Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Many people have an under active thyroid and don't even know it. The symptoms can be subtle and different for everyone. Disorders of the thyroid can be broken into two categories. Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Hypothyroid is the
most common, by a long stretch, so we will confine our discussion to this condition.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormone. Your thyroid is your body's gas pedal and it controls metabolism. If it is under-active, your body is sluggish and you will see symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Most cases of hypothyroid are actually caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. One of the primary sources of this disorder is when you are eating certain foods that create inflammation in the body and in the gut and digestive system. Over time, when you continually eat foods that are harmful, your immune system gets confused and begins attacking your thyroid.
The #1 worst food for your thyroid is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains. You have to completely take gluten out of your diet to begin to heal your thyroid. Without a healthy thyroid, weight loss is nearly impossible.
Using symptoms as a way of identifying your imbalances is often more accurate than typical hormone testing procedures because hormone levels fluctuate all day long. This creates inaccuracy. Many times our patients have had testing of their thyroid, adrenal, or other hormone levels and have been told that they are "normal" while our hormone management assessment showed that their hormone levels were anything-but-optimal. If you have more than 5 symptoms in this list, you very likely have an under-active thyroid.
Do you have more than 5 of these signs and symptoms of an under-active thyroid??
hair loss, including the outer third of your eyebrows and/or eyelashes
dry brittle hair and nails
easy weight gain
a sensitivity to cold
low sex drive
taking antidepressants that don't seem to work
fluid retention or swollen ankles
Natural Solutions for a Healthy Thyroid
Foods to Avoid: Eliminate harmful, inflammatory foods:
Gluten - The #1 worst food for your thyroid is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains. You have to completely take gluten out of your diet to begin to reset your thyroid. Gluten creates inflammation and further leads to unhealthy thyroid and adrenal glands.
Dairy - thyroiditis patients are more likely to have food sensitivity to dairy proteins, meaning that the immune system becomes reactive to the proteins found in dairy products. The food sensitivity will lead to inflammation and can affect your energy and overall health.
Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners - sugar can increase inflammation, provoke autoimmune thyroid flare-ups, throw blood sugar out of balance, create dysfunction in gut health and gut bacteria, and create hormone imbalances.
Processed foods - Processed food includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition. Enjoy healing, whole, real, fresh foods.
Caffeine & Alcohol - caffeine and alcohol cause cortisol to shoot up which tires out the adrenals and exacerbates thyroid and adrenal issues. Alcohol can alter estrogen to unhealthy levels. I know...this is a tough one....at least try it for 30 days.
Foods to Enjoy
Eat High quality protein - Protein should be consumed at every meal and snack (grass fed beef, organic eggs, organic poultry, wild caught fish, lentils, beans, quinoa).
Eat TONS of Veggies - Most of our vitamins, minerals, and helpful nutrients come from vegetables. Increasing fiber intake with veggies also helps to diminish excess estrogen levels in the body. Too much estrogen often contributes to why most women have trouble losing weight.
Buy Organic Meat & Veggies - It is important to buy organic meats and vegetables to avoid exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and the pesticides and herbicides that are so commonly sprayed on the vegetables. Organic foods can cost slightly higher, if this is a concern for you, at the very least, make sure to buy the "dirty dozen" as organic. Apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuces, cucumber, blueberries, and potatoes should all be organic. I also include kale and green beans on my list.
Manage Your Fruit Intake - Fruit is incredibly healthy for you, but it does contain sugar. I recommend keeping your total fructose levels below 15 grams per day. Stick with lower fructose fruits like berries and citrus fruits.
Increase Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are critical for proper hormone balance and are often the missing link for finding balance. Enjoy more coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds), grass fed beef, wild caught salmon, and eggs.
Consume Foods Rich in Selenium and Iodine: Selenium and iodine are powerful antioxidants and help balance thyroid hormones and benefits the adrenal glands. Add brazil nuts (4-5 per day), yellow fin tuna, grass fed beef, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, bananas, and sea vegetables (seaweed, kelp, nori) to your diet.
What Supplements Should I Take?
Even in idyllic conditions, it's hard to get the nutrition we need from just our food. With soil health declining and toxicity on the rise, we need more nutrition than we can consume on a whole foods, organic diet to tip the scales in our favor. Sometimes supplementation is necessary.
Not all supplements are created equally. Be sure you do your research on the quality of supplements you choose. Take a deep dive into the ingredients and manufacturing practices before you start using them.
Consider Supplementing with a Probiotic: According to research, many people with autoimmune disorders have a condition called "leaky gut". This intestinal permeability can be prevented by eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten and adding a probiotic supplement. I believe the single most important thing people can do to improve their health is to heal their gut. Probiotics maintain the proper balance of bacteria in your digestive system. An unhealthy gut can prevent healing throughout the body and can lead to thyroid issues and other hormone imbalances. You can't have balanced hormones without a healthy gut. The best way to get probiotics is with fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables, and apple cider vinegar. However, if you don't eat fermented foods, a good quality probiotic is the best solution.
Try Ashwaghanda: Ashwaghanda is an adaptogenic herb and is shown to support the thyroid and adrenal glands. It’s what we call an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to stress and maintain homeostasis despite external or internal stressors. Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants. Ashwaghanda aids in balancing cortisol levels and improving thyroid function and has been shown to increase the production of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. Adaptogenic herbs work with your body to bring you back in to balance whether your levels are high or low. Ashwagandha is able to help those with hypo or hyperthyroid and can also balance high or low levels of cortisol. I recommend supplementing with 500mg 1-2x daily. This is the brand I recommend and this particular supplement has more than just ashwaghanda, but also includes other thyroid supporting ingredients such as iodine, selenium, and important B vitamins.
Maca Root: Maca root is also an adaptogenic herb that supports a healthy and comfortable transition through pre-menopause and menopause. It aids with the symptoms associated with low estrogen levels such as hot flashes, night sweats, and low libido. I recommend Maca Root for thyroid support because many women do not know that when our reproductive hormones drop during menopause, it triggers a thyroid slow down that can contribute further to the fatigue, weight gain, and depression during menopause. Maca is also shown to boost iodine levels.
Vitamin B12 - One of the most important B vitamin for thyroid support is B12. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is considered to be one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world, and it has specifically been linked to thyroid issues. Research shows that nearly 40% of hypothyroid patients had marked B-12 deficiency. Commonly known as the “energy vitamin,” vitamin B12 may help improve your energy and assist you in overcoming fatigue and exhaustion. B12 improves energy in such ways as supporting thyroid function and cellular methylation.
Vitamin D3 - Regardless of the numerous studies showing the benefits of vitamin D, an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient. Vitamin D deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of developing cancer, autoimmune diseases, hypertension and other infections. And, you guessed it, decreased thyroid function. The vitamin D\thyroid connection is incredibly complex, but the most important thing to understand is that critical thyroid functions such as metabolism and energy cannot happen without sufficient vitamin D levels. I recommend supplementing with vitamin D3 (D3 is the best form to take) and staying within the therapeutic range of 3,000 to 5,000 units daily. (Approximately 25 units per pound of body weight).
ThyroMedica Plus is a comprehensive thyroid supplement that includes critical B vitamins, iodine, selenium as well as ashwaghnda.
Dr. Angela's Thyroid Reset 30 Complete Care Bundle - Includes complete care for thyroid support with supplements and essential oil blends
5 Best Essential Oils for Thyroid Support
Essential oils have enhanced lives for thousands of years with their powerful medicinal properties. Essential oils have plant based intelligence that seeks imbalances in the body to support health and balance hormones. Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and that is particularly important considering thyroid disorders are strongly related to inflammation and oxidative stress.
Frankincense - Frankincense essential oil is the "mother" of all the oils and is one of the most effective essential oils for thyroid support. It is packed with anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and pain-relieving properties. It has been shown to block inflammation in the body and also enhances the effects of other essential oils. It can also be used to reduce discomfort in joints and is beneficial for skin challenges associated with thyroid issues such as dry skin. The combination of Frankincense and Myrrh have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and have been used for centuries to restore health
Lemongrass - Lemongrass essential oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is also a great essential oil for discomfort in the thyroid area. Applying to the neck/thyroid area can provide restorative properties to the thyroid.
Clary Sage - Clary Sage essential oil is most used for it's ability to balance hormones. Studies performed with menopausal women showed that inhalation of clary sage oil reduced cortisol levels and participants also experienced a decline in TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Not only does the study show that clary sage oil reduces stress indicated by high cortisol levels, but it also supports thyroid hormones too.
Myrrh - has been shown in research to improve thyroid functions, including improved conversion of T4 to T3 and increased uptake of iodine. Like many other essential oils mentioned, myrrh reduces inflammation and has antioxidant activities.
Clove - Clove essential oil has an antioxidant (ORAC) score of over 1,000,000! So, this is definitely an oil you’ll want to consider for supporting your entire body and especially your thyroid.
As a wellness physician, I have consulted my patients for years regarding the use of essential oils for hormone management. I have combined proprietary essential oil blends and have used these blends in my protocols with great success. We have taken the guesswork out of combining essential oils. Take a look at our proprietary blends to support your thyroid, adrenals, and menopause challenges.
Drink Plenty of Water
You should try to consume a ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 lbs., you need at least 75 ounces of water per day.
Manage Stress and Get Good Quality Sleep
The more stress we place on our adrenal glands and endocrine system, the more thyroid challenges we will have. Make time to practice those things that manage your stress levels. Exercise, mental health walks, meditation, time out with the girls, playing in the dirt, reading! Whatever works for you...
We all need 7-8 hours of sleep per night for proper health and hormone balance. Try our Sleep Assist Essential Oil Blend or one of our premium melatonin supplements for a more restful, restorative sleep.
Trouble Controlling Your Weight?
Low thyroid function can put the brakes on your metabolic engine and it doesn't matter how little you eat or how much you exercise, the scale won't move. The secret to weight loss is hormonal harmony. 99% of persistent, unexplained weight gain is hormonal/thyroid related, and most women don't connect the dots. Hormones control every aspect of how we gain and lose weight. If you are concerned that misfiring hormones could be the source of your weight gain, follow the above recommendations for lasting results.
When you eat the way your body wants you to eat, and you avoid harmful, inflammatory foods and eat whole, organic foods, your hormones naturally fall in line, your insulin levels drop, and your belly fat melts away. You lose weight because you work with your body, not against it.
Final Thoughts & Encouragement
Conquering thyroid balance will take a commitment. What got you to your current situation, will NOT get you out of it. Change is required. You CAN succeed with this program and transform your health. It's time to TAKE YOUR POWER BACK!
Dr. Angela's BEST RECOMMENDATIONS
PLEASE NOTE: I ONLY recommend products, supplements & essential oils in my posts that 1) I have personally crafted myself or one of my team and I know exactly what is in them. 2) I personally use and trust the quality 3) I have recommended to my patients and know the efficacy and have seen the therapeutic value
Thyroid Solution Essential Oil Blend
Tri-Flora Plus - Multi-Strain Probiotic for Gut & Immune Support
ThyroMedica Plus - a comprehensive thyroid supplement that includes critical B vitamins, iodine, selenium as well as ashwaghnda
Maca Root Supplement - Menopause support and boosts iodine levels
Dr. Angela's Thyroid Reset 30 Bundle (Complete Care Thyroid Supplements & Essential Oils)
Vitamin D3 - I recommend staying within the therapeutic range of 3,000-5000 units per day. (approximately 25 units per pound of body weight)
Vitamin B12 - improves energy and supports fatigue and exhaustion. Supports thyroid function and cellular methylation.
Sleep Assist Essential Oil Blend
Melatonin - Liquid Natural Sleep Support - Lemon Flavor