Hypothyroidism is a health condition where the human body has an underactive thyroid, which interferes with the production of crucial hormones. If left untreated over extended periods of time, hypothyroidism can cause health complications including obesity, infertility, heart problems, and joint issues. As a necessary part of the body’s lipid metabolism, a dysfunctional thyroid can also present sexual and reproductive issues if not addressed.
Many individuals with thyroid disorders struggle to receive the correct diagnoses and ensuing care. In fact, many people are unaware that they have an underactive thyroid disorder.
Symptoms Increase in Severity When hypothyroidism sets in, the signs and symptoms often start out slowly and progress in severity. The initial symptoms manifest as fatigue and weight gain before branching into other signs that are often incorrectly attributed to aging, including:
- Puffy face
- Sensitivity to cold
- Thinning hair
- Muscle aches or stiffness
- Impaired memory
- Elevated cholesterol
- Enlarged thyroid gland
The body’s chemical balance is precarious and there are numerous causes that can upset the hormones necessary for good health. The thyroid is a small gland shaped like a butterfly positioned at the base of the neck, near where the clavicles almost meet. This small gland is responsible for producing two specific hormones — thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) — that majorly impact the body’s temperature, heart rate and metabolism. Several different factors may cause your body to produce insufficient amounts of T3 and T4, including:
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is a common autoimmune disorder involving the thyroid gland that occurs when the body’s antibodies attack its own tissues. Many attribute this disease to a combination of genetics and environmental triggers.
Another known exacerbating factor to hypothyroidism is prescription medicines. In particular, lithium and other medicines used to treat psychiatric disorders can interfere with thyroid health.
Some women may develop hypothyroidism during pregnancy or in the postpartum phase because their bodies accidentally start producing antibodies to their own thyroid glands.
The body requires a specific amount of the trace mineral iodine as an essential component in the production of thyroid hormones. An iodine deficiency may lead to hypothyroidism.
Understanding Thyroid Function and Seeking Care
At Progressive Medical Center, our team has years of experience in identifying thyroid disorders, helping our clients understand them and successfully treating them. With an interactive, integrative approach to health and wellness, we offer a comprehensive program to stop any deterioration that has occurred due to thyroid malfunction and move on to healing naturally.
We often include dietary, nutritional or supplemental components to strengthen and rehabilitate the body, helping our clients unlock higher energy resources, the ability to focus and so many other benefits.