Thyroid hormones are used by every cell of your body
Thyroid hormones are used by every cell of your body, which is why the symptoms can vary so widelyOne in eight women aged 35 to 65 has some form of thyroid disease — underactive thyroid being the most common. When symptoms are present despite “normal” TSH levels, looking at the TRH stimulation test and reverse T3 may offer additional clues, including indications of underlying toxicity requiring a detoxification protocol Nutrient deficiencies, such as iodine, selenium, calcium, and iron can impair thyroid function, as can exposure to chemicals that displace iodine, such as bromide, fluoride, and chlorine Increased Screening Has Led to Rise in Thyroid Cancer MisdiagnosisIodine is Important but a New Study Shows Too Much Causes Problems
Thyroid disease has become very prevalent in today's world, courtesy of a number of different lifestyle factors. More than one-quarter of women in perimenopause are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, in which insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones are produced. thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and body weight by controlling the burning of fat for energy and heat. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. They signal the production of virtually all growth factors in your body, including:
Somatomedins (skeletal tissue growth)
Erythropoietin (involved in the development of red blood cells)
Nerve growth factor
Epidermal growth factor
In pregnant women, thyroid hormone is also involved in the production of prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production.
Poor thyroid function has been linked to a wide array of serious health conditions, from fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome, to infertility, autoimmune diseases, and thyroid cancer.
Understanding How Your Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland found inside your neck, right under your larynx or voice box. A two-inch long, highly vascular gland, it has two lobes located on each side of the windpipe, connected by a tissue called the isthmus. thyroid is responsible for producing the master metabolism hormones that affect virtually every function in your body. It produces three types of hormones:
Hormones secreted by thyroid interact with all other hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
The fact that these hormones are all tied together and are in constant communication explains why a less-than-optimal thyroid status is associated with so many widespread symptoms and diseases. If everything is working properly, you will make what you need and have the correct amounts of T3 and T4, which control the metabolism of every cell in your body.
If your T3 is inadequate, either by scarce production or not converting properly from T4, your entire body will experience the consequences.
Almost 90 percent of the hormone produced by your thyroid is in the form of T4, the inactive form. Your liver then converts the T4 into T3, the active form, with the help of an enzyme.
T2 is currently the least-understood component of thyroid function and the subject of a number of ongoing studies.
Thyroid Disruptors Abound...
It's important to realize that thyroid dysfunction is a complex issue with many variables and many potential underlying causes.If your thyroid dysfunction is caused by factors such as these, detoxification and changing your lifestyle to avoid hormone disrupting chemicals may be key components of successful intervention.
Estrogen dominanceMidlife hypothyroidism can be related to underlying estrogen dominance,5 in which case taking thyroid hormone fails to address the root of the problem.
MedicationsCertain medications, such as steroids, barbiturates, cholesterol–lowering drugs, and beta blockers can disrupt your thyroid function, in which case the most appropriate remedy may not be to add thyroid hormone.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicalsEndocrine-disrupting chemicals like mercury, lead, phthalates, and bisphenol-A (BPA) have been linked to both early menopause and thyroid problems.6
Bromine exposureBromines found in pesticides, plastics, bakery goods, beverages containing brominated vegetable oils (BVOs), and flame retardants also have a disruptive effect on thyroid function.
Bromine, chlorine, and fluoride are all in the same family as iodine, and all three can therefore displace iodine in your thyroid gland.
FluorideFluoride, which is still routinely added to water supplies in many areas across the US, was used in Europe to reduce thyroid activity in hyperthyroid patients as late as the 1970s.
According to a 2006 report by the National Research Council of the National Academies,7 fluoride is "an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function."
This altered function can involve your thyroid, parathyroid, and pineal glands, as well as your adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary.
Altered thyroid function is associated with fluoride intakes as low as 0.05 to 0.1 mg fluoride per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/day), or 0.03 mg/kg/day with iodine deficiency.8
Fluoride has the ability to:
Mimic thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
Damage the cells of your thyroid gland
Disrupt conversion from the inactive form of the thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3)
Heavy metalsHeavy metal toxicity is yet another factor that can be part of the problem.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) may include but are not limited to the following:
Fatigue, loss of energy, and general lethargyCold intolerance
Muscle and/or joint pain Decreased sweating
Weight gainCoarse or dry skin and hair
Hair lossSleep apnea
Carpal tunnel syndromeForgetfulness, impaired memory, and inability to concentrate
Decreased hearingBradycardia (reduced heart rate)
Menstrual disturbancesDecreased appetite
Fullness in the throat, hoarsenessIncreased risk of heart disease
Increased "bad" cholesterol (LDL)Weakness in extremities
Emotional instabilityBlurred vision
The most common way to diagnose thyroid dysfunction is by measuring how much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) your pituitary gland excretes. When your thyroid is not producing sufficient levels of thyroid hormone, your pituitary sends out TSH to encourage the thyroid to increase production. Hence the higher your TSH level is, the more likely you are to have hypothyroidism.
Dr. Joseph Mercola