If you scored high in the ‘Thyroid High’ section of the Health Score Quiz, please read this article as it contains some useful information and resources to help you.
What is the thyroid gland?
Your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the front of your neck. Thyroid hormone is responsible for the metabolic rate of every cell in your body. Why is this important? Well, if there is either too much or too little, this will significantly change how your cells function. Too much thyroid hormone and you might feel over-stimulated, drastically lose weight or find it hard to sleep at night, whereas too little and you may feel tired all the time, be gaining weight without changing anything, have sluggish bowels and poor memory.
As you can see high levels of thyroid hormone speed things up and low levels slow things down to keep things very simple.
If your thyroid function is out of balance this can impact on all other systems in the body, this is why this is such a fundamental area to check no matter what symptoms someone is presenting with, but especially if they present with some of the classic “high” or “low” symptoms.
Here are just a few areas that thyroid hormone influences:
- Bone Health
- Digestive Health
- Hormonal Health
- Brain Health
- Cardiovascular Health
- Liver Health
- Anaemia and poor oxygen delivery
- Muscular health and recovery
I discuss thyroid function, symptoms, testing and imbalances in much more detail with related videos within my article – Why the Thyroid is important and what symptoms, imbalances and testing options you should be aware of.
Unfortunately, thyroid issues are very common today and largely under reported due to quite broad reference ranges. The majority of cases relate to reduced function of the thyroid gland, whereas a much smaller percentage of the population will have an overactive thyroid gland where too much thyroid hormone is being produced.
What does Thyroid (High) mean and what next?
If you score high in the Thyroid (high) section, this means you may be demonstrating some of the classic symptoms associated with excessive thyroid hormone output.
This is classically the result of an imbalanced/overactive immune system (autoimmunity) and if nothing is done about it, it may result in permanent damage to the thyroid gland. Other causes may include tumour development, but this is much rarer in what is already quite rare, especially when compared to hypothyroidism. Another consideration is someone who is already on thyroid medication, but they may be taking too much of that medication and may be creating a hyperthyroid state.
It is important that you get some blood tests done to follow up on this. This can be arranged through your GP or we are happy to facilitate thyroid testing. For 1-2-1 support with your health journey and information on blood tests, you can complete the enquiry form at the bottom of this page.
Upon reviewing the blood test results we can determine if there is evidence of elevated thyroid hormone. If there is then we recommend working with a specialist endocrinologist to help control the hormone levels. The next step for hyperthyroid (high thyroid) patients would be to look into the underlying causes of the imbalanced immune system leading to the hyperthyroid state.
This can be a bit of a journey as autoimmunity can have a number of triggers, including stress & emotions, digestive health, toxins, foods, trauma and more. Anyone looking to address the underlying cause of autoimmunity typically requires a holistic approach and to be honest a bit of patience in addressing it.
I also want to add here that your symptoms may have nothing to do with your thyroid. High stress is a common cause of a number of the high thyroid associated symptoms. Review your Adrenals (high) section and see if you score high in that section as well. In which case you may be looking at an excessive stimulation issue. Either way I would still recommend a decent blood test to review general health markers and thyroid to at least eliminate thyroid involvement in your symptoms.
Common triggers to hyperthyroid
Gastrointestinal imbalances & Infections
Issues with intestinal permeability / leaky gut are common triggers of autoimmunity. There are a number of causes of this, including stress, infections, overgrowths, nutrient insufficiencies etc.
Iodine is an important nutrient for thyroid hormone production. Increased availability of iodine can trigger the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. Excessive amounts may exacerbate or lead to a hyperthyroid state.
Other infections, in particular viruses have been linked with triggering autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Excessive levels of certain toxins has an ability to lead to cellular damage as well as triggering changes in the immune system resulting in autoimmunity, particularly in those who are genetically predisposed. Studies have shown that higher levels of mercury exposure provide an increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease.
Food allergies and sensitivitiesHow we react to food can sometimes be a trigger to autoimmunity and intestinal permeability. Gluten is one food that has been linked with the development of autoimmune thyroid conditions in some individuals.
If you score high in the Thyroid (high) section, then we strongly recommend getting your thyroid levels assessed. As a minimum this should be TSH and Free T4 & Free T3 levels initially. If this throws up abnormalities, then further immune based markers can be used to look for autoimmunity in this area. Abnormalities that you would expect to see here are very low levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and very high levels of Free T4 and Free T3, above the standard ranges.
Further assessments, if it is suspected, may include an ultrasound and radioactive iodine uptake tests as well as blood antibody tests.
In addition to this, because of the carry over between high stress symptoms and high thyroid symptoms, we encourage you to review your Adrenal (high) section as well as reviewing the stress related sections in the nutrition and lifestyle area. This may be your priority; however, we will recommend a decent overall blood test including a thyroid assessment.
If you are found to have a hyperthyroid state, then we typically recommend a combination of conventional and functional medicine support depending on the severity of the symptoms and physiology at that time.
I hope you have found this content useful. If you feel that you could benefit from additional support in this area, don’t hesitate to get in touch using the enquiry form below.
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