There is a disturbing trend we observed concerning thyroid treatment. Most thyroid sufferers are treated exactly the same! This is the first problem because no two people react the same, especially with endocrine dysfunction.
Your thyroid gland is your gland of metabolism which means it is like the furnace in your house used to keep you warm. If your thyroid gland is functioning too low (hypothyroid) then you will be cold and all the systems of your body will work at a reduced state because the enzymes of the body work and 98.6 degrees F. If your body temperature is less than this because of low thyroid function then all systems that are run with those enzymes are working at less than 100%. The lower the body temperature the more you are negatively affecting all other systems, organs and glands. On the other hand if your thyroid gland is functioning too high (hyperthyroid, Graves, Hashimoto’s) then the body temperature can either be hot or alternating between hot and cold. In these thyroid conditions the body is working too hard; the immune system is overly stressed and this will lead to major health disorders.
So what you want is not too little and not too much but a balance thyroid gland with normal thyroid hormone secretion. It is important to know that the thyroid gland is affected by many other glands, organs and systems. Let us look at some of the major influences on thyroid function:
- Nervous system – The brain, brainstem, spinal cord, spinal nerves control every other organ, gland and system in the body. The hypothalamus in the brain controls pituitary gland function and this is the master hormonal gland that controls thyroid function.
- Immune system – When the immune system is overly active it is called autoimmune. Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease are autoimmune thyroid diseases. When the immune system is underactive it can cause thyroid cancer.
- Hormonal system – This is the brain via the hypothalamus directly controlling pituitary gland function and the pituitary gland directly controls most all hormonal gland secretions including the thyroid gland. The pituitary, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals all have to be in balance to heal the thyroid gland.
- Digestive System – If you do not digest your food completely it leads to malabsorption, deficiency along with toxic build up. All these negative affect thyroid gland function and your thyroid will never heal and be in optimum health if your digestive system is out of balance.
- Elimination System – This is the detoxification system which moves the chemicals and toxins out of the body. If this system is overburdened then the hormonal system is stressed and the thyroid gland will malfunction.
- Biochemical System – Unless the biochemical state is balanced with correct diet customized for one’s individual biochemistry, the thyroid gland cannot heal. The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone. If there is too much iodine in the body it may lead to a hyperthyroid condition or autoimmune thyroid. If there is too little iodine this can lead to hypothyroid or goiter. There is a perfect balance that keeps the body and the thyroid gland in health.
- Mental/Emotional State – If the mind and emotions are overly active this causes stress in the hormonal system and causes thyroid conditions to remain active. If the adrenal glands are overly secreting cortisol because of perceived stress, this will inhibit thyroid gland function.
How do you know if you have a thyroid disorder? There are three main thyroid disorders you should know about:
- Hypothyroidism (slow thyroid)
- Hyperthyroidism or Grave’s (overfunctioning thyroid)
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Do you feel fatigued, tired or sluggish?
- Do you have cold feet and/or hands?
- Do you require excessive amounts of sleep to function?
- Do you gain weight easily or have difficulty losing weight?
- Do you have difficult or infrequent bowel movements (constipation)?
- Are you depressed?
- Do you lack motivation?
- Do you suffer from morning headaches that wear off as the day progresses?
- Do you suffer from thinning hair or excessive hair falling out?
- Do you suffer from dryness of the skin and/or scalp?
- Do you suffer from mental sluggishness?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormones is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is logical that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. Millions of Americans have this more common medical condition…and it often goes undetected in the early stages. Were you told that your results were “normal” and yet you continue to have symptoms?
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism or Grave’s Disease
- Do you experience heart palpitations?
- Do you suffer from inward trembling?
- Do you have an increased pulse even at rest?
- Are you nervous and/or emotional?
- Do you suffer from insomnia?
- Do you experience night sweats?
- Do you have difficulty gaining weight?
Hyperthyroidism is the medical term to describe an over production of thyroid hormones. Although this condition is less common, it can precede a slowing down of the thyroid.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland (this is an auto-immune disorder). It is diagnosed by checking for thyroid antibodies (TPO & TGB) and gluten antibodies. Patients suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis will experience symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This means they will experience some or all of the above symptoms. Since the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism, it can affect all of the systems of the body such as the gut, liver, gall bladder, hormones, cholesterol, brain (via neurotransmitters), adrenal glands, breasts, ovaries, and heart.
The only way to completely heal your thyroid gland is to balance all systems of the body and then the body (and the thyroid gland) will do what God intended them to do- they will heal naturally.
What is the treatment for hashimotos? I seem to have the symptoms and 2 months ago I was increased from 50 to 75-my latest test 4 days ago was 4.4 and I am being increased to 88 levothyroxine. I have symptoms from hypothyroid and hyperthyroid,i.e.-tired,insomnia,constipation,night sweats,gain weight easily and difficulty losing,dry skin.
What is the treatment for hypothyroidism? I have the symptoms, and it makes sense. I talked to my mom, I have been 130 lbs and fit my entire life. Everyone in my family are little, even after 5 kids! I had my first son 3 years ago and gained 70lbs and I have been struggling ever since to loose the weight. I feel distgusting, and I try not to go to any family functions, as I am the only one this big. I hate it! I drink only water or green tea, and limit myself to almost no sugar at all. And I exercise about 3 times a week. I feel fatigued, no motivation to do anything, cold feet all the time, gain weight easily, depressed feeling, excessive amounts of hair falling out during showers..to the point i can pull out about 5 handfulls clumps of hair during 1 shower, and dry scalp/skin. HELP Should i see a doctor?
I have been experiencing agitation, night sweats and emotional hypersensitivity.
After taking ioderal- I had a blood test from my doctor which indicated that my iodine level was too high.
They stated that a normal range was between 52 mcg and 109 mcg, an my results were 249 mcg in the blood test.
Is this too high?
How can I flush out the ‘excess’ iodine in my blood?
Thank you very much for contacting us at THI to help you in your total health journey. Since most people that contact us have issues that are unique in their nature we prefer to answer most questions with a telephone consultation with one of our health associates or myself. If you call 630-871-0000 and talk to my office manager Linda, just tell her that you had emailed us a question on the website and Dr. Nemec responded by asking you to set up a phone consult with a health associate. Make sure you give Linda your phone number and the best times you can be reached on at least 3 different days. We will call you back usually within 3 days. We look forward to speaking with you. Until then, thank you for visiting our blog!
I AM NOT SURE WHAT THYROID DISORDER I HAVE,BUT I USED TO HAVE AN OVER ACTIVE THYROID,BUT SINCE I’M EXPERIENCING PERIMENOPAUSAL,AND HAVE TROUBLE KEEPING MY WEIGHT OFF,AND LOSS OF HAIR,I’M NOT SURE WHAT I HAVE?ANY SUGGESTIONS? I ALSO EXPERINCE HOT-FLASHES,AND I’M TAKING BLACK-COHASH TO REDUCE THE OUT-BREAKS.
I wsa told I have a cyst on left side of my thyroid 4 1/2 cm. I am rapidly gaining weight, I was always slim and very active. Now I have no engergy, tired, sleepy but don’t sleep. The ENT want to remove my thyroid. What do you think. I am on limited income, so really need to know the best thing to do.
I need to know if it is my thyroid. A doctor told me a few months ago that it (my thyroid felt to big). Since then, even though I walk up to 6 miles a week I keep putting on weight. Is there some kind of herbal remedy because I don’t have health insurance
I am currently taking levothroxine for hypothyroidism. I have been taking it for about 2 years and I’m only 31 years old. Thyroid disease runs in my family. Is there anything else I can do besides taking medication? I don’t want to take medication for the rest of my life for this problem. My doctor said that I will probably have to. Please help.
Is there is otc to supplement the prescription i am taking for under active thyroid that is causing numbness of the hand snad feet ?
I HEAR ALL OF YOU NOW, I REALLY DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE THESE SYSTOMS OR NOT, WHICH I THINK I DO. I ASK MY DOCTOR ABOUT IT ONCE & HE LOOKS AT ME LIKE I SPEACK ANOTHER LANGUAGE TO HIM, THEY HAVE DONE TESTS ON ME, BUT I’M PRETTY SURE IT WASN’T FOR THE THYROID PROBLEM. I HAVE THE SYMPTOM’S WITHOUT A DOUBT, BUT MY DOCTOR WONT CHECK IT OUT FOR ME, WHY NOT ?
I’m interested healing naturally. I have been diagnosed with hyperthyroid. I’m currently taking Propylthiouracil 50mg. I take 3morn, 2 afternoon, 2 evening to try and normalize it. I’m seeing a thyroid specialist for the last 5 yrs. I’ve had a bone scan which the results are begining of ostheoporisis in the spine. i was recommended to have the radioactive surgery. please advise. thanks
this isn’t going to beeasy as so many other forces were at play over the last 8 years.
Do to the physical symptoms I asked my MD to take some blood and find out what was going on. He did and called me to tell me that a thyroid problem had asserted itself. I have blood test every year at my order.
He has started me on 100 mcg of Levothyroxine and after 6 weeks took another blood test and increased it to 150 mcg. there have been positive benifits. I purchased some kelp and asked if I might supplement the Levothyroxine. He said no and I have followed his order. I am to see him in three weeks. I am constantly hubgry and losing weight. when my bowels improved I believe I dropped at least 10 lb of waste. They are still improving. My eyesight has improved as well as 2 or 3 other bodily functions mentioned in sysmtoms.
I have COPD and Chronic pain from an auto accident in 1980. Balancing meds is a crap shoot……any suggestions would be appreciated.
my thyroid came back 4.5 in sept 2011 and now its 9.5 ,but i cant take synthroid . are there anything natural i can do for my thyroids.and is this a dangerous level for thyroids?? thanks
Back in 2008 my TSH was 41.09 and last year in June it was 30.01 I think and my doctor was mad i refused the meds both times I have used iodine when I can get it and it helps when I have it and i take spices etc also get country water as I know city water is bad for me . I gained a lot of weight in 2008 but since last yr in June i have lst around 20 lbs . Other wise i kept my weight steady at a certain weight. I still wont take the meds as too many side effects and this problem seems to run in the family . Too bad insurace wont pay for iodine , etc and 150 mcg doesnt do the trick have to take at least 12.5 mg a day or more and this is why I am out of it right now as it is like 25 dollars a bottle of pills so any suggestions ?
Betsy C., you said you were recommended to have radioactive surgery. You don’t mean surgery, do you? Radioactive iodine is used to treat an overactive thyroid. It kills the thyroid, so it shrinks and can’t function normally. I had two radioactive iodine treatments in 1978, after taking Propylthiouracil for several months for Graves disease. My thyroid was still too overactive, so I had the radioactive iodine treatments. My thyroid is regulated now, and I take Levothyroxine.