Thyroid problems affect an estimated 25 million Americans, the vast majority of them women. Few women, however, are aware of the critical relationship between the thyroid gland and nearly every aspect of child-bearing. The thyroid can effect fertility, the ability to become pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy, postpartum health, successful breastfeeding, and even the health of the baby.
While this connection is widely acknowledged in the medical profession, current testing often misses sub clinically low thyroid level, even when a large number of characteristic symptoms are present: Depression, a swollen and puffy face, intolerance to cold, constipation, weight gain, fatigues and dry skin are all hallmark symptoms.
HYPOTHYROIDISM - The Undiagnosed Dilemma
A recent study indicated that nearly 13 million Americans may be undiagnosed for low thyroid function. This is in addition to the approximately 20 million individuals who are receiving thyroid replacement treatment for hypothyroidism. Why the large discrepancy in diagnosis? One reason may be inadequate testing for thyroid hormone levels, and the sole reliance by medical practitioners on these lab tests despite the individuals specific health complaints.
The thyroid is a small "butterfly-winged" shaped gland at the base of the neck. It forms a core link of (hormone) glands in the body with a specific function to help regulate cellular metabolism and energy production.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
The symptoms of low thyroid are extensive and touch on many aspects of our physical and mental/emotional well-being. It is important to realize that thyroid hormones regulate energy production. Therefore, hormone production and balance, immune function, digestion, biochemical regulation, thought and mood production can all be effected:
T4 to T3 - Factors Controlling Conversion
The conversion of T4 to T3 is a crucial step in the process of thyroid function. If this step is deficient or altered in any way the individual will suffer with symptoms of low thyroid. Many factors are involved in this important step in thyroid physiology, and get completely overlooked by narrowed-minded prescribing of T4 only drugs. 80% of T3 is produced outside the thyroid gland. Therefore, what appears clinically to be low thyroid function could actually be occurring for reasons that have nothing to do with the thyroid gland. What is the primary player in this process? The enzyme T4-5 deiodinase. This enzyme cleaves off one iodine molecule from T4 to make T3. Many factors have an effect on this enzyme:
Other Factors of Thyroid Inhibition
Besides the effects on T4 to T3, there are many other factors that inhibit thyroid function:
Treatment Options - The Natural and Nutritional Approach
There are many options for the treatment of thyroid problems. Not everyone needs to take the synthetic hormones such as Synthroid and Levoxyl, instead replacement with the natural hormone compound Armour Thyroid can be advantageous.
Armour Thyroid, a compound of porcine thyroid, utilizes both T4 and T3. It is not limited to just replacing the T4 component of thyroid hormone like Synthroid, but helps augment entire thyroid function. At times an individual may develop sensitivities to the porcine compounds, or have a thyroid condition that is too unstable to benefit entirely from armour thyroid. In these cases use of synthetic T4 and T3 may be warranted. However, other nutritional interventions can be employed to assist in proper thyroid function:
Herbal Teas Can Provide Nourishment:
If attempting to change your medication, or if you suffer with chronic debilitating illness, always work in conjunction with a friendly, supportive and open-minded physician to better handle your health care needs.
Especially if you are pregnant, you can take simple steps to protect your thyroid health:
Begin today with New Spirit's Wellness Pack. In conjunction with help from your health practitioner, you can naturally enjoy boundless energy every day of your life.