There is a disturbing trend we observed concerning thyroid treatment. Most thyroid sufferers are treated exactly the same! This is the first problem because no two people react the same, especially with endocrine dysfunction.
Your thyroid gland is your gland of metabolism which means it is like the furnace in your house used to keep you warm. If your thyroid gland is functioning too low (hypothyroid) then you will be cold and all the systems of your body will work at a reduced state because the enzymes of the body work and 98.6 degrees F. If your body temperature is less than this because of low thyroid function then all systems that are run with those enzymes are working at less than 100%. The lower the body temperature the more you are negatively affecting all other systems, organs and glands. On the other hand if your thyroid gland is functioning too high (hyperthyroid, Graves, Hashimoto’s) then the body temperature can either be hot or alternating between hot and cold. In these thyroid conditions the body is working too hard; the immune system is overly stressed and this will lead to major health disorders.
So what you want is not too little and not too much but a balance thyroid gland with normal thyroid hormone secretion. It is important to know that the thyroid gland is affected by many other glands, organs and systems. Let us look at some of the major influences on thyroid function:
- Nervous system – The brain, brainstem, spinal cord, spinal nerves control every other organ, gland and system in the body. The hypothalamus in the brain controls pituitary gland function and this is the master hormonal gland that controls thyroid function.
- Immune system – When the immune system is overly active it is called autoimmune. Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease are autoimmune thyroid diseases. When the immune system is underactive it can cause thyroid cancer.
- Hormonal system – This is the brain via the hypothalamus directly controlling pituitary gland function and the pituitary gland directly controls most all hormonal gland secretions including the thyroid gland. The pituitary, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals all have to be in balance to heal the thyroid gland.
- Digestive System - If you do not digest your food completely it leads to malabsorption, deficiency along with toxic build up. All these negative affect thyroid gland function and your thyroid will never heal and be in optimum health if your digestive system is out of balance.
- Elimination System - This is the detoxification system which moves the chemicals and toxins out of the body. If this system is overburdened then the hormonal system is stressed and the thyroid gland will malfunction.
- Biochemical System - Unless the biochemical state is balanced with correct diet customized for one’s individual biochemistry, the thyroid gland cannot heal. The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone. If there is too much iodine in the body it may lead to a hyperthyroid condition or autoimmune thyroid. If there is too little iodine this can lead to hypothyroid or goiter. There is a perfect balance that keeps the body and the thyroid gland in health.
- Mental/Emotional State – If the mind and emotions are overly active this causes stress in the hormonal system and causes thyroid conditions to remain active. If the adrenal glands are overly secreting cortisol because of perceived stress, this will inhibit thyroid gland function.
How do you know if you have a thyroid disorder? There are three main thyroid disorders you should know about:
- Hypothyroidism (slow thyroid)
- Hyperthyroidism or Grave’s (overfunctioning thyroid)
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Do you feel fatigued, tired or sluggish?
- Do you have cold feet and/or hands?
- Do you require excessive amounts of sleep to function?
- Do you gain weight easily or have difficulty losing weight?
- Do you have difficult or infrequent bowel movements (constipation)?
- Are you depressed?
- Do you lack motivation?
- Do you suffer from morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses?
- Do you suffer from thinning hair or excessive hair falling out?
- Do you suffer from dryness of the skin and/or scalp?
- Do you suffer from mental sluggishness?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormones is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is logical that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. Millions of Americans have this more common medical condition…and it often goes undetected in the early stages. Were you told that your results were “normal” and yet you continue to have symptoms?
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism or Grave’s Disease
- Do you experience heart palpitations?
- Do you suffer from inward trembling?
- Do you have an increased pulse even at rest?
- Are you nervous and/or emotional?
- Do you suffer from insomnia?
- Do you experience night sweats?
- Do you have difficulty gaining weight?
Hyperthyroidism is the medical term to describe an over production of thyroid hormones. Although this condition is less common, it can precede a slowing down of the thyroid.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland (this is an auto-immune disorder). It is diagnosed by checking for thyroid antibodies (TPO & TGB) and gluten antibodies. Patients suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis will experience symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This means they will experience some or all of the above symptoms. Since the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism, it can affect all of the systems of the body such as the gut, liver, gall bladder, hormones, cholesterol, brain (via neurotransmitters), adrenal glands, breasts, ovaries, and heart.
The only way to completely heal your thyroid gland is to balance all systems of the body and then the body (and the thyroid gland) will do what God intended them to do- they will heal naturally.