Thyroid Fun-Time, or not so fun-time. Hey, it's what I make it:)
I have found over the years my body wants to heal itself. With my help it's healed meningitis, repeated tonsillitis, ear infections, candida, bacterial and viral infections. I even healed myself of a brown recluse spider bite that nearly took my life without the help of doctors who wanted to carve the flesh away on my arm. No, thank you. I like my arm.
In January 2014 I thought I was doing really well. I was staying pretty close to my sugar-gluten-lactose free diet and feeling great. I would allow myself an occasional treat; like a piece of whole wheat toast, once in awhile, a tiny piece of birthday cake every so often, or a spoonful of ice cream here and there. When feeling very brave I would allow myself a small glass of white wine, never more than once every 2 weeks. For some reason I can digest white wine easier than red wine, as long as I drink it early enough in the day. If it sounds like I obsess over my food intake, you are right, but, you would too if you went into dizzy spins, palpitations and pain when you ate the "wrong" foods. Basically my body doesn't tolerate toxic ingredients at all. My sister-in-law said to me the other day, "I guess someone has to be the canary, better you than me." I don't mind it too much. Hey, I am alive.
I was enjoying a massage thoroughly in the middle of January until I realized, after she worked on the back of my neck, that I couldn't swallow normally. When I told my massage therapist of my difficulty she asked me to turn over and palpated my thyroid (felt my throat). "Diane, your thyroid is enlarged," she said with a worried look on her face. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but, I recalled I'd had a hard time swallowing after a massage in November, so this hadn't happened overnight, and, hopefully, it wasn't life threatening.
The more I thought about it the more I realized that ever since I began teaching exercise back in 1982 when I bent to the side to stretch, it was difficult for me to swallow. Ok, I am a little slow...
Most people would get on the phone to their doctor to make an appointment, but, I am not most people. I went to my computer and googled "enlarged thyroid" and after wading through all the FRIGHTENING diseases that popped up as possible causes for an enlarged thyroid along with all the drugs they suggested I take I began to find the natural healing information I was looking for and details on how the thyroid works.
The thyroid enlarges whether it is under or over active and works closely with the pituitary and hypothalmus. Well, before I began doing any herbal supplements I needed to find out whether I had hypothyroidism (under active) or hyperthyroidism (over active). Finding this out would require blood tests so I called our local Quest Labs and discovered you can't get lab tests without a prescription from my doctor. Oh yeah? Watch me.
Back to the Internet and I typed in thyroid tests and found a variety of tests available without a doctor's prescription, all pretty pricey, but, I began looking at their sites. I finally found www.Accesalabs.com (and on November 21, 2017 I went online to place another order-they tripled their prices! so I asked my old friend Google and found my old friends at LifeExtension.com and ordered from them at a fraction of the cost:) and ordered their Thyroid Panel-High & Low for only $145. I had to agree to get follow up medical help before I could pay their fee, which included a prescription and they didn't say I couldn't get natural help. They sent me a prescription signed by their doctor and I brought it to Quest Labs. They did the test and I got my results back within a few days. AND, they saved me a considerable amount of money and time. I did not have to go to an appt with a medical doctor (minimum $60 to get the prescription and then another $60 to talk to them about the results) and the very same tests that cost me only $145 would have cost over $250 just for the tests. Talk about a screwed up system!
So, I my tests came back with high levels of TSH and low levels of T3 making me definitely hypothyroid. I have found that many people have an underactive thyroid and not only can I exercise it to stimulate it by simply looking up and down and rotating my head like Turtle in Tai Chi, but, I can take a variety of supplements to help it to function better, with Iodine at the top of the list.
I did the test recommended for Iodine levels by simply dabbing some purple Iodine tincture on my arm and waited to see if it disappeared within 12 hours. My purple spot disappeared after 6 hours so Iodine was the first supplement I added to my diet. I took the recommended dose on the bottle and did not add any other supplements for 3 days, making sure I did not have an unpleasant reaction to it. When I spoke to Jaime, my nutrition specialist/friend at the Deland Natural Bakery, she said, "Out of 100 people tested for Iodine levels 100 of them had low levels," so, I don't feel so bad;)
In the meantime I also contacted my acupuncture physician, my meridian stress assessor, my ayurvedic practitioner and my medical intuitive and gave them the information I had and asked for their recommendations while researching on the Internet on my own. The recommendations they sent back agreed with my findings, and with my pendulum, so my list grew to include the following;
Ayurvedic Herbs- Ashwaganda and Guggul Lipids
Mineral Supplements-The minerals zinc and selenium are necessary for proper thyroid function so, as I suggested earlier, I took zinc for a few days without any problems and then introduced selenium and felt fine. I don't like to take too many minerals so I alternate these 2 every other day. I got myself a pill box broken down into 4 compartments for each of the days of the week so I don't have to take everything at once and it helps me to keep things straight.
Now for some amino acids I found to be called first level detoxers-L-tyrosine, L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, and NAC and I did the same with these, try one for a few days and then watched to see how my body reacted to them.
Topping this all off with D3, and a good multivitamin, I decided to take these supplements throughout the following months and monitor my progress.
In addition to adding the above to my diet I read that all smoking irritates the thyroid, check. And that eating raw cruciferous vegetables also strains the thyroid so I simply cook my Kale, cabbage, broccoli etc. I still eat some dehydrated Kale chips, but, not too often as dehydrating is not the same as cooking, it simply removes the moisture.
I also try to consume at least one tablespoon of coconut oil every day-which i should have been doing anyway.
I almost forgot my favorite part of the story. My Medical Intuit said that when she did my reading she found Cleavers would be a good herb for me to consume. Hmmm, I'd never heard of that one so I googled it and when I saw the photo I thought, "I have seen this somewhere before." Sure enough, when I was walking around my yard talking to my sister, who has also had low thyroid hormone readings in blood tests, I looked closely at a group of tall weeds with multiple leaves and exclaimed into the phone, "Oh, my, here is a weed in my yard that looks like the herbal medicine I am supposed to take." I bent over and ran my hand across the leaves and, sure enough, the hooks grabbed my arm proving to me they were the little guys I needed. I immediately went and googled how to harvest them and found it was exactly the right time, the flowers had not come out yet, so I harvested a few and tried them in an infusion (a tea brewed for at least 45 minutes and preferably overnight). Later that week, upon further investigation, I found them in several places in my yard AND a large patch on the corner of Desoto Ave and Audubon. Ask and you shall receive!
I'd also like to mention, when buying supplements, I prefer veggie capsules (not tablets) whenever possible.
I am happy to report my thyroid has shrunk enough so I can swallow normally and I will begin to wean myself off the additional supplements in a few months. This is the way a Natural Healing Advocate deals with "dis" ease. No prescription medicines for me yet and I would like to keep it that way !!!