Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland, at the front of your neck, doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone or when your body fails to use thyroid hormone efficiently. There are several types of hypothyroidism. The most common is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the thyroid gland. The disease affects both sexes and all ages, but is most common in women over age 50. Because the thyroid gland is involved in regulating metabolism, low thyroid levels cause your body to slow down and can affect everything from appetite to body temperature. Left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause serious health complications. Signs and symptoms include slow pulse, lethargy, hoarse voice, slowed speech
Goiter (caused by swollen thyroid gland), intolerance to cold, weight gain, constipation, dry, scaly, thick, coarse hair, numbness in fingers or hands, confusion, depression, dementia, headaches, menstrual cramps or other menstrual disorders. The various forms of hypothyroidism have different causes. In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, antibodies in the blood mistakenly attack the thyroid gland and start to destroy it. Post-therapeutic hypothyroidism occurs when treatment for hyperthyroidism leaves the thyroid unable to produce enough thyroid hormone. And hypothyroidism with goiter results when your diet lacks iodine. The addition of iodine to salt in the developed world has made this rare, though it still happens in undeveloped countries.
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with hypothyroidisms starts with a full thyroid lab panel to determine if the hypothyroidism is due to an autoimmune disease or just an under functioning thyroid. This will directly dictate the type of treatment prescribed. Comprehensive test above and beyond just the TSH is essential to determine overall thyroid function. Glandulars, clinical nutrition and botanical medicine may be prescribed to put health back into the thyroid so it can do its best job possible to regulate metabolism.