Do you have any of these pairs?
Sometimes what brings us to the doctor's office, or any professionals' office, is only the tip of the iceberg, only to have more revealed during the visit. It's no different in medicine, yet unfortunately these correlations are not always google-able. Common pairs especially in the endocrine/hormonal systems are blood sugar & thyroid, Epstein-Barr Virus & Hashimoto's, asthma & eczema, hormone imbalance & thyroid, erectile dysfunction & heart disease, and anxiety/depression & heart disease.
How often do you question your symptoms? Unfortunately we've been conditioned that a problem has a one treatment to one disease ratio without exploring the many reasons, especially starting with diet and lifestyle, things could be off. For example, thyroid medication or thyroid nutrients can help support an inactive thyroid, but if there's thyroid disease because of high blood sugar (raises cortisol, our stress hormone, and inhibits thyroid hormone production), then treating the many reasons blood sugar can be off can help balance the thyroid. Then add in the multiple organ systems involved (e.g. liver, adrenal glands, pancreas, thyroid), and soon treatment doesn't become so simple. Especially because a thyroid issue is stress (think extra sugar) on the body, and can make us crave carbs and sugar- so kinda stuck in a bit of a loop. And think about it- we're complex beings, of course it's not supposed to be simple! :)
Fortunately, regardless of what combo (or if there's multiple things going on), it's important to have a solid foundation of health to begin healing feedback loops at all aspects of said loop(s). Check out these tips below!:
- Optimize vitamin D levels - Just like how vegetables are touted for healing on many levels, so is vitamin D. It has a wide range of benefits, and many conditions will greatly improve from optimizing vitamin D, with levels around 50 ng/mL. D3 is also best absorbed with K2, so make sure your supplement has both. Further, not all supplements are effective at raising levels, so if you're unsure and want to monitor your levels, consider getting checked every so often depending on dose (or best work out a plan with your health professional). Foods high in vitamin D include fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon, as well as egg yolks. Don't forget to step outside! Though pretty much everyone still needs to supplement.
- Fast for at least 12 hours - Between dinner and breakfast! No worries, don't have to do it during the day. This is the start of intermittent fasting, a type of eating that can have many different variations, but these 12 hours really help reset our cells, and allow our body to truly rest from digestion. It can also help drop weight (great for balancing hormones, reducing inflammation, improving detoxification pathways- aka great liver support, and it makes your brain happy & focused).
- Laugh every day - Laughter is so important to our well-being, from watching a short youtube video to going to a comedy club, to enjoying some social time with your family &/or friends. Laughing decreases our stress hormone, cortisol (can also mess with hormones, make us gain weight, etc.), improves our immune cells, improves our mood, improves sleep, and releases those happy endorphins (like after a good workout).
It's easy to get discouraged if there's a 'lot going on', or if even one or two symptoms don't seem related, but they may very well be! Further, yearly bloodwork is important to get as tightening the ranges can give a more accurate picture (ranges you see on bloodwork are based on when things become pathological) and potentially help raise a few flags around prevention (or before symptoms occur).