The Power of Fasting and Thyroid Health
When it comes to battling many of today’s health issues, the entire premise of modern medicine is incorrect. In the past, diseases like cholera and smallpox could be treated with medicines like penicillin and other antibiotics, but times have changed. Yellow fever has been replaced by heart disease, Type II Diabetes, thyroid issues and other diseases that are more dietary in nature. In other words, instead of looking for the latest drug, the best form of treatment is to fix cellular dysfunction and incorporate ancient healing strategies such as fasting.
While modern medicine hasn’t embraced fasting as a viable health option, the practice has been around since the beginning of time. Fasting is known to rejuvenate and revitalize the body. Even animals will fast when they are stressed, ill or feel unease. The refusal to eat is a form of self-preservation to remove waste products and promote healing of the body. Fasting and thyroid health go hand in hand: fasting makes us more responsive to our hormones, thus improving thyroid function.
Today, the philosophy on eating is the opposite of the ancient practice of fasting: Now we are constantly feeding ourselves. We have gone from an average of eating three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to eating five to six meals a day: breakfast, a snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and another snack. This change in eating habits has had a detrimental effect on our health.
A common question is always asked, “Can thyroid conditions be reversed?” Absolutely. Get rid of the cause and the body reverses them. Contrary to popular belief, the doctor doesn’t do it, the body does. When you get rid of the causes through a Multi Healing Approach (which includes fasting), the body can do amazing things.
Here’s a common scenario for many thyroid patients: you’re taking the thyroid medication that your doctor prescribes, and your blood work looks normal. However, you’re still losing your hair, your skin is still dry, and you have no energy. You’ve even gained 20 pounds. You’re doing everything the doctor suggested, but it’s not working. Why? We haven’t gotten to the exact cause of the thyroid condition.
Most doctors simply address thyroid conditions without an understanding of the cell’s ability to receive the messages needed to function properly. This is where fasting and thyroid health fit together. Fasting makes the body more responsive to the hormones we are producing. Therefore, we start to feel better.
There are three important hormones that are key to thyroid health: TSH, T3, and T4. These hormone levels can appear normal when checked, but they hold the key to potential thyroid conditions. All of these can be altered for the better through the art of fasting.
Our ancestors varied their diet based upon what was available. Insulin carries many roles in its relation to other hormones, especially regarding the hormone convergence. Hormone convergence means hormones need to be converted from one form to another for active use. One of the best examples of this conversion is thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone T3 is the active form of the hormone that helps our body (cells) use fat for energy. Active Free T3 has many other functions as well, such as the overall health of our skin and hair, and even daily energy. Therefore, if your cells don’t get enough of the message, you will not feel well or burn fat efficiently. T4 is the inactive form that must be converted to the active T3. If the conversion is hindered in any way, the lack of T3 will affect how you feel and use fat as energy. Insulin is needed for this conversion to take place. Therefore, if insulin is low too long the lack of active T3 can become a problem. Those on a low carb diet for long periods can develop very low insulin. This impacts not only fat loss and muscle loss but can affect other hormones as well. People that already have hormone challenges are even more sensitive to this potential problem, and respond the best to a Diet Variation method.
Diet Variation includes intermittent fasting, which is a short daily fast and only eating during certain hours of the day. In addition, certain days are high loaded carb days and other days are regular eating days. It sounds complicated but it is really not. Once everything is outlined and explained, it is easy.
Remember, fasting is the quickest way to decrease cellular inflammation. It allows the body to direct all of its energy towards healing. As a person gets accustomed to fasting, the body gets more and more efficient with every subsequent fast. Fasting on a consistent basis can help reduce or even eliminate many of the ailments in today’s society: cells become more efficient at utilizing fat, which burns cleaner than glucose. The body becomes more responsive to hormones. Brain fog dissipates, weight loss is easier, and most hormonal problems may be eliminated, and that includes thyroid conditions.
Larisa Belote, CHHC, AADP, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Contact Larisa at 732.490.5770 to set up an appointment today to discover the power of fasting and how it will help reduce inflammation, and get rid of toxins from your body so that you can fix the cell to get well and start feeling great. Or visit stepbystep-wellness.com for more information.
This article appears in the December issue of Natural Awakenings Monmouth/Ocean edition. Click here to subscribe, or download the entire issue below.