THYROID AND ITS FUNCTION

MY EXPERIENCE OF THYROID PROBLEMS AND HOW IT LED ME TO NUTRITION

My own experience with thyroid underfunction happened at the beginning when I got sick due to mold exposure. I had no energy and was depressed. I really didn’t understand what was going on. It felt like forever too. I didn’t get out of the funk until I spoke with a friend who told me to get my thyroid checked. That is how my personal health journey started. 

Once I found out that I had an underfunction of my thyroid, the first thing I did was get off gluten. Why, do you ask? Gluten has a protein called gliadin, which has a very similar structure as the thyroid hormone. This can cause confusion in the body and therefore cause inflammation. Gluten is inflammatory to the gut and if one deals with stressors it is important to remove any additional stress.

Secondly, changing my diet to a paleo style diet, has brought my thyroid hormone levels back into the normal range.

This is how I ultimately got involved with nutrition, since I saw how important it is and how one can get results.

I am still learning about the thyroid and how important this gland is. Our bodies are magical, and when subjected to external or internal stress, eventually the body will respond and something is going to give. 

HYPO- AND HYPERTHYROIDISM

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the front of our neck. The thyroid is called the master gland since it is the conductor of every metabolic process in your body, and is the largest endocrine gland. It can overfunction, hyperthyroidism, with the autoimmune version of this is graves’ disease. Or underfunction, hypothyroidism and the autoimmune version of this is called hashimoto’s disease. Both are not what we want. And this happens when our system is locked in a stress response.

When your thyroid is overfunctioning it produces too much of the hormone thyroxine and can accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. You also may feel very hot, you may be sweaty, anxious, or have tremors.

When your thyroid is underfunctioning, which is the most common dysfunction of the thyroid, our basal temperature in the body drops, which has an effect on all body functions. With an underactive thyroid, as you’d expect, the whole system slows down. People may feel sluggish, tired, or constipated. Interestingly, hair and nails can become dry and thin because they’re not turning over and are not being produced in the normal fashion.

This is a basic understanding of what can go wrong with the thyroid. Since it is a hormone gland it can really affect all of our hormones, therefore it is really important to get that regulated. Diet is important, I tell all my clients to be gluten free. Lifestyle is very important, finding ways to relax, either through breath, meditation, and/or gentle exercise. 

Portrait of Doro Erichsen

Dorothea Erichsen

Hello, I am Doro (short for Dorothea). I am a Nutritional Therapy consultant, but first and foremost a foodie. I love food, I love to prepare food, but most of all I love to eat and share with others.

May 4, 2021

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