The Thyroid Gland is one of the endocrine glands in the body, and is located in the lower third of the throat, above the clavicular notch. The thyroid gland is in charge of metabolism, which includes how much energy you have, how much sleep you need per night, how well you metabolize your food, and how much of that food is stored as fat. It also plays a role in fertility and sexual function. The thyroid functions in conjunction with the pituitary and the hypothalamus, located in the center of the brain. In Western Medicine, thyroid function is measured by a blood test determining levels of hormones. Cushing’s Syndrome, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid, Grave’s Disease, DeQuervain’s (subacute thyroiditis), and goiter are some diagnoses for thyroid problems.
The thyroid gland produces several hormones, which, in turn, interact with hormones produced by the pituitary and hypothalamus. The thyroid secretes T3, T4, and Calcitonin, while the pituitary secretes TSH and the hypothalamus secretes TRH. These hormones interact with each other in the bloodstream via a negative feedback loop and control metabolism in the body. In addition, these hormones interact with other hormones and substances in the body, affecting growth, sexual function and bone health.
Thyroid dysfunction falls into the category of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroid disorders are due to increased or excess production of T4 and T3. Symptoms include increased heart rate, insomnia, excess sweating, diarrhea, and weight loss. Hypothyroid disorders are due to the decreased production of T3 and T4, and result in weight gain, fatigue, sleeping for long periods of time, hair loss, and a feeling of cold in the body.
Little is known about the exact etiology of thyroid dysfunction. In some cases, the cause is autoimmune; in others, changes resulting from childbirth are implicated. However, newer theories are emerging, some pointing to diet and allergies, some pointing to genetically inherited conditions, and some involve deficiencies of vitamins and minerals.
Because thyroid hormones affect so many other systems in the body, thyroid dysfunction must be identified and addressed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many blood tests are not sensitive enough to effectively diagnose a thyroid disorder until the patient’s condition has become severe enough to warrant medication. Many people in the “low-normal” hormonal range of a thyroid panel report debilitating symptoms, prompting further medical tests and exams, costing thousands of dollars. Others are dismissed or prescribed antidepressants or other drugs.
Thyroid Dysfunction and BodyTalk.
BodyTalk is a relatively new branch of energy medicine. A complete medicine unto itself, BodyTalk draws on the knowledge of many branches of medicine, including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Craniosacral therapy, Psychology, Lymphatic Drainage, and Chiropractic, in addition to Western Medicine’s branches of neuroscience and…