Natural Thyroid Health

Natural Thyroid Health

What does the thyroid do?

The thyroid gland is like our speedometer, controlling our basal metabolic rate (BMR)  (3). We have receptors to thyroid hormones in every cell of the body, basically telling them to speed up or slow down. The thyroid is stimulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-axis which is a negative feed back loop. The thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are made from the amino acid tyrosine and the mineral iodine (4). T4 is the main hormone produced but the T3 has a much stronger action, T4 is converted to T3 mainly in the liver, but also in the kidneys, heart, nerves and muscles, 20% is converted to T3 by bacteria in the digestive system (3). If your cold then thyroid increases the BMR to create more heat, if your sick the thyroid accelerates the action of your immune system (3). The thyroid is also essential for foetal development, and normal growth of teeth, bones, hair, skin as well as normal functioning of the cardiovascular system, nervous system and gastrointestinal system (4)

Thyroid

Hypothyroid

Hypothyroid is when the thyroid is under functioning. Common signs and symptoms of hypothyroid include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Morning headaches that wear off as the day goes on
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Hypersensitivity to cold weather
  • Poor circulation and numbness in hands and feet
  • Muscle cramps while at rest
  • Increased susceptibility to colds and other viral or bacterial infections and difficulty recovering from them
  • Slow wound healing
  • Excessive amount of sleep required to function properly
  • Chronic digestive problems, such as constipation, bloating, lack of stomach acid
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Hair falls out easily
  • Dry skin
  • Low auxiliary (body-heat) temperature, although this may be caused by any hormonal imbalance
  • Oedema, especially facial swelling
  • Loss of outer most portion of eyebrows.
  • Other signs that can indicate autoimmune Hashimoto’s disease;
  • Heart palpitations
  • Inward trembling
  • Increased pulse rate even at rest
  • Feelings of nervousness and emotional distress
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Joint stiffness

So what is Hashimotos?

References

  1. Kumar, P., and Clarke, M. 2005 Clinical Medicine, 6th edition, Elsevier Books, New York.
  2. Chistiakov, D. 2005 Immunogenetics of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; Clinical and Subclinical Features, Journal of Autoimmune Diseases 2:1 doi:10.1186/1740-2557-2-1
  3. Kharrazian, D 2010, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When my lab tests are normal. Elephant Press, Carlsbad.
  4. Hiller-Sturmhöfel, S., Bartke, Ph.D. 1998, The Endocrine System An Overview, Alcohol Health & Research World, Vol. 22, No. 3, 1998 p 152-164