Feeling tired, depressed, achey muscle pain and unable to shed pounds. These are symptoms that can be associated with thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid gland produces hormones that influence metabolism. There are two main types of thyroid disorders: hyperthyroidisim, which is when there is too much thyroid hormone being produced. And the other is hypothyroidism, when there is too little thyroid hormone. If left untreated thyroid disorders can lead to osteoporosis, infertility and elevated cholesterol.
In Canada, thyroid dysfunction affects one in twenty people and more often women. Conventional medicine treats thyroid disorders with life long medication prescriptions and/or surgery, without going deeper into the cause of why the thyroid has gone out of balance in the first place. According to nutraceutical researcher, Jon Barron, four of the most common triggers that contribute to thyroid dysfunction are:
- Heavy Metal Toxicity – Cadmium and Mercury (from amalgams and vaccinations). These are the most common heavy metals associated with thyroid disregulation. Speak to your ND about further testing if you are suspicious of heavy metal toxicity.
- Correcting nutritional imbalance – Minerals that are absolutely necessary to offset nutritional depletion related to thyroid function are copper, zinc, selenium and iodine. Modern industrial farming techniques have stripped soils of many of the nutrients we are required to get through our foods and consequently our intake of essential trace elements becomes inadequate. We can replenish with nutrient rich foods, such as unrefined sea salt – which supplies the body with 92 vital trace minerals, seeds, seaweeds and veggies. There are tests your ND can perform to establish specific nutritional deficiencies.
- Estrogen dominance – Xenoestrogens are chemical estrogens founds in our water supply as well as our foods. By the time adults reach their thirties, the compound affect of these estrogens can take a toll in our bodies. There are many naturopathic treatments to balance, support and clear endogenous and exogenous hormones.
- Strengthen immunity – If there are food sensitivities, these are important to establish to support proper immune functioning. If you are eating foods i.e. gluten comes up often as an issue with thyroid disregulation – it is important to establish and stop eating foods that are weakening and stressing your endocrine (thyroid etc. ) system . As well, supporting detoxification pathways of the liver, kidneys and intestines are essential for immune, and essentially thyroid function.
If you are suspicious that your thyroid is off kilter it is best to consult your ND for an individualized assessment.