Is Your Thyroid Playing Up?
An unhappy thyroid gland can really make life difficult. Our thyroid gland controls our metabolism (the rate at which we burn our food for energy) and it plays a role in the growth and development of our bodily tissues.
- weight gain (even when watching what you are eating and exercising)
- depression or anxiety
- gut upsets including constipation or diarrhea
- period problems, including irregular cycles (shorter than 21 days or longer than 35)
- dry skin and hair
- unexplained hair loss
The Difference Between 'Normal' and 'Optimal' Thyroid Function
One of the benefits of seeing a natural health practitioner for thyroid support is that naturopaths look further than whether your thyroid test results simply fall into the average ranges. Conventional testing is limited by generally only looking at and measuring one (occasionally 2) aspects of your thyroid function, and assessing whether your thyroid is needing medical treatment.
When I work with thyroid issues, I keep in mind that there can be more to the function of the thyroid gland that is apparent at first glance. Your thyroid can be affected by stress, deficiencies of certain nutrients, your gut health and your family history. All of these aspects need to be working well for your body to be able to convert (in a way, unlock) your thyroid hormones so they can do their job properly.
It is important to note that it is reasonably common to be taking thyroid medication and have good test results, yet still be experiencing thyroid symptoms. This is where natural medicine may be able to be of help in easing symptoms.
What Does Naturopathic Thyroid Support Involve?
At your first appointment, I will discuss with you various aspects of your thyroid health, such as any diagnosed thyroid conditions you may have (such as Hashimotos Disease or Graves Disease), any surgeries you may have had, your family history, your current food and lifestyle habits, your stress levels and any medications you are currently taking and the dosage.
I then create a holistic plan that takes into account all contributing factors to your current state of health, with the goal of feeling more balanced and energetic once more. Your plan may include:
- digestive support (particularly if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition, or suffer from gut upsets as part of your symptom picture. 70% of the immune system is located within the gut, and this can play a key role in the development of thyroid disorders).
- herbal medicines to help support thyroid hormone production and how they work within the body.
- nutraceuticals to help provide nutrients that are essential to thyroid function, if these are deficient.
- diet, lifestyle and stress management techniques that are appropriate to your case.