Fatigued, gaining weight? It could be hypothyroidism

tiredIf you feel tired or can’t loose weight in spite of diet and exercise you may be suffering from a thyroid condition.

Twenty percent of Americans suffer from thyroid disease, it is estimated that 60% are unaware of the condition. Autoimmune thyroid disease is 6 times more frequent in women than in men, being Hashimoto disease the most common form. The causes of thyroid problems are largely unknown in Western medicine.

In Japan the thyroid gland is considered the shock absorber of the body, in Chinese medicine hypothyroidism is the result of a long term debilitation of the 5 viscera due to overwork, stress, poor diet, too many pregnancies and sometimes constitutional and hereditary factors.

The adrenal glands play an important role in the manifestation of thyroid disease; people that experience insufficiency of the thyroid gland may have suffered trauma or an emotional shock that lead to adrenal exhaustion followed by an imbalance of the thyroid gland. All diseases come from the heart.

Some of the symptoms of a thyroid problems are fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet, constipation, infertility, puffy face, dry thinning hair, heavy or irregular periods, and repeat miscarriages. Hypothyroidism is responsible for low birth weight, labor stress and hypertension in pregnancy. Polycystic ovarian disease and endometriosis are also linked to thyroid autoimmune disease.

Gluten has been linked lately to an increase in autoimmune disorders; intolerance to gluten has risen in the last 50 years with the advent of new ways of processing wheat. It is believed that gluten creates inflammation in the intestines, breaking down the gut barrier and allowing particles to seep out. The immune system then goes into hyperactivity attacking other systems and tissues, including the thyroid gland. Most people with thyroid disease also suffer from digestive problems.

The diagnosis of low thyroid function is done through a blood test measuring the following:
TSH; FreeT4; FreeT3; TPO and TGAb, the last two measure antibodies against the thyroid gland. An at home test for thyroid function consists in taking the body temperature in the morning before getting out of bed for 10 days and then averaging it. A normal value should be between 97.8 and 98.2 F, if it is below that thyroid disease could be present.

Because thyroid function is linked to many other systems in the body, an integrated approach to treatment is the best course of action; this should include the digestive system and the adrenals, nutritional support, and stress management. Many times thyroid patients struggle trying to find answers to their multiple symptoms until they come to a combination that works. Be your own advocate, ask questions, read, and explore other options.

References

Kiiko Matsumoto, Clinical Strategies, Volume 1
www.cytoplan.co.uk/blog/thyroid-problems
Leslie Oldershaw, LAc. Infertility and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – It Could Be Subclinical Hypothyroid. Medigogy webinar