Understanding the Thyroid

By Dr. Keith Giaquinto

Thyroid dysfunction has many symptoms—fatigue, weight change, dry skin or hair, constipation, upper body discomfort, heart palpitations and increased sensitivity to cold. The thyroid has a very important job to do. It is a part of the body’s hormonal system and runs the metabolism. When people have thyroid challenges, their doctor runs bloodwork testing the thyroid. If the numbers are out of balance, then the patient is put on thyroid medication to correct the numbers. This approach is the standard protocol for thyroid issues and only manages the symptoms; however, it does not support the body to heal the cause of the problem.

A different approach would be to look for the cause of the problem and improve normal function of the body to allow the thyroid to do its job. When thyroid dysfunction occurs, in most cases the thyroid is the compensating organ. The exhausted thyroid then lets the body know by displaying any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

There can be multiple factors in what causes thyroid dysfunction. Two major contributors are mechanical and nutritional stress. Mechanical stresses are poor posture and subluxations in the spine. These two stresses can decrease communication from the brain to the body, including the thyroid. If proper communication is crippled, the thyroid will not function well.

The nutritional stresses are diet and proper digestion. A diet high in refined carbohydrates (sugar) and caffeine will cause your adrenal glands to become exhausted and lock the body in a fight or flight mode. This will then start the cascade of poor digestion and poor absorption, which will lead to a nutritional imbalance further perpetuating thyroid dysfunction. When the body is locked in the fight or flight mode with adrenal exhaustion, it forces the thyroid to work harder.

Then it is only a matter of time before one becomes plagued with thyroid dysfunction symptoms.

With this multiple factor approach, one can understand that taking medication for an exhausted and malnourished thyroid is short sighted and does not promote healing. Identifying and minimizing the major source of stress on the body is the first place to go to allow the body to heal. Then supporting proper posture, spinal movement, diet and digestion will yield better long-term results with thyroid dysfunction.