Underactive Thyroid Treatment
Our underactive thyroid treatment is a very natural approach that addresses the underlying issues of this condition.
Testimonial for underactive thyroid treatment: A 38 year old female presenting with a large goitre – pharmaceutical medication had not helped her, digestive issues and fatigue.
“I know that I have met Deborah Grant by chance and under difficult circumstances for me ( because I was ill), but I’m glad that I have met such a wonderful person. She is a true professional and a lovely person as well. I have seen three different specialists in thyroid problems after a random blood test showed that I my thyroid was not functioning properly. The treatment that was given to me wasn’t working. Only after I found Deborah Grant I started to see results regarding my health. She made me understand more about my body, my life style and how to control my stress levels. I can not find words to express my gratitude. Deborah Grant is a perfectionist and she doesn’t give up until she gets results. I would gladly recommend her to anyone who’s got similar health issues. It was a great experience to meet a person like Deborah Grant. She really understands people which is very important. I have learned that you can not fix anything without knowing what caused the damage in the first place. Many thanks” – Luminita, London
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of the neck. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — have a significant impact on health, affecting all aspects of the metabolism. These hormones also influence the control of body temperature and heart rate.
What is Underactive Thyroid?
Underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones. Hypothyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms at first but later on untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary, depending on how severe the hormone deficiency is. Problems tend to develop over time, often over several years.
Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Tender, aching muscles and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in the joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre)
When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be disrupted. There can be several causes, including autoimmune disease, hyperthyroidism treatments, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and certain medications.
Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism may be due to a number of factors, including:
- Autoimmune disease. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Autoimmune conditions occur when the immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues and sometimes this process will target the thyroid gland.
- Over-response to hyperthyroidism treatment. People who produce too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) are often treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications. The goal of these treatments is to get thyroid function back to normal. But sometimes, correcting hyperthyroidism can end up lowering thyroid hormone production too much, resulting in hypothyroidism.
- Thyroid surgery. Removing all or a large portion of your thyroid gland can diminish or halt hormone production. In that case, you’ll need to take thyroid hormone for life.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation used to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect the thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism.
- Medications. A number of medications can contribute to hypothyroidism. One such medication is lithium, which is used to treat certain psychiatric disorders.
- Less often, hypothyroidism may result from one of the following:
- Congenital disease. Some babies are born with a defective thyroid gland or no thyroid gland. In most cases, the thyroid gland didn’t develop normally for unknown reasons, but some children have an inherited form of the disorder. Often, infants with congenital hypothyroidism appear normal at birth.
- Pituitary disorder. A relatively rare cause of hypothyroidism is the failure of the pituitary gland to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) — usually because of a benign tumour of the pituitary gland.
- Pregnancy. Some women develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism), often because they produce antibodies to their own thyroid gland. Left untreated, hypothyroidism increases the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery and preeclampsia — a condition that causes a significant rise in a woman’s blood pressure during the last three months of pregnancy. It can also seriously affect the developing foetus.
- Iodine deficiency. The trace mineral iodine — found primarily in seafood, seaweed, plants grown in iodine-rich soil and iodized salt — is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Too little iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, and too much iodine can worsen hypothyroidism in people who already have the condition.
Although anyone can develop hypothyroidism, there is an increased risk in:
- Over 60
- Have a family history of thyroid disease
- Have an autoimmune disease, such as type 1 diabetes or celiac disease
- Have been treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications
- Received radiation to your neck or upper chest
- Have had thyroid surgery (partial thyroidectomy)
- Have been pregnant or delivered a baby within the past six months
Untreated hypothyroidism may lead to several health problems:
- Goitre – constant stimulation of the thyroid to release more hormones may cause the gland to become larger — a condition known as a goitre. Although generally not uncomfortable, a large goitre may interfere with swallowing or breathing.
- Heart problems – hypothyroidism may also be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and heart failure, primarily because high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the “bad” cholesterol — can occur in people with an underactive thyroid.
- Mental health issues – depression may occur early in hypothyroidism and may become more severe over time. Hypothyroidism can also cause slowed mental functioning.
- Peripheral neuropathy – long-term uncontrolled hypothyroidism can cause damage to the peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy may cause pain, numbness and tingling in affected areas.
- Infertility – low levels of thyroid hormone can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. In addition, some of the causes of hypothyroidism — such as autoimmune disorder — can also impair fertility.
Underactive Thyroid Treatment – Pharmaceutical
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is usually treated by taking daily synthetic hormone replacement tablets called levothyroxine. Levothyroxine replaces the thyroxine hormone. Regular blood tests are given until the correct dose of levothyroxine is reached. This can take a little while to get right. Some people start to feel better soon after beginning treatment, while others do not notice an improvement in their symptoms for several months. Once on the correct dose, there is usually a blood test once a year to monitor hormone levels.
The side-effects of levothyroxine can include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Decreased urine output
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dilated neck veins
- Extreme fatigue
- Fast, slow, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- Heat intolerance
- Skin itching, rash, hives or redness
- Irregular breathing
- Menstrual changes
- Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat, or tongue
- Tightness in the chest
- Blurred or double vision
- Eye pain
- Lack or slowing of normal growth in children
- Limp or walk favouring one leg
- Pain in the hip or knee
- Severe headache
If the thyroid is enlarged – a goitre – surgery may be performed to remove all or part of the thyroid.
The natural approach to underactive thyroid treatment
Harley Street IBS & Autoimmune Clinic is a specialist clinic for autoimmune conditions. For underactive thyroid treatment, we take an extensive case history from the patient and carefully choose the functional medicine tests that we feel will highlight the imbalances causing the immune system to dysregulate thyroid function. These metabolic imbalances are corrected with natural medicine, high quality supplements and a diet tailored to each patient’s unique needs. We have an excellent nutritional therapist on our team, with whom patients can book an appointment.
Hypothyroidism: Diagnosis and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2021 May 15;103(10):605-613.PMID: 33983002
If you would like to book an appointmentContact Deborah’s Medical Secretary for an appointment