Blog

Thyroid Imbalance
  • EFT and Matrix Reimprinting Introduction Workshop Nelson, New Zealand


    Details

    Morning Session

    The basic recipe of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

    •  A simple easy process you can take with you any where, and use at any time, for just about any issue:     

                 Stress, anxiety, depression, phobias            
                 Physical pain, illness and disease          
                 Relationships, procrastination, abundance, goals  …

    •  What happens in your body when you have negative emotions

    •  A process with 4 ingredients: Set up, Sequence, 9 Gamut, Repeat the Sequence     
    •  A demonstration practice and time to explore and practice with a partner


    Afternoon Session

    Introduction to Matrix Reimprinting

    •  The Quantum Laws of Nature
    •  How we become traumatised
    •  How our subconscious is running the show
    •  Trauma and ECHO Creation -  What is an ECHO?  - a ‘part’ of us that splits away energetically when we experience a traumatic event (big or small)
    •  The many benefits Matrix Reimprinting has in increasing EFT’s effectiveness:

               Faster, gentle and effective trauma release and resolution
               Gaining wisdom to take the learnings from traumatic events
               Unearthing, understanding and overcoming secondary gains
               Finding preconscious memories (our first 6 years) and core issues

    •   Providing new resources and enabling ECHOs’ to safely move through trauma     
    •  The difference between EFT and Matrix Reimprinting
    •  Beliefs and decisions we may make when we experience trauma
    •  How we might react to similar situations based on these beliefs
    •  Working with an ECHO


    The introduction day will include a powerpoint presentation (to provide structure, visual and auditory … input), group interaction, videos, and time to explore the impact some of your negative experiences, may be having on you.

    A chance for you to go deeper within yourself - what might you discover?


    Interested?   If you would like to learn more message me via: 

    www.facebook.com/nurturingnaturallynz   

    Email:  nurturingnaturallynz@gmail.com


    or   phone 03 5451618 (NZ)  or txt message  0272303505



    Directions to Wakapuaka Estate      (Previously Garindale Estate)

    Calm, tranquil rural setting with ample parking, on State Highway 6, just north of Nelson 8 min from the central city.

  • Summary of Thyroid Imbalance from a Mind Body Brain Perspective


    We respond to the environment we live in and your body does not make mistakes. Ask, what is your body trying to tell you.

    Autoimmune diseases relate to a traumatic experience usually early in our life, that involves an attack against self lymphatic response. This ‘attack’ is something you perceived around your self-worth of not being able to cope or trust. Within a loving and supportive environment such as with an experienced practitioner, ask yourself: how, when and why did I become an enemy to myself and / or when did I allow others to influence me, denying my own self worth, thoughts or feelings.

    When the thyroid reacts the conflict theme is either about:     

    1. A recurring powerlessness / fear struggle. I am powerlessness and fearful of    something / someone coming towards me, vulnerable, not safe and I can’t do anything about it.   

    2. A recurring survival issue of being too slow, not quick enough with the need to go faster.                                                                                                                             

    3. Both 1 & 2

    The experienced trauma is individual and unique to the person and is always unanticipated, dramatic and isolating for them.

    You are the key to your own health. Healing comes from within so take full responsibility for your health and wellbeing. Healing from the root causes, not simply easing symptoms. Include others to guide, love and support you but remember the ultimate process of healing is yours. It should always be your journey, your decisions, your choices.

    Awareness of the mind - brain - body connection and the two phases of stress and regeneration, reduces and removes fear of symptoms as it enables understanding of why the body is responding in a particular way. It also guides you in what you can do to support its healing process. Whatever age you are, your inner child remains. Learn to be calmly curious about what you are experiencing.

    Names of health concerns are just names and do not define you. View them as a process - a response to something, your chance to learn and take the action needed to regain your vitality and passion in life.

    Genes are not your destiny. As the research of epigenetics shows us, you have a lot of control over the switching on and off of your genetic inheritance by changing the environment of your cells.

    Nourishing and supporting your body is vital and includes working with the body’s energy system. Look at your lifestyle and environment. Everything you put in and on your body - the food and water you eat and drink, the air you breathe, the personal care and cleaning products you use, the electronic devices you use, and your balance of fun, rest, sleep, exercise and how you move. Be aware of your emotions, your social interactions with others and the beliefs and values you hold.

    How much love do you have for yourself? Love and connection with others is central to survive to reach our greatest potential of health. Isolation increases separation. Find, connect and share with others. Connect with higher powers if this is right for you. Gratitude, love, connection. Find what you need to feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved

    Your empowerment is in your ability to reframe previous beliefs and change how your mind, brain and body responds.

    Understanding your soul journey may also help you understand you are more than your physical presence.

    Your personal growth is in discovering yourself spiritually and finding your passion, your life purpose and what you came into this lifetime to learn.

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 6: Addressing Pregnancy / Postpartum Thyroid Imbalance and Depression


    • Find a doctor who understands thyroid disease and how it affects your pregnancy and post birth. Someone knowledgeable and open to lifestyle interventions, alongside medications if they are needed.
    • Ensure you have close medical supervision if you are taking antidepressants and during any weaning off phases 1.
    • Preferably learn and address thyroid imbalance and your potential for this before you become pregnant. Thyroid hormone requirements go up during pregnancy and any thyroid imbalance needs close monitoring 2.
    • Correct copper zinc ratio gradually and carefully with doctor / naturopath guidance.
    • Take responsibility for your health and wellbeing. You are your own, and your baby’s, advocate. Research, ask questions and speak up for yourself and your little one when you know something is not right 3.
    • If overwhelmed by sadness, crying spells, distancing from spouse, inability to care for your baby, seek help, and, get your thyroid checked 4.
    • Meta-Health Analysis, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Matrix Reimprinting, can be very beneficial in finding and resolving the root cause of your thyroid imbalance and depression.
    • A tailored Lifestyle Prescription, should include nutritional guidance of foods and / or vitamin and antioxidant supplements that are depleted and those nutrients known to be linked to mood (Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids 4).
    • We are social beings so healing also involves love, connection and support from caring others - family, friends and / or specific support groups with those who have had and overcome similar experiences.
    • Fun, enjoyment, relaxation, meditation …. re-evaluating ones values and beliefs and finding your life goals and purpose are also steps to healing.

    Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery, provides an in depth look at thyroid Imbalance from a western and mind body brain perspective 5. (Coming in an ebook but in interim, link to part 1 of this 4 part series)

    Do not expect the mother to tough it out. She needs love and support to reduce the overwhelm. Take depression and thyroid imbalance seriously. Do not neglect it. The mother, infant, family and future generations depend on it. Nurture the mother, the infant and the family.

    Remember that “our life is an endless path of learning, an evolving journey of personal growth and development, a discovery of who we are, and the beliefs we hold. Each step provides the opportunity to look at what shapes us to be our individual unique self” (Hansen, 2016). 5


    References

    1. Trentini, D. (2013). The Truth About Hypothyroidism And Depression. http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

    2. Wentz, I. (2013). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Lifestyle Interventions for finding and Treating the Root Cause. ISBN. USA.

    3. Katie - Wellness Mama. (2017). How Thyroid Disease Affects Pregnancy and Fertility https://wellnessmama.com/156213/pregnancy-thyroid-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pregnancy-thyroid-disease

    4. Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    5. Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog


    Part 7, 'Thyroid Imbalance from a Mind Body Brain Perspective - Summary Points' will conclude this series of posts.

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 5: Postpartum Depression and Copper Connection


    Dr William Walsh, the author of ‘Nutrient Power’, provides extensive research on the connection between high copper levels and postnatal depression.

    To quote Dr Walsh:

    “Copper and oestrogen are related and I’ve seen probably 400 cases of postpartum depression. Virtually all of them have a copper overload. These are people who might have been on SSRI antidepressants and with nothing really happening not making them better or worse. But if we are able to simply normalise their copper most of them become completely okay and you can throw away their medications. They’re the easiest people to help” 1.

    A woman's copper level normally more than doubles during pregnancy to provide for her growing fetus 1, 2, 3. The levels should then start reducing back to normal. Dr Walsh and his colleagues believe that in women who develop postpartum depression, the copper levels stay high, most likely, they suspect, due of a genetically determined flaw in the protein that regulates copper levels 1, 2, 3.

    Excess copper in the brain can contribute to postpartum depression as it alters the balance of two mood regulating chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine 1, 3, 4. 5. High copper may also be seen in bipolar disorder, severe anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, autism, some types of schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alzheimer’s and psychosis 3, 4. 6.

    If a woman has an anxiety or depression disorder with the onset at puberty it is highly likely the lab results will show a copper problem. At hormonal events such as those at puberty, childbirth and menopause copper levels tend to become skewed if the person is not able to regulate their copper 1, 5. Birth control pills and hormone replacement may also raise copper levels 5, 6.

    Copper toxicity can be compounded with each pregnancy and may explain tragic stories of “seemingly healthy women who in the midst of a postpartum psychosis harm their children” 5. It may also explain emotional or other health problems that begin after the birth of a child, and for girls who develop inattention, anxiety, panic or depression around the onset of puberty 4.

    Specific laboratory blood test results of elevated copper levels and insufficient serum ceruloplasmin (copper binding protein) indicate copper toxicity. From these two levels the percentage of free copper in serum another marker for diagnosis can be calculated. Commonly, zinc is depleted in these patients, and may also suggest an impairment of copper detoxification mechanisms 3, 7.

    Management

    Copper levels need to be adjusted gradually and carefully, guided by blood test monitoring and a qualified knowledgeable doctor / naturopath. One way to do this is zinc supplementation. As zinc and copper need to be in balance in our body, high in one will create low in the other 8. Many people with Hashimoto’s (and adrenal fatigue) have low stomach acid, which can lead to depletion of zinc and raise their blood copper level 8.

    Small doses of zinc are given initially then the dose is increased. For most people it will take about six to eight weeks 1, 3, 4.  Slowly correcting and normalising high copper levels, minimises any discomfort to the person 1, 3.

    Avoid multivitamins with copper. Copper deficiency is rare and most people do not need it in a supplement 3, 4.

    Limit exposure that can raise copper levels: drinking water, especially if from copper pipes or well water; swimming pools treated with copper for algae; copper cookware: and copper containing intrauterine contraceptive devices 4, 6. Foods including chocolate, seafood, avocado, beans, nuts, lamb and organ meat also contain higher levels of copper 4.

    Monitor thyroid function tests and Vitamin D levels. If either or both are abnormal, address this in order to more easily correct the copper overload 4.

    Provide an individualised nutrient protocol based on the person's clinical presentation, laboratory tests, age, weight and how well they absorb nutrients 4.


    References

    1. Scott, T. (2016). The Anxiety Summit – Is My Anxiety and Depression from a Methylation, Pyrrole, or Copper-Zinc Imbalance? http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/anxiety-depression-methylation-pyrrole-copper-zinc-imbalance/

    2. Norton, A. (2007). High copper levels tied to postpartum depression http://www.reuters.com/article/us-postpartum-depression-idUSCOL96756220070209

    3. Jazzar, C. (2008). Study Links High Copper Levels to Postpartum Anxiety Reactions https://momswellness.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/study-links-high-copper-levels-to-ppd/

    4. Synder, C. (2015). Copper Overload - Too Much of a Good Thing http://www.courtneysnydermd.com/blog/copper-overload-too-much-of-a-good-thing3

    5. Walsh, W. J. (2014). Nutrient Power. Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. Skyhorse Publishing: Canada

    6. Pfeiffer, C. C. (1987). Nutrition and Mental Illness. On Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.

    7. Bowman, J, (2015). Copper Overload and Depression in Girls and Women http://www.mensahmedical.com/copper-overload/

    8. Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 4: Postpartum Depression and Thyroid Imbalance


    Postpartum Depression

    Caring for a newborn infant is an exciting time for many. However, it can also be a time of increased worries, responsibilities, and stress. Postpartum experiences of anxiety, mood swings, anger, difficulty sleeping and crying spells are known to many. If these continue over several weeks, consider if a thyroid imbalance is adding to what you are feeling. Thyroid imbalance can be a trigger of the depression or a contributing factor.

    Many women struggle through this period and may feel isolated, especially when others have trouble coping with their changes in mood and behaviour.

    On her website 'HypothyroidMom', Dana Trentini 1, has a heart wrenching story of a newly postpartum 2nd time mum with extreme postpartum depression who envisioned harming her baby yet knowing she would never do this. Her TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level was 100 (normal functional range is 1.8 to 3.0 mU/L 2, 3 ). She was not crazy. She had a extreme hypothyroidism.

    Two further stories highlight the impact of depression and thyroid imbalance. Robyn Sheldon shares her story of postpartum hypothyroidism and depression and how it impacted her ability to breast feed 4. Stacey Rivera’s story is titled “A Sneaky Disease Tricked Me Into Thinking I Had Postpartum Depression” 5.

    Postpartum depression shares many symptoms with thyroid disease. It is imperative for the health and wellbeing of mothers and infants that we distinguish between the two, provide the optimum care every woman deserves, and not attribute these symptoms to the demands of caring for a new infant 6.

    Research shows that when postnatal depression affects a mother’s ability to provide the care her baby needs, it may impact on their development especially when the depression continues for a long time 7. 8.

    Thyroid Imbalance and Post Partum Depression

    Thyroid imbalance occurs quite frequently in the postpartum period. “Research shows that 5% to 12% of all women have postpartum autoimmune thyroiditis. Half to two thirds of these women experience hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or both in the postpartum period” 7.

    Thyroid imbalance can also cause or exacerbate postpartum depression especially in women who already feel vulnerable. And if you have postpartum depression, you have a higher frequency of positive anti-thyroid antibodies which are a marker for autoimmune thyroid disease 7.

    Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause depression postpartum.

    Much of this is little publicised. Thyroid imbalance and its many symptoms, may be creating or contributing to a woman experiencing postpartum depression. Guilt around her inability to cope with demands and the care of her little one, plus subconscious fears of mothering, and real or perceived lack of support from husband or family will exacerbate the depression.

    All women with a history of depression or any symptoms of thyroid disease (high or low), need to be tested for thyroid imbalance.

    If you are on antidepressants, it is advisable to talk to your doctor about taking a closer look at your thyroid condition and be sure your thyroid testing includes “at a minimum TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies 10. Consider also other potential underlying medical conditions for depression such as anaemia, PCOS, Celiac Disease and PMS 9.

    Those with Thyroid Disease frequently have low zinc levels. When zinc is low, copper is usually high as these two minerals work in with one another. Although high copper may or may not be associated with Thyroid Disease, it can be implicated in Postnatal Depression so I wish to address it within this article.

    Part 5 will explore the connection of Postpartum Depression and levels of Copper.


    References

    1. Trentini, D. (2012). Hashimoto’s Disease: The Danger of Thyroid Antibodies and Pregnancy http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-disease-the-danger-of-thyroid-antibodies-and-pregnancy/

    2. Kharrazian, D. (2010). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal. Elephant Press: Carlsbad California.

    3. Hashimoto’s Awareness. (2017). An Interview with Dana Trentini of Hypothyroid Mom http://www.hashimotosawareness.org/dana-trentini-of-hypothyroid-mom/

    4. Sheldon, R. (2015). Postpartum Hypothyroidism: How it led to depression & breastfeeding problems. https://www.twiniversity.com/2014/08/postpartum-hypothyroidism-how-it-led-to-depression-breastfeeding-problems/

    5. Rivera, S. (2011). A Sneaky Disease Tricked Me Into Thinking I Had Postpartum Depression. http://thestir.cafemom.com/healthy_living/129191/a_sneaky_disease_tricked_me

    6. Pereira, K. & Brown, A. J. (2008). Postpartum Thyroiditis: Not Just a Worn Out Mom http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/574462_5

    7. Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    8. Dach, J. (2016). Low Thyroid, Hashimotos and Pregnancy http://jeffreydachmd.com/2016/11/low-thyroid-hashimotos-pregnancy/

    9. Trentini, D. (2013). The Truth About Hypothyroidism And Depression. http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 3: Thyroid Imbalance Postpartum


    Thyroid Imbalance Postpartum

    Postpartum thyroiditis is often undiagnosed when the symptoms of exhaustion and moodiness are mistaken for postpartum ‘blues’. If symptoms of fatigue and lethargy do not go away within a few weeks, or a woman develops postpartum depression, she should talk with her health care provider, preferably one who understands thyroid imbalance 1, 3.

    Onset of a thyroid imbalance may occur 1 - 2 months after delivery, presents with different patterns and affects 4% to 10% of women 1, 2, 3.

    The most typical pattern is a transient or temporary hyperthyroidism for 2 - 6 months followed by hypothyroidism around 3 - 12 months, then return to normal. 25% - 30% of women with postpartum thyroiditis follow this pattern 2, 3. What is occurring in this pattern is an initial destruction of thyroid cells creating a release of thyroid hormones causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Then as destruction subsides, hypothyroidism occurs as the cells can’t maintain normal levels. Cells then begin to regenerate and thyroid recovery occurs 1, 2.

    In some women, normal function will follow the initial hyperthyroidism. In others, permanent hypothyroidism will develop 1, 2, 3. Low grade hypothyroidism, even transient, increases the risk of thyroid problems later in life 1, 2. 4.

    Experiencing postpartum thyroid dysfunction once, increases the risk in future pregnancies and thyroid problems later in life. Multiple pregnancies and previous miscarriages also increase the risk of ongoing hypothyroidism 1, 2.

    Postpartum Symptoms of Thyroid Imbalance

    Postpartum symptoms of thyroid imbalance depend on whether the phase of imbalance is hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive).

    For those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, this can cycle between the two 5a, 5b.

    Symptoms of hyperthyroid include fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhoea, weight loss, fast heartbeat and palpitations, migraines, sweating, tremor, muscle weakness, while those of hypothyroid are depression, fatigue, sluggishness, constipation, weight gain, puffy face, pale dry skin, cold sensitivity, muscle ache, hair loss. However many more may also be experienced 3, 4, 5a, 5b, 6, 7. It is estimated there are “300+ Hypothyroid symptoms” 7.

    Breastfeeding and Thyroid Imbalance

    Breastfeeding may be impacted by thyroid imbalance. Many women with hyperthyroidism report a large milk supply, yet others may have some difficulty with their let down reflex. As thyroid hormones play a role in normal breast development and helping breasts to make milk, hypothyroidism may influence the ability to produce a full milk supply. However, for many this is not the case and they have no problem with their milk supply with or without medication. Women who have been properly treated for hypothyroidism say they have no problems with their milk supply 8, 9. Some women report their thyroid hormone level needed to be within the upper range of normal but this depends on your body and response 8.

    Research shows that the thyroid hormones you take, only cross over into your breast milk in minute quantities and are not considered harmful to your baby. For some mothers, changing to natural desiccated thyroid can increase their breast milk supply 9.

    These are discussions to have with your doctor. If you are receiving treatment for your hyperthyroid, Thomas Hale, the world’s expert on medications and breastfeeding, suggests that your doctor monitor your infant’s thyroid function while you are breastfeeding 9.

    Thyroid imbalance can also result in postpartum depression.

    In Part 4 we will explore Postpartum Depression and Thyroid Imbalance


    References

    1. NIH. (2012). Pregnancy & Thyroid Disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/pregnancy-thyroid-disease

    2. Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    3. Trentini, D. (2012). Your Postpartum Fatigue Could Be A Sign Of Thyroid Problems. http://hypothyroidmom.com/your-postpartum-fatigue-could-be-a-sign-of-thyroid-problems/

    4. Shomon, M. (2016). Thyroid Problem After Pregnancy: Postpartum Thyroiditis. https://www.verywell.com/thyroid-problems-after-pregnancy-3231767

    5a. Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog

    5b. Hansen, G. M. (2017). Thyroid Imbalance within a Mind Body Brain Perspective. ebook.

    6. Hashimoto’s Awareness. http://www.hashimotosawareness.org/

    7. Trentini, D. (2012). 300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms…Yes REALLY http://hypothyroidmom.com/300-hypothyroidism-symptoms-yes-really/

    8. Australian Breastfeeding Association. (2014). Breastfeeding and thyroid disease. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/breastfeeding-and-thyroid-disease

    9. STTM. Being a Hypothyroid Mother and Nursing. https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/hypothyroid-mother-and-nursing/

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 2: Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance


    Miscarriage and Thyroid Imbalance

    Miscarriage is a traumatic, and for many, a devastating time in one’s life and even more so if repeated.

    A high rate of recurrent miscarriages has been demonstrated among women with thyroid imbalances 1, 2, 3, 4. Even minimal thyroid imbalance can cause recurrent miscarriages and inability to carry a normal pregnancy. A study in 2011 found that the presence of thyroid antibodies increased the risk of miscarriage by 290% 3.

    “A woman with untreated hypothyroidism is at the greatest risk for a miscarriage during her first trimester. Unless the case is mild, women with untreated hyperthyroidism are also at risk for miscarriage” 5.

    There is a lack of awareness even among many doctors of the dangers of thyroid imbalance in pregnancy. Be the advocate for yourself and your baby - insist on thyroid testing if you have any thyroid symptoms. You will find a list of symptoms on several websites 6, 7, 8, 9.

    There is so much suffering, guilt, and depression exacerbated by hypothyroidism. Ask your doctor for thyroid testing and ensure any thyroid imbalance is corrected before becoming pregnant to avoid further issues with pregnancy and your baby. If you have thyroid antibodies, you have an autoimmune disorder and research shows that if you have one, you are likely to have others.

    During pregnancy ensure your thyroid levels are monitored frequently. Find a doctor who listens to you and who will support you throughout your pregnancy and following the birth of your baby. Whenever you feel something is not right do not delay, talk to your doctor and ensure you have the tests you need whether you are on thyroid treatment or not.

    The Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease during Pregnancy and Postpartum 4, recommend that women with Hashimoto’s, should have their TSH “evaluated every 4 weeks during the first half of pregnancy and at least once between 26 and 32 weeks gestation. TSH levels above the trimester-specific pregnancy reference range should be treated 9. Dana Trentini, on her website HyopthyroidMom includes the ideal TSH levels for each trimester namely, first trimester, 0.1-2.5 mIU/L; second trimester, 0.2-3.0 mIU/L; third trimester, 0.3-3.0 mIU/L” 3. Those on thyroid treatment will need monitoring more frequently.

    Pregnancy, Birth and Thyroid Imbalance

    An overwhelming number of hormonal changes during pregnancy and postpartum can trigger an adverse thyroid reaction. Also undiagnosed or improperly managed thyroid problems can lead to complications with pregnancy and birth and can increases the chances of pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, anaemia and stillbirth 5, 10, 11

    Graves Disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism (overactive) in pregnancy and 1 in 1500 women will be affected.

    The more common thyroid imbalance, hypothyroidism (underactive), is an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

    “According to the American Thyroid Association, 10% to 20% of all pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy are positive for Hashimoto’s antibodies” but are told they are euthyroid. Based on their TSH level (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) they have normal thyroid functioning 3. Although they appear and may feel normal, they have subclinical Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, where their body is silently responding to and destroying their own thyroid gland. “A significant percentage of these women will develop a TSH above the trimester-specific pregnancy reference range by the third trimester, endangering the life of their fetus" 3.

    Both hyper and hypothyroidism can have adverse impacts on mum and baby, so it is essential to take ownership of your health during pregnancy 11.

    In Part 3 we will explore Thyroid Imbalance Postpartum


    References:

    1.  Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    2.  Stagnaro-Green, A. (2011). Thyroid Antibodies and Miscarriage: Where Are We at a Generation Later? https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtr/2011/841949/

    3.  Trentini, D. (2012). Hashimoto’s Disease: The Danger of Thyroid Antibodies and Pregnancy http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-disease-the-danger-of-thyroid-antibodies-and-pregnancy/

    4.  Stagnaro-Green, A., Abalovich, M., Alexander, E., Azizi, F., Mestman, J., Negro, R., Nixon, A., Pearce, E.N., Soldin, O.P., Sullivan, S., and Wiersinga, W. (2011). Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy and Postpartum. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3472679/

    5. Thyroid Awareness. (2016). The Thyroid and Pregnancy. http://www.thyroidawareness.com/the-thyroid-and-pregnancy

    6.  Hashimoto’s Awareness. Checklist of Hashimoto’s Symptoms. http://www.hashimotosawareness.org/how-hashimotos-is-diagnosed/checklist-of-hashimotos-symptoms/

    7.  Roman. A. Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy. https://www.thebump.com/a/hyperthyroidism-during-pregnancy

    8.  Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog

    9.  Trentini, D. (2012). Your Postpartum Fatigue Could Be A Sign Of Thyroid Problems. http://hypothyroidmom.com/your-postpartum-fatigue-could-be-a-sign-of-thyroid-problems/

    10. NIH. (2012). Pregnancy & Thyroid Disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/pregnancy-thyroid-disease

    11. Katie - Wellness Mama. (2017). How Thyroid Disease Affects Pregnancy and Fertility. https://wellnessmama.com/156213/pregnancy-thyroid-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pregnancy-thyroid-disease

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 1: Overview, Infertility, and Thyroid Imbalance


    Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance

    Part 1   Overview, Infertility, and Thyroid Imbalance

    Part 2   Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance

    Part 3   Thyroid Imbalance Postpartum

    Part 4   Postpartum Depression and Thyroid Imbalance

    Part 5   Postpartum Depression and Copper Connection

    Part 6   Addressing Pregnancy / Postpartum Thyroid Imbalance and Depression

    Part 7   Thyroid Imbalance from a Mind Body Brain Perspective - Summary

    An individual blog will be created for each part.


    Part 1 Overview, Infertility, and Thyroid Imbalance

    Thyroid imbalance creates a myriad of symptoms that affect your physical, psychological and emotional health. It is often unsuspected as a cause in many disorders including depression, anxiety, infertility, miscarriage and postpartum depression.

    It is a sad fact that many women (and men) suffer needlessly for many years from undetected thyroid imbalance.

    Did you know?

    • In the USA over 30 million people have a thyroid disorder, and another nearly 10 million are undiagnosed. Thyroid disease is also on the increase with 500,000 new cases a year 1.
    • 30% of women suffer from an under active thyroid 2, 3. Many others have a form of hyperthyroidism.
    • A sharp increase in thyroid imbalance occurs after the birth of a baby, at perimenopause and menopause.

    Both underactive and overactive thyroid conditions can cause infertility and affect pregnancy outcomes.

    • 1 in 6 couples have issues with infertility and the effect on their lives is likely to be huge.
    • A study shows approximately 25% of women presenting with infertility have low grade hypothyroidism 1.

    Infertility and Thyroid Imbalance

    Infertility issues can make you feel depressed when you are unable to become pregnant. Thyroid imbalance worsens depression and the inability to cope with the stress taxes the thyroid even more. Even minimal hypothyroidism can cause infertility 1, 4.

    Symptoms of Thyroid Imbalance are many and vary depending on whether the imbalance is hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.

    Learning about thyroid imbalance and seeing a doctor who listens to you as you explain what you are experiencing, who asks about your health and family history and who will run a complete set of thyroid laboratory tests is a vital early step in infertility treatment and may save much suffering 1, 3

    Be aware the functional levels of TSH test range from 1.8 to 3 mU/L, a narrower range than most doctors recognise 5. Other necessary blood tests include Free T3 and Free T4, Reverse T3 and Thyroid antibodies (Thyroglobulin - (Anti-Tg) and Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (Anti-TPO) 2, 3, 5, 6.

    Men who have sperm infertility issues should also have thyroid tests as a thyroid imbalance can impact on this 3.

    Infertility can create stress, anxiety, and suffering. Couples may feel a wide range of emotions and feelings from guilt, inadequacy, sadness, shame, vulnerability, and isolation, to failure and low self esteem. The huge costs, multiple doctor appointments, effects on employment, monthly hopes and expectations, feeling of no control over ones life, can lead to depression and marital problems 1.

    Frequently, unexplained infertility may be attributed to stress or psychological factors but many of these women have symptoms typical of hypothyroidism 3.

    The anxiety that occurs during months of infertility treatment intensifies the anxiety caused by thyroid problems. It may also intensify worsening PMS, increased anger, mood swings, irritability and arguments.

    Take steps to prevent this escalation. Even minimal hypothyroidism can cause infertility problems so if you are struggling with infertility, taking steps to improve your health may increase your chance of conceiving 1, 4.

    So, get your thyroid checked if you have any infertility issues before undergoing any infertility treatment.

    ‘Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery” 7, part 2, part 3part 4 will guide you in the steps towards improving your health and vitality. Although this explores Hashimoto’s, the information provided is relevant for many health concerns. Working with a health coach, especially one who understands the thyroid and the mind body brain connection, experienced in guiding you through the process to find and resolve the root cause of your infertility, may be invaluable to you.

    In Part 2 we will explore Miscarriage, Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance

    References

    1.  Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    2.  Wentz, I. (2013). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Lifestyle Interventions for finding and Treating the Root Cause. ISBN. USA.

    3.  Melnick H. D. ( 2014). Infertility, Miscarriage, and Subclinical Hypothyroidism. http://hypothyroidmom.com/infertility-miscarriage-and-subclinical-hypothyroidism/

    4.  Katie - Wellness Mama. (2017). How Thyroid Disease Affects Pregnancy and Fertility https://wellnessmama.com/156213/pregnancy-thyroid-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pregnancy-thyroid-disease

    5.  Kharrazian, D. (2010). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal. Elephant Press: Carlsbad, California.

    6.  Trentini, D. (2013). The Truth About Hypothyroidism And Depression. http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

    7.  Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Part 4)



    Understanding the Mind - Body - Brain  

    connection in Hashimoto’s within 

      2 phases and

      8 milestones approach 1



    7. LIFESTYLE

    Our values are reflected in our lifestyle, the priorities we have and how we live on a day to day basis. What food we eat, our nutritional status, the balance of our work, family time, social time, rest, sleep, exercise, time in nature, fun times, times of relaxation and discovering ourselves spiritually. Keeping our body healthy, active with high vitality increases our resilience and life force and decreases imbalances and susceptibility to infections. Healing Hashimoto’s requires a deep look at our lifestyle.

    NUTRITION plays a major role in Hashimoto’s. One of the first areas to look at are the foods that are keeping you sick. If you have an autoimmune disorder, you will have leaky gut 7, 10, 14, 19. Gluten is a major contributor to leaky gut and all research I have explored shows it needs to be eliminated from the diet.

    Gluten and thyroid tissue have a similar structure so any gluten 10, 14, 20 can be problematic for your thyroid tissue for 12 months 14. Casein the protein molecule in dairy products, is the second biggest problem food in Hashimoto’s and evidence strongly suggests also removing this from your diet. 7, 19

    Other foods may be problematic for many thyroid and other auto immune disorders. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne on her website ‘The Paleo Mom’ 21 provides a guide of foods to focus on and to eliminate for 2 to 3 weeks then reintroduce many back one at a time while you monitor your body’s response. 21. With initial removal of foods creating leaky gut, and allowing the gut to heal, then trying each food, you can find out if a particular food is right for you or not.

    Choose your food wisely. Avoid those sprayed with pesticides, and chemicals and all genetically modified ‘food’ (GMO). Be aware of the ‘Dirty dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’ fruit and vegetables 22. Avoid additives in your food, and guar gums (which reduces the enzyme activity of your body’s Alkaline Phosphatase).

    Where ever possible choose a wide variety of organic, nutrient dense, unprocessed real food with plenty of greens vegetables to keep your blood sugar balanced. Food that nourishes our body, increases our vitality, and resilience to infections and creates more balance in our microbiome. 7

    To help your body repair, you will likely at least initially, need to add certain supplements to help your body regain the levels depleted, to correct imbalances and provide for increased nutritional requirements.

    We obtain Vitamin D from the sun but in winter when the sun is lower in the sky we are unable to get enough from the sun in many countries that are further from the equator. During summer months get out into the sun daily without sunblock for 30 minutes, 45 minutes for dark skinned people. Supplement of Vitamin D3 may only be needed in winter depending on your Vitamin D blood tests. Vitamin K2 (MK-7 best) works in synergy with vitamin D, and you need both in adequate amounts for optimal health. 23

    Many with Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue have low stomach acid, a necessary component for our body to break down and digest protein. This can lead to depletion of “amino acids, iron, Vitamin B12, zinc and other nutrients” we obtain from protein 7. If you experience gas, heartburn, bloating, and heaviness in your stomach after eating protein you may have low stomach acid 7. Supplementing with these minerals and vitamins may be necessary. Betaine with Pepsin taken after a protein rich meal, and lemon juice and / or apple cider vinegar taken mid meal, may help produce more stomach acid 7.

    Your body also requires increased protein intake for all aspects of healing. In Hashimoto’s and chronic illness, body protein levels are continually being depleted. Choose high protein foods and if necessary supplement with amino acids to provide what your body needs to build tissue, regenerate and heal.

    Other mineral and vitamins to support healthy thyroid function include Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. Eating foods rich in all minerals and vitamins is important with or without supplementing. Other supplements that may be beneficial include N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), Adrenal adaptogens, Glutamine, Curcumin, and Probiotics. 7, 19

    Eating iodine and selenium rich foods is important as iodine is necessary to make thyroid hormone. Iodine intake and taking iodine supplements is an area of discussion within Hashimoto’s researchers 7, 24, 25, 26, and is certainly a discussion topic with your health practitioner to ensure you have the right balance of iodine and selenium for your body’s needs.

    Whether those with Hashimoto’s will also need thyroid hormone medication depends on their symptoms and laboratory tests. As Izabella Wentz states, “ while medication does not address the root cause, it is a crucial step to feeling better and reversing the negative effects of hypothyroidism on the body” 7.

    When choosing supplements, check labels for what is actually in each supplement, do your research and be informed by knowledgeable nutritionists, doctors and others, to ensure the right supplement and dosage for you and to avoid further ingesting substances that may be harmful to your body.

    Anthony William provides a range of foods, herbs and supplements to support healing and repair of the thyroid and immune system in his book 'Medical Medium' 27. He also writes that the body does not attack itself and that invasion of the thyroid gland by Epstein Barr Virus in Stage Three is the cause of Hashimoto’s.

    ADEQUATE RESTFUL REJUVENATING SLEEP Most of us need at least 7 - 9 hours sleep a night. When we are healing we will likely need more plus rest time during the day. Truly listening to your body will guide you.

    Reduce lighting pre sleep time, avoid any screen time at least an hour before (TV, computer, phone, electronic devices), find restful activities that prepare you for sleep (relaxing bath, quiet meditation), avoid stimulating drinks and any food several hours pre sleep. Unplug electronic devices, and turn of Wifi at night to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) that disrupt our life force. Consider a land line telephone so you are less exposed to electromagnetic frequencies.

    Night is our circadian rhythms time for regeneration to rest and digest food and information and reset our system to prepare us for the next day.

    CALMING MINDFUL ACTIVITIES such as Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Meditation, time to discover yourself, time in nature - sun, trees, sea, water environments, can reenergise and balance the body, mind and soul. How can you reset your mind towards peace and harmony each day?

    EXERCISE YOU ENJOY, walks, moving your body in ways that strengthen you physically and mentally. Gentle initially then building as your stamina increases. Find what suits you. Time on your own and / or fun time with others sharing your activity.

    BALANCE OF WORK AND PLAY. Taking a break at least every hour you work to stretch and move has been shown to increase productivity time. Do you bring your work home with you? Is your home a place you can relax and do something for yourself each day without constant demands of others? Prioritise space and time to enjoy your leisure activities, to laugh and have fun. Consider how you start your day and plan time for each activity you need to keep you healthy and balanced. Reassess your priorities regularly and adjust accordingly.

    8. LIFE GOALS

    What are your goals in life, your mission, your passion. What makes your heart sing?

    When our body has been stressed to its threshold it will ‘shut you down’. This is for our survival. When we have been going in the wrong direction for too long our body will say enough.

    We don’t have to wait that long before we look at our life and future. If we can learn to stop, to rest, have nourishing food that meets our individual needs, loving care and connection, to take the time to regenerate and heal, we have the chance to look at where we are going and what we truly want in life.

    To learn the art of being present, and allowing who you are and what you want to flow into your experiences, is truly a gift to yourself and others. Enjoying the process and taking the time to find your life goals is the 8th milestone in your healing. _____________________________________________________________________________________

    For me, learning I have an autoimmune disease and subclinical Hashimoto’s, has provided knowledge I would not otherwise have had. It involves curiosity and self discovery.

    I have been fortunate to have very few symptoms, unlike many who have known they were ill for years. Who have consulted numerous doctors, one after another, only to be told they are fine, and offered medications without ever knowing why they have no energy, feel crazy and so sick. My heart goes out to each.

    My mission is to provide knowledge, gentle loving supportive care, and to restore hope. To know there is a way forward for you to ease your suffering, to follow your dreams and live the life of your choosing. _____________________________________________________________________________________

    REFERENCES

    1. Fisslinger, J. (2014). Personal communication from META-Health University Practitioner training.

    2. Diagram adapted from META-Health University image, META-Health University.

    3. Hashimoto’s Awareness, http://www.hashimotosawareness.org/

    4. Hamer, R. G. (2005). http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/extdocs/Madrid-2005-en.PDF

    5. Craig, G. (1995 - 2016) Emotional Freedom Technique. http://www.emofree.com/

    6. Dawson, K. (2014). Matrix Reimprinting. http://www.matrixreimprinting.com/

    7. Wentz, I., Nowosadzka, M. (2013). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Chelsea Green Publishing: Vermont.

    8. Eden, D. & Feinstein, D. (2008). Energy Medicine. Penguin Books: London.

    9. Pert, C. (2007). The Physics of Emotion: Candace Pert on Feeling Go(o)d. http://www.6seconds.org/2007/01/26/the-physics-of-emotion-candace-pert-on-feeling-good/

    10. Wilson, D. (2015). Hashimoto’s Disease – The Link between Thyroid and Leaky Gut. https://doctordoni.com/2015/09/hashimotos-disease-and-leaky-gut/

    11. Klapp, K (2016). Personal Communication.

    12. Robbins, R. (2016). Married to Hashimoto’s. http://hypothyroidmom.com/married-to-hashimotos-a-husbands-confession-where-i-blew-it/

    13. Shapiro, D. (2006). Your Body Speaks Your Mind. Sounds True: Canada.

    14. Voidani, A. (2016). Notes taken from the Hashimoto’s Summit, Speaker: Dr Aristo Vojdani, PhD, MSc. Proper Testing for Autoimmune Diseases and Why Current Methods Fail. Online summit presented by Hashimoto’s Awareness.

    15. Wahls, T. (2014). The Wahls Protocol. How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine. Penguin Group: New York.

    16. Myers. A. (2016). Are Your Body Products Toxic? http://www.amymyersmd.com/2016/06/toxic-body-products/

    17. Lipton, B. (2016). Changing Beliefs with Matrix Reimprinting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4tNtdVbvw0&feature=youtu.be

    18. Lipton, B. (2016). Dr Bruce Lipton more on Matrix Reimprinting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87_NVv4vuaw&feature=youtu.be

    19. Kharrazian, D. (2010). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal. Elephant Press: Carlsbad California.

    20. Myers, A. (2015). 3 Important Reasons to Give Up Gluten If You Have an Autoimmune Disease. http://www.amymyersmd.com/2015/09/3-important-reasons-to-give-up-gluten-if-you-have-an-autoimmune-disease/

    21. Ballantyne, S. The Autoimmune Protocol. http://www.thepaleomom.com/the-autoimmune-protocol/

    22. Environmental Working Group (EWG). (2016). Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/

    23. Mercola (2011). Vitamin K: The Missing Nutrient to Blame for Heart Attacks and Osteoporosis (Nope - NOT Calcium or Vitamin D). http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/03/26/the-delicate-dance-between-vitamins-d-and-k.aspx

    24. Kresser, C. (2010). Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Crucial Nutrient or Harmful Toxin? https://chriskresser.com/iodine-for-hypothyroidism-like-gasoline-on-a-fire/

    25. Trentini, D. (2014). Busting the Iodine Myths. http://hypothyroidmom.com/busting-the-iodine-myths/

    26. Dach, J. (2011 - 2013). Hashimotos, Selenium and Iodine, Part Two. http://jeffreydachmd.com/hashimotos-selenium-and-iodine-part-two/

    27. William, A. (2015). Medical Medium. Hay House.

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Part 3)


    Understanding the Mind - Body - Brain

    connection in Hashimoto’s within a 

      2 phases and

      8 milestones approach 1


    4. STRESS TRIGGERS

    Stress - daily life stressors and those that impact on us are wide and varied. Stress can turn on genetic mutations, and stress itself, whether emotional or physical, increases the likelihood of autoimmunity.10

    a) Traumatic times in our life, the things that happen to us, the things we saw and heard, things we decided were about us, comments and actions from others, and many social norms we learnt as young children, are all stress triggers. Depending on our perception at the time, they affect the actions and decisions we make on a daily basis and usually we are totally unaware how much they affect our lives.

    From a mind - body - brain perspective, the root cause of Hashimoto’s is an unexpected, dramatic, and isolating traumatic event in our life around our self-worth of not being able to cope or trust, plus a recurring powerlessness / fear struggle and / or, a of being too slow, not fast enough conflict issue.1, 4, 11

    Rock Robbins,12 writes of some common themes seen in women with Hashimoto’s - ultra productive, caring and dynamic individuals who make life happen within their family and community. He also writes that many have had some sort of abuse, neglect or injury in their childhood and “because of that old baggage, they’ve got their own internal mental circus going on – and one of the main issues they deal with is performing for their worth. That means they’ll bypass their inner signals to ‘stop in the name of health’ and keep going so that she can keep being worthy of love”. He also writes of women with Hashimoto’s dealing with “issues of trust, self-rejection, fear, perfectionism, control, and guilt that sticks like glue. They’re almost always ‘on’ – taking care of everybody”.

    As we have established our body does not attack itself. The cells of the thyroid gland are purely responding and adapting to the circumstances they are in. Within a loving and supportive environment such as with an experienced practitioner, we need to ask ourself: how, when and why was I not true to myself, and / or when did I allow others to influence me, denying my own self worth, thoughts or feelings.13

    b) Toxins and the environment we are exposed to, overload, overwhelm and stress our body, destroy our gut and body microbiome essential to life, and lower our vitality (life force). In managing Hashimoto’s we need to become aware of toxins and our environment and step by step address what we eat, drink, breathe, put on and into our body, clean our homes with, how we move, and our interaction with others. 3, 7, 14, 15, 16

    Adopt a detective perspective and ask, is this substance safe for my body? As Dr Voidani 14 states, detect your biomarkers of autoimmunity and environmental triggers. Remove the triggers and make changes to halt your body’s immune response. And use all available ways to repair your immune system. 

    5. BELIEFS

    What we believe dictates the reality we experience and the actions we take. What we choose to eat, our lifestyle, our values, our responses, all depend on our beliefs.

    Where did the beliefs we act on come from and do they actually serve us? Are they based on truth or on a distorted view down loaded to and by us when we were young? Exploring our experiences and learning what beliefs are running our subconscious mind (our subconscious programme) can provide new meaning in our Hashimoto’s healing journey.

    When we experience a traumatic event, we create a belief about what happened, to protect us in case we experience it again in the future. If we are repeatedly re-triggered, that belief is constantly reinforced.

    In his presentation at the 2016 Matrix Reimprinting Convention, Dr Bruce Lipton explains that “your belief carries more power than your reality”,17 and that you can change the images in your subconscious in order to create new empowering beliefs. “Change your belief system and you will change your life. You will change your genetics. You will change every characteristic of your life. You are not a victim of anything more than the belief you were programmed with”. Powerful words from Dr Lipton.17, 18

    Our empowerment is in our ability to reframe previous beliefs and change how our mind, brain and body responds.

    6. SOCIAL

    As humans we are social beings and need love and connection with others to survive and to reach our greatest potential of health. In exploring stress triggers of Hashimoto’s we identified issues around our self worth and not being able to cope or trust. An essential component of this milestone of healing is to learn to deeply love and accept ourselves. And to be the loving friend to yourself, non judgemental or critical, you would expect and choose from any other. The opposite of what led us down the path of autoimmunity. Loving ourselves and sharing that love and connection with others brings so much joy, gratitude and happiness. Learn to connect with, to listen to and love your inner child at every stage of his / her life.

    Surround yourself with energy that is positive for you so you feel less vulnerable. Spend time with those who support you in your healing journey - loved ones, family, friends, support groups, someone you can talk to, who will listen, acknowledge, love, cry, laugh with you. Those you feel safe with, who care and understand and can guide you through your fluctuating and changing experiences.

    When we have a traumatic shock, part of what makes it traumatic is feeling isolated from others. When we perceive we are alone, without our clan, an evolutionary biological process involving the kidney is activated and water is retained in the body. My years of caring for patients, as a nurse in intensive care, repeatedly demonstrated their mind, brain, body response to feeling alone and abandoned, ‘a fish out of water’ in an evolutionary sense, and the resultant water retention that occurred. Positive supportive energy and connection with loved ones helps us on our healing journey when we are ill and lessens feelings of isolation.

    As you regain your energy and understand your fears, you may feel safe and ready to reach out a little further to wider social experiences. Learning to cope, trust and restore your self worth step by step.

    Do what you need to connect with higher powers, the universe, or whatever your source of inspiration is on waking each day and whenever you feel the need for more love flowing through you. Find what you need to feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved - the state of being integral to the Nurturing Naturally NZ website.


    In Part 4 we will explore Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis within the final two Meta-Health 8 milestones, those of Lifestyle and Life Goals.

    All references are provided with Part 4

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Part 2)


     

    Understanding the Mind - Body - Brain

    connection in Hashimoto’s within a

      2 phases and

      8 milestones approach 1

     

      

    1. SYMPTOMS

    Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us all is not well. We would be well advised to listen and pay attention.

    As mentioned in Part 1, symptoms include cycles of hyperthyroid - anxiety, insomnia, diarrhoea, weight loss followed by periods of depression, fatigue, constipation, weight gain (hypothyroid). Many more may also be experienced “300+ Hypothyroid symptoms”3.

    Awareness of the mind - brain - body connection 1, 4 enhances our healing, removes fear of symptoms and enables us to understand why the body is responding in a particular way.

    When we are in stress phase (active conflict) we may not be aware of symptoms as we are too busy. This is the time when we have compulsive thinking, feel restless, our body temperature is colder, and we experience sleep difficulties as we focus on trying to make sense of what happened.

    When we find a solution for the shock we experienced (our regeneration trigger), we enter the regeneration phase of healing. Now we can experience many symptoms. This is the phase of inflammation, swelling, pain, and heat in our body, fever, and fatigue. Our thoughts become more fuzzy and we may have headaches. We now tend to pay attention, as we are meant to - our body is telling us to nourish, rest and repair.

    If the traumatic event (conflict) is repeated, healing is interrupted. Multiple re-triggering creates a chronic process and the cycling symptoms of Hashimoto’s.

    Understanding and acceptance of this natural biological process without fear empowers us to support our healing and restoration of our health. We can also reduce our symptoms in many other ways from the food we eat, resting, calming ourselves, and a wide range of techniques and therapies for example Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT5) and Matrix Reimprinting 6.

    2. ORGAN TISSUE

    Primarily, Hashimoto’s is a disease of the immune response, then the thyroid gland. When these two systems are involved, the whole body is potentially affected as the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate our metabolic rate and influence every other organ function. The adrenal glands, cortisol levels, ‘leaky gut’ and certain body enzymes are also intricately associated. 7

    Nourishing and supporting the body is vital and includes working with the body’s energy system. Learning to sense and feel our energy can guide us in creating balance, optimum health, joy and vitality (Donna Eden 8). Visualising, feeling, focusing breathing and connection with the thyroid gland and sending love and gratitude, can get congested energy moving.

    3. EMOTIONS

    Our emotions, central in our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions, are signals that flood our system and affect the chemistry and electricity of every body cell and the world outside us (Candice Pert 9). Everything we experience and feel in our life is stored in our subconscious mind. A memory frozen in time, with all the nuances of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings remembered depending on the impact of each sense. Our emotions are subjective and are based on our own unique perception, a way to help us communicate what we feel about certain situations, people, and things.

    The emotions usually associated with Hashimoto’s are around our self worth (pride and shame), and fear / anxiety. For some this fear is of something or someone coming towards us which we are unable to do anything about, feeling of being vulnerable, helpless and powerless. Others may experience the need to go faster, do better, due to the fear of what happens if we are not quick or smart enough. Emotions such as grief, anger, bitterness may also arise.

    From a mind - brain - organ root cause perspective, feeling, exploring, and releasing the emotions attached to traumatic memories is an essential part of the healing process. Techniques such as Matrix Reimprinting and Emotional Freedom Technique, are gentle, loving, caring ways to explore traumatic experiences, to transform beliefs and gain new meaning, resolution and healing.


    In Part 3 we continue to explore Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis within the Meta-Health 8 milestone approach.

    A full references list is provided with Part 4

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Part 1)


    Thyroid Imbalance within a Mind Body Brain Perspective


    Our life is an endless path of learning, an evolving journey of personal growth and development, a discovery of who we are, and the beliefs we hold. Each step provides the opportunity to look at what shapes us to be our individual unique self.

    Mid April (2016), I visited a General Practitioner (GP), Naturopathic doctor, not because I was sick, but because I was curious to know how my health could be further improved. How were the vague, and not so vague, symptoms I was experiencing impacting on my health and wellbeing. Our discussion, energy testing (Kinesiology), and my blood test results, revealed information I needed to know.

    Blood tests showed positive Antibodies (ANA) and mildly elevated Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO Ab). Other thyroid tests were within normal range. My blood levels of Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin B12, and Ferritin were low (typical for many with Hashimoto’s), and Copper was high in ratio to Zinc (these two body minerals need to be in balance in our body. High in one will create low in the other).

    Kinesiology revealed casein (dairy - milk products), soy, and a few other foods, at this time are not best for my body.

    HASHIMOTO’S FROM A MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE

    Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) is the enzyme responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. Antibodies to TPO tell us the body’s immune system is ‘attacking’ the thyroid gland tissue. Over 90% of people who have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have TPO antibodies and approximately 80% will have another thyroid antibody named Thyroglobulin (TgAb).1 Thyroglobulin is a protein present in the thyroid gland from which thyroid hormones are produced.

    The medical perpectiveauto describes autoimmune condition as ‘an attack against self’. “Normally the immune system differentiates between self and non self. It reacts against foreign substances but not against itself. When the mechanism breaks down, the immune system attacks its own tissue”. When one autoimmune response occurs it is common for there to also be another. 2

    Nearly everyone with an autoimmune disease has Leaky Gut Syndrome so addressing your ‘leaky gut’ is a major step in reversing symptoms of autoimmune disease. 3. In her online article Dr Wilson (2015) links leaky gut and stress as the two reasons for the increasing incidence of Hashimoto’s. 4

    The stress in our lives and our body exposure to many toxins from a wide variety of sources will be addressed in part 3 of this article.

    For me, it appears I am within the first Subclinical or ‘Silent Autoimmunity’ stage of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

    Stages

    In stage one, ’silent’ Hashimoto’s, the antibodies are present in blood 10 - 15 years before symptoms arise. What a wonderful opportunity to prevent further progression.

    The 2nd stage is where some dysfunction is occurring such as headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue but how many people see this as just a part of daily life and stress.

    When antibodies and cells start affecting the tissues, stage three has been entered. Now people will likely see a doctor. Unfortunately many conventional doctors do not order nor interpret the laboratory testing needed for Hashimoto’s diagnosis, a sad and repeated story for so many people with Hashimoto’s. As you will see, there is much one can do about halting the progress of thyroid destruction. (Thank you Dr Aristo Vojdani, and the Hashimoto’s Awareness Summit for information on the three stages of Hashimoto’s 2.) 

    It is estimated 50 million people in the USA have autoimmune (according to autoimmune association http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/autoimmune-statistics/) and it is believed that a similar number have silent autoimmune. The impact on the lives of individuals, their families, their community, their country, health budgets and humanity is huge.

    Understanding blood tests

    An important point in understanding blood test results is in their interpretation. The range of supposed normal is not necessarily the ideal for our body. There is a marked difference in the interpretation integrative, functional, holistic and or naturopathic doctors use as to what is ideal for healthy body function and individual requirements when compared to conventional medical practice.

    Laboratory Tests you need your doctor to order to diagnose and monitor Hashimoto’s: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid antibodies - Anti-Tg Antibodies and Anti-TPO Antibodies.

    Further Information

    “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal” by Dr Datis Kharrazian,5 is an enlightening read, as is “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis” by Izabella Wentz 1. I also wish to acknowledge the work of Pearl, Fabienne and the team at Hashimoto’s Awareness 6 and, the Hashimoto’s Summit they presented with world wide experts (June 2016).


     

    My particular interest in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is from a mind - body - brain perspective, embedded in my belief we respond to the environment we live in and our body does not make mistakes. Interestingly, during my Meta-Health training 2 years ago, I felt compelled to explore a Hashimoto’s question we were given. Did my body and subconscious mind already know I needed to understand this?

    HASHIMOTO’S FROM A MIND - BODY - BRAIN PERSPECTIVE

    Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a name for a pattern involving the thyroid gland (and the adrenal gland usually).7

    Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is a chronic inflammation process, an autoimmune disease, in which the thyroid gland responds within a variety of cell and antibody-mediated immune processes.

    Hashimoto’s is primarily an AutoImmune condition. Antibodies belong to the lymphatic system, indicating that there is more at hand than just thyroid. Hypothyroidism is a secondary symptom, stemming from repeated experiences and the strategies derived from them.7

    Having an autoimmune condition is not something to fear but something to learn from. Your body is not attacking itself. It would never do this. The cells of the body are purely responding and adapting to something, an underlying problem. Understanding this response opens an empowering journey of learning and discovery.

    From a mind - body - brain perspective, the autoimmune response relates to a traumatic time, usually early in our life, around our self-worth of not being able to cope or trust, involving the Lymphatic system. Plus a traumatic conflict specific to the thyroid.

    The experienced trauma, individual and unique to the person, is always unanticipated, dramatic and isolating for them.

    For the thyroid to react the conflict theme is either about:

    1. A recurring powerlessness / fear struggle. I am powerlessness and fearful of something / someone coming towards me, vulnerable, not safe and I can’t do anything about it.

    2. A recurring survival issue of being too slow, not quick enough with the need to go faster.

    3. Both 1 & 2.

    For me personally, the recurring conflict is about being driven to get things done, not slowing down - and when associated with an attack against self, its like the body takes on a biological purpose to slow you down so you can rest and regenerate - slow down the thyroid and then you will not go so fast as survival depends on it. But it keeps trying to put out more hormones amongst the destruction - hence the cycling response and symptoms.

    Two Phases:

    Stress (Active Conflict) Phase: The thyroid cells release more hormones. (more hormones to try to help us cope). This initial over reaction of the thyroid creates hyperthyroid symptoms including overexcited, nervous, irritable, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhoea, and weight loss.

    When a solution is found to the experienced conflict, Regeneration (Healing) Phase occurs. This is the phase of inflammation (thyroiditis) with typical symptoms of fatigue, needing to rest and sleep, depression, constipation, and weight gain.

    Recurring conflict relapses lead to ongoing stress and regeneration cycling, - back and forth between the hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism symptoms, and gradual destruction of the gland itself that eventually results in the thyroid's inability to produce sufficient thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).

    Thyroiditis and elevation of antibodies may also be accompanied by symptoms of hair loss, muscle/joint aches and pains, sinusitis, fertility problems and many more.


    I am grateful to learn of my autoimmune status now while subclinical. It is a gift and an opportunity to explore and learn what this means and what I can do to support my healing.

    As I firmly believe that healing comes from within, and no one can heal us, I take full responsibility for my own health. Yes we need others to guide, love and support us but the ultimate process of healing is ours. It will always be our journey, our decisions, our choices.

    For me, this was not a shock, but a curiosity. The ‘shock’ was what activated my body to respond in this way in the first place.

    The Mind - Body - Brain connection 8. 9, 10 and Meta-Health9, 10 provides me with the framework to explore further. The two phases and eight milestones of healing are central to this and guide each step.

    Part 2, 3 & 4, explores Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis within a Meta-Health 8 milestone approach.


    References

    1. Wentz, I., Nowosadzka, M. (2013). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Chelsea Green Publishing: Vermont.

    2. Voidani, A. (2016). Notes taken from the Hashimoto’s Summit, Speaker: Dr Aristo Vojdani, PhD, MSc Proper Testing for Autoimmune Diseases and Why Current Methods Fail. Online summit presented by Hashimoto’s Awareness

    3. Carnahan, J (2016). Hypothyroid Mom. Leaky Gut: The missing piece in many Autoimmune Diseases, like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. http://hypothyroidmom.com/leaky-gut-the-missing-piece-in-many-autoimmune-diseases-like-hashimotos-thyroiditis/

    4. Wilson, D. (2015). Hashimoto’s Disease – The Link between Thyroid and Leaky Gut. https://doctordoni.com/2015/09/hashimotos-disease-and-leaky-gut/

    5. Kharrazian, D. (2010). Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my Lab Tests Are Normal. Elephant Press: Carlsbad California.

    6. Hashimoto’s Awareness, http://www.hashimotosawareness.org/

    7. Klapp, K (2016). Personal Communication.

    8. Hamer, R. G. (2005). http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/extdocs/Madrid-2005-en.PDF

    9. Fisslinger, J. (2014). Personal communication from META-Health University Practitioner training.

    10. IMMA. (2004 - 2012). International Meta Medicine Association. http://www.metamedicine.info/en/