If you’ve been told you have hypothyroidism it implies your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones. Among the many warning signs of a thyroid hormonal imbalance are ongoing fatigue, unexplainable weight gain, hair loss, slow digestion, and emotional health issues.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, a complex body system that produces a range of life-sustaining hormones.
The hormones produced by the thyroid play a central role in maintaining optimal physical, and emotional well-being.
Hypothyroidism: A Complex Endocrine Disorder
In the conventional medical system standard treatment for hypothyroidism is a daily dose of levothyroxine (LT4). However, there is long standing debate regarding the effectiveness of this medication as it works for some but leaves many with persistent complaints. When standard treatment is less than effective a personalized treatment approach may be required.
As a Naturopath I know we should always try to take a deeper look into what’s causing a thyroid hormone imbalance. That’s why a dysfunctional thyroid should never be viewed in isolation. The thyroid is part of an integrated whole-body system that requires healing.
To navigate your way back to optimal health it’s crucial to address the underlying root causes of your symptoms. Food allergies, chronic infections, systemic inflammation, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, poor gut health, and stress take a serious toll on thyroid health.
FIVE Things To Know About Treating A Thyroid Hormonal Imbalance
The good news is, if you are living with hypothyroidism there are many things you can do to awaken your body’s natural healing ability. To help you get started here’s five things I would like you to know about treating hypothyroidism naturally.
1. Trust Your Instinct and Get The Help You Need
If you suspect you’re suffering with a thyroid hormonal imbalance there is a good chance it is not ‘all in your head’. We recommend trusting your instincts and taking the necessary steps to get help. A thyroid imbalance can be the hidden cause of a wide array of health problems that threaten long term health. On a similar note, an effective treatment can save years of suffering and heartache.
2. Don’t Delay in Getting Accurate Testing
Here’s the frustrating part. So many people are NOT getting the help they need because they are stuck on just getting the basic thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test done.
It’s very important to find a thyroid-literate practitioner who will take the time to really listen to you and run the necessary tests.
I list the most important lab tests to discuss with your healthcare practitioner here on this post: The Top 5 Thyroid Tests To Discuss With Your Doctor.
3. Get Your Free T3 Tested
Research tells us that thyroid hormone action is largely determined by the amount of free T3 (FT3) that is available to bind to the thyroid hormone receptors located throughout the body.
According to the Society of Endocrinology, “T3 is a thyroid hormone that plays vital roles in the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development and function, and the maintenance of bones.” As you can imagine, it’s therefore crucial to test FT3.
4. Get To Know Your Genetic Blueprint
Science based genetic testing looks at variations in genes known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This type of testing provides deeper insights your health. And most importantly treatment can be optimized to suit your individual needs.
5. Choose A Natural Thyroid Diet
A nutritious, mainly plant-based diet lays the foundation for improvements in thyroid health. Fresh vegetables, and fruits (organic if possible) should be the mainstay of your diet. If you are not eating Paleo you could also add in minimally processed gluten-free grains, and legumes. If you are not vegan or vegetarian you may also wish to add in small amounts of wild fish, and grass fed meat to your weekly diet.
These thyroid healing foods are rich in nutrients such as iodine, zinc, selenium, B-vitamins, magnesium, and healthy fats.