Thyroid Support Ireland's first group meeting last night was a great success, with three speakers and nine thyroid patients gathering at a Dublin hotel to discuss the range of actions we can take to improve our health.
The evening kicked off with a wonderful presentation by Louise Rossney of www.RossneyConsulting.ie, who is a medically qualified nutritionist.
Louise explained that there are lots of nutritional supplements which can help us promote good thyroid health, but she warned that it is important to test whether you need to be supplemented before taking lots of supplements willy nilly.
Two of the most important supplements for good thyroid function she mentioned were iodine and Selenium. However, having enough magnesium as well as Vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, iron, copper and Vitamin C are also vital for good thyroid health.
Our second speaker was Sarah Blogg, founder of the www.thyromind.info web site, who travelled over from the UK to explain to Irish patients how easy it is for people with an undiagnosed thyroid condition to be given a mental health diagnosis.
Sarah, who has Hashimoto's disease, explained how the thyroid gland should function and how the brain and body can be affected when it doesn't perform as it should.
Sarah also covered nutrition and told the incredible story of the long journey she had to travel before getting her thyroid illness properly diagnosed. Sarah set up her web site so that others would not suffer the years of misdiagnosis, false labelling and lack of proper treatment that she had to endure. Her diagnosis later led her to explore the use of natural hormone therapies through doctors such as Dr Barry Durant Peatfield .
Natural hormone extracts, contain five separate thyroid hormones, while the T4 substitude which most people in Ireland are prescribed only replaces one of the five hormones present in natural thyroid.
Sarah explained how she has benefited from using natural thryoid extracts, such as Armour and Erfa, and how she now combines these with levo thyroxine (Eltroxin).
She told us how she has even managed to persuade her NHS doctor to prescribe natural hormone treatments for her, as she simply feels so much better taking them.
Of the nine Irish thyroid patients in the room with her, not one of us had every used natural thyroid. There is a big lack of information about using natural thyroid available in Ireland, but while in Dublin for just a few days Sarah had managed to find a doctor here who prescribes it and she found a Dublin pharmacy on Dame Street that can supply brands like Armour and Erfa if doctors prescribe them for patients.
The evening concluded with a talk from Aisling Fitzgibbon, a nutitionist from Kerry, who campaigns against fluoride being put into Irish water. Aisling is taking court action against the Government to make it end forced water fluordation here.
Many people are still not aware that fluorides in water have a negative effect on thyroid hormone prooduction, even though the highly respected US National Research Council described fluorides as endocrine disrupters back in 2006.
That is because Fluoride compounds can impair the body's ability to absorb the iodine we need to make thyroid hormones. Fluorides were used to treat hyperthyroid patients until the 1970s, so hypothyroid patients should try to avoid drinking lots of water containing fluorides.
Aisling told the story of her own health problems, which included severe depression, and how her health and that of others she knows improved after they began filtering fluorides out of their water. Some of the patients present were eager to find out more about how they can filter fluorides out or use safer spring water which has been bottled outside Ireland.
Most people who came said they had really enjoyed the oppportunity to chat with others and to learn more about strategies that others are using to manage their health.
Earlier this year, the Irish Government has ordered Ireland's Health Research Board to begin a comprehensivce Scientific Review of all the evidence that shows how seriously fluorides in water can impact on human and animal health.
The www.hrb.ie plans to produce a full Scientific report on the effects of fluoridation at current levels by Decemeber.
It is due to start its research next month |(April).
Thyroid Patients from across Ireland are being invited to meet others at a hotel in Dublin on March 26th to share tips and information about how they cope with thyroid illness.
The meeting is being organised by Shan kelly of Thyroid Support Ireland, a patient organisation, that she set up in 2010 which provides others with support on managing thyroid conditions.
Shan is hoping that a few of the 200 plus members of Thyroid Support Ireland will come along to the TSI's first F2F meeting in the Russell Court Hotel in Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
As well as basic information for newly diagnosed patients on how to manage thyroid conditions, the event will include a talk by Sarah from Thyromind, a UK web site set up nine years ago, on how thyroid malfunctrion can affect mental health.
The informal gathering will take place between 5pm and 7pm. It will be a chance for many Irish thyroid patients to meet others they have chatted with through the TSI web site for the first time.
After the TSI launch, a fun quiz called Gameshows is being organised by Event Management students from Ballsbridge College of Further Education.Entry to Gameshows costs 7 euro per person and includes finger food.
Gameshows will take place in the Hotel from 7-10pm
Thyroid patients who plan on come to the hotsl for the TSI meeting are welcome to join in the fun by entering a team in the quiz.
There will be prizes on offer to the winning teams, inlcuding some 2014 Naked Fluorde Calenders, which have been provided by anti- fluoride campaigner and nutritinist Aisling Fitzgibbon.
Aisling is taking the Irish Government to court this year for medicating Irish water with anti-thyroid drugs without gaining her consent.
All proceeds from the evening will go to The Friends of St Luke's Hospital, a charity which supports people attending Ireland's leading cancer treatment centre.