Thyroid Awareness

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, but how aware of your thyroid are you?

The thyroid is the gland in your body that controls metabolism, basically how you use and burn energy.

It is estimated that 20 million Americans currently suffer from some form of thyroid disease and that up to 60% of people don’t even know they have a problem! This is not due to lack of symptoms, it is due to lack of diagnosis, often lack of going to see the doctor when symptomatic.

Two types of thyroid disease – hypothyroid and hyperthyroid – are the most common.  In hypothyroid disease, the metabolism slows down and in hyperthyroid it speeds up.

The symptoms of hypothyroid include:

  • Fatigue, including exercise fatigue and general weakness
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • Dry skin or dry hair
  • Hair loss – head or any other part of the body
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating

The symptoms of hyperthyroid are the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Jittery, feel shaky, or over-energized
  • Looser stool or diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Elevated heart rate

People can have one or many of the above symptoms – if any ONE of the above is present without diagnosis, it is easy and worth the blood test and time with your doctor to determine if thyroid is the cause! Please schedule an appointment today to see one of our doctors, as we can help determine if your thyroid is part of why you feel the way you do.

Importance of Iodine

Iodine is one of many nutrients that nourish the thyroid and help it function optimally.  Iodine was introduced into salt in the United States in the 1920s due to an epidemic of goiter formation (an enlargement of the thyroid gland that produces a small to very large lump on the front of the neck). The epidemic was due in part to the lack of iodine in people’s diet. Since one of the largest sources of iodine is seafood and seaweed, it is easy to see where iodine would be missed in some parts of our country.

Iodine is a nutrient that has a very small therapeutic window, meaning it is easy to get too much and easy to get too little. Supplementation needs to be carefully managed to assure optimal levels. You can, however, get iodine naturally in foods such as with this delicious and iodine rich salad created by nutritionist Dr. Carol Hunter, PhD.

— Jena Peterson, ND

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with Dulce
Spread a generous handful of spring mix on a platter.
Arrange the grapefruit slices and avocado slices in a circle on top of the lettuce.
In the middle place a few slices of cucumber.
Sprinkle walnut pieces on top.
Sprinkle dulce bits on top by snipping off small pieces with scissors.
Pour Citric dressing over salad. Use salt and pepper to taste.

Citric dressing
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice
2 tablespoons of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest
½ teaspoon of cumin
2 grated garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
(If you like a creamy dressing, you can add ½ cup of tahini.)
Enjoy, your thyroid gland will thank you!

From Carol L. Hunter, PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, on the ACAM (American College for Advancement in Medicine blog)