Thyroid Function

Supporting You In Finding Optimal Thyroid Function

If you are struggling with your weight, mood, menstrual irregularities, feeling cold and losing your hair, you may want to consider your thyroid function.

The thyroid gland is one of the glands that is part of the body’s hormone system. It is situated in the front of the neck and is butterfly shaped. It has several important roles in the body, the largest of which is to release hormones that regulate metabolism – the way your body uses energy.

The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions include breathing, heart rate, body weight, menstrual cycles, bone health, body temperature and more.

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Signs & Symptoms Of Thyroid Dysfunction

Thyroid imbalances can be divided into either under-function, known as hypothyroidism or over-function, known as hyperthyroidism.

Signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid

  • Constipation
  • Cold intolerance/ low body temperature
  • Depression
  • Dry, coarse or thick skin
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Goitre – enlarged, swollen and lumpy thyroid
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Infertility and impotence
  • Low sex drive
  • Menstrual/ menopausal problems
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

Signs and symptoms of Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid

  • Anxiety
  • Breathlessness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hair loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia
  • Increased perspiration, intolerance to heat
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Palpitations
  • Protruding eyes
  • Vitiligo
  • Weight loss

FACTORS THAT AFFECT THYROID FUNCTION

Opportunities To Address Thyroid Imbalances

Thyroid imbalances can be addressed with medication; please discuss this with your GP.

However, don’t discount the critical role that both nutrition and lifestyle can play in optimising thyroid function and thyroid treatment.

Thyroid hormones are built from protein (tyrosine) and iodine, so these dietary building blocks are crucial. Minerals, such as selenium, copper and zinc provide essential co-factors for enzymatic conversions of thyroid hormones. Additional nutrients such vitamin E, B vitamins, C, D and iron also contribute to proper thyroid function. Exercise helps to stimulate thyroid gland secretion and can help improve cellular sensitivity to thyroid hormones.

Our adrenal function (our stress response) and our thyroid function are inextricably linked, a little like two wheels of a bicycle. So managing stress levels is important to support thyroid health.

And there are things to avoid too: 

  • Toxins (including pesticides, mercury, cadmium and lead) can negatively impact thyroid function
  • Halides including fluoride (found in some toothpastes) and chloride (e.g. from swimming pools) are antagonists to iodine.

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Functional Testing options

Thyroid imbalances can be complex and difficult to interpret. Thyroid tests offered by standard GP practices usually include just TSH and T4, providing information on only part of the thyroid pathway.

T3 is the active thyroid hormone and offers critical information on thyroid function. Thyroid antibodies such as Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin antibodies allow assessment of the extent of an autoimmune process such as Hashimoto’s or Graves disease.

We offer several different functional testing options, including comprehensive thyroid panels with private laboratories to gain deeper insight into any current imbalances of thyroid dysfunction. 

When necessary we work with a specialised medical team to provide targeted medical support alongside our nutrition and lifestyle interventions.