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Getting To Know Your Thyroid Part 1

Thyroid gland concerns are very common and something I see in my practice on a weekly basis. Fortunately, these concerns can often be addressed naturally. This first out of three articles on thyroid health discusses two of the most common thyroid concerns, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. It is important to have any thyroid concerns looked at by your ND, MD or health care provider to make sure any serious root causes are addressed. The other two articles will discuss what lab tests are important to get in order to the root cause of your thyroid issues and what foods to eat and not to eat if you have thyroid concerns.

Thyroid 101

One of the most common concerns I see with patients are thyroid imbalances. This small butterfly-shaped gland is responsible for your body’s energy and metabolism. So it is no surprise that when it is not functioning properly, people feel off. The thyroid produces two hormones, called T4 and T3, that affect your metabolism, heart rate and sympathetic activity. The following are some of the major thyroid imbalances:


Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones or the hormones do not work properly. There are several reasons why this takes place such as antibodies reacting to the thyroid (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), not enough materials to make the hormones (low iodine) or lack of stimulation to make the hormones (secondary Hypothyroidism). Other influences including high estrogen, liver concerns and gut dysbiosis can also effect thyroid hormones.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Unexplained fatigue and/or depression

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Constipation

  • Intolerance to cold temperatures

  • Heavy menstrual periods

  • Inability to lose weight


Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too many thyroid hormones. A common cause of this is Grave’s Disease where an antibody causes the thyroid to make too many hormones. People can also develop a goitre from the thyroid overproducing (and underproducing) hormones. Thyroid cancer must be ruled out with these symptoms as well.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Fatigue or muscle weakness

  • Nervousness or anxiety

  • Weight loss

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Shakiness/ Heart palpitations

If you are also experiencing a fever, very rapid heart beat, confusion, disorientation and/or significant fatigue, go seek emergency medical care as this can be a sign of Thyroid Storm

If you have been experiencing some of these issues and would like more information, please considering booking a FREE 15 minute consultation with me here

Yours in health,


Naturopathic Doctor in Norwich and Woodstock Ontario

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