Copy of Blog Feature April 2022 - 2

What Causes Thyroid Disorders & How To Help Treat Them

Hi, I’m Dr. Marie Starling

As your Denver Functional Medicine specialist, we help people like you reach their full potential.

We specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBS, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, and other complex health issues.

The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism in every cell of the body. Many people come to The Healing Center with unresolved issues relating to thyroid. Symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, weight gain or loss, brain fog, low libido, mood imbalances, cold hands and feet, muscle and joint pain, dry skin and hair, constipation or diarrhea.

Commonly, we see Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the tissue of the thyroid. 97% of people with hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto’s, but many have never had their antibodies checked so are unaware of having this autoimmune condition.

How does the thyroid work?

The hypothalamus, which is located in your brain, produces TRH (thyrotropin releasing hormone.) This stimulates the pituitary, which is at the base of the brain, to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone.) TSH stimulates the thyroid to make two kinds of thyroid hormones. About 93% of the thyroid hormones made by our bodies is T4, which is a storage form of thyroid hormone and cannot act on your metabolism. 7% of the hormones made by the thyroid is T3 which is an active form and influences metabolism. Free t3 is the most bioavailable form and binds to the receptor. It goes into every cell in your body and gives us energy.

What are the patterns we see in thyroid dysfunction?

  • Low production pattern at the level of the thyroid
  • Problems, such as low neurotransmitters, at the level of the pituitary
  • Inflammation affecting the hypothalamus
  • Under-conversion of T4 to T3
    • Conversion happens in the gut, liver and peripheral tissue, so issues in any of these areas can impede conversion
    • Due to elevated estrogen
    • Due to adrenal stress
    • Destruction of the thyroid by antibodies
    • Hyperthyroidism: producing too many thyroid hormones

What are some root causes of thyroid issues that we address?

  • Toxins
  • Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Food sensitivities
  • Lack of sleep
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Pathogens
  • Gut Health
  • Detoxification pathways
  • Low neurotransmitters
  • Stress on immune system
  • Too much estrogen
    • Can affect the conversion of T4 to T3
    • Can block the uptake of thyroid hormone
    • Increases thyroid binding globulin so thyroid hormones cannot get into the cell

What do we do to help thyroid function?

  • Clean up sources of inflammation (such as infections)
  • Heal the gut
  • Support the immune system
  • Support neurotransmitter function
  • Give support at level of thyroid- glandulars, herbs, nutrients
  • Support hypothalamus and pituitary
  • Address food sensitivities
  • Support the liver and detoxification
  • Check for iodine, selenium and/or other nutrient deficiencies (We use caution with supplementing with iodine as it can trigger an autoimmune response.)

If you suspect thyroid issues, or are currently dealing with them and are interested in a Functional Medicine approach, please call us at 303-721-9800 or use the button below to set up a consultation.