The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which regulates the metabolism of the entire body. There are many causes of thyroid malfunction. Nutrient deficiencies or excesses, autoimmune disorders, age and environmental toxin exposure can cause an overactive and/or an underactive thyroid.
Many women with mild to moderate symptoms suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism, even if their lab tests are within normal ranges. Here are some symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Dry skin, brittle nails
- Brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
- Severe fatigue, loss of energy
- Sleeping more than average
- Weight gain, difficulty losing weight
- Irregular periods
- PMS symptoms
- Production of breast milk
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulty tolerating cold
- Memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
- Difficulty swallowing
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
Symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to sex hormone imbalances, which your doctor at the Women’s Health and Healing Center will investigate if your lab work falls within normal ranges. If the doctor determines that your symptoms are due to hypothyroidism, there are many therapies, including herbal remedies, supplements, and diet and lifestyle changes that will help to restore your thyroid to normal function. You may also need to take thyroid hormone to help restore your natural levels.
If the thyroid gland is overactive due to excess synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can be due to diffuse toxic goiter (Graves disease), toxic multinodular goiter (Plummer disease), toxic adenoma and the thyrotoxic phase of subacute thyroiditis. Some of the symptoms of
- Increased perspiration
- Heat intolerance
- Weight loss despite increased appetite
- Reduction in menstrual flow or oligomenorrhea
There are several herbs, supplements and foods, which can help to normalize thyroid hormone production if your case is mild or you are experiencing subacute thyroiditis. Thyroid hormone supplementation and/or food allergen avoidance may be required to correct imbalances.
Please take note of the mental/emotional symptoms of thyroid disorders. One of the most detrimental mistakes that can be made is for a doctor to miss thyroid dysfunction and prescribe a psychotropic drug (such as an antidepressant) that can disrupt your neurotransmitter balance permanently. Make sure you get a second opinion before starting one of these addictive pharmaceutical drugs. Better yet, make sure thyroid hormone imbalance is not the cause of your distress before you consider other treatment.
Dr. Hamilton has extensive postdoctoral training in detecting and treating thyroid disorders. At the Women’s Health and Healing Center, a thorough intake and evaluation is always done to evaluate your unique situation. You can rest assured you will be given the most individualized treatment available.