Did you know that the thyroid gland controls pretty much everything within your system and is a major player when it comes to health and wellbeing?
The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the bottom of the neck. However, unlike a butterfly it can be anything but beautiful when it is not functioning well. Its job is to produce hormones to regulate the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance, and more.
Ensuring that the thyroid gland is healthy and functioning properly is vital to the body’s overall well-being. Whether underactive, overactive or autoimmune thyroid problem, when off par, systems within the body can become dysfunctional.
Common symptoms of an unhealthy thyroid include:
- Weight gain
- Aches and pains
- Dry skin and hair
Learn more about Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and how it affects fertility and women’s health
As a clinician I specialise in fertility and women’s health and the topic of the thyroid is discussed regularly.
Supporting couples who are trying to conceive I regularly suggest testing specific reproductive markers and in-particular starting with Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). It is important that TSH is at optimal level as it can affect ovulation and reduce fertility, affect foetal retention and aid foetal brain development through pregnancy.
The thyroid is poorly understood in the west which further complicates a couple’s fertility journey.
The TSH range is 0.27 – 4.2. overtime, I have observed how the female attends a General Practitioner (GP) clinic, have a blood test and told all is fine.
What this actually means is that the TSH level is within the range set by the National Institute of Clinic Excellence. This has three fundamental flaws:-
- It assumes that we are all the same but the reality is that we are all unique and ladies can all feel different with TSH at the same level or some will feel good at mid-range others not so.
- As long as you are within range your GP will not be interested in writing a prescription, he is not looking at you from a fertility point of view, he is looking to see if he needs to put pen to paper and prescribe Levothyroxine.
- Western medicine generally only test TSH and T4 as standard, unfortunately Antibodies should also be included in my opinion as these can often encourage fluctuation of TSH as well as indicating autoimmune disease such as Graves or Hashimotos
In my opinion TSH should sit around 2.0-2.5 to conceive or retain.
Tip! I remember sitting in lecture and being told that a way of identifying an individual with thyroid implications is to check the half-moons on the finger nails, (excluding the thumb). No half-moons is indicative of thyroid problem. In clinical reality ive not found anything that contradicts this theory that said, I am not able to identify research evidence to back this up.
How can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture is a great way to regulate the endocrine system including the Thyroid gland and the hormones it produces. The ancient medicine focuses on the root cause and promotes good health symptom by symptom.
Because each acupuncture point has more than one action, a degree trained practitioner will be able treat more than one symptom at the same time.
There are no negative side effects of receiving acupuncture unlike that of western medicine drugs it is completely natural.