By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Overcoming a thyroid problem takes more than just correcting thyroid hormone levels. It’s important to address the reason why the thyroid gland malfunctioned in the first place.
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones: T4 (also called thyroxine) and T3 (also called triiodothyronine). These hormones help to control your metabolic rate, that is the rate at which your body burns calories. They also have a huge bearing on your energy levels and maintenance of normal body temperature. If your thyroid is under active, you are likely to feel tired, depressed and be more intolerant of cold weather.
T4 is not the active thyroid hormone; it must be converted into T3 in your body in order to exert its effects. The majority of this conversion does not occur in your thyroid gland. Most T4 to T3 conversion happens in your liver, kidneys and muscles. If you have a fatty liver or a sluggish liver, this conversion will not be effective. Also, if there is too much inflammation in your body, this conversion often doesn’t occur well. Autoimmune disease, allergies and fibromyalgia are all conditions with high inflammation. Most cases of thyroid disease are due to autoimmune disease. If you don’t produce T3 well, this can leave you feeling tired, depressed, puffy, overweight and with dry skin and thinning scalp hair.
If you are taking thyroid hormone medication in the form of thyroxine, it too must be converted into the active form in your body. Therefore if you are taking thyroid medication but still not feeling much better, it may be time to look at improving your liver and gut health! It is also important to address autoimmune disease. This involves correcting nutrient deficiencies, healing leaky gut, removing inflammatory foods from the diet and improving detoxification abilities by the liver.
Here are some other strategies to keep your thyroid gland healthy: