Thyroid Dysfunction – Pervasive or Rare?

Whenever anyone has trouble with weight or energy, the thyroid is a suspect. Unfortunately, thyroid disorders are common, especially among women. Somewhere around 10 million people have diagnosed low thyroid with many more likely having undiagnosed disease or non-optimal function. It is not enough to identify a low functioning thyroid, one must ask the questions: “Why is this happening and why is it happening now?”

A hidden cause of thyroid dysfunction or inefficiency is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Usual tests of thyroid (TSH) will not identify this disease, which can cause both low functioning and over functioning thyroid. If the disease is not identified and treated then over time, the thyroid will become less and less efficient.

Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disease. The body begins attacking itself and specifically attacks thyroglobulin (a protein that attaches to and transports thyroid hormone) and thyroid peroxidase (an enzyme that helps to produce thyroid hormone). Tests for antibodies to these molecules need to be run as well as a TSH, a free T3, and a free T4 in order to more completely characterize thyroid function.

And even with this diagnosis, I always ask why and whether there are other autoimmune processes occurring in the person. Some possible causes of Hashimoto’s are an overactive immune system, food sensitivities, low selenium, high iodine, poor antioxidation, low reproductive hormones, and an overactive stress response that causes an underactive adrenal gland. In addition, environmental exposures such as heavy metals, some solvents and jet fuel. (Amazingly, jet fuel is commonly found in the water supply and even in the umbilical blood of newborn babies.)

Take charge of your health. Know your benchmark levels and then pursue
your health with all means available to you. If you have Hashimoto’s,
supplements may be required, elimination of gluten or soy or some other food may be necessary, toxins may need to be avoided and removed, and your other hormone levels may need to be balanced.