What organ is located in the front of your neck? Hint: it is shaped like a butterfly.
True or false: A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.
If you answered thyroid gland and true, you're right. You likely experience or know some of the roughly 20 million people in the United States who have some type of thyroid disorder.
The Cleveland Clinic lists two main types of thyroid disease: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can include:
Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
Having trouble sleeping.
Having an enlarged thyroid gland or a goiter.
Having muscle weakness and tremors.
Experiencing irregular menstrual periods or having your menstrual cycle stop.
Feeling sensitive to heat.
Having vision problems or eye irritation.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can include:
Feeling tired (fatigue).
Having frequent and heavy menstrual periods.
Having dry and coarse hair.
Having a hoarse voice.
Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.
Health care practitioners may order blood tests to check your thyroid function, including thyroid hormone (TSH), T4, T3, and thyroid antibody tests. Although both western medicine and integrative practitioners use a blood test, it is the assessment of those results that can lead to a divergent course of treatment. In our holistic perspective of a person, we look beyond the numbers. Sometimes a person whose numbers fall within a normal range feel anything but normal. We look to find ways for you to feel, if not your best, at least on the side approaching optimal.
Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levo-T, Synthroid, others). This oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, reversing the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Several treatments for hyperthyroidism exist. The best approach for you depends on your age, physical condition, the underlying cause of the hyperthyroidism, personal preference, and the severity of your disorder. Possible treatments listed by The Mayo Clinic include:
You have options
If you are being treated for a thyroid condition and just don't feel like yourself, let's talk. As integrative practitioners we have a stash of weapons in our arsenal that most western providers overlook such as natural thyroid extracts and support.
Helping you achieve your health and wellness goals is why we jump out of bed in the morning.