Top Tips To Get Your Hormone Health In Check For 2023.
You’ve noticed that over the last few months, things have been feeling “off.”
You’ve barely been able to make it through the day without fighting the need for a nap…
Anxious thoughts have been plaguing your mind out of nowhere lately…
You’ve been feeling unhappy with your weight but nothing seems to be working…
Are these worrisome symptoms something you want to bring with you into 2023?
It’s easy to blow them off as “no big deal” or a natural byproduct of getting older. They can be so minor that even your doctor doesn’t give them a second glance.
The reality is, our bodies can become very skilled at disguising the truth of what’s really going on. So much so, that oftentimes multiple different tests are required to get a complete understanding of what could be going wrong within our bodies.
This is why a busy doctor’s office often overlooks important warning signs that require a bit of extra sleuthing to discover. The majority of medical professionals only have the capacity to run one, maybe two tests before determining a diagnosis, and the best pharmaceutical drug to prescribe. While this may relieve painful symptoms in the short term - this approach has no hope of healing the root of the dysfunction (or get rid of it for good) in the first place.
When your hormones don’t receive the support they need, many critical processes in the body are affected. When your thyroid isn’t producing Thyroid Stimulating Hormone properly for example, growth, metabolic, and energy producing processes are thrown off track. When insulin is not able to regulate blood sugar levels properly, your body becomes a roller coaster of toxic highs and lows.
The greatest investment you can make this year is in your own health. By making the commitment to understanding how best to nurture your body, you can have the physical strength to really start making the most out of life.
The vicious cycle
To get on track for a healthier body, first you must get a full understanding with what isn’t working properly.
A healthy thyroid gland is able to maintain an optimal balance on its own, but a number of genetic and lifestyle factors can cause hormone levels to get off track. When you visit a doctor’s office with thyroid concerns, they typically evaluate one main marker: TSH (aka Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). If this test comes back lower than normal, you are typically diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and when higher indicates hyperthyroidism.
This diagnosis is almost always accompanied with a drug prescription for levothyroxine or synthroid, which balances thyroid levels with artificial hormones. While this gives the thyroid temporary fuel to carry out its normal metabolic functions, it is not enabling our bodies to heal enough to become self-sufficient with hormone production.
So where does one start, if you’re stuck on a pharmaceutical ferris wheel you can’t seem to escape?
Getting back on track
First, partner with a functional medical practitioner who is able to perform a comprehensive thyroid testing panel for you. There are 10 markers that can indicate thyroid dysfunction, but for this article, we will focus on the top five:
- TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone): There’s a reason every doctor knows to perform this test. It sets the baseline understanding of what’s going on with your thyroid gland.
- T4 (thyroxine): This hormone is responsible for regulating your metabolism, mood, and body temperature. It drives cellular growth within the body, so it’s important to pay attention to. A T4 test measures the amount of the hormone in your blood, to help determine if your thyroid is over or under-producing it.
- Free T4: A variation of the T4 test, but completed for increased accuracy of results (and consequently diagnosis).
- T3 (triiodothyronine): A test commonly used to diagnose hyperthyroidism specifically, measures how effectively hormones are able to move throughout the body.
- Free T3: Similar to the T4 test, completed for increased accuracy of results (and consequently diagnosis).
This data is essential to understanding the full picture of what is causing dysfunction within your thyroid. A functional medical practitioner will work with you to understand your current lifestyle and dietary habits, alongside family and medical history to pinpoint the catalyst moment things started moving in the wrong direction.
Looking for ways to start supporting your thyroid NOW? Check out our top tips for keeping your thyroid gland happy:
- Assess your iodine dietary intake. Iodine is an essential mineral for thyroid function, so ensure you’re integrating enough eggs, seaweed (think: sushi), or sea salt into your daily diet.
- Ensure you are consuming enough essential fatty acids throughout the day to support hormone receptor function. Fish/ fish oils, nuts & seeds, avocados, and (raw) EVOO are all excellent sources of healthy fats.
- Reduce inflammation as much as possible in your body. Eliminating gluten, dairy, and sugar from your diet, prioritizing getting regular exercise, and getting eight hours of sleep per night are all great ways to minimize inflammation (and feel great too!).
Your health is the most valuable thing you have, and it’s never too late to make a change. If you are working towards becoming prescription free, haven’t been seeing improvement after starting a thyroid treatment, or just want to dive a little deeper to feel your best, we can help.
Contact our clinic today to get your healing journey started!