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Functional Nutrition Blog

Healthy Thyroid Function, Part 4

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Oct 5, 2011 6:00:00 AM

healthy thyroid functionIf you haven't been following my latest series, I've been discussing the thyroid gland. This seemingly insignificant organ produces hormones that can affect the metabolic rate of every cell in your body. If the thyroid is not functioning properly, your body will begin to feel the negative results of this malfunction.

Last week in Part 3 (Read Part 1, Part 2) I explained the effects of a slow thyroid gland that is not producing enough hormone. This condition is called hypothyroidism.

When the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, this we know as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is not as common as hypothyroidism. However, it is still one of the most common thyroid gland dysfunctions affecting almost three hundred thousand people in the United States.

FACTS ABOUT HYPERTHYROIDISM

  • Hyperthyroidism is the condition where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone
  • The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition known as Graves' Disease, making up more than 90% of hyperthyroid cases
  • It affects about 2% of the female population and has a strong hereditary component
  • It is often characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland
  • Symptoms can include increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, perspiration, weight loss, fatigue, poor sleep and irritability
  • Identifiable signs of hyperthyroidism include goiter, clubbing of fingers, restlessness, hyperpigmentation, muscle wasting, hand tremors, tachycardia and increased reflexes

Like hypothyroidism, because of the autoimmune element of hyperthyroidism, it is often undiagnosed until the thyroid gland has been significantly damaged. There is no known cure for autoimmune conditions. Identifying and addressing disorders of the thyroid early is crucial to managing this condition. Nutrition and lifestyle choices can improve quality of life for those suffering from this condition considerably.

In my next post I will explain autoimmune thyroid, its possible causes and complications. And we will also learn what can be done to regulate the immune system so as to slow down the progression of these and other autoimmune diseases.

Stay tuned for Part 5 of Healthy Thyroid Function.

Do you suspect you have thyroid health issues but your doctor tells you your thyroid is fine? A FUNCTIONAL THYROID CHECK is a thorough examination of your thyroid and all its related hormones. Click the button below to sign up for a FREE 15 Minute Thyroid Consultation!

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Topics: immune health, endocrine health, lifestyle

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