Low Thyroid Function (Hypothyroidism)
The Function of the ThyroidThe thyroid is a vital foundation to the hormonal control system of the body, while also providing the primary control of metabolism. In this stressful world there are many tendencies for thyroidal imbalance and thus metabolic abnormalities.
Thyroid disease effects eight times more women than men due to the tendency for estrogen to suppress thyroidal activity, and in turn thyroidal depression skews estrogen balance by reducing the liver clearance of conjugated hormones. Thus, we must pay attention closely to women and their tendency to thyroidal imbalance.
The thyroid hormones promote the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin utilization, energy, immune function, digestion, muscle and nerve activity, blood flow, reproduction, and sexuality. Estimates are that 13 million Americans suffer from thyroid disorder, but only half are aware of this condition.
Testing For Thyroid Function
Hypothyroid Symptom QuestionnaireQuestionnaire to see if you have the symptoms related to low thyroid function. It is free and can lead you in the right direction on if more testing should be done.
Click here do take the Hypothyroid Quick Check
Laboratory blood testing can reveal tendencies in the thyroid that are hyper or hypo. We must remember that those blood tests do not measure the thyroid hormone itself but measures the bound hormone to the transport protein attached to the hormone. One other problem with blood tests to measure thyroid function is that you miss many subclinical hypothyroidism where your symptoms indicate a problem but you are told that you are "normal". This can be a very frustrating position to be in.
Saliva testing of hormones does measure the free hormone levels and may be indicated in those cases where blood thyroid values are normal but low thyroid function symptoms are still present.
Barnes basal temperature test
The Barnes Basal Temperature Test
This test is named after the late Dr. Broda Barnes of Connecticut who created it. Dr. Barnes spent 44 years in both university labs and private practice studying hypothyroidism and published more than 100 scientific papers on this subject.
Iodine Patch Test
One simple, inexpensive way to check the health of your thyroid is to do an iodine skin patch test. The more you are deficient in iodine the quicker your body will absorb iodine from the skin.
Click here to learn about the Iodine Skin Patch Test
Causes of Hypothyroidism
There are a variety of causes of hypothyroidism. In order for the thyroid to produce one of its main hormones called thyroxin, it needs the amino acid tyrosine. Many people are deficient in amino acids; thus one of the reasons hypothyroidism is so prevalent.
Iodine is a mineral that is needed for the formation of all the forms of the thyroid hormones. Deficiency in iodine is epidemic with the use of chlorine, bromine and fluorine in our food and water and the low RDA level for iodine.
Candida overgrowth interferes with and mimics thyroxin in the body; thus wrecking havoc on proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid is also very sensitive to environmental toxins like endocrine disruptors, which impede normal functioning of the gland.
Sometimes the problem with the thyroid can lie in the adrenal glands. The thyroid and the adrenal glands have a very interconnected relationship. How well the thyroid is functioning is sometimes dependent on how well the adrenal glands are functioning. Problems in the pituitary or hypothalamus may also contribute to hypothyroidism.