I think of thyroid as the Queen-B hormone in the body – it has the capacity to control SO MANY of the body’s functions, which is why it becomes problematic when it’s not functioning properly.
Thyroid is a major player of our metabolism, energy levels, immune system, reproductive hormones, mood, gastrointestinal transit time, skin health, cardiovascular function – as you can see it has a hand in all of our major organ systems functioning smoothly.
Assessing thyroid hormone can be tricky – blood levels are constantly fluctuating throughout the day, and more times than not, not all of the tests to properly assess thyroid hormone are done. And then within those lab results there is a “normal” range, but normaldoesn’t always equal “optimal” for the patient – and each individual is going to have a different “optimal” functioning thyroid level.
When I assess my patients’ thyroid function, I’m taking into consideration: labs (TSH, T3, T4, anti-TPO), subjective symptoms experienced by my patient, signs detected through physical exam (skin assessment, thyroid palpation, DTR’s), where my patients are in their menstrual cycle, levels of stress, and diet.
As an ND, I’m assessing the whole patient to capture a full clinical picture, and then crafting a treatment plan that is unique to their thyroid health.
Here are some signs and symptoms of Low Thyroid function
- Lethargy / forgetfulness
- Cold intolerance
- Muscular weakness
- Constipation / bloating
- Puffy eyes / puffy face
- Weak immune system
- Low libido
- Menstrual irregularities
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Weight gain / difficulty losing weigh
Here are some signs and symptoms of Excess Thyroid function
- Fatigue / general weakness
- Warm feeling
- Moist skin / sweating
- Palpitations / chest pain
- Increased bowel transit time / diarrhea
- Tearing of eyes / protrusion of eyes
- Easy bruising
- Weight loss
- Irregular menstrual cycle
Has your thyroid been properly assessed?