Every person is unique; the same applies to the thyroid. Each body breaks down and processes nutrients differently. Some patients eat several plates of food and not gain a pound. Meanwhile, other patients live healthy lifestyles but still struggle to lose weight. In other words, some people have an overactive or an underactive thyroid .
At Diamond Chiropractic, our team is exceptional when it comes to understanding the thyroid and how it affects the body. Whether it is an ongoing condition that is getting worse (a “chronic” condition), or it appeared very suddenly (an “acute” condition), our Chiropractor in Omaha has the answer and treatment for you.
What’s the Difference?
Before we jump into what patients could look for, and what could be possible causes, let’s first describe the differences between an overactive and an underactive thyroid.
An overactive thyroid results from the thyroid producing too much hormones. This can result in a rapid heartbeat and unexplained weight loss. Therefore, it is difficult to determine if a patient is suffering from an overactive thyroid.
An underactive thyroid results from the thyroid producing little to no hormones. This leads to health issues such as joint pain, weight gain and heart disease. It is difficult to determine if a patient suffers from an underactive thyroid due to the lack of hormones in the body.
Symptoms of an Overactive/ Underactive Thyroid
While these two conditions can mimic other health issues, they have certain symptoms that differ from each other. Several obvious symptoms differentiating the two are provided below.
An overactive thyroid causes:
- Weight loss
- Increased heart rate
- Sensitive to heat
- Shaking in hands/ fingers
An underactive thyroid may cause:
- Weight gain
- Slowed heart rate
- Sensitive to cold
- Stiffness/ swelling in joint(s)
Your personality and overall behavior can be affected, too. With an overactive thyroid, a patient may be nervous, irritable, and have difficulty sleeping. In contrast, an underactive thyroid may cause a patient to feel depressed and have an impaired memory.
Surprisingly, both conditions cause muscle weakness. Additionally, women suffering from either condition will experience changes in their menstrual patterns.
What Causes These Conditions?
Like many other conditions, there is no one definitive cause behind an overactive or underactive thyroid. What we understand is that something causes the thyroid to produce too much or too little hormones.
The hormones T3 and T4 are important for proper body functioning. This includes regulating body temperature, controlling heart rate, and regulating energy absorption. In addition, the thyroid produces calcitonin, a hormone that helps monitor the amount of calcium in the blood.
An overactive thyroid produces too much of the hormone T4. Possible causes include Graves’ disease (an autoimmune disorder causing the thyroid to produce more hormones) or thyroiditis (inflammation in the thyroid).
However, an underactive thyroid produces little to no hormones. One common cause is an autoimmune disorder, including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Other common causes include genetics, environmental triggers, and even treatment for an overactive thyroid. In some cases, this condition may result from:
- a hereditary disease;
- a pituitary gland disorder;
- an iodine deficiency; or
- pregnancy (though this rarely happens) .
How the Thyroid Affects Your Skin
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Not only does it protect your organs and muscles, but it also provides some helpful hints. Skin conditions – caused by the thyroid – help explain a person’s health and lifestyle (Lause et al., 2017, p. 300). These signs hint at how the thyroid is behaving, and how patients can proceed with healing themselves.
Overactive thyroids are often associated with conditions such as Graves’ disease. Patients with overactive thyroids experience flushing in the face and redness in certain areas. Aside from the skin, a patient’s hair will thin, becoming finer and softer. Soft and shiny nails are another common symptom.
Underactive thyroids result from iodine deficiency and/or a chronic autoimmune disease. Regardless, patients with underactive thyroids will have dry skin; it may feel cold to the touch. Yellowing of the skin is also common, due to excessive carotene in the body. Additionally, the patient’s hair and nails become brittle and rough.
Depending on the condition of the thyroid, other health issues can develop. Aside from Graves’ disease, patients with overactive thyroids may suffer from Hashimoto’s disease or certain skin conditions. Patients with underactive thyroids may experience vitiligo (loss in skin color, causing lighter patches to form) or hives.
According to Zone Technique…
If a patient is suffering from a thyroid condition, certain systems in the body may be off-balanced. According to the Zone Technique, thyroid conditions result from imbalances in the following zones:
Zone 1: The Glandular System
Zone 1 is the body’s glandular system, comprised of over 200 glands, which release essential hormones and chemicals into the body. This zone is the body’s highly-advanced pharmacy. Because of this, when the body experiences stress, physically and/or mentally, subluxations in the spine can occur. Spinal misalignments will disrupt normal nerve communication between the brain and the glands, affecting the production of hormones throughout the body. This includes disrupting communication to the thyroid, resulting in an overactive or underactive gland.
Zone 4: The Digestion System
Zone 4 is the digestive system, the body’s internal engine. This system works to convert food and drinks into usable energy for the body. Like a car, the body functions better when it is fueled by clean energy, by essential proteins and fats. When there is an imbalance in this zone, your body will not break down those nutrients properly. Because of this, diet plays a role in having a healthy lifestyle. Imbalances in the digestion cycle influences the thyroid gland, either shutting it down or causing it to overproduce the hormones T3 and T4.
Zone 6: The Circulation System
Zone 6 is the circulatory system. The circulatory system carries nutrients and hormones throughout the body, and it carries away wastes, dumping it into the proper organs and glands for elimination. This system is crucial in delivering essential energy and hormones throughout the human body. As such, when there is an imbalance in this zone, nerve communication is hindered, affecting proper blood circulation. When this happens, the body can weaken, due to lack of proper energy absorption and waste filtration. This, in part, affects the rest of the body.
Thyroid Condition – Treatment at Diamond Chiropractic
At Diamond Chiropractic in Omaha, our chiropractor will perform an examination, take x-rays, and evaluate your posture to determine the cause of your case. After comparing the findings and confirming the diagnosis, our chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms, heal the pain, and provide you with recommendations to lower your risk for possible reoccurrences.
Dr. Nilles will realign the vertebrae in the affected area to increase your range of motion and alleviate the pain on the spinal nerves. He will focus on the imbalanced zone(s) connected to your case and begin treatment from there. Symptoms resulting from an overactive or underactive thyroid may begin to decrease as well.
Intersegmental traction involves the use of a special chiropractic table. This table includes rollers that roll along the sides of the spinal column, allowing blood to flow through tight muscles and ligaments. As this occurs, the muscles and ligaments loosen up and relax more; in addition, your spine will become more mobile.
Electro-therapy, or acupuncture, is effective with an overactive/ underactive thyroid. This is achieved through targeting certain acupuncture points during treatment, as well as an electro-muscle stimulator during therapy. Patients will notice, after several treatments, pain and certain symptoms beginning to decrease in frequency. Additionally, they will start to see more mobility come back to their spine and other affected areas of the body.
With any injury, whether to the back, neck, or extremity, the last thing you want to do is make the pain worse. The same idea applies to handling cases for an overactive/ underactive thyroid. Our advice is designed to help you perform everyday tasks safely. This includes suggestions to improving your diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. At Diamond Chiropractic, we focus on healing and relief from an overactive/ underactive thyroid, not aggravating the pain further.
Contact Our Omaha Chiropractor for Thyroid Conditions
To get started with chiropractic care for your thyroid condition, choose our Omaha, NE chiropractor today. Diamond Chiropractic is currently accepting new patients of all ages. Call our office today. When it comes to thyroid conditions, get relief NOW & FAST.
Lause, M., Kamboj, A., & Faith, E. (2017). Dermatologic manifestations of endocrine disorders. Translational Pediatrics, 6 (4), 300-312. Retrieved 9, September 2020 from http://tp.amegroups.com/article/view/16983