Is your thyroid letting you down?
Dr. Michael Morsillo, B.Sc., N.D.
Many aspects of your health are riding on a small butterfly-shaped organ situated at the base of your neck. This organ, which gets its name from the Greek word for “shield”, is your thyroid gland. Although it only weighs about 18-60 grams in an adult, it is actually one of the largest glands in the body that is able to produce hormones.
The health of your thyroid gland is so vitally important because it has a very large influence over the health and function of your nervous system, cardiovascular system, muscle function, and liver function. It is also a key player in determining your temperature, metabolic rate, and even your blood pressure. Your thyroid sends out hormones that act like messengers to communicate with and influence many cells all over the body.
Nothing represents the importance of “balance” quite like your thyroid gland. Your thyroid function is a lot like walking on a tight rope; if any of its hormones are released in quantities slightly higher or lower than usual, it can produce tremendous shifts in how your body functions. If your thyroid is over/under functioning, this would be known as “hyper/hypothyroidism”, respectively.
Hypothyroidism, characterized by low thyroid function, is actually the most common type of hormone deficiency in the human body. This can present with a wide array of symptoms such as overwhelming fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, dry skin & hair, hair loss, depression, constipation, and poor concentration. This condition can be caused by certain prescription medications, nutritional deficiencies, or other hormone imbalances, but is most commonly a result of autoimmune destruction of the thyroid. That’s right, the most common reason why your thyroid gland may be under-functioning is actually because your immune system makes a mistake, thinking your thyroid is foreign or dangerous, and attacks it!
Typically, the most common thyroid disorder, hypothyroidism, is treated by giving patients synthetic replacements of thyroid hormones. This tends to suppress symptoms of hypothyroidism fairly effectively; however, it really doesn’t address any underlying causes that were previously mentioned. Taking thyroid hormones without addressing the autoimmune destruction of the thyroid that caused this issue to begin with, is a lot like fixing a leak in your gas tank by continuously filling up at every gas station you pass.
There is actually a lot of disagreement as to the interpretation of thyroid lab tests and the treatment of thyroid disorders. There are many medical professionals, including endocrinologists, who believe there are many more people who are suffering with hypothyroid symptoms for a very long period of time, but are undiagnosed and untreated because their thyroid lab tests appear to be completely normal.
At our Newmarket Naturopathic Clinic, we will review all of your signs and symptoms and conduct a very thorough series of lab tests to properly assess the health and function of your thyroid.
Dr. Michael Morsillo is a naturopathic doctor who maintains a clinical practice in Newmarket, where he focuses mainly on anxiety, depression, cancer,thyroid & hormonal concerns, detoxification, and weight loss. For more information, or to schedule an appointment:
Call 905-898-1844 (ext. 135) or email firstname.lastname@example.org