10 Ways to Support Your Thyroid
Congratulate me! I just got my bloodwork back and my thyroid is working perfectly! My doctor has been threatening to put me on hypothyroid medication for about a year. My bloodwork has been on the cusp of serious hypothyroidism for some time and I told my doctor that I wanted to try a holistic approach to support my thyroid before starting medication. Above is a picture of my 'healthy thyroid kit' which I will go through momentarily but first I want to go into the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism as I have experienced them.
You might be hypothyroid if....
What I Did To Support My Thyroid:
1. Drink purified water - Although our island water is awesome and touted as being the best in the world, city water contains chlorine which prevents the uptake of iodine which is critical to thyroid health. (My dog now refuses to drink water from the tap because of the chlorine smell.) So, if you are hypothyroid, don't drink it, try not to swim in chlorinated pools and if you can afford it get a water filter for your shower. Better still, swim in the ocean or sea water pools. MacKenzie Beach Resort in Tofino has a salt water pool which feels awesome.
Brita water filters are far from the best on the market but are the cheapest. This system uses granulated carbon so change your filters often to prevent bacteria from growing in the filter. At CSNN Nanaimo, they use a water filter that hooks up to your faucet and you can also get ones that attach to your shower. They use the Aquasmart system which costs $275+. If you are interested in this type of system, check out Aquarius Pure Water 2010 website or call Cody at 250-240-6012. He is located near Parksville. At the Lifehouse they have a Santevia water cooler and filtration system that makes the most delicious mineral rich water.
2. Use Fluoride Free Toothpaste - Fluoride also blocks the uptake of iodine in the body. JASON Powersmile is one of the many fluoride free toothpastes that you can buy at any supermarket or health food store. This company is located in Toronto, Canada. The price is comparable to other brands and tastes great. When you go to your dental hygienist, don't get a fluoride treatment and opt for the free toothbrush over any toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride. Island municipal water doesn't contain fluoride. I think that's an American thing.
3. Buy salt-free canned goods and add your own sea salt instead of cheap table salt. This way you are boosting your minerals naturally.
4. Use Himalayan pink salt and/or sea salt for cooking. As said above this boosts the amount of minerals you are getting and since you are getting it from a natural source, your ability to absorb them is much better.
5. Add sea weed and sea vegetables to your meals often. I have a post for Miso Soup which contains kombu, kelp powder and sea salt. It's delicious and your thyroid will thank you. A few dashes of kelp powder to any soup or salad dressing adds some depth of flavour and nutrition. Sushi, which is wrapped in nori seaweed, is a good source of iodine.
6. Supplement with iodine if necessary. I'm a vegan and I can't eat miso soup every day. I add four drops of iodine to a tablespoon of purified water and take it with my morning supplements. Iodine is found most commonly, and in the highest concentration, in the ocean. Iodine is critical in the production of the thyroid hormone T4.
7. Supplement with selenium. Concentrations of selenium are higher in the thyroid gland than almost any other tissues in the body and are important to activate the thyroid hormones in conjunction with iodine. If you are deficient in selenium and iodine and don't supplement them together, iodine supplementation is required in conjunction with selenium supplementation in order to prevent thyroid damage from iodine supplementation alone. Good levels of selenium are needed to convert the hormone T4 to T3 the more active form of the hormone.
8. Avoid goitrogenic foods - Soy and raw goitrogenic vegetables block the absorption and utilization of iodine. The goitrogenic vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. If these vegetables are cooked in any way they are fine to eat. Soy in all forms are goitrogenic but the jury is still out in regards to fermented soy such as miso. It won't stop me from enjoying miso soup but it is advisable to avoid all forms of soy in hypothyroidism.
9. Consume organic foods as much as possible. - Some pesticides can interfere with iodine uptake by the thyroid. This means the ability of the thyroid to use the iodine is blocked by the pesticides. Shop with a list of the 'dirty dozen'. These fruits and vegetables should always be purchased organic unless the price is so high that you avoid buying and eating them all together.
10. Maintain daily exercise like walking - Exercise increases thyroid hormone levels and energy levels and therefore is essential for hypothyroidism.