Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland no longer produces a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones, known asthyroxine and triiodothyronine. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck below the larynx. It makes up part of the endocrine system which produces and stores hormones and releases them into the bloodstream. The thyroid gland controls the way our body uses energy. This gland affects nearly every organ in the body including brain development, metabolism, body temperature, breathing, muscle strength, weight, menstrual cycles, nervous system, and cholesterol levels. The body can easily slow down when there isn’t enough thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism is very common and affects approximately 2 out of every100 Canadians. Women are more likely than men to be affected with thyroid problems. A 2011 study concluded that about 8% of women over 50 and men over 65 in the UK suffer from an under-active thyroid and that as many as 100,000 of these people could benefit from treatment that they are currently not receiving.
Symptoms can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include weight gain, cold hands and feet or a cold intolerance, headaches, fatigue, constipation, depression, dry skin, a puffy face, decreased sweating, irregular menstrual periods, impaired fertility, muscle and joint pain, thinning hair, and slowed heartbeat. Thyroid problems can develop slowly; it is often that people do not notice the disease for many years. Lab testing does not support a diagnosis of hypothyroidism and many individuals may complain as having one or more of the above symptoms.
The latest treatment options vary for each person since each individual case is different. Therefore, thyroid replacement hormones are not always the best choice for treatment. Replacement hormones may be the most common treatment, but thyroid treatment should consist of a combination of diet, lifestyle, and specific supplementation to manage each thyroid condition. Choosing a thyroid treatment such as Levothyroxine, which is a thyroid replacement drug, may mask what is causing the thyroid problem in the first place. These drugs have been known to make sufferers feel better, but only for a short period of time.
Functional treatment is a safer and more natural approach that analyzes the root cause of the thyroid problem. Functional treatment uses clinically proven methods of nutritional support. It first makes assessments on blood sugar, identifies the pattern of the thyroid dysfunction, gastrointestinal infections, neurotransmitter imbalances, blood chemistry analysis, hormone imbalance, and diet and exercise. From the conclusions of these tests, this safe and functional approach to thyroid treatment then uses a combination of diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes to manage the thyroid condition.
Health blogger Kyle Tiddel writes about thyroid related problems and treatments, advising his readers on how to manage hypothyroidism. If you would like further information about this condition and the available treatments, Kyle highly recommends you read through the thyroid health lectures available online.