January is Thyroid awareness month
Functions of the Thygroid Gland
Though it weighs only about an ounce, the thyroid is responsible for functions that have a major impact on one’s health. It maintains body temperature, controls the rate of energy production (including oxygen use and basal metabolic rate), regulates the skeletal and muscular growth of children, and heavily influences brain chemistry. Additionally the thyroid gland has major influence in many other areas.
- Enhances a portion of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system.
- Promotes breakdown of blood sugar, mobilizes fats essential for protein synthesis.
- Enhances the liver’s synthesis of cholesterol.
- Promotes normal adult nervous system function and mood.
- Promotes normal functioning of the heart.
- Promotes normal muscular growth and function.
- Promotes normal GI motility and tone.
- Increases secretion of digestive juices, particularly that of the gallbladder and the stomach.
- Promotes normal female reproductive ability and lactation.
- Promotes normal hydration and secretory activity of the skin.
The thyroid gland takes iodine, a chemical element found in many foods, and converts it into thyroid hormones thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). It is estimated that iodine makes up about 0.00004% of total human body weight and is found in highest concentration in the thyroid gland cells. These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine, residue from the protein thyroglobulin, to make the hormones T4 (thyroxin) and T3 (triiodotyrosine). These hormones are then released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body, attached to a protein called Thyroid Binding Globulin (TGB).
Thyroid Symptoms You May Not Recognize as Such
There are many symptoms that can be caused by dysfunctional thyroid activity that may lead you to believe you have some unrelated health malady. These include:
- Gastrointestinal distress (including IBS or Celiac Disease)
- Acid reflux
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Weight gain/loss
- Cold intolerance
- Joint pain
Does Gluten Affect thyroid function?
If you have a thyroid autoimmune condition gluten can trigger inflammation, and barrier breakdown, leading to gut dysbiosis. Autoimmune genetic predisposition can also prompt gluten reactivity. This response is like "turning on a switch." Once the switch has been turned on it can't be turned off.
Other foods can look like gluten to your immune system and Interfere with your healing
Testing for Gluten Look-Alike Proteins
The way we assess cross-reactive foods and gluten-free diet antigens is with Cyrex Array 4. The image below shows what foods are evaluated with this important test:
The bottom line
The standard medical testing is all based on thyroid hormone replacement. It's not unusual for a Hashimoto's patient to come in and list a thyroid medication as the sole treatment for their thyroid health challenge. Functionally, I look at many tests to evaluate body function, including ordering 10 thyroid tests. I do this to understand more about a patients physiology. Also we assess for gluten intolerance as described above as well as gluten cross-reactions.
If you would like a more in-depth look at your health, particularly your body health as it relates to thyroid function, I welcome you to give our office a call to schedule your case review. You can reach us at 586-731-8840.
*Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC focuses his practice on helping patients find root causes to their chronic health challenges using the neurological aspects of chiropractic care, diet and nutritional recommendations. Please be aware I work with patients who are already medically diagnosed with medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, who are considered to be successfully medically managed by their physician, but who still have stubborn symptoms for which there appears to be no medical answer. I do not diagnose or treat medical conditions as would a medical doctor with drugs or surgery.
Always remember one of my mantras, "The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself."
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!