No wonder you’re gaining weight!
A small butterfly-shaped gland located just below the larynx, the thyroid plays a behind-the-scenes role in health. Problems with this critical gland impact women eight times more often than men.
Starting in their mid-30s, many women feel tired and moody, put on pounds, have trouble sleeping, and often lose interest in sex. Sure, these are common symptoms during perimenopause—but they’re also signs of a slowdown in thyroid activity, called hypothyroidism.
What most people don’t realize is that thyroid function is closely intertwined with the adrenal glands. When combined with a little body fat, the adrenals can make up for declining hormone output before and during the change.
By the time many of us enter our 40’s and beyond, our adrenals are in a state of burn out—often from the stresses of our 24/7 world. Adrenal burnout also contributes to blood sugar problems, weight gain, and diabetes.
By the time we reach 60, half of all women may also have a sluggish thyroid. But, it’s not just associated with aging. One recent study finds that 4 percent of pregnant women suffer thyroid dysfunction.
This isn’t something to take lightly. Thyroid problems have been linked to breast cancer, digestive disorders, heart disease, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis. Even borderline hypothyroidism is associated with high blood pressure during menopause. British researchers suggest that thyroid dysfunction may also increase the risk of glaucoma.
Synthetic hormone replacement therapy, first and second-hand smoke, pharmaceuticals (antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, corticosteroids, and other meds), systemic candidiasis, plus exposure to dangerous radioactive iodine (especially for those of us living in the Pacific Northwest), ionizing radiation and surgery for Graves disease and thyroid cancer can cause hypothyroidism. Thyroid cancer rates are rising, even as overall cancer incidence falls.
Researchers suspect the growing use of medical scans for everything from neck pain to plaque in the arteries may contribute to this increase in thyroid tumors. Radiation exposure, especially in childhood, and the current obesity epidemic are likely factors.
Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:
Hypothyroidism is as epidemic as obesity!
In my own experience, 7 out of 10 women are in adrenal burnout and have sluggish thyroids. Why? I would agree with the research on this one. There are certain other environmental and dietary factors that are suspect, however, when it comes to low thyroid, I think that a lack of iodine (an ingredient of thyroid hormones) due to interference from fluoride, chlorine and/or bromides (think vegetable oils and certain sodas) may be a primary cause. I have also observed that overdoing soy due to its high copper content can lower thyroid function.
Interestingly, many of the same nutrients support both of the body’s “energy” glands: the thyroid and adrenals. These include antioxidants, B complex vitamins, and tyrosine (a key amino acid that is a precursor to both thyroid and adrenal hormones.) All are available—along with the highest-grade raw bovine whole adrenal gland and raw bovine adrenal cortex from New Zealand—in UNI KEY’s Adrenal Formula. The shortage in raw materials for natural desiccated thyroid is another reason I recommend this ultimate energy booster along with Ioderal, a source of high-potency iodine/potassium iodide.