Why is the thyroid gland so important?
The thyroid gland, which is located in one’s neck, controls so many of one’s bodily functions and produces a master hormone within the body that impacts every cell, organ, and tissue. Specifically hormone balance, protein production, and signals for other hormones to do their thang!!! Energy levels and metabolism in one’s body are controlled directly by the thyroid gland, therefore it’s essential that one’s thyroid functions at the highest level possible.
What is a thyroid problem?
A thyroid malfunction or problem consists of either an over production or under production of thyroid hormone within the body. Since the thyroid does so much throughout the body, thyroid malfunction can result in a slew of symptoms ranging from weight gain or loss, fatigue & energy depletion, brain fog, head-aches, irregular periods, depression & anxiety.
According to the American Thyroid Association, 20 million American’s have some sort of thyroid problem and thus living life at a less than optimal potential. These problems are categorized as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, goiter, Grave’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Postpartum Thyroiditis, and Thyroid Cancer.
Why is there such a rise of thyroid problems in the US?
Autoimmune Disease. This is a huge problem in our population and among Americans an ever increasing number of people are living with an autoimmune disease. An estimated 24 million Americans have some sort of autoimmune disease that they often aren’t even aware of. Most people when asked, “can you name an auto immune disease?” have difficulty coming up with even one type! So the problem lies with education and awareness. Autoimmune Diseases are categorized as a problem within the body where the immune system attacks itself (i.e. ending up in a thyroid problem.)
How does the environment play a role in Thyroid Problems and Autoimmune Disease?
The CDC has found a large link between environmental toxins like Perchlorate and food additives, which cause a disruption to thyroid hormones and can cause long-term autoimmune & thyroid problems. Most people don’t recognize symptoms of autoimmune disease that would lead them to seek health care or chiropractic care. Most of these symptoms are not symptoms of pain but more of dysfunction like fatigue, energy, brain fog, headaches or digestion. In our culture, the answer often is a quick fix like an Advil or cup of coffee. While I’m not here to argue the effects of caffeine and Advil, I’m merely bringing up the fact that the body gives small signals that “something is off” and we as American’s don’t listen. The accumulation of these small signals over time ends up being a diagnosis of an auto-immune disease 10 years later. Often it’s even more complicated and threatening to one’s health, life, and happiness. Our environment is constantly edging towards the more toxic and more invasive end of the spectrum. From more additives like amino sweet, sucralose and Splenda, our bodies constantly have to adapt and function to environmental toxins. Why not try to be preventable about these issues and navigate your health using a means that helps your body adapt to its surroundings, instead of being re-active about your LIFE and HEALTH?!
What treatment options are there?
Mainstream medical thyroid treatments range from medication, hormone therapy and radiation therapy depending upon the severity and type of condition. Side effects of thyroid treatments or medication can range from nausea, weight loss, tremors, irregular heartbeat, stomach cramps, heat intolerances, irritability or fever. Other integrative health treatments range from Chiropractic care, naturopathic and herbal remedies as well. These approaches are targeting at finding the CAUSE of the problem and supporting one’s body to help it adapt better instead of treating the symptom. Neither one is right or wrong, they are just extremely different in their approach.
What? Chiropractic Care for Thyroid issues?! huh?
Yes. That’s correct. Let’s start by explaining the basics of Chiropractic care. Neck and Back pain is not the best reason to visit a Chiropractor! Chiropractic care is about allowing the body to adapt to it’s surroundings (STRESS & LIFE) via the nervous system. The nervous system is the master control system in the body. It allows all the organs, muscles, cells, tissues, and GLANDS (i.e thyroid) to function. If nerves to the thyroid gland are interfered with due to spinal misalignments (subluxations), then the thyroid gland and other parts of the body don’t function at 5 bars! Here at Life Within Family Chiropractic, we’ve seen a large correlation between decrease neck curvature, neck pain, headaches and THYROID PROBLEMS. WHY? The thyroid gland is located in the neck (cervical) region and is extremely susceptible to nervous system malfunction. If those nerves have pressure and interference, then the thyroid gland doesn’t function as well. Cue all the thyroid things. Fatigue, headache, constipation, low motivation, and overall sense of blah-ness.
The amount of pressure on a nerve equivalent to a dime, can have drastic effects on the organs & glands that that nerve supplies. Think, do you may have nerve interference if your body isn’t functioning at it’s highest potential? Yes. Go get checked by a Chiropractor who specializes in subluxation!
A Life Within practice member shares her story below about her experience with Chiropractic care and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
20 years ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, written a prescription, and sent on my way. Over the years my symptoms got significantly worse (weight gain, low energy levels, leaky gut) and I decided to see an Endocrinologist. After a blood test they diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. Again, I was written a prescription, and sent on my way. In the past two decades no doctor had told me WHY this was happening to me or WHAT I could do to get better. I decided I needed to take my health into my hands and start seeking answers.
In June of 2017 my friend recommended I try going to a chiropractor and suggested I visit Life Within Chiropractic. “But I’m not in any pain, why would I go there?” I wondered. Hesitations aside, I went to a ‘Cup of Chiro’ event where I met Doctor Katie, learned and chatted about the benefits of chiropractic care. Did you know that PAIN isn’t the only reason for seeking chiropractic care? In fact, only 10% of nerve purpose is for feeling, while the other 90% is for function. A mis-aligned (subluxated) spine has a direct correlation to how specific areas of the body work, and in my case that means my THYROID!
My curiosity was peaked! I decided to do a physical exam and x-ray with Dr. Katie to get a closer look at what was going on in my body. During the examination she was able to observe my spine, and predict the way it negativity affected my life: digestion issues, severe menstrual cramps, thyroid problems, and more. I was in AWE at how accurate her predictions were, and was willing to try anything to offset this crazy autoimmune disease.
A few times a week for the past 6 months I have gone to Life Within Chiropractic and become part of their family! Dr. Katie is always welcoming with her gentle nature and warm smile. Her genuine interest in my physical & mental health has been immensely therapeutic, and keeps me in check. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t being handed drugs and sent on my way!
Currently, my thyroid levels are stable, I’ve had less autoimmune flare-ups, and my digestion has improved! I’ve noticed my posture is TREMENDOUSLY better, my menstrual cramps have virtually disappeared and as a result I’ve completely stopped taking ANY painkillers. Now that my body is not inflamed and my leaky-gut is healing, I FINALLY feel like I’m on the right path to living healthy with an autoimmune disease. Words can’t explain how grateful I am to have met Dr. Katie, she has changed my life!