Stress

Case Study: A Functional Approach to Hormones and Gut

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How Functional Health Coaching Treats Mood, Gut and Hormones in an Integrated Way

The Symptoms

When Emily joined our coaching program, she was struggling with depression, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. She said that she did not have the energy to improve her diet or exercise regimen to support her health. She feared that trying to make major changes could have the potential to elicit panic attacks that would prevent her from moving forward.

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Emily felt “tired almost all of the time.” Up until a few years before joining our functional coaching program, she had lived an active life. She had spent years gaining her education and working as a public health professional. And, at 38-years-old, she found herself barely making it through the day.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

She suffered from symptoms of gas, bloating and indigestion. Her symptoms eased when she was strict about her diet but returned whenever she wavered slightly. 

The First Steps

The first thing we advised Emily to do was to take the huge step of removing coffee and alcohol from her diet. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she was amazed at how much better she felt, just from those small changes. While this is not always as impactful for everybody as it was for Emily, it does show that sometimes a couple of small tweaks can have big effects.

The Labs

As Emily made those early changes to diet, we ran a handful of functional labs, including:

  • DUTCH Complete hormone panel

  • Comprehensive thyroid panel

  • GI-Map stool pathogen test

  • Micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) test.

The Test Results

The test results showed that Emily was quite deficient in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone but it is also responsible for providing a sense of energy and plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythms controlling sleep/wake cycles.

Emily was also very low in all of her female sex hormones (the estrogens and progesterone) and she was also very low in melatonin, a hormone that helps promote restful sleep.

Emily's thyroid appeared to be slightly sluggish and she was deficient in seven different important micronutrients.

Her stool test detected two different parasites, an overgrowth of two different opportunistic yeast species, suppressed immune response in the small intestines, and a very strong sensitivity to gluten-containing foods.

Part of the Hormone Report

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Stool Test Results

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The Protocol

Emily remained free from coffee and alcohol and began to adopt a gluten-free diet.

She started doing moderate exercise, managing her stress levels, eradicating gut pathogens through an herbal protocol, and supporting her healthy hormone balance through diet, herbs, and lifestyle changes.

She introduced some herbal tinctures such as black cohosh, red clover, vitex, and motherwort to support her female hormone levels. She used a product called Adrenotone from Designs for Health to support the adrenal glands and the balance of stress hormone production through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Emily supported her micronutrient balance through the introduction of a complete mineral support formula and used the Designs for Health GI Microb-X product as one of the antimicrobial blends for eradicating infectious microorganisms. She also introduced Megaspore probiotic to rebuild beneficial gut flora and to support the immune system. 

For dietary support, Emily began seed cycling and introduced more healthy fats into her diet. She also incorporated detoxification strategies such as dry brushing and rebounding into her daily routine to help her move toxins out of the body in a natural way.

The Transformation

Photo by Patrick Hendry

Photo by Patrick Hendry

As Emily gained energy, she was able to reintegrate exercise into her life and she enjoys mountain biking and outdoor sports of many kinds.

After six months on the coaching program, Emily reported feeling better than she had in years despite experiencing some extreme stress, including the sudden death of her partner’s mother.

Over the course of her six months on the program, Emily gained enough energy and mental clarity to make big decisions about her life, including the purchase of a new home and a desire to have a baby.

Emily is now thriving, pregnant, happy in her life, and excited about her future.

 

 

Are You Ready for Your Transformation?

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come check out our coaching options to see if it’s a fit.


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Essential Oils that Balance Sleep, Mood and More with Jodi Cohen

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Jodi Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an essential oils company, and the best selling author of "Healing with Essential Oils". She's a nutritional therapist and essential oils expert. In this episode we talk about the nervous system and how to get into parasympathetic rest mode, getting a good night's sleep, the adrenal glands, and histamine.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:35 Introducing Jodi Cohen
Min 03:25 Jodi's health history
Min 08:40 Essential oil formulas
Min 11:00 How essential oils work
Min 17:45 Jodi's first approach to helping clients: improving sleep
Min 22:55 Mold & clearing the sinuses
Min 23:40 Melotonin and how it detoxifies
Min 25:40 Effects of stress on the body
Min 28:50 The adrenals & HPA
Min 34:10 Detoxifying estrogen
Min 35:45 Using binders
Min 38:40 Mood adjustment with essential oils
Min 45:15 Histamine balance for air cleaning
Min 46:05 Jodi Cohen's essential oils
Min 48:30 Jodi's resources

To learn more about Jodi Cohen, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook page 
Facebook discussion group 
Pinterest 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 

Resources:

Buy essential oils 10% off using the code "womenswellness"
Leaky Gut Solutions interview with Kiran Krishnan
Free gift: Download a free chapter of Jodi's book, Healing with Essential Oils

Here's the video version of the interview with Jodi Cohen:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Taming Fussy, Hormonal Skin with Megan Schwarz

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Megan Schwarz is an attorney turned female hormonal health advocate, with a specialty in skin care. She offers clients dietary, lifestyle, and hormonal support focused on inflammatory skin issues such as hormonal acne, dermatitis, and hyperpigmentation. In this episode, we are going to focus mainly on the internal aspects of skin issues.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:15 Introducing Megan Schwarz
Min 05:50 The connection between stress, healthy skin & ovulation
Min 10:05 The androgens
Min 12:45 Treating clients with skin issues
Min 16:55 Adult acne & PCOS
Min 19:20 Using the birth control pill for acne control
Min 23:35 The gut & liver
Min 24:40 Good skin care tips
Min 30:50 Megan's resources

To learn more about Megan Schwarz, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

Webinar: Beautycounter - Choosing Best Products for Your Skin Type

Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's a video version of the interview with Megan Schwarz:

Is Your Gut Messing up Your Hormones?

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Fixing Chronic Fatigue with Shelley Gawith

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Shelley Gawith is a Functional Nutritionist in private practice in Wellington, New Zealand. She completed Nutritional Therapy Association studies, IHS Advanced Functional Assessment Training, and is a Certified Gluten Practitioner. In this episode we talk about adrenal health, her amazing health history, and her work in helping busy career women overcome fatigue & anxiety.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:30 Introducing Shelley Gawith's work
Min 04:25 Shelley's health journey with chronic fatigue syndrome
Min 08:30 Shelley's steps to getting better
Min 12:10 Cellular energy & adrenal health
Min 16:40 Root causes of Shelley's health problems
Min 21:45 Work stress & its effects on the adrenals
Min 26:50 Shelley's advice for career women
Min 36:50 Hydrochloric acid
Min 39:05 Gulping water but getting dehydrated
Min 42:30 Using electrolytes
Min 47:40 Shelley's resources

To learn more about Shelley, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook
Instagram 


Resources:

Check out our summit recordings and programs at our shop.
31 Day Challenge 
Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's the video version of the interview with Shelley Gawith:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Overcome Weight Loss Resistance with Karen Martel

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Karen is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and weight loss expert from Canada. She is a health leader and researcher determined to revolutionize nutrition for modern women. In this episode Karen and I talk about some of the causes of weight loss resistance like stress, hormones & indigestion.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:30 What is weight loss resistance?
Min 04:10 Karen's personal experience with weight loss resistance
Min 09:20 Testing to get to the root cause
Min 10:40 Karen's passion in nutrition & helping women
Min 14:35 Causes of weight loss resistance
Min 20:35 Karen's personal meal plans & health coaching
Min 23:50 Weight loss resistance case scenarios
Min 28:00 The ketogenic diet & being in ketosis
Min 33:40 Karen's resources
Min 36:25 Connecting with your health coach

To learn more about Karen, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

On Track program 
Free recipe ebook "Paleo for Hormone Health Cookbook"

Check out our summit recordings and programs at our shop.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Get Your Brain Working Better with Dr. Steven Masley

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Dr. Steven Masley, MD is a physician, nutritionist, trained-chef, and author. In this episode we talk about brain health and his new book "The Better Brain Solution" coming out Jan 02.

Here’s what you’ll hear:

Min 01:55 The fear of aging & brain health
Min 02:55 Introduction to Dr. Steven Masley
Min 03:25 Motivation behind the book "The Better Brain Solution"
Min 05:55 The 5 pillars to better brain health
Min 06:45 The odds of cognitive dysfunction for men & women
Min 08:35 Why women's brains rewire during menopause
Min 10:50 Other factors affecting brain health
Min 15:50 Exercise for improved brain health & insulin control
Min 19:30 Ketogenic diets, memory loss and interminent fasting
Min 22:10 Avoiding meat & grains when fasting
Min 25:00 Nutrients & supplements for a better brain
Min 30:10 Toxins (BPA, Phthaletes, Mercury), paleo eating & preservatives
Min 36:55 Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz

To learn more about Dr. Masley, visit his website here and follow him on social media:
Facebook
Twitter

Resources: 

  1. Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz
  2. Take our podcast survey here for a chance to win a price
  3. Enroll for the 30-Day Better Brain Challenge 

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Pause and Pivot to Reduce Stress

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I wanted to give a quick tip, in the form of a 5-minute video, that you can use to transform uncomfortable feelings and react differently to hard situations.

You can use this technique in any situation, from complaining mother-in-laws to general anxiety. One thing I didn't emphasize enough in the video is that you don't necessarily need to say something in the moment. You can slow down time, so to speak, by taking a walk, leaving a conversation, or choosing your reaction after more time to reflect. If you're a firecracker like me, it's nice to practice this option sometimes!

This technique stemmed from work with my 'transformation coach', Toni St. Clair. If you'd like to find out more about Toni or schedule a discovery session with her, go here. Toni definitely got some stuck things to shift for me!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative  

Sun and Sunscreen: Skin Cancer Prevention with Dr. Keira Barr

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Dr. Keira Barr is a dermatologist, uthor, eader, peaker n educato i e ield. In this episode we talk about the skin (which is the largest organ of the body), sun exposure, skin cancer and using sun screen.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:10 Introduction to Dr. Keira Barr & her skin history
Min 07:20 The skin as the largest body organ
Min 08:15 The skin and mind-body connection
Min 13:00 HPA access in the skin
Min 15:50 Stress & believes and their effects on the skin
Min 18:20 Listening to your body & skin
Min 23:50 Types of skin cancers
Min 31:20 When to see a dermatologist
Min 33:30 Factors contributing to skin cancer

Min 35:45 The right amount of sun exposure
Min 42:35 How to use sunscreen & spray sunscreens
Min 47:35 Sleep and melatonin

To learn more about Dr. Keira Barr, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

Take our survey here for a chance to win a price
Free 30-Day program 

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Ease Anxiety & Support Immunity In a Disaster with Mira Dessy

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Mira Dessy is the Ingredient Guru and a Houston area resident whose home was flooded in Hurricane Harvey. She is a practicing holistic nutritionist and meditation expert.

She’ll share both how she remediated her home and some of the emotional and physical health challenges she handled with nutrition, supplements and mindfulness.

We cover:

  • The DIY actions she is taking to restore her home
  • How a community can come together in a crisis
  • The symptoms she’s noticing right after the hurricane
  • The emotional toll of losing your possessions and your home
  • How even junky food, given with love, can be nourishing!
  • How to kick a sugar habit if you’ve relied on it through a disaster
  • The supplements Mira uses to stay healthy
  • How quick and simple meditations can help for sleep and stress

Resources

Download notes from this interview HERE.

Get Mira Dessy's free ebook: Eating Out Healthy

Moisture Meter - to make sure all surfaces are dry enough before beginning the rebuilding process.

To learn more about Mira Dessy, visit her website here and follow her on social  media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

You can listen to this and all other episodes on the podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

 

Please enjoy these articles from our friends Trudy Scott from Every Woman Over 29 and Jodi Cohen of Vibrant Blue Oils:

Nutrition Solutions for Psychological Stress After a Natural Disaster

3 Steps to Combating Mold with Essential Oils

Essential Oils to Modulate the Toxic Effects of Mold

Tomorrow we’ll have our final day of Mold Week with Ryan James, teaching you how to get the most out of an insurance claim.  Home remediation can be quite costly; let Ryan keep you from getting the short end of the stick from your insurance company.

Audio Only Version

If you are on the go or have a poor internet connection, it will be more reliable to play the following audio-only version.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter 

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

A Functional Approach to Weight Loss with Tara Thorne

Tara Thorne is a clinical nutritionist living in Canada & in this episode she is going to talk about functional medicine approach to weight loss. We'll also talk about intermittent fasting and supplements.

Click here to download an mp3 of "A Functional Approach to Weight Loss with Tara Thorne."

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 02:30 Introduction to Tara Thorne

Min 04:00 Health effects of extra fat tissue

Min 07:00 Loving your body

Min 07:55 Mindset for health

Min 09:25 Adiponectin Hormone

Min 12:30 Stress, cortisol, insulin & weight connection

Min 16:35 Why cortisol increases with age

Min 19:20 Gut health & weight management

Min 24:40 Nutrition for weight loss

Min 28:30 Protein and weight loss

Min 31:00 Intermittent fasting

Min 36:40 Supplements for weight loss, sugar cravings & boosting Adiponectin

Min 45:15 Tara's coaching program & resources

Purchase the Supplements from the Episode:

We carry many of the supplements mentioned in this great interview on our online supplement store.  Currently we can mainly ship only in the U.S., but we are working to change that. We can send Megaspore probiotic to many international destinations outside the U.S.

Link to our Supplement Shop

Products to look for:

Berberine-  "Berb-Evail" SKU# BEV060  (CAUTION- Can react poorly with medications. Ask your doctor before using.)

Alpha Lipoic Acid- "Lipoic Acid Supreme" SKU# LAS060

Chromium Synergy SKU# CHR090

Turmeric- "C3 Curcumin Complex" SKU# C3C060

Magnesium Chelate powder 150 gm  SKU# MCP150

Zinc Supreme™ 90 vegetarian capsules SKU# ZNP090

Saccharomyces Boulardii-  "FloraMyces" SKU# FLM060

Fish Oil - "OmegAvail™ TG1000" SKU# OV100 (this is a very high quality absorbable fish oil)

Metabolic Synergy SKU# MSC180  (combination of nutrients and herbs for blood sugar metabolism)

L-Glutamine Powder 250 g SKU# LGL250

Tara Thorne's Resources: 

To learn more about Tara Thorne, visit her website here and follow her on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Consultations

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Restore Your Radiance Program

Click here to learn about our Restore Your Radiance Program.

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

How to Tackle Hormonal Mood Swings by Abby Quillen

There are certain body processes that are not under our control. Take hormones, for example: For women, essentials such as estrogen and progesterone help to regulate things like reproduction, growth, and metabolism. They’re necessary, and their levels are not something that anyone can regulate.

Hormones may cause women to feel differently based on different levels, but those changes do not have to be something that happens without awareness. In fact, understanding what’s going on in the body and why it’s happening is a good way to feel and be more in control.

Take menopause: Many women are taught to fear it because of how radically the body changes hormone levels. But in fact, many women experience menopause as a positive phase of life. Even so, it’s helpful to understand what negativity may happen and what women can do to understand it. This graphic helps explain those hormone fluctuations.
 

The Balancing Act

If you feel like your hormones are holding you hostage, here are some relatively simple lifestyle changes that may help.

1. Pay attention

Keep a diary of your symptoms for a few months. Every woman is different, and the only way to understand your moods is to record them and analyze the data. It may bring relief to observe that cyclical annoyances don’t usually last long.

2. Eat up

Studies suggest that women with PMS may be deficient in calcium and magnesium.

According to some experts, foods rich in vitamin B6, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc may help prevent mood swings. It can’t hurt to eat a more nutrient-dense diet. Reach for vegetables, leafy greens, beans, seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, poultry, seafood, seaweed and fish.

3. Improve your sleep habits

Some women report insomnia before menstruation, which is when estrogen and progesterone levels plummet. 40 to 50 percent of women experience insomnia during menopause. Women with sleep disturbances are more likely to feel stressed out, tense, anxious, or depressed. To improve your odds of a good night of sleep, make your room dark, quiet, and cool, and stick to routine sleep and waking times.

4. Move more

In one study, eight weeks of aerobic training significantly reduced participants’ premenstrual symptoms. Choose physical activities you enjoy since the point is to feel good.

5. Manage stress

Women who experience stress early in a menstrual cycle are more likely to experience mood swings later in the cycle, according to a study. Walking, mindfulness exercises, visiting nature, and hanging out with friends are proven ways to reduce stress.

6. Reduce caffeine and alcohol

In studies, caffeine has been shown to decrease feelings of relaxation and increase ratings of anxiousness, tenseness, and nervousness. Alcohol may interfere with estrogen detoxification (which could be why it’s associated with a higher risk of breast cancer). So reach for a drink such as water or herbal tea that will help you feel calm.

If you experience mood swings that interfere with your daily life and these healthy makeovers don’t help, it may be time to check in with your doctor or naturopath. Herbs like chaste tree and red clover, vitamin supplements or medical treatments may help.

Conclusion

Hormonal cycles should not be used to discount or discriminate against women or medicalize normal life changes. However, it doesn’t serve women to pretend their bodies and moods stay constant through the course of their lifetime. Whether the subject is menstruation, menopause, or moods, they should take their health seriously. Recognizing and understanding hormonal fluctuations may help them move through their lives with more awareness and ease.

 

FOUND THIS INTERESTING?

Abby Quillen is an author and marketing strategist who writes about sustainability, gardening, green living, health, business, and other topics. Her work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, YES! Magazine, and in dozens of other publications. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her family.

 

 

 

This article originally appeared on Health Perch

Parasites: A Hidden Root Cause with Dr. Todd Watts

Dr. Todd Watts is a functional medicine chiropractor from Idaho and in this guest we’re talking about parasitic infections. 

Click here to download an mp3 of "Parasites: A Hidden Root Cause with Dr. Todd Watts"

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 01:20 Introduction to Dr. Todd Watts

Min 03:40 Dr. Watts working on his own case

Min 05:10 Why most of Dr. Todd's patients are women

Min 06:45 How often female patients have parasitic infection

Min 10:50 Testing for parasites

Min 15:25 The connection between Epstein barr and Lyme

Min 19:25 Responses to parasite treatments

Min 22:40 Stress, exposure to chemicals & electromagnetic frequency

Min 25:30 Dr. Todd Watt's healing process & the 5R's of cellular healing

Min 33:00 Parasitic infection and systemic inflammation

To learn more about Dr. Todd Watts and his practice, visit his website here and follow him on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Spark Case Review 

Click here to learn about our Spark Case Review for help with auto-immunity and digestive health.  

Thanks for listening,

Bridgit Danner, Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Guest Blog: 9 Things You Don’t Realize May Be Causing Your Thyroid Disease- With Heather & Damian Dubé

An estimated 27 million Americans alone have thyroid disease.  An additional 13 million are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and those numbers are on the rise.  Chances are, one out of five people you know have some sort of thyroid disease, are you one of them?

Diagnostic & Functional Nutritionists,   Damian & Heather Dubé  , are the Co-Founders of   e3 Energy Evolved™, a thyroid, adrenal &   metabolism restoration system   helping women & men create their lifetime-best natural wellness & metabolism for fat loss with ease vs. force.

Diagnostic & Functional Nutritionists, Damian & Heather Dubé, are the Co-Founders of e3 Energy Evolved™, a thyroid, adrenal & metabolism restoration system helping women & men create their lifetime-best natural wellness & metabolism for fat loss with ease vs. force.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland sitting just above the trachea in the throat.  Three of the major hormones it secretes are Thyroxine (T4), Triiodothyronine (T3) and Calcitonin.  Aside from vitamin D, the thyroid hormones are the only hormones in the body that affect every cell in the body.  It’s no wonder why under or overproduction of its hormones lend to so many symptoms, including weight gain/decreased metabolism, fatigue/insomnia, elevated cholesterol, intolerance to cold, poor concentration/mental fog, digestive issues, constipation, infertility, aches & pains, and much more.

In the modern world you live in, there are so many factors that could not only negatively influence your thyroid’s ability to function properly, but also affect how your cells utilize its hormones.  Some of these influencers can actually create additional issues which further influence function, creating somewhat of a snowball effect.  Below are some of the factors that affect the thyroid’s ability to perform as intended.

Nutrition & Nutrient Deficiencies

There are several nutrients that are necessary for the thyroid gland to function.  The minerals iodine, selenium, chromium and zinc, as well as tyrosine (an amino acid) are required for T4 production.  Selenium and zinc are also required for the conversion of T4 to the more active hormone, T3. If any of these nutrients are depleted, the thyroid will not function properly.

There are many factors that can cause any or all of these nutrients to be depleted.  First and foremost, a diet high in processed or refined foods is these nutrients because they’re destroyed in the refining process.  Also, eating conventionally grown fruits & veggies are missing many of these nutrients.

Studies have shown that conventionally grown produce contains less than half the nutrient quantity of organically grown produce.  In addition, genetically modified crops (GMO’s) contain chelating agents that leach to the minerals making them unable to be absorbed when ingested.  So, even if you’re eating a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies, if they’re not organic, you may not even be obtaining the nutrients that otherwise should be inherently available.

In addition, all medications prescribed by your doctor deplete the body of certain vitamins and minerals.  So, if you’re like most Americans who are taking medications, prescription or OTC, they may be causing nutrient deficiencies, and our bodies run on nutrients, not drugs.  Aside from medications, there are many other toxins in our homes and environment that also use up these nutrients, which will be discussed shortly.

Food Sensitivities

Not to be mistaken by food allergies, food sensitivities can have a huge impact on thyroid function.  When your immune system is compromised (if you’re having a thyroid problem, it likely is), the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract can become overly permeable, allowing partially undigested food particles to seep through into the blood.

Eating certain foods, whether “healthy” or not, can trigger an immune response, where the immune system will begin to attack those undigested amino acid strands. This can not only create further permeability, but also overwhelm the liver and use up many the nutrients needed for thyroid function like glutathione and selenium.

The immune system has a fantastic memory, so it remembers those undigested amino strands, which can resemble proteins elsewhere in the body, like the thyroid.  Then, the immune system may begin attacking the thyroid gland, causing autoimmune hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s.

Bowel Terrain

To piggyback off what was mentioned about food sensitivities, intestinal health can influence thyroid function in several ways. Aside from an overly permeable intestinal lining, a compromised immune system can also prevent the body from properly dealing with parasites, bacteria or fungus.  These pathogens emit toxins that cause further dysbiosis (imbalance in friendly bacteria) and further intestinal permeability.

An example is yeast.  When a dysbiosis is present, yeast can build up within the intestines.  Yeast emits very toxic compounds called exotoxins.  These exotoxins not only feed the bad bacteria like e. coli or enterobacter, but can also bind with cell receptor sites, making them think they’ve bound to a hormone (hormone masking).

Thyroid hormone receptor sites are extremely vulnerable to this type of masking.  Because the cells think they’ve received the thyroid hormone, a negative feedback loop is created, alerting the thyroid gland that it’s received the hormone, causing the thyroid to slow its production.  However, the cells never actually received the hormone, so hypothyroid symptoms appear even though the labs your doctor has run indicate your thyroid is functioning properly.

As the yeast emits endotoxins, more good bacteria is killed off, allowing the yeast to further thrive, potentially leading to yeast toxicity.  Ironically, symptoms of yeast toxicity are very similar to those of hypothyroidism, like weight gain, decreased body temperature, fatigue, constipation, decreased mental focus, and dry skin, nails and hair.

Enzyme Production

When we think of enzymes, we most often think of those necessary to break down food, like lipase, protease and amylase, but enzymes are catalysts in almost every metabolic pathway in the body.  Within the cells, enzymes bind with substrates, initiating changes in cellular metabolism.

Aside from assisting in the breakdown of food particles for proper absorption, enzymes also regulate cellular respiration, converting broken down food into molecules to be used as energy by the cells.  Enzymes are also required for the conversion of EFA’s to prostaglandins and act as messengers to help deliver hormones to the target cells.

Unfortunately, enzymes can be easily destroyed by different toxic substances; like heavy metals, drugs, household chemicals, personal hygiene products, pesticides, etc. Once destroyed or denatured, they cannot deliver the hormone “messages” to the cells, yet another reason why your thyroid panel may appear “normal”, but you still feel like garbage.

Two enzymes that are all too often destroyed are cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and iodothyronine deiodinase.  cAMP aids in the production of TSH, LH, FSH, ADH and calcitonin, so when destroyed or denatured, it’s going to affect the release of TSH, which will then affect the production of T4.
Iodothyronine deiodinase assists in the conversion of T4 to T3, and is very susceptible to destruction by mercury.  Are you one of every two Americans who have amalgam dental fillings, or have been bombarded with mercury containing vaccines?  If so, then this could partly be the reason for low T3 levels.

Well, we can’t leave out thyroid peroxidase, which is also affected by heavy metals; may also partly explain your Hashimoto’s disease.

Stress

Chronic stress not only affects the adrenal glands but also the thyroid. When under stress, the pituitary signals the release of ACTH, which instructs the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.  Cortisol requires tyrosine to be produced.

When that stress becomes chronic, and excess cortisol is produced, it depletes tyrosine levels, making it unavailable to the thyroid gland for production of its hormones.  Elevated cortisol also inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3.

Increased ACTH production also prevents the pituitary from releasing TSH.  In addition, chronic stress depletes chromium and zinc, both of which are needed for T4 production.

Mercury / Fluoride / Chlorine

Above we discussed mercury’s effect on Iodothyronine deiodinase and TPO.  Aside from this, mercury also directly affects thyroid function at a glandular level by over-stimulating the thyroid then decreasing its uptake of iodine, interfering with the synthesis of the hormones themselves.

Contrary to what your dentist may have told you, if you have amalgam fillings, every time you chew, it mercury vapors to be released from the filling, which is extremely toxic to not only the lungs, but easily crosses the blood brain barrier and can be catastrophic to the nervous system.

Another myth told by the ADA is that fluoride is needed to prevent cavities; not true.  Fluoride is also an enzyme inhibitor, replacing iodine in the thyroid gland as well as calcium in the bones.  Here’s a thought, if fluoride displaces calcium in the bones, how can that lead to healthy teeth?
Fluoride also is a neurotoxin and decreases melatonin secretion.  Question, do you also have trouble sleeping?  This may be one of the factors.

Chlorine is another chemical added to our water supply (like fluoride), as well as white flour and other food products.  Chlorine is also an enzyme inhibitor and displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.

Bromine/bromide is another highly toxic chemical that displaces iodine from the thyroid gland.  Bromine is used in bread making, as it helps the bread to rise.  Ironically, iodine used to be used for that purpose, but our government thought that people might get too much iodine, so they passed a law requiring bakers to use bromine instead.

Personal Hygiene Products

Most retail personal hygiene products are nothing more than chemical compositions that have catastrophic implications on your health, including your thyroid.  Whether it’s toothpaste/mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, perfume or even makeup, they’re all full of toxic chemicals that completely overwhelm the liver, are toxic to the nervous system and inhibit enzymes.

Many of them, like your contact lens solution and makeup you apply to your face contain mercury, which we’ve already addressed above.

Medications / Birth Control Pills

All medications, whether it’s Aleve or Advil for your migraines and joint pain, Statins for your elevated cholesterol, birth control pills to regulate your cycle or act as a contraceptive, antacids for your indigestion, allergy meds or any other drug in your medicine cabinet, they’re all highly toxic, inhibit enzymes and deplete essential nutrients.

Oral contraceptives are one of the biggest offenders, yet most Ob GYN’s will use scare tactics to force you into using them, like “They prevent breast cancer.”  In fact, the opposite is true, research suggests that they lead to breast and other female cancers.  As if your body is birth control pill deficient.

Oral contraceptives also deplete many of your anti-stress vitamins like vitamins B2, 6 & 12, and vitamin C, as well as tyrosine and zinc, which as stated earlier, are necessary for thyroid function, as is vitamin B6, and magnesium.

MedicationNutrients Depleted

Oral contraceptivesVitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C, tyrosine and zinc

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)Magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc

AntidepressantsVitamin B2 and CoQ10 (a very powerful antioxidant)

TylenolGlutathione (the most powerful antioxidant, required for liver and thyroid function)

Anti-InflammatoriesFolic acid, iron, potassium, sodium and vitamin C

CorticosteroidsCalcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamins C & D and zinc

AntibioticsBiotin, inositol, lactobacillus acidophilus & bifidobacteria bifidum (both healthy gut flora), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 & K

Copper

Excess copper can be very inflammatory, affecting the joints, liver and even the thyroid.  Copper tends to build up in the thyroid gland, which can lead to a multitude of thyroid problems.

Copper is essential for the formation of the nervous system of a fetus.  Because an expecting mother’s need for copper is increased, most doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain more than twice the copper of other multivitamins.  That sounds logical, right?

Here lies the problem.  When a woman becomes pregnant, her body’s ability to absorb copper also increases.  Adding additional copper to her multivitamin can cause toxic levels to be circulating through her system, causing increased oxidation and leading to a slue of health problems like emotional & mental illness, brain fog, allergies, pain and inflammation, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, PCOS and amenorrhea, as well as liver and thyroid disorders and miscarriages.
If you’re using a copper IUD, you may want to reconsider.

What Should I Do?

As you can see from above, there are so many factors that can affect thyroid function, so the question is, “where should I start?”

You can start by incorporating some of the below.

  • Reduce stress.  Easier said than done, I know.  Try avoiding people who drain your energy, are negative, or just stress you out.  You can also try meditating, praying, etc.
  • If you’re on medications prescribed by your doctor, we cannot recommend you stop their use.  You can, however, talk to your doctor about potentially reducing your dose, and eventually weaning off if possible, including your birth control pill.  If this is not an option, you can try adding in the nutrients that the medication is depleting.  Always consult with your medical practitioner before doing so, however.
  • Remove all chemicals from your environment. Switch to natural household cleaners, including detergents, cleansers, etc.  Also switch to natural cosmetic products that are derived from oils, minerals, and herbs/flowers.  Throw out your synthetic fragrances like perfumes.
  • Filter both your drinking water and your shower to remove all chlorine and fluoride.
  • Avoid all processed foods.  You may also try eliminating foods you notice create inflammation within your body.
  • If you have amalgam fillings, you may want to consider having them removed. You may want to build your health before having them removed in order to better deal with the removal of mercury from your system.  If you have cancer, do not attempt to remove your amalgam fillings, as removal can be very toxic, which your system may not be equipped to deal with.

Figuring out for sure what’s causing your thyroid disease requires a great deal of detective work. Because your cause(s) are likely different than someone else’s, a truly bio-individualized approach is usually needed.

Unfortunately, not many practitioners, natural or conventional, fully understand all the factors that affect thyroid function in order to effectively reverse a thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health imbalance naturally.

These are just some of the things we teach through our E3 Energy Evolved System  to our private online e3 Restore Members, that most doctors and natural practitioners aren’t considering. Restoring thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic health naturally is a bio-individual journey for everyone, that involves multiple applied sciences including experienced human body change leadership utilizing functional nutrition, and integrative mind-body-spirit work. 

If you’re in need of help, feel free to reach out to our team for information on how to schedule a Functional Nutrition & Metabolic Restoration Consultation + Labs Review.

We’ve personally & professionally corrected these health imbalances naturally, we’ve worked with 100’s of clients online, we accept a limited number of private e3 Restore Members each year during our open enrollment periods, and we would love to help you to restore your best thyroid, autoimmune and metabolic wellness to get your life back.

Damian & Heather