According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
At least three different doctors at various times have diagnosed me with underactive, hypothyroid, low thyroid, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
First official diagnosis by an endocrinologist in 2013.
Then, again by a holistic doctor in early 2019.
And, a family member who is a doctor suspected I had an underactive thyroid as young as age 10.
All agreed that I should take medication to correct my thyroid hormone imbalance.
What I Did
From 2013-2015 I took synthetic thyroid hormone, Synthroid, under the care of my endocrinologist. I felt pretty good. I lost weight, but I was also calorie restricting and over-exercising.
In 2014, I began working with Don Bennett, who helps treat thyroid problems via iodine therapy, when iodine levels are insufficient.
With iodine supplementation, I began to feel even better!
But, then my life changed.
I left grad school, and moved to Hawaii.
Moving to Hawaii, I decided to ditch my glasses and contacts (that’s another story), my thyroid meds, and the iodine supplementation.
I wanted to heal the natural way. I didn’t take any supplements or medications for about 3 years.
Make no mistake: I do not recommend doing this!
Then, in January of 2019, I got blood work done again, and it showed evidence of a slightly underactive thyroid.
Doctors make this conclusion when T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones) are low, and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is high.
Basically, TSH is telling the thyroid, “Hey, can you please make more T3 and T4?! What are you doing, man?!”
And, the thyroid’s like, “Hey man, I’m trying…but it’s hard…I’m stressed out, plugged up, and not getting all the nutrition I need to make those hormones. I’m doing what I can…”
Conventional and holistic doctors’ solution to this problem is to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) with the hope that TSH will lower and unwanted symptoms will go away.
Do synthetic and natural thyroid hormones actually help the thyroid?
No, frickin’ way…
Just the opposite!
By taking T3 and T4 via a natural or synthetic pill, we tell our thyroid, “Yo, you can retire. I got the T3 and T4 coming in now. You can just chill now.”
So the thyroid chills. It shuts down. It stops doing it’s thing.
Maybe TSH lowers to normal…
And, you feel better…
Maybe your underactive thyroid symptoms–like being cold, hair falling out, weight gain, sleep issues, emotional disturbances, etc.–go away…
But also, maybe not.
On an energetic level, when you shut down the thyroid (with medication), you also shut down the throat chakra.
The throat chakra, Vishuddha, is one of 7 chakras that run from the base of the tailbone up the spine and through the crown of the head.
Chakras are energetic centers that correspond to anatomical parts of the body and glands in the endocrine system.
The throat chakra is associated with thyroid gland.
It is the 5th chakra, represented by the color blue, and is the seat of communication.
According to the Chopra Center,
“To be open and aligned in the fifth chakra is to speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication. Faith and understanding combine the essence of the Vishuddha chakra…
When it comes to verbalizing your needs, desires, and opinions, you’re better able to determine how to be truthful to yourself and others.”
When we shut down the anatomical part of the body associated with this energetic center, problems are bound to happen.
A blocked or disconnected throat chakra will not only harm one’s ability to communicate one’s truth, but also will negatively affect the rest of the energetic body, especially the chakras above and below the throat.
Think of a blocked throat chakra as a big road block between the heart and the brain.
It’s like one of those bright orange and white fences with CAUTION spelled out that stands in front of a deep pit that is your throat chakra.
Energy from the heart can’t get around the pit (your throat chakra) to go up to the brain.
Likewise, energy from the brain can’t get around the pit (your throat chakra) to get to the heart.
Below the throat, we have the heart chakra, Anahata.
According to the Chopra Center,
“The fourth chakra, also referred to as the heart chakra, is located at the center of the chest and includes the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system.
The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unstruck” or “unhurt.”
The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a pure and spiritual place where no hurt exists…
When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive, and you accept others and yourself.
A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.”
The heart chakra is anatomically linked to the thymus gland, which plays a critical role in the immune system and prevents autoimmune illnesses (the body attacking itself).
I am not at all surprised to learn this.
With age, people tend to become less and less connected to their hearts, and more and more identified with their brains and automatic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
By shutting down the thyroid with medication, we negatively impact the heart chakra, making it more and more difficult to access our heart’s truth.
And, trust me, our hearts have an intelligence of their own.
According to the Heart Math Institute,
“The heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart!
Moreover, these heart signals have a significant effect on brain function – influencing emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving.
In other words, not only does the heart respond to the brain, but the brain continuously responds to the heart.”
Which brings us to the chakra above the throat…the 6th chakra, also known as the third eye, ajna.
According to the Chopra Center, the third eye,
“encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. An invisible yet powerful third eye, this is your center of intuition.
A spiritual chakra, which means “beyond wisdom,” Ajna leads you to an inner knowledge that will guide you if you let it.
An open sixth chakra can enable clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreaming, expanded imagination, and visualization.”
When we shut down the thyroid with medication, we block the ability of energy or information to flow between the third eye and the throat.
For example, maybe you have the inner knowing (message from the third eye) that a given decision is not wise. But, because the throat chakra is blocked, you are unable to express that knowing.
It also means that messages coming from the heart cannot make it to the brain, and vise versa.
With the throat chakra blocked or turned off, the task of uniting the brain and heart becomes much more difficult, if not impossible.
We become fully mental beings, often acting in very limited, narrow, conditioned ways of relating to ourselves and the world.
Messages and intelligence from the heart cannot be expressed as truth from the throat.
Messages and inner knowing from the third eye also cannot be expressed as truth from the throat.
Energy (information) is stagnant and stuck.
Life may feel stagnant, stuck, and monotonous…
Health problems proliferate and continue.
Gratitude and appreciation for “what is” are forgotten…
We are disconnected from our inner nature…
We are disconnected from the guidance and wisdom of our hearts.
Frankly, this is no way to live.
For these reasons, I choose to support my thyroid instead of shut it down…
Fortunately, I followed the wisdom from my heart and third eye to reach out to Don Bennett, and begin working with him again.
As a result, we tested my iodine levels again, and unsurprisingly, I am iodine deficient.
Go here to read Don’s extremely informative, thorough article on the role of iodine in thyroid function.
This time I am committed to following the iodine therapy protocol in full.
I am committed to supporting my thyroid to return to full function.
I want to support my endocrine system, as well as my energetic system, as much as possible, so that I can realize my full potential and give as much as possible during this lifetime.
Have you been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid?! Does this information resonate?! Let me know in the comments below.
Are you serious about improving your health?
Do you want ongoing support in achieving your health goals?