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Thyroid Health

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Shaped like a butterfly, your thyroid lies at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. This tiny gland affects many of the body’s systems and produces hormones that regulate your heartbeat, body temperature, digestion, growth and metabolic rate at which you burn the calories. Thyroid hormones also monitor fat metabolism and the nervous system. The thyroid gland interacts with other organs such as liver, GI tract, brain to help them produce their essential hormones. In addition, it constantly receives feedback from the hormonal chief – pituitary gland as well as adrenal and sex glands. Decreased thyroid activity or hypothyroidism can cause many symptoms.

 

Weight gain or inability to lose weight

Sluggish metabolism

Fluid retention

Depression 

Dry, brittle, and/or thinning hair

Feeling groggy in the morning, better at night

PMS, painful menstrual cramps  

Yellowish coloration on skin, esp. on palms 

Constipation

Slow pulse

Drooping, swollen eyes, puffy face in AM 

Cold hands & feet

Fatigue

Dry skin  

Low body temperature 

 Many respiratory infections 

Poor quality sleep

High cholesterol 

                                                                   

If you have some of these symptoms, you can test your thyroid function

You can test for low thyroid function by taking your basal body temperature (temperature first thing in the morning - before you get out of bed).

1 Get a basal body temperature digital thermometer within easy reach of your bed.

2.  Before you have moved at all, take thermometer and place under tongue - when thermometer indicates reading (some beep) record the temperature.  Do this for 3-5 days consecutively.

3.  For menstruating women this test is only accurate during the first 4-5 days of your cycle - otherwise, any time is fine.

5.  Normal temperature readings should be betweekn 97.8 to 98.2 degrees.  If your average temperature is less thatn 97.8, you may have an underactive thyroid.

As many as 13 million Americans have some deficits of thyroid hormones. If you are one of them, you have some options:

  1. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy using synthetic drugs which you will take for the rest of your life (and sometimes do not address the symptoms.)

  2.  Integrative approach which is focused on improving the function of your own gland and your own thyroid hormones. This includes:

These complementary approaches can also be used safely with medication treatment that is not fully addressing symptoms.

 

The World Health Organization lists over forty diseases that acupuncture can treat effectively - thyroid is on the list. There are several studies suggesting that acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can be very helpful in the treatment of Hypothyroidism. In Oriental medicine, hypothyroidism is classified as a deficiency syndrome of Qi, yin or yang and must be differentiated. Treatment can include long-term acupuncture and herbal medicine. Acupuncture tends to be more beneficial, in general, for alleviating some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as lethargy, depression and pain. Many times, acupuncture is done in conjunction with herbal remedies for the best results.

Metabolic Syndrome presents many of the same symptoms as hypothyroidism, and is often found to co-exist with it, and may play a role in contributing to its development. Insulin resistance is itself tied to poor nutrition, which impairs thyroid function. Women with hypothyroidism symptoms should also be evaluated for insulin resistance - Metabolic Syndrome.

Nutritional Consultation can be very helpful for people with low thyroid. Poor nutrition is probably the origin of many thyroid problems and proper nutrition is vital to reversing the problem, or at least as a preventive measure for further decline. Healthy thyroid function depends on a range of nutrients, especially selenium, folic acid, certain vitamins, tyrosine and iodine. Since most people cannot optimize levels of these nutrients through diet alone, the Nutritional Supplementation is vital. Of course, supplements should be used to complement, not substitute for, a balanced diet.

Stress in all its forms is another key culprit of thyroid dysfunction. Most of us experience a high degree of the most damaging kind — unremitting stress. It is essential for hypothyroid treatment to identify the stressors in your life and learn techniques and activities that can help you reduce your stress.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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