Download this article as a PDF: Weight Loss & The Thyroid.
In our last article, we started our journey to wellness by breaking sugar addiction and thereby regaining control over food cravings by using “The Sugar Control Program.”
One of my patients who was recently diagnosed as diabetic was finally motivated enough by the diagnosis to take the initiative and reversed the condition completely in three weeks. Another patient, new to my office with longer-standing diabetes, was able to drop his sugar greater than 140 points in just two weeks and is approaching normal range. He is continuing to improve his diet with the goal of normalizing his condition completely. His success story and those of many others are in a success story book in my office. This is a book to which patients have contributed to empower others to share their success. You are welcome to inspect it at any time – it exists solely to inspire and motivate you to take steps to greater health.
The timing couldn’t have been better. A few weeks after the column in the January/February issue was published, Dr.Oz of “Oprah” fame devoted a show virtually verbatim, reiterating my article’s claims about what is at stake with high sugar consumption. I’m not always lucky enough to put in writing ahead of the famous guys what I have already been promoting for years.
More Work To Do: Replacing Missing Nutrients
I wish I could say, “now that you have balanced your blood sugar and moderated your intake of junk food, you are DONE,” but, unfortunately, in today’s nutrient deficient food environment, it’s not that simple. You not only have to take the bad things out, but you have to start putting the good things in.
The next big puzzle piece in the big picture of health is replacing nutrients that are missing. How do you ever know which those are and how do you get them? Well, swallowing a bunch of synthetic chemicals in indigestible tablet form in what passes for “vitamins” is NOT the solution. In fact, consumption of more chemicals under the guise of “vitamins” may even be a part of the problem. First, you have to determine what your nutritional status is and then address each deficiency with food source supplementation. That is what our bodies are designed to use for nutrition: food, real food.
I want to address what I consider to be the next most common reason for frequent complaints of lack of energy, weight gain, mental sluggishness, mood swings, and other symptoms: the underactive thyroid (under the radar of blood tests).
By the way, this was the second component in my own health recovery, 12 years ago, when I went gradually from a size 10-12 to a size 2. I lost 28 pounds and have kept them off, all this time. So what is the thyroid? It is a little gland in your throat that controls the rate of your metabolism. What does that mean? Your metabolism is every chemical reaction that happens in your body to keep you alive. Millions of reactions happen per second in your body and their rate is controlled by the thyroid. As you know, timing is everything. You can do all the right stuff at the wrong time and you are still WRONG! This is why so many symptoms can be attributed to the thyroid. Why does this gland so often malfunction? Back to the basics, because it is dependent on trace minerals no longer found in processed foods (estimated to be 90% of what most of us eat), for it’s function. It is estimated that 40% of us are walking around with underactive thyroids and don’t know about it because the current blood tests are not sensitive enough.
So what to do? I always recommend the easiest, least invasive, least expensive thing first. In this case, that would be the “Barnes Temperature Test.” This test is an excellent way to determine thyroid function by using the body’s temperature at rest. If the thyroid is running low, the temperature will drop below normal while at rest/sleep. The test is done by measuring the underarm temperature upon waking after a night’s sleep. Take a thermometer you set aside on your bedside table the night before and, even before lifting your head from the bed, immediately take your temperature. The test is done on three consecutive mornings and the average temperature is calculated. For women who are still menstruating, the best time to start taking the test is the second or third day of your cycle. If you are post-menopausal or male, any time is fine. Temperature between 97.8º and 98.2º is normal. Below 97.8º could indicate a need for the very vital minerals that help the thyroid function 100%.
What is the key ingredient to good thyroid function? Primarily, the essential mineral iodine, but many other trace minerals, amino acids (protein building blocks) and essential fats are also big players in thyroid health. Since no nutrients work in isolation, it is best to use whole food source or organic whole food concentrates and extracts. For more information on the concept of whole food supplementation, visit www.standardprocess.com. This company has been supplying organic whole food nutrition for over 80 years. These are the products that I’ve used since 1992 and recommend to my patients. For more information on subclinical thyroid and its dramatic implications for your health, any of Dr. David Brownstein’s books on thyroid are excellent. Or you can drop by my office and pick up a symptom survey. This is a more in-depth look at your nutritional status and what you can do to add in more of the “good stuff” now that you’ve taken some of the “bad stuff” out.
Next time, we’ll look at another much overlooked glandular issue, the adrenals or the “stress glands” (little glands with big impact). If you missed the opportunity to participate in my Sugar Control Workshops, it’s never too late. Just call (610) 828-9634 and I’ll arrange a time just for you. Til then, see you on the dance floor.
This article was first published in The Delaware Valley Dance Spotlight, March/April 2010. It is the sole work of its author, Dr. Veronica Collings DC.