Thyroid Imbalances, Thyroid Disease, Natural Thyroid Cures
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I am always confronted with cases in which I have to ask myself the question, “what is the root of the cause of my patient’s illness?”. Often times, the answer may not seem as obvious as others, especially when it comes to addressing thyroid problems.
The thyroid is a gland that sits in the middle of the neck. It helps to regulate temperature, metabolism, mood and sex hormones. As small as it is, it is considered mighty and robust in its responsibilities, and when it is thrown out of balance, it is not a pleasure to deal with. Thyroid imbalances or diseases have become quite common ranging from hypothyroidism to hyperthyroidism.
In Hypothyroidism the gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone and metabolism slows down. Symptoms may include:
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Imbalances periods
- Brittle nails
- Muscle aches
- Loss of sex drive
- Being cold or chilled easily
- Puffiness around the eyes
In Hyperthyroidism the gland is overactive and producing too much thyroid hormone, causing the metabolism to increase. Symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Infrequent periods
- Easily overheating
- Change in vision
- Rapid heart beat
- Increased sweating
- Frequent or loss bowel movements
Sadly there are 2 other common imbalances of the thyroid gland which are autoimmune related. This means that the body produces antibodies against the thyroid. In Graves disease, the antibodies cause the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone thus leading to hyperthyroidism. In Hashimoto’s disease, the antibodies result in Hypothyroidism.
So what causes thyroid disease or imbalances?
- Estrogen therapy including birth control pills
- Elevated cortisol levels
- Caloric restriction
- Imbalances in selenium or iodine
- Family history
- Exposure to radiation
- Environmental toxins or chemicals
As humans we are exposed to toxins and chemicals on a daily basis which directly inhibit and alter proper thyroid function. Their main mechanism of action alters liver function of an enzyme that metabolizes thyroid hormone, thus resulting in an unnatural up or down regulation of the hormone. The main chemicals affecting thyroid function are found below. Please note that it is not necessary to be in direct contact with these toxins, as most are present in our foods and the air we breathe. And some are unfortunate to be in jobs in which they are present around them daily such as dry cleaners, mechanics, construction workers, etc:
- PCBs -fish from contaminated waters, farmed fish, dairy and meat products
- Dioxins- a byproduct involving chlorine from waste incineration, pesticide and chemical formation, paper bleaching (also found in meat, dairy and fish)
- Pesticides- in the air, food, water, and soil specifically maneb and macozeb which are sprayed on fruits
- PCPs- wood preservative
- BPA- found in the lining of metal food cans, dental sealants and plastic bottles
- Heavy metals- cadmium (cigarettes), mercury (fish, dental fillings), lead
- PFOA- stain and water resistant coating for carpet, furniture, fast-food containers, paints and foams
It is imperative to understand your symptoms and understanding what you are living with and around. As simple fatigue could be your thyroid’s way of asking for help. So, this brings us back to the question in which I am faced with daily, “what is the root of the cause?” If your thyroid is out of balance, what can we do to reduce your exposure to root of the cause? For questions and appointments to address your thyroid imbalances please contact Dr. Nirvana for an appointment.