The power of the thyroid commands great respect. No other gland determines the status of our well-being as distinctly clear as the thyroid and our cells rely on the hormones produced by the thyroid, converting T4 toT3 via the nucleus. The thyroid communicates constantly with every other endocrine gland and works with the information given to direct the level of energy applied to any task. Calcitonin, also manufactured by the thyroid gets to the core of our matter, in a sense, by supporting bone strength by directing calcium to be deposited into our bones.
When I teach about the thyroid, I have the class touch and palpate their own thyroid; to feel the size and texture. I encourage my readers to do the same: gently tilt back your head, bring both hands to the throat and feel the spongy tissue below the Adam’s apple and slightly lateral to each side. Doing so occasionally helps to familiarize yourself with this valuable gland and watch for any changes.
Thyroid balancing looks like a beautiful give-and-take where iodine plays a central role; too little iodine and the thyroid slows down, too much iodine and it stops completely. Cells help to determine the feedback cycles, influencing the brain to produce two hormones (TRH and TSH) to kindly prompt the thyroid into action. Cells may not respond wholly to T3 and this may occur due to underlying health conditions such as chronic inflammation. The complexity of the thyroid, its’ progression from hypo to hyperactivity, internal problems of auto-immunity and the wide-reaching effects, felt acutely by the individual and also by family members, colleagues, friends, and society.
Even the shape of the thyroid carries symmetrical dips and hollows that imply balance, oft compared to looking like the spread wings of a butterfly. The thyroid, situated in the throat, corresponds to the blue chakra of Hindu beliefs around energies of the body. The symbol for the throat chakra resembles a gorgeous blue flower clinically looked at in Iran with a double-blind placebo-controlled study for its’ manipulation towards positive healing of the thyroid, specifically for those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. And the action it relates to? Communication.
Women are far more susceptible to dealing with thyroid issues. This makes sense with the continuous flux of hormones, major life changes, and phases, particularly following giving birth.
Post-partum thyroiditis can fluctuate from low output of thyroid hormones to an excess and back again. This exerts a physical and emotional toll on an already demanded-upon new mother.
Men, too, can suffer from thyroid problems. These concerns, for men and women alike, can arise from exposure to chemicals that can disrupt the hormonal cascade -industrial fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, alcohol abuse, and dietary factors. Fluoride in excess acts antagonistically to iodine, and a compromised immune system can further confuse the situation. Taking actions to support the thyroid when problems have arisen is a good opportunity to connect with a health practitioner to look objectively and thoroughly at any underlying factors that may need to be addressed.
Lifestyle Naturopathy can help work with you, your doctor and your current protocol to regain balance. Balance that feels good and lasts.