Is it my thyroid?

jaiedocere, thyroid

Do I have a thyroid problem?

I get asked this question a lot

Since thyroid hormone is involved in so many different parts of the body, if there is a problem with your thyroid you could have a lot of different symptoms. In fact, there are dozens and dozens of possible symptoms. But the most common ones are:

Hypothyroid:
too slow

  • Feeling tired/weak
  • Slower heart rate
  • Dry skin, brittle nails
  • Puffy face
  • Loss of eyebrows
  • Hoarseness, difficulty swallowing
  • Extra sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability, mood swings
  • Weight gain

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Hyperthyroid:
too fast

  • Weight loss
  • Extra sensitivity to heat
  • Softening of the nails
  • Tremor
  • Itching or hives
  • Hair loss
  • Heart palpitations, or increased heart rate
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

What could it be?

Autoimmune thyroid disease is the most common. Other thyroid disorders include: thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid, most common in pregnancy), thyroid cancer, and thyroid nodules or goiters.

What causes autoimmune problems?

Not just one thing causes autoimmune disorders. In this case it’s a collection of genes, toxins and infections, plus some other things we don’t know about.

  • Genes: if you have a family history of thyroid disease you are a lot more likely to have thyroid disease yourself.
  • Toxins: iodine, fluoride, mercury, perchlorate, and cadmium all play a role in the development of thyroid disease.
  • Infections: often having an infection somehow triggers an autoimmune response that can then directly target the thyroid.
  • Low vitamin D levels can also be a risk for autoimmune thyroid disease.

What can I do now?

Don’t worry! If you are worried about thyroid problems, the first place to start is to ask your primary care provider to test your thyroid function. Talk to me before you do this, because sometimes medical doctors don’t look deep enough.

How can naturopathic medicine help?

Hyperthyroid:
A 41 year old woman with hyperthyroid came to me because she couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to use radioactive iodine to suppress her overactive thyroid. I recommended an herbal formula to reduce her palpitations and help her get some sleep. And after removing her food sensitivities and thus calming the immune response, her thyroid returned to normal function.

Hypothyroid:
A 32 year old woman was so tired she had a hard time working each day. After she got her lab work and discovered her thyroid wasn’t functioning optimally, we worked to restore thyroid and adrenal function. After a few months she was getting through each day without needing a lunch-time nap.

References

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