I wanted to share with you the challenges I’ve been facing with my thyroid. My hope is that you find this post educational and know some things to look for for your overall thyroid health and/or if you suspect you may have a thyroid problem yourself. Please do not consider this article as medical advice, and always consult with your doctor.
If you are not familiar with the thyroid gland, the thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affects critical body functions, such as energy level and heart rate. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. (source: thyroid.org) The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown; however, I believe this article may help shed some light, should you find out your thyroid blood work is abnormal.
In February of 2015 for a routine physical, I had my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) tested as part of the standard blood work they do. I found out my level was 3.54. I had heard that for optimal health, it should be below 2, but I sort of ignored and forgot about it for the rest of 2015. Fast forward to February 2016, and my TSH level jumped to 4.55. Even though this is only slightly “abnormal” to the medical community, I knew that experts say it should be between 1 and 2. I have also noticed some increased fatigue recently, including waking up tired after sleeping for 9 hours, which is a sign of hypothyroidism. So I decided to do something.
Problem Goes Back To 2012
I remember doing the 21-day cleansing diet back in 2012 and having my blood work done before and after by a holistic doctor. My TSH, remarkably, went from 3.36 to 2.158! The holistic doctor told me the 3.36 score was wrong, but I forgot about it when it went down to 2.158. Unfortunately, that was the last time I did the 21-day cleansing diet. #fail If I continued doing the 21-day cleansing diet twice per year, maybe I would not have this problem, but I did not.
Tip #1: Have a Family Health Care Provider
We all have “medical” providers for our families – i.e., our pediatricians and family doctors. These amazing individuals are there to perform routine testing and point out anything that is abnormal (sort of – see tip #2). They of course can also repair any acute injuries such as broken bones or wounds and can prescribe drugs when you get a really bad cold or flu. Their job is NOT to help you with preventative lifestyle choices and uncovering root causes of problems – that is where your health care provider comes in.
My family has an amazing health care provider, Debra MacIntyre, who is a naturopath, board-certified by the American Naturopathic Certification Board with over 37 years of health care experience. I had the good fortune of meeting Deb when I first started coaching 5 years ago, and she is an absolutely amazing individual. Deb has helped my family with allergies and other issues over the years, and I knew Deb was the right person to contact about my thyroid issue.
Deb spent over an hour testing me, and she found 2 root-causes, neither of which I would have ever guessed. You may have heard that there is no “thyroid diet,” in other words a one-size-fits-all diet that will fix your thyroid. That is absolutely true. I gave Deb an overview of my diet, and she said it is stellar (except she suggested I be more consistent and liberal with my Shakeology Power Greens Boost because she tested my pH to be too acidic). After the testing and conclusion, Deb gave me a supplement regimen to follow for the next 2 months. (By the way, no amount of dieting or exercising would fix this problem). I will have my thyroid tested again (all thyroid levels, not just TSH this time) and see how much the regimen improved it.
Tip #2: Scrutinize Your Blood Work (“Normal” may not really be normal)
According to the above lab results, “normal” TSH range is between 0.4 and 4.55 mlU/L. However, experts like Deb will tell you it needs to be between 1 and 2 for optimal health. Similarly my Vitamin D level was 38, which is “normal” according to the lab. However, experts will tell you for optimal health it should be somewhere between 50 and 70-ish. Therefore, Deb gave me a Vitamin D supplement plan too. So my advice here is to double check your blood work with your health care provider to make sure there are no red flags.
Stay tuned for updates, and I’ll let you know how things are going. I hope you found this info helpful. If so, please check one of the below social media buttons and share this! If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below or contact me.
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