There are approximately 60,000 new cases of thyroid diagnosed each year within Australia with statistics revealing that 1 in 8 women will experience thyroid-related issues in their lifetime. These figures are staggering and are increasing every year. Thyroid disorders are the most commonly underdiagnosed medical conditions today with some individuals
unaware they even have the condition.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid gland is the master gland that sits in front of your neck and is shaped like a little butterfly. The gland manufactures hormones that help control many of the body’s processes including our metabolic rate, body temperature, energy levels and every cell within the body contains a thyroid hormone receptor.
Thyroid hormones act directly on major organs and systems of the body and thyroid dysfunction can have huge effects on the functioning of the body.
An insight into the diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction:
Common pathology and blood screening performed by general practitioners checks the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). This is one singular market of thyroid activity and does not paint the entire picture of how the thyroid is functioning. It is very normal for individuals to
be told their TSH sit in the ‘normal’, healthy reference range yet the individual doesn’t always feel 100% and is often experiencing a plethora of signs and symptoms that categorises a thyroid dysfunction.
At Hills Natural Health Centre, the naturopathic team have seen so many patients that are at their wit’s end knowing they ‘don’t feel right’ despite being told their thyroid is fine. The reality is if the thyroid is not functioning properly, none of the body’s systems will be working at 100% either and this leaves the individual not feeling that great…. We know how frustrating this can be!
To really understand how the thyroid is functioning we require a full thyroid function test.
- TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone )
- T4 ( thyroxine )
- T3 (triiodothyronine)
- TG Antibodies
Naomi Rogan and the team at Hills Natural Health Centre have worked first hand with thyroid disorders supporting close family members suffering from thyroid dysfunction and with Naomi experiencing autoimmune-related disorder herself.
Do you think your thyroid has been mis-diagnosed and may not be functioning optimally?
Below are 10 signs that may indicate your thyroid gland is out of balance:
- You have ongoing digestive issues
- Digestion is controlled by thyroid hormones, and a low thyroid function can reduce movement of your intestines, which is essential to maintain healthy digestive function.
- Low thyroid function also affects the bodies ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients. It can also affect a leaky gut, bloating, constipation, transit time and feeling slow and sluggish.
- You can’t lose weight (or have been gradually gaining weight)
- When your thyroid hormones are low, your body lacks the ability to break down fat, which in turn quickly adds on kg’s and makes it very hard to shift weight.
- The thyroid regulates our body temperature, so the more underactive it is, the slower the metabolic rate, which in turn leads to weight gain.
- When the thyroid is functioning optimally, weight loss ( with healthy eating and exercise ) should be easy.
- You are constantly tired
- Are you always tired, never wake refreshed, struggle to make it through each day without caffeine or stimulants?
- When the thyroid gland is underactive, it affects the body’s ability to make ATP ( this basically is what energy is made from ). The body’s mitochondria do not function properly, leaving you feeling fatigued. This can get so bad that can affect your daily ability to function and live a normal life.
- Often when a patient goes to the doctor and says “I am so tired”, this can be mistaken for Depression, and the patient can be wrongly diagnosed, only to leave with an antidepressant medication, which in turn will further aggravate the overall thyroid dysfunction.
- You develop blood glucose disturbance:
- When the body is in a low thyroid state, it will decrease the body’s ability to absorb glucose. Every cell needs glucose in order to make ATP, your cellular energy source. Many people with low thyroid function will experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level). This can also occur and look normal on blood tests.
- This vicious cycle of hormonal dysfunction can then lead to other chronic health problems like metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
- You have elevated cholesterol and high triglycerides
- Sluggish thyroid hormones inhibit the break down of cholesterol, which in turn can lead to elevated total cholesterol and triglycerides
- Elevated triglycerides are a huge risk factor for chronic disease and fatty liver (NALFD).
- You have oestrogen dominance or deficiency:
- Oestrogen is found in three different forms; E1: Estrone, E2: Estradiol, and E3: Estriol. It is very important for these to be in harmony to maintain optimal health.
- When your thyroid function is out of balance, this can disrupt the perfect harmony of these hormones, leading to an unbalanced ratio, which in turn can cause more chronic health problems and hormone dependant cancers.
- You experience hot flushes/night sweats or feel cold all the time
- When your thyroid hormone levels are low (linked to hypothyroidism) this may affect your body’s temperature control, which lowers your thermostat, leaving you extremely cold- especially in the hands and feet.
- Or the opposite can happen and when the body is overheating (usually associated with hyperthyroidism/ Hashimoto’s ) you can experience excessive sweating / hot flushes.
- Your are experiencing a lot of hair loss or thinning of the hair
- The thyroid will determine our metabolic rate, nutrient absorption and digestive processes, which can often lead to hair loss.
- Once the thyroid is restored to its optimal function, hair texture/ quality and strength will restore itself. The thyroid gland requires essential nutrients to maintain optimal function, and deficiencies in these will compromise hair quality and growth.
- You have constant brain fog.
- Brain fog can be described as not thinking clearly or feeling unproductive and forgetful.
- An increased risk of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar, ADD, ADHD is commonly linked to thyroid disorders. So often it goes undiagnosed and patients are told they have a mental health disorder but the root cause of there health decline is a thyroid problem.
- Patients with depression have higher rates of thyroid conversion impairments, or low T3 syndrome, according to a study in 2014 study.
- Your body is overload with toxins
- The liver and gallbladder take on a big role of helping to eliminate toxins that you ingest/ breath in or result as a by-product of your metabolism.
- Poor thyroid health can inhibit the optimal function of your liver and gall bladder, which can significantly decrease the body’s ability to clear toxins.
- This can result in NALFD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease). It is common for patients to have poor detoxification pathways.
So, what to do next …………
The bottom line. Some individuals seem to know they are “not quite right” or have a thyroid problem, despite being told by their GP there is nothing wrong or maybe some are wondering why they are taking thyroid medication but still experiencing all of the above symptoms.
The body is complex and has intricately connected systems, so it’s important to listen to your body, recognise the signs and symptoms and ask yourself if a thyroid dysfunction may be the underlying problem.
At Hills Natural Health Centre, we dive deep into thorough screenings to find the root cause of individuals thyroid dysfunction. Through a holistic and individualised approach paired with evidence-based medicine, we will work closely with you to find the best treatment for you to restore your overall health and well being.
Book your FREE scoping session here today or phone the clinic on 9298 8332