Feeling tired all the time can cause a range of health issues to develop. You’re more likely to make poor dietary choices, reaching for a bag of chips when you get home instead of cooking a balanced dinner. You’re also more likely to crash on the couch instead of exercising or going to the gym.
Many different things can cause fatigue, but the one we want to talk about today is your thyroid. It’s a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that produces the hormones your body needs to regulate its metabolism. Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions in your body that convert food into the energy your body needs to run. It’s directly linked to things like heart rate and temperature.
It’s an amazing process, especially when everything is running well. When it’s not functioning properly, however, it can cause a range of other health issues. If your thyroid is overactive, you might notice your heart pounding, increased sweating, irritability, and unexplained weight loss. If your thyroid is underactive, you might experience fatigue, unexplained weight gain, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and more. The best thing you can do is visit a functional medicine doctor.
Here are Tri-Cities Functional Medicine, we specialize in helping people treat thyroid imbalances without taking medication for the rest of their lives. Our licensed and board-certified doctor can present a range of options to restore your energy and balance your weight. Our office is based in Johnson City, Tennessee, and we work with people from all over the Tri-Cities area and beyond. This includes Kingsport, Bristol, Knoxville, Greeneville, Elizabethton and Abingdon in Virginia. Ready to start learning? Let’s dive in.
Want to take the first step? Schedule a free discovery call.
How Does the Thyroid Affect the Body?
Nutrition is the key to good health. A healthy diet gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to not just survive but thrive. If you’re going to function your best, you need plenty of whole , foods including fruits, vegetables, and protein. Or you could think of it this way: a rocket ship needs rocket fuel.
As food enters your gastrointestinal tract, it breaks down into smaller and smaller molecules, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported around the body. This process allows cells to grow, reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to the environment around them. This is the process of metabolism.
Thyroid hormones affect metabolic rate and digestive function, which are critical to heart function, muscle function, brain function, bone health, and much more. They also enable your body to react to external stimuli. For example, if it needs to speed up or slow down your heart rate, or increase or decrease your body temperature, your thyroid makes it happen.
You can see why healthy thyroid function is so integral to your overall well-being. An overactive or underactive thyroid can be the root cause for a range of other issues that may seem unrelated at first. We’re here to give you hope that you can address the issues that are troubling you and feel better.
Learn more about thyroid issues at our free on-demand webinar.
How Do You Know If You Have Thyroid Issues?
Right at the start of this blog post, we ran through some common symptoms of having an overactive and underactive thyroid. However, thyroid hormones are connected to many other issues as well. These include muscle aches and weakness, elevated cholesterol, painful or swollen joints, thinning hair, heavy or irregular menstrual cycles, thinning hair, impaired memory, and even depression.
Thyroid issues are more prevalent than you might think. According to the American Thyroid Association, an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. As many as 60% of them are unaware of their condition, which is why we’re here.
Thyroid imbalances can explain everyday problems such as:
- Constantly feeling tired, even after you’ve had a good night’s rest.
- Having stubborn fat that won’t go away despite your efforts.
- Living with dry and flaky skin that can’t be treated with hydration.
- Feeling cold all the time even when you’re in a warm room.
- Struggling to open your bowels every day, no matter what you eat.
These are just a few of the issues patients commonly ask us about. Of course, there are many more examples. The point is that all of these issues can be linked to one cause: your thyroid.
The best way to diagnose a thyroid problem is with blood testing. This is something our doctor will order for you . A detailed blood chemistry analysis will measure the level of thyroid hormones circulating in your body, which will indicate if your thyroid is working too hard or too little. We also look at thyroid antibodies to see if there is any autoimmunity present. Once we have a diagnosis, we can create a customized treatment plan to start restoring your health.
If you’re sick of putting band-aid solutions on big health issues, and you don’t want to be stuck taking medication for the rest of your life, we’re here to help. Our goal is to treat the root cause of what’s causing your issues to allow you to create a life that’s free from chronic health issues.
Sound good? Call our team and let’s get started today.
Why Are Thyroid Issues More Common in Women?
Women are more likely to experience thyroid issues than men. Statistics from the American Thyroid Association indicate that women are five to eight times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men. One in eight American women will develop a thyroid disorder in her lifetime.
Scientists still don’t know exactly why this occurs, but there are a number of clear risk factors:
- Family history is important, so find out if any of your relatives have a thyroid disease.
- Autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes or celiac disease, also increase your chance.
- Radiation to your chest or neck as part of a cancer treatment can cause problems.
- Age is also important because the risk of developing an issue increases as you get older.
Our goal in writing this blog post is to make you feel like the lights have just turned on. If you’re relating to a lot of these symptoms and risk factors, we strongly encourage you to see a functional medicine doctor. Here at Tri-Cities Functional Medicine, we specialize in helping people get their lives back because life is too short to constantly feel lackluster. It’s time to live abundantly again.
What is functional medicine? Find out more about our approach here.
Best Treatment Options for Thyroid Imbalances
There are lots of different ways that functional medicine is different than conventional medicine. Functional medicine doctors are licensed medical professionals, but they take a holistic approach to restoring health instead of just prescribing medication to treat the symptoms. This means that treatment options often include lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise. They can prescribe medication when necessary, but they favor natural treatments to restore long-term well-being.
When it comes to treating thyroid issues, it’s likely your doctor will start with gut health. Cutting back on carbohydrates and sugars can reduce inflammation, while incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables can promote immunity. Your doctor will also look for any foods that could be triggering particular symptoms and prescribe supplements as necessary to treat deficiencies.
Remember, this isn’t just about masking symptoms but reclaiming your health. You deserve to live with great energy, optional well-being, and a body that lets you do everything you want to do.
Sound good? Schedule a free discovery call today.