Dr. John A. Robinson,
(Part 2 of 2) Read part 1, here.
Steps 5, 6 & 7 of Getting into the ThyroZone and how to stay there.
Step 5 – Get the Right Diet & Lifestyle
The right diet for those with a thyroid condition is an anti-inflammatory diet that usually is a form of The Paleo Diet, or my more specific recommendation, an Ancestral Diet as proposed by The Weston Price Foundation and others. The thyroid and the metabolism will flourish on this type of diet and it is one of my mainstay recommendations for my thyroid patients, or anyone with a hormone imbalance.
Both The Paleo Diet and The Ancestral Diet focus on an archeological and anthropological approach to nutrition. In other words, how did our ancestors eat and were they healthy as a result of that diet? We have found that our ancestors were far more healthy in terms of overall health, strength and vitality. And the work of Weston A. Price, in the 1930s, found that native peoples from every continent eat in a particular way and had excellent health as a result, from generation to generation. He discovered if those same people starting eating a more Western-style diet, their health and their children’s health would be compromised. I encourage you to explore the work of this brilliant doctor. For now, here is a summary of his diet discoveries found on The Weston Price Foundation website:
- The diets of healthy primitive and non-industrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods such as refined sugar or corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low-fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins or toxic additives and colorings.
- All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal protein and fat from fish and other seafood; water and land fowl; land animals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects.
- Primitive diets contain at least four times the calcium and other minerals and TEN times the fat soluble vitamins from animal fats (Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin K) as the average American diet.
- In all traditional cultures, some animal products are eaten raw.
- Primitive and traditional diets have a high food-enzyme content from raw dairy products, raw meat and fish; raw honey; tropical fruits; cold-pressed oils; wine and unpasteurized beer; and naturally preserved, lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, meats and condiments.
- Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened in order to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients in these foods, such as phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, tannins and complex carbohydrates.
- Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30% to 80% but only about 4% of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, pulses, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- All primitive diets contain some salt.
- Traditional cultures consume animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
- Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.
My family and I follow this basic structure of eating and cooking and it has been profound for our health and vitality. When patients adopt these basic ways of eating, their health improves drastically. I encourage you to do your own research for yourself. This is a “thyroid powerhouse” diet. In fact, this diet helps the entire endocrine hormone system flourish!
Step 6 – Get the Right Movement
Thyroid hormone treatment, when viewed comprehensively as it is with the ThyroZone™ system, is really about improving and enhancing the metabolism. The reason someone has the symptoms of low thyroid is not because of a lack of thyroid hormone per se, but specifically it is because the lack of thyroid hormone leads to a slow metabolism of tissues and their cells, everywhere in your body. When you are suffering with hypothyroid symptoms, what your body really needs is an increase in its metabolic rate. Of course, thyroid hormone is a part of that, but so is exercise. Your thyroid gland will respond to exercise because the stimulus demands more from the thyroid and, given the right nutritional and hormonal environment, the thyroid normally will respond with more thyroid hormone. Depending on the individual needs and preferences of the patient, some form of exercise will be suggested to optimize the thyroid gland. This can range from walking, hiking, yoga, all the way up to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The body is designed to move and your thyroid will benefit from the movement.
Step 7 – Get the Right Mindset
Stress is one of the main reasons we have chronic disease in this country and that includes thyroid dysfunction. When we are under constant stress, it sets off a cascade of hormones that, when in chronic excess, starts to damage the body. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and cancer are all related to and caused by chronic stress. The thyroid in particular is very sensitive to the hormonal changes that occur during constant chronic stress, triggering autoimmune reactions that can lead to either high or low thyroid function.
Often the idea of stress control is something that is overlooked by patients, with the mindset that they have no control over it, or that it is not really that bad, or that everyone has stress…so what? But that is the point. Everyone has it and it is usually managed poorly or in an unempowered way, and disease is the result. This is the one life skill that we all need to continue to master because our thyroid, our endocrine system, our entire health vitally depends on it.
There are two things you can do with stress: either avoid it or learn how to reinterpret it, i.e. change the blueprint of how you perceive the world. When we can remove ourselves from a stressful situation, it is wise to do so. But it is not always possible. In fact, where stress is potentially a killer, it is also something that makes us thrive, if we know how to look at the stress. So it comes down to how you look at stress, how you look at the world, that will help you manage through life and its inevitable ups and downs. The thyroid in particular is about “speaking your truth” and many people, particularly women, have issues with not expressing what they really want and need. They may “express”, and loudly and boisterously at that, but often not exactly their real Truth. The thyroid gland is supposed to teach you this.
The ThyroZone ™ system views the patient as a whole person that needs to go through life with the best stress-management tools possible. Through certain psychological techniques, including heart rate variability monitoring and highly researched medical mindfulness practices, the patient learns how to become empowered to make the necessary changes for their health, their personal lives, and their spirit. When you put it all together, and view the challenges with your thyroid as a process, as a journey, you will finally enter true healing and become whole again. You may even find yourself in…The ThyroZone ™.
About the Author
Dr. John A. Robinson is a Board Certified Naturopathic Medical Doctor and The Leader in Hormone Replacement Therapy, specializing in Natural Integrative Therapeutics, Endocrinology, Thyroidology, and Mind-Body Medicine. He is the Chief Medical Officer of the medical practice The Hormone Zone, also the title of his book. He has developed a unique and refreshing approach to the treatment of thyroid disease called ThyroZone™ where patients find real solutions for their thyroid and their metabolism. A book on his unique approach to thyroid health called ThyroZone ™ will be coming out in early 2016. Check out his website, follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Also, be sure to listen to his interview on Thyroid Nation RADIO’s archives page.