24 Nisan 2012 Salı

Thyroiditis and Symptoms of Goiter

A basic overview of thyroid issues

What is that unsightly lump on your neck? A goiter, most likely. The thyroid gland enlarges when it is working overtime.

Most of what the thyroid makes is the hormone T4. It makes some T3 as well. Almost all of the T4 turns into T3 eventually and the T3 is up to 10 times stronger than the T4. This hormone goes to every cell in the body and affects the speed at which cells burn energy and create new storable energy from the foods we digest. It's like the thermostat, the accelerator and brake all combined.

If it isn't working well we have hypothyroidism, and if it's working overtime we have hyperthyroidism. When a goiter develops, the cells of the thyroid expand to produce more T3 and T4. It is a desperate attempt to make enough hormone. The swelling in size of the gland is referred to as an inflammation, hence the 'itis' on the end of 'thyroiditis'.

One who has a toxic goiter will present with symptoms of thyrotoxicosis such as hyperactivity, palpitation, a weight loss in spite of increased appetite and heat intolerance. And some goiters just remain inflamed and large even though the blood tests appear normal...so there are some mysteries surrounding this organ. Goiter not associated with hormonal imbalances may not cause any symptoms other than the presence of the mass at the base of the neck. Carcinoma must always be questioned whenever a mass is visible, however.

Naturopathic medicine looks at non-cancerous situations differently than pharmaceutical medicine. Pharmacy prescribers want to give hormones in the form of pills when the thyroid isn't making enough, and when it's making too much they want to bring in the surgeon and remove some or all of the thyroid. Functional physicians, naturopaths and all nutritionists want to get to the root of the problem and supply the tissues of the thyroid gland with the nutrients it needs to repair itself.

The thyroid is one of many endocrine glands. All of these glands make hormones and put them into the blood. When these molecular messengers get distributed into the systemic blood circulation, other body parts sense that they are there and if that part is sensitive to that hormone, it will respond in some way. TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone from the pituitary endocrine gland at the base of the brain is put into the systemic circulation with the explicit purpose of telling the thyroid endocrine gland in the neck to produce and release more thyroid hormone in to the circulation. So, one endocrine gland can influence another. And sometimes an endocrine gland can be stimulated to produce and expel by a nerve from the brain. It can get complex. In evaluating thyroid function all of these factors have to be understood in order to find the cause of the problem.

The newest thing to hit the nutritional/functional medical realm, years ago, was to take desiccated thyroid gland tissue in pill form. The idea was that the actual glandular meat of the thyroid gland of a pig or cow that was relatively healthy, would have all the nutrients needed to support our own human thyroids. For a while this product was removed from the shelves but is back on now and being widely used by non-pharmaceutical prescribers.

Alternative Medicines That Help With the Thyroid

Ninety percent of all thyroid goiters are caused by an iodine deficiency. Norwegian kelp is often recommended for this. Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Antioxidants, Essential Fats, and Amino Acids... are other numerous nutrients that can be ingested to help with thyroid functionality.

Alternative medicine is really the prescribing of nutrients for ailments. Functional medicine is the same thing. Integrative medicine uses medical diagnosis through lab testing of blood, hair and urine, and sometimes stool and saliva. The only real difference between alternative, functional, integrative and naturopathic prescribers and regular prescribers of orthodox substances, pharmaceuticals, is that the former use nutrients for medicines. Nutrients have no side effects and it is very difficult for them to ever do any harm. But since they can really cut into the monthly expense of the patient at the pharmacy, there are industry incentives to steer people away from nutrients. You'll have to make your own decision. But something to consider is that when you begin to feel better, you will want to cut back on your allopathic-meds, negotiate a change with your prescriber, and see if you can feel even better with a reduction in meds or eliminating some of them. You will know what to do.

Dr. Thomas has 33 years of experience treating chronic conditions.

Treating chronic disease is a complicated and tedious work. Most physicians can only spend a few minutes with each patient as their clinic owners and hospital management force them to keep on the move. Dr. Thomas spends half an hour just explaining what tests will be done...then he spends an hour going over the test results with you and discussing nutrient cures. He also requests that you check in with him once a month for at least a half hour to go over your symptoms and to discuss your nutrients.

33 years experience has taught Dr. Thomas the value of quality care, personal patient/doctor interaction and just what is required to obtain lasting results.

Refer to my website for more information on this topic and to watch videos from the television show I do on Nutritional Medicines by Lab Analysis.

Thyroiditis and Symptoms of Goiter

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