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Why Am I So Tired? Could It Be Low Thyroid?

Is your cholesterol elevated? Are you wondering about memory loss causes and why other symptoms are appearing? If you answered yes to these questions, you should delve further into the cause. These symptoms are sometimes related to low thyroid levels or hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland is an important endocrine or ductless gland, which sits at the base of the neck. This butterfly-shaped gland is responsible for producing important hormones called thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyroinine or T3.

The major purpose of these important hormones is to regulate the metabolic rate or energy levels of the body at a cellular level. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, it can affect the energy level of the entire body.

Some of the symptoms of low thyroid or hypothyroidism can include:
Low energy
Brain fog
Inability to concentrate
Memory problems
Unexplained hair loss
Dry scalp and skin
Weight gain or inability to lose excess weight
Low blood pressure
Slow body reflexes

Low thyroid or hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism, and all types of thyroid problems are more common in women then men. Thyroid problems increase with age, especially over the age of fifty, can run in families, are more common in smokers, and are prevalent if you live in an area where there is iodine deficient soil.

Just when you think you are eating healthy, some common dietary foods contribute to low thyroid. These are called goitergenic foods and include brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabagas, and especially be wary of soy products, which are ubiquitous. It is best to eat these foods in moderation or not at all if you are hypothyroid, since these foods suppress the production of thyroid hormones.

When visiting your doctor to have your thyroid tested insist that the doctor order the complete panel of tests and not just the TSH test. Also include these tests: free T3, total T4, and free T4 tests. Most medical doctors will just screen patients for thyroid problems and only order a TSH test. However, the TSH test may miss many thyroid problems, especially a T3 deficiency.
Holistic Approach to Thyroid Deficiency

So how can we approach a thyroid deficiency holistically? Not every patient responds to thyroid medication the same way. The most common thyroid medication prescribed by medical doctors is Synthroid, which contains a synthetic T4 version of the hormone.

Medical doctors argue that it is most easily standardized and therefore, it is the most accurate way of re-establishing the normal levels of hormone. However, not all patients respond favorably to this drug.

Other patients may do better with a natural hormone compound such as Armour brand, which contains natural porcine T4 and T3 hormones. Some patients may even be deficient in T3 hormone, which may not even have been tested. Therefore it is important to complete all the tests for a complete picture of the thyroid hormones.
At Home Thyroid Testing

Another method of testing for low thyroid is to do a home thyroid test by taking your Basal Body Temperature each morning before you get out of bed. Use an oral thermometer for this.

If you get out of bed, it is too late. Your temperature should be taken before you jump out of bed, preferably at the same time each morning. You can use either an oral temperature or an underarm temperature. Record the readings for at least 2 weeks. Take your temperature readings to your Naturopathic doctor to have him/her explain its meaning. If the readings are too low, it may mean that you are hypothyroid, even if the blood testing is normal.

Be cautious when self-treating with iodine products. Many people are allergic or sensitive to iodine and it can complicate the thyroid situation or cause an exacerbation.

Homeopathic thyroid medications may be helpful for simple uncomplicated low thyroid problems and are gentle to the body. Also ask your doctor to check for autoimmune thyroid problems if all the other tests come out normal, but your symptoms continue to persist.

The bottom line for treating thyroid conditions is we do have a choice of what types of treatments and medications are right for us. So, if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms such as depression, natural medications are just as effective as synthetic drugs.

Remember everyone responds differently to thyroid medications natural or otherwise. Also, everyone has different needs as far as the effectiveness of the type of treatment depending upon one's individual condition. Therefore, if you are suffering from any of the suspected symptoms related to thyroid problems get your blood tested to find out if you do have a low thyroid or thyroid problems. Be sure and ask your health care provider to order a complete thyroid panel testing.

Dr. Leia Melead is an naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist. She writes for, the natural remedies website and blog.