Hypothyroidism: Are you a candidate?
Moving a little slower lately? Over 50 years old? Feeling forgetful, don’t worry it’s not dementia, but it could be hypothyroidism! Splashed over magazines as the culprit for those unwanted pounds, shaped like a butterfly in your neck, orchestrating your metabolism and every cell, tissue, and organ in your body, it is your thyroid gland. Your thyroid can kick your body into Nascar racing overdrive or brake it into a Sunday drive. It is small but powerful, with approximately 20 million people affected by some form of thyroid disease. If you have found that your old self seems to have gone missing and your energy has gone into hibernation, then your thyroid may be to blame.
Are you a hypothyroid match?
- poor concentration
- memory issues
- cold hands and feet
- puffy face
- overweight, difficult losing weight
- menstrual problems
- dry skin
- thin hair
- low energy levels
- migraine headaches
- hoarse voice
Oh and by the way according to a New York Times in depth report on hypothyroidism, “if you are a woman, you have 10 times the risk of hypothyroidism as men, with the difference being significant after age 34. The symptoms of hypothyroidism and menopause are so similar, hypothyroidism may easily be missed.” No need to panic if you recognize yourself in these symptoms, hypothyroidism is not the end of the world and with the proper thyroid support, you can feel like yourself all over again!
A Positive I.D.
So you want to know for certain if the pendulum of your thyroid gland is swinging to the slow side? Here are some ways to test for evidence to prove and treat your case:
- Body temperature – In the 1940s, Dr. Broda Barnes developed a simple test to confirm suspected low thyroid function using an ordinary thermometer. He found that normal underarm or oral temperatures upon awakening in the morning (while still in bed) are in the range of 97.8 to 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. His belief was that a temperature below 97.8 indicated hypothyroidism; and one above 98.2, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
- Blood tests – Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – evaluates overall thyroid function, Total Thyroxine (T4) – evaluates the total amount of T4 produced by the thyroid gland, Free Thyroxine (T4) – evaluates the amount of T4 available to the cells and tissues, Free Tri-iodothyronine (T3) – measures the amount of T3 (the active form of the hormone) available to the cells and tissues. If levels of TSH are too high (any value over 3.00) then the thyroid is underactive and indicates hypothyroidism. You may also consider testing for Hashimoto’s disease an autoimmune condition which is behind most thyroid dysfunction. The two antibodies worth testing for are: anti-TPO and TgAb.
In the next post we will discuss treatment options for an underactive thyroid. Remember that even if your blood tests and temperature return normal numbers that the greatest indicator of wellness and balance is how you feel. Be persistent in telling your doctor of your symptoms and experiences, after all you are the one who knows what’s normal for your body and what’s not!
Lakeview Family Wellness is your #1 Eastside and Seattle Wellness Center. We are a naturopathic medical clinic located at the very northern tip of Lake Washington between Seattle and Bothell in the city of Kenmore. At Lake View Family Wellness, we specialize in integrative medicine for the whole person. We emphasize people and not diseases while offering practical, real solutions to conditions and concerns such as: Diet, fitness, preventive care, women’s health, men’s health, cancer, chronic pain, common colds, autoimmune disease, and genetics.
Naturopathic medicine provides alternative, natural solutions for the most stubborn conditions. The doctors at Lake View Family Wellness utilize individualized nutrition strategies, pharmaceutical grade supplementation, intravenous (IV) therapy and a host of lifestyle modifying tools to make sure you reach your health goals. Creating opportunity for your body to overcome disease and surge in health is our number one priority. We hope to encourage and enable you to reach untold heights in your health journey. We look forward to serving you here at Lake View Family Wellness!
Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at 425-219-4325 (HEAL)
Dr. Jeff Thomas, ND
Dr. James Pendleton, ND
Dr. Carrie Miller, ND
Dr. John Catanzaro, ND