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.

Katherine Knott

Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   She began studying Naturopathy when she was 18 years old and has practiced in both Melbourne and rural Victoria.  She has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as […]

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Nicki Stewart

Nicki has always been drawn to Holistic Health and she follows in her mother’s footsteps who is a Reflexologist and Natural Therapist. Nicki was inspired to study Herbal Medicine after attending one of Dr. Sandi Rogers’ (Naturopath, Director of National College of Traditional Medicine and former President of Australian Traditional Medicine Society) seminars on ‘Fruits […]

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Alyce Beaton

Alyce is qualified naturopath in Ballarat who loves supporting people on their health journey. Alyce believes optimising and restoring health first and foremost begins with food as medicine and creating healthy lifestyle habits. She is passionate about providing a safe, non judgement environment and endeavours to support her clients with strategies they can implement into […]

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