Way of Life’s September Newsletter
September ushers in the Fall season of Way of Life’s FREE Wellness Classes. Join us for a fresh cup of brewed tea and an assortment of interesting health related topics. A partial Fall lineup calendar is here:
September 14th: Latest Developments and Methods for Anti-cancer Biology with Daniel Beilin, OMD
September 28th: Cultivating Calm: A Holistic Approach to Stress and Anxiety
October 12th: Still to be determined
October 26th: A Fit Body Creates a Fit Brain with Stick Yoga with Arthur Faygenholtz DC
November 2nd: Blood Sugar and Weight Loss with Cheri Bianchini RN
November 16th: Topic: Vaccinations with Sarah Holloway
Also, check out our sales this month with Mychelle, Badger and Nordic Naturals!
Heads up: Our annual Fall Celebration Customer Appreciation Day is coming next month October 15th. Mark your calendar for sales, treats, free samples and vendor booths as well as raffle baskets and live music.
Keeping Your Thyroid in Balance
By Ramona Richard
The thyroid gland controls how fast (or slow) you burn your food for energy. It is therefore in control of how much you can eat before you gain weight. Some folks are blessed with “fast metabolisms” and must eat more often or consume larger meals to sustain themselves. Those of us with slower metabolisms find that we must eat less, and maybe skip breakfast because we are just not hungry in the morning. Those of us with slower metabolisms may gain weight more easily. It is useful, therefore, to know how to support our thyroid to keep it in tip-top shape. Thyroid hormone is a combination of only two substances: iodine and an amino – tyrosine. There are three versions of thyroid hormone: T4 (inactive), T3 (active) and reverse T3 (inhibitory to thyroid function). T4 must be converted in the body to T3 so that we have active hormone levels. Stress makes conversion move to the reverse T3 pathway. Selenium, true vitamin A, zinc, and iron are particular cofactors for conversion. A lack of any one of these cofactors, as well as high stress, can cripple thyroid function.
Signs of a thyroid gland that is below par include weight gain, cold hands and feet, constipation, dry, brittle hair, loss of the outer third of the eyebrow, and depression. The thyroid can also become too stimulated – a condition we call hyperthyroidism. Grave’s Disease is an example of hyperthyroidism and speeds a person up so that they cannot keep weight on, they experience heart palpitations, they feel too hot, etc.
Our lifestyle can impact the thyroid gland. If we exercise, our thyroid gets boosted. It increases our metabolism to burn our food faster. If we are couch potatoes, our thyroid can be sluggish, and we might have a tendency to gain weight. Too much stress, via our stress hormone cortisol, is also a lifestyle issue and, as mentioned above, can suppress the thyroid. Also, excess estrogen increases a molecule that binds up thyroid hormone so that the rest of the body cannot use it. So estrogen dominance can suppress thyroid function as well. Since menopause is, by definition, more estrogen than progesterone (the definition of estrogen dominance), many menopausal women find themselves with at least subclinical hypothyroidism. “Subclinical” means not picked up by the conventional blood test.
Our diet can also impact how well the thyroid functions. There are foods that we eat that can slow down the thyroid to some extent. Soy foods, especially soy milk and tofu (unfermented soy) are high in phytates, natural substances that inhibit the use of iodine by the thyroid gland. Raw cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc., as well as millet and pine nuts can also inhibit iodine use. However, one would need to consume a lot of these foods to slow down the thyroid noticeably. Some medications can also interfere with thyroid function, notably the benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Klonopin, as well as lithium and propranolol (common beta blocker).
There is another dietary situation that can contribute to hypothyroidism. Americans have, for a long time, had a love affair with bread – with gluten, in other words. Gluten is a high allergen for many people. It has been associated with the production by the immune system of antibodies that attack the gluten protein, but they also attack the thyroid gland, causing damage that inhibits thyroid function. This is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If you have any degree of sensitivity to gluten, it is best to avoid gluten altogether. It can spare your thyroid!
Dr. Broda Barnes, 20th century physician who became an expert on all things thyroid, suggested a way to test if a person had low thyroid function. He used a basal thermometer (likely now replaced by digital versions) which had to be placed by the bedside the night before. He had patients take their under-arm temperature in the morning, without first getting up for any reason and without moving very much – which would invalidate the test. If it measured below 97.8˚, it suggested low thyroid function. Men and non-cycling women could do this basal test any time of the month. Cycling women needed to take their basal temperature only on days 2, 3 or 4 of their cycle (during the menses) to avoid the influence of sex hormones on temperature. Doing this test for several months in a row and averaging results can give you an indication that your thyroid is fine or that it may need help.
The good news is that we can support our thyroid gland to function optimally, and perhaps even boost its ability to increase our metabolism! Ensuring optimal nutrition comes first. Make certain you have enough iodine, zinc, true vitamin A (retinol) and selenium. Iodine is particularly important to pay attention to. Since many of us switched to sea salt, Himalayan salt or celtic salt, we may be deficient in this important mineral. Regular table salt has iodine added to it, along with sugars, anti-caking agents, etc. But our more “gourmet” salts have considerably less iodine. Supplementation may be necessary. Adding sea veggies such as dulse, hijiki and nori can also help maintain iodine sufficiency. Adding exercise would be a close second to diet/supplementation in boosting thyroid function. Avoiding gluten-containing grains (wheat, rye, barley, commercial rolled oats) and large amounts of soy milk or tofu, and lightly cooking your cruciferous veggies most of the time may also help. So keep your thyroid tuned for a smooth-running metabolism, good mood and proper weight control!
Ramona Richard, BA, NC, graduated with honors both from the University of California with a BA in psychology and from Hawthorn University with an MS in Health & Nutrition Education. She holds a teaching credential from the State of California and is a state-certified Nutrition Consultant.
Free Wellness Classes
In store at Way of Life!
Wednesday, Sept 14th
Latest Developments & Methods for Anti-Cancer Biology
with Dr. Danial Beilin
Wednesday, Sept 28th
6:30 -8:00 pm
A Holistic Approach to Stress and Anxiety
with Aimee Miller, Licensed Acupuncturist
FREE Nutritional Guidance with Ramona Richard, BA, NC
In store on Wednesdays, Fridays
Earn one point for every dollar on everything purchased, including Gifts, Clothing and Body Care We mean
Download printable version of the newsletter here
Read more more Health Articles HERE
Kombu Seaweed Salad
Place kombu in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until kombu has softened, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool until easily handled, 5 to 10 minutes.
Whisk honey, soy sauce, ginger, and rice vinegar together in a large bowl. Add kombu, carrots, cucumbers, and sesame seeds; toss to combine. Let sit in the refrigerator until flavors combine, 10 -15 mins.