The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system and is partly responsible for controlling your metabolism. With the help of the thyroid, the endocrine system produces hormones that help control your metabolism as well as other body functions.
If the thyroid produces too little or too much hormone, it can cause your metabolism to malfunction. At Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY, our treatment options for thyroid disease are designed to help correct imbalances naturally.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Also known as underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid fails to create or release enough hormones into the bloodstream. This creates a hormonal imbalance that may cause your metabolism to slow down and may result in fatigue, weight gain, or an inability to tolerate cold temperatures.
Severe hypothyroidism is called myxedema and can be life-threatening. However, most people with hypothyroidism can improve their health with thyroid treatments.
Hypothyroidism has either a primary or secondary cause. Primary causes are conditions that directly impact the thyroid, like Hashimoto’s disease.
Secondary causes impact another part of the body that must work with the thyroid to produce hormones. For example, the pituitary gland sends a stimulating hormone to the thyroid. A problem with the pituitary gland could halt the production of that hormone, causing the thyroid to be out of balance.
There are many possible secondary causes, but only a handful of primary causes which include:
- Inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis)
- Iodine deficiency
- Hereditary conditions, such as Hashimoto’s disease
- Surgical removal of the thyroid
- Treatments, such as radiation
Primary causes for hypothyroidism are more common and more easily diagnosed. A blood test called the thyroid-stimulating hormone test is the main diagnostic tool for confirming if you have this condition.
What Is Hypothyroidism Like?
You may not realize your thyroid hormones are out of balance if symptoms are mild. Fatigue and weight gain are the most common complaints, but because there are many reasons for being tired or gaining a few pounds, an underactive thyroid may not be your or your physician’s first suspicion.
However, as your metabolism continues to slow down, symptoms worsen. Hypothyroidism symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Dry skin
- Inflammation in the face
- Hoarse voice
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Pain and swelling in joints
- Muscle aches, stiffness, and tenderness
- Elevated cholesterol level
- Slowed heart rate
- Poor memory
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
Thyroid imbalances will not resolve on their own. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your healthcare professional for a complete diagnosis. There are a variety of thyroid treatments available, and a clear understanding of the primary or secondary reason for a malfunctioning thyroid will help inform your treatment plan.
If you experience hypothyroidism symptoms with no known cause, we can help you discover whether you have thyroid disease. After you’re diagnosed, we can customize a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
An imbalance in your hormones can be a serious health problem that leads to other serious health problems. Finding effective treatment for an underactive thyroid should be a priority. Some of the complications that can arise include:
- Goiter: The thyroid may swell and make swallowing difficult
- Infertility: Low hormone production can disrupt ovulation
- Balancing problems: Older women are more likely to experience this
- Heart problems: Hypothyroidism can raise your bad cholesterol level
- Joint pain: Low hormone levels can lead to aches, pains, and tendonitis
- Obesity: Weight gain may occur because the metabolism slows down
- Mental health concerns: Poor memory or an inability to focus can develop
- Peripheral neuropathy: Numbness or tingling in the limbs can develop
During pregnancy, thyroid problems can cause problems with the fetus, potentially affecting its mental development. Severe hormonal imbalance can cause coma and even death.
Who Is at Risk for Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism can affect both men and women of all ages, but the condition is most common among women 60 and older. Most women with hypothyroidism develop it after menopause. While anyone can develop this health issue, some people are at a higher risk than others.
Hypothyroidism risk factors include:
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- Bipolar disorder
- Prematurely gray hair
- Autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis or type 1 diabetes
- Race, especially those of Asian or Caucasian descent
Health professionals use blood tests to check hormone levels and diagnose a thyroid imbalance.
What Is Hypothyroidism Treatment?
A synthetic version of the thyroid hormone known as T4 is typically prescribed to treat hypothyroidism. However, the side effects of synthetic T4 can be unpleasant, and finding the right dosage may take experimentation.
We approach this condition in a way that supports the body’s natural efforts to balance itself. No two clients receive the same exact thyroid treatment because each person’s needs are different. The treatment plan we develop will help normalize your thyroid hormone levels while we identify the root cause of your condition.
After a complete health evaluation, including diagnostic tests, we can develop a treatment plan that’s fully customized to meet your needs.
Learn More Today
If you suspect you have hypothyroidism or if you’ve already been diagnosed but are not happy with cookie-cutter treatment, contact Medical Transformation Center in Louisville, KY, today.
We’ll run the diagnostic tests you need and develop a treatment plan that meets all of your health needs, including treating the cause of hypothyroidism, not just its symptoms.
We offer holistic treatments that support your body’s own healing abilities. We may recommend combining thyroid treatment with IV nutrient therapy or genomic testing as part of our whole-person approach to wellness.