Thyroid – Get yours working naturally!

The thyroid gland is the body’s internal thermostat, regulating the temperature and controlling how quickly the body burns calories and uses energy. If the thyroid is overactive and secretes too much hormone, the condition is known as hyperthyroid. If the thyroid is underactive and secretes too little hormone, the condition is called hypothyroid.
   Hypothyroidism affects about 13 million people in the United States. About 90% of these are women. Thyroid imbalances are not always easy to recognize. Stress, depression, anxiety, tiredness and other emotional or mental states can mask a thyroid imbalance. Minimal imbalances in the thyroid gland can significantly affect mental and physical health.
   Symptoms of thyroid imbalance include: fatigue or exhaustion; irritability and impatience; feeling too hot or too cold; constipation; depression, anxiety, or panic attacks; dry skin or hair; hair loss; mood swings; frequent memory lapses; inability to concentrate; unexplained weight gain or loss; loss of enthusiasm for life; a sinking spell around 3 or 4 in the afternoon; and insomnia.
   Women from 30 to 50 years of age are the most likely to develop hypothyroidism. The most common reason for hypothyroidism is estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Estrogen interferes with thyroid hormones, while progesterone facilitates normal action of the thyroid hormones. As progesterone levels naturally fall, so does thyroid function.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) compounds the problem since it is commonly synthetic estrogen without the balancing component of progesterone that is prescribed. Synthetic progestins that are used for HRT do not have the same thyroid facilitating action that natural progesterone does.
    Radiation and / or heavy metals can accumulate in the thyroid gland and cause thyroid dysfunction.  Many of us have metal fillings in our teeth that slowly deteriorate and leak mercury which easily accumulates in the thyroid. Heavy metals such as mercury can cause the thyroid to be either ‘hyper’ or ‘hypo’ depending on the individual. A heavy metal cleanse will chelate the mercury out of the body, cleaning the thyroid gland, and restoring thyroid function. Medicinal grade green tea helps clean radiation.
   Iodine deficiency is another reason for hypothyroidism. Iodine is a rare trace mineral and is very hard to assimilate if the pH of the body is not correct. Sometimes supplementing iodine in a natural form such as kelp will help, but a stronger form is usually necessary to get iodine to an optimum level. Iodine helps detox the thyroid gland of bromines which have become abundant in our food and our environment.
Many take prescription Synthroid or Armour Thyroid and still have symptoms of hypothyroidism. I find that supplementing with at least 800 I.U. per day of natural vitamin E along with iodine helps to facilitate uptake of the medication so that thyroid function normalizes.

There are some good natural supplements I find helpful for hypothyroidism.  They include natural progesterone cream as mentioned above; thyroid glandular extracts: l-tyrosine, a precursor to thyroid hormones in the body; natural vitamin E; and iodine.  There are many good combination products specifically for thyroid health.  Check with your local health food store.

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Food Chemicals Are Everywhere – Detox Now!

Processed food is everywhere. In some ways, we are fortunate to be living in a time when we can process and preserve our food so that our supermarkets are always full and we always have plenty of choice in what we have to eat; but in other ways, we are deprived of “real” food that is naturally tasty and full of nutrients that are good for us.
Food processing is a business that has become more and more sophisticated over time. Our food is processed so that it can have a long shelf life, be easy to prepare and have the right taste and texture. The downside of this is the chemicals that are used.
Did you know that there are over 15,000 chemicals used in food processing that do not have to be listed on the label? Now you may be asking if this is bad. The short answer is yes.
These chemicals along with some of the additives that are actually on the labels are unnatural which means toxic to the body. With continuous exposure over a long period of time, they suppress your immune system which makes it more susceptible to disease; they cause free radical damage, making you age more quickly; and they make the pH of your body more acid which makes you more prone to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, etc.
Let’s talk about the chemicals. Did you know that by the time a child is 5 years old, he/she has consumed 7.5 pounds of chemical food additives? The alarming part of this fact is that the human body was not meant to handle this type of chemical. Think about the pounds of chemicals you have consumed in your lifetime.
If the 7.5 pounds per 5 years ratio holds, that means I have consumed over 80 pounds of chemicals in my life. The worst thing about these chemicals is that it is very hard for the body to eliminate them, so they tend to stick around particularly in fatty tissue.
One of the saddest things I see is that we have forgotten what real food tastes like. I was raised without mixes and highly processed foods – other than white bread, a few canned vegetables and occasional breakfast cereal. I still cook from scratch and I avoid food that is too processed. I hate food that tastes like chemicals. If you think about it, there are many foods that taste like chemicals, not like food.
I think we can all be healthier if we look at the food we eat and try to step back up the processing chain and opt for foods that are less processed than what we would normally eat. Choose fresh vegetables instead of canned or frozen – garden when and where you canned. For cereal, try oatmeal (old fashioned) rather than instant – or make your own granola. Try a really good natural bread without all the dough conditioners and processing that is in normal commercial bread – better yet, make your own from scratch. Eliminate mixes – especially anything with MSG. Eat raw fruit – preferably organic rather than drinking juice or eating fruit rollups.
Read labels. Even though there are many chemicals that are not listed, the ones that are tell a good part of the story. If it has names you have to work to pronounce, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup and / or aspartame, avoid it. And do regular cleanses. You can also take enzymes, trace minerals, and daily liver support to help your body eliminate the chemicals naturally. Your body will thank you.

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Yeast – If you have it, get rid of it!

Yeast overgrowth, also known as Candida, is one of the most common issues I see in almost everyone – especially now after too much holiday food.
Common symptoms of yeast overgrowth include gas and bloating, indigestion or heartburn, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, sugar/carbohydrate cravings, blood sugar swings, food sensitivities, sensitivities to smells, insomnia, prostatitis, PMS, endometriosis, urinary tract infections, headaches, allergies, eczema, rashes, hives, skin tags, weak and pealing fingernails, memory loss, arthritis, eye problems, sinusitis, thick & ropy saliva, coated tongue, and fungal infections such as athletes foot and fingernail/toenail infections. If you have any of these, it is likely you have yeast overgrowth.
Getting rid of yeast/fungus is one of the first steps to take in rebalancing the body so it can heal itself. One of the main problems with yeast overgrowth is that it makes everything that is out of balance worse – this goes for headaches, allergies, arthritis, skin conditions, cholesterol, etc. Anyone with any condition will get better after a yeast cleanse. I am not saying that getting rid of yeast is a “cure all”; however, if you have it, it makes your health worse on all levels. And, getting rid of it makes you better on all levels.
Yeast/fungus limits our ability to digest and use our nutrients. It limits our ability to manufacture B vitamins (look back at my previous article on B vitamin deficiency) and also our ability to convert beta carotene to vitamin A.
When someone has yeast overgrowth, their blood will have small green chunks of fungus in it. Yuck! They will crave carbohydrates and complain of having no energy and they will just not feel well.
Yeast/fungus is so prevalent – it is the first condition I recommend addressing as the body just can’t overcome this kind of imbalance and it will only get worse – no matter how many supplements or medications you take.
Yeast overgrowth is common in children who are hyper, have attention problems, stomach aches, bed wetting, skin rashes, hives, asthma and allergies. This translates to adults with similar problems including the same symptoms children have, but instead of bed wetting, the issue turns into frequent urinary tract infections. Adults will also have more headaches with yeast/fungus. Almost every autoimmune conditions has yeast overgrowth as a component.
The point I am making is that systemic yeast is a big problem. If you have it, work on getting your body back into balance naturally.
Getting rid of yeast overgrowth involves herbal supplements, dietary changes, elimination (if possible) of immunosuppressive drugs and antibiotics, rebalancing and strengthening the immune system, and repopulating the intestines with the appropriate bacterial balance.
Natural products that eliminate yeast are caprylic acid, oregano, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, olive leaf, pau d’arco and cellulase. Most of the natural products are taken in stages. The first stage involves killing the yeast. The second stage involves repopulating the body with appropriate beneficial bacteria by using probiotics.
Both stages need to be supported by an appropriate diet that eliminates foods that feed the yeast. Foods that easily convert to sugar or are high in natural sugar such as fruit, fruit juices, refined grains and products made from refined grains, dairy products, alcohol, and sweets should be eliminated. Other foods that should be eliminated are foods with natural molds such as peanuts and peanut butter, vinegar, and mushrooms. You can search the internet for yeast diets if you want more specifics.
The ease of eliminating yeast overgrowth many times depends on the length of time the body has been out of balance. If yeast overgrowth recurs after such a program, the immune system most likely needs to be supported or an ongoing maintenance program may be necessary.

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White Flour – Want an easy way to feel better? Give this up.


Happy New Year! I am behind in blogging, so I thought I would repost from 4 years ago. This post is on wheat – one of the recent “findings” on wheat is that it is sprayed with Round Up (toxic chemicals) just before harvesting. There are many grains that are treated this way. One of the current health theories is that the spraying of Round Up is causing increased sensitivity to grains. If you don’t choose to avoid wheat, at least avoid toxic chemicals and go organic!

Originally posted on Margaret's Natural Health Blog:

If you are still searching for a great health related New Year’s resolution, consider giving up white flour and products made from it. You might be amazed at how much better you feel.
White flour made from refined wheat is one of the most common food allergens today. Almost everybody who lives in the United States has some sensitivity to white flour and / or wheat.
Wheat used to be considered the staff of life, but now, thanks to processing, it is a dead and detrimental food. When you compare white flour to the wheat berry, processing removes 66 percent of the B vitamins, 70 percent of the minerals, 79 percent of the fiber, and 19 percent of the protein.
What is left is a “food” that forces the body to rob itself of essential minerals in order to be digested. Once these mineral stores are depleted, the “food” will…

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