Introduction

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck’s lower part. It regulates your body’s energy use by producing thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help keep your body’s basal metabolic rate firing on all cylinders.

When your cells do not have enough thyroid hormones, they cannot generate enough high-energy electrons (called adenosine triphosphate or ATP), so cellular activity slows. This is low thyroid function or hypothyroidism, and it manifests as low energy, brain fog, and weight gain. This article examines the causative factors, natural treatment strategies, and functional laboratory evaluations associated with thyroid disorders.

Overview of Thyroid Disorders

What are Thyroid Disorders?

Thyroid disorders include conditions that affect the thyroid gland. The most common are:

  • Hypothyroidism: Insufficient hormone production.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Overproduction of hormones.
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Autoimmune disorder leading to hypothyroidism.
  • Graves’ Disease: Autoimmune disorder causing hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroid Nodules: Lumps within the thyroid.
  • Thyroid Cancer: Malignant growth within the thyroid gland.

The Role of the Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland, an endocrine gland at the base of the neck, is a large and complex hormone-producing body that controls metabolism by regulating body temperature and maintaining blood calcium. It controls the heart rate by releasing hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), whose faster rates enhance every chemical reaction in the body.

Causes of Thyroid Disorders

Genetic Factors

Thyroid disease is genetically predisposed. If your parents have thyroid disease, your odds of getting the disease go up too.

Environmental Triggers

Excessive radiation exposure or ingestion of some harmful chemicals and radiation can also cause problems with the thyroid. So can simply getting too much or too little iodine.

Autoimmune Conditions

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease are caused by an autoimmune reaction. An individual’s own antibodies attack the thyroid, making it either underactive or overactive.

Lifestyle and Dietary Factors

Nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iodine or selenium), chronic stress, poor diet, and other lifestyle factors may impair thyroid function.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Common Symptoms

Hypothyroidism: Fatigue, weight gain, depression, dry skin, hair loss.

Hyperthyroidism: Weight loss, anxiety, tremors, rapid heartbeat, sweating.

Diagnosing Thyroid Disorders

Diagnosis is based on a thorough physical exam and the patient’s medical history as well as ultrasound and radioactive iodine uptake imaging to evaluate the structure and function of the thyroid gland.

functional lab test showing results of thyroid dysfunction

Functional Lab Tests for Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid Function Tests

  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Test: Measures TSH levels in the blood.
  • Free T4 and Free T3 Tests: Measure levels of circulating free thyroid hormones.

Antibody Tests

  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO): Detects antibodies against thyroid peroxidase.
  • Thyroglobulin Antibody (TgAb): Measures antibodies against thyroglobulin.
  • TSH Receptor Antibody (TRAb): Identifies antibodies stimulating the thyroid.

Additional Functional Tests

  • Reverse T3 Test: Assesses thyroid function more comprehensively.
  • Iodine Levels: Determines iodine deficiency or excess.
  • Selenium Levels: Evaluates selenium status, essential for thyroid hormone metabolism.

Natural Treatments for Thyroid Disorders

natural treatment for thyroid disorder

Dietary Adjustments

Add selenium-rich foods (Brazil nuts, fish), iodine-rich foods (seaweed, dairy), and anti-inflammatory foods (fruit and veg).

Don’t eat gluten, soy, and large amounts of goitrogens (found in cruciferous vegetables) because they affect how your thyroid works.

Herbal Remedies and Supplements

  • Ashwagandha: Supports thyroid health and reduces stress.
  • Selenium and Zinc Supplements: Essential for thyroid function.
  • Vitamin D: Important for immune function and thyroid health.

Lifestyle Changes

Stress Management: Practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can improve thyroid health.

Regular Exercise: Promotes overall well-being and supports metabolic health.

Integrative and Functional Medicine Approaches

Functional medicine practitioners develop individualized treatment programs to correct the underlying root causes of thyroid dysfunction by employing dietary, lifestyle, and supplemental therapies.

photo text image of the word metabolism for tyroid disfunction

Conclusion

Your thyroid needs a more nuanced approach: natural treatment based on functional lab tests that help us pinpoint the underlying causes, taking you from the vicious cycle to the virtuous cycle. Your doctor or medical provider can diagnose and determine your treatment.

Are you regularly experiencing chronic symptoms of fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, and unexplained anxiety? If so, you may not be feeling well due to an underactive or overactive thyroid, which could lead to more serious health issues over time. We care about you and want you to begin your journey to better health. That is why we are offering you a free health assessment and consultation. Go online today to receive a complimentary, caring evaluation for your thyroid health assessment, so you can start your path to becoming healthier naturally.

FAQs

What is the most common thyroid disorder?

Hypothyroidism is the most common, characterized by insufficient production of thyroid hormones.

How can diet affect thyroid function?

Nutrients such as iodine and selenium are required for the healthy functioning of the thyroid, and the activity of hormones can also be modulated by chemicals in food.

Are natural treatments effective for thyroid disorders?

Natural strategies – including nutritional support, lifestyle changes, and herbal medicine – offer adjuncts to biomedical treatments.

What are the risks of untreated thyroid disorders?

If left undiagnosed, the consequences of abnormal thyroid function can be devastating – causing heart disease, osteoporosis, infertility, and other severe metabolic disturbances.

How often should I get my thyroid checked?

Women should also be evaluated annually for thyroid function once past menopause and if they have any issues in terms of body size or family history of thyroid dysfunction.