The thyroid is a small, dual-lobed endocrine gland that sits in the front of the neck just above the collarbone. It’s responsible for secreting hormones that directly influence metabolism, cardiovascular functioning, and protein synthesis. Most people associate it with extreme weight loss or weight gain, though that’s just one of the many areas of wellness the organ helps to regulate.
Thyroid disorders are wide-ranging and thought to affect nearly a third of the world’s population. Diagnosing these diseases is usually a straightforward process, but when it comes time for treatment, expensive and invasive measures are often deployed. You don’t always have to resort to hormone therapy or surgery. If you’re in the Denver area and suffer from a thyroid disorder, Red Tail Wellness Center is here to help.
Types of Thyroid Disorders
Most thyroid disorders are related to an over- or under-performing organ, though there are a number of autoimmune and cancer-related dysfunctions that can affect the organ. Below are a few of the more common issues associated with the thyroid.
- Hyperthyroidism – An overactive thyroid produces an abundance of hormones, flooding the body with T3 and T4. The resulting health conditions include anxiety, heart palpitations, extreme weight loss, and muscle weakness.
- Hypothyroidism – An under-active thyroid that doesn’t produce enough hormones. This can lead to weight gain, depression, dry skin, irritability, and baldness.
- Hashimoto’s Disease – An autoimmune disorder where the thyroid is attacked by the immune system, initially creating symptoms of hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism.
- Grave’s Disease – A hereditary autoimmune disorder similar to Hashimoto’s Disease. Can occur in both men and women of any age but most commonly presents in women between 20 and 30.
- Goiter – A non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid caused by iodine deficiency. Symptoms include swelling and tightness in the neck, frequent coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Thyroid Disorders in Women
The thyroid gland is usually larger in women than in men. It also increases in size during pregnancy. These variations mean a staggering 80% of thyroid disorders in the U.S. affect females, with one in eight women experiencing some type of thyroid issue during their lifetime. Thyroid cancer is also twice as common in women than men, making it an important area of wellness to consider, especially for adult and elderly women.
Treating Thyroid Disorders in Denver
Depending on the symptoms, thyroid disorders are usually treated with hormone therapy or surgery. Beta-blockers are given to control the heart rate, anti-thyroid medications help regulate hormone production, and radioactive iodine is used to remove parts of the damaged gland. Sometimes these measures are necessary, but in many hypothyroid and hyperthyroid patients, other methods are safer, more effective, and much less expensive.
Approximately 90% of all hypothyroid cases are autoimmune and are best treated with functional medicine. This approach analyzes the issue in the context of the entire physiology. A thyroid disorder isn’t just a problem with the thyroid—it’s the organ’s response to other systems acting upon it (in this case, the immune system). Our bodies aren’t divided into tidy little cubicles that never interact with each other. They’re living webs of tissue that interact with the environment and affect each other on a moment to moment basis.
We use a functional approach to thyroid disorders at Red Tail Wellness Center, deploying safe, effective, and drug-free methods to diagnose and manage conditions. You won’t have to worry about expensive drugs or harmful side effects. Instead, you’ll focus on strengthening your body as you build towards better health.
Getting Thyroid Treatment in Denver
Red Tail Wellness Center is conveniently located just off Hwy 36 in Boulder, about half an hour outside of Denver. To find us, simply hop on the Denver-Boulder Turnpike, follow 28th Street, then turn left on Violet Avenue followed by a right on Broadway. After a few miles, you’ll see our sign on the right near the corner of Rosewood and Broadway.
If you live in the Denver area and suffer from a thyroid disorder, we can help! Stop by or contact us today to set up an appointment.