Tag Archives: thyroid

Immune System & Thyroid: Are They at War?

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But how do the immune system cells actually start destroying the body they were designed to protect? It happens when some people don’t make enough T-suppressor cells, so the immune system’s attack goes on and on. Some people make too much interleukin 2(IL-2); then, an overabundance of natural killer and cytotoxic T-cells are deployed, putting healthy tissue at risk. There are also people who can make too much interleukin 4 (IL-4); then , an overabundance of B-cells looking for intruders to tag may accidentally mark healthy tissue, like the thyroid. The Immune System and Your Underactive Thyroid One of the common causes of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is autoimmune thyroiditis. With autoimmune thyroiditis, you make antibodies that attach to your own thyroid gland, which affect the gland’s function. The thyroid gland is then not able to make enough thyroxine and hypothyroidism gradually develops. Antibodies are a sign of some […]

Heart Disease: How Hypo- and Hyperthyroidism Could Increase Your Risk

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According to the World Heart Federation, heart disease is the number one killer of women around the world, with more than 8.6 million lives taken every year. This represents one-third of all deaths, and cardiovascular disease kills more women than cancer, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. The Whole Heart Federation states: “Despite progresses in the past years, women are still discriminated against when it comes to the management and treatment of cardiovascular disease. They are more likely than men to be under-diagnosed and under-treated, mostly because the presentation, progression and outcomes of the disease are different and less understood in women than in men.” In a Dutch study called “The Rotterdam Study,” it was found that older women with subclinical hypothyroidism were almost twice as likely as women without this condition to have blockages in the aorta. They were also twice as likely to have had heart attacks. Having autoimmune hypothyroidism increased the risk even further. […]

How Your (Hypo)Thyroid(ism) Impacts Your Metabolism

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Gastrointestinal Function Chronic constipation is a common complaint of people with an underactive thyroid gland. Poor thyroid function slows down the amount of time it takes for food to move through the intestines. This increases the potential of gut infections from harmful bacteria and yeast, leading to inflammation, malabsorption, and increased risk of developing food intolerances. The production of gastric acid depends on the hormone gastrin, which diminishes with hypothyroidism. This can cause digestive complaints like bloating, heartburn, gas, and infections. In people with hypothyroidism and low stomach acid, protein deficiency may occur. Thyroid hormones strongly influence the tight junctions in the stomach and small intestine, which form the impermeable barrier of the gut. “Leaky gut” (increased intestinal permeability) is a major contributor to thyroid autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Studies showed that T3 and T4 thyroid hormones protect gut mucosal lining from stress induced ulcer formation. Inflammation in the gut […]

Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism: Types of Thyroid Diseases

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While addressing a thyroid dysfunction, it’s essential to consider the interconnected web of other imbalances, toxicities, and nutritional deficiencies that are always at play. Your thyroid gland is like the body’s energy factory. Every cell in the body requires thyroid hormones. When it’s operating effectively, you feel energetic, healthy, and in control. But it takes the right amount of thyroid hormones, in a careful balance, for the body to function properly. Too little thyroid hormone, and the body slows down. Too much thyroid hormone, and everything speeds up. When talking about thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid diseases, most people only think of hypothyroidism, but in reality there are many more thyroid conditions that can arise. Non-Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism  It’s estimated that between 3 and 10 million people actually suffer from an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is overactive and produces too much of one or both […]

What You Need to Know About The 4 “T”s to Thyroid Testing

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What is happening here? Many doctors rely only on TSH marker to diagnose and manage thyroid disease; however, this is just one of the four needed markers to establish a correct interpretation and analysis of your thyroid status. Moreover, many doctors use the lab ranges (referred to as “pathological” or disease ranges) that come with the test results, instead of functional ranges, which have been carefully researched and formulated as parameters of good thyroid health. The lab ranges are simply the averages of all the people who have had blood work analyzed by that lab in the last year. They are so called “normal” or “healthy” places to be but are actually statistical averages. Different labs can and do have different reference ranges. It is common to have a test result come back “normal” from one lab and “out of range” for another lab. In truth, if your lab values […]

5 Tips to Thrive with Your Thyroid in 2017

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Why is it that when having a thyroid dysfunction, one might feel so drained and unwell all throughout the body? Because the thyroid controls the rate of energy production, maintains body temperature, regulates body weight, menstrual cycles, muscle strength, heart rate, breathing, and affects brain chemistry profoundly, influencing mood and emotions. No wonder that any dysfunctions in its activity will be intensely felt throughout the body! Regard for Healthy Food Food IS the best medicine. The way our food is grown and consumed should be based on respect, both for the food and our body. It is estimated that today only 10% of all American adults consume enough healthy foods for their diet to qualify as “good,” according to researchers at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information today that is accessible and meant to help you find out what diet is […]

Another Reason to Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Hashimoto’s Disease

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We’ve talked about new research that shows that artificial sweeteners do not help with weight loss. In fact, they actually contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. We also pointed out the link between diet sodas — which use artificial sweeteners — and the link to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Now, a new study has given us another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners: Hashimoto’s disease.   Mary Shomon has posted about the new study, which showed a correlation between artificial sweeteners and elevated TSH levels in Hashimoto’s patients. In comparison to antibody-negative people without Hashimoto’s disease, the antibody-positive patients were also far more likely to be using artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. 

Why Levothyroxine — i.e. Synthroid — Treatment Isn’t Working for You

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Conventional medicine believes that if you have an underactive, chemically ablated or surgically-removed thyroid gland, that all you need is levothyroxine – the synthetic form of the T4 hormone. Levothyroxine is also known by its brand names: Synthroid, Levoxyl, Eltroxin, Tirosint, and Levothroid, among others. T4 is the inactive thyroid hormone and must be converted into the active thyroid hormone T3 – triiodothyronine — in order to deliver oxygen and energy to cells, and resolve hypothyroidism. The conventional belief is that the levothyroxine will adequately and effectively convert in the body to T3. As a result, millions of people who are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or who are hypothyroid after thyroid surgery or Radioactive Iodine (RAI) treatment, are given a prescription for generic or brand name levothyroxine and sent on their way. Even with levothyroxine treatment, however, many of these patients, and you may be among them, continue to experience hypothyroidism […]

5 Things You Should Do Right Now to Conquer Your Thyroid Issues

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1. Understand the Lab Tests for Thyroid Disease Some doctors only use the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test to diagnose and manage thyroid disease, and tell patients that their results are “normal” or “abnormal” — nothing more. Integrative physicians take it much further — often including Free T4, Free T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO), Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins (TSI), Reverse T3. If you don’t know what these tests measure, and what is “normal,” “abnormal” — or better yet “optimal” — for each of these tests, it’s time to do some homework. You can’t ask for tests that you don’t know about, and you can’t negotiate for optimal treatment if you don’t know what your results mean. Need to learn more? Read Challenges in Thyroid Hormone Therapy: Why Is It So Complicated? 2. Start Keeping Copies of All Your Lab Tests It’s your right — and frankly, smart — to ask for […]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Thyroid Symptom

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Similarly, many carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers aren’t aware that it can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid, and that the symptoms may resolve with proper treatment. What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The median nerve goes through a tunnel near the wrist bone (the carpal tunnel), allowing for sensation in the fingers. When there is pressure, swelling or irritation of the median nerve, or inflammation is causing pressure to the area, you can experience pain, tingling, burning, numbness and weakness in the thumb, index finger, middle fingers, wrist, and forearm, as well as decreased grip strength. Some cases of carpal tunnel syndrome may be due to repetitive strain, but there are also a variety of health conditions — including hypothyroidism – that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically diagnosed by a hands-on examination to rule out other conditions, as well as clinical signs of the condition, […]

No Thyroid Gland: What Next?

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How Someone Ends Up Without a Thyroid There are several ways that someone can end up without a thyroid gland. First, you can be born without a gland, or with a malformed or non-functional gland. This is called “congenital hypothyroidism.” When it’s found, newborns are started on thyroid hormone replacement, to avoid the signs and symptoms of this condition, which can include failure to grow, lethargy, developmental delays, and even mental impairment. Typically, in the United states, mandatory “heel stick” blood tests conducted at birth measure for thyroid hormone, in order to detect this condition, and allow treatment to begin right away. More information on congenital hypothyroidism: EMedicine Overview of Congenital Hypothyroidism About.com Overview of Congenital Hypothyroidism Second, you don’t have a thyroid if your gland has been surgically removed. In the United States, surgery to remove the thyroid gland, called a thyroidectomy, is most commonly performed on many patients […]

7 Signs That You Need a New Doctor

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To borrow the metaphor, you may have to kiss a few frogs along the way before you find that prince — or princess — or a practitioner. But in some cases, it becomes clear that this is not a working relationship, and it’s time to move on. Here are seven signs that you definitely need a new doctor. 1. Your Doctor Questions Whether Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Adrenal Insufficiency Are “Real” Diagnoses If you get an inkling that your doctor lumps Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — as well as adrenal insufficiency — into the category of psychosomatic, somatoform illnesses, or suggests that they are somehow not real, “made-up,” “trendy,” or in your head, it’s a clear warning that you need a new doctor. Move on to a more knowledgeable practitioner who is up on the latest research and findings about these conditions. 2. Your Doctor Bristles at the Word “Bioidentical” […]