What Is The Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck below the cartilage known as Adam’s apple. As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid produces two main hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These two hormones influence every single cell in your body. From how your body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates, to temperature regulation and heart rate, to the production of protein – thyroid hormones are center stage.
Two primary problems can occur with your thyroid – overproduction of thyroid hormones called hyperthyroidism, including Graves’ disease; and, underproduction of thyroid hormones called hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s disease. In most cases, thyroid problems can be well-managed when properly diagnosed and treated.
Importance of Testing for Thyroid Hormones
Although symptoms of thyroid disorders can be apparent, it is vital to have the hormone levels tested to ensure an accurate diagnosis. A simple blood test can check the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T3, and T4. The thyroid is regulated by another member of the endocrine system, the pituitary gland, which makes TSH to stimulate the thyroid to produce T3 and T4.
A disruption in either gland’s hormones can have a cascade effect across your entire body. By testing the levels of these three incredibly essential hormones, Advanced Family Medical Care can identify imbalances and treat them before they become or lead to serious medical conditions.
Natural Treatment of Thyroid Hormone Imbalances
If you are diagnosed with a thyroid condition, we believe the best approach is a natural one. We treat the whole person, not just the disease, and take into consideration many aspects of your life and your activities before determining what course of treatment is going to work best for you.
Some of the options we may consider include:
- Nutraceutical thyroid support
- Natural thyroid treatment, such as Nature-Throid, WP Thyroid, and Armourthyroid
- Diet and nutrition counseling
What Causes Thyroid Hormone Imbalances?
In some cases, such as with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, thyroid hormones are affected by autoimmune disorders. When this happens, the body begins to attack its own tissue, which ultimately leads to tissue death and the cessation of hormone production (Hashimoto’s) or the overproduction of thyroid hormones (Graves’ disease).
Another common factor that can affect thyroid health and hormone production are endocrine disruptors (ED). These chemicals are found in many of the products we come in contact with every single day. Over time, or if you are exposed to large amounts of the chemicals, they can lead to a wide range of issues, including hormone imbalances, cancer, tumors, birth defects, and developmental disorders.
The way ED chemicals work is by mimicking hormones and binding to hormone receptors. Once this occurs, they begin interrupting normal hormone function by creating more or less powerful responses than the original hormones, or by changing the body’s response entirely. EDs are so powerful they are measured in ppt (parts per trillion). In other words, even minimal exposure to EDs can wreak havoc on your endocrine system, and consequently, your entire body. It is crucial to avoid them whenever and wherever possible.
Endocrine disruptors include:
- Flame retardants
- Perfluorinated chemicals
- UV filters
- BHA and BHT
You may recognize some or all of these chemicals because they are frequently found in everyday items like cosmetics, soaps, food, electronics, furniture, pesticides, and plastics, to name a few. We recommend reading the labels on the products you buy and avoiding these chemicals, especially in products that you consume, use to cook, eat or drink with, or use on your skin, hair, and nails.
If you have questions about thyroid conditions or how Advanced Family Medical Care can treat your hormone imbalances the natural way, please call our office today at (972) 985-8000, and we’ll be happy to assist you!