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this article has been updated…

METAPHYSICAL CAUSES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

“If you can imagine an electrical cord with insulation that’s frayed and worn away in places, causing a short in the wire and then shorting out the electrical system, then you can visualize multiple sclerosis (MS).” THE AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTION ~ Rita Baron-Faust

Before we start unraveling the emotional causes of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), I’d like to look at Louise Hay’s perception of this dis-ease, which she describes it as – “Mental Hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility”.

The many people I’ve communicated with, who have MS or inquired about it, were taken aback when they read Louise Hay’s description.  They were hurt and upset at what she was implying.  I’m not even sure if I totally understand her metaphysical reason for MS, but I’d like to try.

The people I know with MS are highly emotionally sensitive (empaths).  As a result of being so open, stressful situations and people can override their nervous system causing them to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

“Empaths are naturally giving, spiritually attuned, and good listeners. If you want heart, empaths have got it. Through thick and thin, they’re there for you, world-class nurturers.” Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life ~ By Judith Orloff

I’ve worked with some individuals, who counteract their sensitivity by developing a false persona.  They ‘appear’ courageous or overconfident and in control, on the outside which means they’re holding back or numbing their true essence inside.  They’ve disowned parts of themselves that they believe others (friends, colleagues, partners and intimate relationships) will see them as weak and needy. This form of false extrovert can create mental hardness, hard-heartedness, iron will, inflexibility, which actually conflicts with their inner-anxiety, insecurity and self-doubt.

FLEXIBLE/INFLEXIBLE

Flexible people believe in change, both in themselves and in others The rigid person, on the other hand, is fearful of any kind of change .. as things keep changing around them, they become more fearful and insecure.

Inflexibility creates rigid people, who are generally sensitive and nurturing, but also fearful .. a fearful person becomes more rigid as he or she hides their true identity through life.  This creates as mentioned before, an artificial extrovert who finds themselves swinging between impulsiveness and rigidity.

The more fearful a person becomes, the more rigid he or she moves through life.  This form of control is a result of insecurity and anxiety, creating tension and hesitancy which may show in their speech.  Even when anxiety is intense, they may give the impression that they’re in control and to others appear normal.  But inside they’re a mess!

Rigidity has been described as a static, stiff and strained position (self-depreciating) that interferes with body’s natural sway and limits the body’s ability to move at its joints, which link the bones together.  Healthy, well-coordinated muscles receive and respond to a multitude of signals from the nervous system, which help them to move in a balanced way.  But when the muscles are overused, misused, abused, disuse, disease or trauma, the smooth interaction between the nervous, circulatory and musculoskeletal systems is disturbed, movement becomes difficult, restricted, painful and sometimes impossible.  These dysfunctional patterns affect the nerve fibers that are surrounded by a layer of insulation called the myelin sheaths.

As commented to an inquirer in the ‘About’ section of this blog, “Nerve signals cannot travel normally when the myelin sheaths breaks down.  This causes the nerves to become inflamed. The more inflamed the nerves become, the more they begin to fail, short-circuiting the electrical flow, thus causing nerve inflammation. Damage to the brain and spinal cord is scattered throughout the Central Nervous System (CNS) causing sclerosis, which means ‘scarring’.

Normally, and through time the myelin has the ability to repair itself (remyelination). But with MS, the nervous system is continually and rapidly short-circuiting, not allowing the body’s natural healing abilities to catch up so healing can take place. Movements of the body may become impossible to control because the messages from the brain to the muscles fail to get through. Because each person experiences different patterns of scarring, no two people with MS have exactly the same symptoms.

“When our nervous systems shift into an aroused state in response to danger, and we cannot defend ourselves or flee, the next strategy the nervous system employs is immobilization.  Nearly every creature that lives has this primitive response wired into its repertoire. Psychological scars from trauma are reversible but only if we listen to the voices of our body.” Waking the Tiger ~ Paul A. Levine

CREATING THE OUTER-MASK

“Who would you be without the thought that you need to make an impression?

… How do you react when you believe the thought that you can find love and approval by making yourself more likeable? If the person you are doesn’t seem to be attracting enough interest, it seems natural to make some changes, to modify your appearance and your personality until you hit the right combination and become more appealing.  Most people begin with the physical, trying out dozens of variations of outfits, hairdos, makeup, diets, walks, and facial expressions.  This progress to figuring out when to smile, when to make eye contact, when to laugh, when to talk, when to keep quiet and what opinions to have.

A built-in part of developing a personality that’s designed to please is constantly watching for signs that you’re succeeding.  This can be a very stressful way to live. Anxiously focusing on the other person, checking for approval or disapproval, leaves nobody at home in yourself, nobody noticing your thoughts or taking responsibility for your feelings.  This cuts you off from the source of real contentment. The outward focus also leaves unnoticed and unquestioned the inevitably painful thought that if you have to transform yourself to find love and approval, there must be something wrong with the way you are” I NEED YOUR LOVE – IS THAT TRUE? ~ Bryon Katie

CASE STUDIES

One of the case studies I’ll be doing in this metaphysical article on Multiple Sclerosis is Paul (not his real name), a young man of 31 years, who was diagnosed with MS at 27 years old.  As a child, Paul lived in terror of his father.  He often saw the atmosphere in his home to be intensely emotional, he wanted to either run away or fight back (yell, scream, throw things) but instead he fought to keep it all inside.  He was afraid his intense emotions may anger his father; with his mom, he saw her as weak and powerless.  This caused him to ignore his inner feminine qualities and create a false persona that appeared logical, analytical and cold (mental hardness); it was his means to gain worldly power and success.

Looking at Paul’s astrological natal chart, and sharing/communicating with him, it seems his alcoholic father displayed wide mood swings that frightened him, keeping him and his mother and siblings, in a state of constant fear.  At times when Paul’s dad came home drunk, he beat up on the children to vent his frustrations. Feeling powerless toward authoritative people, Paul reacted (and still is reacting) with fear, suspicion and a lack of trust.

Defensiveness and rigidness harden into our character to protect us, especially when we feel threatened by others. When this defense mechanism is alerted, we either pull back or crawl into our shells at the first sign of trouble, or we rapidly boil with rage.  Autoimmune and chronic disorders can become a crutch to hide behind when painful and difficult situations arise that you don’t want or don’t know how to meet head-on. Being in constant fear can take away our strength and immunity; it deteriorates bones, delays the mending of fractures, weakens the lower back and in extreme cases, causes paralysis.

Most of us learn, by the age of four or five, to hide, squelch, or camouflage our emotions in social situations. We catch on very quickly to the fact that most people are inauthentic with one another – they lie about their feelings, leave important words unsaid and trample unheedingly over each other’s obvious emotional cues.  Learning to speak is often a process of learning not to speak the truth and attaining an uncanny level of pretense in most relationships.  Every culture and subculture has a different set of unspoken rules about emotions, but all of them require that specific emotions be camouflaged, overused, or ignored.  Most children – (empaths) – eventually learn to shut down on their empathic abilities in order to pilot their way through the social world. The Language of Emotions ~ by Karla McLaren

Paul did learn to shut down his feelings .. he pictured himself as a go-getter, full of physical daring and courage. He told himself: ‘be strong, be forceful, be independent, be brave’; and powerful.  Inside he felt scared and insecure but hid it by building an armor of steel around himself. He kept moving in order to maintain his balance, but the effort required so much attention, he didn’t notice when he went speeding off the track. He was thrown off the football team at college and lost many a job because of this. It became hard for him to remain calm, because everything stimulated him. Nervousness and excitability were the price he paid for non-stop excitement. But it all came to a halt when he started waking up exhausted and felt out of sorts, even though he’d had a good night’s sleep.   When his vision started affecting him, he thought it was from his fatigue.  He took supplements known to energize the body, but he only became more lethargic. When he started suffering tremors, he knew something wasn’t right but was too afraid to see his doctor.

Tremors are a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, experienced by around three-quarters of people with the condition [multiple sclerosis], and one that often makes sufferers feel quite self-conscious. For most, the tremors will be mild and occur infrequently, but for some, the tremors may be more severe.   https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2017/05/12/four-types-of-ms-related-tremors/

Along with the tremors, Paul started experiencing tingling in his legs and feet; his headaches were more frequent and he suffered pain in his abdominal area and bowel problems.  Frightened he turned to a good friend, who advised him to seek medical help and gave him the address of an excellent clinic.  We’ll explore this in later detail later.

 

Arlene (not her real name) age 44, is the 2nd Case study we’ll be looking at who also has multiple sclerosis (MS).   She too, like Paul, is deeply sensitive, and intensely emotional. What differs between Arlene and Paul, is that Arlene was naturally born with a competitive spirit, where Paul changed his persona.(false extrovert) to forget his troubled past.  Arlene’s parents loved her for her achievements, not for the person she was. This caused her to disconnect from her inner-self and her own emotions to focus intently on being recognized as a high achiever.  Arlene worked hard to get A’s in school, and kept herself busy with swimming, dance, and gymnastics.  No matter what she did, the love she craved for was never there.  Deep inside she struggled with pent-up rage and hostility.

Arlene hated the constant go, go, go, she just didn’t know how to stop.  Her nerves were frazzled, from turning herself inside out to win the love and approval of her parents and teachers.  She often skipped meals, even though she was doing strenuous physical work. Her body became undernourished and she stressed about money, this  further depleted her system. Too much adrenaline and cortisol ran amok in her blood, causing a tremendous drain on her immune system, and physical body.  She developed an array of allergies and physical stresses, including intestinal cramps, memory loss, sleep deprivation and depression.  With all this going on, Arlene developed mononucleosis at the age of twenty-one.  Her blood tests showed, low levels of Vitamin D, hypothyroidism and she tested positive for the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV).

Epstein-Bar Virus (EBV) is a herpes like virus thought to be the cause of mononucleosis and Burkitt’s lymphoma.  It is contracted through the cells in the lining of the mouth and throat, which means it can be spared by sharing utensils, kissing, and unsanitary habits.  EBV symptoms are known to duplicate other conditions, including debilitating fatigue, fever, swollen glands, arthritic symptoms, multiple allergies and difficulties concentrating.  As the immune system deteriorates, many people with EBV get strep throat, tonsillitis and chronic sore throats.

“EBV is a highly specialized parasite. It seems to strike humans exclusively, and its focus is the antibody-producing B cells of the immune system.  [B cells amplify the immune response]. It is as if the very cells with the task of destroying viruses entice the Epstein Barr Virus in.  As B cells carrying the viral genome begin manufacturing virus particles, the T lymphocytes try to stem the rising tide of nonself by secreting alpha-interferon and suppressing the B cell hosts. This is at best a questionable tactic, for it effectively weakens an already damaged immune system.” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ~ Jesse A. Stoff, M.D. and Charles R. Pelegrino

PART II –

“Illness is more than a matter of imbalanced physiology. There are always psychological and emotional aspects to every health problem and unless these are thoroughly addressed no cure, from no matter how holistic or alternative a source, will ever be complete and lasting.” Burton Goldberg and the Alternative Medicine Guide

WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)

Trying to explain MS to friends and family can be frustrating because MS is known as an invisible disability or a hidden wound, that others cannot see.  So even though pain, poor sleep, fatigue, depression and other symptoms stop you from doing what you want or need to do, the outside world sees you as perfectly healthy.  Unfortunately, looking good on the outside and feeling awful on the inside can sometimes causes others (including your doctor) to over look the impact of MS on your life. However, as this disease progresses, it attacks your brain, spine and eyes*, causing problems with your balance, muscle control, vision and other bodily functions.

*The optic nerves (optic neuritis) and parts of the brain that control eye movement can be affected by MS, causing blurred or hazy vision and sometimes temporary blindness.  Occasionally, pain around the eyes will happen before the eyes are affected, sometimes within an hour or even up to a couple of days.

“Optic neuritis is linked to multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis can be the first indication of multiple sclerosis, or they can occur later in the course of MS. Besides MS, optic neuritis can occur with other infections or immune diseases, such as lupus”.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/optic-neuritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354953

MS affects both the immune system and the nervous system of the body.  The immune/lymphatic system, is composed of white blood cells that move rapidly and specifically through the bloodstream protecting the body from attack by bacteria, viruses, and cancers. MS is an autoimmune condition in which an overactive immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in the Central Nervous System (CNS). This flux of energy is called demyelination, and causes disrupting signals between the brain and the body – similar to an exposed electrical wire. MS can be really frustrating because the symptoms are often unpredictable, sometimes flaring up for no particular reason and always at inconvenient times. A large variety of symptoms may include: blurred or temporary lost vision, spasticity of muscles, loss of sensation, incontinence, loss of balance, extreme fatigue and memory problems. Eventually the myelin sheath repairs itself, but often scarring remains (sclerosis), which continues to impair the function of the CNS. When there are multiple scars, it is known as ‘multiple sclerosis’.

The lymphatic system is like a sewage system for toxins in the body. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that help rid the body of toxins, cellular waste and other unwanted materials.

Emotions contain patterns of memories that are stored in the body. Anxieties, worries and fears can make us feel trapped in a situation. The stomach area can become inflamed, along with the duodenum and colon.

“The valves of the lymph system move the waste-filled fluids to be flushed and filtered. But since there is no pump as there is with the heart, lymph circulation depends solely upon our breathing and muscle movement. Physical exercise and diaphragmatic deep breathing are critical to lymph cleansing and to a healthy immune response.” Linda Page ~ Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew

Deep abdominal breathing and exercise are all ways to support lymphatic circulation. Every time we contract a muscle, the muscle rubs against numerous lymph vessels, stimulating them to contract. This is another reason exercise is so good for us!

“The lymph glands are a part of our immune system as they help purify the blood, keeping it healthy and strong. They also “clean up” garbage in the body (such as dead cells in the blood) for removal. Their relationship to the blood implies that the lymph glands are intimately connected to keeping us in an even emotional state, constantly purfiying our emotions. Swollen glands or blocked lymph nodes can therefore imply an emotional blocking or a denial of emotions, leaving us unprotected and vulnerable to invading poisons, or to the effect of poisonous feelings.” (Debbie Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook).

In regard to the immune system, a large percentage, about 80% is located in the gut. So the foods you eat, do have an impact on either strengthening or weakening your immune system. If you have an autoimmune disease, you may have a gut imbalance known as “small intestine bacterial overgrowth” (SIBO) which can lead to leaky gut.  When leaky gut is present and the liver is over-stressed, the door is open for toxins to reach the brain via the bloodstream. When inflammation in the brain gets out of control, you might notice yourself feeling exhausted, forgetting things, feeling confused and unable to formulate words in a sentence.

“The gut’s function is to absorb and break down food nutrients for assimilation. It also functions to keep harmful things from leaking into the bloodstream where they can harm. Imagine a barrier/wall between the gut that resembles “a net” (called the intestinal gut barrier). When there are abnormalities in the ‘intestinal barrier,’ the permeability of your “net” increases, (the holes in your net get bigger), so things that normally can’t pass through this net into your bloodstream are now able to, causing a negative immune reaction. These things include undigested proteins like gluten, bad bacteria, undigested foods particles and toxic waste. The newly introduced particles can cause health issues such as food sensitivity, IBD, IBS, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory chronic diseases, thyroid problems and even skin conditions. This new permeability called “Leaky Gut Syndrome” can be caused by an unhealthy diet (low-fibre, high saturated fats, sugars and alcohol), over-consumption of Lectins (proteins found in un-sprouted grains), chronic stress, imbalances in the good and bad gut bacteria, fungal and bacterial infections, long term use of conventional NSAIDs and stomach acid-suppressing drugs.” Nutrition House Nutrition House – Glutamine – Leaky Gut

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

An EXCITED nervous system forces your body to produce an excess of the stimulating and stress producing hormones adrenaline and cortisol, to prepare your body for fight or flight. The adrenals release cortisol in preparation to heal damaged tissue and stimulate your immune system, but too much adrenaline and cortisol can raise your stress levels higher.

Cortisol has a huge impact on the liver, which has an important role in regulating blood sugars and removing toxic substances from your bloodstream. If the liver can’t function at its best, it gets weary and tired.  Not only is it the breeding ground for negative thoughts and feelings, it physically affects the blood, the immune system and your ability to fight infections.

“The functioning of the liver is very involved in addiction behavior, whether the addiction be to food, alcohol or drugs, as it is the liver that removes toxins from the blood and deals with the excess fat and sugar intake.  The emotional tension that gives rise to the need for release through an addiction is felt here, as this tension may be based on anger and resent (towards the world, or towards specific individuals).  Often the toxins are ingested through the addiction as a way of hiding from those toxins already in our system: hate, frustration, rage, incompetence, self-dislike, hurt, greed and a need for power.  By taking in external toxins we do not have to admit to, or face up to, what is already inside us.

The liver is closely connected to the third chakra, that which focuses on power and self identity.  By transforming these qualities we are able to rise above them to the highest levels.   But it can be just as easy to become a victim of these energies as it can be difficult to transform them.  The liver then reflects the anger and confusion experienced in trying to find ourselves and our purpose.” Deb Shapiro The BodyMind Workbook

The constant release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can sear the body in a way that is similar to acid searing metal. Even hours after the output of these chemicals, they still remain high in the body, elevating blood sugar levels, causing damage to the immune system, decalcifying our bones and thinning our skin. Long term emotional stress can reach chronic levels with the production of these hormones.  This is when toxic emotions become deadly emotions. This powerful ongoing infusion of chemicals injures tissues and organs, resulting in many different autoimmune dis-eases.

The predominant emotions of the nervous system is fear and/or anxiety which can constantly keep us in the fight/flight/freeze response.  For example, you may feel restless, unable to sit still or be at peace; feeling hot during the day or sweating at night; reckless or lack of fear; lack of ambition or purpose; lack of drive or lack of will; low libido, inability to maintain erection or reach an orgasm; feeling cold and exhausted; fear of making any move because “it could be the wrong move”; feeling powerless; overrun by the will of others; frequent or urgent bladder problems; incontinence; holding in guarded secrets; money problems; premature aging; weak bones; bad teeth.

“Immune System – This system is in charge of keeping you safe – keeping foreign invaders out. Symptoms that show up in the immune system are often linked to defensiveness and protection. Do you feel angry and defensive? Do you feel vulnerable and defenseless? What or whom do you feel like you need protection against? (Others, or maybe even yourself? Or do you feel like you have no protection at all? The immune system is your protector. If you feel unsafe being vulnerable, have no way to protect yourself, or feel defensive all the time, it can wreak havoc on this system.” How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can ~ Amy B. Scher

Revisiting Case Study #1~ Paul

Looking at his astrological natal chart, Paul is extremely sensitive emotionally, but he’s careful not to show it.  Instead he presents a solid facade to the outer world, giving the impression that he’s quite cool, and even invulnerable.  “I feel I have always worn a mask around people. I pretend too much which causes me anxieties about myself and the world around me.  I never asked of anything from others yet I constantly bend over backwards to please the people around me. The image Paul’s words showed me was of him being an emotional pincushion to others.  He was misusing his personal power for others.

Paul did not feel safe in his home or with his family. Because of his unstable home life, Paul was never able to enjoy a carefree childhood, he repressed his youthful spontaneity and lowered his expectations because of his father’s drunken stupor. As an adult, Paul had trouble with relationships due to a resistance of becoming too emotionally involved with someone.  But he also had a huge fear of being rejected.

“Rejection: Feelings of rejection can stay with a person for many years – to the detriment of their relationships and well-being.  Often people take rejection personally, thinking that they are not good enough, that there is something wrong with them. So instead of going forward and changing, they give up, close down, and feel sorry for themselves.

Fear of trusting, opening up, or getting too close to people can also occur when a person has experienced extreme rejection. Most people fear rejection, and as a result, many fail to pursue their dreams and enjoy life.

 Feelings of rejection contribute to many diseases and dysfunctions, such as anorexia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, endometriosis, paralysis, numbness, cold sores, frigidity. Such feelings can also create breakdowns, stress, nervous anxiety and tension”. THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF YOUR BODY: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

We all want to feel safe, protected and cared for, it’s a place where we truly belong.  But as a child, Paul suffered betrayal and a lack of trust/security…he also suffered rejection… the thought of being rejected crippled him.  In Paul’s chart, it showed he was born with a strong emotional hunger and need for security.  His mother, who had her own problems couldn’t fulfill Paul’s need for security, he interpreted her reaction as rejection and in turn rejected her when she wanted to be warm. I explained to Paul that he was very difficult to approach when hurt, and has a tendency to emotionally withdraw for long periods of time. He wrote back and said it was true.

Unknown to Paul, his severely limited childhood, although long past has been intensifying his lose of confidence and inner conflict.  What’s happening here is not just the lack of support from his parents, it’s also his own feelings of self-rejection and guilt because of his mixed emotions towards his family.

Paul was under a lot of anxiety which he kept to himself.  As noted earlier, he created a false persona around others so as not to rock the boat.  And this was the image given to me during his distant-healing, Paul in an unsteady boat in stormy seas. He was so afraid of making mistakes or being misunderstood he’d created his own form of self-paralysis.  He literally took on jobs, he loathed, so that others would thank and appreciate him.  Paul was doing things to be loved, instead of doing what he loved.  Deep within he felt so inadequate about who he was, he didn’t have a clue about his life purpose.

PAUL’s DISTANT-HEALING

Reiki is a healing energy where the healer acts as a catalyst for your healing. In other words, I (the Reiki practitioner) do not heal you, you do! Reiki allows your body to relax, allowing the healing process to start. The distant-healing is complete when your body tells me it has amassed enough energy to start the healing process. How you heal, depends on you. I am not a ‘Faith’ healer (though some people think I am). I’m a metaphysical healer … helping you understand the emotional component of your dis-ease so you can begin to take the steps necessary to heal it.

With Reiki and distant-healing Reiki, we are moving to a deeper region of the inner self, becoming aware of the symbolic messages of your body from within. Here, we are trying to understand what your illness looks and feels like, symbolically. We are listening to the messages of your body.

SCANNING THE ENERGY-BODY

Scanning a person’s body before the distant-healing helps to determine where Reiki energy is most needed. Physically or remotely, the scan works on the person’s energetic field, where it’s possible to sense imbalances before they manifest physically.  Remotely, I visualize myself standing alongside your energy-body. Visually, I note if there are any areas around your field that look dark or muddy. I also look for any energy leaks or holes in your aura.

Then, with my hands 2 or 3 inches above your subtle energy, they move slowly along the length of your energy-body from head to foot. I pay close attention to the sensations in my hands as they gently move over your body. I note if I feel tingling or prickling in a particular area. I also notice if your etheric body is giving off heat or feels cold, the latter usually indicates an emotional energetic block.

to be continued …..

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The Thyroid is an **endocrine gland located at the base of neck on both sides of the windpipe below the larynx or voice box. Symbolically it looks like a butterfly with open wings! On Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid the illustration and information on the thyroid is well done.
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The thyroid regulates and influences the various chemical reactions throughout your body. It produces growth hormones, cell regeneration and repair and helps to maintain our metabolism and oxygen levels. It also produces the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine contains iodine and the thyroid gland cannot produce this hormone unless our diet contains a small amount of iodine. Too little thyroxine or too much can result in disorders such as Goiter and Dwarfism.
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Hyperthyroidism means too much thyroxine in the system and hypothyroidism means too little.
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(new) “Accumulating evidence suggests that hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis dysfunction is relevant to the pathophysiology and clinical course of bipolar affective disorder. Hypothyroidism, either overt or more commonly subclinical, appears to the commonest abnormality found in bipolar disorder.” Journal of Thyroid Research http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtr/2011/306367/ 
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I suffer from hypothyroidism, which can be misdiagnosed as Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia.  (Now more than ever, studies are being done, as indicated above to examine thyroid dysfunctions and behavioral problems).  If you suspect a thyroid problem, the best way to check to this out is through a laboratory blood test. Unfortunately many patients can have thyroid tests come back normal because most standard tests aren’t sensitive enough to identify an underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism.  There is a TRH (Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone) that is much more sensitive than the routine blood tests. and can almost prove beyond a doubt that a person is suffering from an underactive thyroid.  It’s a bit more involved but if the normal test is coming back normal, and you suspect your thyroid ‘s hormones aren’t up to snuff you could at least talk to your doctor about it.
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I’ve learned the thyroid gland produces three important hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which require iodine and L-tryrosine for their production. These hormones help to regulate and metabolize the cells in our body. As they are released into our blood most of the molecules bind to blood proteins. The third hormone produced by the thyroid is calcitonin. It helps with metabolizing calcium.
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The Encyclopedia of nursing and allied health (a very interesting site)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gGENH/is_all/ai_2699003787 states…..
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“Calcitonin
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The thyroid gland also secretes calcitonin. The thyroid’s C-cells are stimulated to secrete calcitonin when there is a high concentration of calcium in the blood stream. The function of calcitonin is to inhibit the amount of resorption of calcium from the bone and to regulate the amount of calcium in the blood stream.”
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This site also talks of T3, T4 and TSH. The pituitary is the master gland of the endocrine system. It controls the release of thyroid hormones by releasing a ‘thyroid stimulating hormone’ also known as TSH.
 
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**The endocrine glands (“chemical messengers”) produce and release hormones directly into our bloodstream. Hormones influence our height, and build, sexual activity, mental sharpness, ability to respond to stress and so much more! We discuss more about this in the metaphysical section of the thyroid.
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4/6/2013 EAT WITH THE SEASONS
Before we continue, I’d like to interject here a moment before going on, that I’ve learnt something interesting in regard to metabolic and thyroid issues.  Apparently throughout history people ate foods that were available and in season, after all they had no other choice.  For instance, winter time is a time of warm, cooked foods and the ever-famous chicken noodle soup; we enjoy turnips, and even winter squash and finish our dinners with a nice warm pudding or apple pie. But now, thanks to transportation (ships, trains), we can get spring, summer, fall and winter foods all year long.  Apparently this can cause problems with people who suffer from thyroid  and low basal body temperatures…consuming cold, raw foods during winter may affect thyroid function.  Same too can be said about eating too many hot meals in the middle of summer.
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We’re in spring now, the vegetables and fruits that are at their peak are asparagus, blackberries, green onions, leeks, lettuces, new potatoes, peas, red radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries and watercress. Depending on where you live, you could probably add to this and the other seasons too.
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Summer is a time of apricots, blueberries, cherries, eggplant, fresh herbs, green beans, hot peppers, melon, okra, peaches, plums, sweet corn, sweet peppers, tomatoes and zucchini. 
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Fall is when apples come into season, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, grapes, kale, pears, persimmons pumpkins, winter squash and yams.
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Winter of course is when we bundle up and enjoy beets, cabbage, carrots, citrus fruits radishes, onions rutabagas, turnips and winter squash.
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Unfortunately, I can’t list ‘all’ foods, however, depending on where you live, you could find a list of fruits and vegetables that are categorized for each season.  If you do suffer from thyroid problems, perhaps try foods that are in season for a month and see if you feel more energetic, flexible and look healthier too.  If you do, tell us about it!
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SYMPTOMS
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I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism almost 12 years ago. I started showing symptoms of this dis-ease when beginnning a new job after being a stay at home mom for 11 years. The first signs were heart palpitations and achiness all over my body. When visiting the doctor it was ‘assumed’ I was premenopausal . I wore a heart monitor for a 24 hour period which revealed the upper chamber of the heart was ‘fluttering’……”no cause for concern”, the doc said. My body was also going through temperature changes and mood shifts. The next stage was feeling lethargic and tired almost all of the time. No matter how much sleep, I was always tired, sensitive and on edge, ready to pounce on anyone or anything that got in my way. Waking, I was cold, my eyes and face puffy…no matter how much cream put on my skin, it was extremly dry and flaky. I was a mess!
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From advice of friends and family who knew all these moods and changes were out of character, I returned to the doctor’s office. A blood test was taken and revealed my thryoxine levels were extremely low. 50 mcg’s of Levothyroxine Sodium was prescribed. Just four days after taking this, my whole system started balancing itself out. I felt like myself again! Not wanting to be on a drug for life, I discovered L-Tryosine, iodine and high levels of B vitamins were good to change the levels of thryosine (T4) in my system. Trying these, I took myself off of the Levothyroxine and was able to manage without it for two years. During this time, I discovered that the hypothalamus monitors our blood level of T3 and T4. If low the Hypothalamus sends a message via the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) to the pituitary which then sends its message with the thryoid stimulating hormone (TSH) through the bloodstream. I was amazed at the body’s ability to replenish and repair itself. And so began my journey and initiation into the healing profession. However. the body cannot do it all alone. We are composed of a body, a mind and a spirit. Change one and the others (mental, emotional, spirit) have to adjust to create a balance. Not only was this a new perspective on how and why my body does the things it does, I was also learning how my feelings and beliefs were creating the life I was living.
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If the thyroid test had revealed hyperthyryoidism, symptoms include a faster heart rate, hypersensitivity, weight loss, insominia, nervousness, muscle pain, etc.. The hypothalamus would try to reduce or stop TRH which would lower TSH and consequently diminsh the production of thyroid hormone.
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Of the many websites I searched, this one “Thyroid Disease and Risk Symptoms” by Mary Shomon http://thyroid.about.com/od/symptomsrisks/a/symptomsrisks.htm on About.com is simply explained and extensive on listing symptoms of hypo and hyperthyroidism. I highly recommend it. She also has a Thryoid Forum allowing you communicate and learn from others. In fact there are many Thyroid Forums which I’ll list at the bottom of this blog.
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http://thyroid.about.com/cs/basics_starthere/a/symptoms.htm in this section Mary Shomon goes into great depth to describe the symptoms, for hypo and hyperthyroidism.
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Here is a list of the basic symptoms for both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism from Mary Shomon’s site
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Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid)
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fatigue,
exhaustion
feeling run down and sluggish
depression
difficulty concentrating, brain fog
unexplained or excessive weight gain
dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
feeling cold, especially in the extremities
constipation
muscle cramps
increased menstrual flow
more frequent periods
infertility/miscarriage
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Symptoms of Hyperthryodisim (An overactive thyroid)
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nervousness
irritability
increased perspiration
thinning of your skin
fine brittle hair
muscular weakness especially involving the upper arms and thighs
shaky hands
panic disorder
insomnia
racing heart
more frequent bowel movements
weight loss despite a good appetite
lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods
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Also, she has created a list of great questions that you can print out and answer to take to your doctor. http://thyroid.about.com/cs/basics_starthere/a/hypochecklist.htm I commend her on the depth of research and hard work!
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I never realized the importance of the thyroid until recently. This gland is not only involved in keeping our hormones aligned, it also keeps all the organs in the body balanced and running smoothly. It also regulates our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
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An illness in the body could indicate a thyroid problem. Also, if your autoimmune system is out of whack this can also be the thyroid. Hormone failure can also indicate problems with the thyroid, adrenals and ovaries. Thyroid dysfunction is NOT something to ignore. If you suspect a problem, please check it out before more harm is done.
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Another link to this page is the infiltration of exposure to harmful chemicals which have been linked to thyroid problems. From the moment of conception our children have been accumulating chemicals in their body. It may take years or decades before exposure to chemical products may cause harm to the thyroid as well as cancer, behavioral problems, learning difficulties and hormone imbalances and infertility or sterility problems.
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Children are entering puberty at the tender of age of 8 and the girls first menstrual period is beginning under the age of 12! Hand-made chemicals are mimicking hormones and disturbing the natural hormone balance of the human body. Soy products are escalating estrogen levels 6 to 11 times higher in children than an adult, causing early sexual development.
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This gland is also critical to ‘fetal brain development’. At the bottom of this blog is a link to a site that suggests ADD/ADHD can be linked to poor thyroid function. Children born to mothers with low thyroid hormone levels have been shown to have trouble with motor skills, coordination and other psychomotor functions.
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In ancient times, the thyroid was considered a sex gland and described as ‘the third ovary’. (more on this later)
*”Hypothyroidism can actually cause the body to reject a fetus.  Broda O. Barnes, M.D., a pioneer in hypothyroidism research, found a link between hypothyroidism and miscarriage.  Of 301 female hypothyroid patients in his practice, 164 had miscarriages.  In treating the women, he found that successful conception and pregnancies often correlated with times when the women were taking thyroid supplements….
The thyroid gland, in addition to causing infertility if it is underactive can also influence reproduction through its antibodies.  In a recent study, the presence of a thyroid antibody (thyroglobulin or TG, an iodine-bearing secretion) was shown to have an association with a risk of early miscarriage.” Burton Goldberg ~ Women’s Health Series
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CHOLESTEROL AND THE THYROID
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Cholesterol is a slippery, waxy substance….it exists in every cell of the body. Without it we wouldn’t be able to digest our food.
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“Cholesterol is assuredly a vital bodily substance. Without it you cannot grow, you cannot digest your foood, you cannot mature, and you will die. Cholesterol may also be a potent antioxidant that scavenges and protects against harmful free radicals. It may even be one our natural defences against those factors that cause arterial damage. Other defences include Vitamins A, C, E, B-1, B-6, Beta carotene, niacin, pantothenic acid, chromium, manganese, selenium and zinc. These are all vitamins and minerals which we cannot produce interally and must get from our diet. If we do not get enough of them, then the body may have to work overtime to produce one of the few internal self defences it can manufacture — cholesterol. When one supplements his/her diet with ample amounts of antixoidant and free radical scavenging nutrients, elevated cholesterol levels often return to normal.
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High Cholesterol is not a disease. It is a symptom of insults to our bodies through lack of exercise and improper diet. If we correct the causes of those insults, then cholesterol levels tend to normalize themselves — safely and naturally.
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If high cholesterol levels do not normalize themselves in response to reducing sugar intake, increasing dietary fibre, regular exercise, and supplementary antioxidents, then there is one other factor to consider — low thyroid function.”
David W. Rowland, PhD
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If you suspect ‘low’ thyroid function even though your blood test came back normal, this may be why……..
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“There is considerable evidence, however, that blood tests fail to detect many cases of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). It appears that many individuals have “tissue resistance” to thyroid hormone. Therefore, their body may need more thyroid hormone, even though the amount in their blood is normal (or even on the high side of normal). A low axillary temperature suggests (but does not prove) hypothyroidism. Optimal temperature regulation is an essential aspect of holistic therapy for these disorders.”
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This site also describes using a basal thermometer test upon waking in the morning. When you first wakeup, before getting out of bed, place this thermometer under harm and hold it there for about fifteen minutes. There is also a basal chart on this article for you to write down your findings. A temperature of 97.6 or lower could indicate an underactive thyroid.
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If you type in (thyroid) basal thermometer on google you’ll get thousands of hits on this subject and a wealth of information.
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Hyperthyroid can cause a condition called Graves Disease. This disease is where the body produces antibodies which stimulate the thyroid into action.
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“……’Graves’ disease. This condition afflicts a great many people. In this disease, the thyroid gland enlarges and releases too much thyroid hormone. The person can become restless and overactive, and the heart often races.
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How Can Thyroid Problems Affect The Eye?
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People with excess thyroid hormones (Graves’ disease) can develop many eye problems. One characteristic symptom is a protrusion of the eye (exophthalmos), in which the person appears to be staring or the eyelids tend to pull back from the eye. The tissues and muscles around the eye appear swollen, and this swelling (or edema) contributes to the eye protruding. In this state the eye can become dangerously dry, resulting in damage to or ulceration of the cornea, the clear outer covering of the eye. The person may also experience double vision. In severe cases, the optic nerve connecting the eye to the brain may become damaged, leading to blindness.”
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Also, high estrogen levels can affect the thyroid. Adding progesterone cream has been known to decrease your need for thyroid supplements. So estrogen and progesterone and thyroid hormones are somehow connected. And….hormone balance is also linked to osteoporosis, which we’ll discuss in a another section of this blog.
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“Estrogen causes food calories to be stored as fat. Thyroid hormone causes fat calories to be turned into usable energy. Thyroid hormone and estrogen have opposing actions. The “central command post” of this opposition may be in the hypothalamus, the pituitary, the thyroid gland, or the body cells where the hormones enact their destined roles. My hypothesis is that estrogen inhibits thyroid action in the cells, probably interfering with the binding of thyroid to its receptor. Both hormones have phenol rings at a corner of their molecule. Estrogen may compete with thyroid hormone at the site of its receptor. In so doing, the thyroid hormone may never complete its mission, creating the hypothyroid symptoms despite normal serum levels of thyroid hormone. Progesterone on the other hand, increases sensitivity of estrogen receptors for estrogen and yet, at the proper level, inhibits many of estrogen’s side effects. That is what is mean when we say that progesterone opposes estrogen: The lack of progesterone in a woman still making estrogen or taking estrogen supplements leads to the condition of unopposed estrogen……….patients with unopposed estrogen (progesterone-deficient) become less so when progesterone is added and hormone balance is attained.”
John R. Lee, M.D. with Virginia Hopkins, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”
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Another disease of the thyroid is called Hashimoto‘s thyroiditis, it is where the body creates antibodies against the cells of the thyroid gland.
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Hashimoto’s, antibodies react against proteins in the thyroid gland, causing gradual destruction of the gland itself, and making the gland unable to produce the thyroid hormones the body needs.
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A ‘Goiter’ (another thyroid problem) is an abnormal enlargment of the thyroid gland. The body’s neck may appear swollen and this can create the sensation of being unable to breathe, hoarseness, food seems stuck in the throat and coughing. It is caused by a shortage of iodine in the diet. With iodized salt introduced back in the 1920’s, this disease isn’t as prevalent as it was back at this time.
CNN has a wealth of information in their health library. Here’s one on the thyroid/Goiter.
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WHAT CAUSES THE THYROID TO DYSFUNCTION
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GENETICS
1) A family history of thyroid problems
2) Depression
3) Autoimmune disease
4) Chronic Fatigue
5) Weight Problems
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My family genetics suffers from most of the above. My brother had his thyroid removed 10 years ago due to a serious disease called thyroid toxicosis or thyrotoxicosis. A couple of the many symptoms of thyrotoxicosis is excessive sweating as well as weight loss. Gary couldn’t tolerate the intense summer rays in the summer……within moments his body and clothes were dripping wet. This is a hyperthyroidism condition.
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As you know, I suffer from hypothyroidism. So did my father. Dad suffered from insomnia, high cholesterol, constipation, tiredness and too many other symptoms to mention. My father was in the Armed Forces and suffered a heart attack at the young age of 18 when his plane suddenly took a dive and his body slammed against the navigation controls he was managing. Given an honorable discharge, he was hospitalized in a military hospital where he came down with scarlet fever which caused muscle damage to his heart. His immune system became stressed, exhausted and worn out, causing his thyroid levels to decrease. Suffering the embarrassment and anger of an early discharge, my father sank into states of depression and suffered a nervous breakdown. For years he couldn’t assert or express his repressed emotions. He literally lost his voice. It wasn’t until he started a personal development program that he learned to express, write and bring into focus his past guilt, inadequacy, and painful emotions and let them go. He not only healed his wounds but also discovered his many hidden gifts and talents.
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My father was the first to teach me about self expression as a tool for self help as well as spiritual growth and understanding. In the next section we’ll learn the underlying meanings of thyroid problems, its affiliation to the 5th chakra and throat area as well as how this area affects the body energetically.
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There seems to be a a connection to hypothyroidism, being left handed or ambidextrous. This interested me greatly because I am left handed and about 60% of the thyroid sufferers who visited an alternative clinic I worked at were either ambidextrous or left handed.
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Bloodline Family Members at Risk. Since the most common type of thyroid gland failure is this inherited condition, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, examinations of the members of your bloodline family may reveal other individuals with thyroid problems. [Example: In the 28 family members of my personal blood line, we are as follows: One with celiac disease, one with multiple sclerosis, three with rheumatoid arthritis and seven with hypothyroidism; two with arthritis and 1 with celiac disease also have hypothyroidism as their single autoimmune condition; one of the relatives with arthritis also had gallstones; none of us write left-handed; however, all of us with hypothyroidism are ambidextrous.]
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DIET
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This interesting site by Victoria Anisman-Reiner, B.Sc., C.C.A., http://naturalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/causes_of_thyroid_disease states…
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“Certain foods have been shown to inhibit the effect of thyroid hormones on the body. These include vegetables from the Brassica family: kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard (the greens and the seeds or condiment).
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Soy, wintergreen, turnips and walnuts may also be a problem to those vulnerable to low thyroid. Tobacco (although it’s not part of anyone’s “diet”, per se) and sugar have also been shown to have a negative impact on thyroid health.
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Because of the thyroid’s connection to the immune system, people with allergies may find that the allergens to which their bodies react can affect thyroid health, as well.”
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Drinking too much coffee can have an adverse affect on the thyroid as well as too much consumption of the ‘Mint’ family (basil, bugleweed, catnip, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, motherwort, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint. thyme.)
Here are links to the dangers of Soy products
Thyroid cancer and soy
Soy, the unsuspected problems with thyroid
Thyroid disease and soy
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DRUGS and the Thyroid
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It’s only been the last 10 or 15 years, doctors have learnt more about the adverse reactions to Estrogen supplements and creams. Water retention, weight gain, cancer, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, strokes and other symptoms screamed for recognition.
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I just found this web page http://www.vitalitymagazine.com/node/1630 which is extensive on thyroid conditions and treating them naturally. It’s a gold mine of information!
In this informative page, written by Michael Vertolli, clinical herbalist…..
“The factors that can contribute to thyroid dysfunction include:
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(1) Psychological stress: This is significantly affected not only by the number and intensity of potentially stressful factors in our life, but more significantly by our strategies for dealing with stress which ultimately determine the degree to which these factors affect us. Personality factors are also important, such as being high-strung, extremely ambitious or aggressive, or a tendency to experience a lot of anger also tend to create significantly more stress in our life.
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(2) Dietary factors: Excess consumption of sea vegetables, iodized salt, tyrosine supplements and stimulants such as caffeine can contribute to hyperthyroidism. Excessive consumption of raw vegetables and herbs from the Mustard family (e.g. arugala, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, rapini, etc.) and Mint family (e.g. basil, bugleweed, catnip, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, motherwort, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, thyme, etc.) and soy products, and deficiencies of iodine, zinc and vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and E can contribute to hypothyroidism.
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(3) Drugs: Estrogen therapies opium derived drugs can contribute to hyperthyroid, while androgens, corticosteroids and salicylates may be implicated in hypothyroid.
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(4) Exercise: Lack of exercise can contribute to both hyper- and hypothyroidism, as can insufficient sleep.
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(5) Toxicity: Many toxins can bind to hormone receptor sites resulting in negative health consequences. Also of particular importance for thyroid function is radioactive iodine which is a by-product of nuclear fission from power plants and weapons testing. Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormone and these substances tends to be found in the highest concentrations in our thyroid.
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(6) Autoimmune factors: Many cases of both hyper- and hypothyroidism have an autoimmune component. Psychological and toxic stress are major factors contributing to the development of autoimmune conditions.
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(7) Tumours: Cysts and tumours of the thyroid can result in hyper- and hypothyroidism. One of the major causes of tumours in this organ is radioactive iodine.
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(8) Iatrogenic causes: Post-therapeutic hypothyroidism can occur from over-zealous treatment of hyperthyroidism resulting in destruction or removal of too much thyroid tissue.
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Foods and herbs from the Mustard and Mint families are very nutritious and many have important medicinal properties. Regular consumption of these plants will not lead to underactive thyroid function unless other factors are also involved, particularly iodine deficiency, which is rare since the advent of iodized salt. Only those who already have hypothyroidism need be concerned. In these cases foods from the Mustard family should be reduced, but not eliminated from the diet and only eaten cooked. Spices and herbs from the Mint family aren’t as much of a concern because they aren’t consumed in as large a quantity. However, regular consumption of herbal products containing bugleweed, motherwort and lemon balm should be avoided.”
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Thyroid Disease Linked to Flouride and Toxic Chemicals
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Our children are at risk of developing thyroid problems in their later years through toxic chemicals in the air, some plastic bottles and cups as well as flouride. Thyroid cancer has been on the rise since 1995; we need to be more vigilant in learning more about what chemicals are used in household products that can be a risk to ourselves and especially our children. If the body is unable to release the accumulated toxins we are facing chronic situations that can affect the health and well being of the human physical body. These toxins can continue to aggravate and persist even after the toxins seem to have gone. We may no longer become conscious of them but they could manifest as an illness in later life.
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Also, our children are fighting stressful conditions of obesity which is reaching epidemic proportions. Not only are they at risk of developing diabetes but other health problems as well.
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Doctors have long suspected a link between weight gain and certain cancers, including colon and breast cancers. But the new study, published Friday in the journal Lancet, suggests it could also increase chances for cancer of the esophagus, thyroid, kidney, uterus and gall bladder, among others……
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In men, an average weight gain of 33 pounds increased the risk of esophageal cancer by 52 percent, thyroid cancer by 33 percent, and colon and kidney cancers each by 24 percent, the research found.
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In women, a weight gain of 29 pounds increased the risk of cancer in the uterus and gall bladder by nearly 60 percent, esophagus by 51 percent and kidney by 34 percent, the study said.
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It may seem to make sense that being overweight is connected to a low metabolism or possibly even a condition such as underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). But it’s actually uncommon for excess weight to be related to a low metabolism. Still, seeing your doctor can help to determine if a medical condition could be influencing your weight.
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The recent report from Environmental Defence found alarmingly high levels of bisphenol A – also known as BPA – in of some of the most popular plastic baby bottles sold across Canada. As a result, parents are unknowingly putting their babies at risk.
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BPA is known to mimic estrogen and has been linked to early puberty in girls, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and obesity.
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“Any baby that’s drinking out of these bottles is going to be ingesting this toxic chemical every time they take a sip,” warned Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.
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“This chemical has been linked to thyroid problems in later life, breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.”
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Fluoride has been a regular addition to tap water all over North America for some time, but recently its presence has been causing a little extra stir.
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That’s mainly because of a 2007 Health Canada panel that recommended the fluoride levels in water be reduced. The drug, which is said to help remineralize the enamel in teeth, thus helping to prevent cavities, has been tentatively linked to a rare type of bone cancer like the type
Terry Fox had, not to mention the possibility of reduced intelligence in children and impaired thyroid functionality.
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LEARNING DIFFICULTIES – ADD/ADHD – And THYROID FUNCTION
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Patients with ADD are also known to have a substantially higher incidence of thyroid hormone resistance resulting in impaired performance on an auditory discrimination task. T3, the active form of thyroxine (the hormone produced by the thyroid), is very difficult to measure accurately. Inadequate T3 activity can result in diminished brain function.
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The Thyroid Gland and Learning Difficulties – http://www.ldanatl.org/hcp.asp this article is a ‘must read’.
Thyroid disease is common, and its effects on the gastrointestinal system are protean, affecting most hollow organs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20351569
Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease http://gut.bmj.com/content/35/6/844
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Supportive and informative Thyroid Forums
Thyroid Cancer forums
Thyroid Forum free E-Book
Thyroid Disease Active Low-Carber Forum
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to be continued…..***

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