A Smarter Approach to Thyroid Problems
Some thyroid symptoms are similar to other disorders:
- Insulin Resistance
- Menopausal Symptoms
Early warning signs might be overlooked. Dr. Carrick, however, looks at the whole body. Although a patient may need to take thyroid-hormone replacement, there are questions that need to be asked:
- Why is this patient's thyroid not working properly?
- Is there a lack of "messaging" from the brain to the thyroid gland?
- Is there a problem converting the inactive form of the hormone T4 to the active form, T3?
- Is there a problem with hormone-receptor sites in the body?
Some patients may have been told that their thyroid lab tests are within normal range. The "healthy range" in Functional Medicine is more narrow than the range used by allopathic (traditional Western) physicians, and more comprehensive tests are used.
Traditional physicians "treat" by doing only one thing: prescribing thyroid hormone replacement. Doctor visits are short, and there is no digging for clues about why the patient developed the problem or why a patient doesn't feel well even when lab tests show thyroid-hormone levels are within the allopathic acceptable range.
- Fatigue - persistent lack of energy and motivation
- Cold hand and feet
- Feeling cold when others are comfortable
- Needing more sleep than most people
- Very dry skin and scalp
- Mental sluggishness and forgetfulness
- Gaining weight easily, excessive water retention
- Thinning hair; excessive loss of hair, loss of outer part of the eyebrows
- Morning a headache that wears off later in the day
- Constipation or difficult bowel movements
- Feeling depressed
- Increase pulse-rate even at rest
- Night Sweats
- Inner (and sometimes) outward obvious trembling
- Heart palpitations
- Overly nervous and emotional
- Difficult gaining weight
- Occasional diarrhea
- Frequent Bowel Movements
- Eyeballs beginning to protrude
An autoimmune disorder, called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, may begin with symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Without treatment, as the disease progresses, patients begin to experience a fluctuation between the extremes of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
In an autoimmune disorder, the immune system attacks the body's own cells and organs, instead of the bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. In Hashimoto's, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Patients produce antibodies that target the thyroid gland, as though it is a foreign invader.