Get To Know Your Thyroid: Is it time to treat your metabolism trigger?

The thyroid controls the body regulates temperature, metabolism, and how much energy is expended at rest. Thyroid imbalances are often associated with weight management struggles, because when the thyroid doesn’t produce as much of the thyroid hormone, then the body’s processes (like the metabolism) slow down.

“In a normally functioning system, metabolism should be a normal, efficient process that does not need to be ‘managed’ other than with following basic healthy lifestyle guidelines,” explains Dr. Steven Schwartz of Balanced Health Center, Vail Valley. “If it is a constant battle to keep weight off, there could be a thyroid issue, a chronic infection issue, a digestive issue or even an adrenal issue.”

Symptoms Of Thyroid Disfunction

Benjamin Stone with Sigma Human Performance, says women are 5 to 8 times more likely to get HPT (hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid) than men. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Sudden changes in resting pulse, postural hypotension (low blood pressure when standing after sitting or lying down), and other kinds of palpitations.
  • Possible “lump” in throat or goiter.
  • Constant tiredness, sluggishness, or an above-average need for sleep.
  • Weight gain.
  • Anxiety.
  • Brain fog.
  • Feeling cold.
  • Decreased sex drive.
  • Dry ski and thinning hair.

Help Your Thyroid 

Thyroid symptoms are vague, says Schwartz, and can be associated with a lot of other conditions.

“Establishing basic body balancing is essential for any thyroid imbalance sufferer,” he adds.

The endocrine system, immune system and nervous system all work intimately together, so it’s important to keep your immune system strong with probiotics. Make sure the body us able to eliminate toxins appropriately, and Schwartz says using lymph drainage remedies as recommended by your health care provider can be an option.

Stone recommends decreasing stress, which helps to regulate that amount of cortisol produced in the body.

“If thyroid issues are severe and extreme, there are some effective pharmaceutical aids,” he says.

What’s most important, however, is proper diagnosis. Often, Stone explains, doctors want to put a patient on a thyroid medication immediately, without looking at other possible intervention strategies (nutritional or lifestyle related).

Stone says 80 percent of people who are on thyroid medications don’t need them.

“My role is determining which clients are qualified for pharmaceutical intervention, and which could avoid it all together,” he says. “Being on thyroid medication when it’s not necessary can actually put a patient into thyroiditis by interfering with the body’s internal negative feedback mechanisms.

“This leads to long-term dependency on thyroid meds,” he adds, “when intervention was never critical.”

Schwartz says that in his practice, he take a holistic, whole body approach when patients have potential thyroid issues. It’s not always the thyroid itself, as there are other factors associated with the endocrine system and other systems in the body that are creating disfunction in the thyroid.

“Once I evaluate for other factors, such as allergies, chronic infection, emotional imbalances or toxicity, I can then get a better idea on how to restore health and balance to the patient,” shares Schwartz. “If the root can be identified and corrected, long-term resolution can be established, resulting in an overall improved quality of life and well being.”