Dangers of Low Thyroid
Thyroid problems can cause many serious health issues!
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Almost all of my patients have one or more of the following…
- Digestive Malfunction: Poor thyroid production slows down the amount of time it takes for food to move through the intestines. This increases the chance of gut infections from harmful yeast and bacteria, leading to inflammation, poor absorption, and an increased risk of food intolerances.
- Male reproduction: Causes impotence and low sperm count. Rare in men but must be ruled out if estrogen and testosterone levels are altered.
- Gallbladder and Liver: Low thyroid bogs down the process in the Liver of hormone metabolism, toxin filtering, and blood cleaning. Byproducts are dumped in the gallbladder for final removal. Sluggishness due to low thyroid creates a backup of these byproducts and gallstones develop. Don’t forget how much of T4 is converted to T3 in the liver! 60%!
- Fat Burning: Fat burning hormones lose power when thyroid function is low. Also shuts down the response to lipase which metabolizes fat. Finally, low thyroid will cause insulin resistance in which glucose cannot get into cell for energy and your body stores fat all day. This is also why cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL are all high!
- Insulin and glucose metabolism: Glucose (sugar) metabolism is the rate at which the body uses glucose for energy. That FUZZY, FOGGY BRAIN and POOR MEMORY so common with Fibro and Thyroid Problems? Low thyroid = low glucose absorption. This leads to hypoglycemia and insulin resistance with symptoms of fatigue, irritability, and light-headedness. To compensate for low energy, the adrenal glands pump out stress hormones..which in turn leads to adrenal fatigue = low progesterone, poor sleep, etc..(The pregnenolone steal)
- Estrogen Metabolism: Low thyroid hinders the livers ability to eliminate it from the body….causes increased estradiol or “proliferative” estrogen. (This is the one responsible for breast cancer)
- Stomach Acid: Gastric reflux is very common with low thyroid. Low thyroid decreases HCL because it inhibits gastrin which makes stomach acid. When this happens foods are poorly digested and they rot in the stomach, the small intestine will not receive this food so it backs up into the esophagus causing heartburn. With patients with low thyroid, heartburn is due to LOW STOMACHE ACID NOT TOO MUCH. Is taking an anti-acid the right thing to do???
- Body heat and hot flashes: We need to test both hormone levels and full thyroid function to determine the cause. Typically, other signs of low thyroid function are present as well. If estrogen levels are fluctuating, this could also be a cause. If sweating but no heat, may be adrenal shifts as well.
- Progesterone production: Progesterone and Thyroid go hand and hand…Prog. Improves the signaling of thyroid receptors and stimulates TPO production – which increases thyroid production…low progesterone depresses TPO activity and thus T4. The answer is not to prescribe progesterone..the answer is to boost a sluggish pituitary gland. Remember our 6 patterns of dysfunction? This is one of them.
- Anemia: Low thyroid can lead to anemia in 3 ways…
- anemia resulting from B12 and folic acid deficiency stems from low stomach acid
- 12% with low thyroid have pernicious anemia…auto-immune disorder in which immune systems destroys a compound in the stomach lining necessary for the absorption of B12
- Low stomach acid leads to poor iron absorption