From the Desk of Dr. Len
What’s Causing Your Thyroid Problem
Dr. Len Lopez – Friday, May 18, 2018
When we think of thyroid problems we think of a slow metabolism, fatigue and weight gain. These classic symptoms get traditional medical doctors to think it’s a thyroid problem. But is it truly a thyroid problem or is it more of a stress and digestion problem?
About 90% of all thyroid problems occur with women and about 90% of those problems are classified as hypothyroid problems. Classic symptoms associated with hypothyroid problems are fatigue, weight gain, depression, headaches, constipation, hair loss, cold hands and feet, and the list goes on. The traditional approach is to measure thyroid hormones, and if low prescribe a medication.
How about before we automatically assuming it is a production problem, look to see if the cause of the problem is stress and or poor digestion? Let me explain, your thyroid produces what’s called T3 and T4 hormones. About 80-90% of your thyroid hormones are called T4, which is an inactive form of your thyroid hormone, which means it has very little effect on your body. The other 10-20% of your thyroid hormones are called T3 and are the active form, and by active I mean, it is these active thyroid hormone that play a major influences on every organ and cell in your body, including your metabolism.
What’s fascinating about how your body functions is that most of the inactive T4 form isconverted into the active T3 form in your gut! But that high conversion process applies to someone with a healthy functioning digestive system. Somebody who struggles with chronic digestive issues such as bloating, reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel, leaky gut, etcetera may only convert 50% of their T4 into T3, instead of 90%. So, the production problem really isn’t a problem with the thyroid, it’s the fact that your irritated and inflamed digestive system is effecting the production of your T3 thyroid hormones.
Address your digestive issues and you may be surprised that your thyroid problems improve without the need of a medication.
Fyi….the popular medication Synthroid is a synthetic T4, but still has to be converted from the inactive form to the active form. This is important to know if you struggle with digestive problems.
The other culprit for low thyroid is Stress! If you have lots of cortisol and adrenaline racing through your body because of stress, it will also interfere in the conversion process and limit how much T4 gets converted into T3. So again, your production problem may not truly be a thyroid problem requiring medication. Simply addressing or fixing these other areas may be what gets your thyroid numbers back to normal. Remember your body functions as a ‘whole’ system.
I believe your level of overall health is similar to that of a chain. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link – and you are only as healthy as your weakest functioning system. Make sure your digestive system isn’t the root cause of your health issues.
Feel free to use our Online Health Questionnaire to access digestive function and stress adrenal overload. Comeback again for more help on natural approaches to health and wellness.