What's in a Thyroid? - William Shakespeare

Functional Medicine

Okay William did not pen that familiar phrase, but it’s possible he knew someone with a thyroid problem and chances are you do as well. One in twelve people in the United States have problems with their thyroid 1 in 12...
What would a person experience if they had problems with their thyroid?  Below are listed the most common symptoms associated with thyroid issues.

Symptoms of Hypothyroid

Feeling sluggish or tired
Cold hands or feet
Need large amounts of sleep
Weight gain despite a low calorie diet
Difficulty with Bowel Movements
Lack of Motivation
Headaches in the morning
Mentally sluggish

Symptoms of Hyperthyroid

Can’t gain weight
Sweating at night
Inability to get to sleep
Feeling nervous
Inward Trembling
Heart palpitations

But Your Normal

What does it mean if you experience the above symptoms on a regular basis, but your thyroid labs are normal? Your doctor says you are healthy; do you consult the all-knowing Dr. Google? Five clicks later and you have Cancer, Fibromyalgia and three other diagnoses that you can’t pronounce. Scary isn’t it?
 
This article is meant to educate you on how your thyroid works, and what parts of the body it affects.

What is a Thyroid?

It is the organ located just below your Adams apple or if you’re a lady your Alison's Apple. The purpose of this organ is much like the gas pedal in your body. If your thyroid is under performing it is called Hypothyroidism. If your thyroid is over performing it is called Hyperthyroidism.

In the case of Hypothyroidism if your body is feeling lethargic you will release more thyroid hormone to combat feeling tired. Are you feeling mentally fatigued? The body releases more thyroid hormone! Are you constipated? More Thyroid hormone! Feeling Cold? More thyroid hormone! Getting the picture?

You, must be saying “the thyroid can’t be responsible for all of these things?! Can It? Yes, it can.
Every cell in your body has a receptor for a thyroid hormone, these hormones give your cells energy!

What are thyroid hormones?

These hormones (T3 and T4) are molecules that are essential for increasing your bodies metabolism. These Thyroid hormones will latch onto cells in the body and help in the need for energy production in the body.
 
There are many diagnoses that one can get when having a thyroid problem.
Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Hashimotos, Thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Thyroid Nodules, Thyroid Cancer, it’s enough to make someone dizzy!

So let us define each of them:

Hypothyroidism- the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone (T3 & T4)
Hashimotos- the thyroid is being attacked by its own immune system and can have symptom that mimic Hypothyroidism.
Thyroiditis- swelling of the thyroid can have symptoms mimicking Hypothyroidism
Hyperthyroidism- the thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone (T3 & T4)
Graves’ disease- the thyroid is being attacked by its own immune system and can have symptoms that mimic Hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid Nodules- Most commonly benign (non-cancerous) swelling of the thyroid. Can be cancerous.
Thyroid Cancer- Cancer cells found in your thyroid. Often mimicking symptoms of Hyperthyroidism.

Knowledge is not power, but knowing how your thyroid works can make things a lot less scary next time you see your doctor. By giving you the knowledge about your body to ask specific questions makes your health a lot more manageable for the future.



Fargo’s leading Functional Medicine Practice

Understanding basic medicine principals is a key component to premium physical and mental health. Twin Oaks Health Solutions has expertise in helping you understand what foods are best in promoting your wellness goals. Whether you’re looking to find answers about a complex medical issue or just want to optimize your health help is just a phone call away.

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