From hypothyroidism to healthy normal hormones
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Isabelle came to me soon after her doctor diagnosed an underactive thyroid. She felt that it would have been this way for some time as she had been extremely tired for several years, but put it down to having had two children close together. But when her youngest started school and she felt that she was getting good rest, the fatigue seemed unusual.
Apparently, previous thyroid tests showed low thyroid activity but during those visits her TSH was still within the reference range and the doctor hadn’t brought this to her attention, saying all was fine.
Because her current TSH level was still not at a critical level, the doctor did not start medication, but was going to ‘keep an eye on things’. This set-off alarm bells for Isabelle, as she now knew there was a reason for her fatigue and she wanted to do what she could to manage it better and hopefully avoid medication.
In our first consultation I discovered that Isabelle previously needed antibiotics due to mastitis, so we tested her gut health and found that her bacteria levels were out of balance, but not enough to warrant the use of herbs or drugs. I suggested she increase probiotic foods and decrease sugar and refined carbohydrates that were feeding the bad bacteria.
Her tests also showed a degree of inflammation in her digestive system, but because Isabelle was short on money we didn’t investigate further at that point. I prescribed a gluten and dairy free diet along with avoiding grains, sugar and additives to give her digestive system a rest, reduce inflammation and give her body the potential to heal. Bone broths were also introduced to help with healing and to sooth her digestive system.
Foods rich in the vital nutrients needed for good thyroid function were included in her diet. This was easy because she wasn’t going to have grains, and instead have a lot more vegetables, nuts and seeds which are all very rich in vitamins and minerals. Magnesium and vitamin C rich foods were included to help manage stress.
Isabelle loved the new diet – her energy and quality of sleep improved and she handled day to day stress much better.
She didn’t get her thyroid levels checked until three months later, and over this period Isabelle felt like there wasn’t an issue any more and she was right. The tests all came back within the reference range. While still not optimal, they continued to improve even more over time.
Because it was easier for her to cook this way for the whole family rather than just for herself, after six months from her first consult with me, Isabelle emailed to say that her husband said he had more energy and was coping with work better, so much so that he got a promotion due to working more efficiently.
As a bonus the kids’ school reports mentioned that their behaviour had improved and they were more attentive to their school work.