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What is Thyroid Deficiency Syndrome?
Thyroid deficiency syndrome has become one of the most common disorders that we see in our client today.
The question that all our clients ask is, why did this happen? To understand this we must look at a few key concepts related to our immunity, environment and genetics.
The thyroid gland is a bow-tie-shaped gland, which is located at the front of the neck, just below the Adam's apple. Thyroid hormones regulate just about every cell in the body, including those in the central nervous system, heart, liver, kidneys, skin, bone, and muscles.
Among its most important functions is the control of the rate of metabolism, thermogenesis, and oxygen consumption.
The predominant thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland is the relatively inactive T4.
The active form of the hormone, T3 is converted from T4 by peripheral tissues (mainly in the liver) as needed.
How are Hormones Regulated?
TSH is secreted by the pituitary gland in a pulsatile or circadian rhythm. This stimulating hormone activates the release of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland.
As thyroid hormones become high (or adequate), TSH secretion from the pituitary gland decreases in what is called a negative feedback mechanism.
Low thyroid function can be caused by autoimmune illnesses, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or Grave’s disease.
More commonly, low thyroid function is the effect of a combination of several factors that include; iodine deficiency, heavy metal toxicity and stress over load.
For example, a single stress episode of hypoglycaemia impairs thyroid function for up to 18 hours.
Severe stressors, like surgery or heart attacks or even pregnancy can impact thyroid function for months after the event.
Assessing Thyroid Function
Research has documented that 80% of the population has some level of thyroid dysfunction; therefore, thyroid function screening test is very important for everyone.
The standard TSH blood test used to check for proper thyroid function is currently inadequate in establishing a baseline thyroid function.
A full thyroid function assessment needs to include; TSH, FT4, FT3, rT3 as well as spot urinary iodine test.
In some cases assessment of thyroid antibodies (TPO and TG) should also be included if indicated in your symptom questionnaire.