Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy. The thyroid's hormones regulate vital body functions, including:

  • Breathing

  • Heart rate

  • Central and peripheral nervous systems

  • Body weight

  • Muscle strength

  • Menstrual cycles

  • Body temperature

  • Cholesterol levels

  • And more!

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Thyroid disease is very common. Some people’s thyroids make too much hormone, others make too little, and some suffer from autoimmune diseases of the thyroid where their immune system has become overactive and attacks the thyroid gland. Women are five to eight times more likely to have a thyroid condition than men. 

Thyroid conditions include:

 

Symptoms of dysfunction can range from mild to severe and vary from person to person. 

Hypothyroidism: Trouble sleeping, tiredness, weight gain, dry skin and hair, cold intolerance, poor concentration, depression, joint/muscle pain, and frequent, heavy periods.
Hyperthyroidism: Weight loss, hair loss, heat intolerance, irritability or moodiness, anxiety/nervousness, hyperactivity, hand trembling, and missed or light menstrual periods.

 

Blood tests can measure your thyroid levels and assess how well your thyroid is working. These tests are often called thyroid function tests and include:

  • Total T4 (thyroxine)

  • Free T4 (FT4)

  • Total T3 (triiodothyronine)

  • Free T3 (Ft3)

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

Additional tests may be needed to assess your thyroid function, including:

  • Thyroid antibodies: These tests help identify different types of autoimmune thyroid conditions.

  • Thyroglobulin: This test is used to diagnose thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation) and to monitor the treatment of thyroid cancer.

Many times, patients tell me their thyroid has already been checked and is normal. The problem is that most traditional providers only check TSH and occasionally T4. This leaves many people who suffer from thyroid disease undiagnosed and untreated.

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Oftentimes other tests are needed to determine the root cause of thyroid dysfunction. Other hormones like estrogen, insulin and cortisol can affect thyroid levels as well as nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities and certain medications. Every0ne is different and one persons causal agent is not the same as another's. Likewise, Hashimoto’s has to be treated very differently than hypothyroidism and adrenal-driven dysfunction that might look like thyroid disease is approached differently still.

Once we have determined the underlying cause we then treat thyroid disease with the correct therapy which can include hormone replacement, dietary changes, micronutrient therapy, removing toxins/endocrine disrupters, healing the gut, reducing stress, and supporting the HPA axis so that the body is able to function at its optimal level. Optimizing your thyroid hormone levels is a game changer, as it is impossible to experience vibrant health when your thyroid is not functioning properly.