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The Physiologic and Metabolic Effects of Thyroid

Bone metabolism, gastrointestinal function, glucose metabolism, thermoregulation, progesterone & estrogen metabolism, and homeocysteine levels may all be affected when Thyroid hormone is imbalanced. This is only a small list of how Thyroid works on the intricate areas of our body and how one hormone can lead us to a lack of health.

Bone metabolism and Thyroid have an important relationship. If a person has low Thyroid at a young age, they will most likely have some deformity of the bone present. Also hypercalcemia, which is too much calcium in the blood, can occur in a patient with hyper function resulting in a demineralization of the bone. This has blood as well as urine markers.

Gastrointestinal function can also be compromised. In a patient with low Thyroid function, the gastric transit time will increase and a sluggish bowel occurs. We also see a malabsorption or dysbiosis in patients with low Thyroid. Both conditions can cause each other creating the ‘chicken or egg’ situation!

Glucose metabolism is slower in patients with low Thyroid function and the response of insulin on glucose is greatly decreased. This slowing of a response to glucose will cause a patient to present with hypoglycemic symptoms. This can then lead to an increased stress on the adrenal gland as they release cortisol to increase the level of glucose in the body.

Thermoregulation, otherwise known as the temperature swings that exist in the body, is tremendously affected by the hormones of the Thyroid. In women it can be common to diagnosis these temperature swings as estradiol (estrogen) deficiency. This can result in a misdiagnosis since the Thyroid will mimic many of these symptoms.

Progesterone and Estrogen metabolism can suffer major affects when Thyroid hormone is imbalanced. This means that the Thyroid hormone will metabolize estrogen removing the risk of estrogen-related proliferation cells (cells that can cause cancer). So in the case of hypothyroidism, the 2:16 estrogen metabolite ratio is shifted in such a way that there is an increase in cell proliferation increasing a person’s risk of cancer. Progesterone is impacted on its receptor sites by Thyroid and specifically Thyroid peroxidase activity, which limits thyroxine synthesis. So our progesterone insuffiency can cause a problem with our Thyroid expression and may mimic only hormone related problems. And when progesterone receptors are not stimulated enough with Thyroid hormone they can lose their sensitivity to progesterone causing symptoms like: headache, mid-cycle depression, and inability to lose weight.

Homeocysteine levels can rise if the methylation process is limited by an insufficiency of Thyroid hormone. And we know that high levels of Homeocysteine can increase our risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Take the Thyroid Self-Assessment Test on our Wellness Blog to determine whether or not you may want to talk to one of our doctors. This test was developed by Dr. Richard L. Shames, M.D. and Dr. Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., Ph.D., authors of the book: Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health.

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