The Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that drives metabolism and controls the rate at which your body burns calories causing you either gain weight or lose weight.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism, or an under active Thyroid include; weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, cold hands and feet, headaches, hair loss (especially on outer eyebrow), straw like hair, depression, brittle fingernails, constipation, decreased sweating, low libido and brain fog.
Thyroid stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels are usually tested to determine if a person has thyroid issues, but these results alone do not really give us enough information.
TSH informs the thyroid of what to do, if TSH is elevated, it’s because the thyroid is under-functioning but if TSH is low then the thyroid is thought to be over-functioning. Although this can offer clues, further testing must be done to find out if the hormone that is being released by the thyroid is actually entering into the cells effectively, otherwise, TSH could still be in range and ‘normal’ but a person could still be suffering with symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Ninety five percent of Thyroid hormone is inactive T4, which has to be bound to a protein to be transported around the blood and transformed by the liver into active T3 to enable it to enter the cells. T4 can also be converted into reverse T3 (too much of this can block the thyroid receptors).
Inflammation and liver toxicity, which are both very common problems, can suppress the conversion of T4 to T3. To get the full picture, TSH, Total T4 and T3, Free T4 and T3 and Reverse T3, along with Thyroid Antibodies really need be tested and compared.
Other things that can suppress thyroid function include Gluten, Soy and Goitrogens. Goitrogenic foods inhibit the uptake of Iodine and can slow the thyroid, these include most raw cruciferous vegetables, such as; kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy and collards. Cruciferous vegetables should always be cooked to destroy the goitrogens which is why green smoothies and certain raw foods are not recommended for people with Hypothyroidism.
Iodine and selenium can support thyroid function. Sea vegetables such as Kelp, wakame, arame and hijiki can be beneficial sources of Iodine and 1-2 brazil nuts daily can provide a good amount of selenium. Other sources of selenium include tuna, chicken, eggs, shitake mushrooms, lamb and turkey.
Home Temperature Test to check your thyroid function
Place a mercury thermometer next to your bed, upon awakening, place it under the armpit for 10 minutes, keeping as still as possible. Repeat this for 5 consecutive days, recording the results. Normal body temperature should be 97.8-98.2. Consecutive reading below 97.8 can indicate Hypothyroidism and readings above 98.2 can indicate Hyperthyroidism.