Thyroid hormone is instrumental in controlling temperature regulation and metabolic rate. There are both overt and subtle dysfunctions of the thyroid gland that all need attention. Fatigue is the number two complaint to all healthcare providers. Some of these issues may be related to the thyroid gland and under diagnosis and under treatment of these conditions. As our body becomes more broken down over time, our bodies can even convert T4 into an inactive metabolite, Reverse T3, instead of the most active metabolite T3 as a way to conserve energy. This not only requires reversal of the metabolic breakdown of the body, but a "reset" of the thyroid as described by Wilson as the Wilson's T3 protocol for treatment of "Wilson's Temperature Syndrome."

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland fails to produce enough of a hormone called the thyroid hormone or when your body fails to use thyroid hormone efficiently. There are several different types of hypothyroidism. Perhaps 11 million Americans have hypothyroidism, although only half know it. The disease affects both sexes and all ages. However, middle-aged women are most vulnerable. If you have just developed the disease, you will most likely have muscle aches and often feel cold. Left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause serious health complications.

Signs and Symptoms:

The various forms of hypothyroidism have different causes. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, antibodies in the blood mistakenly attack the thyroid gland and start to destroy it. Post-therapeutic hypothyroidism occurs when treatment for hyperthyroidism leaves the thyroid unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. And hypothyroidism with goiter results when your diet lacks iodine. The addition of iodine to salt in the U.S. has made this rare.

Under the concepts of functional medicine, assessment is oriented toward determining what is impeding your body's ability to function normally. While some of the conventional medical approaches may help in this determination, they may not necessarily apply to a functional approach. Antibodies against the thyroid may be related to Leaky Gut Syndrome, in which proteins that leak across the gut lining cause an autoimmune response. Since the thyroid hormone system interacts with the other hormone systems of the body, the best approach for the health of the entire body needs to be addressed.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland, located at the front of your neck, produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism has three forms that share several symptoms. Hyperthyroidism usually happens between the ages of 20 and 40. It often starts after times of extreme stress or during pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms:

What Causes It?

Researchers suspect that Graves' disease (one form of hyperthyroidism) stems from an antibody that mistakenly stimulates the thyroid to produce too much hormone. Toxic nodular goiter is caused by a benign tumor in nodules that make up the thyroid gland. Secondary hyperthyroidism results when a gland called the pituitary overrides the thyroid's normal instructions, and orders it to make too much thyroid hormone.

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