Beyond A sluggish Metabolism: Why Proper Thyroid Function is Essential to Your Health by Dr. Bahl

Picture of a Human Thyroid
The thyroid gland plays a central role in your overall health because it regulates the entire body. Proper thyroid function aids in energy production, controls oxygen utilization, regulates blood flow, modulates metabolism, controls hormone excretion and sexual function. Although a poor functioning thyroid is most commonly associated with weight problems, the fact is that hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) can have far reaching effects on overall health causing a wide array of conditions including: anxiety, depression, migraines, hypertension, high insulin levels, hyperlipedemia, tinnitus, fatigue, insomnia, infertility, low libido, hair loss, dry skin, and weight gain. Many
individuals are being treated for these conditions when in fact poor thyroid function is the underlying root cause.

Hypothyroidism affects about 5 million people in the United States. This condition is 5-8 times more common in women than men. In some cases hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder (called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). It can also be caused by the surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Less common causes include infection of the thyroid, too much or too little dietary iodine, or use of medications (such as beta blockers, lithium, some oral contraceptives, and chemotherapy).

In many cases, however, it is caused by adrenal gland dysfunction (which is commonly caused by chronic stress). The good news is that hypothyroidism can be easily diagnosed by a simple blood test, and proper thyroid function can be restored. A functional medicine approach is best to restore balance to this carefully orchestrated system. It is very important to address adrenal function when restoring thyroid balance. Most often once thyroid balance is achieved many other diseases are reversed.

Be proactive about your health and well-being. You can be on the road to a long, healthy life full of vigor and vitality.

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