The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland resting in the front of the throat with a powerful effect on nearly every system in your body. From body temperature to sex hormone regulation, and from efficient metabolism to cellular energy, this “tiny but mighty” gland is critical for health. In fact, the six top health concerns—sleep, weight, fatigue, mood instability, digestive issues, and hormone imbalances– are ALL directly affected by the thyroid!
It is estimated that 27 million Americans have some form of thyroid disorder, with women five to twenty times more affected than men. Thyroid disease includes hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease, autoimmune thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease, thyroid cancer, and goiter. Of all autoimmune disease, autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common and may account for ninety percent or more of adult hypothyroidism. In fact, thyroid issues are so common that Levothyroxine (Synthroid), prescribed for hypothyroidism, or an under functioning thyroid, is the most prescribed drug in the U.S.!
Yet thyroid hormone replacement drugs can cause problems. Drugs like Synthroid, that provide synthetic thyroid hormone, deplete the body of potassium and additionally require the body to convert the supplied hormone to a usable form—a process which is heavily dependent on critical minerals such as zinc, selenium and iodine, minerals that are significantly deficient in the population. It is therefore quite common for people on Synthroid to still suffer from symptoms. Other long-term issues include causing the thyroid gland to become increasingly sluggish over time (indeed, the gland will shrink due to lack of use), and necessitating increasing the dose as the years go by.
Is there another way to restore the thyroid to health? What about uncovering and treating what is causing the thyroid to underperform? For example, if the cause is determined to be autoimmune (a simple blood test), then the problem isn’t the thyroid at all. If the autoimmune response is managed, then the thyroid should slowly resume normal function. Or as already stated above, if the person is mineral deficient wouldn’t properly supplementing the minerals, along with correcting their diet, rebalance the thyroid? Since the liver is critically important in converting thyroid hormones to a form that cells can readily use, wouldn’t it make sense that repairing sluggish liver detoxification systems could significantly contribute to improved thyroid function?
Then, once the cause has been determined, are there natural methods other than meds to guide your thyroid back into balance? Yes! As an example, acupuncture has been used to treat thyroid disease for a long time. Several clinical studies have shown substantial positive effects of acupuncture in alleviating symptoms of thyroid disorders, including fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and constipation. Other studies suggest that acupuncture actually assists in calming down autoimmunity.
At Vital Health, we dig a little deeper. We use an in-depth intake, specialized nutritional testing, and sometimes more extensive labs to uncover the causes of your thyroid issue. Using targeted nutrition, supplements, and acupuncture, we can then guide your body back into balance.
©2022 Darcy Greenwald, M.S.O.M., L.Ac. and Vital Health