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Expert Advice

Body + Fitness
Body + Fitness
Go to War Against Inflammation for Thyroid Health and Beyond
 

Acella Pharmaceuticals, LLC., is partnering with Lindy Ford, RD, LDN to bring greater awareness to the importance of thyroid care and education. This post is sponsored by Acella Pharmaceuticals and should not be construed as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor about individual medical situation.

The research jury is in. The verdict? Chronic inflammation is the root cause of most serious diseases, including heart disease, many cancers, thyroid disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

Inflammation on the surface of the body presents as swelling, redness, heat and pain. It is the foundation of the body's natural healing process, bringing more immune activity to a site of injury or infection. That’s good. When inflammation manifests internally and persists, it damages the body and causes illness. That’s not good.

Stress, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, exposure to toxins (such as environmental chemicals, cigarette smoke and chemicals in foods) can all contribute to chronic inflammation, but dietary choices play the biggest role. Research shows that an increase of free radicals increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines when the diet has an excess of refined carbohydrates.1 There are other dietary choices that raise inflammation as well. 

We are all in a battle against inflammation for prevention of disease, but specifically against thyroid disease.

How Does the Thyroid Gland Function?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in your neck below the Adam’s apple. It produces several hormones, but two of them are major players – T4 and T3. If everything goes as it should, T4 gets converted into the more biologically active T3. Inflammation gets in the way of this conversion.

The thyroid is a master gland that affects the functioning of just about every organ system in the body. It is responsible for energy metabolism (how we gain or lose weight), cell repair, temperature regulation, brain development, respiration, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels and the heart and nervous system regulation. The thyroid gland can be underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism).

How Does Inflammation Affect the Thyroid Gland?

All of the hormones in the endocrine system are interconnected, including sex, adrenal, blood sugar and thyroid hormones. Think about them like a symphony orchestra. When they are “playing” well together, everything is good. When one of them is out-of-tune (out of whack), the entire system suffers. Inflammation is a key player in this disruption.

The reason for this is something called oxidative stress. This is an unbalance between the production of substances that do oxidative harm and those antioxidant defenses that protect us. Free radicals are the damaging substances and our main enemy in this war.

How Can We Decrease Inflammation?

Whether we want to prevent or manage disease, lowering inflammation is crucial. I will be writing about this in depth in subsequent articles.

1.  Consume adequate nutrients from foods and supplements that decrease inflammation in the thyroid.

These nutrients include iodine, tyrosine, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, CoQ10, omega-3s, B vitamins and iron.

2. Strengthen gut health.

The gut is host to 70 percent of the immune tissue in the body. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune hypothyroidism) is directly related to leaky gut or intestinal permeability. Overcoming leaky gut will lower inflammation in all parts of the body.

3. Lower stress.

Easier said than done, right? A good incentive is to realize that inflammation is partly caused by cytokines, which are chemicals released by stress. When we lower stress, we lower damage to every system in the body.

4. Eat a nutrient dense, low-carb diet.

How low carb? This depends on the person’s unique physiology and how he or she responds to insulin, the inflammatory hormone. Everyone is different, but most of my patients see significant improvement when they consume less carbs (even from so called “good” carbs like whole grains).

5. Get proper thyroid medication.

Consult your health care practitioner to get the right kinds of thyroid tests run to determine the type and dosage of thyroid medication, if thyroid disease is present.

6. Eliminate or greatly reduce thyroid inflammation triggers.

These include cigarette smoke, pesticides, chlorine and fluoride in drinking water, refined carbohydrates, millet, calcium supplements, soy and uncooked goitrogenic foods like cruciferous vegetables. These goitrogens are only a problem when there is an iodine deficiency. Heating will denature much of this affect.

We are not in a battle against inflammation, but we are in an all-out war. Win the war and support your thyroid by incorporating these strategies into your everyday life.

In my next article, I will be highlighting specific foods we can consume to strengthen our thyroid, along with lowering inflammation. For more relevant nutrition information and advice, check out Lindy's YouTube channel:

INDICATIONS & IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION INCLUDING BLACK BOX WARNING
Important Risk Information

Drugs with thyroid hormone activity, alone or together with other therapeutic agents, have been used for the treatment of obesity. In euthyroid patients, doses within the range of daily hormonal requirements are ineffective for weight reduction. Larger doses may produce serious or even life-threatening manifestations of toxicity, particularly when given in association with sympathomimetic amines such as those used for their anorectic effects.
  • NP Thyroid® is contraindicated in patients with uncorrected adrenal insufficiency, untreated thyrotoxicosis, and hypersensitivity to any component of the product.
  • In the elderly and in patients with cardiovascular disease, NP Thyroid® should be used with greater caution than younger patients or those without cardiovascular disease.
  • Use of NP Thyroid® in patients with diabetes mellitus or adrenal cortical insufficiency may worsen the intensity of their symptoms.
  • The therapy of myxedema coma requires simultaneous administration of glucocorticoids.
  • Concomitant use of NP Thyroid® with oral anticoagulants alters the sensitivity of oral anticoagulants. Prothrombin time should be closely monitored in thyroid-treated patients on oral anticoagulants.
  • In infants, excessive doses of NP Thyroid® may produce craniosynostosis.
  • Partial loss of hair may be experienced by children in the first few months of therapy but is usually transient.
  • Adverse reactions associated with NP Thyroid® therapy are primarily those of hyperthyroidism due to therapeutic overdosage.
  • Many drugs and some laboratory tests may alter the therapeutic response to NP Thyroid®. In addition, thyroid hormones and thyroid status have varied effects on the pharmacokinetics and actions of other drugs. Administer at least 4 hours before or after drugs that are known to interfere with absorption. Evaluate the need for dose adjustments when regularly administering within one hour of certain foods that may affect absorption.
  • NP Thyroid® should not be discontinued during pregnancy, and hypothyroidism diagnosed during pregnancy should be promptly treated.

Indication

NP Thyroid® (thyroid tablets, USP) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat a condition called hypothyroidism from any cause, except for cases of temporary hypothyroidism, which is usually associated with an inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis). It is meant to replace or supplement a hormone that is usually made by your thyroid gland.

NP Thyroid® is also used in the treatment and prevention of normal functioning thyroid goiters, such as thyroid nodules, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multinodular goiter, and in the management of thyroid cancer.