Thyroid gland is the master gland of metabolism. Pretty much everything is affected by the active thyroid hormone. It functions as a regulator or a thermostat. When it works optimally things get warmer, become more alive, there is a better energy and heat generation, your skin and hair feels soft, there is a glow to your skin.
When it’s sluggish, everything in the body becomes sluggish.
The immune system and thinking pattern can become sluggish. Dry skin, IBS, hair loss, fatigue, frequently feeling cold, brain fog are common symptoms of low thyroid function. Therefore this mighty hormone has affect across entire biochemistry:
- Body weight
- Body temperature
- GI Function
- Immune Function
- Heart Function
- Brain Function
- PMS, Sex Drive
When I went through my personal health challenges, I’ve experienced all of the symptoms associated with the low thyroid function. But I want to let you know that recovery and healing is possible when we can address underlying root causes of dysfunctions in the body. I was able to get to the root causes and address them without any medications.
Low thyroid function or hypothyroidism is often missed.
Conventional medicine often only looks at one lab marker, which is TSH. Sometimes your lab work may also include T4 thyroid hormone. None of them unfortunately give a true representation of the metabolically active thyroid hormone.
The first myth I want to bust is that TSH is not a thyroid hormone. It’s a brain hormone. It is the brain’s input to the thyroid gland as to how much more T4 thyroid hormone should be produced.
T4 thyroid hormone is a pro-hormone, which means it is going to act somewhere else in the body to produce another hormone. About 85% of T4 goes to the liver where it converts to the active thyroid hormone, T3. About 20% of this conversion also occurs in the kidneys and GI tract.
T3 is the active thyroid hormone.
It is a real workhorse and the main metabolic regulator of the body. Conversion of T4 to T3 requires certain co-factors. It is also mandatory that the body has certain minerals and vitamins to convert T4 to T3 such as iodine, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, C, B2. Additionally, glucagon, insulin, melatonin, testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) are hormones important for the proper conversion of T4 to T3.
T3 action also depends on the optimal cortisol levels. Nowadays cortisol is often viewed as a “trouble maker” but the truth of the matter is that the cortisol is part of our survival mechanism. Both too high as well as too low levels of cortisol levels have a negative downstream affect on our biochemistry, health and thyroid function.
If one is lacking any of these, you will not have a thyroid gland that is happy, happy. Problems will develop if any or all of these areas are adversely affected over time. There are many triggers and underlying root causes for the low thyroid function. Some of the examples are:
- dysbiosis or microbial overgrowth
- leaky gut
- immune system dysregulation
Every person is unique.
My life experience, system, toxin exposure, detoxification capabilities, nutrient status is completely different from yours. Therefore one size does not fit all!
By giving a label to a disease and then triaging it with the medication, doesn’t help to reverse the disease dynamic. Medications can be life-saving. They might be needed as a triage to save the gland, organ or tissue but they do not reverse blockages, impairments and dysfunctions in the body.
We can however reverse imbalances in the body by peeling back the onion and addressing the root causes of dysfunctions.
Below I want to share my personal hormone test results.
On the BEFORE picture you can see that I scored extremely low across all the hormones. Yellow star to the right indicates rock bottom levels of that specific hormone. No wonder I had insomnia, extreme fatigue, hair loss and low thyroid function. Through the functional medicine lens I was able to reverse imbalances and dysfunctions in my body that had very serious overt affect on my health.
On the After picture you can see an increase across all sex hormones. It feels wonderful to know that healing indeed is possible and I am a perfect example of this. My health journey still continues but I feel finally revived in comparison to how I felt 2 years ago. Please note that I was able to achieve improvements in my health without any medications or hormone replacement therapy.
If you need help in reviewing your labwork or supporting you in optimizing your health and getting to the root causes of your imbalances, dysfunctions through functional medicine lens, please contact me or schedule a Comprehensive Health History Consultation. I would love to help.
I am not acting in the capacity of a doctor, licensed dietitian-nutritionist, therapist, or psychologist and will not diagnose, treat or cure any disease, condition or other physical or mental ailment of the human body.
Rather I serve as a mentor and guide who helps a client to reach her/his own health and wellness goals through implementing incremental, positive, healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that help the client to live and thrive using simple methods.
Functional Medicine services are designed for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional.