Today, the silent epidemic of thyroid disease is a universal phenomenon. Women are ten times more likely than men to be diagnosed with thyroid disease, of which 80 percent is autoimmune. Yet, most of us have no idea about the thyroid, its needs, or how we got here.
Autoimmunity exits when the body decides that healthy cells are foreign invaders and mounts an attack against itself. In this unfortunate case of “friendly fire,” our bodies become reluctant victims of our environment and of our choices–from the foods we eat to the thoughts we think. The attack of Self defines the Age of Victimhood. We are the cause of our disease. Victimhood is not only a state of dependency but also a wake-up call.
In order to heal fully we must address both the physical and emotional aspects of dis-ease. Based on my own reversal, I offer a list of steps to ensure a healthy thyroid from the physical perspective. This list comes from my latest book Free Your Voice: Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally.
TEN ESSENTIAL STEPS TO A HEALTHY THYROID
1. KNOW THYROID DISEASE IS IODINE DEFICIENCY DISEASE
Iodine is needed by every cell in the body. Iodine manufactures thyroid hormones and other hormones. It is iodine that manages the flow of energy for every cell in the body. Iodine is an adaptogen and gives the body what it needs to stabilize pH. This essential mineral is also anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It is a catalyst for cell apoptosis (destruction of abnormal cells). The best foods include dried kelp and sea vegetables, cod fish, navy beans, tuna, pastured eggs, potatoes, green beans, raw milk, raw yogurt, kefir, dried prunes, tuna, pastured turkey, strawberries, cranberries. Also recommended as dosed herbal supplements.
2. CHOOSE HEALING FOODS FIRST
Choose foods in their natural form, as close to the Earth as possible, in their original packages. These foods heal the digestive tract (leaky gut) so you can begin to absorb what you eat. You are not what you eat, but what you absorb. Foods first; supplements second.
- Cod liver oil for fat-soluble vitamins A and D
- Flax seeds, Hemp seeds, Chia seeds, Ghee
- Fresh, organic vegetables
- Raw, organic, grass-fed butter
- Raw grass-fed, organic goat’s milk. [If no leaky gut, then kefir, kombucha, fermented sauerkraut.]
- Bone broths, for leaky gut
- Herbal tea infusions, including: Stinging Nettle, which contains Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Boron, Copper, Iron, Vitamin D and B vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Manganese and Oat Straw, full of B-vitamins, Marshmallow root or Slippery Elm for digestion and colon.
3. CHOOSE NATURAL THYROID HORMONES OVER SYNTHETIC
Make it clear to your doctor that you, or your child, would like a natural thyroid hormone over the imitation, synthetic hormone known as Synthroid.
Three things you should know if you elect to take synthetic thyroid hormones:
- Total body iodide/iodine deficiency increases.
- Iodine deficiency is a cause for breast cancer. [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v]
- The incidence of breast cancer twice as high in women taking thyroid hormone for more than 15 years (19.5%) compared to those on thyroid hormones for only 5 years (10%).[vi]
- Armour Thyroid, Westhroid, Nature Thyroid are natural thyroid preparations made for hypothyroid conditions to standards approved by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), which assures that its potency is accurate as stated on the label.
Natural thyroid preparations contain T4, T3, T2, and T1 and most closely resemble natural human thyroid hormones. At the proper dose, natural thyroid hormones work well. Since it is bio-identical to the human thyroid hormone, natural thyroid hormones are recognized by your body as a natural substance, so you will not build resistance to them. Any hormone therapy should be temporary as long-term use of any hormone added to the body can predispose you to cancer. The goal is for you to come back into balance so your body to make its own thyroid hormones again.
4. INCORPORATE CO-NUTRIENTS
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system. It does not work in a void but with your other glands, including the heart, as well as the nervous system and immune system. Essential trace minerals and vitamins for adrenal, thyroid, parathyroid, hormones are best derived from foods and herbs, and include the following:
Zinc: converts T4 to T3, regulates metabolic activities, and modulates the immune system via T-cell production. Zinc is a cofactor that activates hundreds of enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body. It mimics insulin to benefit diabetes. It is an antioxidant to protect against free radicals and is an antiviral. It assists in excretion of metals via methylation. The best foods include: pumpkin seeds, spinach, kidney beans, lima beans, oysters, flax seeds, watermelon seeds, garlic, egg yolks, beef, and turkey. Herbs: burdock root, parsley, sage, dill and chervil.
Magnesium: helps the parathyroid, which regulates vitamin C and magnesium absorption, helps relax muscles, heart, calms nerves and anxiety, helps digestion, relieves constipation, increases energy, helps sleep quality, helps blood pressure, osteoporosis, psoriasis, asthma, and diabetes, including all chronic disease. Best foods include: black beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard), brown rice, dark chocolate, cocoa, banana, avocado, figs, raw yogurt and kefir, salmon. Herbs include: alfalfa, burdock root, horsetail, licorice, kelp, and nettle.
Selenium: Food-based selenium converts T4 to T3, [vii] lowers thyroid antibodies, [viii] boosts immune system, reduces inflammation (via selenoproteins),[ix] and is a necessary co-factor for glutathione peroxidase synthesis which creates glutathione, the master of antioxidant in the body. Glutathione removes free radicals, toxins and heavy metals like mercury, lead, aluminum, protects against cancer at 200 ug/day, reduces asthma, improves blood flow, fights viral and bacterial infections. Best foods include: Brazil nuts, sardines, halibut, grass-fed, organic beef, beef liver and kidney, chicken, pastured eggs, spinach, garlic, onion, cabbage, broccoli. Herbs include: alfalfa, marshmallow, bilberry, burdock, fennel, nettle.
Boron: Boron prevents bone loss and demineraization, builds and repairs joint cartilage, regulates hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone, maintains brain function and memory, helps metabolism within the bone, reverses osteoporosis, replaces lost calcium, reverses calcification of soft tissues, helps prevent arthritis and tooth decay, and is essential for individual cell integrity, growth and health. Best foods include: Almonds, raisins, apricots, avocados, brazil nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, dates, cashews, and lentils. Herbs include nettle. “When in doubt, choose nettle.”
Manganese: “The Love Element” improves glandular secretion, concentration, mood, eyesight, depression, cellular oxygen, and the five senses. influences linings (heart, bone cranium), membranes (visceral, abdominal), tubes, periosteal structures, bones, and fibers (nerves) and all joints. Herbs include: clove, saffron, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.
B-Vitamins in the form of B-Complex is better than taking single B-vitamins since they work together, and vitamins A and D in the form of cod liver oil.
5. Remove Inflammatory Foods/ Replace with Healing Foods
To build an environment favorable to healthy microbes/unfavorable to unhealthy microbes:
- Go gluten-free and remove wheat from your diet. If you have Hashimoto’s, try going completely grain and legume free. Wheat contains glyphosate, a toxic herbicide that destroys our beneficial bacteria. It is the poison–glyphosate–more than gluten, that is the cause of most hybridized grain intolerances. Glyphosate has also been found in vaccines.
- Remove processed dairy, which contains antibiotics, GMO hormones, and fluoride.
- Remove soy, except fermented soy (i.e., tempeh, natto).
- Replace processed foods with organic, probiotic, nutrient-rich, farm-raised, pastured foods: raw goat dairy (optional), vegetables, bee pollen, and bone broths–chicken, beef, fish–to heal the sensitive epithelial lining of the small intestine known as “leaky gut.”
- Choose healthy fats, such as coconut oil, hemp oil, flax seeds, ghee, Chia seeds, grass-fed ghee, olive oil, and avocados, cod liver oil, and butter oil.
6. AVOID GOITROGENS:
Goitrogens are toxins to the thyroid that cause goiter, a swollen thyroid gland.
- Remove fluoride, bromide, and chlorine from your diet and water. Use chlorine filters for showers.
- Avoid swimming in pools high in chlorine to reduced risk of developing asthma, recurrent bronchitis, and other breathing problems due to airway changes.[xi]
- Avoid foods sprayed with methyl bromide, such as conventional strawberries.
- Avoid foods contaminated with Perchlorate, including conventional lettuce, vegetables grown in CA, AR, NV.
- Avoid drugs that affect thyroid hormone, such as Brominated and Fluoridated (Fluroquinolines) which bind to iodine receptor sites to prevent iodine from binding.
- Reduce exposure to radiation from cell phones and computers.
- Rotate cruciferous vegetables in your meals that can act as goitrogens: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, rutabagas, radishes, turnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.
7. AVOID VEGETABLE OILS AND PROCESSED REFINED FOODS:
vegetable oils and hydrogenated, trans fats, now all genetically-modified
processed, GMO, packaged foods
irradiated foods, including some nuts
processed salt and iodized salt
sugar, sodas, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners
8. REMOVE DENTAL AMALGAMS–MERCURY FILLINGS.
Mercury harms the thyroid and parathyroids, and depletes selenium, an essential detoxification mineral. Consider removing amalgam fillings, safely, with biological “mercury-safe” and “mercury-free” dentistry with a IAOMT dentist. Make sure you boost the immune system before and after removal with antioxidants and Bentonite clay. You may need to remove the fillings in stages, and by quadrant, to reduce your exposure.
9. DETOX LIVER:
The liver is the gateway to clean blood, happy cells, and a healthy thyroid. Keep your liver happy by helping it help you. The main jobs of the over 500 jobs of the liver are to break down and remove toxins from the blood, produce bile for fat digestion, and store energy in the form of glycogen for when you need a boost.
- warm lemon water before breakfast acts as a natural, gentle liver cleanse and alkalinizer.
- garlic – helps the heart pump. Consuming one-half to one clove of garlic (or equivalent) daily may have a cholesterol-lowering effect of up to 9%.
- avocados – high in antioxidants, healthy fats against inflammation, diabetes and heart disease.
- cilantro – blood purifier. Detoxifies heavy metals and radiation.
- cinnamon – powerful antioxidant. As little as two teaspoons of cinnamon daily for six weeks reduced blood-glucose levels significantly. Other studies suggest that cinnamon may improve blood-glucose levels by increasing a person’s insulin sensitivity.
- turmeric – powerful anti-inflammatory, immune booster, anti-cancer spice. Turmeric’s yellow-gold color comes from curcuminoids that support important blood and liver functions, healthy joints, and overall well-being.
- Reishi mushrooms – increases white blood cells, boosts immunity. Slice dried mushrooms, simmer for 3 hours and drink concentrated tea.
stinging nettle – high in selenium, and all minerals. Protects against DNA damage.
burdock root and dandelion root teas, or tinctures.
The Coffee Enema: Can be done once a month, if necessary. Use organic, caffeinated (lightly roasted) coffee, and distilled water. After the coffee cools to approximate body temperature, the enema is administered and held for up to 20 minutes while lying on your right side, then relieved with a bowel movement. Easy and inexpensive, it can be performed in the privacy of your own home.
Utilize spirulina and other green super-foods to clean the blood, nurture gut bacteria, and promotes bile production
Use Bentonite clay to purify the blood and strengthen the liver.
Supplement with whole food forms where possible. Selenium and its compounds are much more potent anti-oxidants than vitamins E, C and A, beta-carotene. Selenium detoxes mercury, lead, and cadmium.
Green Juicing will raise the pH of your tissues so pathogenic microbes fail to thrive. Juicing prevents wrinkles, reduces blood pressure and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Use a masticating juicer for best results. Celery contains high amounts of sodium, and its mineral salts supports kidneys, adrenals and neuron function. Occasionally, add a beet for liver detoxification and a pear or apple for sweetness.
10. IMPROVE SLEEP AND REDUCE STRESS
Rejuvenate and restore with 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Stress triggers disease so it is essential to identify the stressors in your life and work to reduce or eliminate them. Stress is not a “thing,” but how we respond to a stressor. One way to do change a response is to control emotions, or emotions will control you. E-motion is energy in motion. Emotions drive biology. So if we can modulate an emotion to a stressor, we are closer to eliminating stress in life. One way to remove stress is to fill the void with your passions. What makes you happy?
THE LIFESTYLE SHIFT
The above essentials reflect a lifestyle shift. When you can clear the body of toxins and replenish lost nutrients, the mind clears. Why? Because body and mind are one. It is helpful to create a core team of healers to work with you, which may include a naturopath, Master herbalist, homeopath, acupuncturist, and yoga instructor. The choice is yours.
If I can reverse thyroid disease, anyone can.