Is Hypothyroidism Causing You Problems?
One of the most common (but often undiagnosed) causes of a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms is that of under active thyroid function, or hypothyroidism.
Dr. Broda Barnes, a brilliant intuitive physician and scientist, estimated that 40% of the adult population suffers from this condition.
This is more common with females and also the ageing process.
Hypothyroidism – A clinical picture
Some of the most common symptoms caused by hypothyroidism include poor concentration, mental confusion, memory disturbances, overweight or difficulty losing weight, cold hands and feet, menstrual problems, dry skin, thin hair and low energy levels.
Other symptoms include migraine headaches, hypertension, depression, hyperglycaemia, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, diabetes and infertility.
In his book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspecting Illness, Dr. Barnes described 47 symptoms that may be related to poor thyroid function.
Although many people exhibit symptoms of hypothyroidism, they usually don’t receive treatment for this condition if they have normal blood test readings.
Their physicians often tell them their symptoms are due to other causes or that their problem is all in their head, have you heard that before?
Standard blood tests check for TSH levels only and they don’t check for the active T3 and T4 hormones unless the TSH is not normal, leaving many people undiagnosed with sub-clinical hypothyroidism.
A Better Way
In the 1940’s, Dr. Barnes realised that the blood tests were usually inaccurate. Consequently, he developed a simple test to confirm the suspected low thyroid function using an ordinary thermometer.
He found that the normal underarm or oral temperatures upon waking in the morning (while still in bed) are around 36.8 degrees Celsius. He believed that a temperature below 36.4 indicated hypothyroidism and above 37.2 indicated hyperthyroidism.
Natural Treatment Options
There are a number of nutrients that are important for a healthy thyroid function that can often be low in people due to diet, lifestyle, stress and digestive function.
Some of these include the amino acid Tyrosine, minerals such as Zinc, Copper and Iodine and also B vitamins; these nutrients are important for converting the thyroid hormone T4 to the more active T3.
As well as the nutrients there are some excellent Ayurvedic and Chinese herbal supplements that can help improve thyroid function by improving the production of T4 and the conversion to T3 include Coleus Forskohlii, Guggul and Morinda Officinalis.
Treat the underlying cause
While herbal, mineral and vitamin supplements may help improve thyroid function it is important to find the underlying cause to get longterm results.
Some of the causes of hypothyroidism include adrenal, stress, digestive problems which can lead to leaky gut and autoimmune conditions.
Women also find that they have problems with their metabolism after pregnancy and the hormonal changes and increased demand for nutrients during pregnancy can be a trigger for thyroid problems
A naturopathic consultation can help you determine what vitamins, minerals and herbs that may be helpful to you to reach your full health potential, many people I find are taking supplements unnecessarily while missing out on other important nutrients.