What are thyroid disorders?
Thyroid disorders affect about 20 million people in the U.S. Many men and women do not even know they may have a thyroid problem because the diagnosis is often overlooked. Thyroid disorders are thought to be on the increase, likely associated with widespread nutrient deficiencies, exposure to environmental toxins, lousy bowel health, and the increasing incidence of autoimmunity. Women are also more prone to develop thyroid disorders than men.
Not only are thyroid disorders often poorly diagnosed, but they are also usually poorly handled. Conventional therapies often don't deal with the root cause of disease. Even after being put on thyroid medication for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), most commonly Synthroid® (or levothyroxine), many patients will continue to suffer from symptoms.
Conventional vs Integrative medicine approach
Their physicians may insist that if their blood glucose levels are "normal," their symptoms can not possibly be due to their thyroid. In our practice, we take a holistic way of treating thyroid disorders by finding the disease's origin and using natural remedies to recover equilibrium in the thyroid.
The Thyroid gland plays a significant role in optimum health, and when it is not functioning correctly, many negative symptoms could arise.
Thyroid disorder symptoms
Regrettably, thyroid problems are often misdiagnosed and may cause a lifetime of drugs and mismanagement. Improper thyroid function may result in many of these symptoms.
Morning headaches that fade
Hypersensitivity to cold
Itchy, dry skin
Low body temperature
Experts think that appropriate bio-specific identification and management can restore thyroid health and alleviate many of its symptoms. Our thorough approach discovers the underlying variables and provides bold solutions that will return you to your ideal health and ideal weight.
Thyroid Disorder Causes
When your thyroid does not produce enough hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be mad. There can be numerous causes, including autoimmune disease, hyperthyroidism therapies, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, and certain medicines.
Your thyroid is a tiny gland near the base of the front of the neck, just below your Adam's apple. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland -- triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) -- have an enormous influence on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism. These hormones also influence the management of vital functions, such as heart rate and body temperature.
Hypothyroidism is said to occur when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism can occur due to several factors, such as:
- Autoimmune disease. One common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders can turn your immune system to produce antibodies that attack your cells. Sometimes this method entails your thyroid gland. Scientists aren't certain why this happens, but it is likely a combination of variables, including your genes as well as an environmental trigger. However it occurs, these antibodies affect the thyroid's ability to produce hormones.
- Over-response to hyperthyroidism treatment. Individuals who produce too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) are often treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications. The objective of these treatments is to receive thyroid function back to normal. But occasionally, correcting hyperthyroidism may wind up decreasing thyroid hormone production too much, leading to permanent hypothyroidism.
- Thyroid surgery. Eliminating all or a large part of your thyroid gland may diminish or stop hormone production. If that's the case, you should take thyroid hormone for life.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation used to treat cancers can affect your thyroid gland and might lead to hypothyroidism.
- Medications. Numerous medications can result in hypothyroidism. One such medication is lithium, which can be used to treat certain psychiatric disorders. If you are taking medicine, ask your physician about its impact on your thyroid gland.
Fairly often, hypothyroidism may result from among the following:
- The Brain Factor
To understand how your brain affects thyroid function, we need to look at the three medical types of hypothyroidism:
- Primary hypothyroidism: this implies the issue is located at the thyroid gland itself, and it's not making enough hormones. By way of instance, this is what happens with Hashimoto's disease; the gland has been ruined and unable to generate proper levels of the thyroid gland.
- Secondary hypothyroidism: this occurs when the adrenal gland (in your brain) doesn't generate enough of the hormone TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone); consequently, the thyroid gland doesn't get the message which it needs to produce more thyroid gland. Without enough TSH being generated, the thyroid won't make enough hormones.
- Tertiary hypothyroidism: this happens if there's a problem in a different part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This section produces a hormone called TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone). If there's a problem in the hypothalamus and doesn't create enough TRH, it will result in hypothyroidism.
When there's a problem or dysfunction in the brain, then insufficient hormones will be generated (TRH / TSH), and the thyroid gland will fail to produce enough thyroid hormone.
What could cause the brain to not work correctly?
In rare cases, it might be a result of head injury or a tumor (these aren't common causes). We often see that the brain is under pressure in one form or another; this may be due to brain inflammation (referred to as brain fog) or other ailments within the body. We may also observe this abnormality once the body is under stress. Problems like these are often addressed with lifestyle modification, nutritional support, and diet modification.
The last big area where the thyroid gland may fail is beyond the thyroid gland and the brain; it happens in the rest of the body. This is where your thyroid gland may become supercharged. Let's look at both of these possible scenarios.
- Supercharged Thyroid Hormones
Nearly all thyroid hormone made by the thyroid gland is known as T4 (thyroxine); it turns out that this is truly a "pro-hormone," so it has to be turned into a different hormone before it has any real power. When the thyroid gland produces and releases T4 into the bloodstream, it must be converted to the active and "supercharged" form. The active form of T4 is known as T3 (triiodothyronine), and this conversion process occurs primarily in the kidneys, intestines, and liver. If you are afflicted with a sluggish liver or if your body requires detoxification support, then your liver might not be converting thyroid hormones nicely. Having problems with the digestive tract may also hamper this conversion process of T4 into T3. Most types of the thyroid gland are T4, and if you're unable to convert this to T3 very well, you will continue to suffer from hypothyroid symptoms. This might be happening if your blood tests have NORMAL levels of T4 and TSH; however, LOW amounts of T3.
- Hormone Imbalances
Other hormone imbalances may interfere with the thyroid-system, including the use of hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. Hormones like these can change the levels of specific proteins in your blood. If the amounts of these proteins become raised, they'll cling to your own thyroid hormones; thus rendering them ineffective. When too much thyroid gland becomes bound to these proteins, you may experience low thyroid function signs and symptoms. This may be occurring if you've got NORMAL levels of TSH, T4, and T3. An integrative medicine approach evaluates thyroid tests that could help sort out where your thyroid-system is breaking down. It's very important to determine what's gone out of balance if you ever expect to restore optimal thyroid function.