by Holistic Nutrition Coach/Chef Abigail Wiley, HWP, BCHN
Hi ladies! Today we are talking about something crucial to women’s health- the thyroid. The thyroid plays a key role in metabolism, weight management, temperature regulation, bowel patterns, hair and skin health, sexual health, and so much more! A lot of women come to me with thyroid issues and it seems like thyroid conditions are becoming more and more common. In fact, many doctors may tell women it is common and totally normal! I’m here to tell you, common does NOT mean normal. There is a reason that the thyroid is suffering and women DON’T have to live with it!
**Quick disclaimer- I cannot provide any medical advice, this post is for educational purposes only.
In order to correct underlying thyroid issues, we first need to identify where things are going wrong. This is why proper testing is SO important. Often doctors only run TSH and/or T4 as preventive tests. This is not effective at catching thyroid issues before they happen or determining the real problem. A more in depth thyroid panel should include: Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, TSH, and TPO Antibodies. Testing all these markers will help determine where things are going wrong. Let me show you why!
-TSH- this is not actually a thyroid hormone. It stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and is released by the pituitary gland to tell our thyroid to create thyroid hormone or slow down on making thyroid hormones. Contrary to what sounds right, a low TSH would indicate hyperthyroidism whereas a high TSH would indicate hypothyroidism (low thyroid). We want this number to be between 0.5-2.0 ideally to be catching any thyroid imbalances! We need a healthy pituitary and adrenal glands for optimal TSH. Yup, I’m talking about stress management!
– T4 is made by the thyroid but must be converted to T3 to be used. To make T4 we need many nutrients including Selenium, Tyrosine, and Iodine. These are all very easy to get from food sources! It’s important to know that heavy metal toxicity and other toxin exposures can interfere with levels of selenium and iodine and contribute to low thyroid.
-T3 is the usable thyroid hormone. We need a healthy liver and kidneys for optimal conversion of T4 to T3.
– It’s important to test all the forms of T4 and T3 including TOTAL T4 and T3 and FREE T4 and T3 as the “free” means the hormone is not bound to a protein and is usable by the body. Only a percentage of Total T4 will be free T4 and the same with T3 so this helps us see if something is getting hung up in that conversion process.
-Reverse T3 is also helpful- some of T4 is converted to reverse T3 as a safety measure to maintain homeostasis but it is inactive and not usable.
-TPO antibodies can help us determine if there is an immune reaction happening, causing the thyroid gland to be under attack. Fun fact- to the body, gluten protein and thyroid tissue appear the same. This means that if the body is launching an attack on gluten because of a sensitivity or leaky gut, then it’s likely going to also attack the thyroid. For this reason, it is crucial that women with Hashimoto’s eliminate gluten from the diet and get to the bottom of immune system triggers and gut issues.
So as you can see this is very complex and not every thyroid issue is a problem with the thyroid. We need a healthy liver, signaling from the adrenals/pituitary gland, proper minerals, amino acids, etc to make the whole process work. Proper testing can help us see where the issue lies.
I hope this helps! If you’re dealing with a thyroid issue and would like help or don’t have access to proper testing, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a 15 minute call. More info about my 1:1 coaching services under the “work with me” page here on my website.
Abigail Wiley, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition
Virtual Holistic Health Coach and Chef
Hi! I’m Abigail. I’m a wife, mama, Holistic Nutrition Coach, and Holistic Chef. I received my AAS in Culinary Arts from The Culinary Institute of Montana. After studying Culinary Arts, I knew that I wanted to serve individuals and families by improving their health through food. I then went on to study Holistic Nutrition, Health Coaching, and Herbalism at Hill College where I became certified as a Holistic Wellness Professional. I’m also Board Certified In Holistic Nutrition through the NANP. Food and nutrition has always been in my nature growing up on our small family farm. Today I serve my clients through 1:1 coaching sessions over the course of three-six months. We go on a journey to re-establish the cornerstones of good health through dietary and lifestyle habits and work our way up to rebalancing the body to reach vitality. A lot of women come to me with thyroid and hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, digestive upset, PMS, concerns about their kids’ behaviors, low energy, etc. I also offer a low cost recipe membership where I share weekly recipes and meal plans to support health without top allergens or inflammatory ingredients. Members also have access to a folder of hundreds of recipes, mini cookbooks for pre/postnatal, no-sugar recipes, and baby-led feeding recipes. I’m working on some others for hormones, candida, and gut too! Lastly, I offer cooking demos as well as support from me! This club is all about empowering members to find an abundance outlook on mindful eating and especially help out anyone working with me 1:1 or other practitioners.
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