Do you have questions about your thyroid function?
The Sluggish Thyroid Syndrome is perhaps the most commonly occurring hormonal disturbance in America today. It afflicts millions of people of all ages and sexes, although adult women are its usual victims. The thyroid gland controls the metabolic rate and is descriptively known as the “master of metabolism”. As many as one in four Americans suffer from reduced thyroid function. Reduced body temperature is perhaps the most common consequence of impaired thyroid function. The individual who wears several extra layers of clothes, wears socks to bed, or who has “ice cold hands” is typically thyroid deficient. The person who abhors the onset of winter is usually thyroid-deficient.
As the master of metabolism the thyroid gland exerts control of several critical functions, including body temperature, digestive enzyme synthesis, stomach acid production, fuel combustion, fat and protein synthesis, white blood cell synthesis and activity, and blood flow. The thyroid gland is also a critical player in the synthesis and activity of sex hormones.
Thyroid disorders are particularly common in the region of North America known as the goiter belt. This region was so named because of the high incidence of goiter that occurred there early in this century. Goiter is essentially a pathological enlargement of the thyroid gland. Scientists determined that the states/provinces of the goiter belt had very low iodine levels in their soil and drinking water. Thus, the local food supply was lacking in this critical trace element, and unless an individual regularly consumed seafood, derangement of thyroid function and/or goiter was virtually assured. This “epidemic” was essentially obliterated via the introduction of iodized salt. Even so, goiter, as well as the related condition of thyroid nodules, remains a significant cause of illness in the goiter belt, which includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ontario, and Manitoba.
Which of these apply to you (each response worth 1 point)?
1. lethargy or weakness
2. tired in the morning and energetic at night
3. dry or coarse hair and/or skin
4. slow or slurred speech
5. swelling of the face and/or eyelids
6. cold hands and feet
7. bloating and indigestion after eating
8. hair loss from the outer third of the eyebrows
9. short-term memory loss
10. depression which is worse in the winter or on
11. white spots on the fingernails
12. chronic weight problems
13. easily constipated
14. PMS and/or other menstrual difficulties
16. swelling of hands and/or ankles
17. chronic headaches
18. emotionally unstable
19. brittle nails or nails which grow slowly
20. lack of sweating
21. poor appetite and/or lack of hunger
22. hair loss from the scalp, legs, and/or arms
23. generally nervous
24. difficulty getting deep breaths
25. heart palpitations
26. severe muscle cramps, especially at night
27. tendency to bruise easily
28. joint stiffness
29. require prolonged periods to get “warmed up” after exposure to cold
30. excessive appetite (never get full)
31. slow growing hair and/or nails
32. light or heavy menstrual flow
33. brittle hair
34. cholesterol deposits on the face or eyelids
35. lack of sexual desire
36. enlarged facial pores
37. poor hand-to-eye coordination
38. hoarseness or coarse voice
39. inability to translate thoughts into action
40. Do you tend to become depressed in the
winter or after exposure to the cold?
41. Do you have a history of ovarian cysts?
42. Do you have repeated breast inflammation and/or infections?
43. Have your periods stopped prematurely?
44. Have you been diagnosed with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria)?
45. Do you fail to feel rested even after sleeping long hours?
46. Do you have heart disease or hardening of the arteries?
47. Do you have cystic breast disease (lumpy breasts)?
48. Have you noticed that your skin has developed a yellowish tint?
49. Do you have chronic migraine headaches manifested by pain over the bridge of the nose, along the temple, or behind the eyes?
50. Do you drink fluoridated water and/or use fluoridated toothpaste?
51. Do you receive regular fluoride treatments from your dentist, or do you administer them at home?
52. Do you have high cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels?
53. Do you suffer from cracks in the bottom of the heels?
54. Are you morbidly obese, and/or do you have a difficult time losing weight?
55. Do you have a history of repeated miscarriages?
56. Do you have a history of carpal tunnel syndrome?
57. Do you smoke a half pack or more of cigarettes per day?
58. Are you constantly cold, even if you wear extra layers of warm clothing?
59. Do you have a low body temperature (add 2points for this)?
Your Score ____
1 to 11 points Mildly sluggish thyroid:
Slight imbalances in thyroid function are common and usually can be corrected through dietary means. However, it may be necessary to supplement the diet with thyroid-boosting nutrients such as zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, tyrosine, B vitamins, iodine, and vitamin C. Take a multiple vitamin/mineral containing these nutrients. Increase the consumption of foods rich in iodine and reduce the intake of refined/processed foods. Be sure to use sea salt in cooking or sprinkled on foods as a source of iodine. A small dose (1/4 grain or less) of thyroid hormone may be necessary. As a natural iodine and thyroid tonic take two caps daily in the morning. This is made with unprocessed wild kelp, which is free of toxic metal residues.
11 to 20 points Moderately sluggish thyroid:
Severely curtail the consumption of refined sugar, since it causes thyroid burnout. Eat iodine-rich and be sure to salt your food with sea salt. Take the following supplements daily: B-complex (1 or 2 tablets), zinc (50 mg), and a multiple vitamin mineral tablet containing iodine. A prescription of thyroid hormone (1/4 to 1/2 grain) may be necessary. To naturally support thyroid function and as a natural source of iodine and tyrosine take four caps daily. This is made with unprocessed wild kelp, which is free of toxic metal residues.
21 to 34 points Severely sluggish thyroid:
At this level daily thyroid hormone replacement may be necessary. See your doctor and have him/her perform the appropriate blood tests for thyroid function. Be aware that the blood tests can be normal and a thyroid defect may still exist. That is because as much as 70% of thyroid function may be lost before blood tests become abnormal. If the physician suggests thyroid hormone therapy, opt for natural thyroid hormone versus synthetic (e.g. Synthroid), which may be toxic.
35 and above Incompetent thyroid function:
Your thyroid gland is failing to work to any significant degree. To be certain that the symptoms are due to thyroid malfunction take the Broda Barnes underarm thyroid temperature test. This simple at-home test requires only a thermometer. Shake the thermometer down and place it at your bedside. As soon as you awaken put the thermometer under your armpit. Lay motionless in bed for ten minutes and then record the result. Do this for at least ten consecutive days. The newer electronic thermometers require much less time. Women should be aware that their temperatures will naturally rise during menses. The normal underarm temperature is 97.80 or above. If your temperature is consistently below this level, blood tests for evaluating thyroid function are indicated. However, be aware that these tests are often normal even if the thyroid gland is malfunctioning. That is because the tests show only how much thyroid hormone is circulating in the blood and tell nothing of how well the hormones are functioning on a cellular level. Additionally, the loss of up to 70% of thyroid function may occur before blood tests become abnormal. The fact is thousands of Americans have thyroid glands which are operating at 10 to 30% capacity. No wonder so many individuals suffer from chronic fatigue.
Certain substances impair thyroid function
These substances include refined sugar, fluoride, a number of foods contain substances called goitrogens, which interfere with thyroid function. These anti-thyroid foods include: raw cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, peanuts, almonds, peaches, flax, legumes, beans, carrots, and spinach. What’s more, the anti-thyroid components are liberated by juicing. Ironically, the daily consumption of what is regarded to be a healthy food, raw carrot juice, may induce a mild hypothyroid state (Note: cooking inactivates the thyroid-blocking components – they are better in their raw forms). Also aggressively salting goitrogenic foods reduces their toxicity.
In order to strengthen and/or reactivate thyroid function take the following supplements on a daily basis:
- whole food b complex powder
- whole food vitamin c capsules
- whole food vitamin e capsules
- whole food fatty salmon oil rich in vitamins A & D
- natural sources of kelp ideally not from the Pacific Northwest or Japan
If the tests are abnormal, your doctor may suggest thyroid replacement therapy.
Insist upon natural thyroid hormone (Armor thyroid, etc.). Do not take Synthroid, it causes bone loss.
In addition, the following supplements should be consumed on a daily basis:
- To naturally support thyroid function take The Body Shape Diet Thyroid Formula take up to six caps daily.
- wild chaga sublingual drops
- raw chaga oregano capsules
- juice of oregano
- crude herb of oregano in capsules
To read more on Thyroid Support and to find out what body shape you are read: Dr. Cass Ingram’s The Body Shape Diet.