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Thyroid Health & How It Affects Many Aspects Of Life

The thyroid gland is one of the most important organs in the body, and yet many people are not aware of its existence or the impact that thyroid health can have on many aspects of life. This post will provide an overview of the thyroid gland and discuss some of the common symptoms and issues associated with thyroid problems. I hope that this information will help raise awareness about the importance of maintaining healthy thyroid function and encourage people to seek medical assistance if they suspect that they may have a problem with their thyroid gland. Thank you for reading!



A bow-tie-shaped gland at the base of our neck that controls most body functions


The thyroid gland is the bow-tie-shaped gland that sits at the base of our neck. It directs enzymes, biochemical reactions, hormones, and our metabolic rate. It is the master gland of the body and it controls most body functions. 


Thyroid disease can have a lot of effects on our health. It can affect how we feel every day. In the US, one out of every eight people has thyroid disease. Women are more likely to get thyroid issues and they are eight times more likely than men to have them.


In menopause, the numbers shift again. It comes down to one and every three women will develop a thyroid problem. Among women, no other type of cancer is increasing faster than thyroid cancer. A neighbor of mine, a 46-year-old woman, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed.


The Neck Check 


The goal is focused on early detection. A large number of those lucky enough to catch it early through a neck check. We know that self-exams save lives. You know your body better than anyone else. Indeed, you will be the first to know if something changes. 


To do the thyroid neck check, all you need is a glass of water and a hand mirror.


  1. Hold the mirror in your hand so that you’re able to see your neck. You will need to look closely at the area between your Adam’s apple and your collar bones and the muscles on the side of your neck. 
  2. Turn your head side to side to look for any unusual lumps, bumps, or discolorations.
  3. Tip your head back and repeat this step.
  4. Swallow three mouthfuls of water while you continue to watch your neck. Do one swallow of water when you’re looking straight ahead, another one when you’re turning to the left, and another when you’re turned to the right.
  5. Using the mirror and your dominant hand, feel the texture of the tissues over your thyroid.
  6. Take note of anything you feel that seems unusual.


Feel carefully over any areas that look odd during these steps. if you feel that something isn’t right, be sure to follow up with your doctor.


Thyroid health is important for many bodily functions. 


Your thyroid is important for many things like energy, body temperature, circulation, weight control, healthy hair, good digestion, and dozens of other things. If you have a thyroid issue it makes life much harder. This is mostly because, if you have low thyroid, all of the body processes slow down. This includes your metabolism, digestion, brain function, and how fast your hair grows.


Thyroid issues can come on very slowly. One day you might just notice that you are having a hard time losing weight. It may surprise you how much you’re relying on coffee more than you used to before because you feel tired. 


There are several ways that the gland can misfire. It can go hyper, which is too high. It can go hypo, which is too low. It can swell up, and develop nodules, cysts, or goiters. It can develop into an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis


What affects thyroid function a lot? 


Thyroid disorders are on the rise. The American Thyroid Association states that the causes of most thyroid problems are unknown. And that is not true. It’s well-known in natural medicine that lifestyle and environmental factors are a direct cause of thyroid stress and thyroid issues.

Karen came to see us because her weight was up. She was in menopause and she could not sleep. She was dealing with constipation and she was on thyroid medication. 


She said, “ Dr. Purcell, I need some help. I need to understand more about how things are connected within my body. I just don’t feel like myself. ” After we looked at her labs and I talked to her, we discovered that her thyroid medication wasn’t being properly managed.

I adjusted her medication, put her on a focused food plan, and helped to balance her hormones so that she could sleep. Within a few weeks, she slept better. As a result, her energy improved. During the day, her inflammation went down and she lost weight. Her digestion also started working better which helped her lose more weight.


After six or eight weeks she said to me, “ I went for a hike this weekend and it felt great. I’m feeling like I’m back to myself! “ 


Managing thyroid health better


One of the biggest issues with the mismanagement of thyroid disease is testing. We have to do the right test to get the right treatment. In conventional medicine, your insurance card focuses on disease management, mostly with drugs, surgery, and synthetic thyroid hormone replacement. It doesn’t focus on finding or fixing the underlying cause of thyroid problems. 


Many people who take thyroid hormone replacement therapy as a standalone treatment do not feel better. This is because there are two types of thyroid hormones- T3 and T4. The synthetic medications only contain T4. And not only does the thyroid hormone need to be supplemented, but the thyroid gland itself needs to be supported. Conventional medicine does not know how to do that.


This is an area of tremendous frustration for men and women because although medication is adjusting the labs to be in range, there’s no improvement in quality of life. We still feel terrible. Thyroid conditions are regularly being mismanaged by the conventional medical system. Truth is thyroid health requires a truly holistic approach to be optimized. This is because you are not just your thyroid gland, you are a person with a thyroid gland. 


Environmental Stress and Radiation Exposure 


The main factor contributing to the causes of thyroid disease is stress. Stress causes hormonal fluctuations, mineral deficiencies, chronic viral infections, and radiation exposure. There’s so much going on in our environment these days that affects the thyroid gland. We have to know how to protect our thyroids. 


One of the biggest issues is environmental stress. The thyroid in particular is very sensitive to environmental pollution and radiation. Radiation exposure lowers immune function. The thyroid is sensitive to that radiation exposure. Cases of thyroid disease skyrocketed after the Chernobyl accident. 


We are exposed to radiation from medical images. That is pictures of our bodies that use radiation. Radiation accumulates over time in our bodies. This means that the more radiation we are exposed to, the more it adds up. We usually don’t think about this because we can’t see it with our eyes, but it’s there. And it’s important.


5 Ways to Help your Thyroid Health  


Yoga poses


Yoga is a great way to help the thyroid gland. Some of the best poses for this are the camel pose, the bridge pose, and the shoulder stand. These poses help to stimulate the thyroid gland and bring energy into the throat area. They also help to improve circulation and increase the flexibility of the neck. As a bonus, they can also help to improve your posture.


Thyroid Shield


Asking for a thyroid shield is a natural way to help the thyroid gland. This simple act can protect you from unwanted radiation during medical imaging, including mammograms, shoulder x-rays, chest x-rays, and dental x-rays. Thyroid shields are made of lead or other materials that block radiation, and they’re easy to request from your doctor or technician. If you’re having any medical imaging done, be sure to ask for a thyroid shield to help keep your thyroid healthy and safe.


Foods that help boost thyroid health


“ Let thy medicine be thy food. ” Indeed, isn’t it? Seaweeds, kelp or dulse, and spirulina are great for the thyroid. They contain trace amounts of nourishing minerals so that the thyroid gland can work. These foods also help scrub it from unwanted radiation. Especially healing are apples, pears, kiwis, sweet potatoes, arugula, and all berries.


The thyroid gland is an important part of the endocrine system, and it helps to regulate metabolism. While many factors can contribute to thyroid problems, a healthy diet is one of the best ways to boost thyroid health. Certain foods are especially beneficial for the thyroid, and some of the best include cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, dates, figs, shredded coconut, and leafy greens.


Work with a Holistic Practitioner


If you have a thyroid problem, or you suspect you might have one, the first thing you should do is to begin working with a holistic practitioner. The right tests need to be done to find and fix the underlying cause of the problem. It is possible to boost your thyroid health and then make a full recovery.


Some of the key tests that need to be done are TSH, freeT3, free T4, and thyroid autoantibodies (TPO antibodies and the antithyroglobulin). These tests will help to identify any problems with your thyroid function. Once the problem has been identified, the holistic practitioner will work with you to develop a plan to boost your thyroid health. This plan may include dietary changes, supplements, and other lifestyle interventions. With the right support, you can boost your thyroid health and live a healthy life.


Do your Thyroid Neck Check


Mentioned previously is how to do the thyroid neck check. It is best to do this monthly. Checking your thyroid neck monthly can help you catch any changes early. If you notice anything different, make an appointment with your doctor right away. With early detection and treatment, most thyroid problems can be effectively managed. So don’t wait – start doing your monthly neck check today.


When it comes to chronic disease, medications are often given to manage symptoms. However when the treatment plan centers around lab work and not what you feel like as a person with life experiences; then these drugs can miss their mark because they’re based only on your labs without considering how things affect someone personally who has faced challenges like lack of sleep or emotional issues which lead them towards feelings such anxiety/depression etc. You deserve better than this!


The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped organ in the neck that plays a large role in many bodily functions. If it’s not functioning properly, it can cause all sorts of problems. We’ve talked about some of the factors that affect thyroid function and how you can manage your thyroid better with a holistic approach. There is a lot more for you than what the conventional medical system has to offer. Schedule a free discovery call today to find out how we can help you take control of your health!


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If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, please contact us for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.




DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional 

Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.