Chronic overwhelm, fatigue, brain fog, hormone imbalances, stubborn weight, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, thinning hair, aching joints … sound familiar?
Having now been practising full-time in SE Saskatchewan for almost a year and a half, I have had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing patients. And something I am seeing a lot of is low thyroid function, aka hypothyroidism.
The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck, is probably one of the most important glands in our bodies. It regulates our weight, energy, digestion, mood, memory, body temperature, and cholesterol levels among other things.
However, it is often overlooked and misunderstood and people are often told their thyroid function is ‘fine’ when in fact it is not. Blood work is often misleading and can lead to years of suffering from hypothyroidism, which can impact all areas of your life.
There are many causes of hypothyroidism. Chronic stress, genetics, poor digestion, low nutrient intake, exposure to chemicals in our body care products as well as in our food and environment to name a few. There is also an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s disease that leads to low thyroid function.
Low thyroid function is poorly diagnosed by conventional medicine as the simple blood test does not capture the entire thyroid and it’s hormonal function, testing only one on of 6 thyroid markers. Naturopathic Doctors are able to requisition these additional tests in order to make an educated diagnosis.
Additionally, there are other signs and symptoms that help make an accurate diagnosis are chronically low oral body temperature, loss of hair and eyebrows, extremely dry skin, cracking heels and random hives just to name a few.
Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone, is the most common form of conventional treatment. However, if there are underlying nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances or immune dysfunctions it does not effectively treat the problem.
Naturopathic Doctors use various different forms of treatment for hypothyroidism:
- Ensuring adequate nutrient intake and absorption is essential since the thyroid needs iodine, selenium and adequate zinc to function properly.
- Supporting the digestive system and the often overlooked adrenal glands is crucial to a healthy thyroid.
- And finally, various forms of supplementation can drastically improve both one’s thyroid function and quality of life.
If this article resonates and has you thinking that some of your health concerns may be related to your thyroid then join me on Thursday, June 20th at 6:30 at Harmony Health Clinic in Windthorst where I will host a presentation on all things thyroid and addressing:
- What your thyroid is and how it can cause so many different symptoms
- The root causes of thyroid problems
- The best tests to assess your thyroid
- How to decide if you need medication and which are best for you
- Natural approaches that can help you get your health back