Here’s a somewhat shocking stat for you: one in eight American women will likely develop some kind of thyroid issue.
At her holistic medicine practice, Parsley Health, Dr. Berzin shares her perspective on this epidemic with her patients and helps them to support this very important gland.
You may be wondering why the thyroid is so important.
Located in the front of the neck, the thyroid produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as the heart, digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance—almost every major system in the body.
Thyroid imbalance happens when the various thyroid hormones stop functioning optimally. Symptoms usually range from weight gain, constipation, and dry skin to depression, muscle aches, and brain fog.
Why does thyroid imbalance occur?
If this sounds like you, here are her 5 recommendations from Dr. Berzin on how to boost your thyroid now.
1. Take Vitamin D3/K2.
If you are low on Vitamin D, you do not convert free T4 to free T3 (two thyroid hormones) well. We recommend taking at least 2000IU daily if you haven’t been tested and 5000IU daily if you are low on your test. Your target Vitamin D level should between 40-50.
2. Eat seaweed.
Kelp is a great source of iodine, which is important for thyroid hormone production — but many people don’t get enough of it in food. An easy way to add more into your diet is to use Nori sheets instead of tortillas to make wraps. You can also buy kelp flakes to sprinkle on your salads.
3. Identify food sensitivities.
The best way to figure this out is by doing an elimination diet. Removing foods that tend to cause inflammation for at least 21 days, and then slowly reintroducing them, can pinpoint which food might be to blame.
4. Support your microbiome.
The microbiome is the population of bacteria in our bodies, primarily living in the digestive tract. These bacteria are important for maintaining the intestinal barrier, and modulating the immune system. When it’s out of balance it can cause “leaky gut” which can kick off a cycle of immune activation and inflammation that can suppress the thyroid. Shifting the microbiome takes time, the right supplements, and the right diet — but it can make a big difference.
5. Take stress seriously.
Chronic stress lowers the conversion of free T4 to free T3, meaning you have less active thyroid hormone to work with. Severe chronic stress at the level of the brain can depress the thyroid centrally. When stress is so chronic you can develop high Reverse T3, a hormone that acts like a break on the thyroid.
Download our free guide to healing your thyroid for additional tips.