Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's Up With My Thyroid?

by Glen Depke

I am amazed to see the increasing number of clients diagnosed with thyroid challenges that enter my clinic. Even more amazing to me is the misunderstanding of the underlying causes of these thyroid imbalances and the unwillingness to address the core challenges for many. Thyroid challenges have increased to the point that it is almost looking like a part of the natural aging process but I cannot scream out enough that there is nothing natural about this. So what are some of the underlying challenges?

This will not be a dissertation on thyroid function, but I want you to understand some of the basics.

Let’s first look at what many conventional docs are using to diagnose this. Many are looking at T3 and T4, which are hormones produced in the thyroid as well as TSH, which is produced in the pituitary gland. If these are shown as being “off” there is often a very quick diagnosis of hyper or more often hypo thyroid. Before we jump into this it is important to look at other challenges tied into the T3, T4 and TSH.

First let’s look at these hormones. TSH which is the thyroid stimulating hormone is produced as mentioned above in the pituitary. The TSH communicates the need for production of T3 and T4 in the thyroid. Most do not look at the precursor to the production of the TSH though. Before the pituitary gland can produce the needed TSH, the adrenal glands require optimal function to communicate the need for TSH. Due to this, very often the underlying adrenal challenge is never addressed and we are not getting to the core. I will see this often in what I refer to as a “lazy” pituitary. To address this, it is important to follow a proper protocol for optimal adrenal function.

Another challenge is tied into the body’s need to convert the protein bound T4 produced in the thyroid into a usable or “free” T4. This free T4 can then be utilized by your body as needed. This conversion actually occurs in the liver and often when there is adequate protein bound T4 but the conversion does not happen due to a sluggish liver. When this is the challenge it is obviously very important to support liver function to allow proper balance.

Another challenge for many is hyperthyroidism. I would suggest that it is often the case that this has a direct tie into an autoimmune challenge and addressing the immune system function is a must in these cases. I also recommend that anybody that is challenged with hyperthyroid also work with an Endocrinologist on a consistent basis.

There are other dysfunctional patterns potentially tied into your thyroid challenges but I wanted to cover the more common of these challenges. As always it is important to recognize the importance of addressing your fundamentals of health as the starting point of any health challenge.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post below and I will answer you personally.

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