What's a thyroid gland and how's it attached to your fertility?
A thyroid problem gland is one of the seven endocrine glands, and it's really located at the base of your throat (behind Adam's apple). Your hypothyroid is in charge of metabolism and wind turbine in the body. A bit like an electricity generator. Within your early life and in utero it absolutely was involved in your brain development and organ differentiation. Later in your lifetime it took control of your metabolism.
Exactly what are some of the body functions affected by your thyroid gland?
- Heart beat
- Blood flow for the hands and feet
- Glucose production
- Output of cholesterol
- Fat burning
- Production of heat
- Activation and secretion of steroid hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone for starters)
- Rate at which you use oxygen
- Cell proliferation
- Intestinal integrity
- Kidney function
- And much more
How does it regulate your metabolism?
It either gives your cellular energy generators - aka - mitochondria a nudge to produce more energy or instructs brown fatty tissue to release heat or it improves the activity of enzymes in charge of energy production.
Your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones T3 and T4. T4 is really a precursor to T3 and is 20 fold more abundant compared to more potent T3. To convert T3 into T4 your system needs one very important mineral - iodine.
Thyroid function and infertility
About 25% of female infertility cases and 15% of menstrual period disorder cases derive from thyroid dysfunction. Especially subclinical hypothyroidism features a high prevalence within the population. Therefore thyroid function has to be examined in all women with infertility and / or menstrual disturbances and irregularities.
Do you realize the thyroid and the ovaries refer?
Apart from being endocrine glands, these two are known as sister organs! Immunologically they are like two sisters. Therefore abnormal autoimmune function of the ovary is closely related to the autoimmune purpose of the thyroid.
Thyroid hormones impact the action and secretion of steroid hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone). Ovaries have thyroid hormone receptors, where thyroid hormones communicate with and have a direct effect on ovarian hormone production.
Regarding thyroid hormone deficiency your ovary will be unable to produce sufficient quantities of hormones required for optimal fertility along with a healthy pregnancy, ultimately causing anovulation, predisposition to PCOS, endometriosis and miscarriages.
Thyroid function is related to PCOS and Endometriosis
Research has found that infertile for women who live a significantly higher prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease in comparison to fertile women. This is particularly the case in women with endometriosis and PCOS.
Another study found that 44% of infertile women with autoimmune thyroid disease had endometriosis, compared with only 9% of infertile women without autoimmune thyroid disease.
Women with autoimmune thyroid disease come with an increased risk of miscarriage. Which explains why this is one of the tests that needs to be preformed as early as possible.
Poor thyroid function may result in
- Abnormal neuronal and placental development leading to malformations and miscarriage.
- Lack of thyroid hormones during brain development in utero and early post partum period may result in brain damage resulting in mental retardation, decreased intellectual capacity, psychomotor delay and deafness.
22 The signs of hypothyroidism
- Putting on weight
- Intolerance to cold
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Menstrual abnormalities
- Recurrent miscarriages
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Poor concentration
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Sleep apnea
- Dysmenorrhea - painful periods
- Menorrhagia - heavy periods
- Facial puffiness
- Loss of libido
Pregnancy along with your thyroid function
Already in the fifth week of pregnancy there is an increased demand for thyroid hormone. The main problem and the catch 22 is always that during pregnancy there is also an increased blood flow through the kidneys where iodine is filtered out of the blood and lost within the urine.
Studies have shown that a good very short 3 day deficiency of thyroid hormone in pregnancy can result in permanent brain adjustments to the baby similar to those in autism. One in 20 newborns has potential brain alterations due to insufficient thyroid hormone in pregnancy.
ART Infertility treatments may cause temporary hypothyroidism
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation is used to harvest the eggs for IVF or some other form of ART (assisted reproductive technology). This places a massive strain on the thyroid gland to produce huge amounts of thyroid hormones. If adequate nutrients for optimal thyroid function are not present during and after IVF, the chance of miscarriages and malformations increases.
Postpartum (after birth) thyroiditis is one of the most common endocrinological disorders affecting an incredible number of women world-wide. And it seems to affect women in the first year after delivery. Hypothyroidism can also be associated with post partum depression or maternity blues. This does not come as a surprise given how taxing pregnancy is on thyroid hormones.
What to do?
1. Don't drink unfiltered tap water - fluoride in regular faucet water interferes with healthy thyroid function. Poor thyroid function is related to hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism resulted in infertility. To see a few things i personally use and recommend, please go to my site listed below.
2. Require a regular iodine supplement. Iodine is central to the mineral for healthy thyroid function and then for development of nervous tissue and also the brain in foetus. Deficiency while pregnant can lead to retardation. Women attempting to conceive as well as pregnant and lactating women should receive 200 micrograms of iodine daily. You will get iodine from marine fish, seaweed, kelp and eggs.
3. Another cheaper option that also works is an iodine disinfectant solution applied topically onto the skin. You can buy it at any chemist or pharmacy. It is a brown red disinfectant liquid in spray or dispensing bottle. You simply need a few drops on the inside of the wrist. Allow the liquid to be absorbed from the skin, and don't wash it well until the remaining yellow stain is dry.
4. Eliminate Brassica family vegetables from your diet. They include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These vegetables contain chemicals called goitrogens. Goitrogens restrict thyroxin (hormone produced by thyroid) production and utilization within the body. Steaming and cooking may deactivate goitrogens partially, however, these vegetables are best avoided for now.
5. Start exercising in the morning as this will increase your metabolic rate and leave it in a high level for the rest of your day. The same applies in the morning. Skipping breakfast in the morning will cause your metabolic rate to be set in a lower level, which will make you tired and lethargic in addition to, most of the food your eat tomorrow will be converted into fat as the body thinks it's in starvation mode.
6. Take a good quality multi-vitamin supplement containing Zinc and selenium because they are important nutrients for healthy thyroid function.
7. Have your thyroid hormone levels and thyroid function checked from your doctor. Your tests results will come back as normal (within normal ranges) however, you still may be hypothyroid. Research indicates that subclinical hypothyroidism often goes undetected. Therefore insist on having TSH, T3 and T4 tested, to determine how much of the T4 you are converting to T3. Therefore if your results are in the low ranges of normal and you are displaying the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism be sure to take the steps to improve your thyroid function.
8. Do yoga. Viparita Karani - is a yogic posture which improves pelvic circulation and the functioning of adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands. Things you need: a yoga mat plus a folded blanket or some other folded yoga mat. How you can do the posture? Put your blanket (folded second yoga mat) on the yoga mat. Lie around the mat with your arms on the floor alongside your torso, then bend the knees and place your feet around the mat with your heels near to your sitting bones. Exhale, press your arms against the mat and push the feet away from the mat, drawing your thighs to the torso. Bend your elbows and draw them toward the other person. Lay the backs of one's upper arms on the mat and spread your palms from the back of your torso. Lift up your pelvis and keeping the elbows at shoulder width support your hips along with your hands. Inhale and lift your bent knees toward the ceiling, straighten the knees, pressing the heels up toward the ceiling. Remain in the pose for about 30 seconds gradually adding 5-10 seconds every day before you can comfortably contain the pose for 5 minutes. Exhale, bend your knees into your torso and slowly roll your back onto the mat keeping the back of your head on the floor. Contraindications: Don't do this posture if you're menstruating or have glaucoma.