Simplifying care for your thyroid, with Ginny Mahar and Danna Bowman.
Healing from hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s or other thyroid issues can be overwhelming. What if you had a thyroid community cheering you on to meet your health goals? Ginny Mahar and Danna Bowman of Thyroid Refresh have created just that, inspired by their own experiences with thyroid conditions. They’ve also put together “the eight Rs,” a series of eight daily rituals designed to make your health practices fun and sustainable. In this episode, we discuss the rituals, common pitfalls, and your best mindset for healing!
Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hi everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio radio. I’m here today with Ginny Mahar and Danna Bowman, and we’re going to be talking about thyroid health. I’m curious to get their perspective because they’re at a different end of the spectrum from where I am, in clinic and ensconced in research. What I really appreciate about their perspective is they’re helping people as part of an online community and that is at the other end of the spectrum. I’m sure they’ve got some things that they’re seeing people stumble with and they’ve engineered some solutions for so I’m really excited to have this discussion about thyroid health and typical stumbling blocks. They’ve got this cool eight- point model of kind of a daily routine for improving your thyroid health. Ginny and Danna, welcome to the show.
[Continue reading below]
Dr. R’s Fast Facts Summary
8 Daily Rituals
- Remember – A reminder to take supplements and/or meds (if on them)
- Refuel – Diet (what that means for the individual, no one size fits all diet)
- Reactivate – Movement
- Repair – Doing at least one thing toward healing the gut
- Rejuvenate – Self-care; meditation, relaxation, gratitude, walking, bath
- Reduce – The toxins in home and body
- Relish – Recognize and appreciate your victories
- Recharge – Sleep, rest, nap
Typical stumbling blocks
- Overwhelm, very common. Thyroid 30 tries to simplify healing and getting started
- Obsession with quick fixes, including;
- Treating labs
- A miracle supplement
- Miracle diets
Where to learn more
In this episode…
Episode Intro … 00:00:40
Hashimoto’s brought us together … 00:04:48
The Eight R’s … 00:09:18
Sponsored Resources … 00:18:18
Stumbling Blocks … 00:20:24
No Quick Fixes … 00:29:34
Dr. Ruscio Resources … 00:38:59
Bridging the Gap for Clinicians … 00:39:57
Episode Wrap-up … 00:44:56
Download this Episode (right click link and ‘Save As’)
Ginny Mahar: Thank you so much for having us. We’re so excited to be here. We love your show.
DrMR: Thank you. Would you tell people a little bit about each of your backgrounds and how you got involved in what you’re doing now with this online community to guide people who have thyroid disorders, helping them find their way to good information and improved thyroid health.
GM: Danna, do you want to go first?
Danna Bowman: My background, where my thyroid disease started was, I was living in Costa Rica. I was feeling tired and brain fog and I actually had this little mild fever and I didn’t have any energy and I was having issues with my hair being thin. I was just not doing well. I actually got correctly diagnosed while living in Costa Rica, which is a really big deal, with Hashimoto’s. I thought, okay, here I am, I’m living in this semi third world country and I get correctly diagnosed, which I don’t realize the significance of that until later. But they give me my pill and I’m so happy and I think that’s all I need to do.
So, I go on my merry way. And a year later, I’m teaching Zumba and I’m just going for everything. “Eat less exercise more” as the doctors would say to lose more weight. And I felt worse and my adrenals weren’t up to par and I just was not doing well. I started asking the questions. Once I finally did that I was like, “There’s a whole new world out there. There are different medicines I can take instead of this simple T4 medicine that I can try because this is obviously not working for me. I’m getting worse.” A whole world opened up to, but I did feel very alone and that’s when I created a website thyroid nation and started connecting with people all over the world.
I started a podcast and actually had you on my podcast, which is really cool. And just kind of started advocating for thyroid patients. And then Ginny and I connected through a project we were working on together and we decided to come up with this online lifestyle support platform, different than what either of us had been doing before because we knew that there were so many doctors out there doing great work with thyroid patients and getting them some of the things they needed, but then when the patients would get home, they would feel isolated and alone and needed support. We felt like we could bridge the gap between the doctors, so we created a platform to do that.
We wanted to put some fun into healing so that you’re not just sitting there alone and depressed because when you don’t feel well, it’s hard to be happy. It’s hard to be positive and so a community and support and inspiration and motivation are all things that help everybody on the healing path.
Hashimoto’s Brought Us Together
DrMR: How did you guys kind of unite in working together on this project?
GM: My background is in food and after I had my son in 2011, I ended up with hypothyroidism. I didn’t realize it was also Hashimoto’s for quite a while because my doctor didn’t test me. It completely changed my life. At the time I was working as a cooking instructor and felt really terrible for about four years. I had to really reevaluate my whole life and career because I knew what I was eating wasn’t really supporting me anymore. I was starting to make correlations between, well, if I eat this, then this brain fog I’m dealing with gets way worse. But if I cut it out, it feels better yet my conventional MD was telling me, “Oh, you don’t need to change your diet. Just take your levothyroxine and monitor your levels. Diet doesn’t have anything to do with it”.
I ended up hitting rock bottom after four years of this where I just continually went downhill and learned a lot about all the different things you can do in terms of diet and lifestyle to feel better. I started a recipe blog called Hypothyroid Chef, where I shared my journey. I decided that if I was going to be developing all of these recipes, I should share them and connect with other people on this journey. Not only to help inform them, but hopefully gain some support myself because it felt fringe at the time. Thankfully it feels a lot less so now. That’s how Danna connected with me. She’s the former founder of Thyroid Nation and we started talking about collaborating on just some recipes for thyroid nation. I told her I had been using some sort of whole life challenge type things to help me regain my health, but these were designed for the general public.
I was making these changes, trying the autoimmune protocol for the first time and taking all these supplements and being on this whole program that a naturopath had me on. It was very helpful in terms of motivation and accountability. But I couldn’t find people there who were thyroid specific or who were in this autoimmune community. And I said to Danna one day, “I wish somebody would do this for thyroid patients.” That was our lightning bolt moment when we decided, let’s create that and we did. So THYROID30 is our web app. It’s a 30-day wellness adventure because we feel like thyroid patients already have enough challenges. Right? But it is sort of like a challenge. It’s gamified. We use gamification technology and positive psychology to help people implement all these diet and lifestyle changes.
That was the spark that got the ball rolling and now we’re going into our fifth season of THYROID30 and it’s just been incredible to watch people connect. It’s been incredible to be a part of that support system and community and just to see people getting their lives back and succeeding at so many of these changes that the experts are making.
DrMR: Whenever we can get people resources to make the changes that we would like them to make easier, I think of a low FODMAP app on the cell phone now, which is just so convenient because you can search foods so that you can be organized, it can be easily updated. Even more simply just a diet handout is much easier if we want to go to the very rudimentary, eat healthier and exercise. Level one could be a PDF handout, even better yet, some sort of interactive app.
The Eight R’s
I’m curious regarding the eight daily rituals. Maybe this is a good jumping off point for us to have you expand on what you found to be really fruitful changes for people to make. What are the eight, what do they look like?
DB: I was just going to say we could kind of go back and forth. Number one is to remember, and it’s kind of a gimme point. It’s “did you remember to take your vitamins and supplements and also your thyroid medication if you are taking thyroid medication?” And if you did, you get a point. You get points for each of these eight daily rituals for a total of 10 points every day. You score yourself on the honor system. It makes you more intentional about your day. You think, “I need to take my medicine so I can get my point for remember.” So that’s number one.
GM: Number two is refuel. These are all re words, right? And we call them the eight R’s for short. So, one is remember. Two is refuel and this is everything you consume as far as food and drink. Thyroid nutrition could be its own show, but the basic premise is avoiding inflammatory foods and toxins in the diet as well as maximizing nutrient density. And I think this is a good place to point out that one of our players we just interviewed, and she said, “I really liked that you guys don’t preach one certain way.” We are very non dogmatic that way. We know that everyone’s bio individual, right? The diet that’s right for one person could be disastrous for another.
And as we’re on this journey and we’re working with these practitioners and we’re doing the testing and getting that feedback even just from our own bodies, we come to a more bio individual diet. With refuel, you can choose which diet is right for you. We even have a custom level where you enter your own list of foods that you’re avoiding. So that’s how you get the refuel point every day.
DrMR: We’ll come back to diet more because I’m curious to dig into some of the potential neuroticism you’re seeing people struggle with.
DB: Number three is reactivate, another re word. It’s moving your body, which is so important. I really think that moving your body is a great way to say it because everybody was so focused. I remember in the 80s, Jane Fonda and exercising and workout and jazzercise. When you say exercise or workout, we’ve got this mental picture of someone just all out sprinting and dripping sweat, very high intensity. And that’s not really what it’s about, especially a lot of times for thyroid patients. Take me as an example. I was teaching Zumba six times a week and coming home and taking two- and three-hour naps. It just was not working for me. Of course, that’s my story. Everybody’s different.
But moving is so important and if we call it moving, and we reward for going to the mailbox, if that’s all you can do every day, or taking a two mile walk if that’s what you are able to do. It’s not about this high intensity workout, that’s great if you can do it, but if not, that’s okay. We recommend 10 minutes of daily intentional moving. So, you’re thinking about it, you’re paying attention to what you’re doing for 10 minutes, and you get that reactivate point.
DrMR: Awesome. And what’s four?
GM: Number four is repair. This is healing the gut. I don’t have to tell you how important healing the gut is as part of the overall healing process. It’s been linked to a lot of different things. Food sensitivities, thyroid disorders, skin problems, weight gain and things like that. We encourage people to take one small daily action towards their gut health. And what that is depends on you, what you’ve come up with your clinicians and practitioners as far as what you really need right now. It could even be something as simple as I read a reputable article today on gut health. You can score a point for that. It doesn’t have to be taking probiotics or drinking bone broth.
DrMR: Well, you know I love that one.
DB: Number five is rejuvenate, one of my favorites and that’s enjoying 10 minutes of self-care every day. Of course, that’s a new buzzword, but self-care is so important. You get a point if you give yourself 10 minutes of daily self-care and it can be very, very simple. But if you do it intentionally, and you give yourself that pause, that moment, that appreciation. Looking outside in the trees is a good pause. We just kind of go through life like robots. This makes you intentionally stop, feel good. Take care of yourself, do something nice if it’s taking a bath, walking, sitting, having a cup of tea, coloring. There are lots of things you can do. So that’s of course one of my favorites.
GM: Yeah, we love our rejuvenate. Number six is reduce. Reducing the toxins in your home and in your body. As you know, there are a lot of links to things like heavy metals and environmental toxins in terms of thyroid disease. We have to be really mindful about what we’re exposing our bodies to and how we’re supporting our built-in detoxification systems like the liver. I just want to point out here that the eight daily rituals, we didn’t just make these up. We are thyroid patients and patient advocates. What we did to take pretty much every thyroid specific book on the shelf and all that we were learning from our own practitioners and boiled it down the essentials. These are the things you hear over and over and over again that make up a thyroid healthy lifestyle.
DB: Number seven is relish. We have four wellness adventures a year and when you are playing the game, you join a team. And you get a point for connecting with your team every day and relishing your victories, big or small, relishing positivity. Of course, there are people on there saying, “I had a terrible day, and I didn’t do good” and we’re there to provide support and cheer them on. It’s really easy as a thyroid patient to feel down, to be sad. It’s just not easy. We like to keep it very high energy and high vibe. Connecting with your team every day, gives you a point. But more important, relishing those small victories and being cheerleaders for each other and giving support is invaluable. We love that point too.
DrMR: I just want to underscore that really quickly. I think it’s easy to lose sight of how far we’ve come from a health perspective and dwell on only the things that aren’t quite right or perfect yet. It’s a good thing to focus on points that are suboptimal, but if that’s all you do, it colors your mentality in a negative way that can be quite destructive. I just want to second that. I think it is very important to celebrate the progress and to always keep that in mind.
GM: It’s been one of the coolest things about this experience, watching the community kind of take shape over the seasons. There’s so much awesome support and cheerleading. It’s contagious and it’s so positive. And that’s been really refreshing for us, especially in an environment where there seems to be a lot of gloom and doom in other online communities that are centered around illness now.
Number eight is recharge and this is sleep, the foundation of our health, right? Getting enough quality sleep, I think ranks right up there with drinking enough water as far as just a really simple thing you can do to reduce a lot of symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, depression, and things like that. Players set a unique sleep goal that feels realistic and appropriate for them. And if they reach that sleep goal, then they get their daily recharge points. That’s the 8 R’s.
Hi everyone. I’d like to thank Just Thrive who helped make this podcast possible, and to tell you about their prebiotic, Precision PREbiotic. This contains a blend of three different prebiotics; galacto-oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, and xylo-oligosaccharides. These three prebiotics work together to feed your intestinal bacteria.
Now, patients with impaired digestive health should be cautious with prebiotics, but this does not mean that prebiotics should be avoided. Prebiotics have shown the ability to improve digestive symptoms, encourage growth of healthy bacteria, decrease inflammation, and blood sugar.
So a trial of prebiotics should be included in your gut health plan. This is why I include prebiotics in the Healthy Gut, Healthy You program. If you visit thriveprobiotic.com, you can use the code RUSCIO15, for a 15% off discount, which can be applied to all Just Thrive products. They are also available on Amazon. Check them out.
DrMR: I love the model, especially the fact that you’re framing this in what seems to be a very positive way. And not in a fear mongering way. In that model, one of the r’s could be retard, as in retard the flames of autoimmunity and make sure you’ll never do X, Y. You can very easily slip into this fear, which is a good kind of transition into what are you finding people are really struggling with? Let’s say step one is the diagnosis or what they suspect to be the diagnosis. Step two, they do some internet research and then maybe step three they come across your work. Are there typical errors in thinking or operation that you’re finding people are coming to you with? Because obviously this is important for people to be aware of and try to right these wrongs.
DB: I can name one immediately. Of course, Ginny and I say this all the time, but the feeling of being overwhelmed is huge. We really try to make everything simple, clean, lots of white space, everything we are about are simple, doable, effective things that can be done in 10 minutes, which is manageable. We help you reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you think of it like progress not perfection, if you think about making baby steps, those steps add up. Take one step up the stairs at a time, just keep going up, and eventually you’ve climbed the whole flight of stairs.
We hear a lot of people saying they are overwhelmed and what do I do? In response to that, we curated a bunch of fabulous content that’s very easy to understand, expert written content. We have fantastic workout videos of Qigong, yoga, different options that all bite sized and manageable. So that’s one of the first things that pops to my mind.
GM: That was at the top of my list too. It probably sounds kind of ironic after we just went through this list of eight daily rituals, which can sound kind of overwhelming by itself. But I want to point out that we really try and encourage people to boil this down into baby steps and to not create an expectation that this is 30 days and your fixed and you go on your merry way because it doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s a 30-day opportunity to really make progress towards your goals and identifying what is that goal right now? What is your main area of focus? While you’re maintaining an awareness of these eight daily rituals of thyroid healthy living you will likely focus on only one or two during this 30 days.
I think that’s been really empowering, even for me as a patient because there’s so much out there about what to do but not enough about how to do it. One of the things we see a lot is this analysis paralysis. A feeling of “I don’t know where to begin so I’m not going to begin” or “I’m so overwhelmed. I just feel absolutely defeated already” or “I feel in despair because there’s just too much”.
DrMR: I strongly, strongly agree. One of the things that I’ve found to be very helpful for patients and it’s not very hard, is just getting them to slow down and try to do one or two things at a time. And this is helpful for a number of reasons. One, as you’re pointing out, you don’t feel overwhelmed. Another is that you can start to assess cause and effect. If you’re going to change your diet, detox, exercise, change your sleep, start meditation, all these things, it can feel overwhelming, but also, it is hard to get a sense for, well, I’m not sure if I’m feeling better because of the 35 foods I cut out or because of the hour meditation that I’m doing. People have this tendency to move into an overzealous care plan for themselves, which is unsustainable, and eventually they crash, and they lose their motivation and they don’t do anything.
And at the same time, they haven’t been able to appreciate, well, wow, I made this one dietary change or these couple of dietary changes and I’m really feeling like these foods are a problem for me, but these foods are okay. Since I went slow, I can now fine tune my diet and there’s not all this other noise kind of convoluting the signal that I’m really trying to be able to listen to. So yeah, I think there’s a lot of value in that. And I would just say for patients, or just people trying to be their own health advocate here, slow down a little bit because oftentimes, and this is probably a daily conversation I have with patients in the clinic. If we try to run too fast, we run the risk of falling. I understand you want to get healthy as quickly as you can, and you want to sprint there. But if you crash and burn, then we have to clean up the mess. It would be much better going off with a slow jog and not falling, not crashing and burning than we are trying to sprint.
GM: Yes, I love that.
DB: Ginny had a good point earlier when she was talking about how we are trying to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and we yet have these eight daily rituals. And I wanted to share with you a little bit about my first game that we played and how my intention was set and how it looked for me just so it makes a little more sense for people. I was moving across the country and I decided when we started this game that my focus was going to be on rejuvenation. Of course, I had to do the eight daily rituals every day. But we put in some gimme points in there, remember to take your medicine you get a point, reading an article for reducing toxins or maybe just changing your toothpaste. Although there are eight different things you can do, they can be very simple.
So, I put my focus on to rejuvenate and I really for 30 days, practice daily, like you said, slow down. I slowed down. I was paying attention to the things I needed to do. I was more intentional and aware of my whole overall healing journey. And it made me feel like my eyes opened as opposed to seeing the same thing every day. Instead of just going through the motions, walking into the kitchen, or down the hallway and not noticing my surroundings, I slowed down and was aware. When I did that, I felt calmer, and I felt better. And, of course, I’ve got my daily point for rejuvenation. It was a win, win. So yes, there are eight daily rituals, but they’re just things that you really need to pay attention to. You get a point for and it’s all in fun. It’s all in good fun. This is all just to help you and make it attainable and fun.
DrMR: What else? Is there another common stumbling block? A couple that I am concerned about is people being scared and neurotic about diet and or lab tests. I’ll throw those two out there. Those considerations.
GM: Yes, I would love to talk about that. I think this kind of ties into this obsession with the quick fix. And I know that might sound like a stretch, but even with lab testing, I think sometimes people get really focused on those lab tests and test results. Just give me the diagnosis so I can treat this thing and then it’ll just be simple, and I’ll just be done with it. Or I’m going to drink this one juice every morning and it’s going to completely fix me. I’m going to take this one supplement that’s all over the internet right now. I think some of those things might be a part of your healing puzzle, but I don’t know anyone in this camp who is truly thriving long-term because of one change they made.
It’s not one thing. It’s all the things. It goes for people who get really neurotic, this orthorexia. It’s this obsession with healthy eating and there’s a lot of people in this community who are using things like elimination diets and they can quickly become almost like religion for people. And then they’re so like, I’m a bad person because I ate something that wasn’t within these dietary guidelines. It can be very counterproductive. Does it require some discipline? Is it good to try eliminating these foods that aren’t serving you? Yes, but we’re also trying to live real life here.
I think it’s just a multifaceted endeavor where people just need to take some deep breaths to pause. One of my favorite writing quotes actually is “wear this like a loose-fitting garment.” Yes, be disciplined but also just know that this is about the long haul. It’s not the end of the world if you had a piece of birthday cake, it’s not like your life is ruined.
DB: And that goes along with exercising as well. Like that picture, that mental image everybody has with this person sweating and lifting these heavy weights. It’s not about that. It’s about moving and getting your body active. That matters. It matters a lot.
No Quick Fixes
DrMR: These are fantastic points. This is, of course, in the thyroid realm. I see the same thing in the gut realm, which is people expecting one thing and assuming that the one thing they just read about is going to be the savior. Every three to six months there will be an interesting article published on a new type of herb that was shown the lower thyroid antibodies and we get a flood of, “Should I be trying this, should I be using this?” The thing that’s unfortunately not contextualized in a lot of these articles is this given herb let’s say oftentimes shows the same amount of reduction in antibodies or sometimes even less of an ability to reduce thyroid antibodies than other items like selenium or vitamin D.
Just because it’s new, it’s better. And just because it’s lowering autoimmunity doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to necessarily lower autoimmunity anymore. Or the symptoms that you’re wanting to fix are a byproduct of your autoimmunity markers not being low enough. And it kind of takes people away from listening to their body doing this one step at a time, and really takes you away from rejuvenation practices because you’re just fretting over what you read on the internet and you’re reading and reading and reading and you’re not relaxed and you’re kind of sped up and you’re stressed. I see the same thing in practice daily.
The number of patients who’ve come in saying, “Oh, I’ve tried a probiotic.” It’s enormously high. But when we slow them down and get them to use the more comprehensive three probiotics at once protocol that I recommend, and focus on just that for a few weeks, this is not a cure all, but the results we see with probiotics is way better than patients have previously seen. There are two issues there. One, having the ability to slow down and do one thing at a time, but then two, also realizing that even though the results with a probiotic may have been better than other probiotics they’ve gotten in the past, in many cases, it’s not going to 100% resolve all their problems, but it gives you a step forward.
And then you layer on top of that other practices and like you’re describing, you cultivate this daily ritual, or this personalized healthcare plan. When you get all those things together, now the person is able to say, “Yeah, I feel good about how I feel. I feel satisfied with my level of health,” rather than just thinking they’re going to hit this one home run, this one new herb, and everything’s going to be fixed.
DB: But you can understand this is something that’s kind of built into us. I think one of the main things we need to do and we’re trying to do, especially us three on the show, is get that mindset shift in place. Because if you think about what kind of world we live in as Americans, everything’s convenient, everything’s convenient and fast and all the technology helps everything go faster and we move faster and we drive through, and you don’t even have to make your own coffee, just drive through and pick it up. I mean everything is fast and quick and quick fix in a bottle, in a package. I think Ginny mentioned that earlier.
If you think about other cultures, I lived in Costa Rica, everything moves a lot slower. People eat slower, they take longer to eat, they just kind of stop. And we’re so obsessed with going faster and faster in the States. And so if we can help everybody with just that shift because if you think about it, how long did it usually take the person who comes into your office to feel terrible and to get to that point where they came in, they’re 30 or they’re 40 or they’re 50. It’s not going to be an overnight fix, but you can understand why people want it. Because it’s like, well if I want a latte I can just drive through and get that. I have to go Christmas shopping, holiday shopping. I just get on Amazon and it just comes to the door. So, you can understand why people want that, but you really have to realize it took you a long time to get there and it’s just not going to be overnight, and that’s okay. People are like “Oh my gosh, if it’s going to take me five years to get well, then forget it.” And what we need to realize is that it is ok, because it took you a while to get there. This is a lifelong journey.
GM: As part of my own healing journey, I suffered four years, just constant fatigue, sick all the time, weight gain, cold. And finally, I hit rock bottom. I found a new doctor to work with where I live in Western Montana. My best option was working with a naturopath. She was wonderful. We started with all the testing. And we found the one thing, the main suspect and it was gut dysbiosis and we treated it. And within 48 hours of treating that gut dysbiosis, I got my energy back. After four years, it was like somebody flipped a light switch back on inside me that had been off for four years. I get emotional just remembering it because I really had forgotten that it was even possible to feel like myself again, to enjoy life.
I was diagnosed postpartum, so this was the first four years of my son’s life. It was like, all of a sudden, I’m pursuing my dreams again. I’m enjoying motherhood again. I’m filled with light again. I had a couple great years and I’m eating; I’m changing my diet. I’m doing the whole lifestyle. But then I started to backslide. We go back in and I have gut dysbiosis again and this time it’s a different strain of bacteria. I’m not sure, is it the chicken or the egg thing? Am I just more prone as a hyperthyroid patient to dysbiosis, or was it just a byproduct of hypothyroidism that was worsening my symptoms? I’m sure you could answer that better than I could. That’s not really what I’m here to do.
But from the patient perspective, it was like, “Oh, I thought I was fixed.” And you know what? This happens to everybody. Whether thyroid disease or not, you might have a health issue and you kind of figure it out and you learn to live with it, and you do your best and then something else comes up. Things happen to us in our lives. It’s about mindset, I had to say, “This is just part of the deal. There’s going to be things like this and back to the drawing board.”
DrMR: It’s part of being human really. I mean, even as I’m reflecting and listening to what you’re saying, I can draw a parallel to improving my fitness and I’ve seen improvements in my fitness. But then there’s been times when, “Oh, I tweaked my back. Oh, I hurt my knee.” I mean, even people who you would say, well that person’s pretty healthy. They’re athletic and they’re pursuing being able to deadlift two times their body weight. Even someone who is reaching for a goal that you may see as the pinnacle, even they hit these snags. So it’s just part of being human. If you’re trying to get better, you can see when you have a setback and it’s frustrating, but way better to be focusing on improving and being able to notice when you have a setback than someone who just doesn’t care at all. And they’ve resigned themselves to accepting they’re going to feel like crap every day.
DB: You’re moving forward. You have a set-back, but you’re thinking in your mind, “Okay, well, so I can’t do the shoulder press tomorrow because I tweaked my shoulder or whatever it is and it’s going to take me a week, but I’m still going to work on my legs. Or I’m still going to do X, Y, Z,” because you’re still moving forward so you’re not stuck. And that’s the key, is just moving forward.
GM: That’s the saddest thing we see is just how many people who are stuck, who have given up and who don’t believe they can feel better. We do a lot of cheerleading. You can accept your health as it is, or you can continue working for your health as you want it to be. And that’s the decision that we each have the privilege to make every morning when we wake up.
Bridging the Gap for Clinicians
DrMR: Yeah. Well said. The last question I want to ask you before asking you where can people kind of connect with you online is for clinicians, I know that you offer the eight daily rituals and kind of the thyroid 30 as something to help give clinicians something to give patients because as clinicians, we have a lot of things we’re trying to manage. We’re trying to get the basic strokes of their diet dialed in, plus look at their thyroid hormone levels and their antibodies plus potentially looking at their gut health. It can be hard to get to checking in on their sleep and their mindset. I wish we had infinite time with patients but we don’t and so we have to kind of pick and choose priorities. But that’s where I see this being a really nice thing that would dovetail in. How are you seeing this interface in with clinicians and anything else you want to say to the clinicians listening in case they want to try to kind of incorporate this to help bridge that gap that you guys mentioned earlier?
GM: Yes. I’m so glad you asked this. We just put together our practitioner page actually. So I think it’s thyroidrefresh.com/practitioner. That talks about what we have to offer, how we can connect with practitioners. We really viewed what we created as a tool for practitioners and patients alike because what we’re trying to do here is the handholding that practitioners aren’t able to do. When the patient leaves the office with this amazing plan, this body of knowledge, the test results and all of that, then what? What we’re trying to do is really bridge that gap from taking those expert recommendations and empowering people to actually implement them. Not just to implement them successfully and sustainably, but to have fun because it’s not going to happen in 30 days. It’s a lifestyle. This goes on and on for the rest of our lives. Obviously, we all want to reach optimal health, but yes, THYROID30 is absolutely created with practitioners in mind. And not only can they use it as a tool for their patients to empower them, they can also captain a team and those teams can be public or private.
Say you have a big clinic and a lot of thyroid patients you’re working with; you could invite all of them, send out emails, say, “Hey, let’s do THYROID30 together. I’m going to captain a team; I’ll be there kind of helping you through this.” It’s a way to not only connect more deeply and supportively with your current clientele or patients, but also you can captain a public team and connect possibly with new patients. We have holistic nutritionist and all kinds of people who are captaining teams and cheering people on. It’s not a platform for medical advice, it’s more for that support piece and how are you doing today and things like that. Where are you, where do you need help and what are your challenges? And really focusing on the diet and lifestyle piece. That’s a big part of our mission.
DB: The best part is the accountability. The accountability is built in. People have that automatic accountability. Just like when you’re playing a video game, you can get rewards and badges and things when you use THYROID30. It really works. It helps patients. It’s different than just being like in a Facebook group or whatever because we’ve broken everything down and we do the handholding and we give the bite size information and the patients feel empowered and they feel accountable and motivated. We’re really proud of it.
GM: What happens when a patient leaves the practitioner’s office and fails? They don’t come back.
DrMR: Community is such an important part of the human existence. I don’t even want to consolidate it only to health care. It’s just part of human existence. And so absolutely, if you can find other people who are both trying to improve their health but also have some stuff that they’re stumbling with and trying to optimize, then yeah, you have people to vent to, to soundboard to, to get advice from, to share wins with, to share losses with. I applaud any chance and opportunity we have to increase connectivity and community between people and between patients and between practices. You have my stamp of approval. I think that’s a laudable goal.
GM: Well thanks for that. It means a lot.
DB: Yes, it does. Especially coming from you.
DrMR: Well, thank you guys for that and also just for taking the time today to speak with us. And will you tell people again, if they wanted to get started, is it all through a website? Can they go to an app store and type something in? How do they plug in?
DB: We are a web-based app for now. Eventually, hopefully, fingers crossed a native app that you can just download from the app store will be available. You would find us at thyroidrefresh.com and to play THYROID30, it’s /thyroid30, so thyroidrefresh.com/thirty30.
DrMR: Awesome. Well, thank you again. I really hope that if you’re someone who is struggling, maybe you feel like you’re overwhelmed or alone, plug into some of these resources because I’ve seen firsthand, especially when referring patients to resources that can help them with the mindset piece, that can be a huge cathartic for people. It sounds like you guys are doing a really great job making it fun, making it positive, trying to break things down into this easy eight routine or eight ritual step process. So great stuff. Thank you guys again and to our audience, please check them out if you feel like you need a little help.
GM: Thank you so much for having us.
DB: Thank you.
What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.
- Get help using this information to become healthier.
- Get your personalized plan for optimizing your gut health with my new book.
- Healthcare providers looking to sharpen their clinical skills, check out the Future of Functional Medicine Review Clinical Newsletter.