The thyroid gland is located just below the larynx, in front of and to the side of the trachea. It produces several hormones that affect almost every cell in the body. When the thyroid malfunctions, it can produce too much (an overactive thyroid) or not enough (underactive thyroid) of the thyroid hormones.
Thyroid hormones act on virtually every cell in the body. There are three major hormones secreted by the thyroid.
The first two, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), are primarily controlled by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. TSH production, in turn, is modulated by thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) which comes from the hypothalamus. The third hormone released from the thyroid gland, calcitonin, is not under hypothalamic/pituitary control. Calcitonin responds to calcium levels in the blood.
T3 and T4
About 80% of the thyroid hormones released from the thyroid gland are in the form of T4 and 20% in the form of T3. Up to 80% of the T4 is converted to the more active T3 by other organs, such as the liver and kidney. T3 is a more potent hormone (approximately four times as strong), but T4 is much longer lasting.
What Functions of Your Body are Affected by Thyroid Hormones?
- The basal metabolic rate of the body, which regulates the rate of chemical reactions that occur in the body
- The rate at which the body uses food for energy, thus playing an important role in determining your caloric requirement
- How body makes, and breaks down, glucose and increasing the absorption of glucose by the cells in general and by the gastrointestinal tract
- How much insulin gets released by the pancreas
- Your respiration rate and the depth of each breath you take
- The rate of both protein synthesis and breakdown
- The growth rate of adolescents
- How much fat goes into circulation to be burned for energy and how much gets stored
- Your appetite
- Urinary excretion of calcium and phosphorus
- The production of digestive enzymes
- Bowel movements
- Dilation of your blood vessels, which causes high or low blood pressure
- Your heart rate
- Your body temperature
As you can see the thyroid gland truly does affect almost every cell in your body and any malfunction in these areas can be a sign of thyroid symptoms. Making sure your thyroid stays healthy and produces just the right amount of hormones is vitally important. It’s not uncommon for thyroid symptoms to be diagnosed as something else.
Thyroid Symptoms – Underactive
- Overweight and has trouble losing the weight
- An increased need for sleep
- Tired, listless and lacking motivation
- Poor memory
- High cholesterol deposits
- Prone to heart troubles
- Cold hands and feet
- Prolonged and painful periods, with an increased tendency towards water retention
- Gets out of breath with just a little exertion
- Gets depressed easily and often cries or ‘goes to pieces’ from situations that do not warrant these reactions
- Balding or thinning of hair, brittle nails, hands and feet that tend to peel or crack, chapped lips, decreased resistance to infections and a tendency to get muscle cramps easily.
Thyroid Symptoms – Overactive
- Trouble putting on weight (appears quite thin and wiry)
- Nervous, worries a lot and has a hard time falling asleep (even when tired)
- Tends to sweat most of the time and dislikes heat
- Has a tendency toward diarrhea
- More severe cases may possibly exhibit hand tremors and protrusion of eyeballs
You can get your thyroid hormone levels tested with a few simple blood tests. Always ask for T3. T4 and TSH to be tested.
How to Treat Thyroid Symptoms
If your thyroid gland has been removed you will have to take medication. If not, there are steps you can take to restore your health naturally:
- Figure out and eliminate all food allergies/food toxins
- Find and treat all chronic, subclinical infections.
- Find out if there is a component of heavy metal toxicity and address this
- Abstain from alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, tobacco, birth control pills, and other drugs that may harm the thyroid. (Consult your physician before stopping any prescription medications.
- Minimize intake of white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, margarine, vegetable oil, and other refined sugars and hydrogenated fats. Don’t overeat.
- If you must be x-rayed, make sure the thyroid is properly shielded.
- When it is cold, make sure the whole body is dressed warmly
- Decrease the stress in your life
- If you’ve had a whiplash injury or suspect spinal misalignment, have a good chiropractor check it out.
- Make sure your pituitary, adrenals, pancreas, reproductive glands, and liver are functioning properly and not causing secondary thyroid disturbances
- Since most soils are somewhat depleted, if you have a garden, consider fertilizing with liquid seaweed or fish emulsion to supply iodine to the soil. Care must be exhibited as these can sometimes be a source of mercury.
- There are 2 reflex points that may help normalize thyroid function, one on each side of the sternum (breastbone) between the 2nd and 3rd ribs. Rub them vigorously for one to two minutes, two times weekly, for one month.
- A treatment that may help thyroid function is to take a very hot compress and put it over the thyroid for 30 seconds and then put an ice bag over for 30 seconds. Alternate hot and ice 6 times, once in the morning and once at night for one week.
- For an under-functioning thyroid, you should stay away from excessive vitamin A (more than 10,000 IU Vitamin A daily) and excessive zinc (more than 30 mg Zinc daily) supplementation.
- Decrease foods that inhibit the thyroid gland – these include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, peanuts and soybeans. Eat food high in iodine and manganese (seaweed, seeds, dark green vegetables, kale, collards, etc.). Some people do not tolerate iodine well, so be careful. Oats and bananas can be helpful because they stimulate the thyroid. A cold short bath, or a sunbath and lots of vigorous physical exercise will all help revive a sluggish thyroid.
- For an over functioning thyroid gland, an ice bag for 30 minutes daily will help slow it down temporarily. Eat foods high in thiourea – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, soybeans, and peanuts. Avoid bananas and oats.
- Try taking an L-Tyrosine supplement (500mg. on rising and 500mg. mid morning) and a natural iodine supplement like Alaria Supreme.
Supplement Suggestions for Thyroid Symptoms:
See the full range of vitamins and supplements Dr. Springer recommends for an overactive and underactive thyroid>>
SUPREME NUTRITION PRODUCTS
1. Endo Supreme