I’ve set those list parameters so that conversations, questions, discussion is available.
So first of all, how does thyroid get low? I think this is a better question than what are treatments. And this answer, like virtually all that relate to “how did I get sick?” comes back to our old friend chronic inflammation. Our immune system is a one note song. No matter what goes wrong, the body’s response is inflammation. When humans were hunter/gatherers, that worked well. What went wrong was mostly injury or micro invaders (bacteria and viruses). Inflammation had something clear cut to do.
If you had a cut, inflammation did its best—pain, redness, heat and swelling. Meanwhile, inflammatory chemicals removed damaged tissue and allowed scar tissue to heal the injury. Or in the case of microorganisms, there was something to attack, you ran a fever and your immune system got you well.
Modern life brought a whole host of other thing that go wrong and it’s not so clear-cut what to attack. If you have a deficiency of some important nutrient (or several) what is there for the inflammatory chemicals to attack or remove to allow for healing. If you breathe noxious air quality or eat lots of sugars—two examples of things that the body isn’t really designed for—what can the immune system attack? If you bought into the “saturated fat is bad for you” mantra foist upon us 30 years ago, and used high levels of Omega 6 oils for years with little balance of Omega 3 oils, your immune system is revved to the inflammatory side (omega 6) without the braking effect of the anti-inflammatory side(Omega 3.
Under modern conditions we have inflammation cranked into high gear and no clear object for it to fight. But fight it must. And so inflammatory chemicals do their thing—fighting your own organs. Which ones? It’s different for every individual, depending on genetics, history, environment. If you are inflamed for decades, will you have a low thyroid, heart disease, cancer, depression, Alheimers, psoriasis, arthritis, allegies, asthma, wrinkles—or what? But all disease processes start with chronic inflammation run amok. It’s doing damage somewhere(s) in your body. The damage is silent and invisible—until it’s not –then it screams at you.
OK, I got long winded there. So how doies this relate to low thyroid? STOP the inflammation!!! Stop the damage! There are many things to do to stop inflammation and I will be discussing more of them. But today, for the thyroid, the biggie is giving it the nutrient it requires. IODINE.
And oh, by the way, getting enough iodine will do a lot of other good things for you. If the Japanese with their high intake of iodine are any indication (and they are) you need iodine in many milligrams, not micrograms. Don’t neglect selenium. Feed your thyroid! And if you are low enough to have hypothyroid symptoms, supplementing with thyroid hormone is great first aid for all those symptoms that show up when it’s low.
Thyroid tests are iffy. Not because of the tests but because the “normal range” is not. Many doctors are not up on the new normal range which for the TSH test should be under 2, preferable under 1. Synthetic hormone is a favorite of many doctors and most patients report no improvement of symptoms though the tests improve. Dessicated thyroid gland in Armour Thyroid, and a few other brands is a big improvement for most. A good book for further reading and real help is found here:
The author also runs an about.com site for thyroid for lots more information.