Have you noticed your hair is thinning or coming out in chunks? Are you gaining or losing weight with no reason? Are you sensitive to cold temperatures? Are you always tired despite getting a full nights sleep? Do you have heavy painful periods? Do you find yourself getting anxious or having panic attacks? Is your skin dry and flakey? Have you been diagnosed with a thyroid condition including hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, hyperthyroidism or Graves disease.
Why is the thyroid important?
The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland located at the front of the neck below the voice box. Its role, when functioning properly, is to uptake iodine from the diet to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones are then transported throughout the body to be utilised by all cells and tissues.
Triiodothyronine or T3 is the active thyroid hormone used by these cells and tissues and is responsible for regulating growth, body temperature, energy production, and metabolic and reproductive function.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to produce thyroid hormones. When the thyroid produces insufficient thyroid hormone this is called hypothyroidism. When to much hormone is produced, this is called hyperthyroidism. When there is immune involvement then low thyroid function is known as Hashimoto’s and overactive is Graves disease.
Iodine deficiency is the most common world wide cause of thyroid disorders with 50% of children and pregnant women in Australia shown to be iodine deficient. Iodine was once part of bread fortification, sterilisation of dairy farming and an addition to table salt. However these days iodine has been replaced with chemicals and table salt has lost popularity.
The exact cause of autoimmune thyroid disease is not known, however there is research to suggest that viral infection, nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxin exposures and genetics all play a role.
Whats interesting is that thyroid conditions are more likely to occur in women than men and often occur at stages of hormonal change such as the onset of puberty, during or post pregnancy and peri menopause.
Signs the thyroid is not performing as it should include:
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
Digestive symptoms such as IBS, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhoea
Poor appetite or never feeling satiated
Dry, rough skin
Anxiety and/or depression
Swelling of the eyes and/or face
slow thinking and mental activity
Irregular or heavy periods
How can naturopathy help?
Naturopathic support for thyroid conditions is centred on treating the whole person. Its about ensuring digestion is working optimally, avoiding trigger foods and optimising nutrition, reducing stress, addressing nutrient deficiencies, removing environmental toxins, and supporting any additional health conditions.
Melissa will take the time to listen to you and gain a full understanding of what your experiencing. She may also request you get a blood test performed through your GP or bring existing blood test results to your appointment. From here she will work with you to formulate a care plan which may include nutrition advice, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation and lifestyle and environmental changes.
If you suspect you may have a thyroid condition or would like assistance in managing your condition book an appointment by calling 0400 770 322 or Book Online.