Tired? Sluggish? Cold Hands? Excess Body Fat?
Do you have any of those symptoms? Has your doctor told you your thyroid is normal but you are still feeling lousy? You may be one of Millions of Americans suffering from undiagnosed Thyroid Disorder.
What does the Thyroid do?
Thyroid hormones convert oxygen and calories into energy. This process is known as metabolism. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for their metabolism.
However, sometimes thyroid dysfunction occurs. People may have either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid) or too little (hypothyroid.) Common symptoms of Hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, fuzzy thinking, low blood pressure, fluid retention, depression, body pain, slow reflexes, and much more. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism tend to reflect the rapid metabolism that results from an oversupply of thyroid hormone. Common symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, rapid weight loss, diarrhea, high heart rate, high blood pressure, eye sensitivity/bulging and vision disturbances, and many other concerns
Factors causing Thyroid Dysfunction
- Chronic stress
- Environmental toxins
- Food allergies
- Over-consumption of soy products
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Yeast and bacteria overgrowth in the intestines
- Fluoride added to the water supply– it has the ability to bind with the receptor sites on the thyroid gland that are meant to receive iodine. For more on this topic see FAQ below.)
Conditions Associated With Thyroid Dysfunction
Thyroid is the most important hormone in the body for controlling weight and body fat. Besides weight gain and stubborn fat, common problems associated with thyroid dysfunction are:
- Fatigue – Bottomline: If the thyroid isn’t working well, neither is anything else in the body. The most persistent symptom of low thyroid is fatigue.
- Free Radical Damage – Most, if not all, diseases associated with free-radical damage (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging) get worse when there is thyroid dysfunction.
- Cardiovascular Disease – The metabolism of fats and absorption of essential fatty acids (EFAs) are important functions of thyroid hormone activity. If you are hypothyroid (not enough thyroid hormone) you may have elevated cholesterol.
- Insulin Resistance – Thyroid hormones help the pancreas and liver maintain stable blood sugar and a healthy response to insulin. Hypothyroid contributes to poor insulin response and elevated blood sugar.
- Nutritional Deficiency – Too much thyroid (hyperthyroid) causes diarrhea, which prevents absorption of nutrients from food. Too little thyroid (hypothyroid) means you don’t produce enough stomach acid or digestive enzymes to digest the food you eat.
Lab Tests For Thyroid Function
The classic thyroid panel ordered by most physicians consists of only three tests: Total T4, Free T4 and TSH. At Restore Health Center we believe that these three tests alone do not give adequate insight into your current level of thyroid function. We prefer the more comprehensive 6-test panel which includes: Total T4, Free T4, TSH, T3, Reverse T3, and TPO. Many practitioners are simply not familiar with those parameters and will not test for them.
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – Evaluates overall thyroid function.
- Total Thyroxine (T4) – Evaluates the total amount of T4 produced by the thyroid gland.
- Free Thyroxine (T4) – Evaluates the amount of T4 available to the cells and tissues.
- Free Tri-iodothyronine (T3) – Measures the amount of T3 (the active form of the hormone) available to the cells and tissues.
- TPO – Measures for possible auto-immune disease
- Reverse T3 – Reverse T3 is an inactive form of thyroid that locks energy out of the cells. If there is too much Reverse T3, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the thyroid panel appears to be normal: the patient will be suffering from a form of hypothyroid. In cases of chronic stress (acute illness, trauma, infection, physical stress) and starvation (yo-yo dieting) too much T4 is converted to Reverse T3.