One in eight women will develop thyroid disease in her lifetime and 15 Million women have a dysfunction, but don’t even know it. Men can have issues too, although at a less rate than women.
Environmental toxins are largely to blame for the rising rates of thyroid disease. Years ago, it was mostly iodine deficiency and this is why iodine was added to salt. Now we point the finger more often at the rising rates of hormone mimickers in our environment like BPA’s and their alternatives in plastics, cadmium, circadian light disrupters, pesticides, herbicides and more.
Untreated thyroid dysfunction can lead to feelings of:
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Brain fog, difficulty focusing thoughts
- Unexpected weight gain, and with it increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
- High LDL cholesterol – the thyroid plays an important role in fat metabolism
- Depression – as many as 15% of women on antidepressants have an undetected thyroid problem as the root cause of their depression –but their problem hasn’t been fully investigated. When I check thyroid I check more than the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). I look sub functioning gland by checkin TSH, T3, T4, thyroid antibodies and look for how well cortisol is clearing on the DUTCH hormone test.
- Anxiety – often because cortisol is not clearing
- Increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure due to the regulatory control of this hormone has on heart rate and rhythm.
Troubles in the digestive track and liver can lead to poor activation of the T4 to T3 hormones. When I work with patients I am always looking for clues in the skin, stress, and sleep and how well the micro biome functions. A good clue to micro biome function is the Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Doctors Data.
If you suspect you may have a thyroid issue, get it tested! I’ll look at results from a functional medicine perspective, which mean optimal performance, not disease levels of lab markers.
From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.