The hormonal communication between your thyroid and your brain is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. It’s a sensitive negative feedback system that works like a seesaw. When your thyroid hormone production is low, your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) should be high.
Here’s three tips to help you get your thyroid functioning optimally.
#1 Understand Your Blood Work
So you’re tired all the time, your feet and hands are cold, your body temperature runs low, you’re constipated, your hair and eyebrows are thinning. You’re sure something’s wrong with your thyroid. You have all the symptoms. But your doctor does some blood-work and it’s normal. He may have just run a TSH.
Ok, let’s take a look at what blood-work you need to really determine your thyroid hormone production. If I suspect a patient has low thyroid function then I run at minimum a TSH, fT4, and fT3. TSH is thyroid-stimulating hormone and it’s produced by your pituitary gland in response to how much thyroxine (T4) and liothyronine (T3) is floating unbound or free in your blood. Measuring total bound thyroid hormone does not reveal the levels of active thyroid hormone. Only free T4 and free T3 gets to your hypothalamus which then tells your pituitary gland to release more TSH if your thyroid hormone is low or less TSH if your thyroid hormone is high. It’s a negative feedback system like a seesaw.
#2 Balance Your Seesaw
Your hypothalamus is also reading all your hormone levels – insulin, sex hormones, adrenal hormones – at the same time. Your hypothalamus orchestrates your entire symphony of hormones. If your TSH is not high when your free T4 and free T3 levels are low then your hypothalamus is not responding appropriately to your thyroid hormone production. It’s like the boss of your body is not listening to the Hormone employees. It’s miscommunication.
You will have symptoms of low thyroid but your TSH is normal. It’s just a matter of time before you have clinical hypothyroidism which shows in your blood work. By that time, your metabolism is so low that you can barely function. Why wait to balance your thyroid hormone seesaw? You need to support your hypothalamus so it can detect your hormones correctly and improve communication with your thyroid as well as your other glands. Just a couple months of hypothalamic amino acid support in Genesis Gold will help correct the miscommunication.
#3 Raise Your Metabolism
Until your hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis miscommunication improves you can help raise your metabolism. First you need to help your thyroid hormone get into your cells. It’s T3 that actually gets into your cells to tell your mitochondria to produce more energy.
Exercise is the number one thing you can do to increase T3 activity. Be sure it’s aerobic – meaning you get your heart rate up. And exercise early in the morning. A simple HIT exercise will do. Just warm-up for five minutes, then speed up as fast as you can for 20 seconds, slow down for a minute or two. Repeat the sprint cycle twice more than cool down for five minutes.
This brief high-intensity bursts of speed will open up your cell receptors for T3 and increase your energy production. It doesn’t matter what you do for exercise. Walking, cycling, swimming, rowing…just three bursts of speed, three times a week.
Then be sure you’re getting adequate Vitamin A in your diet as well as zinc which both help increase T3 uptake by your cells. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and can only be found in animal products. Liver and fish oils have the most Vitamin A, followed by butter and eggs yolks. A vegan diet will not provide enough vitamin A for adequate thyroid hormone production and optimal health. As for zinc, oysters are by far the best source followed by red meat, poultry, as well as some beans and nuts.