Everywhere I turn, I run into a woman who has a thyroid issue.
Are you that woman? Are you the one who goes to your medical doctor who runs a thyroid panel and says you’re either “within range” with her numbers, or you’re hypothyroid. The doctor then proceeds to prescribe you Synthroid or another synthetic thyroid medication.
Heck, you may have chosen to go the “natural” path, seeking out help from an ND, who gives a similar diagnosis, and puts you on a “natural” thyroid medication like Nature-Throid, which happens to also contain synthetic T3 & T4. You may feel a little bump in energy and a slight improvement in other symptoms you’re having, but after a few months, you’re finally to the point where you know something’s still not right, and you’re absolutely correct.
Most doctors, even ND’s for that matter, are so single focused in their diagnosis and treatment. If your thyroid’s not producing sufficiently, it may not be the thyroid that’s the problem, but your liver could be the weak link, which is affecting your thyroid function.
What? Are you insane? My liver and my thyroid are a completely different organ.
Sure, your liver and thyroid are complete different organs (one lying in your neck region, the other in your lower torso) but their connection to each other is huge.
I’m sure you know that your liver is one of your largest detoxification organs, second to maybe your skin, depending on who you ask. Your liver is the head of your body’s filtration system. It’s responsible for picking up bi-products and other toxic substances from all over your body, metabolizing them and preparing them for removal so they don’t wreak further havoc on your health.
Those toxins are coming from everywhere, and in many different forms. They could be heavy metals like mercury, aluminum and cadmium, which may be coming from your dental fillings, your cookware, your cosmetics or even from the seafood and water you’re consuming. They may come in the form of chemicals you’re exposed to through your environment like your carpet or mattress, your household cleaning supplies, and again, your cosmetics and personal care items, and again, the food you’re eating.
Toxins may be coming from within your body too, as byproducts of unfriendly gut bacteria, parasites, fungus or yeast in your intestines. Yes, if you are hypothyroid, you likely have intestinal dysbiosis as well, something that is also overlooked by most practitioners, natural or otherwise, and needs to be addressed for optimal thyroid function.
OK, so how is my liver affecting my thyroid?
There are many nutrients that aid in liver function, but one in particular stands out as it’s not only essential for liver/detoxification, but also for thyroid health, and is disregarded by most medical professionals. That nutrient is selenium.
Selenium is a fascinating nutrient, involved in so many functions within the body. Selenium assists the liver with the removal of toxic metals, especially mercury, cadmium, arsenic and nickel. It’s also required for cytochrome P450 (an enzyme essential for the removal of drugs (like synthetic hormones and other prescription medications) and other toxins via the liver).
Selenium is needed for proper pancreatic function, in turn, aiding in digestion and the utilization of the food you’re eating. It’s required for the production of glutathione, which is necessary for liver detoxification. Also, it’s required for the prostaglandin G to E & F conversion, which aids in reducing systemic inflammation throughout the body.
Oh, and aside from all of selenium’s benefits to the liver, it’s also required for thyroid function. Selenium is needed for the formation of tetraiodothyronine, also knows as thyroxine (T4) and the conversion of T4 to the more active form, triiodothyronine (T3). Even if the thyroid is producing sufficient T4, if there’s any sort of selenium deficiency within the body, T3 formation will be impaired, leading to hypothyroid symptoms.
In the thyroid gland, an enzyme called thyroperoxidase (TPO) and hydrogen peroxide are required for the conversion of iodide to iodine, also needed for optimal thyroid function. However, if too much hydrogen peroxide is left in the thyroid, it leads to Hashimoto’s disease. Selenium to the rescue. Selenium is needed to make glutathione peroxidase, whose function is to detoxify that hydrogen peroxide after it’s done its job within the thyroid gland.
Back to the liver
During the detoxification process in your liver, your body’s selenium stores are depleted, basically used up in detoxification. Our bodies are smarter than we are. Your body knows that the metabolism and removal of toxic substances is more vital to your immediate well being than your thyroid function. This may be why your selenium stores are depleted so quickly, and because most practitioners are missing things like intestinal dysbiosis and/or permeability, and are not addressing the toxicity issues you’re exposed to on a daily basis and throughout your lifetime, among other things that are overwhelming your liver, your thyroid is paying the price.
So what should I do?
The chances are, supplementing with a little selenium can’t hurt, though the source makes a difference. Food based practitioner quality nutraceutical forms would be the best. However, the root cause(s) need to be addressed.
Do your due diligence and find a functional nutrition practitioner that understands the thyroid/gut/intestine/liver connection. The longer you wait, the more time, money, energy and frustration it will cost you. Continuing on the path of prescription medications will only create further imbalance in the long term. If you suffer from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, and are ready to look at your imbalances in a new light, we at e3 Energy Evolved would love to hear from you. Please reach out, as we’re confident we can help to uncover many of the underlying issues that are creating your road blocks to better health and a happier you.
Ready to take that leap? Sign up here for a 45 Minute Functional Nutrition & Metabolic Restoration Consultation.
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