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Weeding to Wisdom … Inner Wisdom

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2015-09-10

I get it. There’s a wealth of information and seeming wisdom out there about each and every health issue.

I’m in the same boat as you, bombarded by broadcasts boasting this answer or that solution day after day. My inbox is filled with guarantees and quick fixes that stack up to result in a lot of empty promises or conflicting information.

Take the iodine, thyroid, Hashimoto’s issue for example…

The debates about whether to supplement with this mineral or not are both fierce and maddeningly mystifying. Some of my most trusted resources land on opposing sides of the fence on this matter!

This is one reason why my approach to health and healing is much more individual and personalized. I’ve learned first hand that it takes a deeper understanding of my own physiological predisposition, test markers and symptom analysis to address my hormonal and immune struggles ~ from my adrenals to my thyroid to the inflammation that I can’t feel, but that lurks within.

The truth is that wisdom isn’t in your inbox, it’s within you.

Once you tap into your inner wisdom, with the help of some deeper education and insight about what you’re looking to uncover, you can begin to upgrade your self-care to meet your unique needs. You’re no longer treating a disease state, like Hashimoto’s, but instead promoting the sophistication that hones your wisdom to see the forest for the trees.

Let’s map that forest of symptoms ~ the fatigue, the fogginess and the resistant weight loss. Let’s put that bloating, those body aches and that exhaustion you sometimes feel when the alarm goes off into proper context.

How can you hone your wisdom and know just what aspects of your self-care require your most immediate attention as opposed to trying to tackle it all at once and letting your health care run you ragged?

I’ll tell you the first step. The first step is taking the time to map your symptoms through a full system functional lens.

The iodine, thyroid, Hashimoto’s issue considered…

Since we’re weeding through the wisdom, let’s take a brief look at what we know about SEAWEED, one of the most potent sources of that controversial mineral iodine.

The Good

Seaweed is a powerful addition to the diet. It contains many of the nutrients essential for an efficient liver detoxification system, one of the main systems we want to look at in relation to optimal health and the management of autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s.

Seaweed is higher in vitamins and minerals than any other class of food. In fact, all the minerals required for health are supplied in seaweed in proportions quite similar to those found in human blood. These key minerals include calcium, iodine, phosphorous, sodium, and iron.

Seaweed can help support heart health, improve immunity and regulate digestion. The advantages of seaweed are not only obtained through the digestive tract, but also accessed trans-dermally, through the skin—in baths, wraps, and lotions.

When it comes to thyroid health, there are at least eight key nutrients that the body needs for optimal function. Iodine is at the top of the list.

The Bad

Your body does not produce iodine on its own.

This all-important nutrient needs to be obtained from food, like seaweed. (Iodized salt, seafood, eggs and certain grains also contain some iodine. Our ancestors obtained it more readily from plants grown in iodine-rich soil, the water supply and animals grazing on the grasses grown in that good soil.)

Iodine is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormones known as T4 and T3.

If you’re not getting enough dietary iodine you will most certainly have difficulty forming and converting the important hormones for thyroid health and metabolic wellness. Low iodine has been globally proven to lead to thyroid problems.

The Ugly (or Confusing)

Don’t go popping those kelp tablets just yet!

There’s most certainly a range where the lack of iodine can provoke the onset of thyroid disease. Yet there’s also a range, not too far away, where an excess of iodine can lead to thyroid disease.

That’s enough to confuse any girl (or boy)!

If you can visualize a “U” shape on a graph, please do so. The vertical edge of the graph is the rate of hypothyroidism, from low at the bottom to high at the top. The horizontal edge of the grid is iodine intake, with low at the left, sufficient in the middle and high on the right. If you need to draw that to fully grasp this concept, go for it!

The top left of the “U” correlates to the rate of hypothyroidism (increased) and low iodine intake. This typically results in goiter and thyroid nodules. The bottom of the “U” correlates to the rate of hypothyroidism (low) and sufficient iodine intake. The top right of the “U” corresponds to the rate of hypothyroidism (increased) and excessive iodine intake.

As you can see, iodine is one of those Goldilocks nutrients that needs to be supplied in “just right” amounts for optimal thyroid health.

Even though there are at least eight key nutrients the body needs for appropriate thyroid function, we don’t necessarily need them all supplementally or in excess in our diet or nutritional regime. That need is dependent on markers that are particular to each one of us. Your need for iodine is different than mine. We don’t both need it because we’re hypothyroid or have Hashimoto’s. It just doesn’t work that way.

Now take the first step towards weeding toward your inner wisdom!

Hungry for more? Please join me on the 15-Minute Matrix as I welcome my friend Magdalena Wszelaki. We’ll be exploring the 3 roots that apply to any chronic illness with a particular emphasis on Hashimotos. You won’t want to miss this fast and furious episode where I speak into how to apply all that I’ve learned in managing my own Hashimoto’s diagnosis!


Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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