by Joanne Van Der Linden
Women with thyroid issues usually complain of excess weight gain, sluggishness and fatigue and some have trouble sleeping. As I’ve seen the patterns emerging in these women I have formulated a step-by-step plan that generally helps them to feel better within about 6 weeks.encies as time moves on.
Many of the women seem to have very submissive personalities or behavioural patterns and might present as having little voice or choice of their own. They tend to be very caring beings, who often put others first, limiting the exercise of their own opinion. This is a noble character trait but it can cause some resentment and frustration. Left unaddressed this can settle in the throat area. Listed below are the steps I go through to help them recognize that they do have a voice and they can make choices for themselves to help them clear the backlog of irritation.
1. Giving them time to talk – by allowing them to vent about how they feel or how they feel they’ve been hard done by, the throat area can clear. A problem shared is always a problem halved or better still, released.
2. I suggest they go off brassica (cruciferous) vegetables for six weeks to give their thyroid hormones time to build up again. Brassicas are not bad for the thyroid but they can hinder the production of thyroid hormones. Bringing them back into the diet slowly after having a break can mean the person will be more aware of any changes that present as they are re-introduced. They can then monitor what works for them and what doesn’t.
3. Many women have a low fat diet thinking it will keep their weight down and reduce cholesterol. The problem is that the body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. Too little fat in the diet causes problems in lots of ways. By putting fat back into the diet, the body starts to function from an abundance rather than a scarcity. This can contribute to better organ health all round, but particularly, the health of the thyroid. (The only time this would be ill-advised is if the client had a thyroid cyst. In this case dairy products would be avoided as they may contribute to the growth of cysts and cancers of the thyroid, in my experience).
4. Increasing their exposure to sunlight may help the metabolism to level out and may also aid the metabolism of calcium and cholesterol in the body. This can also help to offset the sleeping problem by adjusting the light/dark cycle of the circadian rhythm.
5. Increasing exercise is beneficial all round.
6. Increasing the fibre intake may help to clean out old build up in the intestines and replenish nutrient absorption. This helps the thyroid by giving it a flush of new nutrients to strengthen its role and condition. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake also increases energy and get-up-and-go and gives the skin a healthier glow. The skin of these women can look lifeless and dehydrated.
Once these steps have been put into place most of the women start to feel a lot better. Their bowel works faster with more regularity, their bodies are oxygenated more frequently, their nutrient intake, fat and cholesterol levels are improved and their calcium metabolism levels out with the extra sunlight boosting Vit D absorption.
If they still need a little help to feel better, I put them on a supplement of Selenium. Selenium is the nutrient of choice for some women with thyroid issues. It may strengthen the gland and may assist with hormone production. The concentration of Selenium is higher in the thyroid gland than in any of the other organ of the body. Selenium deficiency is quite common today and can be related to a diet of processed foods and little whole food intake, or it may simply be connected to Selenium- deficient soils producing the food consumed in Australia. Good sources of selenium include:
Brazil nuts (with 450% more selenium than anything else on the list)
Beans and lentils
Selenium deficiency can also affect people undergoing kidney dialysis, people with HIV, cancer, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.
Iodine, as well, may be needed to strengthen the thyroid gland and this can be supplied by adding seaweed to the diet. I tend not to add both Selenium and Iodine to the diet at the same time so that I can monitor the changes achieved by adding selenium first. Re-introducing iodized salt to the diet can be beneficial. I also think that if iodine was deficient it would be showing up on any blood tests.
For me as a practitioner, there is nothing better than to see a client come into my clinic feeling slow, tired and listless and then to see them after six weeks becoming bubbly, motivated and energetic.
I have found Selenium to be beneficial in bolstering other organs like the liver, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas and spleen. With the earth’s soils becoming more and more depleted, it is likely we will see more and more of these types of deficiencies as time moves on.