The thyroid is probably the most ignored and poorly treated gland in the body. Yet it is one of the most important areas to look at to improve energy and overall health. Situated in the neck just below the Adam’s apple, it produces hormones that affect every major organ in your body including the metabolism and repair of every single cell.
The most important thyroid hormone is thyroxine (also known as T4), which outside the thyroid is converted to the active form known as T3. The more T3 you produce the faster your metabolism.
If you don’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones many systems in your body begin to slow down – heartbeat, circulation, blood pressure, energy levels, metabolism, detoxification and temperature. Slow metabolism will mean that you don’t burn calories as efficiently as you could so you gain weight more easily.
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There are over 80 classified Autoimmune Diseases (AIDs). Some of the most common include:
- Hyperthyroidism – Most commonly caused by Graves Disease and is an overproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Hypothyroidism – By contrast, stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones.
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – A common cause of hypothyroidism. In this autoimmune disorder, the body attacks thyroid tissue. The tissue eventually dies and stops producing hormones.
Symptoms of an under active thyroid (hypothyroid) include:
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- High cholesterol
- Mental fogginess
- Poor vision
- Weight gain
- Poor circulation and numbness in the hands and feet
- Chronic digestive problems
- Dry/brittle hair and skin
- morning headaches
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid) include:
- Fine brittle hair
- Bulging eyes
- Increased perspiration
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Enlarged thyroid
An under active thyroid is seven times more common in women than it is in men.
Low thyroid function is almost always secondary to some other condition, such as adrenal stress.
With over 80% of under active thyroid cases, the patient most likely has a form of autoimmune thyroiditis called Hashimoto’s. As with any autoimmune condition it is better described as being a case of mistaken identity in the body, where the body is attacking – in this case – the thyroid gland in preference to something else.
One of the main problems with thyroid health is that the standard GP tests are not very reliable in giving the full picture; and due to the attributing symptoms of depressions and the menopause, often women go undiagnosed and are offered orthodox treatments.
At the London Clinic of Nutrition, we take a functional approach to assessing your thyroid health. A comprehensive panel including free T3, free T4, TSH, total T4, total T3, thyroid antibodies and T3 uptake is required, alongside adrenal hormone testing and iodine loading. We also use the Barnes Temperature Test to measure the auxiliary temperature of the underarms first thing in the morning five days in a row.
At our clinic, our role is to assess and identify any thyroid imbalances, look at foods that may inhibit its function, deficiencies in minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and, often most importantly, we will look at iodine, stress and adrenal function. We will then correct these imbalances with lifestyle changes and various nutritional and herbal regimens.
After working with the clinic for 4 months, I had no signs of antibodies, no fatigue, brain fog, or constipation. I feel like I now have my life back after 7 years of battling with my health.
I went from 3/10 energy levels to a consistent 8/10, over a 12 month time period. I now find that I can do things in the gym and at yoga that I have never been able to do before!
After 3 months of working together I am surprised and delighted In the way that I feel. The symptoms have gone and I have Oliver’s dedication to thank for this.
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The London Clinic of Nutrition is a multi-disciplined health practice offering personalised nutritional medicine and naturopathy using the functional medicine approach.
100 Seymour Place
020 3332 0030