How Healthy is your Thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ located at the base of the throat. It is known as the “master organ”, because it is responsible for the control of numerous functions in the body.

 The Thyroid has a major influence on these areas:

  • Mood and brain function
  • Heart and nervous system regulation
  • Metabolism, digestion and weight control
  • Fertility, libido and menstrual function
  • Temperature regulation
  • Energy and stamina
  • Skin, hair and nail health

 Thyroid conditions were extremely rare in previous decades. However, modern living has changed the environment that we live, and the main nutrients we need for optimal thyroid function are less readily available. Ideal thyroid function relies on a myriad of different nutrients. The main ones required to make thyroid hormone are Tyrosine (an amino acid) and Iodine. Tyrosine is easy to obtain from the diet. It’s found in dairy products, animal meats, soy beans, whole grains, as well as nuts and seeds. Iodine is a mineral found in healthy soil. Vegetables grown in healthy soil will absorb the iodine during their growth cycle. However, the advent of industrialised agriculture has created poor quality soil (due to spraying of pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides.) By destroying bacteria and microbes that assist production of minerals in the soil, our fruit and vegetables have much fewer nutrients. Not to mention all the chemicals that are on them! So unless you are growing your own or buying organic food, chances are that you may be deficient in iodine. The main food source of iodine comes from iodised salt, sea vegetables and seaweeds, but to get adequate levels you would need to be eating massive amounts at every meal. Excess salt is not a healthy choice, and sea plants may also be contaminated. 

Our water supply:

In Australia, our tap water was fluoridated in the 1970’s, and later, chlorine was added as well. If you studied chemistry and the periodic table at school, you will know that iodine, fluorine and chlorine are in the same family. What this means in real terms, is that they all compete for absorption in the body. So when you drink a glass of water containing fluoride and/or chlorine, chances are, you won’t be absorbing any iodine from your diet or supplements. In the long term, this may lead to a deficiency and your body will display a number of signs and symptoms, which may indicate a hypothyroid condition.  

Signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  • Intolerance to cold, poor circulation, cold extremities
  • Heavy periods, poor libido or infertility
  • Brain fog, poor concentration and memory
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Brittle nails, hair loss, dry skin
  • Fatigue, especially at night
  • Palpitations or low blood pressure
  • Fibromyalgia, or general aches and pains
  • Constipation
  • High cholesterol

  

How can I get enough iodine in my diet?

 The first thing is to buy a water unit that filters out chlorine and fluoride. Water filter jugs just don’t have the ability to do this. The other alternative is to get a filtration unit fitted in your home. If you suspect you have a thyroid condition or would like to purchase a quality water filter, feel free to contact me at lynda@torquayholistic.com.au.  Your body and taste buds will thank you for it!