The thyroid is a small ductless gland weighing less than one ounce, located in the neck along the trachea or windpipe. The thyroid is the only place where iodine can be absorbed into the body.
Iodine comes from the different foods we eat and is necessary in small quantities to make thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are then circulated throughout the body where they control metabolism in every cell. Metabolism is the body’s conversion of oxygen from the air we breathe and calories from the food we eat to energy.
What is Hypothyroidism?
“Hypo” means too little or under normal, and “thyroidism” is the disease of the thyroid. Therefore, “hypothyroidism” is the disease of too little thyroid activity or decreased thyroid activity.
Hypothyroidism is the result of too little thyroid hormone. This can happen when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, an under-active thyroid, or when the thyroid produces enough hormones, but the hormones break down too quickly and cannot be used by the body.
What are the causes of causes of Hypothyroidism?
There are a variety of causes for hypothyroidism, but the most common is the following:
- Autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s)
- Treatment for hyperthyroidism
- Thyroid surgery
- Radiation therapy
- Congenital disease
- Pituitary disorder
- Iodine Deficiency
What are the symptoms of Hypothyroidism?
At first, you may barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and weight gain, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism signs and symptom may include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
How chiropractic can help Hypothyroidism?
Chiropractic brain based therapy care addresses thyroid function. When poor thyroid function goes unaddressed, the clinician’s patients will fail to realize optimal results. Low thyroid function not only drags down function of every system in the body, but it also frequently signals chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation, and so the benefits of chiropractic care will not be fully realized until these conditions are addressed. The premise of chiropractic defines the practice of determining the mechanical and chemical factors affecting the patient and then helping to restore the person’s health by correctly identifying these factors and treating these irritants in the most conservative manner. In this case it is the malfunctioning thyroid gland, low thyroid hormone levels, and the issues that caused them that must be addressed through functional means.
Chiropractors don’t treat the diagnosis of thyroid problems we treat the whole person by helping return a physiological dysfunction back to more normal function and this helps improve the nervous system and other biochemical and physiological systems as a whole.
The standard health care model does not adequately manage the majority of thyroid patients today. The standard model consists of monitoring levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and maintaining TSH levels within lab ranges using thyroid hormone replacement medication. This model does not account for functional mechanisms that disrupt thyroid function or the fact that the majority of hypothyroid cases in the United States are due to an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. When Hashimoto’s disease goes unmanaged, the patient’s condition and quality of life gradually worsen, this patient typically develops new autoimmune diseases.
The chiropractic education and training and understanding of physiology makes chiropractors uniquely qualified to manage most cases of low thyroid function. Chiropractors exist in the healthcare field today as ones who address primary prevention and who determine the underlying causes of chronic health problems. By understanding the mechanisms of physiology, the astute and trained practitioner uses nutrition, lifestyle management, and nutritional compounds to guide deregulated physiology back into ranges of good health before disease becomes irreversible. As a result patients not only feel and function better, but their bodies also respond more appropriately to conventional chiropractic care, making it a highly effective model of management. Studies suggest the health of the individual impacts clinical outcomes of chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. A healthier body equates to higher success rates clinically. One simply cannot ignore deregulated thyroid function given its prevalence today, the degree to which it impacts the entire system, and expect high levels of clinical improvements.
Please contact our office to learn more about how we can support your health.