A Functional Medicine Approach to Thyroid Disorders
Your thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple on the front portion of your neck. The function of this gland is to produce thyroid hormone, which helps maintains a number of your bodily functions including the regulation of body energy, metabolism and the body’s utilization of other hormones. We have receptors cells in every cell in the body and with excessive or inadequate amounts of this hormone, it can affect every major organ in the body. As the thyroid gland is a master regulatory gland, controlling the growth and function of many different organs and tissues within the body, signs and symptoms of thyroid dysfunction may vary from person to person. Typical problems of the thyroid are much more commonly found in women than in men.
Causes - Hypothyrodism
Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid is a condition of the thyroid caused by an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid goitre.
A common cause of Hypothyroidism is Hashimotos thyroiditis. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the thyroid tissue and interferes with the thyroids ability to produce sufficient hormones. Other causes of Hypothyroidism are.
- Pituitary Dysfunction caused by high cortisol
- Under Conversion of T4 to T3
- Elevation of Thyroid-binding globulin (TBG)
- Low levels ofTBG caused by high testosterone
- Mast cell activation syndrome
- Inaccurate testing for hypothyroidisim.
Causes - Hyperthyroidism
The overproduction of hormones by the entire gland is called Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease and is the primary cause of hyperthyroidism. This cause of hyperthyroidism is responsible for approximately 75% of cases and there is often a genetic component to it. Lumps or nodules can also cause hyperthyroidism in the thyroid gland and when they grow, the thyroid secretions in the blood increase.
Another cause is excess amounts of iodine consumption. Iodine in salt helps produce thyroid hormones, and not regulating iodine intake can cause overactivity of the gland.
Other factors include
- Exposure to environmental pollutants and heavy metals (Mercury or lead poisoning)
- Misuse of Thyroid medication
- Inaccurate testing for hyperthyroidism
At the London Centre for Functional Medicine, our practitioners have an advanced understanding of thyroid conditions. We use labs that run comprehensive thyroid testing to pick up anything that may have been previously missed and not just standard TSH and T4 levels.
We also look at other underlying factors that will contribute to any imbalance causing thyroid dysfunction. This holistic approach is essential to restoring and maintaining your thyroid health. Thyroid issues can be caused by hormone imbalances, undiagnosed viral and bacterial infections, immune system issues, allergies or intolerances, environmental chemicals, stress and nutrient deficiencies.
Our treatment protocols custom fit thyroid treatment protocols to match each patient’s individual needs with the aim to rebalance your thyroid hormones and decrease symptoms associated with thyroid conditions.
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