by Keith Wassung
An estimated twenty-seven million Americans have some form of thyroid disorder with as many as thirteen million of these cases being undiagnosed. Low thyroid may be the most commonly misdiagnosed health problem in the U.S. Some physicians estimate that as many as one in five Americans suffer from an unsuspected low thyroid state. In Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health, Richard Shames MD calls low thyroid a “large scale epidemic that has been inadequately addressed.” Fortunately, thyroid disorders are helped by Chiropractic.
Thyroid problems are among the most common medical conditions, but because their symptoms often appear gradually, they are frequently misdiagnosed. Symptoms associated with thyroid disorders are:
The thyroid gland is located on the front part of the neck below the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple). The gland produces thyroid hormones, which regulate body metabolism.
Thyroid hormones control metabolism and virtually all other processes in the body. Without thyroid hormones, the body cannot form RNA needed for the process of transcription necessary to produce proteins and enzymes. Consequently, without thyroid hormones, the body cannot produce proteins to repair damaged tissues, or enzymes to catalyze virtually all reactions within the body.
Disorders of the thyroid gland can result in either the production of too much hormone(hyperthyroidism) or too little hormone(hypothyroidism).
Scientific and clinical evidence has shown that certain cases of thyroid disorders result from the malfunction of the nerve pathways that control the thyroid’s production of thyroid hormones. Whether too little or too much hormone is produced, the abnormal level can be due to a malfunction between the brain, pituitary, spinal cord and thyroid gland, and can be caused by certain types of trauma to the spine.
Traumatic and micro-traumatic injuries that affect the spine and nervous system have been shown to adversely affect the function of the thyroid. One study published in the Journal of Manipulative Therapeutics examined 100 whiplash patients and found that many suffered from poor thyroid function after their injury. Another study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association reported a correlation between cervical spine problems and thyroid abnormalities.
The Journal of Neurology reports, “Studies have shown that fifty percent of hyperthyroid patients have damage to the pathways in their nervous system.”
According to the Academy of Pain Research’s Dr. T. Lee, “Hyperfunctional or hypofunctional neurons along a neural chain prevent normal nerve transmission causing disturbances in the homeostasis of the cells, tissues and organs.”
There is a growing body of clinical research showing that Chiropractic can often help people who suffer from thyroid conditions. This would stand to reason since Chiropractic’s purpose is the restoration of nervous system pathways, which is accomplished by physically adjusting the spine. Chiropractic is not a treatment for thyroid disease, and Doctors of Chiropractic do not claim to be able to cure thyroid conditions, but by removing nerve interference from the spinal column, they allow the body to maximize its inherent healing ability.
About The Author:
Keith Wassung is a nationally known author and speaker in the field of health education and research. A former national drug-free weightlifting champion, Keith turned to Chiropractic health care after being diagnosed with a near fatal health condition. His recovery led him to research, write and lecture about the scientific principles of Chiropractic.
Keith has authored over 100 health education and research articles and has been featured in periodicals such as Iron Man, Men\’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, Milo, Muscle Mag, Pediatric Journal, ICPA journal, Today’s Chiropractic, Get Up, ICA Journal, In-Practice as well as many others.
Keith has spoken at Chiropractic colleges and Chiropractic seminars all over the United States. He has been honored as “Layman of the Year” by Sherman College of Chiropractic, “Man of the Year” by the Federation of Straight Chiropractic and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Southern Chiropractic Association.
In addition to writing and lecturing, Keith has assisted in the building and development of hundreds of private Chiropractic practices all over the United States. His community outreach projects include the development and implementation of the Health Jeopardy program that is used in elementary schools as well as the Natural childbirth lecture series performed at Bradley classes and the nationwide Blockbuster Free Chiropractic documentary videos.
Keith is married and lives with his wife Peggie and their six children in Goose Creek, SC. They are a home school family and are active in their community.