Testing for thyroid problems

Testing for thyroid problems

Testing for thyroid problems is recommended if you experience symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, depression, constipation, weight loss, diarrhoea or heart palpitations.  We also recommend thyroid testing in cases of infertility.

More than 1 in 10 older Australians have some form of diagnosed thyroid problem, and about 10% of the population have a sluggish thyroid (they have symptoms but medical tests do not confirm a thyroid disease).

The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the front part of your neck. It produces hormones needed for normal metabolism. Essentially, you can think of your thyroid hormones as the drums in an orchestra or band; thyroid hormones set the rhythm and the pace for most of our body functions – they regulate our metabolic rate and how fast or slow our organs and tissues function. Disordered thyroid function upsets the rhythm of the body. The thyroid then functions in either an over active or under active way.

What You Experience When You Have a Thyroid Condition?

Dysfunction of the thyroid can cause a number of different symptoms. Thyroid problems can affect weight, energy levels, appetite and mood; but the effects will be different depending on whether the thyroid gland is over functioning or under functioning.

Hyperthyroidism is a state of over-activity of the thyroid gland with excessive production of thyroid hormones and an increased metabolic rate – it’s as if the drums that set the rhythm for our bodies have sped up too much and are making everything function too fast.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism can include:

  • Feeling hot and intolerant of hot weather
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety, restlessness and insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fine tremors of the fingers
  • High blood pressure

Hypothyroidism, is a state of under-activity of the thyroid gland with a underproduction of thyroid hormone. When your body does not produce enough effective thyroid hormone, the body’s metabolism slows. This can affect every aspect of living such as your energy, endurance, body heat, sexuality, mind and emotions, resistance to colds and other respiratory ailments and conditions of hair, skin and nails. It affects how well and how long you live!

You also experience Symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain

Borderline Subnormal Thyroid Output

Many people with borderline or subnormal thyroid output can enhance their health with some nutrient support for the thyroid.

In this case, all thyroid tests may prove normal, but the individual suffers from a fully developed fatigue and anxiety state, as well as symptoms such as: muscle cramps particularly at night, persistent low back pain, excessive blood uric acid and joint stiffness.

Testing for Thyroid Problems

We routinely recommend an Iodine Patch thyroid test as well as the Barnes Basal Temperature thyroid test which can be done at home. This, along with your case history will indicate whether there is an underlying thyroid problem. Further testing may then be recommended.

If you have had routine medical thyroid tests we may still recommend that you have further testing. This may include testing for Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies, Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, thyroid-stimulating antibodies and Iodine levels. These tests are often not performed by medical doctors.

Herbs to Balance an Underactive Thyroid

On the other hand, an under-active thyroid can make you feel tired, cold and depressed. To increase the rhythm of the drum and improve the activity of the thyroid gland, we use a combination of herbs traditionally used to energise and warm the body. Special herbs which are energising, improve circulation, warm the body and are a great source of antioxidants are prescribed.

As well as these Herbs to Stimulate Thyroid activity, there are some Vital Nutrients required for an Under-active Thyroid, including:

  • Iodine – Iodine is an essential element for the production of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is common in many areas of the world, leading to depletion of iodine stores and reduced production of thyroid hormones.
  • Selenium – This trace element has many important roles in the body, including crucial roles as a cofactor in enzymes essential for production of thyroid hormones.
  • Zinc – Low zinc levels are associated with poor thyroid hormone production and reduced basal metabolic rate.

By combining the wisdom of nutrition and herbal medicine we can assist in the management of thyroid conditions, helping you feel your best.

Herbs to Calm an Overactive Thyroid

An overactive thyroid can make you feel anxious and restless and can also be a contributing factor to insomnia. A combination of traditional calming herbs may help to manage these symptoms and slow that beating drum that is increasing your metabolism too much.

Interpretation of Thyroid Test Results

Very often you may be medically proclaimed to be free of thyroid problems, but yet suffer many of the characteristic symptoms. In this case, you have no explanation for  the fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, depression, constipation, weight loss, diarrhoea or heart palpitations you still experience.
This is  because blood tests using the normal reference range don’t show the full picture of what is happening with your thyroid. The National Academy of Clinical biochemistry recognised this in 2003 and announced that if a patient had two tests done within 3 to 4 weeks of each other which produced a TSH  result of 2.5mU/L, they had sub-clinical Hypothyroidism.

This is often overlooked medically and patients go untreated.

Benefits of Natural Treatment for Your Thyroid Condition

The treatments used by naturopaths at Your Wellness Centre  have a rejuvenating effect on patients.  There is marked physical and emotional improvement, more energy, faster movements, more endurance, better sleep and less irritability, anxiety and depression. Clients also experience a more comfortable body temperature and increased energy and vitality.

Get in touch now

If you feel your body has lost its rhythm, or is functioning too fast or too slow, please come and see us today.

Call 03 9879 9596.