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Upstream Field Guide is a self-guided, 8-session course to help you discover your purpose and passions, then take the risks necessary to live according to that purpose—to live upstream. If this sounds good to you, join thousands of others and sign up for the monthly email—I'll send you an e-book of mine you can't get anywhere else, free. I started taking Synthroid, which is the typical drug that is prescribed to most women who are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. That experience led me down a road that has totally changed my life and continues to impact me even now. I eventually found a doctor who listened to and treated me holistically, as a whole person, with interconnected parts (imagine!). If you suspect you might have low thyroid, find a doctor right away – but choose your doctor carefully. When I talk to someone who is struggling with any kind of health issue, the first thing that I ask is whether he or she is eating whole, healthy, unprocessed foods. This post is sponsored by the GNOWFGLINS Fundamentals eCourse, an online resource that teaches traditional cooking methods using whole, healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
You definately DID say to find a doctor, AND that you still take a hormone for your thyroid. I have found that eating real foods is a lot more expensive, but it takes a lot less food to fill up! There is at least one other eCourse member with Hashimoto’s who is doing very well with the course and the foods.
Thanks for the push to start investigating more holistic ways to deal with my hypothyroidism. Just curious, Karla – can you share what supplements & glandulars you are taking for adrenals? The author of the book I mentioned…James Wilson has a supplement company called Future Formulations and he has come up with a line specifically to support the adrenals.
I have adrenal fatigue, which as Karla mentioned above, has similar symptoms to thyroid disease (I was tested for that a year before the adrenal fatigue was diagnosed). Grand Rapids Natural LivingResources for Grand Rapids natural parenting, natural living, and local foods. Long-standing, untreated hypothyroidism can predispose patients to developing high cholesterol levels, which can lead to coronary artery disease. The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in order to stimulate the thyroid gland.
The conventional approach to thyroid illness primarily revolves around the measurement of the TSH level.
A holistic approach to diagnosing hypothyroidism will look at more than just the TSH levels.
Amour Thyroid is a T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement derived from porcine (pig) thyroid gland. Compounding pharmacies can make various doses of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones without the additional additives and fillers.
In order for the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone, adequate amounts of iodine must be present. A holistic treatment plan for hypothyroidism may also include natural hormones, vitamin and mineral supplementation, dietary changes, and detoxification.
As you can see, treating thyroid disorders involves more than simply adjusting medications based on lab tests.
An osteopathic approach to medicine is ideal for patients looking for alternative solutions to chronic health issues.
All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste. Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. The NB Wellness FamilyWe specialize in holisitc family care and addressing a wide variety of neurlogical, emotional, and physical conditions in children and adults. In general, thyroid disorders can lead to symptoms of either an under-active thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, and overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism. One reason that the diagnosis is often missed, is and incomplete lab work for thyroid disease. If you develop one autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s, it puts your at risk of developing another autoimmune disease, so further screening for other autoimmune conditions is also important.
Another major problem with conventional thyroid treatment is that most thyroid patients are treated the same. The Hypothalamus, Pituitary, and Adrenal (HPA) axis, and more specifically the Adrenal gland which regulates the primary stress hormone, cortisol, among others, is also intimately tied to thyroid function. If supplementation with thyroid hormone is needed, patients often have a good result using a natural or bioidentical forms of thyroid, which I commonly use in my practice.
This website and all content and materials included on this website, are for informational purposes only.
Disclaimer: No doctor-patient relationship is established by your visit to or your participation in our website.
On the show, we talk about what that looks like in the daily grind: food, travel, writing, books, parenting, work, fashion, and everything in between. I can usually recommend a couple of good books, and perhaps make a few suggestions for dietary changes, but one of the most exciting resources that I’ve discovered lately is the online Fundamentals eCourse from GNOWFGLINS. She and her husband Shaun are passionate about mentoring and equipping artists of all kinds. I agree that the food we eat has a huge impact on our health and can help with a lot of the diseases and dx we face.


It is interesting to open the fridge and see how different it looks with only whole foods inside.
I have lowish thyroid levels and find that I am so much more sensitive to carbs than the average person. Because we’re talking about general formulas and benefits, the techniques can be applied (in most cases) while working around dietary restrictions. Sometimes I think that the only way is the pharmacy…I appreciate being reminded that I should look beyond!
Every cell in the body from muscles to organs to arteries depends on adequate thyroid hormone levels to achieve and maintain optimal function.
Once stimulated, the thyroid gland then secretes two major hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). The TSH test has been the gold standard for conventional medicine to diagnose hypothyroidism for greater than 30 years. As it is glandular derived, it contains other active ingredients including calcitonin, selenium and thyroid hormones T2 and T1. If you do not feel you are achieving the best results with your thyroid medication, I might suggest trying a different medication or altering the dose.
Often times, thyroid disorder can be improved upon or corrected by simply improving the function of the thyroid gland with appropriate vitamins and minerals and by detoxifying the system. Heineman is a fully licensed, board-eligible physician in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt.
She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health. Many people are not even aware that they have a thyroid problem, since the diagnosis is often missed. It is a butterfly shaped gland that sits in the front of the neck and produces hormones which regulate the body’s metabolism.
When both sets of symptoms are present in varying degrees it is known as thyroid pendulum and is a good indication of autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease), see details below. Many doctors will obtain only a TSH blood test, and if the level falls within the “normal” range then thyroid is considered to be working normally, even though this may not be the case.
One very likely reason why autoimmune conditions are more and more prevalent by my observation is due to a condition known as “leaky gut” Food sensitivities are a common culprit or association with leaky gut. The conventional therapies for this condition, include anti-thyroid medications, propylthiouracil and methimazole, radioactive iodine, and surgery.
As a rule hypothyroid patients are placed on Synthroid (or levothyroxine) which is T4, the inactive form of hormone.
It is typically obtained through the diet in foods such as fish, sea vegetables, iodized salt, beans, nuts, seeds, and certain vegetables. Deficiencies in cortisol, commonly known as adrenal fatigue (or HPA axis dysfunction), the extreme of which is known as Addison’s disease, has many overlapping symptoms with thyroid disorders. This is typically derived from animal thyroid, and therefore contains all the hormones your own thyroid would naturally produce, including T4 and T3. All information, text, graphics, illustrations, photos, video, and audio are protected under U.S. No claim or opinion on these pages is intended to be medical advice or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Hypothyroidism is not one of them though as there are a number of natural thyroid treatments that are effective. When the thyroid gland is releasing inadequate amounts of thyroid hormone to meet the body’s demands, the metabolic rate is reduced. However, when the hormonal system is re-balanced appropriately,  oftentimes, the cholesterol level will lower significantly, thus lowering events related to heart disease. Many times, patients will have normal T4 and TSH levels, but will have low T3 levels, bringing about the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The conventional thyroid hormone replacement is Levothyoxine (Synthroid) which is an exclusively T4 thyroid preparation. She specializes in the apprenticed art of osteopathy that has been passed down, literally “hand to hand,” over the last 150 years. Heineman will commonly screen for nutritional deficiencies and offer expanded testing for thyroid, adrenal and other hormonal dysfunction. Her blog Naturally Knocked Up focuses on fertility and reproductive health and her book on natural fertility is now available on Amazon!. Thyroid disorders are considered to be on the rise, likely related to widespread nutrient deficiencies, exposure to environmental toxins, poor gut health, and the increasing prevalence of autoimmunity. Even after being placed on thyroid medication for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), most commonly Synthroid (or levothyroxine), many patients will continue to suffer with symptoms. This is why I recommend obtaining a complete thyroid panel including TSH, free T3, free T4, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies levels. Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune condition, where your immune system attacks your own thyroid.
Certain foods in sensitive individuals can cause damage and inflammation to the absorptive surface of the gut, allowing larger molecules to pass from the gut into the blood stream that would not normally be able to pass.
A functional medicine approach, necessarily approaches the same core issues as with Hashimoto’s disease, including leaky gut, toxins, infections, and nutrient deficiencies. It is easy to see why this could be less than ideal, especially if the body has difficulty converting T4, the inactive form to T3, to the active form.


One reason that hypothyroidism is so widespread, is related to deficiencies in this key nutrient.
Very often both the thyroid and HPA axis need to be evaluated and treated in concert to obtain maximum benefit from treatment.
Other times, we can use a compounded version of thyroid replacement, which still contains a combination of T4 and T3, and is free of animal products. Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any health program, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or if you have a medical condition. I’m moving and hope to find a good job and good insurance and look into it more fully but I do know before my son was born when I was eating no refined sugar and little to no flour or potatoes, I felt much better and weighed much less than I do now. Luckily, I remembered this post and have 6 months until my next blood test when we check my thyroid again.
In addition, many people cannot adequately convert T4 into T3 because of nutrient deficiencies, medications, illness, stress, aging, and more. When these vitamin and mineral levels are inadequate, symptoms of hypothyroidism may develop. She will explore alternative approaches that are used in place of, or in addition to, prescription medications.
Their doctors may insist that if their blood levels are “normal” their symptoms can’t possibly be due to their thyroid. The body produces antibodies against your thyroid tissue, as if it were foreign to the body, which leads to gradual destruction of the gland.
The flood of these “foreign” molecules kicks the immune system into overdrive, and the body will start attacking its own tissue such as the thyroid gland. In both of these autoimmune conditions, as well as any others that may be identified during a medical work up, it is important to support the immune system, which can be done with select nutraceuticals.
High levels of Reverse T3 can also indicate a problem, since this is also an “inactive” form of thyroid hormone that essentially block thyroid function.
Not only are we not taking in enough iodine in our diet, other elements including fluoride, chlorine, and bromine compete with iodine in the body, and can displace iodine from the thyroid gland.
In fact, because all hormones impact each other, an imbalance in one hormone, often causes an imbalance in another.
I’m hoping that I can successfully implement changes to my diet and get it under control, so that I do not need to become medicated.
In those individuals who cannot convert some, most, or all of T4 into T3, the T4 preparation may not be the best choice for thyroid hormone replacement.
Heineman will work with all of the holistic health care offerings and provide her specific expertise to approach health care problems including low back pain, neck pain, other somatic pain, headaches, traumatic injuries, pain of pregnancy, and treatment of infants with chronic infections, colic, plagiocephaly, torticollis, or birth trauma. In my practice, I take holistic approach to treating thyroid, by searching for the root cause of disease, and using natural therapies to regain balance in the thyroid. It can cause hypothyroid symptoms AND hyperthyroid symptoms (thyroid pendulum) at varying times and can be very frustrating for patients. Gluten is particularly common trigger for many people, especially as it pertains to Hashimoto’s.
Reverse T3 (RT3) levels can become elevated, especially during times of stress to conserve energy and lower metabolism.
Chlorine and fluoride are often found in the water supply, and bromine in flour and bread products. So it is also important to evaluate the sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA) to see how imbalances in this area might also be impacting the system as a whole. Therapy is guided by a patient’s response, including improvement of symptoms, as well as following lab tests. Any products, supplements, or other tools found throughout this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Hashimoto’s is diagnosed by elevated antibodies including thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and thyroglobulin (TGB) antibodies. Other sensitivities include dairy, soy, corn, eggs, among others, which can be tested for with a food sensitivity panel. RT3 levels can also be elevated with other problems such as heavy metal toxicity, so they can also be a red flag that there are other (potentially worse) problems lurking elsewhere. Not only is iodine important for thyroid function, it is critical for breast and ovarian health. I will typically use a combination of saliva, blood, and urine, to get the most complete picture of the thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones in any patient presenting with a primary complaint related to thyroid illnesses of any kind. It is my philosophy that each thyroid patient is unique and therefore should be treated based on individualized needs. All written, audio, and video contents of this website are based primarily upon the opinions of Dr.
Unfortunately conventional practitioners often fail to look for these antibodies on blood work. Iodine deficiency can play a key role in the progression of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, and it is important to restore the levels of this nutrient if needed based on testing through an iodine loading test. Other nutrients are also integral to thyroid function such as selenium, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. Individualized supplementation with nutrient therapy plays an important role in supporting thyroid function.
Individual articles, audio, video contents are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.



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