Are you one of the 20 million+ Americans suffering from a thyroid condition? Did you know that over 60% of people who have thyroid condition remain unaware of them? Or that women are five to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid problems? According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition at some point in their lives.
This week on Lucid Planet Radio with Dr. Kelly, I was fortunate to interview functional medicine doctor and world renowned thyroid expert Dr. Gil Kajiki about the secrets to natural thyroid health, and how the thyroid might be affecting your weight gain. As someone who was diagnosed with hypothyroid in 2014, this topic is incredibly important to me! You can listen to the entire interview on our Soundcloud archive, and learn more about Dr. Kajiki’s story and practice on his website for the Valley Thyroid Institute.
What is the Thyroid?
Your thyroid (THY-roid) is a small gland found at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid produces two main hormones called T3 and T4. These hormones travel in your blood to all parts of your body and control the rate of many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities together are known as your body’s metabolism. A thyroid that is working right will produce the right amounts of hormones needed to keep your body’s metabolism working at a rate that is not too fast or too slow. This is why thyroid problems are often a hidden component in the ability for many people to lose weight: When the thyroid is malfunctioning, the weight will stay on due to slow metabolic processing.
What Do Thyroid Conditions Look Like?
Thyroid problems are often un-diagnosed because their symptoms overlap with so many other issues in the body. According to Dr. Kajiki the three most common thyroid problems are: Hypo (or, low) thyroid, hyper (or, high) thyroid, and Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease (where the body’s cells attack the thyroid). Do you think you might have a thyroid problem? Here are some symptoms to look for:
Hypothyroid: Weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, depression, constipation, sensitivity to cold, muscle aches, puffy face, memory loss, and high TSH test.
Hyperthyroid: Racing heart, rapid pulse, weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, anxiety, Low TSH test, irritability, hand tremors, muscle weakness, heat sensitivity, and insomnia.
Hashimoto’s: Racing heart, night sweats, depression, anxiety, throat swelling, weight gain, hair loss, muscle aches, alternating constipation and frequent IBS, memory loss. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune condition, meaning that the immune system attacks the thyroid resulting in a combination of hypo- and hyper-thyroid symptoms.
What are the 9 Most Common Thyroid Triggers?
I learned during our interview that one of the most challenging problems with diagnosing Thyroid disorders is that they can look like so many other disorders, or “triggers” as Dr. Kajiki calls them. Triggers are body dysfunctions that can mimic a thyroid problem, but are not a thyroid problem. The trouble is, triggers are also body dysfunctions that can agitate the immune system causing the immune system to launch an attach on the thyroid gland, resulting in Hashimoto’s. The nine most common triggers are:
- Blood Sugar Instability
- Hormone imbalance
- Adrenal Gland Dysfunction
- Inflammation (Systemic and local)
- Gastro-intestinal problems
- Food Sensitivities
- Stealth Infections
- Chemical Sensitivities
In order to properly diagnose a thyroid problem or Hashimoto’s, it is very important to conduct tests to see how these triggers are impacting the body. As Dr. Kajiki learned when diagnosing and treating his wife’s Hashimoto’s, traditional medicine often does not conduct the right types of tests to diagnose thyroid problems, and does not interpret them correctly. He spent years researching to uncover the source of his wife’s illness (Hashimoto’s) and dedicated his practice to treating thyroid patients around the world. Because thyroid problems can be so tricky to diagnose, it is imperative to run a series of tests to ascertain which of the triggers are present before the thyroid can be treated. Dr. Kajiki offers this diagram of the different types of tests, which he uses to analyze the thyroid functioning of his patients around the world.
Why are Thyroid Problems So Prevalent?
On the show, I asked to Dr. Kajiki why Thyroid problems appear to be on the rise. He explained that this is most likely due to the increasing levels of toxicity in our environment, including our air pollution, radiation spilling from Fukushima, toxicity in our water and the prevalence antibiotics and hormones in our food. In addition, many of us have poor diets and consume way too many processed “food-like products” rather than actual natural foods. We drink too much caffeine, we skip meals, and we eat far too much sugar. We also live in a society that seemingly breeds stress, with many of us cramped up in cubicles or with our eyes glued to screens all day long, not getting enough fresh air, sunlight or exercise. It certainly appears that the environment and lifestyle of the 21st century is not particularly conducive to thyroid health.
Can Thyroid Conditions Be Treated Naturally?
For many mainstream medical professionals, the only way to treat thyroid problems is through medication and surgery. The problem, as Dr. Kajiki points out in the show, is that for 70-90% of thyroid patients, medication alone is NOT enough to solve the problem. Sometimes it can mask the symptoms, but the thyroid is never truly healed.
Dr. Kajiki’s thyroid treatment protocol is all about fusing medication (if/when necessary) with major diet and lifestyle changes. As with all functional medicine approaches, the patient must be actively involved in the treatment in order for it to be successful. In other words, if you just want to sit back and take a pill, without changing anything in your life, then a natural approach to any body disorder is probably not the way to go.
Eating Habits and a Healthy Gut
A natural thyroid protocol would be tailored to each individual’s needs based upon how the nine common triggers are affecting their body. Integral to any plan would be a process to clean the digestive system by eliminating any food or chemical sensitivities the individual my have. Since 70% of our immune system is located in our gut, when our gut becomes agitated through toxicities or food sensitivities, our immune system becomes agitated! And when our immune system is agitated this can exacerbate auto-immune disorders. This is why it is imperative to cultivate the microbiome in your gut by eating fermented foods and/or consuming probiotic supplements.
For example, one of the biggest changes that I have made since being diagnosed with a thyroid condition 2014 is completely eliminating gluten from my diet. Gluten can be a major instigator of thyroid auto-immune problems due to a process called ‘molecular mimicry’ where the body perceives gluten to be thyroid tissue (because their molecular composition is so similar) and begins to attack the thyroid. Many patients also benefit from being mindful of their consumption of goitrogens, a type of food that can interfere with thyroid function, which include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, millet, spinach, strawberries, peaches, watercress, peanuts, radishes, and soybeans.
Dr. Kajiki also says it is incredibly important to each a protein rich breakfast within 1- 1.5 hours of waking up and have a protein rich snack every 2-3 hours to avoid blood sugar spikes. He says that the insulin spikes from eating a diet high in carbs, sugar and caffeine can lead to massive cortisol surges that can throw off the body’s hormonal balance, including thyroid functioning.
Lifestyle, Nutrition and Supplements
There are many other lifestyle changes that are important in a natural approach to thyroid health, including herbal and nutritional supplements, which according to Dr. Kajiki can vary according to the individual patient. So be sure to talk to your health provider or schedule a free consultation with Dr. Kajiki before you begin. Some recommendations may include:
- Increase your consumption of herbs and healthy fats (like flax, hemp, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, nut butters, yogurt and more) which can be important for regulating hormonal pathways.
- Get your daily Omega-3s (whether from fish oils, flax, hemp, nuts or grassfed animal products), which are critical to thyroid function and improve the body’s ability to respond to the thyroid hormones.
- Reduce Inflammation by avoiding foods you might be sensitive to, as well as limiting your intake of alcohol, refined sugar and processed foods. Also make sure to check for toxins in your environment that may be contributing to inflammation, such as mold or any hidden allergens.
- Boost your antioxidants, like glutathione. While I sometimes have glutathione administered intravenously from my functional medicine doctor, you can also eat certain foods that help the body produce more if it, like peaches, avocado, spinach, squash, garlic, grapefruit, and raw eggs.
- Make the time to RELAX and de-stress! The thyroid is incredibly sensitive to stress, so make a habit of engaging in practices to bring you into a Zen, chill space. These can include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, breath work, martial arts as well as exercise (which is great for your hormones too!). Even a warm bath at the end of the night or a nice lymphatic massage can help!
To find out more about the secrets to natural thyroid health, listen to the full podcast, and if you are seeking medical help or looking for treatment from a thyroid specialist, consider a free 15-minute consultation with Dr. Kajiki to see if his program is right for you.
LIGHT AND LOVE- Dr. Kelly
Posted here by Dr. Kelly Neff from The Lucid Planet
UK Queen’s Statues Torn Down Amid Anger Over Mass Graves for Indigenous Children
This year may have had one of the most muted Canada Day celebrations, but this didn’t stop Indigenous protesters from making their anger felt – especially in the wake of the discovery of over 1,000 children’s bodies near the residential schools run by the Canadian state and church authorities.
And with churches being likely targeted by arsonists for the crimes of Catholic clergy, protesters are now attacking the symbols of Anglo colonialism – namely, statues of Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.
Former students have testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad children died from preventable diseases, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”
The discoveries have churned up deep-seated anguish and memories of the suffering visited upon First Nations peoples, with many lashing out at the symbols of colonialism.
At least seven churches, all but one of which were Catholic, have also come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks.
In June, a statue of the late Pope John Paul II at a Catholic church in Edmonton was splattered with red paint and red handprints.
On Thursday, July 1, residents in Canada also held organized protests and pulled down the statues of the top figurehead of British colonialism: Queen Elizabeth II, as well as that of her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Sky News reports that the toppling of the statues was accompanied by the chant, “No Pride in Genocide!”
In Ottawa, protestors gathered en masse at Parliament Hill chanting ”Cancel Canada Day” and ”shame on Canada,” urging an end to the national holiday over the deaths of Indigenous people.
Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. The event could take place by year’s end, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
However, it remains unlikely that the British crown will offer the same amends to Canada’s Indigenous nations who, like many across the globe, suffered greatly in British Colonialism’s worldwide search for riches and glory.
3 Reasons Why Introverts Are Undervalued in Today’s Society
It’s undeniable that our society favors assertive extroverted personalities with strong communication skills and underestimates the quiet ones. If you are an introvert, you have probably learned it the hard way.
It could be that you felt unseen in the classroom as a child or teen. Or you may have watched your less competent co-workers get a promotion thanks to their social skills.
It feels unfair, but if you think about our society, it makes perfect sense. The consumerist mindset that has become our second nature inevitably affects the way we treat other people. It seems that everything, including our personal qualities and worth as human beings, is translated into some kind of market value.
In other words, to make other people see your worth in personal or professional life, you need to be able to ‘sell yourself’. Yes, this expression alone tells it all.
You need to know how to make a good first impression, say the right things, and be assertive. If you can’t do it, you are perceived as incapable and uninteresting – whether we are talking about a job interview or an informal social gathering.
But it’s not the only reason why introverts are undervalued in our society. Here are a few more:
1. They are less efficient in teamwork
Communication and teamwork skills are required for all kinds of jobs. It seems that without being able to work in a team, it’s impossible to do your job even if your duties don’t involve interaction with clients.
Introverts are much more efficient when they work on their own and are given a certain extent of independence. They thrive in quiet environments with few distractions and interactions. This is when a quiet person gets the chance to unleash their creative self and make good use of their analytical skills.
Most office jobs don’t give employees this opportunity. Office meetings, group projects, phone calls and all the other attributes of a 9-to-5 job make it almost impossible for an introvert to be productive.
2. They don’t like to be in the spotlight
Sometimes it feels like we are living in a society of attention seekers. Today, you are expected to go public about the most personal matters, such as your relationship and family life.
People share their most intimate thoughts and feelings on social media, post updates about the most trivial events, such as what they had for dinner, and upload countless selfies.
Introverts are among those who still value privacy. They are less likely to showcase their lives online or share the details of their personal affairs with the whole world.
At the same time, the quiet ones don’t like to be in the spotlight at social events. An introvert will never interrupt you. They will listen to you and talk only when they have something important to say. This tendency to avoid attention can be mistaken for insecurity and even a lack of intelligence.
3. They prefer to be real than to be ‘nice’
If you want to make a good impression on others, you are expected to be nice. But what does it mean to be ‘nice’ anyway?
In an introvert’s mind, it equals saying things you don’t mean. Quiet personalities will never bombard you with compliments or say meaningless social pleasantries just to win your fondness. But if an introvert said something nice to you, then be sure that they truly meant it.
Small talk is another component of social relationships most introverts struggle with. To them, it embodies utterly dull, uncomfortable, and pointless conversations they can perfectly do without. For this reason, introverts are often mistakenly believed to hate people.
The truth is that they don’t – they just crave stimulating, meaningful conversations and choose their social circle more carefully than extroverts.
In my book, The Power of Misfits: How to Find Your Place in a World You Don’t Fit In, I write about the reasons why so many introverts feel inadequate and alienated from other people in today’s society. It all goes down to social expectations this personality type has to deal with from a very early age.
But the good news is that every introvert can overcome the negative effects of these expectations and find the right path in this loud, extroverted world.
The Esoteric Meaning Behind Neo’s Interrogation Scene in The Matrix
More than 20 years old now, The Matrix is recognized by fans across the world as being one of the most brilliant films in history, most notably for its deeper meaning and esoteric philosophy.
One scene that is particularly intriguing, considering the social climate of today, is Neo’s interrogation by the Agents of the Matrix.
Now, before we dig into the potential hidden meaning here, as I perceive it, and how Neo found himself in this uncomfortable position to begin with, let’s first establish some key points in relation to the overall story line that will help us to appreciate the implications behind this scene a little bit more.
What Does The Character Neo Represent in the Matrix?
Neo in ancient Greek (νέος) means new/young one. This is an important piece of the puzzle to help us understand what the directors of the film are trying to communicate to us. With that said, when we assess Neo’s character in the first film, we find that he is a solitary individual that keeps to himself and is struggling to find deeper meaning in this world by constantly searching the internet.
What Does The Character Morpheus Represent in the Matrix?
Morpheus in Greek mythology is a messenger of the gods. He appears to humans through dreams with the intention of delivering divine Knowledge and Truth. In the Greek mythos, he can appear in almost any form in people’s dreams, which could be because anyone, regardless of race, gender, or outward appearance, can be a messenger of enlightenment and Truth.
The First Matrix Film is About The Beginning of the Journey to Awakening
With the understanding of the deeper meaning behind what Neo and Morpheus’ characters represent in the film, we can now appreciate the intro scene of Neo sleeping (whilst searching for Morpheus) through a different lens of perception and awareness.
You see, Neo sleeping whilst searching online for Morpheus represents the early stages of the Truth seekers journey — “asleep” but still searching for deeper meaning in life — and hoping to find that meaning by seeking out a “messenger” of higher Knowledge and Truth.
Truth is Terrorism in the Empire of Lies
Through his incessant efforts, Neo begins to get closer and closer to finding the elusive Morpheus. This, however, also attracts the unwanted attention of the Agents in the Matrix, which represent the enforcers of the shadow government of this system. Their job is to ensure that no one exposes what the Matrix really is, and how it turns unsuspecting every day human beings into useful resources that it can use and exploit.
The Agents proceed to apprehend Neo and interrogate him, where they make it very clear that they’ve been spying on him and keeping meticulous records of his activities, both online and offline, for quite some time now. As we all know very well today, all around the world intelligence agencies are doing exactly that — tracking what we view online and keeping meticulous records on many of our movements.
The agents, however, do not see Neo as being a major threat to the Matrix system, as he is still in the early stages of his awakening and does not know enough to be a major threat. Instead, they offer him a deal where they will be willing to “wipe the slate clean” on his illegal activities online, if Neo will simply help them track down the man they call Morpheus, who they claim is “a known terrorist” that is “considered by many authorities to be the most dangerous man alive”.
This represents that the single greatest threat to this manipulative system — which is overwhelmingly ruled by deception and exploitation — is any messenger of higher Knowledge and Truth that can potentially awaken those who are still “asleep” to what the proverbial Matrix really is. In fact, one could argue this sort of power struggle has been going on for thousands of years, and is possibly why Socrates was accused of “corrupting the youth” by the ruling class more than 2,000 years ago and subsequently sentenced to death; or why Fred Hampton was assassinated by government authorities in 1969; or, in more recent history, why civilians that were peacefully protesting against Wall Street and the bankers for their part in destroying the world economy in 2008, were targeted by the FBI and even labelled as potential “domestic terrorists“.
Simply put, Truth is terrorism in the empire of lies.
Neo, still being somewhat naïve and unbegun in his journey, rejects the Agent’s offer and demands he get a phone call because “I know my rights!”
To this, Agent Smith retorts, “tell me Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call if you’re unable to speak?”, which results in Neo’s mouth warping in the most eerie of ways.
This scene represents a lesson that all genuine Truth seekers eventually come to learn — this system is not concerned with human rights nor is it concerned with upholding authentic justice. Instead, it inculcates these beliefs and misperceptions into our minds from a very young age, because it serves to help legitimize its unnecessary existence in the eyes of the unsuspecting public and indoctrinate us as to why we think we need it. But in reality, our government guaranteed “rights” can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.
In relation to current events, for example, many thousands of people worldwide have been arrested for violating curfew orders; In one Indian state, civilians were told they must take selfies every hour and send it to the authorities to prove that they are staying indoors; in South Africa, some have been fined for not wearing masks while driving their cars; In Boston in the United States, people have even been told that they will be fined if they walk “the wrong direction” down the street; Homeless people in France have reportedly been fined for not staying indoors; Some people have been arrested for attending funerals of loved ones because it violated lockdown orders; Others (including doctors and scientists) have had their right to freedom of speech censored online; In Australia, a pregnant woman was actually arrested in her home for facebook posts that encouraged protesting against the lockdown; According to the International Labor Organization, tens of millions are being pushed into unemployment; and travel all around the world has been severely restricted by these authorities who have taken it upon themselves to be the rulers of this planet by dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. Whether you agree with these policies or not, these things cannot logically be called “rights” since they are so very easily violated and taken away from us.
There are many other examples that demonstrate how our government given “rights” are more of a comforting illusion than an actual reality, such as the CIA’s secretive Black Site torture programs, which have been done in cooperation with other intelligence agencies and authorities throughout the world. In these programs, people have been kidnapped — without any legal criminal charge or trial — and then taken to undisclosed secret locations where many of them are tortured for many months on end, in ways that are considered to be in violation of international law and basic human rights. The CIA, of course, simply claims they are suspected terrorists. In 2014, however, a Senate Intelligence Committee Report found that at least 26 of the people that were kidnapped and tortured were actually “wrongfully detained”.
Wake Up Neo — You Are the One
Fortunately, Neo manages to escape this unthinkable situation without any serious injury or harm. Soon after, he is contacted by Morpheus, where he is told that he was very lucky that the Agents underestimated his great potential and spared him, because if the Agents had known the great secret that Morpheus knows, then Neo would probably be dead.
Confused by the obvious strangeness of everything taking place, Neo asks Morpheus what the hell is going on, and what exactly is he talking about?? Without hesitation, Morpheus replies to him, “You are the one Neo — You see, you may have spent the last few years looking for me, but I have spent my entire life looking for you.”
This is perhaps the most important lesson the new Truth seeker must eventually come to learn — We are the ones we have been waiting for to change this corrupt world my friends; and we must stop looking for heroes and human leaders to absolve us of this very serious responsibility. Instead, we must all take on the role of Morpheus — which is to awaken as many Neo’s (new minds) as we possibly can, whilst also taking on the role that represents the journey of Neo, by challenging ourselves to become the best version of who we authentically are.
By doing this, we will help to awaken and unleash the unique creative forces of each individual’s problem solving imagination; and we will also find unity in our shared struggle against the injustices, and corruption, of this inhumane system which invariably exploits us all.
If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?
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