Issue #305 May 11, 2015
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today, Lousie O’Connor, registered Naturopath and author of The Natural Thyroid Diet, explains what puts you at the greatest risk for developing thyroid disease. Most of these risk factors are never mentioned by your doctor.
A Holistic Perspective On 15 Thyroid Risk Factors
Louise O’Connor, Guest
A holistic health perspective: What puts you at greatest risk of developing a thyroid problem?
Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Is it time to uncover what is really causing your thyroid symptoms?
The truth is, it takes a little bit of critical thinking to uncover the true origin of a thyroid disorder. However, it can make all the difference in the world.
Left untreated, a thyroid problem can devastate your long-term health and vitality.
From a holistic health perspective, it is vital to identify the main factors that are causing the problem in the first place. What are the main factors that put you at risk of developing a thyroid problem?
By uncovering the root causes of your thyroid troubles you could save yourself years of suffering and heartache.
This is the list you won’t see in standard medical textbooks!
Unrelenting emotional and physical stress
Stress depletes your vitality and can have a serious impact, not just on your thyroid health but also your digestion, immune system, and mood.
Adrenal fatigue sets in when you are overwhelmed by stress. It’s next to impossible to successfully recover from a thyroid disorder when you are also suffering adrenal burnout.
Autoimmune thyroid disease
An autoimmune attack triggers inflammation and ongoing destruction of the thyroid. Over time, this leads to a range of hypothyroid symptoms. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common autoimmune thyroid disease, especially among women.
Researchers have established a clear link between chronic infections and thyroid autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus are two very common infections that are also widely implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Thyroid disrupting chemicals
The thyroid is extremely susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental pollution. Thyroid problems are becoming more common along with greater exposure to toxins in our food, water and the air we breathe.
Thyroid damaging foods
Highly processed foods are extremely damaging to the thyroid. The biggest threats are sugar, soy, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and processed vegetable oils such as soy and Canola oil.
Low nutrient intake
Your thyroid struggles when there is a lack of intake of essential nutrients especially iodine, selenium, zinc, B vitamins, and good fats. A nutritious, mainly plant-based diet is vital to obtain a wide range of nutrients.
Over consuming raw cruciferous vegetables
These veggies have thyroid-suppressing properties as they contain plant compounds known as goitrogens. One example is kale. It’s widely promoted as a nutritional powerhouse but adding this cruciferous veggie to your daily green juice can potentially shut down healthy thyroid activity. This is the dark side of consuming too much kale.
A strong family history
It seems genetics do matter. An inherited weakness can make you susceptible to developing a thyroid disorder.
Poor liver function
Your liver plays an important role in thyroid hormone metabolism. The liver is one of the main sites where conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) takes place. Your liver also plays an important role in supporting ongoing detoxification.
Poor digestive function
Scientifically speaking the gut microbiome, the term used to describe the complex ecosystem within your digestive system, is inextricably linked to your overall wellbeing. An altered gut microbiome can trigger all types of problems. From food cravings to depression, even an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.
Some of the most common food triggers are gluten, soy, and dairy. Avoiding gluten is particularly important when you have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Physical trauma to the thyroid
Whiplash, concussion, or other traumatic injuries can damage the thyroid, pituitary and/or hypothalamus. Any type of injury to these glands will interfere with normal function.
(Post-pregnancy hypopituitarism). This little known syndrome affects women who lost a life-threatening amount of blood, or suffered dangerously low blood pressure during childbirth. The lack of oxygen flow to the pituitary causes lasting damage. Overtime it will cause low production of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
Exposure to electromagnetic radiation
Electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones, microwave ovens, and Wi-Fi devices can zap your thyroid. Research has already established the electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones may cause negative effects to your thyroid.
An individual treatment plan will help you achieve the very best outcomes. Once you finally figure out what is causing your thyroid problem, you are more empowered to take action.
Rather than simply treating the symptoms, an individualised treatment plan will help you get your thyroid health back on track.
About the Author
Louise O’Connor is a leading Australian Naturopath + Wellness Coach who graduated from the Endeavour College of Natural Health, Brisbane Australia in 1995. She is a registered Naturopath with the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), the peak association of natural medicine practitioners in Australia. She educates and writes on thyroid health. Louise embraces a holistic approach to thyroid health and advocates seeking out and treating the underlying causes, rather than just addressing the symptoms. Louise is the author of the top selling e-Book: The Natural Thyroid Diet. The 4-Week Plan To Living Well, Living Vibrantly. Be sure to Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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