Thyroid Disease – Triggers, Symptoms And Natural Solutions
Thyroid Disease – Triggers, Symptoms and Natural Solutions
Are you one of the 20 million Americans suffering from a thyroid condition? Did you know that over 60% of people who have thyroid conditions remain unaware of them? Or that women are five to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems? According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland that is in the base of the neck, under the Adams apple. This thyroid creates two extremely important hormones called T3 and T4. These hormones make its way through the entire body through the blood stream. As it’s going through the body it controls different thing in the body like how fast your body can melt off fat and how fast your heart beats. These things combines are what many know as your metabolism. When the thyroid is working properly it will produce a balanced amount of hormone so your metabolism can function properly and at a normal rate. Thyroid problems are usually components that are hidden and make it hard for people to lose weight. When the thyroid isn’t working properly, the extra weight stays in the body and slows down the metabolic system.
What Do Thyroid Conditions Look Like?
Thyroid problems are often un-diagnosed because their symptoms overlap with so many other issues in the body. According to Dr. Kajiki the three most common thyroid problems are: Hypo (or, low) thyroid, hyper (or, high) thyroid, and Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease (where the body’s cells attack the thyroid). Do you think you might have a thyroid problem? Here are some symptoms to look for:
- Hypothyroid: Weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, depression, constipation, sensitivity to cold, muscle aches, puffy face, memory loss, and high TSH test.
- Hyperthyroid: Racing heart, rapid pulse, weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, anxiety, Low TSH test, irritability, hand tremors, muscle weakness, heat sensitivity, and insomnia.
- Hashimoto’s: Racing heart, night sweats, depression, anxiety, throat swelling, weight gain, hair loss, muscle aches, alternating constipation and frequent IBS, memory loss. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune condition, meaning that the immune system attacks the thyroid resulting in a combination of hypo- and hyper-thyroid symptoms.
What are the 9 Most Common Thyroid Triggers?
One of the biggest problems with Thyroid Disorder is identifying it as it looks very similar to other types of disorders or triggers as Dr. Kajiki calls them. Triggers are a type of body dysfunctions that will look exactly like thyroid problems. Triggers are also a body dysfunction that can irritate the immune system and causes it to attach the thyroid gland. The nine most common triggers are:
- Blood Sugar Instability
- Hormone imbalance
- Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
- Inflammation (Systemic and local)
- Gastro-intestinal problems
- Food Sensitivities
- Stealth Infections
- Chemical Sensitivities
To diagnose thyroid problems it’s crucial to conduct tests to see how the triggers are affecting your body. As Dr. Kajiki learned when diagnosing and treating his wife’s Hashimoto’s, traditional medicine often does not conduct the right types of tests to diagnose thyroid problems, and does not interpret them correctly. He went through many years researching the reason for his wives illness and decided that he would then use his practice to help people around the world. Since thyroid problems are very hard to diagnose, it’s important to do numerous testing to see which triggers are present before treating thyroid problems. Dr. Kajiki displays a diagram of the different types of test, that he has used to review thyroid function around the world.
Why are Thyroid Problems So Prevalent
Why does it seem like thyroid problems appear to be on the rise? Dr. kajiki explained that this is most likely due to the increasing levels of toxicity in our environment, including our air pollution, radiation spilling from Fukushima, toxicity in our water and the prevalence antibiotics and hormones in our food. In addition, many of us have poor diets and consume way too many processed “food-like products” rather than actual natural foods. We drink too much caffeine, we skip meals, and we eat far too much sugar. We also live in a society that seemingly breeds stress, with many of us cramped up in cubicles or with our eyes glued to screens all day long, not getting enough fresh air, sunlight or exercise. It certainly appears that the environment and lifestyle of the 21st century is not particularly conducive to thyroid health.
For many medical professional, the only way they can help thyroid problems is by giving medication or going through a surgery. The problem with is that 70 to 90 % of people who are suffering with thyroid problems can’t be solved by medications, so the only way to fix the problem is by going through a surgery.
Dr. Kajiki’s thyroid treatment protocol is all about fusing medication (if/when necessary) with major diet and lifestyle changes. As with all functional medicine approaches, the patient must be actively involved in the treatment in order for it to be successful. In other words, if you just want to sit back and take a pill, without changing anything in your life, then a natural approach to anybody disorder is probably not the way to go.
Eating Habits and a Healthy Gut
A natural thyroid procedure can be changed for each person, depending on how the triggers affect the body. Going through any plan to clean out the digestive system and eliminating and food or chemical sensitivities can help out any person.70 % of the immune system is in the stomach and once it becomes effective from toxins it also effects the immune system. When the immune system becomes agitated it gives a bigger risk for a person to have auto immune disorders.
For example, one of the biggest changes that I have made since being diagnosed with a thyroid condition 2014 is completely eliminating gluten from my diet. Gluten can be a major instigator of thyroid auto-immune problems due to a process called ‘molecular mimicry’ where the body perceives gluten to be thyroid tissue (because their molecular composition is so similar) and begins to attack the thyroid. Many patients also benefit from being mindful of their consumption of goitrogens, a type of food that can interfere with thyroid function, which include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, millet, spinach, strawberries, peaches, watercress, peanuts, radishes, and soybeans.
Dr.Kajiki also believes that its crucial to have a high protein breakfast between an hour to an hour and a half after you wake up. He also stated that consuming high protein snacks every 2 to 3 hours will help prevent blood sugar spikes. Dr Kajiki says that the insulin spike when eating a diet that is high in carbs, sugar and also caffeine, which will then cause large cortisol surges and will affect the body’s hormonal balances one of which is thyroid functioning.
Lifestyle, Nutrition and Supplements
There are many other lifestyle changes that are important in a natural approach to thyroid health, including herbal and nutritional supplements, which according to Dr. Kajiki can vary according to the individual patient. So be sure to talk to your health provider or schedule a free consultation with Dr. Kajiki before you begin.
Some recommendations may include:
- Increase your consumption of herbs and healthy fats (like flax, hemp, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, and more) which can be important for regulating hormonal pathways.
- Get your daily Omega-3s (whether from fish oils, flax, hemp, nuts or grass fed animal products), which are critical to thyroid function and improve the body’s ability to respond to the thyroid hormones.
- Reduce Inflammation by avoiding foods you might be sensitive to, as well as limiting your intake of alcohol, refined sugar and processed foods. Also make sure to check for toxins in your environment that may be contributing to inflammation, such as mold or any hidden allergens.
- Boost your antioxidants, like glutathione. While I sometimes have glutathione administered intravenously from my functional medicine doctor, you can also eat certain foods that help the body produce more if it, like peaches, avocado, spinach, squash, garlic, grapefruit, and raw eggs.
- Make the time to relax and de-stress! The thyroid is incredibly sensitive to stress, so make a habit of engaging in practices to bring you into a Zen, chill space. These can include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, breath work, martial arts as well as exercise (which are great for your hormones too!). Even a warm bath at the end of the night or a nice lymphatic massage can help!