If you find yourself suffering with some sort of thyroid dysfunction, you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and more than 12 percent of the world population will deal with some type of thyroid issue in their lifetime.
Not only that, but up to 60 percent of people dealing with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition – making it nearly impossible to seek out the correct treatment.
The only way to get to the root of your thyroid problem is to see a professional with the proper training and expertise – someone who can deliver a complete and thorough evaluation of your condition. The team at Clark Chiropractic and Wellness can do just that!
What Does the Thyroid Do?
Before we discuss how to potentially treat a thyroid issue, it’s helpful to know just what, exactly, the thyroid does.
The short answer is – a whole lot.
The thyroid gland produces a litany of hormones, including thyroxine and triiodothyronine – the combination of these two creating what’s known as the “thyroid hormones.” Interestingly enough, only 20 percent of the body’s triiodothyronine is made in the thyroid, while the other 80 percent is converted from thyroxine (more on that later!).
These hormones help in part to regulate the body’s metabolic rate, as well as heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development, and mood maintenance.
The thyroid is one of the most important elements of your body’s self-regulation, and even the smallest issue can throw your entire body out of balance!
What Could Go Wrong? (Autoimmune / Thyroid Disease Symptoms)
Generally, thyroid problems fall into one of two categories – either the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). These are two of the most common different kinds of thyroid disease.
In the case of hyperthyroidism, there’s simply too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream, usually the result of inflammation of the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is marked by some or all of the following symptoms:
- Heat intolerance
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Increased bowel movements
- Rapid and/or irregular heartbeat
- Hair loss
Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is the result of low levels of thyroid hormones being produced by the gland. Often, this is the result of some sort of underlying autoimmune disease – more specifically, Hashimoto’s disease.
Hashimoto thyroid disease is a condition in which your own immune system begins to attack the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and research has shown that 80-90 percent of all thyroid problems are autoimmune related.
While Hashimoto’s can be the result of a number of complications in the body, two of the most common triggers arise from a patient’s diet. Gluten and dairy products, specifically, have been shown to impact autoimmune thyroid disease.
People suffering from Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease exhibit symptoms such as:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Increased cold sensitivity
- Pale, dry skin
- Puffy face
- Hair loss
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle weakness
Problems With Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine – Is it Really Your Thyroid?
Fear not – there’s a simpler way to refer to both triiodothyronine and thyroxine, the former commonly being referred to as T3, while the latter is referred to as T4.
Many times, an issue with the thyroid can be a result of something other than the thyroid itself entirely. This is often the case when it comes to T3 and T4, more specifically, in the conversion of one to the other.
T4 is mostly made by the thyroid, but T3 is the active form of the hormone. In order for T4 to become active, it must be converted to T3 – and 60% of this conversion occurs in the liver. In essence, what this means is that if your hormone levels have shown normal levels of T4, but lower levels of T3, chances are your problem is with conversion and not with your thyroid.
This opens up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities when it comes to treatment and diagnosis – and is a large reason why 80-90 percent of people with thyroid problems that take thyroid hormones as a form of treatment will still have hypothyroid symptoms.
In this and so many other cases, doctors are simply treating the symptoms of the condition and not the underlying reasons. In traditional medical care, little is done to find the root cause of an underfunctioning thyroid.
How to Test for Hashimoto Thyroid Disease
Of course, the only way to discover the root cause of your thyroid problem is by paying a visit to a licensed, experienced, knowledgeable professional – there is no way to know for sure what may be causing your issues elsewise. If you live in the Kingwood area in Houston, Dr. Clark would be happy to help get to the bottom of your health concern.
However, if thyroid problems are a result of Hashimoto’s disease, there are three things a patient must do to help them alleviate their symptoms.
Remember that Hashimoto’s is a form of an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s own immune system is attacking itself. Coincidentally, most of the immune system is located in the gut – as a result, poor gut health is a major contributing factor in triggering autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s.
So, the first step in the healing process for many is to begin to heal the gut. This can be done in a multitude of ways, including nutrition and lifestyle changes. Ultimately, your healthcare professional will be the best resource for determining your ideal plan of action.
Secondly, patients must eliminate any triggers that may contribute to the immune system attacking the body. Triggers can be found in foods, such as sugars and refined carbohydrates, but also can be the result of existing infections or toxins present in the body.
Finally, the immune system must be put back into balance to achieve stability once more. This can be accomplished in different ways, but many patients see results from an increase in Vitamin D, Fish Oil, and Nitric Oxide.
Clark Chiropractic Offers Tests and Treatment for Hashimoto’s, Autoimmune, & Tyroid Disease
The team at Clark Chiropractic and Wellness treats every patient that walks through our doors with the utmost respect to their condition. This include those seeking thyroid tests for Hashimoto disease.
No two patients are ever alike, and we believe in treating the condition, NOT just the symptoms – this is especially true when it comes to thyroid conditions, since there’s such a quick impulse to prescribe medication to simply treat symptoms from so many.
Typically, doctors will run thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and T4 through a blood test. However, this only gives a small amount of information about the underlying cause of the thyroid problem.
In comparison, we evaluate the thyroid more completely, not only looking at TSH and T4, but the active form of T3 as well. We evaluate thyroid antibodies to help determine whether or not a patient may be suffering from Hashimoto’s, and we analyze T3 uptake which lets us know if a patient is able to take the thyroid hormone into the cell.
This process helps paint a more complete picture of the problem – and helps to not just decrease symptoms, but the cause of the symptoms as well.
Our goal is to provide each patient with long-term solutions to achieve an optimal quality of life, not just a quick fix. If you suspect you may be dealing with some sort of thyroid problem, including an autoimmune or thyroid disease, please call or visit us today to see how we can help you! Call today at: 218-354-8330