only))

The winners will also receive a copy of Katie’s Healthy Snacks to Go eBook, which will be published next week over at Kitchen Stewardship! This book has 20 different recipes plus 14 different versions of larabars and two bonus sections about packing a healthy, eco-conscious lunch and simple snacks that don’t need recipes. This book will be a fantastic resource for making quick and easy snacks, and I can’t wait to get my own copy!

So here’s how it’s going to work. Katie and I will pool entries from both her site and mine and we’ll select 2 winners. (International entries excepted, but the freeze dried fruit can only be shipped to U.S. addresses. So should an international reader win, a third winner will be selected for the fruit)

To enter here at Naturally Knocked Up:

  • You may leave a comment on this post OR link up a post you’ve written on either the effects of sugar, your story with sugar, or a great recipe that’s free of refined sugar.
  • Subscribe via RSS feed OR sign up to get free updates by e-mail – leave another comment to let me know
  • Share this post via social media (twitter, facebook, stumbleupon) – leave another comment to let me know

***Next week make sure you stop by Mindful Momma as Michaela talks about how to clean out the parabens!!!

 

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.

Sugar and Your Fertility

This morning I happened to come across an article about a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This article was published back in November of 2007 on Science Daily.

I took some time and read through the study earlier and while difficult to weed through, had some interesting findings. Now, it does seem that only one human subject was studied, but still interesting to say the least.

Basically the researchers found that when there is to much sugar in our diets, our livers convert it into a lipid. And the researchers discovered that this increased amount of lipids in the body shut down a gene called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which reduces the amount of SHGB protein in the body. This protein plays an important role in the amounts of testosterone and estrogen available for the body to use.

“If there’s less SHBG protein, then more testosterone and estrogen will be released throughout the body, which is associated with an increased risk of acne, infertility, poly cystic ovaries, and uterine cancer in overweight women.” (quote from article)

While I don’t have any information to add to that, I definitely thought it was worthy sharing with you. Especially since I know so many of us are trying to cut back and/or cut out sugar in our diets.

 

Want to read more?

You can click here to read a few reasons why and how to cut back on your sugar intake.

You can also take the Sugar Detox Challenge – a free 8 week challenge sent directly to your inbox.

Already cutting out sugar? Learn what your cravings can mean and what to do about them.

And here I chat a bit via video about the effects of sugar on our bodies.

Want to know what you CAN eat while TTC? Check out the Natural Fertility 101 and Fertility Diet series.

The Sugar Detox Challenge

sugar detox challengeThe last couple of years now, we’ve done a sugar detox challenge after the holidays. This year I’ve made a lot of changes for you! Instead of weekly posts or emails, I’ve bundled it all up into a convenient, 24-page, FREE ebook. This way you can download it (for free) and keep it for future reference.

I used to be quite attached to sugar as I’m sure some of you are, but I had no idea how to reduce my consumption and then replace refined sugars with natural ones.

Whether you’re just starting on your journey to ‘real’ and natural foods, or you’ve been on this road for some time and just need a bit of encouragement, this ebook is for you!

As our Standard American Diet dictates, most of us are addicted to refined sugars. Not only do we dump them into our coffee, and inhale cookies, it’s hidden in almost every processed food we buy. And the problem is, the more we eat it, the more our body craves it.

Along with the 8 weekly challenges you’ll also find:

  • My Story with Sugar
  • What’s Wrong with Sugar
  • Know Your Good Sugars
  • Dealing with Cravings
  • Links to recipes using natural sweeteners

To download this free ebook, just subscribe to either the daily or weekly email blog updates! If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll see a link at the bottom of your email. This link will take you to the page of free subscriber downloads. (also available are the “Naturally Balanced” and “Is Your Flour Wet?” ebooks!)
Daily Updates:

Enter your Email

Weekly Updates:

Enter your Email

You can also sign up for the Naturally Knocked Up Community to receive support from others working to eat healthier and reduce their sugar intake.

Remember – you don’t have to sign up again if you already get our emails! Just check the bottom of your emails for a link to the subscriber downloads page.

Enjoy!

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.