Articles

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is characterized by decreased thyroid function. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, growth and development and the activity of the central nervous system.

Common symptoms:

  • Fatigue / weakness
  • Weight gain / hard to lose weight
  • Tendency for constipation
  • Tendency to feel depressed
  • High intolerance to cold / cold hands and feet or purple toes/fingers
  • Coarse, brittle or lusterless hair / head, pubic or armpit hair loss or thinning
  • Dry, scaling/flaking or course skin (e.g. cracked heels)
  • Brittle, splitting, curved or ridged nails
  • Rounded puffy face
  • Puffy around eyes or droopy/baggy eyelids
  • Thinning or loss of outer third of eyebrows or poor hair growth on lower legs
  • Teeth imprints (scalloping) around tongue’s edge or swollen/thick tongue
  • Faint yellow/orange tinge in soles of feet or palms noticed after applying finger pressure
  • Fungal infection (yellow/brown/black) in nails or peeling/splitting of skin between toes
  • Redness to skin on front of neck
  • Swollen/puffy ankles or legs
  • Slow resting heart rate (less than 65)

Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) alone is not adequate for assessing thyroid function. Many people with hypothyroidism have normal levels of TSH which is produced by the pituitary gland. Blood levels of T3 and T4 should be measured although these also can not rule our thyroid issues. Dr. Mark Starr, author of 'Type 2 Hypothyroidism' and others explain that many people have a resistance to thyroid hormones, just as one can be resistant to insulin. There are no perfect lab tests for thyroid problems. Many integrative medicine experts diagnose based on physical findings, basal body temperature measurements and response to a trial of natural thyroid hormone supplementation. The following articles discuss some of the intricacies of hypothyroidism diagnosis and treatment.

Recommended books:

Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You... That You Need to Know by Mary J. Shomon, 2000

“Mary Shomon is the www.about.com thyroid expert. Her $11 352 page book published in March of 2000 is one of the most cost effective and valuable resources that you could own on this subject. If you have thyroid disease this book should be in your library.” Dr. Mercola

Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness by Broda Barnes, M.D., Ph.D. (a pioneering Endocrinologist and thyroid specialist)

This is a classic text of hypothyroisism! See the Broda O. Barnes M.D., Research Foundation Inc.

Nutritional influences:

Related link:

Blake Graham, BSc (Honours), AACNEM
Clinical Nutritionist
Perth, Western Australia
Phone/Email: See Contact page
*Non-Perth residents may enquire about phone consultations.

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