Low Thyroid Function

Low Thyroid Function

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an ailment characterized by under-activity of the thyroid gland (i.e. insufficient production of thyroid hormones). The most “observable” sign of hypothyroidism is a low basal temperature upon awakening in the morning.

Prevalence

Hypothyroidism occurs most frequently in women over the age of 40 (however men and teenagers are also prone to hypothyroidism):

  • 12.5% of women aged 35 to 60 are affected by hypothyroidism.
  • 15% - 20% of women over the age of 60 are affected by subclinical hypothyroidism.
  • By the age of 65, 17% of women have hypothyroidism compared to 9% of men.

Hypothyroidism is believed to be more prevalent than once thought - up to 10% of the overall population is believed to be affected by some degree of hypothyroidism - this hypothyroidism is severe in 2% of the population and subclinical in 8% of the population.

Approximately 50% of people with Hypothyroidism are unaware that they have hypothyroidism.

Approximately 1 in 4,000 babies is born with Congenital Hypothyroidism.

These substances may cause hypothyroidism

Environmental toxins

Dioxin may cause Hypothyroidism.

Minerals

  • Consumption of more than 30 mg of cobalt per day may cause hypothyroidism.
  • Excessive consumption of fluoride (a form of fluorine) may slow down the thyroid gland which can lead to hypothyroidism.
  • Excess Iodine may cause hypothyroidism. Although sub-optimal iodine intake may be useful for the treatment of and may help to prevent hypothyroidism.
  • Excessive exposure to iodine-131 (a radioactive form of iodine) may cause hypothyroidism.

Pharmaceutical drugs

Exogenous, pharmaceutical forms of Interferon Alpha may cause hypothyroidism. references

Sulfuric compounds

Some types of Isothiocyanates may cause hypothyroidism (by blocking the utilization of Iodine).

These foods may cause hypothyroidism

  • legumes
  • excessive consumption of soybeans may increase the risk of hypothyroidism. references
  • soy products
  • feeding soy milk to infants may increase their risk of hypothyroidism.

These ailments may cause hypothyroidism

Aging Process - The risk of hypothyroidism may increase in tandem with the progression of the ageing process.

Digestive System - hypochlorhydria may cause hypothyroidism.

Metabolism - Hashimoto's thyroiditis may be the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in Western nations.

Nervous System - excessive stress may cause hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism may cause these ailments/symptoms

Cardiovascular system

  • Hypothyroidism may increase the risk of atherosclerosis (as a result of increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides levels).
  • Bradycardia may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism may increase the risk of some cardiovascular diseases (hypothyroidism patients generally exhibit elevated LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein levels).
  • Hypothyroidism may increase the risk of heart attack.
  • Hypothyroidism patients may be at greater risk of hypertension.
  • Hypothyroidism may increase the risk of stroke.

Cells

Hypothyroidism may cause impairment in the energy-producing capability of the mitochondria of cells.

Digestive system

Hypothyroidism may cause constipation (this occurs from a reduction in peristalsis).

Excretory system

Hypothyroidism may cause the impaired function of the kidneys.

Immune System

Hypothyroidism may be a common (although rarely diagnosed by medical practitioners) underlying cause of allergies:

  • Hypothyroidism may cause a decrease in the body's production of Cortisol Binding Globulin (CBG).

Hypothyroidism may impair the function of the immune system:

  • Hypothyroidism may cause a significant reduction in thymulin activity.

Metabolism

Lowered basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the principal symptom of hypothyroidism.

  • It is speculated that the underlying cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be hypothyroidism (indicating that replacement doses of thyroid hormones may alleviate CFS).
  • Elevated serum cholesterol levels may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Lack of Energy may occur as a result of Hypothyroidism.

  • Hypothyroidism may cause elevated LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Hypothyroidism may be the underlying cause of lethargy.
  • Hypothyroidism may cause elevated lipoprotein (a) levels.
  • Low body temperature may occur as a result of hypothyroidism. This manifests as excessive feelings of coldness.

Obesity may be attributable to the reduced basal metabolic rate that results from hypothyroidism.

Elevated serum triglycerides levels may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Musculoskeletal system

Persistent low backache may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.

  • Hypothyroidism may be a possible precipitating factor (and possibly a direct cause) of fibromyalgia.
  • Muscle cramps may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Muscle pain and stiffness may occur as some of the earliest symptoms of hypothyroidism.

  • Impaired muscle tone may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.
  • Muscle weakness may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism may increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Nervous system

  • Anxiety may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.
  • Loss of appetite may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.
  • Hyperthyroidism may be the underlying cause of some cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Poor concentration ability may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Confusion may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Depression (including major depression) may occur as a result of hypothyroidism:
    • Hypothyroidism may cause manic depression. 

Headaches may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.

  • When women are afflicted with hypothyroidism during pregnancy, their offspring may experience a significant reduction in intelligence.
  • Impaired learning ability may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Memory impairment may occur as a result of hypothyroidism

  • Sluggish Mental Function may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism may be the underlying cause of some cases of migraine.
  • Increased nervousness may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Neuropathy may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

  • Poor (delayed) reflexes may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Slow speech (scanning speech) may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Lack of willpower may occur as a result of hypothyroidism. 

Sexual system

  • Hypothyroidism may cause female infertility. When women are afflicted with hypothyroidism during pregnancy, their offspring may experience a significant reduction in intelligence.
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism may cause a lack of sexual desire.

Skin/Hair/Nails

  • Brittle hair may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.
  • Easy bruising may occur as a symptom of hypothyroidism.
  • Dry hair may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • (Non-scarring forms of) hair loss may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Thin, brittle nails with transverse grooves may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Thickened skin or dry skin may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Slow healing of wounds may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.

Temperature

  • Mild hypothermia (manifested in the form of constant feelings of coldness, even in warm environmental temperature) may occur as a result of hypothyroidism.
  • Maintenance of body temperature is one of the major uses of body energy (decreased energy production, therefore reduces the ability of the body to maintain correct body temperature).
  • When energy production is impaired, the body conserves heat - one of the most effective methods of conserving heat is to decrease blood circulation to the extremities.
  • This accounts for the cold hands and cold feet often experienced by hypothyroidism patients.

Specific Therapists

  • Greg Bantick

    Chinese Medicine,Acupuncture

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    Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
    Greg Bantick has been in practice since 1975 in a wide variety of clinical settings. He has particular interests in dermatology, digestive, mood and auto-immune disorders.

  • Tina White

    Naturopath,Acupuncture

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    Tina has over 30 year’s clinical practice in natural therapies. As a practitioner in Naturopathy and Acupuncture, Tina has remarkable insight coupled with a caring nature and is a beacon of hope for those she serves.

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