The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands in our body and influences almost every cell and function in our body. It regulates metabolism and weight by controlling the fat-burning process.
Thyroid hormones are involved in growth and development and in nearly every physiological process in your body. If our thyroid levels are out of balance, so are we. Poor thyroid function has been linked to serious health conditions like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, eczema, gum disease, infertility, and autoimmune diseases.
The thyroid is responsible for producing the master metabolism hormones that control every function in our body.
Hormones secreted by our thyroid interact with all your other hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. To drive home this point, if your thyroid is out of balance, you are out of balance.
Almost 90 percent of the hormone produced by your thyroid is in the inactive form. Your liver then converts it to the active form, with the help of an enzyme. This is why liver health is so important for thyroid function. So is the gut, because some conversion takes place there also.
One of its functions of thyroid hormone is to tell the nucleus of the cells to send messages to your DNA to increase metabolism by burning fat. This is how a properly functioning thyroid lowers cholesterol levels, regrows hair, and helps maintain a proper weight.
Your thyroid levels can be disrupted by nutritional imbalances, toxins, allergens, infections, and stress, and this lead to a series of complications, including thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism, which today are three of the most prevalent thyroid-related diseases.
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone, a condition that is often linked to iodine deficiency. Dr.David Brownstein, MDstates over 95 percent of the patients in his clinic are iodine deficient.
Many people are hypothyroid and go untreated because of misinterpretation and misunderstanding of lab tests, particularly TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Physicians are taught if your TSH value is within the “normal” range, your thyroid is fine. More and more physicians are now discovering that the TSH value is grossly unreliable for diagnosing hypothyroidism.
Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are subtle and overlap with other conditions. Taking of the temperature is one way to access basal body temperature and general metabolism. The axillary temperature is taught to be the most reliable for thyroid function. Baroda Barns MD taught 97.8 – 98.2 is optimal. Less than that is thought to be hypothyroid. Iodine and thyroid nutritional support should be considered if low, along with detoxification and liver support.
Let’s look at some of the other symptomatic expressions of low thyroid:
– Lethargy and Fatigue and a general lack of energy are typical signs of thyroid dysfunction. Depression has also been linked to low thyroid function. Anyone diagnosed with depression should be tested for hypothyroid.
Not all tiredness or lack of energy can be blamed on a dysfunctional thyroid gland. Thyroid-related fatigue begins to appear when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. Other areas of possible thyroid dysfunction are listed below.
– Feeling like you don’t have the energy to exercise, and typically not exercising on a consistent basis
– A heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon; your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status
– Falling asleep as soon as you sit down when you don’t have anything to do
– Weight gain – Easy weight gain or difficulty losing weight, despite an aggressive exercise program and watchful eating, is another indicator.
– Rough and scaly skin and/or dry, course, and tangled hair – If you have perpetually dry skin that doesn’t respond well to moisturizing lotions or creams, consider hypothyroidism as a factor. Also test for needed EFA’s (essential fatty acids).
– Hair loss – Women especially would want to pay attention to their thyroid when unexplained hair loss occurs. Fortunately, if your hair loss is due to low thyroid function, your hair will come back quickly with proper thyroid treatment.
– Sensitivity to cold – Feeling cold all the time is also a sign of low thyroid function. Hypothyroid people are slow to warm up, even in a sauna, and don’t sweat with mild exercise.
Lab Tests are also a helpful tool in identifying Thyroid disfunction.
TSH Test: The higher your level of TSH, the higher the likelihood that you have hypothyroidism. The ideal level for TSH is between 1 and 1.5 milli-international units per liter.
Free T4 And Free T3: The normal level of free T4 is between 0.9 and 1.8 nanograms per deciliter. T3 should be between 240 and 450 picograms per deciliter.
Thyroid Antibody Testing: This includes thyroid peroxidase antibodies and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. This measure helps determine if your body is attacking your thyroid, overreacting to its own tissues (i.e., autoimmune reactions).
Basal Body Temperature: Although there are a few different protocols, the most commonly used is the Broda Barnes system, which is a measure of your basal body temperature at rest.
TRH Stimulation Test: For more difficult cases, TRH can be measured using the TRH stimulation test. TRH helps identify hypothyroidism that’s caused by inadequacy of the pituitary gland.
Even if all your lab tests turn out normal, you still likely have subclinical hypothyroidism if you have multiple thyroid symptoms.
At Align Columbus I can help you identify Thyroid dysfunction and help you support your thyroid through the use of natural supplements. If you are concerned that you may have thyroid dysfunction please contact my office. I may be able to help.
Yours in Health and Wellness,