Currently watching the snow fall here at the cottage. It's beautiful, but as I get older I'm realizing I prefer warmer weather. What happened to that winter loving gal? She grew up.
Don't grow up, y'all - it's a trap.
Part of growing up for me, however, was realizing that sometimes no matter how hard you try to do all the right things life doesn't always go your way. As a child, I was very sick. To put it briefly: I had a very weak immune system and that wreaked havoc in my physical being.
So when I was called to be an herbalist, I wanted to help people take control of their health and better my own. It's all about options, being knowledgeable about what is available to you and how you can prevent further health issues through a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes, God and genetics have different plans than you.
As an herbalist, and this is very controversial to say in my field, I'm not against allopathic medicine. We need it, there's a reason God gave us the ability to advance as a society in medical technology and knowledge.
Like everything, though, allopathic medicine may not need to be our first option and can even be abused - such is the opioid crisis.
So now I had to figure out a change of lifestyle for my thyroid and do right by my health so I could continue to help others. That's mainly why I had to shut down shop in early 2020. I had a whirlwind of personal things to tend to.
Now I'm ready to share what I've learned with you!
First thing: you may be more susceptible to developing a health issue if it's in your medical history. Being aware of what your family's medical history is can give you the ability to make better, educated choices when it comes to your own lifestyle and health. With that being said, if hypothyroidism runs in your family then maybe this post will help you make better decisions regarding a preventive lifestyle.
Next, be aware of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism. The thyroid affects every single cell in your body and knowing that it's not surprising that the symptoms are so varied! Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
According to the NIH, about 5 out of 100 people are affected by hypothyroidism and women are more likely to have it than men. The majority of people diagnosed with this disease have an iodine deficiency. This used to be an overwhelming cause of hypothyroidism in the majority of Americans back in the early 1900's. Then start of adding iodine to salt to help lessen this deficiency was started in Michigan in the year 1924. Since many Americans have started getting away from using iodized salt (myself included as I have always preferred pink Himalayan salt), iodine deficiency is making a comeback.
Even though the symptoms I listed could be related to any number of other health issues, it's always a good idea to have your thyroid levels checked - especially if it's in your family's medical history!
So what can effect your thyroid health? I, myself, just had to find out after getting diagnosed.
"What did I do wrong?"
Again, I was blaming myself for something that was already pretty much destined. What could I have done differently, though? And how was I to manage my lifestyle as to not make it worse? After weeks of diving into books and online sources (thank goodness I kept all of my textbooks), I did draw up a pretty decent game plan for managing my thyroid health from then on.
Let's talk about "goitrogens". Goitrogens are substances that negatively affect your thyroid. I wasn't shocked to find chemicals like fluoride on the list, but boy was I so surprised to find out how many "healthy" things negatively affected the thyroid as well!
2. Certain Chemicals
Using products that contain goitrogenic chemicals will over time wear down your thyroid health. For instance, fluoride is harmful to thyroid health and those that have water that has fluoride in it, toothpaste, and other products containing it may have negative effects from it. There are other chemicals found in every day products like mattresses and even fertilizers that can harm your thyroid, you can find those here.
3. Your Medications
There are a number of pharmaceutical drugs that can also be negative to your thyroid health.
Those are just a few that could affect your thyroid. If you have questions about your medications effects on your thyroid talk to your doctor.
Other Lifestyle Changes
Being aware of what you eat, what chemicals you take in, and even your medications can be beneficial to your thyroid. What are some other lifestyle changes you can make?
Incorporating exercise can be beneficial to stimulating thyroid function and lessening symptoms.
As an herbalist I would be remiss not to mention thyroid friendly herbs that you can supplement in your daily routine. Here are my top two favorite herbs for thyroid support:
Hopefully this post has got you thinking about your own health regarding your thyroid. If you would like a post relating to hyperthyroidism, comment below and let me know!
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28 May 2015 By Sallianne Kavanagh & Priya Boparai. “Thyroid Dysfunction and Drug Interactions.” The Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 Feb. 2021, https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/ld/thyroid-dysfunction-and-drug-interactions.
Haugen, Bryan R. “Drugs That Suppress TSH or Cause Central Hypothyroidism.” Best Practice & Research. Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2009, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784889/#:~:text=A%20small%20subset%20of%20medications,in%20the%20thyrotrope%20or%20hypothalamus.
Author: Tina Potter
Master Herbalist, I've graduated as an American Healthcare College Alumnus, I've become a member of American Herbalist Guild and author of survivalist series Survival Ember co-authored by professional survivalist Kenny Dietrich of Ashland, KY. I've been beyond blessed with the constant desire to learn and teach.
COMMON SENSE NOTICE: I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease. What you do with the information I post is up to you, but it is advised to consult with a doctor before acting on alternative methods of medicine. I wish you all the best!