What role does Thyroid Hormone play in the body?
The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone that is used by almost every tissue in the body. It controls body temperature, maintains energy levels, and controls how our body burns fat. Imbalanced thyroid levels have been associated with increased inflammation, high cholesterol, and many chronic conditions including heart disease.
What are Optimal Thyroid levels?
Many women are repeatedly told that their thyroid levels are fine or ‘normal’ when in fact, this is untrue. Up to 30% of females are walking around with an undiagnosed thyroid disorder. Many people, male and female, go to their medical doctor feeling below par only to be told that their thyroid tests have shown them to be “within the normal reference range”. The problem is what’s normal for one person isn’t normal for another. These “normal reference ranges” are not adequate nor are they an accurate way of determining an individual’s deficiency.
It is unfortunate that current medical testing will only track the more severe cases of thyroid disease. The main reason for this is the type of testing that done; or rather the component of the thyroid that is being tested. The standard method which is used is a screening test which measures Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH. This test is found to be inaccurate because it does not measure the amount of thyroid hormone you have, but rather your body’s ability to stimulate it. This test is valid only for detecting advanced disease, leaving many to suffer in silence and having to wait until their condition becomes bad enough to show up on the TSH test. The average female will suffer with thyroid related conditions for up 3 to 5 years before these problems have progressed far enough to show up on standard testing.
The most common medical complaints attributed to thyroid imbalance include:
· I can’t lose weight like I used to
· My body aches
· My skin is dry and rough
· I feel cold all the time
· My libido is shot
· My hair is thinning
· My nails break easily
· I get sick easily
· I’m always constipated
· I can’t think, I have “foggy brain”
· I am being treated for depression but I’m still depressed
· I’m being treated for hypothyroidism, but I’m still tired
Many of these symptoms are also related to hormonal imbalances and two of the biggest hormonal problems in men and woman are low adrenals and low thyroid respectively.
What you can do
The first step is proper testing, which accurately determines your thyroid hormone levels. Take the first step, be proactive, especially if you have been told your thyroid is normal, but still suffer with some of the common hypothyroid symptoms.