The thyroid gland is responsible for secreting the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. These hormones set the body’s internal thermometer and determine the rate of metabolism.
If the thyroid is unable to secrete enough thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism occurs. This means that the body’s set metabolic rate will decrease and symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, depression, cold intolerance, irregular or heavy menses, low libido, elevated cholesterol and poor memory may occur.
An imbalance of other hormones, such as Estrogen or stress hormones may negatively affect thyroid function.
An autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease is a very common cause of hypothyroidism that is often overlooked in the conventional medical system. Hashimoto’s may be related to inflammation from food allergies and dysbiosis, or environmental toxins.
Many patients also present with subclinical hypothyroidism, where they experience the signs and symptoms hypothyroidism, but their blood thyroid hormone levels are normal.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid secretes an excess of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include an increased heart rate, weight loss, excessive sweating, anxiety and agitation, fatigue, tremor and increased bowel movements. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Graves Disease.
\We offer a full thyroid hormone panel at Port Moody Health, which tests for TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone), T3, T4 and Anti-TPO antibodies (present in auto-immune hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s). In the conventional system, T3 and T4 will not be tested if TSH levels are normal but many people will have abnormal T3 and T4 levels despite normal blood levels of TSH.
Naturopathic treatment for thyroid disorders depends on the severity of the symptoms and can include dietary and lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplementation, botanical medicine or thyroid hormone replacement.