Welcome to our new website!
Oct. 12, 2023

Building Thyroid Health from the Bottom Up

Building Thyroid Health from the Bottom Up
The player is loading ...
The Life Detox

Shannon Hansen, founder of the Hansen Method, teaches us how to build a strong foundation for thyroid health. 

Visit her website at https://thrivingthyroid.com 

Thriving Thyroid Podcast 

Download my free PCOS Thrive Guide

The Life Detox is brought to you by Bubble & Bee Organic


 Thyroid health is so important when it comes to overall wellness, and it's a topic I haven't yet addressed on this show. Today we're talking with Shannon Hanson, a holistic wellness practitioner, thyroid specialist, and the founder of the Hanson Method. We'll hear the common causes for thyroid dysfunction, and she'll give us her four step Thank you.

Foundational plan for supporting thyroid health. I'm Stephanie Greenwood, and this is The Life Detox.

Shannon started learning about thyroid health in an attempt to help the issues she was experiencing. After baby number two, I was experiencing a lot of fatigue, couldn't lose weight, puffy, inflamed, losing hair like crazy, and everybody was like, oh, that's normal, just have a baby. At the same time, my husband was going to school, my sister, who's like also my best friend, was going to school.

And so I was watching these two very important people in my life go back to school and complete their education. I The conversation between my husband and I was like, I'll support you going back to school. And so that really opened up a lot of different opportunities for me. And that's where the holistic wellness practitioner came in.

I thought I wanted to study herbal medicine, couldn't find any programs that I really liked there and found this other one as a holistic wellness practitioner, where it specialized in nutrition, a minor in gardening, but then it also introduced me to things like bark flowers, herbal medicine, homeopathy.

It wasn't until a couple of years later that I learned I had been exposed to mold toxicity and so I was struggling with mold issues which impacted my thyroid and digestive system and all kinds of things. Tell us how. Trauma, or chronic levels of stress, can affect your thyroid. So I have a client that I'm currently working with.

She went through a nasty divorce. A couple years later, her son committed suicide. Like, she went through kind of the rigor. And when that happens, when we're under a lot of stress, or when we experience trauma physiologically, the body is going to use up certain minerals. faster. So it's going to use up sodium and potassium.

That's going to use up magnesium and that's going to impact our digestive system. So our digestive system is going to start running a little bit slower. That's going to cause more fatigue. We're going to have more bloating, gas, constipation. The other interesting thing when we're under a lot of stress.

is our body will oftentimes create what's called a calcium shell. This is really common when we're dealing with vibrate as well, is that people create this calcium shell, and the feelings behind the calcium shell, they feel like they're living behind a wall. They feel numb, they feel disconnected, they feel kind of defensive, and they could be in a room full of people, and they're like, I just feel like an outsider.

It's really interesting when we're dealing with trauma, how the body will. Protect us in a lot of different ways. And so I had a calcium shell and still working through my calcium shell. And I've noticed that it's easier now for me to engage with people because I'm doing the inner work as well as the physiological work necessary to to kind of help the minerals balance each other out. So calcium shells, it starts to pull calcium from the bones and the tissues and the organs from the body. And this is where we see long term if this goes on for a long period of time, we'll see osteoporosis, osteopenia, all the sudden you're starting to deal with like dental issues.

Some of those can be early signs where you're like, Oh, it's just a cavity. It's no big deal. More can be happening. And since addressing my calcium shell, I have noticed that my bone density has increased. The body is an ecosystem. Things happen physiologically. But they can also happen to our spirit, like mentally, emotionally, all of those different things can can be impacted as well.

The calcium shell isn't a term recognized by the mainstream medical community, but it's kind of a metaphorical term used in functional medicine. For an overabundance of calcium in the bloodstream and a lack of magnesium, to put it simply. If we look at the symptoms of the described calcium shell, we see constipation, depression, maybe metabolic distress like insulin resistance and the resultant weight gain.

These symptoms coincide with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, something that mainstream medicine often overlooks. One of the very important jobs of the thyroid is balancing the blood. body's calcium levels. Now when we think of calcium, we think of bones and teeth, but it's actually an important electrolyte used in almost every living cell in the body.

The passage of sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other ions in and out of cells give our cells their membrane potentials. This electrical charge over membranes is the foundation for life. For example, when our nerve cells fire, a cascade of calcium, potassium, and sodium ions passing in and out of that nerve cell is what gives us the ability to touch, to move, to sense the world around us.

These ionic charges also give our hearts the ability to beat. Calcium is so important that if our blood levels drop, the body will steal some from our calcium stores in our bones. This is achieved through the parathyroid gland, releasing parathyroid hormone, which solubilizes the calcium in our bones.

into the bloodstream. To counteract this hormone and get calcium back into the bones, the thyroid gland releases a hormone called calcitonin. So our bone density is regulated by a balance between the thyroid and parathyroid glands. The theory of the calcium shell is that our parathyroid is leashing too much calcium from our bones, without the calcitonin from the thyroid to balance it out.

According to the theory of the calcium shell, we would end up with chronic levels of calcium in our blood, which then creates microcalcifications throughout the body. Like kidney stones or arterial calcification. And indeed, if one lacks magnesium, these calcifications can happen. So, think of the calcium shell as another term for magnesium deficiency and maybe a little under functioning going on with the thyroid.

And magnesium plays a big role in treating the so called calcium shell. There's a couple big things that I like to do. Balance it out with magnesium. So the best way to do that is going to be through magnesium foot soaks, magnesium baths. I personally like to use a combination of magnesium flakes, epsom salt, and baking soda.

So equal parts. Um of all of them. So if i'm doing like a foot soak, I use a quarter to a half a cup If i'm doing a bath, I use about a cup of each one of those and soak in it baking soda helps with the absorption Of magnesium a couple times a week. So this will replenish those magnesium stores. It's going to help calm down that calcium.

Even simple things like getting outside in the sun can be really beneficial when we're trying to break down those. I also tell people if you're feeling kind of like you live behind a wall, you're feeling numb, you're feeling maybe a little defensive, start doing some of the journaling. Journaling, EFT. T talk therapy, whatever, to start to calm that down.

And then we can also work with the body physiologically. So what are some of the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction? So all of the classic ones are going to be fatigue is a really big one. Weight gain, inflammation, hair loss. I see a lot of anxiety and depression. So this would be as common as some of the like fatigue and the weight, but a lot of doctors.

Again, using myself and my clients as the story here, most of them were put on anti depressants or anti anxiety medication before they started to realize that it was a thyroid issue. And, I mean, that was true for me. My doctor was like, oh, you just have anxiety. And I was like, really? Like, I've kind of dealt with this my whole life, but if you think that's going to make me feel better in all these other areas, like I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

You know, because nobody wants to feel tired and worn down and awful and uncomfortable in their body. So I would say that those are up there. Um, some of the less common ones that we see are food sensitivities, heart palpitations, constipation is probably a pretty common one as well, but nobody wants to talk about that either.

How can we tell the difference between Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism symptom wise? A lot of times you can't. The one big thing I would say with Hashimoto's is you want to see if there are, like if you're getting sick more often or if you're exposed to a virus. Maybe you're not like running a fever or getting a virus in the traditional term, but if you, let's say your kids come home and they've been sick and then afterwards you've been tending to them and you're more run down than normal.

I would say that would probably be what I would look at and push doctors for more testing to see if there's some antibodies that are fighting overtime. If we get our thyroid tested, as far as subclinical hypothyroidism is concerned, what numbers should we look for in tests like that? So there are normal ranges.

That is like 90 percent of the population. I like to look at more functional ranges, so that's a much more narrow range. And that will tell us if you're really experiencing symptoms or not. So, I'll just give you, how about I just run through what you should get tested, and then I'll run through, like, some of the ranges.

All the listeners, you might want to pen and paper because there's a lot of information here. TSH, and I'm going to just go over functional ranges, not what your doctors are using. Okay, so TSH should be between 1. 8 and 2. 5. Free T4 should be between 1 and 1. 5. Total T4 should be between 6 and 12. Most people are just getting the free T4 tested, but there is a difference there.

And then for T3, there's actually three markers that should be looked at. And so free T3 is what is available for your body to utilize. So you want to have numbers between three and four. That's telling us you have free T3 available to the body. It's T3 is really important and oftentimes nobody is testing this, but this is what's regulating our metabolism, our body temperature.

Um, when people are like, I feel like I'm taking my medication, Levothyroxine, Synthroid, but not feeling better, I encourage people to get their T3 tested. Okay, so T, total T3 should be between 100 and 180, and then reverse. T3 or RT3 should be between 9. 2 and 24. 1. If our reverse T3 is out of range, this is when I see a lot of people have a lot of those hypo symptoms, the weight gain.

the fatigue and they're just not able to get it regulated because that reverse T3 is the bad T3. So I obviously encourage getting that tested. You do have to push most doctors pretty hard to get that one because for them, There's literally nothing, nothing, air quotes, they can do because they're just getting pills.

And none of the pills that they are prescribing work with that. So that's where lifestyle and nutrition really comes into play is getting those pathways open. After the break, Shannon will tell us her four steps for cleaning your hormones from https: otter. ai

If you're enjoying this podcast, please consider checking out bubbleandbee. com. We have more than 150 different products to choose from like soaps, insect repellent, facial care, and the world's largest selection of USDA certified organic deodorants. These are all products I formulated myself to avoid xenoestrogens and not interfere.

Fear with our hormone health and we make everything in our own facility so we know exactly what's going in our products. So if you'd like to support this podcast, visit bubble and b.com. That's bubble and b.com,

what you call four Steps to Cleaning Your Hormones from the bottom up. Tell us about those four steps. Okay, so this is where the lifestyle and stuff comes in. I'm drawing it out just so I can stay on on my game. So what I tell people to deal with is we want to be looking at your bowel movement. Are you pooping?

Are you constipated? Are things loose? What color is your bowel movements? Because that can tell us a lot about what is happening internally. So a lot of the clients that I work with. They're coming in with clay, clay colored stool. So like a light brown. We know if that's happening that there's some gallbladder issues.

Most people are ignoring that. So something to keep in mind is pay attention to the color, pay attention to the shape, making sure that you are building that strong foundation from that point. After that, we go to the liver. That's going to also kind of incorporate the gallbladder and things like that.

But we want to be making sure that the liver is detoxifying, that the pathways are open. For the thyroid because thyroid hormone 93 percent of T4 is sent to the liver to be converted inside the body So we want to make sure that the liver is working optimally This is going to impact sex hormones all kinds of other stuff some other things that we look at a little bit less but things to also consider in that liver section is your kidneys and your lungs.

So how are those things working? Then we move up from there and go to the lymphatic system. How is your body draining? How are, like, are you walking? Are you moving? If you're not sweating, and I thought, like, this was me in high school and I thought it was so fantastic. We live in Phoenix. I danced. I was on dance team and things like that.

And we would, we would be outside and I wouldn't sweat. And everybody's like, why are you not sweating? And they're drenched. And I'm like, I don't know. Like I didn't realize that that was an issue. I thought it was fantastic that I didn't walk around smelling like BO all day. So then we want to be making sure that those pathways are open after that.

And this is where it gets a little tricky and where most people want to, when it comes to thyroid and hormones, they want to jump. straight up to the top of the pyramid essentially and start working with the organs and the glands. So that would be after we address the lymphatic system and then cellular is at the very top.

So we have to be building from the bottom up order to get the thyroid glands, the cells of the body to respond to them. everything altogether. Most of the time you're going to the doctor and they just want to give you a medication. So they're going right towards the gland and they're going right towards the cell of the body.

But if other things further down aren't working, there's no way for it to be absorbed and utilized in the body properly. What are some of the supplements that you use the most in recommending to your clients? Everything that I do is typically customized to that person. The two supplements that I recommend the most are digestive enzymes and probiotics.

The reason for that is because that's going to help with the absorption and the utilization of the nutrition that you're already getting, right? As long as you're eating a good, healthy, clean diet, those things are going to help you get more from the food that you're using, which is, I think, a great place to start.

I like to match up the probiotics with different digestive symptoms or symptoms that there's ha that people are having. So for example, we just kind of ended spring but we're getting ready to go into fall. Some people might be noticing certain allergies and there are specific strands that help with allergies.

Or if they're going from constipated to diarrhea, you know, back and forth, there are certain strands that help with those. So the probiotics, what I tell podcast listeners and people in general, is rotate through a lot of different brands, high quality brands, of course, for probiotics, you know, don't stick with anything more than three months.

And the reason for that is because then you're just rebuilding and repopulating everything instead of just. Do you do testing when you work with clients? Are you able to do blood testing? I don't do blood testing. Um, I have most of my clients, cause it's most cost effective for them to go to their general practitioner and get blood testing that way.

I do HTMAs. So that stands for hair tissue and mineral analysis. So basically you cut off a little bit of hair, send that in, and then they generate a report. And then we, we customize everything from there. With that, we utilize a lot of nutrition, lifestyle, and then of course supplementation. But I tell everybody supplements should be supplemental to diet and lifestyle.

How does thyroid dysfunction affect our hormones and our cycles as women? When we're looking at the hormones, it's kind of like working with the body in the right order, which we talked about. So hormones build off each other. So some of the early signs of like hormonal imbalances are gonna be issues with leptin and ghrelin.

So those are your hormones that tell you when you're hungry and when you're full. Moving up from there, we have insulin and cortisol. So if you are stressed out or eating a lot of sugar or noticing that I got to eat something right now. So some of those like hypoglycemia things, that's another step from there.

We have sex hormones and then thyroid hormones are at the top. So when someone has a diagnosed. thyroid issue. I'm like, boom, I know all of the other ones underneath are also issues. We start working with the body in again, that specific order that we talked about with the bowel movements and things to build a strong foundation for all of our hormones, including our sex hormones.

So with thyroid, there are some common things like infertility, heavy cycles, painful periods, breast tenderness. all of that. The way that I like to go about working with that part is again, supporting the liver, making sure we're eating dark leafy greens, cruciferous type things, which a lot of people like to cut out.

But the benefit of cruciferous vegetables for thyroid and hormones is far outweighs any of the negative. We also want to be incorporating onions and garlic to kind of help clean out and support that liver because the liver is filtrating a lot of our hormones. Castor oil packs. are also super wonderful for helping to balance out your menstrual cycle.

What's your favorite client success story? This is, this might not be a typical one that is shared because of course we all have these amazing stories of like, I worked with this client and they had all of this happen and then this was their transformation then everything magically went away. The story that I'm going to share with you, you worked with us, we have a lot of wins.

Like we have. saw some really great successes and all of the things, but something was still kind of not right. She actually ended up being diagnosed with Lyme's disease and she has worked with multiple different Lyme doctors and, you know, really trying to work things out and she will message me all the time and she's like, your program helps me better than any of these other Lyme doctors, which is like, that just makes me so happy.

Even though she's. still in her, her struggle or in her battle, she spent a lot of money on her health. And to know that like my program and working with me was one of the big things that made a big difference for her just kind of makes me happy. It seems like thyroid is more of the symptom of the problem than the problem itself.

Absolutely. I tell everybody, I'm like, thyroid is a secondary condition. It's not a primary, like there's always something else. That has caused the thyroid to be out of balance. It's not the primary thing. It's a result of something else. I was prescribed at one point desiccated thyroid. Do you ever work with that and suggest that to your clients?

I think desiccated is better than some of the alternatives. One, because it's more natural, but two, because it has that. T3 in there, which is what a lot of people are missing to begin with. Most people do better on a desiccated. How do you usually work with people? Do you, you work online and it's a six month program, you said?

So we're in the process of possibly changing some of this to make it a little bit more affordable for people. But the primary way that I work with people is in my signature program, the Hanson method. It's a six month long program. We do functional testing where I build out. personalized plans and protocols essentially for each person so that they are getting individualized support, nutrition, lifestyle.

In that six months, sometimes what happens is I actually was working on testing today. One of my new ish clients, I was like, okay, what I really want to do is this thing over here. But with her anxiety, her brain fog, her depression, I was like, there's no way she can handle that at this. So what I went ahead and did for her was to build out like an initial getting started.

Hopefully we can start reducing that anxiety, clearing up that brain fog, getting her to feel better so that we can move into what I really want to do that I know will make a big difference. That's the nice thing about the six month container is we can move as fast or as slow as people need inside of there.

Do you have a particular diet that you recommend for someone with hypothyroidism? So I like to start everybody off with like an anti inflammatory type diet, uh, for about 90 days, so three months. That is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free. And then based off the client, their experience, how they're doing, then we'll reassess and see if they can reintroduce some of those things.

If they can, what should they start with, you know, what their threshold for certain things are, you know, that kind of thing. And looking at the quality, all kinds of things out of the diet, my goal is to keep as much in the diet as we can. Do you... usually recommend any kind of mental health support for your clients, like meditation, mindfulness?

I don't recommend one specific kind. I really try to have that client, that person figure out what they can be the most consistent with. So for me personally, what works really well is I practice grounding. So like every morning, go outside. I usually will drink, grab my water, drink my water, and just kind of walk around barefoot in the grass, or even just sit in the sun as the sun is coming up, again, depending on the year, because I, I don't wake up super early, but if I have those extra minutes, I do like to do that.

I walk around all the time barefoot. The second thing that works really well for me is journaling. I have four kids, so I don't get to journal as often as I would like sometimes, but that's also a really good way for me to process. through and then the last thing that I do is EFT, EFT. So for people who don't know, that's the emotional freedom technique where you're tapping.

I do have another technique, the listeners wouldn't be able to like see, but I rub my hand in a specific like way that I teach all of my clients to do, and it. will calm your nervous system down really quickly, so if you're in the middle of a restaurant and you're, you don't want to tap and look weird, you can, you know, do this hand rub thing and it works really great as well.

Okay, here's a question kind of out of left field, but just kind of the theme of my podcast. If someone's in an abusive relationship, especially an emotionally abusive relationship, what impact is that going to have on their body and their thyroid? This is a really good question. What I have seen happen In abusive relationships is a lot of the women it's a taboo subject, right?

Like they're not going Typically at least in the beginning they're not going and telling their friend. Oh, yeah, you know my husband And you know sharing the whole life thing. It's a very scary time. So a lot of them will hold it in. And so they don't speak their truth. And this is where that calcium shell kind of comes in is it's like, I've put up this wall, I've put up this barrier, I'm protecting myself emotionally, physically, psychologically, they're downplaying a lot of those situations because they're scared.

And so that's where like the thyroid comes in is it's like we're holding that truth. We're suppressing what we want to say to the spouse, to other people around us where we're asking for help. But then we also see a use of a lot of extra minerals. And so then we kind of get stuck in this loop of excess cortisol and then we're holding on the belly fat.

I said this before, everything is connected. And so we have to kind of figure out for each individual person, Where is their starting point? Is it talk therapy? Is it journaling? Is it to like my my client I shared earlier for her I'm like we have to give you like pills just to make you like function for the day because she actually won't take Antidepressive medicine and things like that.

So I'm like we have to give you some supplements to get those neurotransmitters Working so you can start dealing with the underlying skin scary stuff. And I did tell her, I was like, you're going to have to do talk therapy. You're going to have to get a coach. You're going to have to do something more than what I can provide.

You can take all of the supplements and you can follow a special diet. But if you're being, if you're in that constant state of stress and maybe not even acknowledging it. And you're going, why am I not getting better? I'm spending so much money. I'm spending so much time. I mean, so frustrated. Why am I not getting better?

A lot of the time it can be because of that external stress or whether it's a partner that you're with or a toxic job or a family member that you need to unfortunately cut out of your life because they're not good for your health. Um, is there anything else that you want our listeners to know? What I like to tell everybody is there's hope.

Whatever you're struggling with, there's always hope. There's always help out there. So don't give up and just figure out what resonates best with you. You know, I think that's the most important thing is continue on your journey and find, find someone to help you. And don't be afraid to ask for help. To work with Shannon Hanson, visit her website thrivingthyroid.com. She also has a great podcast called Thriving Thyroid with Shannon Hanssen. Episode 1 57 is my favorite. Only kidding. That was the episode where she interviewed me. So if you're struggling with your thyroid, Definitely check out her podcast. The thyroid upstream is controlled by the pituitary, which is controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain because the thyroid ovaries and adrenal glands are all under the influence of the master control center of the hypothalamus, they can also be affected by trauma.

So if you're having thyroid problems and can't figure them out, have a talk with yourself. As you might need a life detox.

The life detox is produced by me, Stephanie Greenwood and brought to you by Bubble and Be Organic. The views and opinions expressed are the speaker's own and do not necessarily represent those of myself or my company. Material and information presented here is for general information purposes only and is not medical advice.

Being a guest on this show does not imply endorsement of Greenplay LLC or any of its projects. Stay well, friends.

Next time on The Life Detox, a dramatic story of escaping an abusive husband with four children. Aoife Griffin tells us just how close she was to death and how she finally got out and healed. I hope you'll join us.