Your thyroid function can be easily compromised by hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, insufficient nutrition, high inflammatory diet, stress, and medications. We have found that many people have a hard time losing weight or gaining energy if their thyroid function is compromised. Many people have symptoms of hypothyroidism, but find that their symptoms are overlooked if their lab results for TSH levels are “within normal limits.” The majority of these people could be suffering from what is known in functional medicine as subclinical hypothyroidism, and as time goes by, if left untreated, they will find that their conditions can get worse.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
If your thyroid gland isn’t working properly, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be disturbed. This can happen for many reasons, including autoimmune thyroid disease, hyperthyroidism treatments, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, or certain medications.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are two hormones produced by the thyroid gland, and they have a huge impact on your health. These hormones affect all aspects of the body’s metabolism, and they are also responsible for controlling vital body functions like temperature and heart rate.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, leading to problems like low energy levels, weight gain, and other symptoms.
Some of the factors responsible for causing hypothyroidism are:
Autoimmune disease – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. These antibodies affect the ability of the thyroid gland to produce hormones.
Over-response to treatment for hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland overproduces the thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism is often treated with radioactive iodine or by administering anti-thyroid medications. However, sometimes while trying to reduce the overproduction of hormones, the treatment may end up lowering thyroid hormone production more than required, resulting in permanent hypothyroidism.
Thyroid surgery – Removing a portion of the thyroid gland or complete removal of the thyroid gland can have an adverse impact on hormone production, leading to hypothyroidism.
Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy used for treating cancers affecting the head and neck area can impact the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.
Medicines – Many types of medicines can result in hypothyroidism. Lithium is one such medicine. It is used for treating certain psychiatric disorders.
In some instances, hypothyroidism can also be caused by congenital diseases, where babies are born with a defective gland or no thyroid gland, or the thyroid gland doesn’t develop normally. Infants with congenital hypothyroidism may appear normal at birth, and their hyperthyroidism may go untreated.
In very few cases, hypothyroidism can be caused due to the failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Some women develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism) as their bodies produce antibodies that affect their thyroid gland.
Iodine deficiency can also lead to hypothyroidism, and too much iodine can worsen hypothyroidism in people who already have the condition.
Solutions & Treatment for Hypothyroidism
Here at WildBerryMD in Tucson, we start by evaluating your medical history, symptoms, and your detailed thyroid panel with initial blood tests to determine if you have under-diagnosed or untreated hypothyroidism. We focus on optimizing the function of the thyroid gland with our personalized hypothyroidism treatment plan. Our treatment plan may include a combination of natural T3, T4, supplementation and recommendations for additional testing to treat other wellness-related conditions such as hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, nutritional deficiencies, weight gain, and allergies. Regular visits to the doctor and blood work are important to ensure each patient is getting the optimal dose.