Maguire G Justin, July 2022.

Time for another word picture that hopefully leads to some curiosity. Let’s say you, a friend, a family member or that co-worker Greg who won’t stop recommending their favourite book, is struggling with weight gain. However, it’s not just weight gain. They, or you, are just out of it. They are not as part of the conversation as they usually are. When asking if they are okay, or vice versa, they say everything is fine and they are just stressed. Of course, we all experience stress on this blue marble of ours, but surely that can’t be all? There seems to be this monkey on their shoulder, but it’s not their shoulder. It’s more like the jerk is hanging around their neck.

Weight gain is well known to have an association with a struggling underactive thyroid1; however, did you know that poor thyroid activity contributes to depression, infertility, anxiety and poor cognition2? If not, you’re in for a few knowledge bombs about the thyroid that will not only blow brain fog out of your mind but also improve the way you tolerate stress.

Thyroid function is fully appreciated when we appreciate the impact that stress and cortisol have on production, conversion, and release. Our Nervous systems are highly organized networks, providing feedback to either accelerate or halt the function of our metabolism, including that of brain function! Two major systems namely: The HPA axis and HPT axis work in concert with one another to monitor energy requirements for physiological function, essentially influencing the activity of our cell’s powerplants, the mitochondria3. Excessive stress caused by lifestyle and environmental factors compromises communication within both metabolic networks, setting off a cascade of metabolic dysfunction. Below are two diagrams that accurately depict how stressors negatively impact the function of both the HPA axis and HPT axis:

With poor feedback mechanisms of thyroid hormone and function, hypothyroidism develops. There are namely three classifications in which hypothyroidism can be identified4:

  • Primary hypothyroidism – cases in which the brain is screaming at both the thyroid and liver to produce thyroid hormone, but little hormone is produced. In these cases, high levels of oxidative stress are often seen, decreasing the availability of vital precursors required for thyroid hormone production.
  • Secondary hypothyroidism – cases in which the brain is not stressed but the thyroid and peripheral organs are unable to make thyroid hormone. In these cases, stress often impedes both the thyroid and peripheral organ’s ability to produce and convert thyroid hormone, often, due to the impact TDO (tryptophan 2, 3 dioxygenase) has on depleting a vital enzyme required for thyroid hormone conversion.
  • Peripheral hypothyroidism – cases in which cortisol levels elevate to the point of which the liver uses the same enzyme required to convert thyroxine (T4) into triiodothyronine (T3) but instead converts thyroxine into rT3 (reverse T3). Reverse T3 has a higher binding effect on thyroid receptors and increased the ability to lower the availability and production of triiodothyronine.

Additionally, Autoimmune Hashimoto’s – in cases of autoimmune thyroid compromise the immune system has become increasingly dysregulated and as such our body’s own antibodies start to attack our thyroid gland. Often toxins and environmental pollutants are to blame, in which case cortisol is often flooded to contend with the stress of toxins, thus inhibiting innate immunity and increasing activity of adaptive immunity to recognize a perceived threat, that of our proteins being released by the thyroid gland.


Women seem to be at the highest risk of developing hypothyroidism, with 2-8 times the volume of hypothyroid cases reportedly being associated with women5. Additionally, poor thyroid activity impacts the fertility of women, due to the synergy thyroid hormone plays in the production of progesterone and regulation of prolactin. From painful periods to miscarriage, poor production of progesterone has been associated with multiple female endocrinological pathologies.

Increasing levels of prolactin do not only affect women but also have an impact on men too! Prolactin levels play an inhibitory role in the production and regulation of dopamine6, as such when thyroid levels decline and prolactin levels increase, the likelihood of impulsive and habit-forming actions is increased, increasing the development of not only cognitive impairment by psychological distress too. Mental health performance, therefore, is heavily reliant on healthy thyroid hormone function.



Below are a few lifestyles and dietary considerations one can implement to address poor thyroid function:

DIETARY CHANGES

  • Eating principles: low sugar, low fat (saturated animal proteins), high fibre, low cholesterol
  • Calorie percentages: 70% complex carbohydrates, protein 12-15%, fat 15-18%
  • Therapeutic foods: oats, kelp, seaweed, artichokes, onions, garlic, dulse, Swiss chard, turnip greens, egg yolks, wheat germ, cod roe, lecithin, sesame seed butter
  • Fresh juices: carrot, celery, and/or spinach with powdered kelp or dulse
  • Avoid goitrogens (which can reduce thyroid function) unless cooked: broccoli, turnips, cabbage, carrots, kale, rutabaga, soybean, spinach, peanuts, yams, radishes, millet, green peppers, beets, celery, lettuce, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collards, kohlrabi, peaches, pears, strawberries, apples, apricots, blackberries, raspberries, prunes, cherries, honeydew, grapefruit, grapes, oranges, peas, sorghum, bamboo shoots
  • Avoid known food sensitivities

HYDROTHERAPY

  • Short cold spray to thyroid after warm bath/shower Or
  • Cold mitten friction to thyroid after bath/shower
  • Alternating hot and cold compresses to thyroid gland daily: Hot compresses moulded to neck for 3 minutes hot followed by 30 seconds to 1 minute of cold compresses. Repeat 3-5 times
  • Cold shower to middle and lower back to stimulate adrenals
  • Constitutional hydrotherapy treatment to help stimulate digestion

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Do not use an electric blanket-the body’s metabolism will be slightly raised in the body must generate its own heat to keep warm
  • Exercise daily to stimulate the thyroid gland and elevate the body’s metabolic rate

Struggling with ADHD, depression, infertility, and weight loss may all have an association in the way of which your thyroid is functioning. Before you commit to a series of anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, and even possibly harmful hormone fertility therapy, I would highly recommend you run a comprehensive thyroid hormone panel. For those reading this email-based in the UK, Omnos provide an affordable solution https://app.omnos.me/all-tests/blood/bloods-thyroid-complete and for those living in the United States of America I would suggest a panel offering through Ulta Lab tests https://www.ultalabtests.com/test/thyroid-complete

Analysis of findings can be illusive, as such I am offering a free analysis to the first 10 enquiries, based on their thyroid hormones findings provided through either Ulta labs or Omnos. In order to take advantage of this opportunity email the following to info@autonomiccoaching.com

Name:
Surname:
Email address:
Major concerns:

And complete these initial provisional symptoms exam https://www.autonomiccoaching.com/provisional-symptoms-diagnostic/


I look forward to helping anyone reading this article, struggling with the symptoms of a poor thyroid, which for those of you unaware include but not limited to the following symptoms:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating.
  • PMS
  • Cold intolerance
  • Muscle cramps and tenderness.
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Seasonal exacerbation of symptoms.
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Frequent cold and flus
  • Low libido
  • Absence of sweating
  • Brittle nails
  • Easy bruising
  • Coarse, dry hair
  • Dry skin and scalp
  • Hair loss of the scalp,
  • groin, outer eyebrows. YOUR
  • Pale, cold, scaly, and wrinkled skin.
  • Poor wound healing
  • Swelling of the hands,
  • face and eyelids.
  • Yellow/ivory skin colour
  • Itchy skin
  • Immune system disruption 

References

  1. Sanyal, D. and Raychaudhuri, M. Hypothyroidism and obesity an intriguing link. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911848/
  2. Nippoldt B, T. can thyroid disease affect my mood?. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/expert-answers/thyroid-disease/faq-20058228#:~:text=Yes%2C%20thyroid%20disease%20can%20affect,Unusual%20nervousness
  3. Akil, H. Relation between the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid (HPT) Axis and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis during Repeated Stress. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7723683_Relation_between_the_Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid_HPT_Axis_and_the_Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal_HPA_Axis_during_Repeated_Stress#:~:text=Previous%20work%20has%20indicated%20that,thyroid%20(HPT)%20axis%20regulation.
  4. Krucik, G. Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid): Everything You Need to Know. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/hypothyroidism/symptoms-treatments-more#What-is-hypothyroidism?
  5. Orlander R, P. Is hypothyroidism more common in men than females? Available at: https://www.medscape.com/answers/122393-11271/is-hypothyroidism-more-common-in-males-or-females
  6. Fitzgerald, P. and Dinan G, T. Prolactin and dopamine: what is the connection? A review article. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18477617/

Whole grains, fruit and legumes form a large part of dietary trends setting the scene in a new plant-based culture; however, the consumption of these foods may be detrimental to your health! Inflammation is by far the leading contributing factor to a whole host of diseases, ranging from anaemia all the way to autoimmune compromise, yet how does eating ‘healthy’ contribute to the rise of inflammation within our given lives and bodies?

Given the rapid rise of autoimmune compromise along with obesity and chronic inflammation, our efforts to eat healthily have increased, yet many of us are still finding ourselves in a state of pain, fatigue, and mitochondrial compromise. Now, what if I were to tell you that eating white rice instead of whole grains may benefit your weight loss and improve your overall state of inflammation? Think about, Asians have been eating rice for centuries, and up until the recent introduction of the ‘western’ ideal diet they have had the lowest incidence of diabetes, obesity and even cancer, certainly, there must be a few golden nuggets of information that we could integrate from their lifestyles into our own nutritional efforts? Well, truth be told, refining carbohydrates may be one of the biggest pieces of their health puzzle!

Lectins are protective proteins that bind to carbohydrates of certain plant foods, enabling a greater chance of survival of plants against the grazing of animals and in our case, humans. Foods such as legumes, whole grain products and even fruits picked before fully ripened contain high amounts of lectins. Given that lectins impact our mineral use, immunological reactions, and overall state of inflammation, aiming efforts to avoid lectin toxicity may prove paramount to lowering many of our nutritional and dietary concerns when trying to lose weight, improve energy and fix pervasive anaemia.

Eureka! The answers are always in the details, you see with all our modern-day fads and nutritional ‘remedies’ we have simply forgotten to ask the question why!

Why did so many all over the world strip the husks from grains before munching down on some sushi, well it’s pretty clever thinking if you ask me, rid the source of nature’s toxic defence (lectins) and presto your body does not have to deal with constant attack i.e. inflammation.

Here is a list of high lectin foods to avoid if you’re struggling with ANY inflammatory disorder:

  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (raw)
  • Tomatoes and peppers

And here are some good choices to incorporate on a low lectin plan

  • Broccoli/brussel sprouts
  • Leafy green veggies
  • Pasture-raised meats

Now the healthy picture doesn’t just stop at eating white rice…hahaha…. far from it! Excluding preservatives, particular sources of dairy (no, not all dairy is bad for you BTW) and opting from seasonal fruits, all provide immense benefit in regulating how your mitochondria regulate energy metabolism. Not so long ago, our ancestors ate in accordance with the seasons and for a due reason, you see our mitochondria respond to energy metabolism dependent on environmental climate and associated biochemicals produced in different seasons. Therefore, when we eat in accordance with what nature makes available, the likelihood of our mitochondria developing confusion drastically lowers along with mitochondrial associated diseases!

The modern diet feeds bacterial overgrowth, in my opinion, due to poor seasonal eating and excessive consumption of lectins throughout one’s diet. Stress in all forms suppresses healthy bacterial growth and liberates glucose, sugars which unwanted and unhealthy bacteria feed off to produce aldehydes!!!!

So exactly what are aldehydes, and why is it such a concern? Well without bogging you down with too much science, aldehydes are necessary for acetylation in the nervous system, if and only IF they are converted into acetyl Co-A. However, most cases of bacterial overgrowth deplete many of the nutrients required to have this conversion take place, leaving your liver in a state of excess aldehydes and a clogged detoxification pathway, ie non-alcoholic fatty liver!

Nonalcoholic fatty liver increases the potential of diabetes, loss of cognition, impaired sex hormone production and poor cholesterol metabolism. So…. if your gut is producing Aldehydes that are hijacking your liver’s ability to detox, guess what? You’re also going to have metabolic issues, i.e., mitochondrial dysfunction. Interestingly through a diagnostic I run called the organic acids test, we can distinguish if indeed your mitochondria have become dysfunctional due to either excessive bacterial overgrowth, yeast accumulation or even poor aldehyde detoxification!

I get it… you are trying to fix up bad habits and yet here again comes another health claim that may make you feel as though you’re thrown off track again, truly that’s not the objective! What is important is to ascertain what is ACTUALLY going on in your body, instead of taking the advice from others who may have never had to deal with inflammation, autoimmune compromise, depression, obesity or immense and intense brain fog.

I am dedicated to enlightening your efforts, providing objective findings that you can use to validate choice, choice which should not have your calorie starving only to continue to put on weight and feel awful. If you have tried everything from: ‘if it fits your macros’ to ‘Atkins’ and possibly the ‘lupus diet’ and yet you are still struggling, then it may be time for a more targeted approach to your health.

It may be time for Autonomic Coaching