Cold Hands, Warm Heart?

Do you have cold hands and feet? Do you wake up with headaches in the morning that go away as the day progresses? Are you fatigued? Is your cholesterol higher than you would like? Are you lethargic, depressed, and confused with a foggy sensation in your brain? Welcome to the familiar world of subpar thyroid function.

Low thyroid function is in the top five common conditions patients present to my office. Let me explain to you a common pattern:

Cold hands and feet are a body signal named Raynaud’s “disease” -a by-product of poor quality fuel combustion causing your body to start conserving blood flow, reducing the need to press the thyroid to work. Your thyroid is analogous to the gas pedal in your car: when you run out of fuel, even though you are pressing the pedal, the vehicle does not accelerate optimally; have you ever run out of gas at 3 o’clock in the afternoon?

I want to explain to you the little known series of events that creates this phenomenon. The thyroid gland communicates with the adrenal glands to release the hormones for glucose metabolism to be utilized for fuel. When you are exposed to stress and do not have enough iodine, which is common, the thyroid is not able to respond-your metabolism slows down. The reason you may suffer with a morning headache is because your blood sugar has been impacted because the thyroid was not able to assist in the movement of insulin and glucose.

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