An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. The number of people suffering from thyroid disorders continues to rise each year.
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid disorders. It is characterized by mental slowing, constipation, dry skin, depression, dementia, weight gain, hair loss, intolerance to cold, hoarse voice, irregular menstruation, infertility, muscle stiffness, joint pain, and a wide range of other not-so-pleasant symptoms.
Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for most aspects of body function, impacting all physiologic systems of the body. Thyroid hormones directly act on the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, red blood cell metabolism, gall bladder and liver function, endocrine system, glucose metabolism, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, protein metabolism, body temperature regulation and more.
Often times, in our stress filled lives, our adrenal glands are there to help us manage physical, mental and emotional stress on a moment by moment basis. When your body is in chronic stress, the adrenal glands and liver do what they can to manage these day to day challenges. When your body exhausts its resources the thyroid acts as the brake on a system that is running out of control. It slows the body’s breakdown (catabolic mechanisms) to physiologically compensate. The goal of fixing the thyroid may require support for the adrenals, liver and other endocrine organs. This may need to be done simultaneously or in layers in order to allow the thyroid to rest and strengthen.
One of the biggest challenges facing those with hypothyroidism is that the standards for thyroid disorders in both conventional and alternative care is often inadequate. In fact, it may be counter to the natural healing processes of your body.
When we assess the function of your thyroid, we also assess that of the pituitary gland and look for possible thyroid hormone resistance. We investigate any halogen, perchlorate, or xenoestrogen toxicity. We also rule out cortisol and estrogen hormonal imbalances, which are known contributing factors. When thyroid problems develop, it is important to investigate whether the pituitary, hypothalamus, adrenals, liver or lymph organs require nutritional support.