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Thyroid - the switch to your metabolism

The thyroid hormone (Thyroxin) is like an on-off button for all our cells. The thyroid gland is the body’s internal thermostat, regulating temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories and uses energy. Hypothyroidism

In Hypothyroidism there is a defect in the production of tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which results in a hypo-metabolic state. It primarily affects women, it is estimated that one in eight women will develop thyroid problems at one stage of her lifetime.

Symptoms for Hypothyroidism are Varied

Due to decreased body temperature, it is claimed that bodily enzymes function at an impaired rate which can lead to over sixty different signs and symptoms, including: fatigue, low blood pressure, cold hands and feet, weight gain and difficulty loosing it, constipation, fertility problems, low stomach acid and malabsorption, slow hair and nail growth, water retention, dry skin, depression just to name a few.

Cause: Thyroid Defect, Pituitary Gland Problems, or Excess Oestrogen Levels

Hypothyroidism can be primary, due to thyroid gland defects, or secondary, due to pituitary gland problems (which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce hormones).

Excess oestrogen levels (PMS, painful periods, mood swings) can also decrease thyroid activity through increasing amounts of de-iodinase enzymes and increasing the number of pituitary T3 receptors, which inhibits Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) release.

Stress May Play a Role

Salmon fillet on ice.A simple iodine dieficiency can be behind the problem.
Photoby Luca Baroncini

Prolonged stress can deplete the raw material for the thyroid hormone, which is the amino acid Tyrosine (from proteins), and stress hormones can interfere with Thyroxin production at further levels. A simple iodine, selenium and Zinc deficiency can also be behind the problem, as Iodine is part of the thyroid hormone (as its name shows) and both selenium and zinc is required to activate the hormone, or convert T4 into T3.

Subclinical Hypothyroidism

If the normal blood tests your doctor ran came back perfect, but you still have the typical symptoms, you could have what is called Wilson’s syndrome, or subclinical hypothyroidism. It is said to be due to the impaired conversion of T4 to T3. Various factors can cause T4 to be converted to REVERSE T3 (an isomer –differently structured molecule, therefore inactive) instead of regular T3. As Reverse T3 levels rise, it can block the conversion of T4 – further perpetuating the condition. It is called “Reverse T3 Dominance”.

Causes of Subclinical Hypothyroidism

Causes of this phenomenon are either nutrient deficiencies / malabsorption due to digestive disorders or food allergies. This conversion happens in our liver and kidneys, therefore the health of those organs have a huge impact on our metabolism. Read on decorative Element


A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health - without side effects.

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