Low Thyroid? by Healing Sanctuary Staff
Do you feel like you have all the symptoms of thyroid disease but every time you get your labs done your thyroid is normal? Or have you already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid) and you feel like your treatment is not helping your symptoms? Symptoms of low thyroid can include chronic fatigue, weight gain, problems with your bowels, dry skin, cold intolerance, brain fog, hair loss, and much more. Hypothyroidism is a fairly common condition, especially among the female population. (By the way, high thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is also a significant problem.) Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to get you feeling better. Here at the Healing Sanctuary we take a different approach to the thyroid than most conventional practices.
The thyroid has many functions in the body including temperature regulation, brain function, energy, and metabolism. So, improper function of the thyroid can affect the entire body. Untreated low thyroid can not only have an impact on one’s quality of life but also affect one’s cardiovascular health.
Conventional diagnosis of low thyroid usually consists of just the TSH level. The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is released from the pituitary gland in the brain and serves as part of a feedback mechanism to keep the thyroid regulated at normal levels. If the TSH is elevated, this signifies the thyroid is too low. At times the TSH is elevated and the thyroid hormones Free T3 and Free T4 are normal. This is considered sub-clinical hypothyroidism and still needs to be addressed and treated as it can become full on hypothyroidism and lead to complications – if left untreated.
It is also important to check Free T3 and Free T4 as on occasion these labs are abnormal even with a normal TSH. Free T4 in the perfect system will convert into Free T3 in the periphery which is the more active of the thyroid hormones and usually the one people respond to better. Many people are either poor converters of T4 to T3 or their cells are not receptive to the thyroid hormones. If this is the case, the levels can be low normal but people can be symptomatic. This is one factor that we take into consideration for both the T3 and T4, as well as the TSH; that is, we are more strict with what levels people should be at as experience shows people feel better when their thyroids are toward the high end of normal (also meaning TSH should be toward lower end of normal).
A complete thyroid lab should also include thyroid antibody testing. In the conventional medicine world, I was taught that it does not matter to check for thyroid antibodies (checking for Hashimoto’s or low autoimmune thyroiditis) because the treatment is the same. Oh, how wrong this statement is! Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease can definitely be addressed differently. We always want to know why?! Why does one have a low thyroid? What is the root cause? If we do not treat the root cause then we will get no improvement. Treating Hashimoto’s can consist of avoiding certain foods in the diet such as gluten; gluten is commonly an offender of autoimmune thyroiditis. Also avoiding certain environmental toxins may be an important part as well. Common things that people come in contact with daily cause harm to the thyroid including bromine, chlorine, and fluoride.
Other treatments of low thyroid may include avoiding certain medications that are causing the low thyroid. Certain nutritional deficiencies including iodine, selenium, iron, Vitamin A, and Zinc can also play a big roll in hypothyroid development and therefore treatment. Proper nutrition with an anti-inflammatory diet and daily exercise will benefit the thyroid function including proper conversion of T4 to T3. Many mind body therapies such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga reduce stress and will support the adrenals which – in turn – will help the thyroid function properly. When a thyroid supplement is needed, quite often desiccated porcine thyroid is more beneficial as it consists of both T3 and T4. These are some of the treatment modalities that have to be considered.
So in summary, if you are tired of not knowing why you are tired, gaining weight, feeling poorly, and don’t have any answers, come into the Healing Sanctuary where we will help you find out what is going on so we can get you feeling well!