Many people have symptoms that could be caused by a deficient thyroid hormone function. Research at the GP, however, does not always mean that something is found. Naturopathic physicians think this is partly caused by the fact that the current laboratory tests do not detect all problems. Below information about the thyroid gland and possible causes of problems.
The function of the thyroid gland and complaints:
The thyroid can be compared with the thermostat of the stove. If it is high, all combustion processes go faster and more violently than if the ‘thermostat of our body’ is too low. If you have too low thyroid hormone activity , you often literally get cold quickly, your whole body or only cold hands and feet. The energy heater is also too low and there is often fatigue. The diet digs up a little too slowly, so that it can lie heavily on the stomach, but also clogging (very slow stools) can be related to this. Overweight, while you eat normally or even little, because your stove uses little fuel. Depression, concentration problems, apathy or forgetfulness are a signal of very little energy in the brain. Click here for onemore extensive list of symptoms.
It is less common that there is too much activity of thyroid hormones. Then everything goes too fast, even the beating of your heart. You often endure heat badly and quickly tend to sweat. Diarrhea is the opposite of constipation; it may be the first symptom of an overactive thyroid gland. You can eat a lot and still do not get an ounce or even lose weight. Emotionally there is too much of everything: fear, nervousness and, for example, insomnia due to a lot of unrest.
Too much activity of thyroid hormones is, among other things, stressful for the heart and should therefore not take too long.
Diagnosis through blood tests
In the protocols of the general practitioners it is stated that in case of complaints that indicate problems with thyroid hormones, a TSH measurement must first be made. If deviating values ??are found in this blood test, additional studies are performed. If the TSH value is too high, there is usually a low activity of thyroid hormones. If the TSH value is too low, the activity of thyroid hormones is usually too high. In both abnormalities, there may be an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland.
Too much activity of the thyroid gland is much better recognized by naturopathic doctors with the help of laboratory tests than too low an activity.
If you want to better understand the results of laboratory tests, you can find more information about laboratory results here. You will also find information about possible other studies, which can help you to find out what is going on.
The piece below only goes on about too low activity of thyroid hormones, because they are often not well recognized.
Diagnosis according to temperature measurement better?
There is dissatisfaction among naturopathic doctors about the results of blood tests for thyroid hormones. They find that blood tests in many patients do not discover that there are problems with the functioning of the thyroid hormones. They therefore argue for the determination of too little activity of thyroid homones via a body temperature test. They find the result, in practice, more usable than the results of blood tests. This temperature test, developed by Dr Broda Barnes in the 1930s, fell into the background with the arrival of the blood tests for TSH and the like.
A test to the basal temperature of the body gives the most exact answer to the functioning of the thyroid as a thermostat, which controls the ‘stove’ of the body. Instructions on how to carry out this test can be found here
Thyroid disorders type I and type II
There are many disruptions in the functioning of the thyroid hormones, which can not be found in the blood test for thyroid hormones. A number of experts also recommend to classify thyroid diseases in 2 types, similar to diabetes (diabetes) type I and type II. Thyroid disorders type I do give abnormal values ??of hormones in blood tests. However, more studies need to be done than just the quantity of the hormone TSH in the blood. Thyroid disorders type II do not show abnormal values ??of hormones that can be found in blood tests. These disorders are therefore hardly detected in regular health care.
What can happen?
Interactions between hormones
In Eastern medicine, it has been taught for centuries that there is a strong interaction between the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands and the sexual glands. Through scientific research it is becoming increasingly clear that these relations indeed exist and what that interaction looks like.
Hormones all have a strong mutual interaction. If there is a disruption of, for example, the adrenal glands or the gonads, this has an effect on the function of the thyroid gland. With chronic stress , for example , the adrenal gland has to work so often and so hard that the thyroid gland burns at a lower level. In people who suffer from depressionthis is almost always the case. They usually have a high content of the adrenal hormone cortisol that is produced in chronic stress. This inhibits the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone to its active form. Also, with an increased value of cortisol, more rT3 occurs. At most laboratories no distinction is made between different forms of T3; they only measure the total T3. but rT3 (reversed T3) is an inactive form of T3. Values ??can seem normal, while they are not when relatively much rT3 is created.
If the adrenal gland becomes depleted at a certain point, too low a quantity of the stress hormone cortisol may develop. A too low amount of cortisol, however, has a negative influence on the functioning of the thyroid hormones, because they can only exert their efficacy in the cell if cortisol ensures that the cell receptors work well.
Estrogen is the female hormone which also affects the functioning of the thyroid gland. During pregnancy, estrogen inhibits the functioning of the thyroid gland, causing more fat to be stored. This fat is necessary to provide the mother and baby with spare fuel as much as possible after delivery, because in the natural situation, breastfeeding will still require a lot of energy from the mother.
The contraceptive pillusually contains a lot of estrogen, compared to the natural amount in the body. This amount of estrogen makes the conversion from the inactive to the active thyroid hormone more difficult. In addition, more and more substances are found in the environment and in nutrients that closely resemble estrogens ( xenoestrogens ), which can also be a cause of an ever greater imbalance in the hormonal system. How sensitive you are can vary from person to person. Just as it can also differ from person to person, how much you come into contact with these substances. For example, if you use a lot of plastic, then there are several plasticisers who have an estrogenic effect. On various websites you can find more information about xenoestrogens.
Some people even react to the hormones that are given to animals in the bio-industry and that are left in the steak. But the amounts found in meat are compared peanuts with the amount that is already in 1 contraceptive pill. It is still unknown how much impact the expelled quantities of hormones have, which originate from contraceptives. Presumably these remnants can only be removed from the drinking water to a limited extent.
However, there are even more mutual effects between hormones. Also insulin,the hormone to regulate high blood sugar levels can disrupt thyroid hormones. It is better for most people to use food that keeps blood sugar levels stable as much as possible, but for some it is acutely important. For more information about blood sugar and insulin, see various topics on this website, including obesity.
Melatoninis a hormone that is made in the dark. It functions as a kind of ‘conductor’ of the entire hormone system and therefore also affects the thyroid hormones. By street lighting, illuminated greenhouses and the large amount of lamps in our houses, the production of this hormone is disturbed and greatly reduced. The precise effect of this hormone is not entirely clear yet, but it may have an inhibiting effect on the development of cancer. In any case, it seems advisable to choose curtains that allow little outside light and use alarms etc. that emit little or no light.
There may also be shortages of certain minerals. Everyone knows iodine as an important substance for the thyroid gland. Shortages of iodine are common, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2004 and this conclusion is still repeated frequently. However, the amount of iodine is not easy to determine with a blood test. More detailed information about the symptoms and the diagnosis of iodine deficiency can be found here iodine . Iodine deficiencies can lead to both too low and too high thyroid hormone activity. Pregnant women in particular have a rapid iodine deficiency. The estimate is that approximately 18% of women will develop a thyroid problem within six months of giving birth!
However, extra intake of iodine through supplements can also cause problems. Do this only under the guidance of an expert!
Iodine and substances that look a lot like that
Fluorine, chlorine and bromine are substances that belong to the same chemical group as iodine, namely the halogens. For all halogens, they can easily take the place of iodine in the body because of the large similarity at the molecular level. Only they do not have the effect that would cause iodine in those places. In order to protect us against this, we need daily larger amounts of iodine than our ancestors, who came into contact with chemicals containing halogens much less.
Fluoris a substance that is added to almost all toothpastes, mouthwashwaters, etc. Sometimes fluorine causes problems in the functioning of the thyroid hormones, especially if there is a shortage of iodine. Try toothpaste without fluorine; among others available at health food stores. Pans with a non-stick coating also often contain fluorine-containing substances. Fluor also contains a number of drugs, such as Prozac (antidepressant), Diflucan (antifungal medicine) and Flixotide or Flixonase (anti-inflammatory medicine for asthma, among others).
Bromineis very much in hair styling products, especially those that have a fixing effect. Bromine compounds have a flame retardant effect and are therefore in furniture, mattresses, clothing and floor coverings. Bromine is also present in a number of medications, including the expectorant Bisolvon, and in Parlodel, a remedy for Parkinson’s disease. In 1992, the substance potassium bromate (E 924), which was used as a bread improver, was banned because of harmful effects or health.
Chlorineis known as a toxic gas. But in certain connections it is completely innocent. Common salt is a connection between sodium and chloride. Iodized salt is the most important source of iodine for many people. Salt is iodized because many people have a shortage of iodine. The iodized salt iodine, due to that combination of chloride and iodine, can be absorbed by the body for about 10%. Seaweed and fish are natural sources for iodine. Other substances that are necessary or harmful to the thyroid gland
In addition to iodine, tyrosine (a protein), selenium, zinc, iron and a small amount of copper are also required to form thyroid hormones. Shortages of zinc and selenium are common in the Netherlands.
Medication with lithium can have an inhibitory effect on the thyroid, but change in this medication is very difficult. Inositol is a B vitamin that can compensate for some of the negative effects of lithium. Do not experiment with it without expert guidance.
Autoimmune disorders are common in disorders of the functioning of thyroid hormones. An autoimmune disorder is an overly strong reaction of the immune system: it attacks the body’s own tissue.
After a pregnancy the risk of an autoimmune disorder increases, because during pregnancy there is a very different balance between the various hormones. The immune system is inhibited during pregnancy, because the female body then contains a lot of foreign DNA (hereditary material). The baby also has a lot of hereditary material from the father. In a ‘normal’ situation, the body of the mother would try to emit this foreign material. Then no baby could survive the pregnancy. The immune system is organized differently during a pregnancy than if the woman is not pregnant. If breastfeeding is still given after the pregnancy, the hormone system changes slightly less quickly and vigorously than when breastfeeding is not given.
Shortages of iodine, vitamin D and fish oil increase the risk of developing inflammation that can lead to autoimmune disorders at a later stage.
A shortage of cortisol, the (anti) stress hormone, is also an important factor in the development of autoimmune disorders. Cortisol should ensure that the immune system does not become hyperactive. In regular health care often a synthetic form is given as medication in autoimmune disorders: corticosteroid. An example of a synthetic form of cortisol is Prednisone, or the aforementioned Flixotide. This indicates that the body’s own amount of cortisol is inadequate. Cortisol is made by the adrenal glands, so extra care for the adrenals is important for everyone but especially for people with autoimmune disorders.
A cortisol deficiency can also have an emotional cause. If one tries to process old emotional pain, for example from the youth, the immune system becomes more active. You not only increase your emotional resistance in such an emotional process, but your immune cells also become more active. The immune cells are active in an autoimmune process. Only when you are able to really feel safe again with regard to that situation from the past, the immune cells will come back into balance more easily. Sometimes you are not even aware of the disruptive emotions, see reduction of unconscious stress. Emotional therapy, kinesiology, healing or an approach through family setups can be helpful or a combination of various methods.
If an emotional process is possibly the core of the problem that caused an autoimmune process, it is still important to realize that the associated inflammations can cause considerable damage in the body. It is therefore important that in addition to emotional support, as much as possible other support is given to the body to calm and inhibit inflammation. See the other topics on this page and on the entire website.
Finally, residual infections playprobably a big role in the development of autoimmune disorders. By infection residues tissue is stimulated extra (mild inflammation) and the immune system will soon ‘think’ that abnormal cells must be controlled. Some examples of infection residues are described with the headache topic . In the case of chronic inflammation, which is only present to a very slight degree, the usual ignition values ??in laboratory tests are often within the normal range. Especially a slight increase of CRP (the normal value is 0) can be an indication for such a low-grade ignition.
It is known that the thyroid gland is very sensitive to radioactive radiation. It is still unclear what the effects are of radiation emitted by, for example, microwave ovens, DECT telephones and wireless TV receivers and computer equipment. There is a lot of discussion about this and the government has always denied the effects so far. In small studies, however, it has been shown that the heart rhythm or the regulation of the blood sugar level can be disturbed by electromagnetic radiation from the aforementioned devices. Here too, the image is that some people are very sensitive and a lot of others experience no effect. People who suffer from problems with their thyroid gland can, in my opinion, better take it for granted and limit contact with this type of radiation as much as possible.
Treatment in practice
Through practice, blood tests can be requested to measure the values ??of thyroid hormones. This concerns TSH, T4, FT4, T3, FT3. RT3 can also be measured; this can be applied for in combination with the other 5 tests, but also as a separate test. Finally, antibodies can be measured (anti-TPO, anti-Tg, antibodies TSH-receptor) and iodine can be tested via various measuring methods. Various hormones can also be tested on the basis of 24 hour urine.
A test can also be done to check the cortisol values. Because these values ??can vary greatly during the day, this is an intensive test. The cortisol is measured in saliva at 6 different times of the day. Only then will you get a truly nuanced picture of cortisol.
Finally, saliva tests can also be requested via the practice for the measurement of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Practice de Merel works together with various laboratories, see links .
I am not a doctor (I have not studied medicine), so I can not prescribe thyroid hormone. If I should, I would try to avoid it as long as possible. When synthetic thyroid hormones are added to the body, the body will react with a reduction in the amount of hormones that it produces itself. Sometimes complaints are so intense that the situation is not livable without supplementation with thyroid hormones.
Naturally, naturopaths advise to continue looking for solutions that address the cause of the disturbance that has led to a reduced functioning of thyroid hormones. This can prove a long and difficult search, but sometimes simple measures are already very effective.
* If there is an infection residue, it is important to treat it as well as possible. Infection residues can be tested using kinesiology (see role menu or sitemap at ‘health coach’ for more information about this).
* Deficiencies of all the aforementioned nutrients, which are necessary to properly synthesize thyroid hormones, can also be found with kinesiological tests. If there is a load with, for example, halogens, see if this taxing substance can be removed from your environment and / or your food.
* If the adrenal gland produces too much or too little cortisol , the body needs support. There are natural means that can support the adrenal gland.
If there is disruption of insulin , then adjustment of the diet is desirable and it may be useful to follow a cleansing treatment to help remove stressful substances from the pancreas.
* In case of a shortage of melatoninthere are often sleep problems. Above a few recommendations are already given to improve the production of melatonin.
Deficiencies in certain nutrients or hormonal dysregulation can be tested in practice using kinesiology. Hormonal disruption can also be found with the help of laboratory tests. The completed symptoms list can also give indications for nutrient deficiencies or hormone dysregulation. If blood tests have already been done via the GP, it is advisable to request them from the GP and to take them to the consultation. If there are obvious shortcomings in the blood of, for example, T4, then you already know that there is a problem in the production of this hormone.
* The information on the normal values ??of thyroid hormones in blood tests also mentions that enzymes are needed to convert the inactive T4 (thyroid) hormones into the active T3 hormones. Enzymes can only work at a certain acidity of the blood and at a good body temperature. For the treatment in practice, I recommend to record the basal body temperature according to the temperature method . In practice, the acidity of saliva can be tested using test strips. The acidity of saliva is a better indication for determining the acidity of blood, than the method that is also widely used: measuring the acidity of urine.
* In addition, it is often useful to have emotional stressto deal with; short advice, energetic techniques and conversations about the way you deal with stress situations can already have a lot of effect. The thyroid gland belongs to the fifth chakra, which symbolizes communication. Are you able to understand another person and do you feel understood by the people around you? Emotional stress affects the hormone cortisol and the regulation of blood sugar levels.