Tired, gaining weight, feeling cold? Learn about hypothyroidism, its symptoms, causes, and natural treatment options.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits across the front of the neck. Hypothyroidism (sometimes called underactive, low or slow thyroid) is a condition where the thyroid gland is under-functioning. The thyroid gland is essential for growth and brain development in children. In adults, it controls the basal metabolic rate (i.e. the speed at which our bodies function) and affects every organ in the body. Low functioning of the thyroid leads to overall sluggishness with common symptoms being tiredness, constipation, weight gain, cold extremities, depression and low libido.

The thyroid produces two primary hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid makes 20 times as much T4 as T3, but much of the T4 is converted into T3 in the target organs. T3 is the most biologically active thyroid hormone. Anything that stops or slows the production of thyroid hormones or interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3 can cause hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is successfully treated by us. Most people experience complete resolution of their symptoms with our treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Fatigue and weakness
Muscle aches
Hair loss; thinning or brittle hair
Ridged and brittle nails
Cold intolerance; cold hands and feet
Low body temperature
Dry skin, especially on the arms and legs
Weight gain; difficulty losing weight
Fogginess or difficulty with mental focus
Galactorrhea (milk production in non-lactating women)
Generalized swelling
Goiter (swelling of the neck from enlargement of the thyroid)
Sensation of lump in throat (sometimes difficulty swallowing)
High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Heartburn or reflux (GERD)
Low sex drive
Missed periods; periods that are too short or too long
Frequent infections
Slow healing
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Changes in vision
Numbness and tingling, especially in the hands and feet
Sleep apnoea
Joint pain

Please note that, while most people with hypothyroidism have several of these symptoms, no one will have all of them. There are also a number of other conditions that can present with similar symptoms. It is important to see a Doctor like us to differentiate these conditions.

Hypothyroidism has many of the same symptoms as the following conditions:

Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency
Adrenal dysfunction
Candida Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Low iron stores (hypoferritinemia)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
And a number of other conditions…

These conditions are not mutually exclusive; in fact, some people will have two or more together.

Low thyroid function can be part of the problem if you have any of the following:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Amenorrhea (absent periods)

Other diseases that make you more likely to develop thyroid disease:

Addison’s disease
Chronic active hepatitis
Idiopathic hypoparathyroidism
Lupus (SLE)
Pernicious anemia
Polymyalgia rheumatica/Temporal arteritis
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary ovarian or testicular failure
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sjögren’s syndrome
Systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma)
Diabetes Type 1

Pregnancy and Childhood

Hypothyroidism during pregnancy and early life can be very dangerous to the developing child. Serious impairment of brain development called cretinism can occur and leave the child mentally handicapped. Immediate resolution of hypothyroidism is essential in pregnant women and infants.

Contact us today to get started!

READ MORE ABOUT: Thyroid Conditions

about the author

Dr. Simon Barker, N.D. treats people of all ages for all conditions with an emphasis on the care of patients with cancer and hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, menopause, osteoporosis and diabetes. He uses a wide variety of alternative health care approaches including therapeutic diets, exercise, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, homeopathy and mistletoe. He was named “Doctor of the Year” by the California Naturopathic Doctors Association in both 2015 and 2023.
Naturopathic medicine allows people to maximize health, minimize reliance on prescription drugs, and take active steps toward longer, healthier lives.

Are you interested in becoming a patient?

Connect with our office in Pasadena or Redlands to schedule your free 15 minute consultation.