Thyroid Optimization: Why the Word “Normal” Need Not Apply

You’re not just tired; you are absolutely exhausted. You’re not simply “moody”; you are experiencing unexplainable and often unpredictable irritability – and other unpleasant symptoms. You ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way”? You head to your primary care physician’s office. They run a standard lab and proclaim, “Well, your thyroid is within “normal” range. That must not be the problem.”

At Rejuve Health Clinics, we have no interest in “normal.” “Normal” indicates you fall within the standard margin of the average adult. This is called subclinical hypothyroidism. Essentially, this means your numbers are technically normal, but not normal for you. We want you feeling your very best, and often “normal” won’t get you there.

The thyroid is one of the most misunderstood and therefore mismanaged hormones within the body. Both men and women can and do experience thyroid imbalance. However, women are up to eight times more likely to suffer from thyroid dysfunction.

The Thyroid Gland What it is & How it Works

The thyroid is a small butterfly‐shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It produces hormones – chemical messengers – that affect every cell and process in the body. Think of the thyroid like the body’s gas and brake pedals. The pituitary gland increases or decreases its production of thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) to let the thyroid gland know whether it’s time to press the gas or hit the brakes on thyroid hormone production.

The thyroid is one of the most biochemically active hormones in the body. In fact, it touches or is involved in nearly every body system. For example, thyroid hormones activate testosterone, are directly responsible for carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and play a critical role in maintaining focus, concentration, and energy throughout the day. Additionally, cardiovascular and reproductive health are reliant on an optimally functioning thyroid gland.

Thyroid Disorders – Causes & Symptoms

Hypothyroidism – Thyroid hormone deficiency: Caused by lack of iodine/selenium, inflammatory processes (autoimmune, Hashimoto’s thyroid/leaky gut), chronic stress, adrenal insufficiency, or may be inherited.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Cloudy or foggy thinking
  • Dry skin, hair, and nails
  • Intolerance to hot and cold temperatures

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – Also known as Leaky Gut Syndrome, Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the tissue of the thyroid gland. While the exact cause of Hashimoto’s is unknown, genetic predisposition and hormone imbalances are thought to play a role.

Symptoms of Hashimoto’s can be similar to those of hypothyroidism and may include:

  • Sensitivity to gluten, corn, dairy, and soy
  • Decreased production of thyroid hormones • Systemic inflammation
  • Difficulty with weight loss
  • Unexplained weight gain

Hyperthyroidism – Thyroid hormone overproduction: Caused by thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), excess iodine, and benign tumors of the pituitary or thyroid gland.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat • Nervousness/anxiety
  • Hair loss
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping

Why Should You Have Your Thyroid Function Checked?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably making the connection between thyroid function and your overall health and quality of life. Typical labs provided by your primary care physician will most often include a simple check of thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH). TSH levels do not tell the whole story!

Rejuve Health Clinics looks at all aspects of thyroid function – TSH, Free T3, T4, and we will also screen for thyroid antibodies. By taking the time to understand your unique and complete thyroid picture, we can then best understand how to optimize its functioning. Remember, we’re not simply seeking “normal”; we’re seeking total optimization.

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