Understanding the Thyroid 101
Ways to Improve its Functions
By Flo Parks
For an experiment put your hand on the front of your neck. Notice that you can feel your hand touching your neck. What do you see? Hasn’t your hand just disappeared into a mysterious black void? Pull it out again and you see a hand. Put it back on your neck and it becomes invisible once again. This is a place of mystery that must have been a daily marvel to those who lived without mirrors. In the center of this place where vision fails lies the thyroid gland, one of the largest glands in the Endocrine System. This organ dictates your temperature, your weight, your energy level, your growth, and ships a product to your body so vital that no cellular respiration goes on without it.
Thyroids are the first glands to be created as a fetus develops. They start growing at the back of the mouth area and descend downwards until reaching the front of the neck where it joins the chest. The two lobes lie on either side of the windpipe like a bow tie and are connected to each other with a small band crossing in front of the windpipe. The coloring is brownish red and if you peek inside you see lots of tiny fat, round baby follicles each with a little peashooter sticking out of them. Their size is 1/100th of an inch. Each straw-like protrusion connects to a capillary that feeds into a vein and from there they bathe five billion cells with loads of their chemicals.
This manufacturing plant is unbelievable. It captures mineral treasures like iodide and calcium from the five quarts of blood that stream through every hour. It brews a mix of jelly hormones that are 25% more concentrated than in the blood, hoarding a one hundred day supply. The small size of the organ and the amount of the hoarded stash tells about the tiny, tiny size of these chemical packets. The difference between an adequate and inadequate supply may be only 0.000007 so this operation has little room for error. These very small amounts make a world of difference in how we feel and what we can do. Three chemicals produced in this factory are thyroxin, triiodothyronine, and calcitonin. Thyroxin dominates 80% of the work effort and in the body performs like a distance runner. It may take one or two days before an effect is noticed but will last for another two or three days. Triiodothyronine fulfills a similar function as thyroxin but is a faster change agent. Like a sprinter, it can create a response within six hours but soon needs replacement. These two hormones assist cells to utilize oxygen and keep the fires of metabolism active. Calcitonin is being made in a healthy thyroid. It regulates calcium levels in the blood while its partners the parathyroid regulate calcium in other parts of the body. Parathyroid look like four gemstones set into the outside edges of the thyroid bow tie.
The chain of command for the thyroid includes the pituitary and the hypothalamus. The pituitary is a small organ at the base of the brain and is called the “Master Gland.” When thyroid supplies drop, a messenger molecule from the pituitary rises in the bloodstream to stimulate the release of more goods from the thyroid stash. When one goes up the other goes down. The hypothalamus rests above the pituitary in the mid-brain area and is shaped like a pea. It sends chemical messages to the pituitary concerning thyroid levels. The hypothalamus is a double agent. He is an endocrine gland working for and with the nervous system. There is a direct and an indirect interaction between the two systems. Fearful thoughts trigger fight or flight chemicals leading to physiological changes in response to our thoughts and emotions.
There are ways to evaluate your thyroid. Most people concur that an underperforming thyroid will reveal its sadness by coldness, lethargy, sleepiness, weight gain, and a higher potassium level on a blood test. Historically, Lugol’s iodine competed with Fucus plant tonics as being the best treatment for a fatigued thyroid. A manic thyroid will reveal its anxiety by heat, irritability, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
The elimination of toxins is the best way to show support. Here are the suggestions I have read about.
Drinking enough water to make 2 quarts of urine a day, and taking kidney cleanses or kidney supportive herbs may help detoxification.
Reducing parasites may help detoxification. Some suggest improving sanitation, taking herbal tonics, increasing oxygen, using low voltage electronic treatments, or starving them of their favorite foods.
Cleansing the liver bile ducts twice a year may help detoxification. In general, the herbal recipes are like this. First, you fast from oils and fats all day and don’t eat after 2:00. Next, you drink Epsom salts to relax the bile ducts. This leads to the right climate for flushing out cholesterol stones when you finally drink a mixture of fresh grapefruit juice and olive oil before going to bed. Find reliable details. For those struggling back to health, it is safe to repeat this cleanse every two weeks. Note that kidney support and parasite reduction should be in place before doing the liver cleanse.
Feeding white blood cells with Vitamin C, selenium, and hydrangea may help your immune system. The form of the vitamin C matters. Good sources are rose hips and currants. Selenium and hydrangea can both be found in Brazil nuts.
Increasing sources of iodine may support your immune system. Consider adding ocean vegetables to your diet. Or, if not allergic, consider drinking six drops of Lugol’s iodine in a half cup of water no more than 4 times a day. This will also reduce salmonella colonies in the stomach.
Natural thyroxin supplements may support your immune system. If you choose these supplements, wash off any dyes and deep freeze for 24 hours before use.
A standard recommendation is to avoid the halogen family if you want top thyroid health. Chlorine, fluoride, and bromine interfere with iodine uptake. The thyroid uses free form iodide in its manufacturing work. The problem with these siblings of iodine is that they are quite reactive and when they are present they act like hungry brothers sharing a small plate of food. Some recommend filtering water with charcoal to remove chlorine, avoiding fluoridated products or filtering with bone char, and baking homemade breads with bromine free flours.
Does avoiding unsafe dental practices help the endocrine family? Though unproven and controversial, some claim that unsafe dental practices damage the thyroid. Toxins in the mouth affect this organ in a double way. First, the thyroid is the direct recipient of toxins seeping down from the mouth. Second, the thyroid managers’ health affects the whole operation of the endocrine system.
Does avoiding foods with phloridzin help the endocrine family? Another new, unproven, and speculative idea touches on the topic of food phenolics. Dr. Robert Gardner PhD was a highly allergic person looking for some relief. He gave us charts of chemicals in our foods that trigger allergies inside of us when we eat too much of one thing. Phloridzin is one allergen on his charts that may accumulate at the pituitary and the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. It is historically linked to diabetes in tested rabbits. Foods on the phloridzin list are apples, bananas, pork, and soy products. Boiling will neutralize this chemical.
Does avoiding foods with chlorogenic acid help the endocrine family? Dr. Hulda R. Clark added chlorogenic acid to her food charts as the nemesis of the hypothalamus. If we over eat coffee, tea, milk, pepper, potatoes, and watermelon we increase our chances of endocrine dysfunction. The process of boiling also neutralizes Chlorogenic acid.
In the universe of a human body, we have warriors who fight to keep us balanced and alive. The thyroid is one of our warrior friends. Invisibly, unnoticed, by day and by night, the chemicals are manufactured, stored up, and shipped out to billions of cells waiting for their rations to come. Without the rations there will be no metabolic fires, no respiration. Everything stops when the supplies don’t come. The thyroid is the first-born of our glands and will work without a vacation until the day we expire. We have a loyal companion to appreciate and support.
Flo Parks found the writings of Dr. Hulda R. Clark because of a family diagnosis and it became a window to the science she never knew could be so fun and interesting. Her goal is that you will be more knowledgeable and more excited about supporting your thyroid so you will live long and prosper. Dr. Clark signed her books with the inscription, “To your good health!” That is our wish for you.