Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thyroid Health

The Thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system, a system of glands that releases hormones directly into the blood stream. It is located at the base of the neck, and consists of two lobes connected by tissue known as the isthmus. Cells in the thyroid are the only cells in the body capable of absorbing iodine. Iodine is what the thyroid uses to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine (T3), triodothyronine (T4), and calcitonin are hormones produced by the thyroid in oder to control metabolism, assist oxygen into cells, help cells turn calories and oxygen into energy, and regulate calcium levels in the body.

There are two main classifications for thyroid disorders, high/overactive or low/under-active. It is often difficult to identify a thyroid problem since the symptoms are usually overlapping with other common health issues such as obesity, irritability, insomnia, lethargy, osteoporosis, environmental illness, etc. A high thyroid indicates an overproduction of hormones and may result in sleeplessness, weight loss, and irritability. Whereas a low thyroid is an indication of a decrease in the production of hormones. As a result, a low thyroid promotes obesity, sluggishness, and the desire to sleep all the time.

Three main contributors to a thyroid disorder are over exposure to radiation, iodine deficiency, lack of exercise, and emotional stress. Very rarely is a thyroid disorder a result of an injury. Radiation weakens the thyroid when it is overactive. Lack of exercise contributes to a sluggish thyroid. Emotional stress (anger and resentment in particular), or a feeling that 'nothing ever works out right for me,' gets in the way of proper thyroid function. Iodine deficiency leaves the thyroid incapable of creating hormones. Since the thyroid produces calcitonin, the hormone responsible for absorbing calcium into the bones, osteoporosis can begin to appear as a symptom of thyroid disorders, with achy bones and brittle joints. 

The most common priorities for healing thyroid problems are nutritional, exercise, and emotional. Kelp is used with a low thyroid since it is high in iodine. Irish moss is used with a high thyroid to absorb radiation and remove it from the body. Unsaturated fatty acids (vit F), such as found in avocado, nuts, and vegetable oil are used to help stimulate thyroid function. For those who wish to loose weight, small portions of cream or butter on a daily basis will help the body stop storing fat and increase metabolism. The body will respond by believing it will get more tomorrow. Eliminating all fats is common when wanting to loose weight, however without a small intake of fats the body starts to store everything it can, resulting in weight gain.

Exercise stimulates thyroid function. If you have a low thyroid issue, begin a slow exercise routine. Walking for 15 minutes daily and adding minutes every couple weeks will help bring the body to regulate itself. Also, a healthy daily dose of sunshine will contribute to calcium absorption due to vitamin D uptake from the sun.

 Emotional stress can be addressed with the Kalos process, where it is traced to it's onset and cleared from the body. Or, one can seek therapy or emotional release through other means. The important thing is for emotional issues to be addressed, not suppressed. Stress interferes with the feedback system the thyroid is a part of with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which indicate when it is to create hormones.

To prevent thyroid disorders we can maintain daily exercise, eat a balanced diet with unsaturated fats and iodine rich foods, avoid over exposure to radiation such as in cell phones and other electrical devices, and trust things to work out for your ultimate benefit... the thyroid can be a reminder for us to listen for the positive, speak the positive, and see the positive things at work in our lives.