THYROID DYSFUNCTION — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
The Thyroid is a small gland located at the front of the neck, and is responsible primarily for secreting thyroid hormones which regulate our metabolism (the speed at which our cells burn energy for fuel)
It is also responsible for helping to control:
- Heart rate
- Central and peripheral nervous systems
- Body weight
- Skin health
- Menstrual cycles / Fertility
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
And much more!
The Thyroid uses iodine from the foods that we eat, to produce 2 main hormones:
- Thyroxine (T4)
— Triiodothyronine (T3)
T4 Thyroxine is often produced in high amounts, however, it has the least effect on our cells. The body converts T4 to T3 in the liver, and it is T3 that is the most active hormone, and has the most affect on our metabolism.
The most common problem related to the Thyroid is HYPOTHYROIDISM (Underactive thyroid function), and the symptoms associated with this are:
- Brittle hair and nails
— Brain Fog
— Cold temperature intolerance
— Dry skin
— Low libido
— Menstrual irregularities
— Shortness of breath
— Weight gain
— Gluten sensitivity
HYPERTHYROIDISM (overactive thyroid function) is less common, and some of the symptoms associated with this are:
— Eye/vision changes
— Hair loss
— Weight loss
Most Doctors will do blood tests for TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone), TT4 (Total T4) and TT4 (Total T4). However, even though T3 is the most active hormone, unfortunately it is not routinely checked. When a person is prescribed Eltroxin or Levothyroxine, it will only work on a T4 problem. So quite often we will see people who say that they’ve been prescribed various doses of this medication, but yet their symptoms remain unchanged. That could indicate that the person may actually have a T3 or reverse T3 problem.
WHAT CAN CAUSE HYPOTHYROIDISM
As part of our testing in Kinesiology, we look at the many factors that can negatively impact Thyroid function (stress, nutrient deficiency, endocrine system, gut health, adrenal fatigue, toxic metals, food sensitivities)
Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
Chronic stress is a huge part of our lives now, and it is certainly a big factor in contributing to a low functioning / underactive thyroid. Stress will cause Adrenal Fatigue, and when our adrenals glands are overworked, they secrete Cortisol. Excess cortisol can in turn inhibit the production of TSH and the conversion of T4 to T3. Inhibition of the Thyroid can happen quietly over time, but then the symptoms can begin to rise.
Engaging in ways to reduce our stress and lower our cortisol levels can only help the Thyroid to function more efficiently.
In our clinic we will always test the Thyroid / T4 / T3 in conjunction with the Adrenal glands, to see how they are functioning, and if they need additional support.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
In order for the Thyroid to function efficiently, it need a variety of vitamins and minerals
Vitamins — A, C, D, E, B2, B3, B6, B12
Minerals — Selenium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine
Deficiencies in any of these, can impact Thyroid hormone production and lead to an extensive amount of health issues
Through our Kinesiology muscle testing, we can ascertain exactly what you are deficient in, and what your body may need to help support optimum Thyroid function.
How does our Gut Bacteria influence Thyroid Function?
Imbalance in the gut bacteria can impair nutrient absorption. If this malabsorption occurs with Zinc, Selenium, Iodine, B Vitamins and more, then the Thyroid cannot function efficiently.
If the gut is inflamed, a condition called ‘Leaky Gut’ can develop (also known as LPS). When this occurs, the LPS inhibits the enzyme that converts our inactive T4 to our active T3 hormone, thus contributing to underactive thyroid function. So restoring balance to our gut bacteria is a huge part of having good Thyroid function.
As we are all unique, what is right for one person, does not make it right for another. This is especially true when it comes to the food we are eating. It is now well documented that Gluten can be a significant trigger in all auto-immune conditions, including the Hypothyroidism. We also look to test for Nightshade foods when it comes to Hypothyroidism — tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine and peppers. Solanine can be found in nightshade foods and it has fungacidal and pesticidal properties.
Female Hormone Imbalance
A condition known as ‘Oestrogen Dominance’ can lead to symptoms of Hypothyroidism. When there is too much Oestrogen in the body in relation to Progesterone, it affects the conversion of T4 to T3, thus resulting in low levels of T3. In this instance, it’s a good idea to look at the Adrenal Glands and support them, as they make some natural Progesterone in the body.
Toxic / Heavy metals in the body can act as Hormone disruptors and can negatively affect the function of the Thyroid. Common toxic metals we talk about are Mercury, Lead, Aluminum, Arsenic and Cadmium. We can test to see if any of these metals are posing a problem for you and test to see what supports you need to eliminate them (e.g. Liver Detox, Zinc, NAC, Glutathione, Chlorella, Spirulina). It’s often very useful to get your tap water tested also.
When it comes to any condition of the body, we must look at the person in front of us. We must treat them and not just the symptoms. We must take a ‘whole person’ approach and find out what’s causing THEIR imbalance ( stress, chemical problem, structural problem or a combination of things). When we can identify the underlying causes, we can then go about preparing an appropriate PERSONALISED treatment plan, based on what your body needs. From the above information, we can see how important it is to address so many systems of the body, and make sure they are communicating with each other, and are each functioning in their own right.
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms discussed above, and would like to have your overall health assessed, then please give me a call.