This is a guest post by: Dr. Rita Marie
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the front part of your neck. Its main job is to control the amount of oxygen utilized by each and every cell in your body.
Your thyroid is responsible for or involved in many very important body functions:
- Metabolic rate (oxygen uptake)
- Growth and repair
- Production of protein
- Glucose entry into cells
- Muscle growth and bone development
- Growth hormone and prolactin
- ATP (energy) production
- Adrenal medulla activity
- Enzyme synthesis
- Thermogenesis (heat )
- Insulin sensitivity and clearance
- Follicular development and ovulation
- Maintenance of pregnancy
- Central nervous system development
- Wakefulness and alertness
- Memory and learning capacity
- Emotional tone
- Speed of nerve reflexes
Solving the Thyroid Mystery
If your thyroid gland is under-functioning, you burn fuel more slowly and often have difficulty with getting rid of excess body weight. People with overactive thyroid glands are usually thin and wiry with rapid heart rate and agitation.
Thyroid gland function is complex, and while there is no need for you to become an expert in its physiology and biochemistry, it is important for you to have a general understanding to enable you to best take care of this precious gland.
Thyroid problems leave you feeling tired and unmotivated.
Most doctors don’t have a thorough understanding of how to assess thyroid function. They generally label it as either overactive, under-active, or cancerous.
Conventional treatment is typically either synthetic T4 medication for an under-active thyroid, or radiation and/or drugs followed by synthetic T4 medication for overactive. Some more progressive and better informed doctors opt for using Armour thyroid or Naturethroid, which are both derived from desiccated pig thyroid, and provide both T3 and T4 (and other thyroid hormones), although not always in the right proportion. A few doctors will prescribe Cytomel, synthetic T3, in addition to T4. Adding T3 helps with people who have problems converting T4 to T3, especially if they test and tweak the amounts of each.
What the conventional approaches to thyroid care miss is the magnitude of the potential underlying causes of thyroid dysfunction, and, in doing so, fail to achieve long term success.
A Better Alternative for Your Thyroid
Here is the good news. By doing a full assessment, and applying targeted nutrition and lifestyle practices, your thyroid can, in many cases, be brought back into balance.
It’s up to you to understand how it works and take charge of your own health so you can feel energetic, have soft supple skin, a clear focused mind, and achieve a level of vitality you never thought possible.
While most conventional doctors look at just a few ways your thyroid can malfunction, there are actually over 20 different presentations and causes.
The most commonly overlooked thyroid imbalances are:
- Autoimmune Thyroid, where your immune system has created antibodies that attack your thyroid. This is not truly a thyroid problem. It’s a malfunction of your immune system.
- Under Conversion of T4, the hormone produced by the thyroid to T3, the active hormone that reaches and controls the metabolism of your cells.
- Increased Thyroid Binding Globulin, a protein that binds to thyroid hormone and keeps it from actively stimulating your cells. Common causes are birth control pills, xenoestrogens from the environment, dental materials and plastics, and hormone replacement therapy.
- Thyroid Receptor Resistance, which is a condition similar to insulin resistance, in which thyroid receptors are no longer functioning properly and can’t allow adequate quantities of hormone to enter your cells, leaving you with all the signs and symptoms of hypothyroid and relatively normal blood tests.
- Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome, whereby your temperature is low and your body converts much of the T4 to reverse T3, an inert form of thyroid hormone that inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3.
If you‘re ready to regain your energy, vim, and vigor, it’s time to take charge of your own thyroid function.
Learn about the lab tests and other testing you can get to identify the cause of your low thyroid symptoms. Once you learn more about thyroid function, you can take charge of your own health and create the energy that will allow you to live the life of your dreams.
Learn how your other hormones affect thyroid function, in particular adrenal hormones and insulin.