Thyroid and what you need to know!

This information reviews the symptoms of hypothyroidism and why traditional testing may not be adequate for diagnosing thyroid dysfunction.

Thyroid and what it can do.

The thyroid is widely misunderstood. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces thyroid hormone, which is vital to so many metabolic functions of the body. The thyroid is so important to the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin; just to name a few.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism listed by the Mayo Clinic are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)

What we are noticing is that hypothyroidism goes undiagnosed. It usually takes months or years before it is formally diagnosed. There may be a reason for that and the reason for this discussion. The science surrounding thyroid conditions has grown tremendously over the last decade or so.

Much of the undiagnosed thyroid conditions could be due to the lab testing done. Traditional medicine only tests for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Thyroxine (T4). That is the way medical, nursing, and pharmacy schools trained us. However, many healthcare providers have not kept up with the advances in health care, particularly to the thyroid.

I found a great website that does an excellent job with this discussion at the National Academy of Hypothyroidism. It has cited 283 articles from medical journals as references! That is a lot of supporting evidence.

C. Craig Wells, RPh

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