What’s two inches long, shaped like a butterfly, and positioned in the lower front part of your neck? Your thyroid gland! Your endocrine system produces the many hormones that keep your body’s systems running efficiently, and your thyroid is an integral component of this system. Though your thyroid is small, its size belies its significance.
Dr. Jacob Holdren, Dr. Steven Foley, and the entire Regenerative Health & Wellness team have extensive experience treating thyroid disorders, and they know just how much havoc a malfunctioning thyroid can wreak on your quality of life.
The purpose of the thyroid
Your thyroid is truly a workhorse. The hormones it makes fuel your metabolism, or the system in your body that converts what you eat and drink into energy. Thyroid hormones are taken by your blood to all of your body’s tissues and regulate vital organs, like your heart, brain, and muscles.
Fluctuations in your weight can often be linked to the thyroid because of its regulatory abilities. When it goes “haywire,” you may gain or lose weight seemingly inexplicably.
In addition to impacting your weight, your thyroid plays a significant role in young peoples’ growth and development, from the earliest days of life.
What happens when my thyroid is out of whack?
When your thyroid stops doing its job, different problems can occur. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid slows down, doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, and your metabolism becomes sluggish, while hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when your thyroid produces a surplus of thyroid hormones, putting your metabolism into overdrive. Other thyroid problems include:
- Goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid
- Thyroid nodules, usually benign growths, cause hyperthyroidism
- Graves disease, an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism
- Hashimoto’s disease, another faulty immune response, causes hypothyroidism
Thyroid problems are confusing sometimes because of the breadth of symptoms you can experience. They’re incredibly varied, from puffiness in your face to dry skin and hair loss, from menstrual irregularities to muscle aches, and emotional effects, like a lack of clarity and depression. A thyroid issue can even cause your voice to weaken.
Iodine is necessary for your thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. Excess iodine or a deficiency can cause your thyroid to either overproduce or underproduce hormones, respectively.
The trouble with a thyroid problem, no matter what its origin, is that it can potentially impact your overall health quite quickly, and tip the scale in an unhealthy direction, whether that’s upward or downward. The bottom line is that when your thyroid is compromised, your body systems experience significant disequilibrium.
Are there treatments available for thyroid problems?
Fortunately, yes. After Dr. Holdren or Dr. Foley take a blood sample, it’s analyzed at a lab and results are returned after about seven days. We check on how much thyroid hormone is present in your blood and your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland and motivates your thyroid to produce the hormone.
Medications exist for thyroid imbalance, but at Regenerative Health & Wellness, we emphasize holistic treatments. For example, sometimes hormone replacement therapy is prescribed for hypothyroidism. We offer innovative bioidentical hormone therapy treatment, which uses man-made, plant-based hormones that are identical to the estrogen and testosterone that our bodies produce.
It’s common for a sluggish thyroid to cause unwanted weight gain, and we offer safe, effective medical weight-loss solutions too. It’s best to work with our doctors to lose weight, especially when dealing with a thyroid problem. Our own Dr. Foley counsels our patients seeking weight-loss solutions, and your customized weight-loss plan is designed to complement your overall treatment plan.
Instead of drastic diets or trending fad programs, we give you solid advice on lifestyle solutions, medications that aid weight loss, and practical guidance on how to maintain a healthy diet no matter where you are — at home, enjoying a party, or in a restaurant.
Our goal is to get you to a healthy weight, give you the tools to keep the pounds off, and support your thyroid health.
No matter what your thyroid problem may be, we can help you feel like yourself again by getting your thyroid back on track. Call either of our offices to set up a consultation or connect with us on our website.