The Truth about your Thyroid and How to overcome Thyroid problems is a major topic when it comes to obtaining and maintaining Optimal Health Today. With one of the Major concerns as a Society – Is the Overwhelming issues of Weight Gain. The condition affecting these weight issues is known as Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
It is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. The other condition of improper functioning of the Thyroid gland is Hyperthyroidism, [overactive thyroid] this condition displays with unexplained weight loss. It is important to know the difference, the symptoms and the most effective ways of either preventing these problems or restoring healthy thyroid function.
What is the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of your neck, sometimes described as butterfly-shaped. Meanwhile, at the base of the brain sits the pituitary gland, which secretes the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH makes the thyroid produce and release thyroxine, the main thyroid hormone.
In one way or another, your thyroid is connected to the way every organ in your body functions. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two conditions that affect how an improperly working thyroid might cause symptoms throughout the body.
If you suspect you have a thyroid problem, it’s helpful to know the difference between hypothyroidism vs. hyperthyroidism symptoms so you can discuss what you’ve been experiencing with your healthcare professional. These symptoms are definitely not something to ignore and left untreated; a thyroid problem will become worse leading to further health problems.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is logically the opposite to an overactive thyroid that is Hyperthyroidism, with Hypothyroidism being an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately problems with your thyroid doesn’t always show up in tests. If you are experiencing many of the symptoms below the chances are that you have hypothyroidism.
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
Hypothyroidism – The Major Problem
Women are more susceptible to having hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body.
It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
The Major problem here is a lack of understanding of the as an underlying cause of this condition. The beginnings of this condition may commence with: constipation, hair loss, cold intolerance, mental slowing, depression, infertility – just to name a few.
So you have been and had all the tests but they still are showing up that there is nothing wrong with your Thyroid. How can this be so?
You may or may not be aware that your thyroid gland is the most important gland in your body.
Every area of your Body has a Thyroid Hormone Receptor
These hormones have a direct effect and are responsible for the functioning of your the brain, metabolism, liver, body temperature and energy. Not just the end result of energy whereby you feel lethargic, want to sleep all the time but for the internal energy of cellular function within your body and how effective this is in maintaining health and vitality to your organs and tissue.
The mainstream medical treatment is with bio-identical or synthetic hormones. However these solutions only serve short term relief, long term relief and restoration has to come about by changing our lifestyles and diet.
What happens for most people is that hypothyroidism causes their body to produce antibodies, these antibodies actually attack and destroy the thyroid gland.
This then goes on to cause the thyroid gland to not function therefore supplying the body with the necessary hormones. This then leads to Hashimoto’s disease, this is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in our country.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
When you produce too much thyroid hormone, you develop a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Some of the causes of hyperthyroidism include Grave’s disease, a swollen thyroid or thyroid nodules.
There are many signs and symptoms that are found to be caused by hyperthyroidism these include:
- Unintentional weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake stay the same or increase
- Rapid heartbeat (commonly more than 100 beats per minute)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart palpitations
- Increased appetite, sometimes there can be a decrease in appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
- Tremor (typically a fine trembling in your hands and fingers)
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goitre), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck. Not always apparent with Hyperthyroidism
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Fine, brittle hair
According to research, “Older adults are more likely to have either no signs or symptoms. There maybe subtle ones, such as an increased heart rate, heat intolerance and a tendency to become tired during ordinary activities.” If let go with no lifestyle or dietary changes, people with hyperthyroidism can lose bone density and develop an irregular heartbeat, increasing their risk for stroke
Why Your Thyroid Problem Isn’t Showing Up with Tests!
These are the five main tests that are incorporated:
1. Hypothyroidism caused by Pituitary Dysfunction
This is caused by elevated cortisol which is caused by an active infection, blood sugar imbalance, stress, hypoglycaemia or insulin resistance.
2. Under conversion of T4 to T3
T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. T4 must be converted to T3 so your body can utilize it. Thyroid hormone production of T4 accounts for about 90%.
3. Hypothyroidism Caused By Elevated TBG
Thyroid binding globulin (TBG) transports your thyroid hormone through your blood. High estrogen levels from birth control or estrogen replacement can elevate TBG. The only treatment is to remove excess estrogen from your body.
4. Hypothyroidism Cased From Decreased TBG
This is the reverse of above #3. This pattern shows TSH and T4 as normal. T3 will be high and T3 uptake and TBG will be low. Decreased TBG is caused from high testosterone, and in women it is connected to PCOS and insulin resistance.
5. Thyroid Resistance
Thyroid Resistance is when both the thyroid and pituitary glands function normally. But the hormones are not able to get into the cells needed. In this pattern all test results will appear normal.
This is just a partial list of the major thyroid disease patterns. There are others. If you have the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but with normal test results, it is very possible you have a different pattern. Unfortunately patterns that fail to show up on lab work, also do not respond well to standard thyroid hormone replacement. Unfortunately in conventional treatment doctors continue increasing medications because the medication is not working, because it is the wrong type of medication.
The Connection Between Gluten & Thyroid problems!
Several studies have shown a distinct relationship between thyroid disease and gluten intolerance. Basically, if you have thyroid issues , that what has been found that happens when you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid.
This reaction that your body has to gluten can last up to 6 months so it is vitally important that you completely remove gluten from your diet. Unfortunately if this is what is happening to your body then there is no such thing as cutting back on gluten in your diet, it will have to be eliminated completely..
The most accurate and easiest way to test for gluten intolerance is to remove all gluten from your diet for a minimum of 30 days, or three months if you can. Then after this period add gluten back to your diet. If then you begin suffering from symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy and other symptoms that you may have incurred return you will then know that you are gluten intolerant.
You may well find that whilst you are gluten intolerant you may also have issues with other grains that do not contain gluten such as oats, rice and corn. The protein structure of these foods is very similar to gluten grains. If you are someone who has celiac disease then you could also have an outbreak of these symptoms.
It is believed that gluten intolerance is the underlying cause of digestive disorders, while this may be so, there are issues that will confirm the thyroid problems such as weight control, skin problems, pain and inflammation. But may not be suffering from any of the typical digestive problems.
Importance of Diet
Diet plays a vital role in maintaining optimal health, so why not use your diet as your medicine to stay well. By having a diet that is at least 75% of your daily food intake is one of the first steps to optimal health and a life of energy plus vitality. The main core vegetables we are talking about are: (sweet potato, corn, carrot, beans, peas, broccoli, capsicum, onions, garlic, cauliflower, etc..) these you be a minimum of 75% of our daily intake of food: Healthy Protein from sweet potato, pumpkin, (there is also small amounts of protein in other vegetables as well) beans, lentils, nuts, lean meat, chicken and fish. Fruit needs to be two to three different types such as bananas, apples, pears, rockmelon, honeydew and berries etc.
Evidence Based Research Shows
Research is also now showing that -Organic Coconut oil is a great support for healthy thyroid function . Even though Coconut oil is a saturated oil. Unlike animal fats that are also known as saturated fats: or many other vegetable oils that can cause oxidative stress .Oxidative stress being the major cause of heart and circulatory disease. Coconut oil does not the reason being that it is stable and the body absorbs it in a different way. Unlike long-chain fatty acids such as the oils and animal fats mentioned Coconut oil requires enzyme dependent processes that are only available through the digestive process therefore it doesn’t enter the circulatory or vascular system. Oxidized and rancid oils (such as: Soybean, Corn, Canola, palm oil, Sunflower, Safflower and Soybean) these oils are best avoided. It is also important when you are purchasing products that these oils are not included. As they cause cell membrane damage that mostly affects the liver.
The connection of this with your Thyroid is that the conversion of T4 to T3 takes place in the liver. These being your thyroid helper cells keep your thyroid working effectively. It makes sense then replacing long-chain fatty acids, animal fats and dairy with medium-chain fatty acids contained in coconut oil can rebuild cell membranes and increase enzyme production that will promote the conversion of T4 to T3 hormones.