Want to be notified of my blog posts? Curious what’s on my mind? Use Notifixious to be informed. Look on the bottom left of the links where you can sign up. )
Today I baked a chocolate cake for my son’s birthday. It was excellent. Why? Because it was the result of several important ingredients. Leaving any of them out would have resulted in a cake less than great.
And your health and feel-goods as a thyroid/adrenal patient, including your ability to successfully get off HC, is like my son’s cake: a combination of ingredients that you have to get right. Below are ten “ingredients” to investigate and find out which may not be right in you for good health and feel-goods.
1) The right amount of cortisol: Too little cortisol or too much cortisol has its consequences. Too little results in thyroid hormone still pooling, continued hypo symptoms, plus hyper in some. Too much can mean easy bruising, rising blood pressure, fluid retention, a round face, etc. And both can increase anxiety, feeling poorly, etc. Watch for symptoms and compare your daily averaged temperatures. Also, have you checked your aldosterone?
2) The right amount of desiccated thyroid: I have a friend who was stuck on 3 grains Armour out of habit. But she continued to have hypothyroid symptoms out of habit. I finally convinced her to talk to her doctor. Labs showed her free T3 was just a few points over mid-range, and having a free T3 towards the top seems to work better for most. So she did raise, and it finally did the trick.
3) Optimal B12 levels: Since hypothyroid patients can have digestive/absorption issues, B12 levels can be lower than optimal. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, feeling faint, breathless, bruising, heart palps or others. Don’t take a chance. Get a B12 test. You want the result to be at the top of the range.
4) Plenty of Ferritin (storage iron): Low ferritin means you have no iron in storage to draw upon. And it also means you are probably anemic. Additionally, low ferritin adversely affects the conversion of T4 to T3. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, weakness, achiness, breathlessness or others. Have a ferritin test. Optimal is 70-90.
5) Good digestion: Hypothyroid patients can have low hydrochloric (HCL) stomach acid levels. That not only contributes to acid reflux because of the overgrowth of bad bacteria, it means you don’t absorb nutrients well (including low B12 mentioned above). As a result, it’s crucial to give that acid back to yourself. A tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water and taken twice day helps many. Or try taking Betaine, which is HCL in pill form, or any other quality HCL or digestive product.
6) Recognition and treatment of Gluten intolerance: Some thyroid patients lack a particular digestive enzyme, intestinal glutaminase, that helps digest gluten in various food products. As a result, they don’t absorb nutrients well. Symptoms include bloating & gas, aches, stiffness, fatigue, burning or numbness in arms or legs, rashs or hives, worsened allergies & others. Your chance of have a gluten problem is higher if you have Hashimotos disease. If you suspect a possible problem, eliminate all gluten from your diet. Also consider having your doctor run a Celiac antibodies blood test.
7) Controlled EBV: At least 90% of adults have the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) sitting dormant in their bodies. EBV is what causes mononucleosis, but you don’t have to have had mono to carry the virus. Because hypothyroidism lowers your immune system, it’s not uncommon for thyroid patients to have activated EBV. I did, and my symptoms included extreme easy fatigue, ringing in my ears, achiness and some swelling of my lymph glands. Some may have a sore throat return and other symptoms. Ask your doctor to test EBV. You’ll then need to ask about treatment options, which include beefing up your immune system.
8 ) Sex hormone balance: When your thyroid or adrenals get out of balance, your sex hormones can follow suit, from estrogen dominance to low testosterone. When estrogen dominance occurs, you can feel depression, fatigue, and sore breasts. Low testosterone can equal lower energy and mood. Ask your doctor to test all your sex hormones.
9) Taking plenty of supplements: There are a variety of good supplements everyone with thyroid or adrenal issues should take for good health. They include high potency B-vitamins, Vit. C (1000-3000 mg. or to tolerance), Selenium (around 200 mcg), minerals including magnesium, probiotics, Vitamin D (1000 iu), iodine, and others. In addition to these, I also take CoQ10 (for heart and blood pressure health), and my favorite: a green powder which I stir in my orange juice.
10) Exercise: If you are a couch potato, you’re going to feel like one. Instead, do what it takes to get moving, which promotes all sorts of good health. If you have adrenal fatigue, keep it very light and easy. If you just have hypothyroidism, get out and walk.
P.S. My chocolate cake: I think cake mixes are just as good as homemade. I use Devils Food Cake. But the icing is ALWAYS homemade: cream one stick butter, add about 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, then cream or half-n-half. Shake some sea salt in. Add two tsp. vanilla. Beat, beat. Taste. Modify as needed. YUM.