What Causes Thyroid Disease
The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that impact the way the thyroid gland works.
Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
- Hashimotos thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the bodys cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. Its usually a temporary condition.
- Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
- A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesnt work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.
Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:
How Can I Treat A Thyroid Imbalance
Dr. Tates holistic approach to healthcare treats your imbalanced thyroid as an essential part of the entire body rather than an isolated concern. She works to understand the root cause of the imbalance to ensure you receive the best care.
At Grassroots Healthcare, we work to recommend a course of treatment that alleviates symptoms while improving the health of your thyroid. Depending on your symptoms, test results, and health history, Dr. Tate may recommend nutritional supplements, a healthy eating plan, medications, and changes to your lifestyle.
If youre experiencing symptoms of an imbalanced thyroid, the caring team at Grassroots Healthcare in Tulsa, Oklahoma, can help. Schedule your appointment today by visiting us here.
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Unfortunately, rarely, if ever, are any of these taken into account so doctors are left to simply prescribe meds. While this approach may help temporarily, it certainly doesnt address the root cause of the problem and youre left taking those medications indefinitely.
For example, many patients we see suffer from digestive issues they dont even know they have such as an imbalance in the normal gut flora. This can lead to candida, an overgrowth of yeast in the body. This yeast can coat cells making it difficult for thyroid hormones to affect cells properly. So, the symptoms of thyroid disease are present yet the thyroid itself is fine.
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Thyroid Problems And Hormonal Imbalance
At a certain age, whenever you bring up different symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, or even insomnia, it seems like many people will bring up your thyroid.
While we dont recommend self-diagnosis, you may be on to something. The truth is that our thyroid has a big job it may be physically small, but its impact on our overall wellbeing is vast.
Proven Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Issues
The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands of the body. It is responsible for releasing those hormones in the body that maintain the bodys metabolism. It is located in the neck, just under Adams apple. Genetic factors and a wrong lifestyle can lead to under or overworking of the thyroid gland. Let us take a look at some of the signs of thyroid issues in females.
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Environmental Toxins & Your Thyroid
Environmental toxins can also play a role. You see, iodine happens to be something called a halogen, which elementally is very similar to some well-known toxins such as chlorine, fluorine, and bromine. These toxins are more common than ever in drinking water, toothpaste, bread, etc. So, instead of using iodine to make thyroid hormone, the body uses what it has available chlorine, fluorine, etc. Your blood work may show your hormone levels are fine but do you suppose it functions in your body the same way if its made from a toxin as opposed to iodine?
Our approach is different. We look at the cause of the problem. Were certainly not saying you should stop taking your medications, but what if you could at some point by fixing the source of the problem? We think all doctors would agree, take medications if necessary of course, but if you could remove the source of the problem and decrease the need for them youd be better off.
How Is Hypothyroidism Treated
In most cases, hypothyroidism is treated by replacing the amount of hormone that your thyroid is no longer making. This is typically done with a medication. One medication that is commonly used is called levothyroxine. Taken orally, this medication increases the amount of thyroid hormone your body produces, evening out your levels.
Hypothyroidism is a manageable disease. However, you will need to continuously take medication to normalize the amount of hormones in your body for the rest of your life. With careful management, and follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to make sure your treatment is working properly, you can lead a normal and healthy life.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Thyroiditis
If youve been diagnosed with thyroiditis, youll need to see your healthcare provider regularly to monitor your symptoms and make sure your treatment is working.
If you develop worse or more concerning symptoms, call your provider as soon as possible.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
While its usually stressful to learn you have a medical condition, the good news is that thyroiditis is highly treatable and it may even be temporary. If you have any questions about thyroiditis or your treatment plan, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyre available to help you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/07/2022.
Physical Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
- Sensitivity to cold or heat
- Cold hands and feet
- Muscle and joint aches and pains
- Immune dysfunction
- Chronic stress and HPA dysregulation
- According to Hyla Cass, hypothyroidism and related depression are on the rise due to the increase of peoples pace of life and daily stress Cass, H. and Barnes, K. . 8 Weeks to Vibrant Health. Brevard, NC: Take Charge Books, p. 166.
Kharrazian, D. . Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal. Garden City, NY: Morgan James Publishing, p. 19.
Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, which can result in hypothyroid symptoms. It is one of the most common causes of hypothyroid.
Over time the weakened thyroid cannot produce enough thyroid hormones , and the pituitary gland increases levels of TSH to stimulate more thyroid hormone. This leads to higher levels of TSH, but lower thyroid hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism. Caturegli, P., De Remigis, A. and Rose, N. R. . Hashimoto thyroiditis: clinical and diagnostic criteria. Autoimmunity Reviews, 13 , pp. 391-7. Available at: .
It is diagnosed through a blood test analysing numbers of thyroid antibodies.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over several years. At first, you may feel tired and sluggish. Later, you may develop other signs and symptoms of a slowed-down metabolism, including:
- Feeling cold when other people do not
- More than usual menstrual bleeding
You also may have high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which can raise your risk for heart disease.
How Common Is Goiter
Goiters are relatively common. They affect about 5% of people in the United States.
The most common cause of goiters worldwide is iodine deficiency, which affects an estimated 2.2 billion people.
The more severe the iodine deficiency, the more likely someone is to have goiter:
- With mild iodine deficiency, the incidence of goiter is 5% to 20%.
- With a moderate iodine deficiency, the prevalence increases to 20% to 30%.
- With severe iodine deficiency, the incidence increases to greater than 30%.
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Can Thyroiditis Be Prevented
Unfortunately, most cases of thyroiditis cant be prevented.
If you have a condition that requires treatment using radioactive iodine or radiation therapy, talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of thyroiditis. You may be able to start with other treatments to avoid developing thyroiditis.
If you take prescription drugs that can cause thyroiditis, talk to your provider about your risk and if you can stop taking them. You still may not be able to avoid thyroiditis.
Hypothyroidism Or Underactive Thyroid
Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones to provide normal regulation of your bodys functions. Hypothyroidism is more common among people with autoimmune diseases and disorders affecting the pituitary gland located in your brain. Some people develop hypothyroidism as a side effect of the medications theyre taking.
If you have hypothyroidism, you might have symptoms like:
- Frequent bowel movements
Not everyone who has a thyroid disorder will experience all these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can also vary from one person to another.
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What Your Thyroid Does
Its probably best to start by going over what the thyroid is exactly. This is a butterfly-shaped gland youll find at the base of the neck, and its tasked with the job of regulating certain hormones.
The thyroid gland produces the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine , both of which have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism. These hormones also influence the control of vital functions.
For example, your thyroid produces hormones which regulate or contribute to:
- Regulating metabolic rate
- Bone maintenance
Were sure we can all agree on the importance of each of the above functions, therefore, shining a light on how important our thyroid health really is. Issues with our thyroid can arise in people of any age, but most commonly affect women who are in their 50s or older.
Fertility Problems Caused By Hormone Imbalances
Another common time women ask for a hormone checkup is when trying to conceive. Typically, 84% of women get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex. When conception doesnt happen, one reason could be a hormonal imbalance. To learn more, read our extensive article about fertility challenges here.
Again, its important to track your menstrual cycle, including the dates you have unprotected sex, to give your doctor a picture of what your reproductive cycle is doing. Keep in mind that your partner should also be tested for structural or hormonal issues if you have been trying to conceive for some time.
If youre having your period too often , then your uterus cant sustain a fertilized egg. If your periods are too far apart , your ovaries may not be releasing eggs often enough into your fallopian tubes.
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Signs Of Hormone Imbalance
Hormones have a widespread influence throughout the body and affect your physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. When they are in balance, your body systems can operate efficiently. But when certain hormone levels are too high, too low, or fluctuating back and forth, you may experience a number of surprising symptoms.
The 7 of the most common signs of hormone imbalance are:
Utilize Better Testing Options
In some cases, patients receive blood work reports that do not reflect a thyroid or hormonal imbalance according to established cutoff values. This can lead many people to believe that there is another cause for their symptoms. However, conventional testing can frequently have parameters that are too limited, resulting in a lack of proper information that supports hormone and thyroid problems.
To ensure that you are receiving the most in-depth and accurate results, consider utilizing more comprehensive labs such as micronutrient tests, inflammation, omega-6/omega-3 ratios, cholesterol particle/number, and autoimmune markers.
For those concerned with cost, the process is often much more affordable than most would think. There are several labs in Charleston, SC where you will receive superior testing that costs less out-of-pocket than traditional labs. For more info consider speaking with your physician and practitioner to customize an approach to your needs.
Once youve received your results, it is best to work with a chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, holistic doctor in addition to your current physician. These practitioners will take a more comprehensive approach to your imbalances, and can help you utilize lifestyle changes to reach your health goals better than using your physician alone.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Thyroid Surgery
It will take your body a few weeks to recover after your thyroid is surgically removed . During this time you should avoid a few things, including:
- Submerging your incision under water.
- Lifting an object thats heavier than 15 pounds.
- Doing more than light exercise.
This generally lasts for about two weeks. After that, you can return to your normal activities.
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
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Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer
About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.9
Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:10
- Are between the ages of 25 and 65
- Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
- Have a history of goiter
- Have a family history of thyroid cancer
Do You Have Problems Converting Storage Forms Of Thyroid Hormone Into The Active Form
If you have adequate T4, yet your body isnt converting it to the active form T3, you will not feel well. A functional medicine evaluation looks into the different reasons T4 to T3 conversion is not happening. Many conditions can interfere with this conversion process.
The enzyme largely responsible for thyroid hormone conversion is called 5deodinase enzyme. It comes in three forms: D1, D2 and D3.
D1 converts inactive T4 to T3 throughout the body and can be suppressed in response to the following conditions:
» beef or chicken liver 70 mcg» trout 5.4 mcg» oysters, caviar, mussels, crab, sardines» 1 large egg .6 mcg
Iodine: 200 micrograms a day» 1 teaspoon of sea vegetables such » 2/3 of a teaspoon of iodized salt» 6 ounces of ocean white fish » 15 ounces of shrimp» 10 oysters» 5 large or 10 small eggs
Magnesium: Due to depleted magnesium stores in our soil, it is difficult to rely on food sources to adequately supply us with the optimal amount of magnesium. Choose a high quality magnesium supplement minimally 200mg daily up to 800mg a day. Watch out for increased bowel movements or diarrhea.
Iron: You should know whether or not you are iron-deficient based on blood work prior to consuming a lot of iron. It is safe to consider including iron-rich foods in your diet, such as beef or chicken liver, oysters and clams. Plant sources of iron are not as well absorbed as heme iron from animal forms.
Vitamin C rich foods:
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Estrogen Dominance And Hypothyroidism
If you want to fully understand the link between estrogen dominance and hypothyroidism, then youll need to understand the individual elements first!
What Is Estrogen Dominance?
Often known as the Female Hormone, estrogen is essential in the regulation and control of the female body. It effects everything from our menstrual cycle and fertility to our memory and skin, and the levels of estrogen in our system fluctuates over time until it begins to decrease during peri-menopause and is eventually halted once menopause hits.
Estrogen dominance is when there is too much estrogen in your system, however this doesnt necessarily mean your estrogen levels are too high. It could mean that your progesterone levels are too low and therefore the balance of these hormones becomes out of whack. Progesterone and estrogen regulate one another and therefore if your progesterone levels are too low then you will be estrogen dominant, even if your estrogen levels arent outside the normal limits.
Some of the key symptoms of estrogen dominance include:
- Weight gain, especially around the hips, tummy and thighs
- Polycystic Ovaries
What is Hypothyroidism?
Thyroid is a hormone which is produced by your thyroid glands, it regulates your bodys metabolism, energy levels and your sensitivity to other hormones including estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. There are two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine .
How Does Estrogen Dominance Lead To Hypothyroidism?
Diagnosing And Treating Thyroid Disorders
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are generally easy to diagnose using a simple blood test to measure the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood.
There are several different treatment options for patients suffering from either condition, including hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or drugs to limit thyroid function for hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism also can be permanently corrected by surgically removing all, or part, of the gland.
While both conditions can usually be treated successfully, its rarely a one-size-fits-all equation.
Hyperthyroidism tends to be easier to treat because you can simply remove the gland, Nakhle said. However, after doing so, the patient will need to use drugs to replace the thyroid hormones, which are the same drugs used for people with hypothyroidism. The hormone replacement drugs are successful about 90 percent of the time, but occasionally there are patients who dont respond well to any of the options.
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