The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood, and bone maintenance. If there are issues with the thyroid, the possible symptoms are numerous. In the case of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), symptoms include:
- mood disorders (like depression)
- hair loss
- weight gain
- cracked skin
In the case of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), symptoms include:
- unexplained weight loss
- hair thinning or loss
- shakiness, anxiety
- excessive sweating
- racing heartbeat
- more bowel movements than normal
- flushed, itchy skin
It is estimated that as much as 40% of the American population has some degree of hypothyroidism, elderly women being at the greatest risk. Furthermore, those who also have other autoimmune disorders show even higher rates of developing an underactive thyroid.
While the pharmaceutical industry has developed medications such as Synthroid to combat the symptoms of hypothyroidism, these prescriptions have their list of side effects. Another common treatment for thyroid conditions is partial or total surgical removal of the thyroid (the patient then takes Synthroid or a similar synthetic hormone for the rest of his or her life).
The issue is that none of these treatments combat the cause of the thyroid dysfunction. There are many possible reasons for thyroid issues including:
- nerve pressure
- poor diet
- lack of exercise
- leaky gut
We’re going to focus on the first two.
Nerve pressure – The thyroid, like all organs and tissues in the body, receives signals from the brain through the central and peripheral nervous systems. One of the primary nerve roots that reaches the thyroid exits the spine at the base of the neck. This same nerve root also controls the muscles of the neck and shoulders, and if there is pressure on that nerve root, those muscles will be tight and spasm. Those who are experiencing this combination of symptoms (thyroid issues with pain and tension in the muscles of the neck and shoulders) should be evaluated by a chiropractor for possible nerve pressure.
Poor diet – Reducing the consumption of foods that cause inflammation such as refined sugars and grains, increasing consumption of nutrient-dense foods, and altering the timing of meals can all have a significant impact on thyroid function. Combined with the right level of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, individuals struggling with an unhealthy thyroid can combat some of the major causes behind thyroid dysfunction.
By addressing the root cause of thyroid issues instead of merely covering up the symptoms, patients can experience symptom relief as well as all the greater health benefits that accompany positive lifestyle changes.
Before resorting to artificial and extreme measures, consider natural healthcare first.