Do you have low energy? Is your skin dry? Do you have significant hair loss? Are your nails brittle? Are you often cold when others are not? Are you noticing unexplained changes in your weight? Are you just feeling off but are not quite sure why? These symptoms could be related to your thyroid.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped hormone-producing gland located near the base of the neck. It regulates vital metabolic processes throughout the body. When your thyroid is not working properly every system in your body can be affected.
A simple blood test will let you know if you have thyroid issues. Conventional doctors will often order a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test. A high TSH level indicates hypothyroidism whereas low-level of TSH may indicate a person is producing too much thyroid, a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
A Naturopathic Doctor, ND, realizes it is misleading to only order a TSH blood test. TSH results often return back to normal range, even though their thyroid hormones remain low. An ND will also order an extensive blood test, which includes T4 (binds proteins) and T3 (used to determine the severity of hypothyroidism). Thyroid functions should be monitored every 6-12 months.
Conventional doctors often prescribe a synthetic version of an inactive form of the thyroid, T4 (Synthroid, Levothyroxine, Levoxyl, Tirosint). This forces the body to convert the medication to T3, the active form of thyroid medication so it is usable for metabolism. People with hypothyroidism have difficulty converting the T3.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to look at many factors of your general health to determine the root cause of your health concerns. Along with the blood test for TSH, T4, and T3, NPs will look at immune disorders, digestive issues, vitamin deficiencies, blood-sugar levels, emotional imbalances, and circulation issues. They often will prescribe natural T3/T4 combination thyroid medications (WP Thyroid, Armour Thyroid or Nature-Thyroid).
Tips For Living With Hypothyroidism:
- Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day to Keep Your Energy Level Stable
- Eat Plenty of Vegetables, Fruits, Lean Protein and Healthy Fats
- Talk With Your Doctor Regarding Certain High-Fiber Foods and Supplements Can Affect Thyroid Medication Absorption
- Exercise – To Help Maintain Ideal Weight and Energy
- Reduce Emotional Stress
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