Fatigued? Carrying a few extra pounds? Hows your Thyroid?

Your thyroid gland is composed of several spongy square inches of glandular tissue just below your adams apple and holds the key to your body temperature regulation, energy level, healthy weight maintenance, and much more.   Thyroid dysfunction is incredibly common, so common that if you get routine blood work from your doctor or even a health fair there will likely be at least one marker for thyroid function included namely TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone.  If you have your test results pull them out and take a look at this number.  If it is between 0.3 and 5.0 you fall within the "reference range" or "normal" and most Doctors would say your thyroid is fine.  That is the conventional "normal".  With my patients my goal is for that number to be between 0.5 and 2.0, that is where people seem to feel their best, have the least problems with infertility, and plenty of energy to enjoy their live.  When the number gets above 2.0, symptoms of low thyroid function can begin to show up.  These include weight gain, feeling cold, hair loss, and depression to name a few.  When the TSH gets below 0.5 symptoms of hyperthyroid can show up like anxiety, heart palpitations and weight loss.  These are short lists a quick Google search will give you many more.  If you have any of these symptoms or had a TSH above 2.0 or under 0.5, you could be feeling better.  Be forewarned if you levels are within the "reference range" your doctor may tell you you are just fine, but as a Naturopathic Doctor, I say you are not, and there are many things you can do.  I treat thyroid problems daily in my practice.  When I am suspicious of thyroid problems I order more testing to find out exactly what is going on and recommend natural treatments with vitamins, supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies to restore thyroid function, and in many cases reduce or eliminate the need to medications.  A great home test to see how well your thyroid is functioning is to take your temperature.  As I mentioned your thyroid gland helps control your internal thermostat and for most of us a low body temperature is the first sign that your thyroid gland is struggling.  To do this test all you need is a thermometer, and a pen and paper.  Each day for 3 days take your temperature in the morning, mid day, and in the evening, for cycling females it is best to do this test during your period.  If your temperature averages below 98.5 and you have symptoms, you would likely benefit from natural treatments.  Abnormal body temperature (remember 98.6 is normal) can be due to thyroid dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, or other hormone imbalance.  See a qualified practitioner, and get it checked out.