Stabilizing Your Thyroid

Stabilizing Your Thyroid

Ever felt like your body’s on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, especially when it comes to your thyroid?

You’re not alone. Let me tell you about my patient Anna, who walked into my office feeling just like you might be feeling now.

She was fed up with bouncing between feeling her thyroid was underactive and then overactive.  Her medication was being adjusted constantly, but she wasn’t feeling any better. And the kicker?

Even when her tests said she should feel fine, she just didn’t.

I explained to Anna that in her case, we couldn’t just treat the thyroid.  We needed to help other body systems that influence the thyroid as well.  It was a real puzzle, but together, we started to piece it together.

The Intricate Network of Hormones

There is a strong triangular relationship between the thyroid gland, the adrenal glands and the reproductive system. This is most evident in women. 

Each of these body systems produces its own messengers: the thyroid hormone, adrenal and sex hormones.  These messengers circulate all over our body to interact with each other and regulate all kinds of functions.  For this reason, they can cause similar symptoms. 

We often think that low thyroid hormone causes fatigue, but adrenal dysfunction can also cause fatigue, and women commonly feel fatigued before their menstrual cycles.  When one of them struggles, others try to compensate and keep the body going.  You may start with just a thyroid issue, but if you don’t take care of your body, you may end up with other struggling systems.  

Hormonal treatments are powerful, because they are more direct.  

You can think of the body as a manufacturing plant, and the hormones are the end products that you want to produce and sell at the store.  When using hormonal therapy, the factory is taking a break.  You ship the products directly to the stores.  When you give the store too many products, your store is overwhelmed with unused goods.  When you don’t give enough products, your store is also overwhelmed with angry customers whose needs are not met.  

Natural therapies are more gentle and indirect. 

You can think of them as resources that support the factory to work well.  When your body is not producing enough products, natural therapies help bring in more skilled workers or repair a broken assembly line. 

When your body is producing too much, natural therapies ask the stressed workers to make more breaks.  Rather than providing the end products, natural therapies help with the factory to regulate and optimize its own production.  This way, there is less likelihood to overshoot or undershoot production.  

In Anna’s case, she can best benefit from both hormonal and natural therapies.  Anna has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  She needs the thyroid therapy, because her own thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone anymore, but her problem is more than the thyroid. 

After years of working under stress and not getting enough sleep, her adrenal glands were struggling too.  She also notices that her symptoms were particularly worse around her menstrual cycle.  Her struggle with finding the best dose of thyroid medication was complicated by the dysfunction of her adrenal glands and reproductive system. 

I didn’t want to give Anna hormonal therapies for her adrenal and sex organs, because they can push the body too far.  The better approach was to nurture Anna’s adrenal glands and sex organs by having Anna re-establishing a healthy diet and lifestyle and providing supportive herbs and supplements.  

If Anna’s story sounds a bit too familiar, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and there are ways to help your body find its balance again.

Remember, it’s about listening to your whole body, not just one part. If you’re curious or have questions, reaching out to a professional for a discussion and laboratory evaluation is a great next step. Your body can be a balanced place again, and we’re here to help you get there.

Feel free to schedule a consultation with the providers at Naturopathic Family Health if you have any specific concerns.  

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Dr. Sherry Su, San Jose Naturopath

Dr. Sherry Su, ND, FABNG
Naturopathic Doctor San Jose

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