Thyroid problems have become an epidemic in our county. Some thyroid symptoms are typical and lead many to the doctor’s office. These are some of the more common issues related to thyroid disease: Weight gain, fatigue, Hair loss, heart pounding, cold hands/feet. But there are some more uncommon or not as well known symptoms you may be experiencing that can also be related to thyroid disease such as:
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Disorder
- Brain Fog
- Irregular mensural cycles
The trick is to find out exactly what is causing your thyroid to dysfunction in the first place. The medical gold standard test is the TSH but the standard medical range is a very broad range, .40-4.50 so many times you will go to the MD with the idea that something may be in fact wrong with your thyroid but it is a whole other issue of getting them to agree.
At Atlanta Integrative Wellness Centers we look at blood results on a functional level. Functional ranges are much shorter than Standard so we are able to see dysfunction before it turns into a diagnosis or require a pharmaceutical intervention. The function range for TSH is 1.30-3.50, do you see the difference??
Now the next challenge in fixing your thyroid is to find out exactly what is going to causes your thyroid to malfunction. It is not hard to fix your thyroid, it is just about knowing all the information so that all pieces can come together to get your thyroid healthy again. You will need to get a complete thyroid panel including anti-bodies. What a complete thyroid panel includes is:
- Free Thyroxine Index
- T3 uptake
- TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone)
- Thyroxine (total T4)
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO0 Abs
- Thyroglobin Ab
- Free T3
- Free T4
The first step to understand is understanding that the thyroid is more than an organ, it’s a complete system. You need a healthy brain, liver, adrenal glands and gut in order to have a healthy thyroid. Getting a complete thyroid panel will help you get an idea of all organs involved in the system.
The next thing is to know your iron level. Your thyroid problem may be as simple as an iron anemia issue, that when resolved you will have functioning thyroid once again.
You also need to know if you are methylating properly. Sounds confusing, I know, but it really isn’t. Take a look at your most recent blood work results and check your homocysteine levels. They should be under 7 umol/L. If they are over 7, it is quite possible your thyroid hormones can’t get into your cell
to activate your metabolism.
The next step is to know if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Vitamin D, A, B6, Magnesium and selenium are the major deficiencies associated with thyroid dysfunction.
The next thing to look for in your blood work is inflammation. If you have a chronic inflammatory situation going on, your thyroid hormones will be off. The measurement of inflammation on your blood work is called C-reactive protein or CRP. If that number is out of range, your thyroid could
produces all the necessary hormones but your cells won’t let them in.
This definitely may seem overwhelming or confusing but it really isn’t. You just want to be sure you have all necessary blood markers to be able to evaluate the whole system it is not just about the thyroid gland itself or one blood marker, TSH.
It is much more detailed than that, the one thing I also wanted to mention is autoimmunity. Your thyroids antibodies should be zero. There should be no autoimmunity going on in your body, if there is, things do get more complicated and you may need to get some professional help to sort through the issues.
Some basics steps you can start to improve your thyroid numbers are:
1) Lower your inflammation- the easiest way to do this is to stop eating chemicals and processed foods. Start reading all food labels.
2) Lower your blood sugar levels-When blood sugar is low your body will produce ketones. Ketones are very healing to the brain. Your pituitary secreted TSH and tells your thyroid to secrete T4. T4 is converted to T3 in your liver and gut. T3 goes into your cells and activates your metabolism which will make you feel great!
3)Balance your cortisol levels- When stress goes up, so does cortisol. Cortisol shuts off the pituatary, when the pituitary is not working properly it won’t secrete enough TSH. Without proper TSH, you can’t start the cascade of hormones needed for proper metabolism.
Life is stressful, I get it, for some it can’t get any less stressful so the important thing to do is support
your adrenal glands with an adrenal supplement. Be sure your adrenal glands are getting the proper
nourishment they require.
4) Fix your gut and support your liver- The final big piece of the thyroid puzzle is that body converts T4 into T3 in your gut and Liver. You need to be sure both of these organs are healthy in order to be sure that conversion happens. Blood tests can tell if your liver is healthy and blood and/or stool can reveal the health of your gut.
Talk to your doctor about running these tests so you can can discover if any healing is needed. If your doctor is not willing to do the necessary testing reach out to us and we will do them for you.