It's estimated that 59 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but the majority don't even know it yet. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, is the master gland of metabolism. When your thyroid doesn't function, it can affect every aspect of your health, and in particular, weight, depression and energy levels.

Since undiagnosed thyroid problems can dramatically increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, infertility and a host of other symptoms and health problems, it's important that you don't go undiagnosed.

In the naturopathic realm (the use of natural therapies to treat disease) we look for answers to why there might be an imbalance in the messaging system of your thyroid. We also read the blood work results very differently from your primary care physician. A good percentage of weight loss patients present for care in my office with a slow functioning thyroid gland.

There are a number of functional tests that we use in the nutrition field to identify problems that may not be viewed as pathology by the medical profession. I specialize in working with the functional changes in your immune chemistry to correct the cause of the symptoms and remove the disorder. For the thyroid gland there are a number of functional changes in body temperature and the blood work that can clue us into the problem.

In working with a nutritionist you will hear the word "functional" quite a bit. What we are referring to is that not all problems show up in your blood work and there may be a more subtle change in your system that is not bad enough to raise the red flags for your medical doctor. The symptoms and presentation of an undiagnosed thyroid problem is a perfect example. Coupled with functional diagnostic testing there is the clinical presentation of the patient.

Common symptoms associated with an un-balanced thyroid are: Muscle and joint pain, tendonitis problems, swelling in the front of the neck or trouble swallowing, constipation, cold all of the time or hot all of the time, hair and nails are weak or thin, skin can become dry, menstrual irregularities, infertility, depression or anxiety, cholesterol issues, inability to lose weight and fatigue.

It is important to note that when your medical history and health related goals are explored, that consultation is held directly with me, not an untrained individual, a questionnaire or a computer program.

I look forward to working directly with you to help identify and correct the cause of your Thyroid issues. -- Dr. Conan Shaw