The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped structure at the base of the front of the neck. It is responsible for regulating metabolism throughout the body. Tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) – the hormones produced by the thyroid gland – are intimately interconnected with many other hormones. Disruption of your thyroid function can cause imbalances of other hormones; conversely, disruption of other hormones can cause thyroid imbalance. Hypothyroidism – an under-functioning thyroid gland – is a very common condition affecting about 1 in 13 people.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism are broad in range and may include depression, anxiety, constipation, hair, skin and a nail changes, menstrual irregularities, cold intolerance, fatigue, and insomnia, to name but a few. Currently, Canadian and American labs report a normal range for TSH (i.e., thyroid stimulating hormone- a blood marker for thyroid function) as 0.35-5.0mIU/L, which is too broad a range according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. With a recommended reference range of 0.35-2.5mIU/L fewer patients will have their symptoms of hypothyroidism, and cases of sub-clinical hypothyroidism overlooked. Treatment of hypothyroidism is helpful in balancing all hormones as your thyroid plays such an integral role in optimal hormonal health.
Dr. Kristy Prouse MD, FRCSC on Healing the Thyroid Gland
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