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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

2nd Opinion Non Drug Solutions

Scientifically-Based,Clinically Verified, Medical Nutrition 

by Dr. Derek Rodger, Naturopathic Doctor

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]oday we are going to discuss the thyroid. This is one of the main issues I deal with in my practice, especially in women. Thyroid problems are extremely common in the US—about 5 million people suffer from low thyroid.

Sitting at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple is a butterfly shaped gland known as the thyroid. This important endocrine gland helps regulate metabolism, which is the rate in which the body burns fuel.

A malfunctioning thyroid gland can be the cause of many health problems. For an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid), the most important symptoms are feeling cold and fatigue. If you are tired and get cold easily, even when others feel hot, you may have a low thyroid function. Other important symptoms of a low thyroid are excess weight and diffculty losing weight, dry skin and thinning hair. An easy way to check for hypothyroid is to take your temperature every morning when you get out of bed (3-7 days). If your body temperature is consistently below normal 98.7 degrees you may have an underactive thyroid.

An overactive or hyper-thyroid condition means the thyroid is overproducing hormones. When the thyroid is over stimulating the metabolism, the body’s thermostat is set too high. Fuel burns up too quickly which can trigger weight loss, intolerance to heat, hyperactivity, restlessness, rapid pulse rate (90-160) heart palpitations, tremors, inconsistent monthly cycles, muscle weakness and impaired sleep.

Hashimoto thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where  the thyroid becomes inflamed and eventually destroyed. It is often associated with child onset diabetes 1, and celiac disease. This may suggest chemical toxicity and/or heavy metal poisoning.

An enlargement of the thyroid gland that can be seen as a swelling in the neck is goiter. This results from insufficient intake of iodine.

“After 5 years of medication for my thyroid, within 7 months I was off all medication, taking natural supplements, the swelling had decreased dramatically and I feel great.”

Why thyroid disorders are so prevalent isn’t exactly clear. However, there are a number of factors that are being considered.

Iodine is an essential mineral for the production of the thyroid hormones. This nutrient is found in abundance in seafoods but concentration is not high in plants or animals raised inland. Furthermore, fluoride, chlorine and bromide are all found in the same group as iodine on the periodic table of elements. This means each can displace iodine in the body, so the chlorination of water supplies and the use of fluorides may be a contributing factor. Drugs, corticosteroids, aspirin (salicylates) and anticoagulants can also depress thyroid activity.

One way to offset deficiencies in your diet is to take all the minerals that the body needs daily so necessary co-factors are included. There are also several ways to increase iodine naturally: fish and sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, bladderwrack, and Irish moss are good sources. Liquid dulse is also available, if you prefer a prepared form. Both coconut oil and natural sea salt are options for getting extra iodine into your diet.

In addition to his private practice, Dr. Derek Rodger (ND), also conducts Certified Nutritional Courses, and Nutritional Weight Loss courses. For more information, please call 908-223-8899 or email him at [email protected]

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