The thyroid is a little butterfly shaped gland at the base of your throat. It is the master regulator of growth and metabolism. It is involved in regulating weight loss or gain, digestion, energy, mood, and more.
Signs of suboptimal thyroid:
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight despite a healthy food and movement routine
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to or feeling cold
- Muscular weakness and physical fatigue
- Mental fatigue or “brain fog”
- -Low mood
- “Unexplained” infertility
- Dry skin and brittle nails
Why didn’t my doctor say anything before?
Sometimes patients come into the office having been told that their thyroid is normal based on a test called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Unfortunately relying on this one test means that a percentage of issues are missed or not identified in the early stages of thyroid dysfunction. When appropriate, my approach includes running a full thyroid panel blood test (which can include TSH, T4, T3, TPO and other antibodies) to get a more comprehensive picture of function, as well as assessing hormones such as cortisol (from the adrenal glands) and sex hormones such as estrogen.
What if my lab results are say normal but I still have symptoms?
Sometimes labs fall into normal range, but are not optimal for you or being converted into active forms appropriately – sometimes this is referred to as “subclinical hypothyroidism.” This is why we want to run a full thyroid panel – Test, don’t guess! to figure out the full picture.
What can we do about it?
The thyroid is a complicated organ and I love sharing the basics of physiology and relationships to the rest of the body with patients to help them take steps towards feeling better – knowledge is power! My approach to supporting thyroid disorders includes nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, nutrient supplemental support, stress management, detoxification, immune response balancing (in the presence of autoimmune activity or disease), and acupuncture.