Test Your Thyroid at Home

Blood tests are notorious for missing all but the most extreme cases of thyroid dysfunction. Most thyroid issues go undetected for decades because they are low level issues that don’t show up on conventional medical tests, even though they are causing major imbalances in the body. If you’ve had this happen, you can now take your health into your own hands and test your thyroid at home!

Test Your Thyroid at Home

This article is our Primal Health notes from part of The Thyroid Sessions interview with Dr. Dan Kalish. Learn more about Dr. Kalish and The Thyroid Sessions at the bottom of the article.

3 main triggers for thyroid problems:

Inflammation – Can result from dietary issues, lifestyle choices and stress. Inflammation signals the body to make more cortisol, and results in a block of the thyroid hormones.

Toxins – Such as heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium. Every American adult has between 400-700 toxins in their body right now. We are saturated with toxins from our modern environment. These toxins are endocrine disruptors: once they get into your tissues, they mess up the way your hormones operate. Impossible to avoid completely, but can be minimized.

Stress – External stress: job deadlines, financial pressure, relationship challenges, parenting, aging family members AND internal stress: not living the life we want, not satisfied, unfulfilled, not at peace with ourselves. Another main trigger of cortisol release. When cortisol levels go up, thyroid hormones drop. The more stressed you are, the more of a thyroid problem you will have.

But my thyroid test came back normal!

People come in to their doctor with symptoms that point to the thyroid, so the doctor orders the blood test, but when the results come out ‘normal’, the thyroid is thought to be healthy and fine, and the doctor and patient continue wondering what could be the problem.

Scientist and conventional doctor, Dr. Brodo Barnes, published an article in the Journal of American Medical Association in the 1940’s about these undiagnosed thyroid conditions.  For many years, he studied thyroid issues and successfully treated many patients with thyroid problems. He treated them for adrenal insufficiency, which means he knew that there was direct correlation between high cortisol levels (which exhausts the adrenal glands) and thyroid problems. Eventually, he developed a more thorough thyroid test that could be done at home and would pick up all thyroid problems, whether minor or severe.

So if your doctor has run a blood test and your thyroid levels have come up as normal, try this home test.

The Thyroid Home Test

When your thyroid is weak and underactive, you will feel tired, be putting on weight, have dull hair and skin, feel cold all the time…this is all because your metabolism has been slowed, which will also decrease your body temperature. So a consistently low body temperature can correlate with a sluggish thyroid.

You will need:

– Old-fashioned basal mercury thermometer
– Supplements. See next section for details.
– Chart to record daily results. Make your own – something like this:

Part of example thyroid home test chart
Part of example thyroid home test chart by Kalish Wellness

What to do:

A/ Do steps #1-3 below for 5 days (noting the different timing for women still menstruating). Make sure that you take your temperature BEFORE getting out of bed, before checking your phone messages or anything. While the thermometer is under your armpit, do nothing but lay there for 10 whole minutes. Don’t read, use your phone, talk or anything.

If your armpit temperature (only use the armpit) is in the normal range stated in #5, your thyroid is ok, and you can stop testing. If your temperature is below the normal range, continue to part B. If you do not see a clear trend in your temperature yet, try another 5 days until a trend of low or normal temperature becomes clear.

If your temperature is higher than the normal range, HYPERthyroidism may be a possibility, or you may have an infection.

Thyroid home test instructions from Kalish Wellness
Thyroid home test instructions from Kalish Wellness

B/ If your temperature is below the normal range for the first 5 days, continue testing for 21 more days while also taking these supplements recommended by Dr. Kalish (they can be ordered online), or other thyroid supplements/medication.

Thytrophin PMG made by Standard Process. Dosage is 6 pills at breakfast, or 3 at breakfast and 3 at lunch.
Thyroid Synergy by Designs for Health (better for vegans as not animal based). Dosage is 4 tablets, 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch.

The supplements reduce inflammation, lower cortisol, stabilise blood sugar and provide nutritional support to the thyroid. Therefore, as it says above in #5, if your temperature is low at first but rises while taking the supplements, you may have a weak thyroid.

Two ways of treating the thyroid

1/ The only conventional medical solution is medication, which is usually recommended to be taken for life. This is because if the inflammation, toxins and stress are not being kept under control, the thyroid problem will remain and continue to need the medication. So this is like putting a bandaid on the thyroid, without actually addressing the cause of the thyroid problem or fixing it.

2/ In the alternative medicine world, there are many other solutions. There are natural remedies, and there are also general treatments to greatly minimize the inflammation, toxins and stress, so you never have to directly treat the thyroid, just the cause of the thyroid imbalance.

As discussed above, a main trigger for thyroid dysfunction is stress and the biggest emotional stressors for most people are emotional. The top 10 emotional stressors in the human life span relate to grief or loss such as divorce, loss of a loved one, death of a spouse, marital separation, retirement, loss of a job. Often these emotional stressors lead to physical illness within a couple years.

Therefore, effective thyroid treatment can be through emotional and spiritual healing, which contributes greatly to the body’s ability to stay strong and heal. For example, in Eastern Medicine, the area of the body where the thyroid gland is, relates to the human emotional need of communication. So looking at communication issues in one’s life can give much insight into contributing causes of the thyroid malfunction.

How to heal your thyroid holistically

For more guidance on how to heal your thyroid through emotional and spiritual wellness, diet and lifestyle choices, and alternative therapies, get yourself The Thyroid Sessions. We can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone struggling with thyroid problems.

Sean from Underground Wellness has compiled all 24 of his “Thyroid Sessions” into a user-friendly digital collection of thyroid-healing information that will put YOU in charge of your health.

You get LIFETIME streaming and downloadable access to:

* 11 high quality on-camera video sessions of Sean getting all the thyroid info. from the experts
* 11 Google Hangout expert interview sessions
* 2 cooking videos with Recipe Guide for thyroid healing foods
* easy-to-download mp3 audio files for each interview session, so you can listen while you commute or do the dishes
* 600-plus pages of transcripts, if you prefer to read all this good stuff
* 10 incredible bonus items

Get The Thyroid Sessions HERE (affiliate link helps Primal Health keep running and keeping you get healthy) 🙂

This article is our Primal Health notes from part of one of these amazing thyroid sessions interviews, where Sean interviews Dr. Dan Kalish. Dr. Kalish gives even more awesome detail about the thyroid home testing and emotional healing in his video interview (more than I could possibly type up here for you!), which is included in The Thyroid Sessions.

Dr. Dan Kalish   Dr. Dan Kalish, DC

– Founder of “The Kalish Method”
– Teaches medical doctors Functional Medicine

Kombucha: Everyone is Doing It, Should You?

What is this weirdly-named drink that everyone is into lately? Kombucha, pronouced COMB-BOO-CHA, is the hottest drink in the health food shops and many people are even making it at home. But what actually is it and is it really that good for you?

Kombucha: Everyone is Doing It, Should You?

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is tea with sugar that has been fermented. That simply means that a culture has been added to the tea and then it has been left to sit out at room temperate for about a week. During that time, the culture feeds off the sugar and the nutrients in the tea and produces tons of healthy bacteria. Kinda like yoghurt, but a drink!

The culture for kombucha is called a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture (or Colony) Of Bacteria & Yeast. Sounds gross, and definitely looks gross, but as we’ve all been slowly re-learning from our wise ancestors, good bacteria is your gut’s best friend. And a happy gut means a healthy body.

As with many fermented foods and drinks, Kombucha has been around for thousands of years, and many cultures including the ancient Chinese, have used it as a health elixir.

Kombucha SCOBY: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast
Kombucha SCOBY: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast

Is Kombucha really good for you?

The Chinese knew what they were talking about. In addition to all of the beneficial bacteria, Kombucha also contains B-vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and large quantities of detoxifying acids. So yes, it’s a very healthy drink!

Though some like to debate over exactly which ailments kombucha can help ‘cure’, I look at it this way: If a naturally fermented drink can boost your digestive system and immune system in a variety of ways, it will surely be a factor in prevention and/or healing of any kind. It’s not like medicine which targets one thing in particular, but rather is an overall health booster and supporter. And that’s the holistic, primal way. 🙂

Health Benefits of Kombucha by Dr. Axe
Health Benefits of Kombucha by Dr. Axe

Isn’t Kombucha full of sugar?

Some wonder how something with so much sugar in it can be good for you. And what about the caffeine in the tea? However, most all of the caffeine and sugar is ‘pre-digested’ by the scoby and bacteria, so as long as you wait 7 – 30 days before drinking, the sugar content will be very very low. The longer you wait to drink it, the less sugar will be left. You can even tell this by tasting it, as the sweet tea will become more and more sour.

What does Kombucha taste like?

Just like with yoghurt and sauerkraut, the fermentation process produces a sour or vinegary taste. For some people, that takes getting used to, and for others it’s divine (usually the same people who love olives and pickles!). Because of the sour taste, kombucha is often flavoured with fresh fruit, herbs, and spices. It can also be used as a ‘mixer’ – diluted with water, sparkling water, fresh juice, or put into a shake or smoothie. Or drunk strong and straight in smaller quantities. We drink ours out of a big shot glass.

The fermentation process also produces natural carbonation, which gives kombucha that refreshing fizziness. Goodbye soda, hello kombucha!

Why make Kombucha at home?

As with most things – especially trendy health foods – making your own kombucha at home can save you a fortune. Kombucha is right there with chicken broth as one of the absolute cheapest ‘superfoods’ you can make at home. And it takes only a few minutes of your time!

The cost of homemade Kombucha

Once you get a scoby culture, you can use it for the rest of your life. And if you know someone who makes kombucha, you’ll get a scoby for free because they multiply at each batch. Then all you need for 1 litre (1 quart) of kombucha is 2 tea bags, 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1 litre of filtered water, and a 1/2 cup of already fermented kombucha (from your last batch or your friend’s) or distilled white vinegar (if it’s your first batch).

So your costs per litre (quart) of homemade kombucha is 2 tea bags and a scoop of sugar. Even if you make sure to get organic tea and sugar, that’s hardly 20 cents I would guess! Compare that to several dollars to buy kombucha at the store, or even more money to buy probiotic, vitamin and supplement pills.

Our adventures in Kombucha

We first fell in love with the bubbly yummy taste of Kombucha through buying it at our farmer’s markets. However it was a big expense each week, and we’d run out of it quick. Especially now that I’m healing my leaky gut, I wanted to have some to drink every day without breaking the bank.

So now we’ve been making our own kombucha for about 6 months, and have a continuous brew on the kitchen counter which only requires my attention about once a week for 10 minutes. This provides us with more than enough kombucha, always there in our fridge. And we still haven’t run out of delicious flavours ideas to make.

Other great links: