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What is the Thyroid?
We have been discussing the thyroid for some time now. By the end of this article, you’ll know more about it than I used to when I was practicing conventional medicine.
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland, such as — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism.
Each week, in my old practice, I’d have many patients asking me to test their thyroid. The results were almost always normal, and when they weren’t, the treatment rarely made much of a difference.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”13869″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When I look back now, I know I wasn’t checking all of the proper blood tests and often not using the appropriate treatment. Sure, I was following the conventional standard of care, but what I’ve learned now is that isn’t always enough.
The thyroid can play a huge role in many of the common modern-day disorders we face today, from hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism to Hashimoto’s Disease. In fact, many people wish they could have hyperthyroidism over hypothyroidism. The truth is: there is a sweet spot, and too much of anything isn’t good either.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row content_placement=”middle”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
Testing the Thyroid
When it comes to blood testing, most doctors order TSH. TSH comes from the pituitary and signals the thyroid to make hormones. The lower the TSH is, the higher the thyroid. All doctors know this. The ideal range for TSH is 1.
So, if your regular doctor ordered thyroid blood tests, this is what they probably ordered. And, I still agree that if we were only going to check one test, this would be the best one. It’s the best overall measure of how much thyroid hormone you have.
But, what KIND of thyroid hormone do you have? Well, TSH stimulates the thyroid to make T4 (a hormone precursor). So, it’s likely that if you asked your doctor to order a complete panel, this is what they ordered, TSH and T4.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”13868″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]T4 is inactive and gets further converted to Free T3 (the good stuff) and reverse T3. Reverse T3 is a pretty much worthless thyroid hormone. Your body makes it to deactivate your metabolism because it thinks you are in danger and needs to reserve fuel (fat) for later use.
Here’s the kicker: if you have a lot of reverse T3, your body will tell your brain (the pituitary) that you have enough thyroid hormone, so your TSH looks perfect.
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An Optimal Amount of Free T3
People feel great when free T3 is as high as it can be without being too high. It’s what leads to optimal health. I like to think of it as a goldilocks hormone.
Remember the story of the three bears? First, Goldilocks comes into the cabin and tries Papa Bear’s porridge– “too hot,” she says. Then she tries mama bear’s porridge– “too cold,” she says. But, baby’s bear porridge is just right. The bottom line: if you get too much thyroid hormone, you will feel worse, not better.
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Here’s the other thing: the adrenals communicate with the thyroid. So, when the adrenals are fatigued or worn out from all the stress (remember emotional, dietary, inflammatory), they send inhibitory signals to the thyroid — > Danger! Slow down!
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How Do We Fix It?
Well, as you know, in functional medicine, we fix the underlying problem. We fix the adrenals, which will fix the thyroid! We fix the gut, which will help with autoimmunity. And, sometimes, if we want the truly best, fastest results: we directly optimize the thyroid.
There are also many necessary nutrients and trace minerals required for optimal thyroid function, such as selenium, zinc, iodine, and much more. So this brings me back to: Food is medicine. Food isn’t just calories.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”13867″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With that said, if you are or someone you know has gotten their thyroid checked, and the results came back “normal,” but they’re still not feeling their best, it may mean you or they didn’t receive the most comprehensive testing.
At Best Life Functional Medicine, I approach treatment by first looking at the root cause and the pathways leading to a poorly functioning thyroid in the first place.
Many patients come to me with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and autoimmune disorders, desperately looking for answers. So, I’ve designed a signature 9-month program to help them find the answers they need once and for all.
By walking them through 3 phases: Adrenals, Gut & Toxins, I can begin to understand what’s affecting the thyroid and the best way to treat and optimize it.
What’s more — I provide patients with a solid understanding of what’s going on and equip them with the resources and tools needed to feel great again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
In my new virtual program: Reset Your Adrenals, Transform Your Life, I dive deep into how one can uplevel their health and live their lives to their fullest potential.
Whether the condition relates to stress, hormonal imbalances, sleep deprivation, inflammation, blood sugar stabilization, or the thyroid, the first step is looking at and resetting the adrenal glands. I also discuss 5 modifiable lifestyle factors in detail and share step-by-step instructions on how to get all 5 back on track.
If you’re tired of living on a merry-go-round with your health, then this course is for you. Join me today and take the very first step in resetting your adrenals and regaining control over your life!
Register Now for Reset Your Adrenals, Transform Your Life[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]