Is Your Thyroid Functioning Optimally?

Reviewed by Aleksandra Morgan, CNP

If you are feeling tired all the time, or struggling with unexplained weight gain or hair loss, it might be time to look into your thyroid health.  

The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck that produces hormones to regulate many of the body's functions. The hormones produced by the thyroid, called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), are released into the bloodstream to travel throughout the body, acting on many of the body's organs to help regulate metabolism, growth & development, heart rate, and body temperature.  

Thyroid hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), play a major role in regulating metabolism throughout the body. Thyroid hormones increase the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of cells and affect the rate of reactions that occur in the body, including fat and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, thyroid hormones influence appetite, digestion, and nutrient absorption, all of which can affect metabolism. Abnormal thyroid function can lead to a variety of metabolic disorders, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. 

Symptoms of hypothyroidism or low thyroid 

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid 

1. Fatigue  

2. Weight gain  

3. Dry, thinning hair  

4. Cold intolerance  

5. Constipation  

6. Muscle weakness  

7. Joint and muscle pain  

8. Depression  

9. Memory problems  

10. Elevated cholesterol levels 

1. Increased heart rate  

2. Weight loss  

3. Nervousness or irritability  

4. Sweating and heat intolerance  

5. Change in menstrual cycle   

7. Anxiety  

8. Difficulty sleeping  

9. Tremors  

10. Changes in bowel habits  

11. Goiter (enlarged thyroid) 


What is hypothyroidism and what causes it? 

When the thyroid produces too little T3 and T4, the metabolic rate decreases and it is referred to as hypothyroidism. 

The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be gradual and go unnoticed. Feeling tired and gaining weight may be the first signs, but as the condition progresses, more noticeable symptoms can arise.

Here are some of the common causes of hypothyroidism:  

  1. Autoimmune disorder: The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this disorder, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, thereby interfering with the gland’s ability to produce hormones.  
  2. Iodine deficiency: A lack of iodine in the diet is another common cause of hypothyroidism. The thyroid needs iodine to produce hormones, and a deficiency can lead to an underactive thyroid.  
  3. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy to the neck or chest area can damage the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism.  
  4. Thyroid surgery: Surgery that removes all or part of the thyroid can lead to hypothyroidism.  
  5. Medications: Certain medications can interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones, leading to hypothyroidism.  

What is hyperthyroidism and what causes it? 

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include weight loss, increased appetite, irritability, sweating, and an increased heart rate. 

Here are some of the common causes of hyperthyroidism: 

  1. Graves’ disease: This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system produces an antibody that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce too much of the thyroid hormones.  
  2. Toxic adenomas: Non-cancerous tumors, called adenomas, can cause the thyroid to produce too much thyroid hormone.  
  3. Excess iodine intake: Consuming too much iodine, a common additive in many foods and supplements, can lead to excess thyroid hormone production.  
  4. Thyroiditis: This is inflammation of the thyroid gland that can cause the thyroid to release too much of the thyroid hormones.  
  5. Too much thyroid medication: Taking too much of a synthetic thyroid hormone medication can lead to hyperthyroidism. 

What to do about these symptoms? 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to speak to your Naturopath or another healthcare practitioner about running tests to determine your thyroid hormone levels & the best nutritional support for optimal thyroid function in your body. 

You can also explore some of our natural solutions - at VitaminTree we offer a wide range of natural supplements to support healthy, balanced thyroid function. 

Restorative Formulations ThyroCare is designed to support thyroid health. It contains a blend of natural herbs, minerals, and vitamins that help to support the thyroid gland and maintain healthy hormone levels. The formula also contains adaptogenic herbs that help to reduce stress and improve mental clarity. It helps to support healthy metabolism and enhance energy levels. 

Restorative Formulations ThyCalm PX is a blend of lemon balm, bugleweed, and rosemary, zinc and selenium to calm an overactive thyroid and stabilize the thyroid function.  

Xymogen MedCaps T3 contains natural ingredients such as rosemary, ashwagandha, and guggul extract. It is designed to help improve energy levels, aid in weight management, and promote overall health.

Why suffer through unpleasant symptoms of an unbalanced thyroid when you can find relief naturally? It may be necessary to speak to your doctor or a healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment needs vary depending on the underlying cause of the imbalance and may include medications, natural supplements, dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and other therapies. It's important to get the right treatment to ensure your thyroid is balanced and functioning properly.