Is Your Thyroid Thriving? - Part 1
By Jacobus Hollewijn
This article was originally published in SW Montana’s Bi-monthly newspaper called Natural Life News and Directory in the 2008 May/June edition.
It has been edited on February 9, 2022.
So, why is the thyroid under-producing? There are a myriad of reasons, including stress, iodine deficiency, pregnancy, radiation treatments, inactivity, as well as an imbalance between different hormones in the body.
One of the most confusing and undiagnosed disorders many people, especially women, are dealing with is hypothyroidism i.e. an under-active thyroid. This endocrine gland is located at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple and in front of the voice box. The thyroid has the important function of secreting hormones that contain two substances (T3 and T4) that control metabolic activity in every cell of the body. This means the rate at which our body’s tissues will use up oxygen and produce waste materials.
The thyroid is also seen as the body’s thermostat, keeping the body’s temperature at the right level. This is essential because so many bodily functions only happen optimally at a certain temperature. When your thyroid is not thriving you just won’t feel your chipper self.
There are different connecting links that often cause debilitating symptoms, creating daily misery for those suffering from this disorder.
SYMPTOMS AND THEIR POSSIBLE CAUSES
Symptoms include fatigue, apathy, depression, anxiety, weight gain, sleep disorders, constipation, high cholesterol, carpel tunnel syndrome, sensitivity to heat and cold, goiter, bad circulation to the body’s extremities, low libido, cold hands and feet, PMS-related symptoms, insomnia, recurring infections, hoarse voice, hair loss, dry hair, loss of the outer part of one’s eyebrows, brittle nails, and lowered immunity.
If you have any one or a combination of these symptoms you may want to check on something else as well: do you have a low body temperature when you wake-up in the morning? This may sound strange, because most of us are cozy under our blankets. However, try the following test: put a body-thermometer on your nightstand, when you go to sleep. As soon as you wake up, and before you move or talk to anyone, grab that thermometer and take your temperature (preferably the one that goes under your tongue.) Do this for two-five mornings in a row, and write down the numbers. If you are lower that 97.7°F, that could very well be an indication of a low thyroid.
So, why is the thyroid under-producing? There are a myriad of reasons, including stress, iodine deficiency, pregnancy, radiation treatments, inactivity, as well as an imbalance between different hormones in the body. These hormones are estrogen and progesterone (i.e. estrogen dominance, better called progesterone deficiency), and/or an imbalance between the hormones DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and cortisol (hydrocortisone.) In this case we talk more about a cortisol dominance. Both DHEA and cortisol are produced in the adrenal cortex, the outer layer of your adrenal glands.
Another root cause of the under-active thyroid could be possible problems of the pituitary gland in the brain, which produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), needed to help the thyroid produce its active hormone. This hormone is composed of two different substances T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). Of these two, thyroxine is the most prevalent. An excess of thyroid hormone speeds up our metabolism, which is called hyperthyroidism. A deficiency of thyroid hormone slows down our metabolism, which is called hypothyroidism. Because the body is always striving for balance, the pituitary gland will produce more TSH when the thyroid is under-productive; and it will produce less TSH when the thyroid is over-productive. Newer research has stirred a controversy in how to read these TSH levels in a comprehensive blood test. Most MD’s will say that
levels are normal between 0.5 - 4.95 ng, whereas ND’s will say that numbers below 0.3 and above 2.0 are abnormal. My hunch is that when your TSH is above 2.0, chances are high you are dealing with hypothyroid symptoms, as mentioned above.
Next time I’ll dig a little deeper into female symptoms related to estrogen dominance, and another root cause problem: Hashimoto’s disorder.
* Jacobus is not a Doctor and does not intent to diagnose, treat or cure any disorder. The information is based on self-study, interviewing experts on a weekly 3-hour Saturday morning radio show he hosted between 2000-2019; and on weekly 1-minute informational radio-ads he has written since 1996. If in doubt please visit a professional of your own choice and/or educate yourself with available published materials.
The purpose of this website is to inform, educate, and entertain, not to diagnose, treat, or cure. Jacobus is not a licensed physician. If you intend to utilize any of the information contained in the articles and/or podcasts, it is recommend you see a licensed, competent medical provider of your choice, or find additional information from other reputable sources. I cannot control the opinions of my guests. I will double-check my facts in good faith, but may not be able to fully verify every statement made by any third party. If you utilize any information from this Website, you do so at your own risk.