The main function of the thyroid gland is to convert calories and oxygen into energy; effectively acting to regulate blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and metabolism. If the thyroid gland isn’t working at maximum efficiency (Hypothyroid), the body begins to slow down. Several symptoms of Hypothyroidism might include lethargy, fatigue, constipation, and intolerance to cold. An overactive thyroid also known as Hyperthyroidism results in an increased metabolism. Hyperthyroidism presents itself with symptoms of anxiety, agitation, heart palpitations, and intolerance to heat.
What Causes Thyroid Dysfunction?
There are several contributing factors that may lead to thyroid imbalance, such as genetic predisposition and Estrogen dominance. Some medications such as Sulfa drugs, birth control pills, lithium, and Amiodarone can also result in thyroid imbalance. The environment also plays a significant role in thyroid health; chemical additives to water and food supply such as: (Fluoride, Chloride, and Bromide) directly interfere with iodine production and can also predispose to Hypothyroidism.
What are the Symptoms of a Thyroid Dysfunction?
Experiencing 3-4 of the following symptoms may be sufficient to determine thyroid function. Below is a list of symptoms commonly experienced by people who have thyroid imbalance:
- Weight gain
- Decreased libido
- Muscle cramps
- Intolerance to cold (particularly hands and feet)
- Menstrual irregularity
- Brittle nails
- Weight loss
- Elevated heart rate & heart Palpitations
- Easily distracted (difficulty focusing)
- Racing thoughts
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Feeling hot
- Diagnosing Thyroid Dysfunction
To confirm a diagnosis of thyroid irregularity, several tests can be performed including a blood test to measure thyroid hormone levels (TSH, T3, T4, and reverse T3) blood tests measuring peroxidase antibodies, and antithyroid antibodies can be performed. An ultrasound of the thyroid can also be performed to detect an enlarged thyroid, cysts, and nodules. Iodine levels can also be measured by urine analysis and serve to aid in determining iodine deficiency
How to self-test your Thyroid levels
You can check your thyroid levels by performing a basal body temperature test. Simply checking your temperature using a mercury thermometer at various times of the day and record the results for several days. Average healthy basal body temperature is 98.4oF and above. If your basal body temperature is below 97.8oF, you might have an underactive Thyroid.
Treatment of Thyroid Dysfunction
There are several treatments targeting the optimization of the Thyroid: nutritional counseling, herbal supplements, nutritional vitamins, minerals, and bio-identical hormones. The treatment and optimization of the Thyroid gland are tailored to each individual. We can also recommend natural thyroid hormones, such as Nature-Throid, to adjust the doses of the medication and achieve optimal results. We also highly recommend testing and treating underlying adrenal fatigue while treating thyroid dis-regulation. Thyroid medication is known to cause an increase in metabolism and an increased demand on adrenal function and cortisol production. Therefore, those with adrenal fatigue may not be able to meet the increased metabolic demand and will not experience the benefits of the medication. Adrenal function must FIRST be restored before beginning thyroid treatment protocol.