The thyroid is one of those parts of the human body that “science” says we can live without. We may be able to survive without our thyroid, but what quality of life will we have? Nutritional researcher and writer, Judith DeCava has the following to say about the thyroid: “Nestled just below the Adam’s apple in the base of the neck, the thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped (two-lobed) structure that weighs less than an ounce and produces less than a teaspoonful of hormone each year. Yet these hormones have a huge impact as the body’s “accelerator,” controlling the tempo or pace of all internal processes. They regulate how much energy the body uses, body weight, how the body uses nutrients, the rate of operation of virtually every organ and system in the body, pacing the heart, lungs, digestive tract, brain, and metabolic action of each cell. In addition to facilitating normal cell reproduction and growth, the thyroid regulates the rate of oxidation (use of oxygen) in all tissues, repair of damaged or diseased tissues, glucose liberation from the liver to the bloodstream, sense activity, water balance, function of circulating systems, muscles, nerves, sex organs, fat metabolism; and more. Since the thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every cell, it affects pathological conditions as they develop.” Does this sound like a body part you want malfunctioning?
About 20 million Americans are suffering with some form of thyroid disorder, and it is estimated that there are up to another 8 million undiagnosed. Symptoms of hypothyroidism (the most common thyroid dysfunction) include severe fatigue, loss of energy, persistent daytime sleepiness, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, depression, joint/muscle pain, dry skin, brittle hair/nails, thinning hair, irregular periods, sensitivity to cold, difficulty concentrating, loss of libido, puffiness in the face or extremities and many others.
Have you ever wondered why you show all or many of the symptoms of hypothyroid, yet your lab results say you are okay? This is because you can suffer from sub-clinical hypothyroidism for years before it gets so bad that it finally shows up in your lab results.
When the thyroid isn’t working right, the problem isn’t generally the thyroid; it’s the imbalances in diet and lifestyle that have caused the thyroid to dysfunction in the first place. Medicating the thyroid won’t fix those causative factors. Rather than medicating the thyroid when it isn’t working right, do what is necessary to allow the thyroid to start functioning normally on its own again.
© 2009 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.