Thyroid & Adrenals

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism occurs when there is an inadequate secretion of thyroid hormones from your thyroid, resulting in a slowing down of your body’s metabolism. Low production of these hormones results in hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). An often overlooked facet of hypothyroidism also occurs when thyroid hormones are not properly used at the cellular level, again resulting in a decrease in your body’s metabolic processes.

What are some common symptoms of hypothyroidism?

•    Loss of energy (malaise/fatigue)
•    Difficulty losing weight
•    Weight gain
•    Fluid retention
•    Cold extremities and cold sensitivity
•    Difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss
•    Decreased mental sharpness, “brain fog”
•    Hair loss
•    Dry skin
•    Skin pallor, pastiness, and puffiness
•    Brittle fingernails with ridging
•    Low blood pressure
•    Low basal body temperature
•    Slow pulse rate
•    Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
•    Depression or mood swings
•    Constipation
•    Joint & muscle pain
•    Tiredness after a full night’s sleep
•    Recurrent and chronic infections
•    Menstrual irregularities
•    Headaches
•    Infertility
•    Loss of libido
•    Slow speech
•    Tingling and/or numbness in extremities

What is autoimmune thyroiditis (also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis)?

It’s a genetically inherited trait in which the immune system makes antibodies against the thyroid gland.  In this case, you may be producing enough thyroid hormone to register a normal free T4 and TSH level; however, the thyroid that you are producing is being bound up by these antibodies, which prevents it from entering your cells where the work is done.

In this scenario, you will be left with all of the ramifications of low thyroid.  Hypothyroidism is often missed because mainstream medicine typically will test only a total T4 and TSH, not thyroid antibody levels.

How should the diagnosis of hypothyroidism be made?

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism should be made primarily on the basis of your clinical history and basal body temperature. The single most important tool in determining your thyroid status and hypothyroidism treatment is a thorough review of your symptoms and a physical examination.

What other diagnoses do mainstream doctors give that could actually be hypothyroidism?

Mainstream doctors tend to give a separate diagnosis for the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and IBS, instead of determining the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Does adrenal fatigue affect my thyroid function?

Adrenal fatigue often occurs in conjunction with hypothyroidism. Although they are clinically distinct conditions, adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism are both metabolic problems that result in a slowdown of your body’s functions and a decline in energy.

In the absence of adequate cortisol, hypothyroidism treatment, or thyroid hormone replacement, is less effective. Not only does it improve energy, raise body temperature, and increase resistance to infection, it also helps the body utilize thyroid hormone.

Natural cortisol is especially helpful for patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, an extremely common cause of hypothyroidism. Natural cortisol actually reduces levels of thyroid antibodies, enhancing the effectiveness of hypothyroidism treatment and thyroid hormone.

What is the natural solution for hypothyroidism?

The natural solution for hypothyroidism treatment utilizes bioidentical desiccated thyroid preparation.

I'm confused about the different kinds of hypothyroidism treatment. What is the difference between bioidentical and synthetic thyroid?

Conventional medicine’s common view of hypothyroidism treatment most often consists of synthetic thyroid preparations such as Synthroid, Levothroid, and Levoxyl, which contain only thyroxine (T4).

Hypothyroidism treatment utilizing desiccated thyroid contains the same thyroid hormone molecules that the body produces, tri-iodothyronine (T3) and T4, along with nutrients from the thyroid gland.

Does hypothyroidism affect other hormones?

Yes, a deficiency of thyroid hormones can affect levels of sex hormones, causing menstrual abnormalities in women and a loss of libido in both sexes. Hypothyroidism can also impair fertility and if it is present during pregnancy, can cause miscarriage, premature delivery, or stillbirth.  We have numerous patients who have after many years of being unable to conceive, find success after hypothyroidism treatment.

Additional Resources

Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal FAQ

Thyroid Overview

Dr. Donald Ellsworth explains how the thyroid functions and why it can be difficult to recognize hypothyroidism through standard blood tests.

Monitoring Your Thyroid

Dr. Donald Ellsworth discusses how to monitor thyroid symptoms.

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