Are You Low Thyroid?
Everyone thought she was crazy. Her emotions are erratic, she’s extremely anxious about her health all the time, her energy is always low, and she has digestive problems. Most of her doctors think there isn’t anything wrong with her because all her tests are “normal.” In actual fact, she has an autoimmune thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s.
These are just a few of the symptoms that might indicate a low thyroid condition. Others include, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin and hair, poor sleep, migraines, low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), low immune function, nervousness, allergies, mental sluggishness, PMS, fibrocystic breast disease, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people with low thyroid are actually underweight if their blood sugar is unbalanced.
If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause anemia, low body temperature, and heart failure. A life-threatening condition known as myxedema coma may ensue in which respiration slows, seizures occur, and blood flow to the brain decreases. Exposure to cold, infections, tranquilizing drugs, and trauma can trigger myxedema coma. One in 10 people has a thyroid condition that is undiagnosed and most of them are women.
The thyroid is regulated by the pituitary gland, which releases a hormone called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which in turn stimulates the thyroid to make T3 and T4, the two forms of thyroid hormone.
T4 needs to have one iodine molecule removed in order to become active as T3. There are 10 steps in the process of producing an active healthy thyroid. All of these things can be measured to ascertain if the thyroid is doing its job. Most doctors measure only the TSH. If it is low, then you have too much thyroid and if its high, you need more thyroid hormone. If it is in the “normal” range, something else is wrong. But many people have something going wrong in another step of the process of hormone production, if you only measure the TSH, you won’t know that’s the problem.
In conventional medicine, most people with hypothyroidism are treated with a drug called levothyroid, or T4. Another drug, made from dried pork thyroid is called Armour thyroid – it has both T3 and T4 and is more effective for some people because it is more like the body’s natural thyroid. Many doctors don’t like to prescribe Armour because they feel that the levels are more difficult to regulate. Armour thyroid is a controlled dose of thyroid standardized in the laboratory before its put out in the world. Each person is different in her response to thyroid medication. Some do better with Armour, some do better with synthetic.
People with Hashimotos will probably not feel better taking thyroid medication alone. The autoimmune disease can affect their whole body. There are 5 other areas to pay close attention to. Iodine will cause more inflammation of the thyroid and you should avoid all iodine supplements. Gluten sensitivity and thyroid disease are closely connected. It seems that gluten destroys the thyroid in autoimmune disease. Vitamin D can help improve your levels of functioning thyroid. It’s really important to pay attention to your blood sugar and make sure that you eat properly. Some people with Hashimoto’s don’t do well with immune support supplements. You can test this by doing an immune challenge and then take just the right supplements to support your immune system.
Other thyroid imbalances may not appear as obviously as Hashimoto’s disease but cause just as many problems. A great book to help you understand it better is called: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When my Lab Tests are Normal? By Datis Karrazhian DC. Dr Karrazhian has reviewed thousands of research papers and put all the information together in a great way.
If you only do one thing differently once you are diagnosed with thyroid disease, cut out gluten and see how it affects your whole body.