We all have one thyroid which we must nourish for lifelong health. Unfortunately, in today’s high stress society, we don’t do a good job. Our thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck which has many important functions in our body. Probably the most familiar one is that it helps with our metabolism and weight. Can you relate to any of these symptoms?
Puffy/swollen (especially around the eyes)
There are many different hormones that influence the thyroid gland and some may be overlooked by your doctor when you get blood work for your thyroid. Let me explain. The brain, specifically the pituitary gland, will send a “hormonal” signal to the thyroid to either increase or decrease its supply of hormones depending on the body’s needs. The signal hormone that is received by the thyroid gland is…..ready for it…..the famous TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). TSH is the value that most doctors look at to assess thyroid health.
Do you know what your TSH value is? If you are unsure, request copies of your blood work from your doctor. The TSH “normal” range is anywhere from 0.3-5. I find that my patients feel their best with a TSH level at 2 or below. Now keep in mind that TSH is just one factor in assessing thyroid health. We need to dig a little deeper. The thyroid gland has an important role in making two hormones: T4 and T3, which act on the cells of your body. Knowing these values are also very important in understanding thyroid health.
Do you know your numbers? Taking it a step further, in order for the thyroid to carry out its function and make these hormones (T3 and T4), it needs support nutrients. The minerals most important for your thyroid are iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron. Mineral are very common and can be due to pregnancy, dieting, breastfeeding, poor nutrition, poor digestion etc. and they can negatively impact your thyroid health. Hair Mineral Analysis is the test I run with my patients to look at some of these minerals.
Some other common insults to the thyroid are STRESS and acute and chronic dieting. Both of these issues can drastically reduce basal metabolic rate, making it hard to lose or maintain weight. Bottomline, if you have symptoms of low thyroid function, but have been told by your doctor that you are fine, request a copy of your numbers and seek out other ways to support your thyroid. There are many ways that you can! I have helped many women find balance.
Visit my website and fill out the hormonal questionnaire to get started.
Let’s Love our Thyroid!
Dr. Jen Cisternino, Naturopathic Doctor