Thyroid Dysfunction is one of the most commonly under-diagnosed problems in America, especially among women. Read further to learn more about this condition, it causes, and a solution for healing it naturally.
If you are a woman in America, chances are that you are hearing of more and more of your friends being diagnosed with Thyroid Dysfunction. Hypothyroid is a growing epidemic! One in ten women is dealing with a thyroid condition, as well as a lot of men. And get this: Thyroid conditions are still the number one under-diagnosed condition on the planet! According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), there are 27 million people in the U.S. suffering from a thyroid condition, yet only fifty percent have been diagnosed. Some sources estimate that ninety percent of women over the age of forty have subclinical hypothyroidism, meaning that they have symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed. So why are so many people suffering from thyroid conditions? Let’s begin by looking at the function of the thyroid.
Your thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolism, growth, and development. A well-functioning thyroid is of the utmost importance. A dysfunctional thyroid can affect almost every aspect of health, including:
- Difficulty learning
- Dry skin
- Hot flashes
- Mood disorders
- Hair loss
- Weight gain & fluid retention
- Puffy face
- Heavy and/or irregular menstruation
A simplistic explanation of the function of the thyroid:
The hypothalamus is a gland in the brain that tells the pituitary gland to release TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) which in turn tells the thyroid to produce T3 and T4. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone, but only a small percentage is produced by the thyroid gland itself. The majority of T3 is made in the liver, where the liver converts T4 to T3. The liver also converts T4 into RT3 (reverse T3).
Why is Thyroid Dysfunction so under-diagnosed?
Perhaps one of the biggest problems for many people is that the doctors run typical bloodwork only to find it within the “normal range”. If you go to a traditional doctor’s office, the gold standard they will use to determine normal thyroid function is TSH. However, there is not one study that has ever indicated that normal TSH levels have anything to do with normal thyroid function.
Furthermore, many doctors incorrectly believe that the problem is just in the thyroid. The truth is, most of the time it is a cellular issue. Like most hormone conditions, the problem isn’t necessarily a lack of hormones, but the receptor to the hormones. Most thyroid problems begin on the cell membrane, where the receptors reside. Most thyroid conditions have plenty of T3; however, it can’t get into the cell where it needs to be used (like having enough gasoline, but you are unable to get it into your car).
Most doctors are not asking the right question! Instead of asking, “Why do you have a thyroid deficiency?” They typically say, “There’s a deficiency here. What medication should I put you on?” This medication, I may add, will need to be taken every day for the rest of your life! This medication will not fix your thyroid, and you will be dependent on it to live comfortably.
What is causing so many people to have thyroid problems?
Environmental toxins are a primary cause of hormone and thyroid dysfunction. One primary toxin is mercury. This heavy metal binds to the selenium receptors of the thyroid, which prevents T3 from binding. The body sees this Se-Hg+ bond as a foreign substance so the immune system will begin to attack itself (known as Hashimotos Disease). Nearly 80% of thyroid disorders are autoimmune. Mercury is a neurotoxin and disrupts the synthesis of T3 and T4. Mercury and other toxins are binding to hormone receptors, causing thyroid conditions.
Stress is another major factor in causing thyroid dysfunction. If you live in the U.S., you live in a high stress environment. The adrenal stress hormones (ie. cortisol and adrenalins) can suppress thyroid function.
Also, liver functionality is extremely important. If your liver is not functioning properly, then your body will be unable to convert the inactive form T4 into the active form T3.
So what can you do?
Our number one priority is to always find the cause, because if you do not identify and remove the cause, it is impossible to get someone truly well. And I don’t want you to just live comfortably, but to live vivaciously!
Instead of asking, “What medication should you be on?” We are asking, “What is the cause of your hormone dysfunction?” We take a very holistic approach, meaning we are not simply addressing the thyroid gland. We will take a look at how your pituitary, adrenal, and thyroid glands are functioning. We are going to test for RT3, Free T3 and T4, and TSH levels in order to determine where the problem lies. We’ll determine your toxic load and see if heavy metals are the cause of your thyroid condition. We’ll look at how your liver is functioning. Taking all of this into account, we will begin to heal you at a cellular level, using our 5R’s approach (Remove the source, Regenerate the cell membrane, Restore cellular energy, Reduce inflammation/oxidative stress, Re-establish methylation).
In the meantime, here is a list of practical lifestyle changes you can begin making now to help with your Thyroid Dysfunction.
References For This Page Include:
- American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. (2008). Hypothyroidism.
- Sapin, R., & Schlienger, J. L. (2003). Thyroxine (t4) and tri-iodothyronine (t3) determinations: techniques and value in the assessment of thyroid function. Ann Biol Clin (Paris), 61(4), 411-20.
- Soldin, O. P., O’Mara, D. M., & Aschner, M. (2008). Thyroid hormones and methylmercury toxicity. Biological Trace Element Research, 126(1-3), 1-12. doi: 10.1007/s12011-008-8199-3