The thyroid plays a crucial role in metabolism, and Dr. Mark Hyman takes an integrative approach to improving thyroid function.
"If your thyroid isn’t at its best, cellular metabolism will slow — affecting your waistline and every organ, every system," Hyman said, according to Woman's World.
Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine and a bestselling author, says simply monitoring thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) isn't enough. He also tests free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies and considers factors ranging from food allergies to vitamin deficiencies, according to an article on his website. Once a problem has been identified, Hyman goes beyond prescribing a pill and incorporates diet, exercise, and reduction of stress and inflammation into a treatment plan.
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"Part of the blind spot in medicine is that we’ve ignored this huge category of substances in food that have huge ability to alter our biology," Hyman said, according to WKSU. "Nutrients in food affect your gene expression, they change your hormones, they change your immune system, they change your gut flora with every bite. They change your metabolism, they change literally everything in your body in real time all the time."
Hyman outlined six steps to heal the thyroid on his website.
1. Eliminate the causes of thyroid problems — These could include gluten sensitivities and food allergies; mercury, fluoride and chlorinated water; pesticides and other toxins; chronic stress.
2. Incorporate vigorous exercise and sauna use — Exercise stimulates the thyroid, and saunas help detoxify your system.
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3. Eat foods that support thyroid health and avoid those that interfere — Hyman recommends a whole-food, organic diet, including such foods as seaweed, sea vegetables, fish, dandelion, mustard, dark leafy greens, smelt, herring, scallops, and Brazil nuts.
4. Use supplements — Multivitamin and mineral supplements that include selenium, iodine, zinc, vitamins A and D, and omega 3 fats are recommended by Hyman.
5. Undergo tests to assess thyroid health — Monitor TSH, free T4 and free T3, and thyroid antibodies.
6. Take thyroid hormone replacement medicine — Synthroid is the most common drug used to treat thyroid disorders, but others, including Armour thyroid, should be considered.
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This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.