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Thyroid health is something that I am always looking for new information on. When it comes to thyroid health, it’s important to understand that we are all unique, so what works for one person may not work for another, but this article is a great starting point for your own health investigation.
If you’re suffering from thyroid disease, then one of my favorite resources is the Thyroid Sessions from my trusted affiliate partner, Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. This compilation of thyroid health information from leading health experts has changed the lives of thousands of people (myself included).
Learn more about the Thyroid Sessions today.
I also have a wide range of thyroid health posts on this site that are a great starting place for anyone with thyroid disease.
Read all of my thyroid health articles here.
I am so excited to feature Donielle, author of the website and the new book, Naturally Knocked Up on Delicious Obsessions today! You may remember that I got the opportunity to review Donielle’s book a couple months ago and loved it. You can read my review of Naturally Knocked Up here. I HIGHLY recommend her book to any woman who are planning on becoming pregnant in the future. I am excited that Donielle is sharing some information on fertility and pregnancy as they relate to thyroid disorders, since that is an area that is affecting my life right now. One of the main reasons that I decided to become so proactive about my health in 2012 is because hubby and I want to start a family, but I know my health is not where it should be for a healthy pregnancy and birth. I am currently on a health journey to get my Hashimoto’s Disease under control and you can read my full health journey here.
If you’re looking for more info on how to heal your thyroid through alternative methods, I highly recommend the upcoming Thyroid Sessions Online Summit (affiliate link). It launches May 4th and will provide you with all of the information your doctor didn’t tell you about your thyroid problems. The hand-picked team of functional medical doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, and health experts reveal how you can regain your energy, lose excess body fat, and heal your thyroid NATURALLY through real food, lifestyle changes, and getting the lab testing you need. Learn more and register for free here. I’ll be watching daily and I hope you’ll take advantage of the free information as well.
Fertility, Pregnancy, and the Thyroid
by Donielle Baker, Naturally Knocked Up
I’m not an expert on thyroid disorders, but I’ve spent full days of my life reading books on healing them naturally. Why you ask? Well, I’ve known that thyroid disorders cause infertility and can even be connected to pregnancy loss for a long time now. And last month I had tests done that show my thyroid needs a bit of help; I’m hypothyroid by functional diagnostic standards.
And I’d like to reverse that, thank you very much!
Problems with the thyroid can stem from many different causes. Sometimes it’s a stressful event (mine seemed to begin after a miscarriage), sometimes it’s diet lacking in nutrients, and other times it’s due to food sensitivities. And this, of course, is just a short list of causes, we could go on for quite some time.
The thyroid is involved in almost every bodily process, so when it begins to have problems, many things can go wrong. And one of them is the production of the correct hormones needed for fertility and pregnancy. It seems in many cases that even a mostly whole foods, traditional foods diet, like the one my family and I eat, have not been enough to fix it once it’s damaged.
So how do you heal your thyroid?
Each person is going to find different aspects of their health that they need to work on, but there are many common links in healing protocols.
1. Find a holistic doctor that can help you order the labs that you’ll need
It’s important to find a doctor that knows what to look for and can also help you order the correct labs. Commonly, doctors only look at TSH numbers (thyroid stimulating hormone). Instead, you need to look at a full thyroid panel and test for antibodies as well (if you test positive for antibodies, it means it’s Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease). They also need to look at the functional range, not a pathological range, meaning that most conventional doctors only see something wrong when you’re really sick. But if you’re within a functional range, you’re really healthy, so there’s a big difference there.
They may test for common vitamin deficiencies, like vitamin D and B12, and also help you figure out if you have food sensitivities that are causing malabsorption and inflammation. These things are important to know and without much of this knowledge, you’re just stabbing in the dark when trying to heal your body.
A good holistic doctor is worth his/her weight in gold.
2. Healing begins in the gut
That old saying from Hippocrates keeps coming back at me “All disease begins in the gut.” While I’ve had my fair share of antibiotics over the last 6 years (due to being given them at both my children’s birth, and then again later as I developed mastitis due to the compromised immune system from the antibiotics…), I’ve always thought my digestive system was spot on. I mean, I didn’t have chronic constipation or diarrhea. Everything seemed good to go.
Except it wasn’t. And I’m low in some very important vitamins!
So the healing for any disease, thyroid disease included, needs to begin in the digestive system. This can take place by following a mostly grain-free diet and adding in a lot of fermented foods and bone broths. And of course, eliminating any foods you’re sensitive to as they will continue to irritate the gut lining. Sometimes specific healing diets, like GAPS or SCD, are really helpful, and other times they still include foods that you may be sensitive to. So if you’re following a specific diet and not feeling a lot better as you progress through the different phases, look at having a food sensitivities test done (IgG testing or nutritional response testing can be quite accurate).
3. Having a Baby
So can you, and should you, get pregnant when you have a thyroid disease?
It’s tricky, this whole getting pregnant thing. And I think it really all depends on the healing you’ve done and your current lab tests.
Someone with slightly low numbers like myself is (I’m hoping anyways) going to heal more quickly than someone who has been suffering from hypo (or hyper) thyroidism for some time; the longer it goes unmanaged, the more damage is done. And for a person dealing with Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune disease needs to be corrected first, meaning antibodies don’t show (or are very low) on a lab test and thyroid levels are near functional range.
And medications don’t necessarily seem to be the save all either. After reading the book “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests are Normal”, by Datis Kharrazian, it seems that thyroid medications can cause the labs to look good while you still deal with not only symptoms, but the problems that come from thyroid disease. So even if you are taking thyroid medication, you may want to take a closer look at how your body is functioning before trying to conceive.
So yes, it very much looks like a healthy pregnancy is possible with the correct care beforehand. Yay for good news! Sometimes we just need to remember not to put the cart before the horse, and be patient as our bodies heal. This could take six months to a year, and a bit longer for extreme cases.
Donielle Baker is the founder and author of the Naturally Knocked up website. She has written a book, also titled Naturally Knocked Up, in a quest to help women acheive health and wellness and go on to have healthy, happy pregnancies, births, and babies. Her passion for “increasing the odds of conception through natural living and nourishing foods” has helped countless women. You can find Donielle on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Supporting the Thyroid & Adrenals Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting the adrenals and thyroid (because they are very closely linked), caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.
So great to see an article on thyroid disease and pregnancy. The lack of awareness about thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy is pervasive. I learned this the hard way. When I became pregnant, I trusted my doctors would know everything there was to know about hypothyroidism in pregnancy. I would later learn they had no clue about the TSH guidelines for pregnancy and I miscarried. The fetus depends on the mother for thyroid hormone for its growth and development in the early months. So if a woman is low in thyroid hormones, hypothyroid, she is at risk of pregnancy complications including miscarriage. I applaud you for including this article and helping to spread awareness about the dangers.
Dana – Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I’ve always known that it was much harder for women with thyroid issues to become pregnant, but after I read that article on your site about Hashi’s and miscarriage, it really hit me how serious of an issue this is. And it KILLS me that NO ONE talks about it! That’s why I love, love, love your site and the work you are doing. It is VITAL. P.S. I think I owe you an email! I need to catch you up on the new doc! 🙂