Hypothyroidism refers to your thyroid gland function; specifically, that it is functioning at a lower level than normal. Read this post from Bendigo naturopathy and learn more about hypothyroidism.

As your thyroid produces the hormones that are involved in regulating your body’s metabolic processes, this is something that needs to be investigated. A deficiency of thyroid hormones has an impact on all your body’s functions.

There are two main types of hypothyroidism:

  • Primary hypothyroidism: is associated with reduced production of thyroid hormones but high levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  • Secondary hypothyroidism: is associated with low thyroid hormone levels and low TSH levels, indicating a problem with the pituitary gland – which is where TSH is made.

Hypothyroidism: Signs & Symptoms

  • Psychological: initially weakness, depression, and fatigue initially with forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating occurring later.
  • Metabolic: weight gain, sensitivity to cold weather in extremities, swelling of tissue and fluid retention.
  • Cardiovascular: increased risk of atherosclerosis due to increases in cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine, and c-reactive protein. Additionally, hypothyroidism also leads to high blood pressure and reduced heart function and rate.
  • Endocrine: loss of libido in men, menstrual abnormalities in women including heavy menstrual bleeding with a shorter menstrual cycle. Infertility and low adrenal function are also common.
  • Skin: tends to be dry and rough and may have fine, superficial scales.
  • Hair: coarse, dry, and brittle; hair loss is also common
  • Nails: tend to be brittle and thin with grooves that run crosswise.
  • Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness and joint stiffness are common. Muscle pain, joint pain and tenderness may also occur.
  • Other: shortness of breath, constipation, and impaired kidney function.

Hypothyroidism: Causes

Most of the time people have primary hypothyroidism, the one where your thyroid doesn’t respond properly to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Which, most of the time, is linked to iodine deficiency. Your thyroid takes iodine and adds tyrosine – an amino acid – to make thyroid hormones.

If you don’t have enough iodine in your diet, you can develop iodine deficiency. This then can develop into hypothyroidism, or the development of an enlarged thyroid, or both.

There are two ways that you might not have enough iodine in your diet. You aren’t eating enough iodine. Or, you may be eating too many foods that block iodine utilisation. These foods are referred to as goitrogens and typically include vegetables in the brassica family, soybeans, peanuts, cassava root, pine nuts, and millet. Cooking these foods tends to inactivate their iodine blocking affect.

Naturopathic Approach

Everyone will have a different health pathway that has led to them developing hypothyroidism, your naturopath near Bendigo and Castlemaine will look at your health history and determine yours. You will have different triggers that have contributed to developing it and your naturopath will help determine them. They will also look at providing you support with:

  • Consideration and support to help with current stressors
  • Assessment of anything that might be hindering normal metabolic and endocrine function
  • Investigations to assess your thyroid function and accurately establish what type of hypothyroidism you have, to which your treatment will be adjusted

And if you want to read more, check these articles about general health issues written by Bendigo naturopaths.

Ruth Griffiths

Ruth has had a lifelong interest in and passion for nature, natural medicine, and the human experience. She began her studies in Health Science, Aromatherapy, Remedial Therapies, including Manual Lymphatic Drainage, in Melbourne over 25 years ago. On completion of these studies, Ruth operated a clinic for 8 years in the Grampians region, specializing in […]

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Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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