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Thyroid Function & Hormone Imbalance

swollen thyroid

Thyroid Function & Hormone Imbalance

thyroid diagram

One of the most common issues Dr. Anita treats is hormone imbalance. Read on to learn more about the thyroid and how she helps patients feel their best by keeping the thyroid functioning optimally.

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly shaped gland in the neck that produces the important hormones in the body to control your metabolism. The thyroid can cause dysfunction in all parts of the body, especially in energy and calories. A few functions of the thyroid include helping the liver break down cholesterol, control triglycerides, and help regulate the heart. If the thyroid is having issues, it can cause:

  • Sluggishness
  • Moodiness
  • Slowing down
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Infertility
  • Feeling cold
  • Constipation
  • Tenderness
  • Kidney problems
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Dry skin
  • Menstrual changes
  • Trouble breathing

Signs of thyroid problems are swelling in the nodules from a buildup of abnormal tissues. It is difficult to know whether a growth is benign or malignant without further testing.

Thyroid Boosting Adaptogens

To prevent the possibility of developing nodules, you can take adaptogens that boost the thyroid and adrenals. These include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil 
  • Rhodiola
  • Jensen root 
  • Licorice
  • Selenium, found in brazilian nuts, yellowtail, tuna, sardines, grass fed beef, boneless turkey, beef liver, chicken egg, and spinach

Other supplements you can add to your diet are B and B12 vitamins, which may increase energy, especially if you are energy deficient. Beneficial vitamins are also found in beef, liver, sardines, tuna, raw milk, asparagus, brussel sprouts, sesame, sunflowers, pistachios, cremini mushrooms, flax seeds, and spinach. Taking probiotics will balance out the gut biome and proteolytic enzymes to reduce enzymes like bromelain that decrease inflammation, which prevents autoimmune and inflammation in the thyroid. 

thyroid swelling

What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is the slowing down and inefficiency of the thyroid. This is a more common occurrence with autoimmune diseases, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. Those with hypothyroidism are more at risk for a decreased metabolism, heart complications, digestion issues, sleep problems, loss of appetite, moodiness, and decreased growth of hair, skin and nails.

In those with autoimmune diseases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can occur where the inflammation itself is autoimmune in nature. This means the thyroid is attacking itself. Signs of this development could be a diet lacking in iodine, which leads to the production of the antioxidant glutathione, which can prevent oxidative stress and inflammation. 

Hypothyroidism Causes and Treatments

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of issues throughout your body. If the pituitary gland is off balance and not producing enough TSH, it can affect hormone control. Trauma can affect the pituitary and leaky gut, which can cascade into autoimmune, and is especially sensitive to gluten and dairy triggers or even environmental bacterial imbalances.

Other causes include emotional stress and adrenal cortisol levels disturbing neurotransmitters causing a decrease in energy, low mood, weight gain, disrupted sleep, stress, and lack of sleep. It can be easy to misconstrued these symptoms for another affliction, especially when people are treated symptomatically and are being underdiagnosed.

A more uncommon way to develop hypothyroidism is through neonaces genetics, which is a congenital hypothyroidism. Other uncommon ways of developing hypothyroidism are from postpartum thyroiditis that usually lasts around 12-18 months and can become permanent. 

Changes to your diet and lifestyle can prevent the likelihood of developing hypothyroidism.  If hypothyroidism has already developed, it can be treated by a professional with radioactive iodine, lasering, and ablation.

thyroid examination

What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is the condition when the thyroid is overactive. This can lead to heart problems, thyroxine, or T4, idling or going too fast. Other symptoms include: 

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Palpitations 
  • Arrhythmias
  • Irregular arrhythmias 
  • Nervousness 
  • Irritability tremor 
  • Sweating 
  • Changes in menstrual patterns 
  • Sensitivity to heat 
  • Changes in the bowel pattern 
  • Goiter/swollen thyroid 
  • Fatigued muscle 
  • Weakness 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Thinning/brittle hair

Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by checking for nodules using ultrasound, feeling for a fullness in the neck, difficulty breathing, swallowing pain, and choking sensations.

Hyperthyroidism Causes and Treatments

Causes of hyperthyroidism, such as the autoimmune Grave’s disease, are triggered by gluten and leaky gut, which attacks the thyroid and causes nodules to form. 

Preventative remedies are the same for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Watching what you eat to avoid inflammatory and toxic foods is the best preventative measure. Mint leaves, bugleweed, lemon balm, and essential oils reduce stress and help decrease hyperthyroidism. It is especially important to include key vitamins in your diet from: 

  • Whole clean foods 
  • Green juices
  • Anti Inflammatory and adaptogens/herbs (such as basil, rosemary, oregano, and bone broth) 


  • Too much unconventional dairy and gluten 
  • Artificial flavors and dyes
  • Sugar 
  • Processed foods

Specific treatments for hyperthyroidism, administered by specialists, are PTU medications and radioactive iodine surgery. Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to hypertension, arrhythmia, dilation of cardia, congestive heart failure, and sudden cardiac death.

Next Steps

If you are concerned about your thyroid function, or would like to find out if the symptoms you are experiencing are thyroid related and what thyroid treatments are available given your unique biochemistry, contact Dr. Anita or schedule a complimentary discovery appointment online.

In good health, 

Dr. Anita

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Ready to Finally Feel Better?

Anita Wang, MD, FACEP, is a board-certified medical doctor of 30 years

Feel better, look better, naturally without harsh prescriptions or complicated surgeries. Practicing Functional and Integrative Medicine allows her to help patients find optimal health and vitality through comprehensive health profiling and rebalancing. She has practiced at UCLA Medical, Eisenhower Medical Center, and as a team lead in China during the 2003 SARS outbreak with Doctors without Borders (MSF). As the founder and lead practitioner of Wellness, Longevity and Aesthetics, Dr. Wang speaks globally, advocating for natural preventive health, pelvic and muscular strengthening, and minimally invasive aesthetics skin tightening.