What is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease is one of the silent epidemics of our time. The shocking fact is that nearly half of all women and a quarter of all men in the U.S. will die with evidence of an inflamed thyroid.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck just below the Adam's apple. The thyroid produces two main hormones called T3 and T4 which are transported in the blood to all parts of the body. These hormones control the rate of many activities in your body including how fast calories are burned and how fast or slow a person’s heart rate is. Combined, these activities are often referred to as the metabolism. When thyroid disease occurs and the thyroid gland is compromised it may produce too many, or too few, hormones and this can result in the metabolism speeding up or slowing down.

Symptoms of Thyroid Disease

The two most common forms of thyroid disease are Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. When it functions as it should, the thyroid will produce T3 and T4 at a 20% - 80% ratio. An under-production of these hormones will slow down the body’s metabolism, causing Hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of this condition are:

  • weight-gain despite eating sensibly
  • feeling cold even in warm weather
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • dry, flaky skin, especially on the face
  • unexplained joint pain
  • In addition to these symptoms, people with hypothyroidism may have high blood levels of LDL cholesterol, the so-called “bad” cholesterol.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when an excess of T3 and T4 speeds up the body’s metabolism and, if the mild condition is left untreated it can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss, despite eating a good amount of food
  • Increased appetite
  • Rapid pounding of the heart
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep
  • Increased sweating
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Less frequent menstrual periods with lighter than normal menstrual flow

Causes of Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis, where the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland.
  • Iodine deficiency since iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Deficiency of protein, magnesium and zinc, since these are all essential for the thyroid to function properly.
  • Heavy metal poisoning or an over-abundance of chemicals and pesticides in the body.
  • Root canal teeth can leak toxins into the body and enter the thyroid gland, producing thyroid disease.

Hyperthyroidism

  • In 70% of people with hyperthyroidism, the cause is a genetic disorder called Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease may be secondary to dental infections, root canals or mercury fillings.
  • Lumps or nodules in the thyroid may gradually grow leading to an overproduction of thyroid hormones.
  • Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), where the thyroid gland leaks thyroid hormones into the blood.
  • Overmedication with triiodothyronine (T3) and/or levothyroxine (T4) may also cause hyperthyroidism.

Preventing Thyroid Disease

If you have a concern about thyroid disease, you may want to note the following potential causes of problems:

  • Iodine – deficiency is one cause of hypothyroidism but supplementation should be maintained at a safe level and is best monitored by a physician who has knowledge in this area.
  • Soy - high soy consumers and users of isoflavone supplements can be at risk of thyroid disease since soy isoflavones can damage thyroid function.
  • Smoking – has a negative impact on thyroid function and can cause a 3 to 5-fold increase in the risk of all types of thyroid disease.
  • Tap water - Standard water-treatment plants cannot remove the chemical perchlorate from the water supply and there is evidence to suggest an association between low-level contamination with ammonium perchlorate and elevated or abnormal thyroid function.
  • Fluoride – is an enzyme poison which accumulates in the body and can cause harm to the thyroid by blocking the use of iodine.
  • Pesticides- are coming under considerable criticism for their adverse chronic effects on the thyroid.
  • Family history – of thyroid disease can be a warning signal.
  • Radiation and X-Rays – are known to cause damage to the thyroid and technicians should always cover the patient’s throat.
  • Stress – is a factor which can lead to thyroid disease.
  • Pregnancy – It is estimated that between 5-10% of all pregnancies will result in PPT (Postpartum Thyroiditis).
  • Menopause – hormonal changes during this period of a woman’s life can lead to thyroid disease.

Thyroid Disease Solutions

The thyroid gland affects all the other hormones in the body and its proper regulation is essential to good hormonal balance and health. With the disturbing increase in thyroid disease, an annual screening of thyroid gland is recommended. This should include blood tests that check on thyroid gland hormone levels and body iodine levels.

When a patient is suspected to have a thyroid disorder a comprehensive thyroid profile is ordered, in the form of a blood test. The test results will give precise measurements of Free T3 and T4 and their ratios to each other. If the results indicate that for example, the patient’s T3 level is too low then the patient will be checked for deficiencies in essential nutrients which are required for hormone production. Many times this will correct the thyroid without the need for prescription hormones.

Natural Treatment for Thyroid Disease

Lifeworks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering treatment for thyroid disease for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. Our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering thyroid disease solutions and natural medicine for thyroid disease where they live.

We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient or for more information feel free to call our New Patient coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web form with your request.

Learn More about Your Thyroid

Dr. George E. Springer Jr.
D.C. N.M.D. D.C.B.C.N.
Dr. George Springer has practiced alternative medicine for 31 years with an emphasis on treating chronic disease conditions. He received his undergraduate BA from the University of Missouri in St. Louis and his Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) from Logan University where he graduated magna cum laude. He went on to receive his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.M.D.) from the American Naturopathic Medical Institute a division of Breyer State University in Los Angeles, California.

       *Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary based on a patient's medical history and other factors.

 

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