Thyroid and Your Health
Your thyroid health, fertility, a healthy pregnancy, and postpartum are deeply intertwined. And unfortunately, the detailed care and information we receive as women around this matter is lacking. I see this nearly everyday in my practice and have experienced this discrepancy first hand at my last well woman care visit when I received my blood work results from routine lab work. (if you’re interested in knowing what thyroid tests to ask for consider working with a provider that specializes in thyroid support). My low functioning thyroid was not even addressed by my physician after my visit, and I know I am not the only one this is happening to. The awareness around this is changing slowly and more and more providers are paying closer attention, but when it comes to our thyroid health we need to know what to ask for and how to receive proper treatment. This starts with educating ourselves.
Women’s Health and Thyroid Function
Did you know that “1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid problem at some point in their lives” and “15 million more women have a thyroid condition and don’t know it.” A healthy thyroid has a big job, tasks involve managing our temperature, metabolism, and hormonal balance to name a few. The rise in thyroid conditions is linked to a huge increase in endocrine disruption, stress, poor digestion (gut dysbiosis) or micronutrient deficiencies. The “normal” levels for a functioning thyroid are between .5 and 4.5 mU/L, but most women feel best if they land between 1.5 and 2 mU/L. And while these levels are somewhat controversial in the medical community, that is a pretty big difference between normal range and ideal range.
Understanding your Thyroid Health in the Childbearing Years
It is also very important to know that if you are not trying to conceive, pregnant, or in postpartum, this still completely applies! Many women are dismissed and undertreated if they aren’t trying to conceive. This is a problem, because we all deserve to feel good and deserve to get the best care possible! It is also a problem because un-addressed thyroid conditions can lead to many other medical problems including pulmonary, cardiovascular, neurological, autoimmune, and digestive conditions.
Chinese Medicine and Your Thyroid
Chinese medicine is very helpful in supporting thyroid health in conjunction with support from a western medical provider. Making necessary dietary and lifestyle changes can have a dramatic effect as well. Treatment must be a multi faceted approach. Underfunctioning thyroids may need pharmaceutical medication. I am not a pharma pusher but sometimes medication is needed in order to bring our bodies back into balance. If you are interested in learning more about thyroid health, curious about what a comprehensive thyroid panel includes, have just been diagnosed or suspect you may be suffering from a thyroid condition, please contact me to set up an appointment. You can begin to heal and feel your very best. When we feel our best, we are able to share our gifts with the world and be our best selves.