I was chatting with a friend this morning. She felt in the dark when it came to her thyroid and what doctors were telling her. She feels this whenever she learns one more thing about how her thyroid could be affected by something else going on in her body. It feels frustrating and makes her feel powerless. This is no way to go through life! So, naturally I offered to create the Ultimate Thyroid Checklist to help her and you connect the dots regarding your thyroid health.
Your thyroid doesn’t work alone! It’s actually connected to several organs and hormones. To start, your hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland to release thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This tells the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4. To learn more about what thyroid testing to ask for, see my article here.
Your thyroid gland also needs iodine, zinc, iron and selenium to make thyroid hormones. There are many cofactors also needed to produce thyroid hormones including vitamins A, C, D, E and K, tyrosine and B vitamins.
80% of T3 comes from T4. 60% of T3 is converted by the liver and 30% is converted in the gut.
There are many ways this process can be interrupted.
DDT and PCB’s inhibit TSH receptors. Prochlorates, phthalates, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride and bromine all displace or block the uptake of iodine in thyroid cells. If TSH receptors and iodine receptors are blocked, you can become hypothyroid (low thyroid).
Mineral imbalances can also disrupt the thyroid such as elevated levels of cadmium which can cause a depletion in selenium. Additionally, aluminum can cause free radical damage.
Food is such a loaded word especially today. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is woefully nutrient deficient. It’s also quite toxic if you buy predominantly “conventionally grown” products.
For instance goldfish crackers contain MSG which is an excitotoxin  as well as GMOs which can cause leaky gut and food sensitivities . This isn’t food, it’s poison for your brain and body. When you buy non-organic foods, you’re also getting heap-loads of a toxin called glyphosate which also causes thyroid disorders . Just look at what the Environmental Working Group found out about non-organic hummus .
But it’s not just what you’re getting in a conventional diet, it’s what you’re not getting. When your body is depleted of essential vitamins and minerals, your thyroid just won’t be able to produce enough thyroid hormone.
Soils are so depleted in essential minerals AND the SAD diet is already nutrient deficient that your thyroid and body just aren’t getting enough of what it needs to stay healthy. A lack of iodine may cause the thyroid to become enlarged. This is called a goiter.
Don’t believe me? Start using an app like MyFitnessPal and begin tracking your foods. Are you meeting the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) based on an optimistic assumption of nutrient content of foods?
Gut Dysbiosis and Digestive Disorders
If your digestive system is suboptimal and your gut microbiome is out of balance, you are likely not absorbing nutrients you consume. I’ve written before about how candida overgrowth can be a root cause of alopecia areata. Furthermore, since 30% of T4 is converted into T3 in the gut, when your gut is not functioning properly, the conversion doesn’t happen as efficiently.
The truth is that gut imbalances like this as well as parasites can contribute to a multitude of imbalances by creating inflammation in the body, irritable bowel syndrome, chrohns and diverticulitis. If you have bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea or feel drained after eating, look to the gut for answers.
Mold/mycotoxins interrupt the signaling from the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus so that the hypothalamus may not signal the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. This can cause hypothyroidism.
Mold is also an environmental trigger for Hashimotos . I had interviewed Jenn Malecha on my Detox for Vibrant Health podcast about her experience with mold and how she was able to reverse hashimotos when she detoxed from the mold.
Dave Aspray of Bulletproof has also made an amazing recovery from Hashimotos by tackling mold toxicity (one of the root causes for his Hashimotos). He even created a movie called Moldy to spread the word about how mold/mycotoxins can mess with your health.
You don’t have to be exposed to a moldy building however to have a build up of mycotoxins. They are also prevalent in certain foods including cereals, grains (especially corn), coffee, wine, beer, cheese, meat (contaminated feed), smoked fish, some nuts and some beans.
You may not think estrogen has much to do with your thyroid. Estrogen is like a goldilocks hormone when it comes to the thyroid. Too much estrogen (estrogen dominance) and it stimulates thyroid growth. Too little and the thyroid may not have enough tissue.
Estrogen also triggers the thyroid to produce thyroid hormone precursor, thyroidglobulin. Too much estrogen may lead the thyroid gland may become enlarged, too little and the thyroid won’t produce enough.
Estrogen can also increase the protein that carries thyroid hormones in the blood. Too much then not enough of the thyroid hormone will be free and unbound to enter cells which causes hypothyroid symptoms even if tests come back normal.
Stress and Your Thyroid
The last but one of the most important parts of this Ultimate Thyroid Checklist is stress. In order to address thyroid function, it’s imperative that you reduce stress! Chronic stress can cause cortisol levels to increase which stops the production of T3 or shuttle it to reverse T3 which is an unusable form of thyroid hormone.
Stress can also cause gut dysbiosis and hormone imbalances. As you now know, it affects how the thyroid gland and it’s hormones work in your body.
Stressors that affect the thyroid include:
- Social stress
- Mental stress
- Emotional stress
- Financial stress
- Past trauma
- Lack of sleep
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Chronic pain
- Lack of exercising
Ultimate Thyroid Checklist Roundup
When your body is out of balance due to various stressors on the body, your thyroid and thyroid hormones won’t work optimally. When you rebalance the body by taking away the things that don’t serve you and replenish with the things that do, your thyroid will begin to heal.
Every single person is different. Your root causes may be different than the next. I offer single consults as well as a full program. Book a free chat with me using the link in the menu above to learn how I can help guide you through rebalancing your body.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease. If you suspect you have a thyroid dis-ease, contact your primary care provider.