The symptoms of an under-active thyroid

I am regularly seeing clients that have all the symptoms of an under-active thyroid (hypo-thyroidism), but have been told by their Doctor that the blood tests are normal!After spending the last 14 months working in a specialist Thyroid clinic, I have seen hundreds of women (and a few men too!) that have all the symptoms of a sluggish thyroid, however when they have been to their Doctor and had blood tests done, they have come back as normal. How can this be? It is thought that 80% of women with an under-active thyroid, go undiagnosed!

Well to start with, often the only blood tests that the Doctor does, is for your TSH levels. This stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, the hormone that the Pituitary gland releases in response to the levels of Thyroid hormone in the body. The range for this is usually between 0.4 – 4.0 (or higher) mU/L. But your optimal levels for this is between 0.5 -1.0 mU/L. It is also important to have blood tests done for free T3, free T4, reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies, but most Doctors are reluctant to do these.

Symptoms of hypo-thyroidism include fatigue, weakness, un-refreshing sleep, low body temperature, cold sensitivity, weight gain which can’t be lost, digestive problems (indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation), dry/coarse skin/hair, menstrual irregularities, depression, brain fog, poor memory. Signs include increased LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, homocysteine and C-reactive protein in blood tests.

So if this sounds like you, make an appointment to come and talk to me and I can arrange for blood tests to be done, or give you a list to request from your Doctor. There are lifestyle and nutrition areas that must be addressed also with this condition.

MTHFR Gene Test

It seems to be the latest catch cry in Naturopathic circles…”Have you been tested for MTHFR?”

First of all, what is MTHFR?

MTHFR stands for methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase (phew!). This is a gene that produces an enzyme that is responsible for the process of methylation in every cell of your body (so it’s pretty important!) 

Methylation is a process in the body that is responsible for biochemical conversions, like breaking down toxins so that your body can get rid of them, gene regulation, processing hormones, building immune cells and many more functions. So you can understand how if this process isn’t working properly it may cause serious illnesses.

If you have a defective (mutated) MTHFR gene, you can’t change it, however there are some things you can do to minimise its effects.

It can be tested by a simple blood test to see if you have a gene variant of this which may cause this key enzyme to function at a lower than normal rate. There are over fifty known MTHFR gene variants, but the main ones are C677T and A1298.

Have a look at the list in the next column to see if you or any family members have any of these conditions or diseases.

Contact Maree now to arrange for testing.

Phone 0413 655 555.

Some conditions that may be associated with MTHFR gene mutations include

Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol
Bipolar disorder
Breast cancer
Chemical sensitivity
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cleft palate
Depression & anxiety
Down’s syndrome
Frequent miscarriages
High homocysteine
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Male & female infertility
Multiple Sclerosis
Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
Parkinson’s disease
Pulmonary embolism and other blood clots
Spina bifida
Thyroid dysfunction

Concentrate on Food Habits

  • Start your day with a few squeezes of lemon juice in room temperature filtered water first thing in the morning. Great to help alkalise your body, assists in removing mucous and to stimulate the bowels to eliminate accumulated waste. It also boosts your immune system because of the rich Vitamin C content as well as promoting clear skin by helping to eliminate toxins.

  • Replace refined table salt with unrefined sea salt, rock salt or my favourite – Himalayan salt (pinkish in colour) which also contains trace minerals. Refined table salt uses Aluminium as an anti-caking agent, which has links to dementia and Alzheimers Disease.
  • Add superfoods into your diet every day – goji berries, spirulina, maca powder,
  • Try sparkling mineral water in a wine glass with a couple of ice cubes, as a replacement for alcohol if you don’t want to use herbal medicines.
  • Have a palmful of raw, unsalted nuts as a snack. Soak these overnight in water to activate them for better digestion and absorption of minerals. Leave to dry naturally or use a dehydrator.
  • Sprinkle freshly ground Flax seeds over cereal for breakfast for extra fibre and vitamins and minerals.
  • Concentrate on ONE DEGREE shifts…Imagine for a moment an airplane. If the flight path of the airplane is modified even just one degree from its point of take off, the passengers will end up in a completely different destination to originally planned. Making small changes in your daily diet, will have significant long term results.
  • Digestion…this begins in the mouth…yes your mother was right..you do need to chew your food 32 times (or however much it takes to reduce the food in your mouth to a mush so that the enzymes in your saliva can start working.
  • Meals – sit down..relax…then eat. Take your time, put your knife and fork down in between mouthfuls, enjoy each bite, savour it!! Eating on the run, in a hurry, standing at the kitchen bench, or when angry and annoyed is not conducive to good digestion!
  • Drinks – have these either ½ hour before a meal or ½ hour after a meal, unless it is a meal that contains little to no water/moisture. Mixing water with a meal dilutes the digestive enzymes making digestion more difficult.
  • Cup of tea… drinking regular tea (high in tannins), ensure you take any supplements at least ½ to 1 hour apart from a cup of tea, as the tannins in the tea can bind to minerals, so there is less absorption.
  • Variety..they say is the spice of life! Variety in your food is important also, try to rotate foods over 3-4 days, so that you aren’t eating the same foods every day. This helps to prevent food sensitivities developing.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Who knew what an amazingly versatile product this is?

Everyone needs a bottle or two of this in their cupboard. But make sure it had the ‘Mother’ in it, and it should appear almost cloudy, or with some sediment in the bottom of the bottle. It is made from fresh, crushed apples which have then been allowed to mature in wooden barrels. Natural (undistilled) organic, raw ACV is one of Mother Nature’s best foods!

  • ACV is rich in potassium and taken in a glass of water with some raw honey may be useful in combatting fatigue
  • 1-2 tsp in a glass of water, taken before meals, with or without raw honey, may assist with digestion
  • Upon rising in the morning, ACV and raw honey in water, may assist with clearing mucous conditions
  • Use ACV in your salad dressings with some olive oil and seasonings
  • For sore throats, gargle with 1-2 tsp ACV in ½ glass of warm water (do not swallow this, spit it out)
  • Use it as a mouthwash, (1 tsp ACV to ½ glass water). Kills mouth bacteria, fights plaque and tartar, helps prevent gum disease, promotes healing and freshens the breath
  • The ACV and honey in water, has been reported to reduce arthritic pain in sufferers too
  • ACV helps stop pain and itching from mosquito and other insect bites, bee stings and it also neutralizes the jellyfish’s painful venom. Use straight ACV on affected areas

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