Do you suffer from fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation, feeling cold all the time, dry skin, or infertility?
Have you read somewhere that these are all symptoms of a thyroid problem and thought to yourself, Finally – I now know why I feel so crappy?
Have you then gone to your doctor to have a blood test done to confirm your suspicions only to be told that your thyroid is fine?
This is a common patient story that gets told in my office.
How is it possible that you could have all these symptoms yet still have normal blood work? It is because your thyroid problem isn’t actually a thyroid problem. It is a different problem manifesting as a thyroid problem.
Here is a list of the top 3 alternatives:
- The Adrenal Gland
Many thyroid symptoms overlap with adrenal fatigue symptoms. The adrenal gland is our stress gland and secretes a hormone called cortisol under any perceived stress. Cortisol will then block the conversion of our inactive thyroid hormone into its active form.
- Insulin Resistance
There is a strong connection between insulin resistance and low thyroid function. Insulin resistance occurs when your pancreas has to secrete large amounts of insulin in response to your high sugar (yep, even whole grains!) diet. An easy way to recognize insulin resistance is an increase in your belly fat.
- The Microbiome
The microbiome is the millions of (hopefully) good bacteria found in your small and large intestine. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of thyroid hormone conversion occurs here. If you don’t have enough good bacteria in the right balance, then your ability to convert thyroid hormone from its inactive to active form will be compromised.
Luckily there is one thing you can do that treats all of these problems simultaneously. Eat a real food diet.
You can’t deal with the branches of the tree if the trunk is rotting and neither can your thyroid.
Dr. Michelle Durkin is a Naturopathic Doctor at the Quinte Naturopathic Centre and resident health expert for the Eat Real Food Academy.
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Linda Borger says
Hi Michelle – just to clarify if you are referring to hypothyroid in this article. I’m wondering how Hashimoto’s and Grave’s are in this category since I understood that they are auto-immune in origin?
I am a patient of yours and am trying to understand the connection of my hyperthyroid in relation to this. We can talk about this on my next appt. in September if you wish.
P.S. Just to let you know the diet you gave me has resulted in significant lowering of my blood pressure. Thanks so much!
Michelle Durkin says
Grave’s and Hashimoto’s would also apply. In fact, auto antibodies to the thyroid can be high on blood work while the TSH is still normal. Most autoimmune conditions begin as a “leaky gut” and your micro biome is extremely important in preventing your gut from becoming “leaky”. We can definitely discuss more about this and your specific case in person.
I’m so glad to hear that your blood pressure is improving already! What you eat can have a powerful effect.