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You cannot enter a Facebook health group without seeing the word “thyroid” about 50 times. It is all people talk about, and it is a huge focus for many people. Yes, the thyroid is absolutely important. But so is the rest of the body! The body is also a WHOLE. We should start treating it as such.
What Does the Thyroid Do?
The thyroid produces 2 thyroid hormones and calcitonin (which helps to lower calcium and phosphate levels in the blood by helping the bones absorb more calcium). The thyroid hormones are essential for metabolism, as well as normal growth and development. T4 (thyroxine) is one thyroid hormone- named so because it has 4 iodine atoms. T3 has 3 iodine atoms. For whatever backwards reason, doctors focus on the individual hormones instead of the nutrients and processes that MAKE those hormones.
The regulation of the thyroid hormones depends on the relationship between the anterior pituitary and the thyroid gland. The pituitary secretes the thyroid stimulating hormones! This is why the HPA axis is so important in our health and why we can’t just focus on ONE gland or ONE part of the body.
Fixing a Thyroid Imbalance
Since there are many variations in thyroid dysfunction, fixing the thyroid will be different for most people.
On the HTMA, the Calcium/Potassium ratio is related to thyroid health. These 2 minerals are antagonistic and they need to be balanced in order for the thyroid to function properly. We need calcium in the correct amount to keep both the calcitonin and parathyroid hormones in check. People with a high Calcium/potassium ratio tend to be hypothyroid, and those with a low ratio tend to be hyperthyroid. Most people have a high ratio because people tend to have extremely high calcium and very low potassium. We need potassium to keep calcium in check but it is very hard to get the recommended amount of potassium each day- we need about 4700mg a day!
So much focus is also put on iodine for thyroid health. Iodine is truly important and there are many ways to replenish it. Read my post here on iodine to see what way would be right for you. There is the iodine protocol or a more cautious, rebuilding approach. Iodine needs selenium and magnesium to work properly so it is more prudent to raise these 2 minerals before embarking on the full iodine protocol.
Nutrients needed for Thyroid Health
Did you know that vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamin C are also critical for thyroid health? Yes, T4 and T3 need iodine- but the gland itself needs more than that.
Avoiding gluten, processed foods, goitrogenic foods like raw kale, raw broccoli, and soy, can also help the thyroid. Focusing on a whole foods, organic diet with healthy fats and proteins is essential.
Balancing minerals and replenishing other nutrients are imperative for healing the thyroid. Addressing any underlying infections or toxicities will help as well. Many people look for things like natural desiccated thyroid to help them. Check out this site for more info. I personally love and recommend Symplex F from Standard Process for most women that are slow oxidizers. This product helps the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, and pituitary which really helps to take stress off of the body. Or you can look into an Herbal Thyroid blend, like this one from Gaia Herbs.
Want to learn more?
Check out my video about Endocrine health here.