Feeling tired? Could be your thyroid.
Our thyroid plays a key role in our body’s ability to function. Yet lifestyle factors like stress and diet can throw our thyroid out of balance and affect our body in a number of ways.
A tired mother
Sally*, a 36-year-old mother of two young children, had been feeling unusually tired since her younger child was born a year ago. This was not at all normal for her. Along with this fatigue, she’d gained 5kg over the last six to ten months and had some other symptoms that concerned her. Her partner was a high-powered executive and was frequently away for a week at a time.
She booked a naturopathy appointment at the Wholistic Medical Centre to uncover why her system was out of balance, and to support it back to health through diet, lifestyle and naturopathic medicines.
Was it Sally’s thyroid that was making her tired?
At the first, hour-long consultation, Sally explained how her hair had been falling out in clumps, her stools had become less frequent and harder to pass and she had developed haemorrhoids. Because she was feeling so tired, she had fallen out of her daily walking routine and was feeling generally very sluggish.
Sally had no prior history of these symptoms; she was usually a vibrant and energetic woman involved in various volunteer organisations.
She felt she’d lost her “mojo”.
Blood tests revealed that her thyroid was under functioning; Sally was ‘hypothyroid’. An under functioning thyroid can affect body temperature and circulation, appetite, energy levels, growth, skeletal development, muscle tone and agility, heart rate, fluid balance, blood sugar levels, central nervous system function, bowel function, cholesterol levels, regulation of fat, carbohydrates and protein and the metabolism inside all cells in the body.
Naturopathy may help restore the thyroid that was making Sally feel so tired!
A wholistic naturopathic protocol was implemented to get Sally’s thyroid functioning back to normal. Herbal medicines and nutritional supplements were recommended, along with dietary advice. Sally was to reduce the serving size and frequency of specific foods that may have been blocking her thyroid: broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, rutabagas, mustard greens, radishes, horseradish, cassava root, soybeans, peanuts, pine nuts, millet and flaxseeds.
Over the following two months, Sally took her herbal medicines and her supplements daily and reduced the foods as advised.
And good news!
Her energy levels improved and she felt her body returning to normal. Sally’s weight started to shift during the second month of treatment; by the third month, she resumed her regular half hour walks and her bowels emptied daily. Sally shed the extra 5kg within nine months and has maintained her desired weight since without needing her herbal medicines.
Sally’s was a straightforward case of primary hypothyroidism. Other cases may be more complex and need different types of treatment. Hypothyroidism is commonly seen in health clinics, with around 60,000 new cases being diagnosed each year Australia-wide. There are many reasons for this, which include environmental factors such as high levels of stress, toxins and electro-magnetic radiation, low intake of the right form of iodine, and high intake of foods that may block proper thyroid functioning.
Sally’s thyroid was supported successfully back to health through wholistic naturopathic protocols. Her body was viewed as a holistic integrated system and the underlying cause of her symptoms was determined and supported.
Naturopathy may help in a wide range of illnesses and ailments. The naturopathic approach aims to restore balance in the body and mind and promote long-term health and vitality by taking a wholistic approach.
*Name has been changed
This case study is for educational purposes only. Results may vary due to individual circumstances.
Kathy Harris – Naturopath, Functional Testing, Nutritional Medicine, Western Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Wholistic Medical Centre