Learn how the thyroid affects nearly every aspect of your health
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) has important implications throughout the body. Here are some of the more common effects of an underproducing thyroid gland.
Heart disease decreases blood circulation to the heart muscle and other organs. But circulation problems also cause some of the less dramatic complaints of hypothyroid sufferers, including dry, flaky, or cracked skin and chronically cold hands and feet. In cases of hypothyroidism, the skin may receive as little as 20 to 40 percent of its normal blood supply. This shortfall interferes with the body’s ability to warm the extremities, such as the hands and feet. It also impedes the delivery of various essential fatty acids and nutrients, which are necessary for keeping the skin soft, supple, and healthy.
Increased Susceptibility to Infection
Though rarely thought of as part of the immune system, the thyroid gland plays a crucial role in maintaining the body’s defenses. Hormones produced by the thyroid help regulate the metabolic rate within each cell and directly influence over 100 different cellular enzymes. With hypothyroidism, individuals routinely become more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, especially those of the respiratory and urinary tracts.
Depression and Mental Confusion
Many of today’s common mental problems can be traced back to widespread hypothyroidism. In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a phenomenal increase in the incidence of depression, one of the most common side effects of hypothyroidism. We’ve also seen a corresponding increase in the use of prescription antidepressants.
A far safer solution is to balance the body chemistry naturally. The logical starting point is to check for and treat hypothyroidism. After doing so, most individuals find that the “fog” they’ve been living in seems to clear away. They also find that they have more energy and less fatigue.
Sales of the wonder drug Viagra and its companions wouldn’t be quite so brisk if doctors paid more attention to thyroid imbalances. Normal sexual function requires normal thyroid function. In men, too little thyroid hormone depresses libido, while too much causes impotence.
In women, too little thyroid hormone depresses libido and results in irregular periods with excessive and frequent menstrual bleeding (including miscarriages in extreme cases). Too much can reduce menstrual bleeding and even stop the menstrual cycle.
Additional symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Decreased heart rate and cardiac output
- Increased weight (especially in midsection)
- Pain where the ribs meet the sternum
- Memory loss
- Unexplained crying
- Morning headaches and dizziness
- Loss of hair, especially the outer third of eyebrows
- Ringing in the ears
- A frog-like husky voice
- Muscular sluggishness and weakness
You can test for a thyroid imbalance at home, using what’s known as the Barnes test (named after Dr. Broda Barnes).
- Put an oral thermometer by your bedside. If you use a mercury one, shake it down to 96 degrees before retiring.
- Upon awakening, place the thermometer in your armpit and leave it there for 10 minutes before getting out of bed.
- Record the temperature.
Note: Men can take their temperature any time. Women in their menstrual years get the most accurate reading on the second or third day after menstrual flow starts. Before the first menstrual period or after menopause, the temperature may be taken on any day.
Anywhere between 98.2 and 97.2 is considered normal. If your temperature falls below this range, it indicates a sluggish thyroid or hypothyroid condition. (If it’s above this range, your thyroid is overactive.)
Balancing the Thyroid
Balancing the thyroid naturally requires the use of products called glandulars (extracts of actual animal glands, such as the thyroid). Thyroid glandulars are available from several sources, but in my opinion the best is called Thytrophin by Standard Process Products. It’s available from Total Health Discount Vitamins. Patients start with three tablets a day chewed between meals on an empty stomach.
Even more dramatic results occur when one drop daily of IoSOL is also taken. IoSOL is a fantastic iodine product made and distributed by TPCS Distributors. (Do NOT use antiseptic iodine internally; the formulation is poisonous.)