Many of you, your friends, or your family members are dealing with thyroid disease. It’s a growing epidemic that’s quickly becoming one of the most health problems in America. Over the last several years, the wonderful Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (NTPs) at Biodynamic Wellness have given me a wealth of information so I asked them to write a series of guest posts. They’ll help us understand more about thyroid disease including the symptoms, what tests to get, steps to take, foods to eat, and other ways to help bring the body back into balance.
Today, Anna Penick NTP, answers questions about the basics of thyroid disease. In the coming months, we’ll continue looking at many different aspects of this disease, so make sure to sign up for my email list, so you don’t miss any of these informational posts!
What are some of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease?
Temperature fluctuations – cold hands and feet or feeling hot
Weight fluctuations or difficulty losing or putting weight on
Muscle and joint pain
Hair and skin changes
What tests should you ask your doctor for?
The short list:
The Long List (if your doctor or insurance allows, this list will give a complete picture of what’s going on in your system):
Lipid Panel: Cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL, HDL, Cholesterol/HDR Ratio
Thyroid Panel: TSH, Free T4, T4, T3 Uptake, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, Anti-TPO antibodies, Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibodies
Iron Panel: Iron, TIBC, Ferritin, Serum Iron, Iron Saturation
Liver: SGOT (AST), SGPT (ALT), GGTP, Alk. Phosphate, Total Bilirubin, Total Protein, Total Globulin, Albumin / Globulin Ratio, Albumin
Electrolytes Panel: Glucose, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Carbon Dioxide, BUN, Creatinine, Bun/ Creatinine Ratio, Calcium, Phosphorous, Uric Acid
Additional: 25 OH Vitamin D (inactive Vitamin D), Homocysteine, CRP (C-reactive protein), Magnesium, LDH, Fibrinogen, Hemoglobin A1
CBC with Differentials: HGB, HCT, RBC, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, WBC, Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils
What are the first 5 steps one should take if they find out they have thyroid disease?
1. Seek a health practitioner that is willing to work with the root of your condition and not just use medication to manage the disease.
- Here’s a good place to start:
Biodynamic Wellness (they do in office, phone and skype sessions)
To find a Functional Medicine Doctor
To find an Integrative Medicine Doctor
To find a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
2. Run blood work (see the list above).
3. Cut out all gluten.
4. Make dietary changes depending on what your practitioner has suggested – these will vary depending on what thyroid condition you have.
5. Get lots of rest and cut back on stress-related activities.
Sometimes the significance of a healthy thyroid can be difficult to understand. Here’s a great video to help clarify the role the thyroid plays in your body. Of course, I wish they’d mentioned that nutritional support and other holistic therapies can help instead of just recommending medicated disease management, but you can’t win them all!