A staggering number of people (mostly women) in Australia suffer thyroid disorders: Hashimoto’s, Graves, Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism, which is an under-functioning of the thyroid gland, is the most common of the thyroid disorders. In the early stages, the symptoms of fatigue, weight gain & depression are often mistaken for something else, or else put down to just getting old. Many people suffer from without knowing it. If left untreated however, over time these symptoms become more serious: high cholesterol, infertility, joint pains, headaches & obesity.
The good news is that Naturopathic Medicine can help to identify thyroid dysfunction in its’ earliest (subclinical) stages.
Causes of thyroid dysfunction:
- Nutritional: deficiencies in key nutrients such as zinc, selenium, iodine & Vitamin D greatly affect the functioning of the thyroid gland
- Environmental toxicity: copper, halides (chlorine, bromine & fluorine), mercury & plastics all have a negative effect on thyroid function
- Stress: elevated cortisol levels suppress thyroid hormones
- Auto immune disease: Many thyroid issues are related to immune dysfunction, whereby the immune cells literally start attacking the thyroid gland itself. The reason for this is unclear, although evidence is emerging that the health of the gut, and sensitivity to gluten in particular, is a key factor.
Approach to treatment
First up, we will look at the big picture of you as an individual. Then the appropriate pathology tests will be ordered. This often includes an Iodine Loading Test, Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, reverse T3 as well as the standard TFT (thyroid function test). We then design a comprehensive treatment care program for you, incorporating nutritional & herbal medicines and a health-building diet. You will be re-tested at intervals along the way, and your treatment program modified until your results are normal & you feel fantastic.
This approach is thorough & evidence-based, and can be incorporated alongside any thyroid medication you may currently be prescribed. You’ll be on your way to having a healthy thyroid, stable weight and great energy levels.