THYROID & FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE
Misclassified Hypothyroidism: Why Knowing the Root Cause Behind Your Thyroid Problem is the Key to Resolving It
26 September 2017
The thyroid gland is located in your neck and secretes hormones that are vital to your body’s metabolism. It is a member of your endocrine system, which runs from your head to the end of your torso. The endocrine system is an information signaling system that helps to regulate the tissues and organs in your body.
FACTS ABOUT THYROID DISEASE (thyroid.org):
- More than 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.
- An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease.
- Up to 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
- Women are more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
- One in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
There are two types of thyroid disease: hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone, and hypothyroidism, where the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone. Hyperthyroidism affects about 1% of the population while hypothyroidism affects 4-5%. In this post we discuss the subject of hypothyroidism.
Conventional medicine doctors typically treat an underactive thyroid by prescribing thyroid medication like levothyroxine, usually determined through a blood test. Unfortunately, most conventional doctors don’t try to determine the cause of the malfunctioning thyroid.
While there are many factors that might affect the under-functioning of the thyroid gland, one of the least known and most common is a condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its thyroid gland and slowly destroys it.
“Most conventional doctors don’t try to determine the cause of the malfunctioning thyroid.”
One of the most comprehensive books written on the subject of Hashimoto’s disease is by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, author of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? In his book, he and several other functional medicine doctors claim that the inability of certain people to digest gluten contributes to this condition. In the simplest terms, the undigested gluten comes through the intestinal walls (leaky gut) into the bloodstream. The immune system sees this as a foreign invader and sends antibodies to kill it. However, since the molecules for gluten and thyroid resemble each other, the antibodies also attack the thyroid gland.
Unfortunately, this condition is typically diagnosed in middle age after much damage has been done over the years. According to Dr. Kharrazian, the patient must stop eating gluten-containing foods completely. For most Americans who are used to eating pounds of amber waves of grain every year (wheat), this is a hard pill to swallow. We like our pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, crackers, pastries, pancakes, pasta and birthday cakes.
However, once the patient realizes what a difference they feel in their energy level and overall wellness (you might even notice improvement in your skin as well as your digestive system), it becomes easier to avoid wheat and other gluten-containing products. Plus, fortunately today there are so many more alternatives than there were even 10 years ago, such as grain-free cereal, gluten-free crackers and pasta made from beans. And in large cities, many restaurants have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, offering gluten-free alternatives for patrons to enjoy. Eliminating gluten has never been easier.
If you suspect that your thyroid issues may be caused by autoimmune issues or want to explore how lifestyle changes, such as eliminating gluten, can help, consider a lifestyle program such as the ones provided by Revitalize Health. With natural supplementation, strategic food eliminations (including guided help in eliminating gluten), and detoxification protocols, we help people learn the tools they need to approach their health conditions in a natural manner and experience remarkable improvements in their health.
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