Four Important Factors in Treating Thyroid Conditions [Part 1 of 2]

Finding the underlying cause of thyroid conditions isn’t always an easy task. In most cases, finding the culprit comes down to the functioning of your digestive system, adrenal glands, your immune system, and your sexual hormones.

thyroid treatment LAThis two-post series will cover how the body can cause or influence thyroid conditions as well as suggested vitamin and supplement treatments. For the first post, we’ll cover the four systems, and discuss how they can create or exacerbate existing thyroid conditions.

When you know how everything works, you’ll know what questions to ask your doctor, and it will be easier to pinpoint the problem.

Digestive System

Digestive issues lead to an array of problems in the body. It really does make sense when you think about it, as we need to consume the proper nutrients and minerals in order to maintain the health of every cell and tissue in our body.

Most people have a tendency to overlook common digestive issues, which serve as warning signs that we are not eating the proper foods, and thus are not getting the proper nutrients.  For example, frequent bloating and gas is not normal, yet many people figure that such symptoms are not to be of concern.  Stomach pains are often disregarded as nothing more than “heartburn” or “overeating”.

Some people have leaky gut, which is damage to the intestinal lining, and this triggers an autoimmune response, leading to conditions such as Hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Common food allergies, H. Pylori, parasites, and numerous other factors can be the cause of this; it’s all about what you eat. Correcting a leaky gut will address the autoimmune component of the condition, which of course is the main factor, which is causing the thyroid gland problem.

The gallbladder is important to digestion, as it plays a huge role with regards to the flow of bile, and  bile emulsifies the fats and oils which you have eaten, making it easier to be digested. Gallbladder conditions are common, particularly among women. Although having a gallbladder condition won’t necessarily lead to a thyroid condition, or vice versa, having a gallbladder problem can exacerbate one’s thyroid symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of gallbladder problems include bloating, gas, and strong stomach pain (specifically on the right side of the body), with these symptoms being more common after eating.

Adrenal Glands

Weak adrenal glands can lead to a thyroid condition. A saliva test kit is the best way to determine Adrenal malfunction.

Dealing with chronic stress and getting insufficient sleep doesn’t help either. Both of these have an effect on the hormone cortisol, which the adrenal glands secrete.

Chronic stress will also take its toll on the adrenal glands. The actual stress itself isn’t the problem; it’s how we handle the stress. Some people deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis, but have excellent stress handling skills, and so they’re able to leave it at the door. Unfortunately, this doesn’t describe most people, as most don’t do a good job of managing stress, and this again will cause the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, which over a prolonged period will create health issues.

For someone who has a thyroid condition and wants to restore their health back to normal, it is essential to address any issues with the adrenal glands. While one can definitely provide some adrenal support (in the form of nutritional supplements and herbs), the person needs to eat well and do manage stress well.

Immune System

An autoimmune thyroid condition means that one has a compromised immune system, which needs to be addressed in order to restore their thyroid health back to normal.

Once again, treating this comes down to changing certain lifestyles and incorporating nutritional supplements and herbs Just visiting your local health food or nutrition store and purchasing some antioxidants or an immune system support formula isn’t going to do be enough.

Sexual Hormones

Sexual hormones play a big role in the development and/or exacerbation of a thyroid condition.  One of the most common conditions involving an imbalance of the sex hormones is estrogen dominance, which involves the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

There can, of course, be an imbalance in other sex hormones as well.  This is why anyone with a thyroid or autoimmune thyroid condition who is suspected of having a hormone imbalance should obtain a complete male hormone panel. So, in addition to evaluating progesterone and estrogen, other hormones to look at include testosterone, DHEA, as well as the pituitary hormones LH and FSH. Since hormones interact with one another, one can’t just look at one or two hormones and determine the person’s state of health based on these findings. And by the way, you can’t rely on blood tests when looking at these levels because they measure the bound form of the hormone, and not the free form. This is why most holistic doctors prefer saliva testing, as the saliva only contains the free form of the hormone.